Tag Archives: Chris Frantz

Roundup: Shop Local, Chris Frantz, Crossword Contest …

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We’ve all heard the mantra: “Shop local!”

We don’t always know how.

Just in time for the holidays, FairfieldCountyShops.com can help. Searchable in many ways — clothing, kids, art, beauty and wellness, home, jewelry, accessories, outerwear, sales and more — it includes Westport merchants like Organachs Farm to Skin, Winged Monkey, West, Age of Reason, New England Hemp Farm, Gioiella Jewelry and more.

New stores are being added all the time.

Two of New England Hemp Farm offers holiday gifts.

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Speaking of shopping local: There’s no better place than Savvy + Grace.

And no better time than today (Thursday). From 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., Annette Norton and her crew host a holiday open house — and an UGG trunk show.

Enjoy raffles, light bites, drinks and fun. Plus free UGG crew socks with an UGG purchase. Just my style!

Annette Norton at Savvy + Grace.

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A few seats remain for this Saturday’s inaugural “Chris Frantz Presents: Emerging Musicians” at the Westport Library. The 7:30 p.m. show (December 4) introduces New York’s Lulu Lewis and New Haven’s The Problem with Kids Today. Both play kick-ass rock, with punk influences.

The collaboration with the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and Verso Studios features up-and-coming regional, national and international talent, hand-picked by Fairfield’s (and Talking Heads’) own star.

For tickets and more information, click here.

The Problem with Kids Today (band photo, not an editorial comment).

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Speaking of the library: Registration is now open for the 23rd annual Crossword Puzzle Contest.

Led by legendary New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz himself, it’s a fun (and humbling) way to enjoy an often solitary activity in the company of other nerds, some of whom are even smarter than you.

It’s Saturday, February 5 (1 p.m.). Put down your pencil, and click here for registration and more information. Spots go fast!

Finalists in the 2020 event. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Birchwood Country Club golfers know their pro, Kammy Maxfeldt, is a great teacher.

Now the entire nation knows it.

Golf Digest has just released its list of the top teaching pros in every state. Topping the Connecticut list: our own Kammy.

Voting is done entirely by peers. More than 2,000 teachers across the country weighed in on their colleagues. Click here for the full story.

But that’s not all. Three years ago, “06880” hailed Kammy as an Unsung Hero. She’d just earned a spot in the US Senior Women’s Open tournament — after battling leukemia. Click here for that even more interesting story.

Kammy Maxfeldt

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Former Staples High School English teacher Daniel Geraghty has just published his first book.

According to Amazon, “Cast Away Stones” is “a raw, honest and lucid account of overcoming life’s challenges and developing personal resilience. The book details surviving the attacks of 9/11/2001 in New York City and a choice to serve the American people.

“A victim of violent abuse as a child on the verge of adolescence, Geraghty transformed pain and trauma into focus, drive and motivation. A US Army veteran, Airborne Ranger, Captain, 9/11 survivor, first responder, teacher and leader, he has waged a battle to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for over 20 years through a dedication to service and his family.

Click here for more information, and to order.

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One of the best toy drives anywhere is the one sponsored by the Westport Police Department Union and Westport Police Benevolent Association. Gifts go to underprivileged children throughout Fairfield County, including St. Vincent’s Hospitals.

Westport police officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys, as well as cash donations, in the parking lot of ASF Sports (1560 Post Road East) on this weekend (December 4-5) and next (11-12), between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

There will also be toy collection boxes in the police station lobby (50 Jesup Road), and at Toyota of Westport (777 Post Road East), now through December 13.

Questions? Email t ANowinski@WestportCT.gov or call 203-341-6000.

What a great gift: a police toy for the police toy drive!

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Save the Sound is hiring for 5 positions:

  • Regional director, water protection (Larchmont, New York)
  • Director of finance (New Haven)
  • Lands communications specialist (New Haven)
  • Clean water communications specialist (Larchmont)
  • Ecological communications specialist (New Haven).

Save the Sound fights climate change, saves endangered lands, protects the Sound and its rivers, and works with nature to restore ecosystems across Connecticut, Westchester, New York City and Long Island.

For more information, click here.

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Linda Dobson — who ran D&D Refuse here for more than 30 years — died peacefully last month at home, after a long illness. She was 73.

