Tag Archives: Cavalry Road

Roundup: Rally Speaker, Cavalry Road Bridge, Wafu Brawl …

Tomorrow’s reproductive rights “Rally Against Regression” includes a high-profile speaker: Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. The event begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, at the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

Last month — in anticipation of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling outlawing Roe v. Wade — Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed a bill protecting medical providers, and patients seeking abortion care here who travel from states that outlaw it. The legislation — the first in the US — expands abortion access in the state, by expanding the practitioners eligible to perform certain types of care.

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Cavalry Road residents were up in arms recently. The long-running bridge replacement ended with a surprise: industrial-looking guardrails and a chain link fence suddenly appeared. Neighbors claimed they had not seen those in any previous plans. They appealed to officials in both Westport and Weston.

Late yesterday, Weston town administrator Jonathan Luiz said:

“The new bridge is open to traffic!

“We understand that Westport and Weston residents have concerns about the bridge. Staffs from both Weston and Westport have collated the concerns that were communicated to us in person, via email and by phone. The list was shared with the project engineer/designer who has already begun to examine each of the issues.

“At the advice of the Weston Police Chief and the Westport Police Chief, the Weston Public Works staff has performed stop sign related work near the bridge. Specifically, they have reset stop signs, repainted white stop bars on the ground, and cut back vegetation near a particular stop sign. A speed monitoring sign has also been placed near the bridge by Westport Police.

“Weston invites the public to attend a virtual meeting on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the concerns that have been raised to date. The Weston First Selectwoman, Weston Town Administrator, Westport staff, and the project engineer/designer will be in attendance. The meeting will be held via Zoom. To join via internet, use this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84296566039 To join via phone, dial: 646-558- 8656. The Webinar ID is 842 9656 6039.”

That’s a start, for sure. But I don’t see any reference to “guardrails” or a chain link fence anywhere in the Weston town administrator’s response.

Buckle up for that July 6 meeting.

Guardrail and fencing on the Cavalry Road bridge.

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As yesterday’s “06880” noted, Chris Bousquet’s “Gloria” — an ode to Alan Sterling’s oyster boat — is the theme song for a CPTV/PBS documentary about oystering in Connecticut.

The film airs just as the craft is in its final stages of disintegration. Gloria has floated — and broken apart — in Gray’s Creek, ever since owner Alan Sterling’s death nearly 8 years ago.

Bruce McFadden regularly paddles past. The other day, he snapped this sad — and perhaps final — shot:

(Photo/Bruce McFadden)

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Wafu is technically just over the town line, in Southport. But the Post Road restaurant has many Westport fans. They’re drawn by — as its website says – “the warmth of our hospitality and our pride in offering you an elegant combination of traditional Asian recipes and innovative sophisticated dishes.”

But it just got tougher to order a sake or Kirin with your meal.

Its liquor license has been suspended by the state Consumer Protection Commission. The action came after a “brawl” there last Sunday. At least 10 shots were fired, and one person was hit.

That was not an isolated instance. The day before, a patron was assaulted there. In March, 10 minors were served alcohol. A couple of weeks before that, the fire marshal closed Wafu, due to overcrowding. And in February a bouncer allegedly pepper-sprayed 6 guests.

WTF, Wafu? (Hat tip: Chris Grimm)

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Alan Fiore — the on-fire 2021 Staples High School graduate studying at Berklee College of Music — has just released his newest song.

“Locked Up” is an indie pop/rock tune, inspired by artists like Sarah and the Sunday, COIN, Why Don’t We and Jeremy Zucker.

Click here for a “Locked Up” link. Click here for the musician/producer’s website.

Alan Fiore

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Up next at the Remarkable Theater: “Caddyshack.”

The 1980 classic — starring our much loved (seriously!) late neighbor Rodney Dangerfield — screens at 8:30 p.m. Monday (June 27); gates open for tailgating at 7:30. Click here for tickets.

Fore!

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This stunning Northern catalpa sits at the entrance to Marion Road, off the Post Road near Norwalk. It’s a great way to celebrate “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Mike Vitelli)

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And finally … in honor of Monday’s showing of “Caddyshack” at the Remarkable Theatre:

(Alright — just a reminder that “06880” relies completely on reader support. Please click here to donate.)

