The first day of Westport’s drive to raise $250,000 for our new sister city of Lyman, Ukraine went well.
As of last night, over $73,000 had been donated. That’s nearly 1/3 of the way to repair 150 homes destroyed by Russian forces, give generators to all, and provide a water filtration system to the town.
Thanks to a partnership with Brian and Marshall Mayer — the Westporters who founded the non-profit Ukraine Aid International — the supplies can be delivered to the desperate town within 3 days.
As noted yesterday, the goal of $250,000 — by Christmas — is certainly reachable. It’s only $10 for every resident of Westport.
Of course, not everyone can afford that. If you can, please consider a donation for those who cannot.
To donate to the non-profit, just click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.) You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here).
“06880” reader Jamie Klein has a great idea. She sent yesterday’s story to neighbors and friends, with this note:
This is one example of what is special about living in this town. What a great gift for someone in your family, or as a thoughtful hostess gift for one of the parties you may be attending.
As we enter the holiday season the message of miracles and hope are a theme across all faiths, and from our small place on this earth, we can make a miracle happen.
Thanks for all who have contributed to help rebuild Lyman, and all who will do so. Let’s double that $73,000 by tonight!
Meanwhile, another local drive for Ukrainian aid bore fantastic fruit.
When Mark Yurkiw learned there was space in a container leaving in 10 days, he acted fast.
He put out the word on “06880.” In just over a week, readers delivered 8 whole house generators, 8 gas chain saws, 8 phone power banks, 20 sleeping bags, 20 flashlights, 2 kerosene heaters, plus boxes of rechargeable batteries, winter blankets, pillows, and children’s warm winter clothing, to his door.
All those items are now on their way to that embattled nation. Each one can help change lives.
“Thank you, Westport!” Mark says. “It takes a village.”
Westport’s downtown Hanukkah menorah is back.
It will be lit tomorrow (Wednesday, December 21) at 5:30 p.m., in front of Anthropologie on the Post Road at Church Lane. The entire community is invited, with jelly doughnuts and chocolate gelt for all.
Bill Mitchell of Mitchells — long involved in interfaith efforts — will have the honor of lighting the candles.
This menorah and lighting is a joint effort of Beit Chaverim, Chabad of Westport, Temple Israel, and The Conservative Synagogue.
Who knew so many Westporters read the New York Post?
A dozen or so readers sent links yesterday to the tabloid’s story that began:
A former New York University director of finance allegedly siphoned $3.5 million meant for minority and women-owned businesses and blew some of the cash on herself — including on an $80,000 pool for her Connecticut home, prosecutors said Monday.
Cindy Tappe, 57, was charged with diverting funds from New York State Education Department grants into shell companies that she created over a six-year scheme that was discovered in 2018, when she left NYU, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Some of the embezzled money went to expenses related to the grants or employee reimbursements — but at least $660,000 ended up in Tappe’s own pockets, according to the indictment.
She allegedly spent the dough on personal expenses, including the pool and renovations on her her home in Westport, Connecticut.
The scam started with a $23 million grant awarded to NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and Transformation, where Tappe worked, with the cash meant to go to state programs to help special education students and those learning English.
Though the press release from the New York State Comptroller lists her as a Westport residence, no one here has verified that.
And the Post’s photo shows the house below. According to Peter Blau, it’s at 87 Juniper Lane, New Canaan.
Sure looks like Westport.
Or New Canaan.
The good news is: Staples High School has two All-State first team selections — out of only 26 in all of Connecticut. Congratulations, Caleb Smith and Tyler Clark!
The interesting twist: They’re longtime friends — and grew up on the same small street.
There are only 9 homes on Twin Falls Lane. So more than 20% of them are the homes of All-State football players!
PS: Congrats too to James Hillhouse, who made the All-LL/L (large schools) all-state squad.
All you ever wanted to know about white oaks is now on a video starring Westport Tree Board member Dick Stein.
Produced by fellow member Frank Rosen, the 8-minute piece covers their distinguishing features, history in Westport (the Bedford family helped with acorns), and more.
It was filmed in familiar places, like Sherwood Island State Park. Click below to learn about those ubiquitous (and handsome) species.
Yesterday’s Roundup included an item about a car crash on Riverside Avenue.
An “06880” reader who lives on that street calls it “the lawless road of Westport.”
His car was parked legally. But a driver took the turn by Destination Haus too fast, and slammed in to the side of his car.
That was the 4th time a car has been hit in that area this year — and the second time for the reader.
The first time, he lost a mirror and the car suffered some scratches. This time, his vehicle was not as lucky:
“The owners at Destination Haus, and people working at 50 Riverside, are too scared to pull out,” the reader says.
It’s so bad that when Destination Haus has events, they have to hire police officers. But the last 3 times, the officer says he was nearly hit.
Slow down! Even if you don’t care about anyone else, just think how much time it takes out of your day after you smack into someone.
Speaking of traffic: Everyone (except the speeders themselves) is looking for a way to slow drivers down.
Peter Gold spotted one possible solution yesterday, on Thomas Road:
Hanukkah began Sunday night. So — as this “tasteful” photo shows — there are “0 Days” left.
Speaking of Hanukkah etc. … The Jazz at the Post folks say: “It’s that time of year again. Why have our favorite holiday tunes been relegated to lifeless background music, advertising jingles or Muzak?
“In the hands of inspired musicians, the holiday repertoire makes for a fine opportunity for a night of hard swinging jazz.
“Name your holiday: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, even Festivus (for the rest of us) — we got it covered!”
This Thursday (December 22), Jazz at the Post (VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399) hosts a “Holiday Swingfest.” The lineup includes pianist Dave Childs, drummer Greg Burrows, bassist Joe Fitzgerald, and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall.
“Special guests and elves are sure to drop by” too, they say.
Shows are 7:30 and 8:45 p.m., with dinner beginning at 7:30. Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.
And speaking (still) of the holidays:
Cecily Anderson is a talented art teacher.
How talented? Check out this great holiday installation piece. It’s drawing stares — and raves — at its pop-up location, right there at BMS. (Hat tip: Kerry Long)
No, it’s not a sad little Christmas tree.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows — according to photographer Molly Alger — a “brand new tiny tree at the top of Baron’s South walking path.”
It was the only one like it she saw.
And finally … in honor of the Tree Board’s white oak tree video (story above):
(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. Please click here to help support our work. Thank you!)