She is survived by Sierra Dobson of Fairfield, brother Malcolm (Donna) Frazier Jr.. granddaughters Erica and Erin Flynn, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Sydney.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Fairfield County, 22 Danbury Road. Wilton, CT 06897, who took compassionate care of Linda. Click here to sign the online guestbook.

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You gotta love this “love tree.”

Sandy Rothenberg spotted — and snapped — it on Greenlea Lane, near Bayberry, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)

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And finally … this is National Cookie Cutter Week.

This is probably not what the organizers had in mind, but let’s celebrate!

Roundup: Candidates, Moon, Music …

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Worried about traffic? Want more bike lanes? How can we balance growth with greenery? Interested in Westport’s goal of Net Zero by 2050, energy, transportation, waste, water and conservation issues?

Sustainable Westport and Earthplace are sponsoring a pair of “environmental debates,” prior to next month’s election. Candidates for the Planning & Zoning Commission will meet this Monday (October 18, 6:30 p.m.). Those running for Board of Selectmen will meet on Thursday, October 21 (7 p.m.).

Both events are virtual. Click here for links, and more details. The debates will be recorded, and posted on the Sustainable Westport website for viewing later.

Click here for details on how to watch. Both debates will be recorded and posted to the Sustainable Westport website.

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Sunday is International Observe the Moon Night. The worldwide public event encourages observation and appreciation of (yes) the moon.

The Westport Astronomical Society invites everyone to the observatory on Bayberry Lane this Sunday (8 p.m. — only if skies are clear). It’s a chance to see the moon as you’ve never seen it before. All you have to do is look up.

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Chris Frantz knows music. The Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club artist — and Fairfield resident also knows the importance of introducing new musicians to new audiences.

He’s partnering with the Westport Library on a new series. The inaugural “Chris Frantz Presents Emerging Musicians” concert (December 4) features New York’s Lulu Lewis, and New Haven’s The Problem with Kids Today. Both specialize in punk rock.

This is another music collaboration and production by Verso Studios at the Westport Library and the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. The series will feature up-and-coming regional, national and international talent, hand-picked by Frantz..

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Chris Frantz (Photo/Ebet Roberts)

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Congratulations to this year’s Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services award winners. They were cited at this week’s annual dinner.

Vice President Larry Kleinman won the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He logged vastly more than the 4,000 volunteer hours required for the honor. Kleinman also received Crew Chief of the Year.

Jenna Baumblatt and Ryan Blake were named Youth Corps Members of the Year. EMT of the Year went to Yves Cantin, an ex-president who stays involved.
Volunteer of the Year is Andrew O’Brien.

Volunteer Service Award winners include James Bairaktaris, Jenna Baumblatt,. Ella Bayazit, Ryan Blake, Michael Burns, Yves Cantin, Andrew Dinitz, Carol Dixon, Danielle Faul, Leah Foodman, Daniel Guetta, Dorothy Harris, Deanna Hartog, Jonathan Huzil, Mary Inagami, Vignesh Kareddy. Larry Kleinman, Eliza Lang, Christopher Moore, Annika Morgan, Christopher Muschett, Andrew O’Brien, Lynette Pineda, April Rademacher, Stewart Reifler, Morgan Rizy, Joshua Rosen, Alice Sardarian, Kathleen Smith, Ian Speers, Swati Sriram, Nancy Surace, Audrone Tarnok and Ekaterina Taylor-Yeremeeva.

Honorees (clockwise, from upper left):Yves Cantin, Jenna Baumblatt, Larry Kleinman, Ryan Blake.

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The Westport Garden Club installed Ginger Donaher as its 52nd president yesterday. She’s new — but her family is very familiar.

Ginger’s mother, Nancy  Gault — yes, of those Gaults — served as president from 1991 to ’93. Ginger’s aunt, Judy Sterling, held the position from 1983 to ’85.

Ginger’s grandmother, Georgiana Gault, was not president. But she was an active Garden Club member from the 1950s until her death in 1994.

Kelly Pollard — Ginger’s’ cousin, and Judy’s daughter — is the club’s current hospitality chair. And — who knows? — perhaps a future president herself.

Westport Garden Club president Ginger Donaher (center) is flanked by (from left) Kelly Pollard and Judy Sterling. (Photo/Topsy Siderowf)

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Westporter and animal Reiki volunteer Cathy Malkin is featured in this month’s Connecticut Humane Society spotlight.