Roundup: Cavalry Road Bridge, Staples Graduation, Sharkey’s Cuts …

Residents in the Red Coat Road/West Branch neighborhood, straddling the Westport/Weston border, were thrilled earlier this month when the Cavalry Road bridge reopened.

For a year during the project, they’d faced long detours, constant traffic pattern changes, even property damage. They seldom complained.

But now they’re mad.

Suddenly, a large chain link fence has been installed on both sides of the new bridge. Residents call it an eyesore — and not part of the original plan. They wonder how safety measures more appropriate for a state road became part of their bucolic landscape.

Guardrail and fencing on the Cavalry Road bridge.

Resident Gery Grove — who says it is a Weston project — wrote to officials of both towns:

“This is a low speed bridge (now with extensive guardrails in place) with probably a limited to nonexistent history of injury or death. This is a pastoral residential neighborhood that people move to for quiet charms.

“Behind our backs at the dawn of a holiday weekend, it has been made to look like a downtown Manhattan parking lot with no warning. And likely no historical public record of this addition. No other small bridges that I am aware of (that don’t go over the Merritt or I95) have this extensive fencing.”

Westport 1st selectwoman replied quickly, promising to meet with residents there on Monday morning.

Weston town administrator Jnoathan Luiz said that he asked the engineering company that designed the bridge and provided construction oversight to respond.

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For the second year in a row — after a hiatus of nearly 40 years — Staples High School held its graduation ceremony outdoors.

“06880” provided photos of the 135th commencement. But those were only from ground level.

Staples sophomore Charlie Scott adds a new perspective, thanks to his drone:

(Drone photo/Charlie Scott)

The stage is at the north end (bottom of photo). Board of Education and other dignitaries are at the lower left. The 450-plus graduates are massed on Coach Paul Lane Field. The 2,000 spectators fill the bleachers on the right.

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Scalp dramatically reduces chemotherapy-induced hair loss in cancer patients.

But it’s expensive.

Scott Sharkey — founder of Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids, the Westport-based haircut chain – has jump-started a fund to support patients throughout New England who cannot afford the treatment.

Each Sharkey’s salon donates a percent of every haircut to charity. “Hair to Stay” will be one more beneficiary of the company’s generosity.

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Jillian Elder has a new line of Westport-themed tank tops, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and tumblers.

Some are actually more specific: They say “I’d rather be in Saugatuck” and “I’d rather be at Compo Beach.” There are also red-white-and-blue Minute Man items.

Click here for “I’d Rather Be …”; click here for the Minute Man stuff.

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Artists Collective of Westport member Lee Walther curated a new exhibit, “Sculptural Dimensions,” at the Fairfield Public Library. It features Collective artists Sooo-z Mastropietro and Louise Cadoux, plus international artist Alan Neider.

The show runs through August 6. Click here for more infromation.

Art by Sooo-z Mastropietro.

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Marie Coppotelli — one of Westport’s first girls “soccer moms” — died peacefully on June 9. She was 92 years old.  .

Stuart McCarthy — a founder of Westport’s girls soccer program, and former Staples High School coach — says:

When we started the first girls travel team in 1977, Marie took charge. She did all the great organization and coordination that comes with the job (but she had no 3-ring binder left behind by the last manager). I will always remember how she was such a sweet lady — until someone fouled one of ‘her girls.’ Marie was fiercely protective, and they were all ‘her girls.’ We were all lucky to have Marie on our team.

Marie was preceded in death by her husband Donald Coppotelli and brother Anthony Cuda. She is survived by her sister Patricia Nole, sister-in-law Lynn Cuda; children Michele (Pat) Solis, Lisa Coppotelli, Alan (Nancey) Coppotelli, Renee (Mark) Dixon, and Claudine (Lee) Martin; grandchildren Emma and Reed Tso, Oliver and Madeline Dixon, Devon Mayhew, Dylan and Eileen
Martin, Ghislain and Mary Melaine, Jeff and Jessica Doerner, and great-grandchildren Molly and Benjamin Doerner and Georges Melaine.

Services will be held privately at a future date. In lieu of flowers,
everyone who knew Marie knows she loves to feed people. Donations may be made online to Connecticut Foodshare, Memories and condolences may be sent to the family: ACoppotelliNY@aol.com,

The Coppotellis, at Marie and Don’s 50th wedding celebration. From left: Renee, Claudine, Donald, Marie, Michele, Lisa, Alan.

