“06880” readers love Rowene Weems’ photos. She has a keen eye for the beauty of our town. Springtime flowers, beach sunsets, Levitt Pavilion, the Longshore skating rink — her camera and composition make those scenes come alive in special and compelling ways.
Rowene also has a great eye for people. As she travels around town, she captures some of the men and women who work — mostly unseen — to make Westport what it is.
She does not know their back stories. She tries not to interrupt too much. A woman once chastised Rowene for taking photos of workers on her property. “Time is money!” she said.
All these photos are from this spring. They’re part of a book she’s creating about workers everywhere, from her travels around the US and world.
“COVID really intensified my intention to celebrate workers,” Rowene says. “They are often under-appreciated, but we needed them then more than ever.”
The state Department of Transportation plans work on 2.5 miles of I-95, from the Yankee Doodle Bridge in Norwalk to the Saugatuck River bridge. It includes reconstruction of the center median and right shoulders, and resurfacing the ramps at Exits 16 and 17.
The bridge over Saugatuck Avenue will be totally replaced. The new superstructure will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge, and slid into place.
The bridges over Franklin Street and the Saugatuck River will undergo concrete deck repairs, and replacement of expansion joints.
A virtual public information session is set for Thursday, June 3 (7 p.m.). To access the meeting, and for information about commenting or asking questions, click here.
The estimated cost is $90 million. Construction is planned to begin this fall. DOT did not provide an anticipated end date.
This work is substantially more complex than the Kings Highway replacement project currently underway near Canal Street. Fingers crossed …
Traffic will flow less smoothly on the I-95 bridge over Saugatuck Avenue when construction begins this fall. (Photo/Mark Mathias)
Brette Warshaw’s love of food, food culture and food writing began in Westport.
In 3rd grade, she was reviewing local restaurants for the Long Lots Elementary School paper. (Angelina’s got a rave.)
At Staples High School, the 2009 graduate loved Alison Milwe Grace’s culinary classes. Brette wrote her college essay about working at the Weston Field Club snack shop.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she worked at the Food52 website, moving up to managing editor. Brette the became CFO of Lucky Peach, David Chang’s quarterly food journal.
She works at Apple News now (no food jokes, please!). She writes the daily Newsletter. She also wrote “What’s the Difference” — answering questions we’ve all wondered about. (What’s the difference, for example, between a balcony and terrace? Latino and Hispanic? A dash and a hyphen?)
In Brette’s special area of expertise, what’s the difference between broth and stock? Jam and jelly (and preserves)? Barbecuing and grilling? Chef and cook? Sweet potato and yam? Maître d’ and host?
She’s turned those important questions (spoiler alert: I have no idea about any of the answers) into a new book. What’s the Difference? Recreational Culinary Reference for the Curious and Confused will be published June 8. (Click here for more information, and to order.)
It’s irreverent, informative — and when I get a copy, I’ll let you know the answers.
Longtime Westporter George Manchester turns 90 in June.
His son Jeff — now raising his own family, in his home town — has planned a special gift. He hopes at least 90 “06880” readers will send his father “Happy Birthday” cards.
George spends summers in Maine. This year, he’ll arrive June 5. Going to the post office is an important part of his day. Let’s inundate him (and the PO) with cards!
Send to: George Manchester, PO Box 202, South Bristol, ME 04568. And feel free to pass this on to others!
George Manchester in 2017, just before the old Saugatuck Island bridge was torn down after damage from Superstorm Sandy. Decades earlier he was involved in the construction of that bridge, as president of what was then called the Saugatuck Shores Island Association (now the Saugatuck Island Special Taxing District).
For today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, Tina Green writes:
“Some time in the last several days, the American oystercatcher eggs hatched at Compo Beach. This year there are 2 very healthy chicks. The adult female is limping, but will hopefully recover soon.
“The federally protected piping plovers are nesting on the most northern edge of the roped off area. I had the good fortune to witness the first egg being laid while observing the female early yesterday morning.
“Westporters are lucky to have a variety of bird species nest within our borders. About 88 species breed in the wide variety of habitats around town, including back yards, town parks, beaches and open spaces like Cockenoe Island and Aspetuck Land Trust properties.
“If the pandemic got you into birdwatching while at home, this is one of the best towns in the state to see and observe our feathered friends.”
American oystercatcher at Compo Beach (Photo/Tina Green)
Longtime Westporter Ronald Joseph Melino died on May 22. He was 91.
The South Bronx native transplanted himself and his family from the city he loved to Westport in 1967.
Melino studied biology at City College, and was a proud employee of American Airlines. He worked his way up from the La Guardia Airport terminal to the company’s executive offices at the Chrysler Building.
Original to his core, naturally charismatic and never shy, he lived life on his own terms. He loved beach walks, tennis with pals at the Westport Tennis Club and Longshore, workouts and saunas at the Westport YMCA, reading, train travel to San Francisco, and above all else his grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Maureen. He is survived by his children Stephen Melino (Margie), Frances Zahler (Gary), Barbara Deecken (George), and James Melino (Ilana); grandchildren Alexsis Adams, Christina Deecken, Cody Zahler, Christian Zahler, Avery Chung-Melino, Rachel Melino, Emily Zahler, and Katey Melino, great grandson Isaiah, beloved nieces and nephews and their families, and his brother Eugene.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Assumption Cemetery, at a time to be determined.
Westport’s newest police officer is Stephen Silva has joined its ranks. He was sworn in yesterday at a small ceremony, in front of his family and friends. Two brothers serve with the Trumbull Police Department.
Silva started his career in law enforcement in 2016 with the Bridgeport Police Department. He worked in the patrol division, served as an acting detective, and was a member of the department’s honor guard.
In addition to working full time as a police officer, Silva is pursuing a degree in emergency management at Post University.
Officer Stephen Silva (right) is congratulated by Police Chief Foti Koskinas.
While Charles MacCormack traveled the world as CEO of Westport-based Save the Children, his wife Susan Ross devoted her life to public service of a more local scope. For 40 years she worked with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; for 12 years, she was its CEO.
Susan died 4 years ago this month, after a 7-year battle with breast and pancreatic cancer. In her memory, her husband of 45 years has helped established the Susan M. Ross Fund for Great Leadership at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. It targets the organization’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which provides leadership develop opportunities.
And finally … happy 76th birthday to John Fogerty. I’ve played tribute to his band — Creedence Clearwater Revival — and I will again. So today I’ll honor his solo work. (PS: Thanks again for that great Levitt Pavilion concert in 2017. I’m still smiling.)
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