She describes herself as “an animal muse who is able to translate animals’ thoughts, feelings and viewpoints so they can be better understood.” For the full Q-and-A, click here.

Cathy Malkin

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Despite the recent deaths of 3 of the their most active, engaged members — and the COVID cancellation of the traditional Great Duck Race and Wine Tasting fundraisers — Westport’s Sunrise Rotary Club pushes forward with its mission to give talent, time and money to community and social causes.

Sunrise Rotary’s International Service Committee got approval last week for 2 new projects: sustainable agriculture to benefit Syrian refugees in Jordan, and battling malnutrition through improved food security in Guatemala. Members are also excited about participating in the upcoming Bridgeport schools’ Read Aloud Day.

For more information on Westport Sunrise Rotary, click here.

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Up Next Teens is a Staples High School organization that fights food insecurity in Fairfield County.

They’re sponsoring tomorrow’s Remarkable Theater showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Ticket purchasers have the option of contributing $25 to their fundraiser. Click here for tickets. Enjoy the show — and help a great cause.

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It’s mid-October. Most leaves have not yet turned. Here’s today’s “Westport … Naturally” image, for example, from Weston Road near Lyons Plains.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

A week from now, this will be an entirely different scene.

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And finally … on this day in 1878, the Edison Electric Light Company began operation. By 1890 it merged with several other Edison companies, and became the Edison General Electric Company. Today we know it as GE.

 

Roundup: Healthcare, Music Festival, Y’s Women, More

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The healthcare open enrollment period has been extended through March 15. If you do not have an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, you can get coverage through Access Health CT for you and your family. 

Connecticut residents can click on AccessHealthCT.com or call 855-805-4235 to review their coverage options and sign up for a plan. 

Click here to learn about enrollment assistance. Make sure you have the information you’ll need for yourself and anyone in your household if you’re ready to enroll in a plan. 

Hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents have lost employer-sponsored health insurance during the pandemic. Access Health CT provides a safety net for displaced workers and their families. Click here for more information if you lost your health insurance because you or a family member lost their job. (Hat tip: Congressman Jim Himes)

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The Westport Library’s Lockdown Music Festival will be a low-key, fun and funky fundraiser for Neighborhood Studios of Bridgeport.

But the stakes just got higher. Longtime Westporter — and devoted Library patron — Dan Levinson will match all contributions up to $10,000.

The March 13 (7 p.m.). event is a virtual concert. Curated by Fairfield resident Chris Frantz of the Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, it celebrates optimism, resilience and the power of music.

The Library’s concert partners are the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and WPKN-FM. Neighborhood Studios — the recipient of funds — provides arts, music, theater and dance education and opportunities for underserved  Bridgeport students. It will be livestreamed form the Library’s state-of-the-art Verso Studios.

Click here to register for the concert (and purchase a special concert poster).

Chris Frantz and his wife, Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth

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The Y’s Women are not just for women!

The great community group makes their virtual speaker series available to everyone. The most recent: Bill Harris, of the “new and oh so improved” Sacred Heart University Community Theater. Click here to view them all.

And (women only): Click here to learn about satellite groups (book and movie clubs), and how to join Y’s Women (for just $45 a year).

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Spring is tentatively creeping into town.

The sun rises earlier. The air is a little warmer. The joggers — and birds — are out.

Here are 2 shots from Compo Beach. Enjoy!

(Photo/Curtis Sullivan)

(Photo/Pam Kesselman)

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And finally … Lawrence Ferlingetti died Monday, in his beloved San Francisco. He was 101.

On a visit to San Francisco 20 or so years ago, I wandered into City Lights Bookstore. He’d always been my favorite poet. But for years, I’d assumed he was dead.

Yet there he was, standing by the counter, talking about books with someone who may or may not have known the old bearded guy was one of the most famous poets in the world.

I just listened. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.

Roundup: Board of Ed, Calico, Chris Frantz, More

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Highlights from last night’s Board of Education meeting:

  • The 2021-22 budget of $126,942,298 passed. Among other cuts, Staples High School will lose 2 teachers and 2 paraprofessionals. Not cut, however, are 4 Staples grade level assistants and 4 elementary school world language teachers. Also defeated: a proposal to implement “pay to play” for Staples sports. Next step for the budget: the Board of Finance.
  • Staples is planning for 75% of students to return to full-time learning in March. Details will be announced soon.
  • Dr. Mary Lou DiBella has resigned as principal of Kings Highway Elementary School, effective at the end of the school year.