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This “Westport … Naturally” wren seems right at home in Paul Delano’s birdhouse.

(Photo/Paul Delano)

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And finally … sure, Jillian Elder’s gear and mugs say “I’d rather be in Saugatuck” (or “at Compo Beach”).

But as the Turtles knew years ago:

Roundup: Ukraine, Budget, Businesses …

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A technical glitch has caused some “06880” readers to fall off the subscriber list. If you’ve been receiving our emails regularly — no problem.

But you may have friends or relatives who are not getting them. So they’re not reading this. You can help.

If you know someone who says “I’m not getting my ‘06880!’,” please have them email 06880blog@gmail.com. I’ll send the info they need to get back on the list!

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Today’s rally in support of Ukraine (Saturday, 11 a.m.) will have a special backdrop. Yesterday, the site — the downtown Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge — was decorated with blue and yellow fabric. As the world now knows, those are the colors of the nation now under siege.

Westport artist Mark Yurkiw — whose parents emigrated to the US in 1949 from Ukraine — conceived, designed and created it. He installed it yesterday, with help from Miggs Burroughs and Sal Liccione. Help with funding came from Stephan Taranko, another Westporter with Ukrainian heritage.

Ukrainian colors, on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

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Julia Peterbarg’s aunt and grandmother are currently in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The rest of her family escaped to the western part of the country.

She offers these ways for “06880” readers — friends, neighbors and strangers — to help

And more ways to help…

Years ago, Bobbi Essagof attended summer camp. Yesterday, the longtime Westporter received an email from the current owner. He passed along information from a camp family with ties to Ukraine. It offered several ways for Americans to help:

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Yesterday’s “06880” story on Westport’s FY 2023 town budget said that the first 2 Board of Finance meetings about it would be held March 8 and 9.

Yesterday, those meetings were canceled. BOF chair Sheri Gordon says the delay to discuss the operating budget is caused because the Board of Education has not yet presented its working capital plan.

A Finance Board discussion will be held as scheduled with the BOE on March 10 (and beyond as needed) to allow the town and Board of Ed to come up with a realistic capital budget. Once that is done, discussions will proceed on the town’s operating and capital budgets.

Click here to see the FY ’22 budget.

Decisions on how tax dollars will be spent begin soon,

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88 houses closed in Westport over the past 3 months (December through February).

That’s a 40% decrease from the same time a year ago. But it’s still the 2nd-most closings for the period since 2005.

Houses spent 78 days on the market — and buyers on average paid 101.4% of the list price. The average closing price during that 3-month period was $1,952,335, up 9.1% from the previous year.

There were 91 active listings at the end of February. (Hat tip: Roe Colletti, Brown Harris Stevens)

This house at 50 Compo Mill Cove is on the market for $13.5 million.

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Fleet Feet has officially moved. They’re celebrating at their new location, in the Fresh Market plaza, a couple of doors down from the supermarket.

They’ve got Karhu and Kane Footwear there today (Saturday), and TAP tomorrow. Run on down!

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Good news for fans of The Cottage — particularly those in Greenwich, Stamford and Westchester.

Chef Brian Lewis’ 2nd location opens at 49 Greenwich Avenue (Greenwich) on March 22.

The seasonal menu features classic dishes from The Cottage Westport, including Wagyu beef brisket steam buns, duck fried rice and The Cottage Burger, along with new small plates for sharing, house made pasta, signature items, vegetable-centric dishes and gluten-free options.  also heart into every dish and drink that is served to a guest.”

Westport architect Rick Hoag collaborated with Lewis on a modern interpretation of the intimate Westport location. For more information, click here.

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It’s taken a year. But yesterday at the Cavalry Road bridge, one of the new deck pieces was dropped into place.

Mixing a metaphor, is there light at the end of the tunnel?

(Photo/Walter Greene)

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Tonight, Westporter Suzanne Tanner promotes world peace and harmony, with a benefit performance of 1970s love songs, Broadway ballads and selections from her original solo musicals. It’s set for 7 p.m. at the JCC in Sherman.

Proceeds will benefit environmental initiatives, and aid to Ukraine.

Suzanne Tanner

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As the Ukrainian refugee crisis worsens, a long-planned International Women’s Day event seems especially timely.

This Tuesday (March 8, 7 p.m., Westport Library, in-person and Zoom), the United Nations Association Southwest Chapter hosts “The Refugee Experience.” Aid workers will discuss how the process works in Connecticut — specifically, how it affects women. Click here for details.

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Westport Book Shop‘s featured artist of the month is a familiar face: 1971 Staples High School graduate and lifelong resident Michael Brennecke.

An abstract painter, he attended The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and earned a BFA at Tufts University. Click here for his website.

Michael Brennecke with his paintings, at the Westport Book Shoop.

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JD Dworkow calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo “false spring on Ferry Lane East.”

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … in honor of today’s rally for Ukraine in downtown Westport (and hopes of better days ahead):

Roundup: Ukraine, Cavalry, Law & Order …

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Ukraine update:

Ken Bernhard’s friend and colleague from that embattled nation sent him this report yesterday:

Ken, this is all so violent and surreal. At the moment it is hard to get thoughts together.

Kiev is in big danger. But heavy fighting is all over eastern part. A group of enemy armored vehicles is somewhere close to (where we are in) Berdyansk now. Moving in the direction of Mariupol to block it from 2 sides. I am personally disappointed  about Western sanctions and their little impact on Putin. They can not even agree on cutting Russia from SWIFT.

Also yesterday, more of Staples High School Class of 1988 graduate Tyler Hicks were published by the New York Times. 

This was the most harrowing. It shows a Russian soldier lying dead, next to a Russian vehicle in Kharkiv, Ukraine:

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)

Meanwhile, Staples 1991 graduate Lynsey Addario took this photo, showing destruction at an apartment building after Russian bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine:

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

(Hat tips: Tommy Greenwald, John Nathan, John Hartwell and Beth Cody)

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Installation of beams at the Cavalry Road Bridge replacement project, between Crooked Mile and Rebel Roads, will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. this coming Wednesday through Friday (March 2-4).

The contractor will use local roads to access the site to deliver the oversized crane and bridge beams, resulting in additional detours and possible delays in the area, including Red Coat Road and Hermit Lane.

Cavalry Road bridge (Photo courtesy of Weston Today)

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Fred Cantor doesn’t miss a Westport reference — or a chance to tie loose ends together. The longtime Westport report:

“Near the beginning of Thursday’s return of the flagship franchise, ‘Law & Order,’ a suspect told police his alibi: ‘I was at home in Westport.’”

“Where did that line come from? Possibly the show’s executive producer, Peter Jankowski, who is also president of Dick Wolf Entertainment, and who grew up in Westport. Dick co-wrote the show.

“In the same show Sam Waterston, seen in the recent documentary ‘Gatsby in Connecticut’ — he was filmed inside the South Compo cottage the Fitzgeralds spent the summer in back in 1920 — returned to his role as the Manhattan DA.”

Sam Waterston, Manhattan DA.

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Westport piano teacher Nadine Cherna has been selected for a Steinway Top Teacher Award. She was cited for “care and commitment.”

Steinway & Sons president Gavin English added, “The young people who develop their craft under your guiding hand will be the artists who fill our future with music.” (Hat tip: Roger Kaufman)

A Steinway piano.

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Here’s a first for “Westport … Naturally”: mushrooms. Claudia Sherwood Servidio spotted these great ones at the indoor Westport Farmers’ Market:

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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And finally … Sandy Nelson, who had improbable hit records as a drummer, died earlier this month in Las Vegas. He was 83, and had suffered a stroke in 2017. Click here for a full obituary.

Roundup: Sustainable Gifts, Used Sports Equipment, Cavalry Road Bridge …

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Love giving gifts? Hate giving gifts that are energy-inefficient, non-recyclable or otherwise wasteful?

Check out Sustainable Westport’s first-ever Gift Guide.

Heavy on products made or sourced locally, and/or sold by area merchants, it’s a much-needed resource.

And, Sustainable Westport adds: “Some of the best (and most meaningful) sustainable gifts are ones that you make yourself (art or pottery, knitting, baking, building) or include giving of your time (attending local theater performances or sporting events with family and friends or giving lessons in one of your particular skill sets).

Local blogger and sustainably-minded mother Julia Dzafic of Lemonstripes created the guide. Click here to see. Let’s hope she sustains it for years to come.

Screen shot of the Sustainable Gift Guide.