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For years, Calico’s Post Road store near Stop & Shop has been a favorite destination for fabrics, window treatments, shades, wallpaper, furniture, bedding, pillows and cushions.

It’s still a great spot. But now it’s closer to downtown. The new Calico is in the old State Cleaners space, at the Post Road/Imperial Avenue corner.

There’s plenty of room, now that all the dry cleaning racks are gone.

The new store is a way for Calico — part of a 70-store national chain — to show off its decorating chops.

COVID has been tough on many businesses. But with families spending more time indoors, interior design stores have been busier than ever.

Click here to learn more about Calico.

Calico’s new digs, at 224 Post Road East. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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This is a big year for Chris Frantz.

The almost-Westport resident (other side of Sturges Highway) — and drummer for Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club — will be honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. (He’s already in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.)

Plus, he’ll curate a virtual concert at the Westport Library.

That may sound pretty local, compared to the Grammys. But the March 13 event (7 p.m.) is virtual, meaning anyone anywhere in the world can watch.

It will be quite a show. Frantz has assembled an all-star lineup:

  • Deep Banana Blackout, the soul/funk band with full horn section
  • Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads, who mix roots reggae, ska and lover’s rock
  • Plastic Ivy aka Lira Marie Landes, Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist
  • Xeno & Oaklander, an electronic group
  • The Zambonis, an indie-rock band that writes songs exclusive about ice hockey (!)
  • Sadie Dupuis, poet
  • Du-Rites/Lulu Lewis, New York City husband-and-wife rock band.

The concert — which benefits Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County, the art, music, theater and dance non-profit for underserved  Bridgeport students — will be livestreamed form the Library’s state-of-the-art Verso Studios. It’s co-sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.

The March 13 date is significant. That’s almost one year to the day that Westport went into a sudden COVID lockdown (hence the name: “Lockdown Music Festival”).

The goal of the concert is to celebrate “optimism, resilience and the power of music.” Tickets are $25. Click here to register.

Yesterday: Chris Frantz and his wife, Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth …

… and today.

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On Saturday, Sean Gallagher completed a solo marathon around Central Park’s outer loop — over 4 full laps.

His time was 3 hours and 47 minutes.

Not real good for a former soccer and track star, Annapolis grad and Marine infantry officer.

Except … the 2011 Staples High School alum did it while carrying a 35-pound Marine Corps “ruck” (backpack).

“Rucks teach Marines how to handle adversity with grit and determination — the same qualities necessary for small businesses to survive,” Gallagher says.

Gallagher mentions small businesses for a reason. The purpose of his marathon run was to raise money for small businesses impacted by COVID.

When Sean Gallagher sets a goal, he accomplishes it. He said he was going to run 26.2 miles wearing a 35-pound ruck, and he did.

Ane he said he would raise $20,000. Yesterday’s total: $20,712.

Sean Gallagher, mid-marathon.

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There’s a Westport connection to everything.

Including — or “especially”? — the Puppy Bowl.

As you probably heard, Sunday’s 17th annual event ended in dramatic fashion. Trailing by 3 points with less than a minute left, Team Ruff rallied to defeat Team Fluff, 73-69.

The local poop?

(Former) resident Martha Stewart was host.

More excitingly, former Staples Players lighting designer Jeffrey Small served as production manager. He fills that role for many live events now, nationally.

Arf!

Jeffrey Small and friend, at Puppy Bowl XVII.

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There was another “bowl” on Sunday. Perhaps you heard of it: Super Bowl LV.

Staples High School class of 1986 grad Ted Marcus — now an Emmy-winning New York-based sound designer and audio engineer — created the sound design and audio for 2 pre-game promos.

“Polishing the Trophies and Plaques,” with the song “I Love Somebody” in the background, aired at 5 p.m.

The second was shown just before kickoff. It was narrated by Brad Pitt.

Ted Marcus

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And finally … the story about Chris Frantz (above) brought back memories of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame named it one of the 500 songs that shaped rock.