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Last year, the Hackett family collected a truck full of new and gently used sports and playground equipment, from generous donors. It was distributed to youngsters who needed it by Leveling the Playing Field, a non-profit organization.

Leveling the Playing Field. The non-profit seemed perfect.

They’re at it again.

Chloe — a Staples High School junior, and an athlete — and her family are at The Granola Bar today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Cleats, field hockey sticks, lacrosse equipment, bats, hockey skates, footballs, softball gloves — it will all make a difference. Click here for a full list of acceptable and non-acceptable items.

Chloe Hackett (organizer) and Max Levitt (Founder of Leveling the Playjng Field) with last year’s donations.

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Speaking of sports: I am very proud of the on-field accomplishments of the Staples High School boys soccer team I coach.

I’m just as proud of what they achieve off it.

For the 19th time in 21 years — and the 16th season in a row — the Wrecker boys soccer team has achieved Academic All-American status. United Soccer Coaches honors go to squads with a team GPA of 3.25 or higher. The 2020 side was just announced. Their team GPA was a mind-boggling 3.57.

The award is given for the previous year’s team. All indications are that the 2021 squad will earn the boys soccer team’s 20th award.

The 2020 Staples boys soccer team: Academic All-Americans. (Photo/Drew Douglas)

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Bad news for residents of northwest Westport.

The long-running Cavalry Road bridge replacement will take even longer to finish.

The project “has suffered delays related to various aspects of the construction that are beyond the towns’ control,” Westport and Weston officials announce.

“The contractor experienced complications associated with installing the proposed bridge deep foundations. This required additional testing, to ensure the proposed bridge is adequately supported.

“In addition, the process of installing large prefabricated concrete girders has taken longer than expected. The bridge is located on a rural local road and installing the girders with the least amount of impacts to the residents and the regulated waterway is a high priority.”

The current 2-span bridge is being replaced with a single, longer structure. It will provide “more hydraulic conveyance, and reduce future maintenance needs.”

Westport and Weston officials apologized for the delay, and thanked residents for their patience.

Cavalry Road bridge (Photo courtesy of Weston Today)

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If there’s an upcoming holiday — and there definitely is right now — then Winslow Park Animal Hospital has it covered.

Check out their decorations, when you’re stuck at the Post Road light between Playhouse Square and North Compo. It will bring a smile to even the Grinchiest face.

The Winslow Park Animal Hospital display. (Photo/Molly Alger)

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Avid “06880” reader Jack Backiel enjoyed yesterday’s Friday Flashback: a photo of town directories, the long-ago source for data on all Westport residents and businesses.

And I do mean “all.”

Jack sent along this photo of one page, from the 1950s. Check out the third Taylor from the top. Yes, that’s the actress we know better as “Liz.”

Jack has written in the Comments section of his family’s long history in Westport. He sent along one directory page from the 1920s, and this from the ’50. There sure were a batch of Backiels here then.

Town directories can be found today in the Westport Library.

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A Photo Challenge from a couple of weeks ago brought a follow-up report from an “06880” reader.

The image showed a “North Pole Post” mailbox. It’s on Wright Street, though few readers knew it.

Nearby resident Anne Reilly provides the back story. She says the box “just showed up on the tree before Christmas last year … hmmm.

“The letters seem to go into the box and then disappear. Children believe they are magically sent directly to Santa  in the North Pole.”

She asked 2 children what happens to them. One said: “I think that they get scooped up by your elves, and your elves bring them to the north pole like Bam”

The other added, “The elves come get them every night and give them to the reindeer or the UPS man to take up to Santa.”

Sssshhhhhh….

The Wright Street Santa mailbox.(Photo/Gabriela Bockhaus)

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Today’s serene Sherwood Island “Westport … Naturally” shot comes courtesy of Maureen Salko:

(Photo/Marleen Salko)

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And finally … hey hey, they were the Monkees.

Michael Nesmith — the “quiet, cerebral, sardonic, contemplative” member of that ’60s TV-turned-true band — died yesterday of heart failure. He was 78.

Nesmith was sometimes called the only true musician in the group. He went on to a successful video career after the Monkees’ 2-year TV run ended. Click here for a full obituary. (Hat tip: Amy Schneider)

Pics Of The Day #934

Cavalry Road, a few days ago … (Photo/Frannie Southworth)

… and the Saugatuck River and west bank at night (Photo/Jennifer Haviland)