Tag Archives: Christmas tree recycling

Roundup: Christmas Trees, Space Station, Christine Ohlman …

Yesterday was pickup day for Scout Troops 39 and 139.

They spent hours going all over town, hauling Christmas trees into trucks (in return for $20 donations — a bargain for sure).

The trees will be mulched into wood chips, and donated to the town.

First though, they were unloaded at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Here’s what it looked like:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

But you really had to be there, to enjoy the scent!

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Did you know that the International Space Station was nearly lost, due to computer failures?

Dr. Bob Dempsey knows.

The former NASA flight director for the ISS visits — virtually — the Westport Astronomical Society on January 17 (8 p.m.).

As the guest on their free monthly webinar, he’ll describe the 2001 events that led to the loss of all command and control computers. It was the flight control team’s “Apollo 13” moment, as they identified problems and mounted a never-before-attempted recovery.

Click here for the Zoom link. Click here for the YouTube link.

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The Westport Library rocked last night.

Christine Ohlman — the platinum blonde “Beehive Queen,” and longtime “Saturday Night Live” — joined Rebel Montez in the Trefz Forum, for a Winter Dance Party.

A packed house enjoyed another typical night, at what is fast becoming Westport’s favorite musical venue.

Christine Ohlman, Rebel Montez and the band, last night at the Westport Library.

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Speaking of entertainment: Buffalo Rose brings their modern folk/Americana music to Voices Café at Westport’s Unitarian Church on January 21 (8 p.m.).

The Pittsburgh-based 6-piece group is known for powerful vocal harmonies, strong playing and an original vision. They drew raves from their Levitt Pavilion performance in 2021.

There’s café-style tables (reservations from groups of 4 or more) or individual seats. Guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages and snacks. 

General admission is $25 per person. The event is livestreamed too (free).

A portion of the proceeds benefit the battle against food insecurity, through the Bridgeport Center for Food Equity and Economic Development (FEED). 

Click here for tickets and more information.

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Longtime Westporter Shirley Appy — an actor and pioneer in the early days of live television — died peacefully on Friday, at 95.

Since 2009 she was a resident of Applewood, an independent living retirement community in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she welcomed countless visitors, family, and friends.

Appy was born Shirley Joy Krehbiel in Colfax, Washington in 1927. After graduating from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon she received a full scholarship from the School of Drama at the University of Washington, where she gave more than 600 performances. In 1949 she married Gerard Appy, also a drama major at Washington.

After a brief stint running a new radio station in Colby, Kansas, the couple moved to Atlanta, Georgia to open The Penthouse Theatre, located on the top floor of the Ansley Hotel. It was modeled on the Penthouse Theatre at the University of Washington — the first theatre-in-the-round in the United States.

The Atlanta theater flourished for 3 years. Appy, under the stage name Shirley Krayble, appeared in many plays, alongside well-known actors such as Joan Blondell, Mike Todd and Zero Mostel.

In 1951 Appy turned to television. For several years she hosted 2 daily live shows: “The Little People,” where she interacted with pre-schoolers, and “Shopping Atlanta,” a consumer advice show.

Appy ended her television career to be a full-time mother to her 2 children. In 1964 the family moved to Westport, where she turned her attention to a wide variety of creative pursuits.

A gifted artist, craftsperson and gardener, she produced award-winning works in stained glass, decoupage and watercolors.

In 1981 Appy and her husband moved back to the Northwest, where he became the director of Oregon Public Broadcasting. For Shirley, it was a return to her childhood hometown.

She is survived by her children, Karen (Stephen) Baumann and Christian (Katherine) Appy, 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

Shirley Appy

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Today’s very serene “Westport … Naturally” Compo Beach scene was snapped by Sunil Hirani:

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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And finally … in honor of Dr. Bob Dempsey’s upcoming webinar with the Westport Astronomical Society:

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Roundup: Christmas Tree Pick-ups, Dawn Swim, Playground Fun …

If it’s New Year’s, it’s time to … get rid of the Christmas tree.

It can be disposed of online — well, the registration is done that way, anyway. Scout Troops 39 and 139 will happily pick up yours. Click here for the form. 

You’ll get a confirmation email. Then, this Saturday (January 7 — by 6:30 a.m.), put your tree by your mailbox.

There’s a suggestion donation of $20 per tree. Tape an envelope with cash or check (payable to “Boy Scout Troop 39”) to your front door.

NOTE: All Christmas trees are mulched into wood chips, and donated to the town. So no wreaths or garlands (the wires ruin the machinery).

Boy Scout Troop 39 to the rescue!

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Like many Westporters, you probably spent yesterday’s dawn in bed.

Maybe you were arriving home from a late party, eager to crash (metaphorically, of course).

If you were one guy though, you went for an early morning, greet-the-new-year swim at Compo Beach.

(Photo courtesy of John Karrel)

Fortunately, the weather was nice.

For January 1, anyway.

PS: Let’s see if he can keep this up for the next 364 days.

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The sun was high a few hours later. The temperature climbed to the mid-50s.

And the Compo Beach playground looked (almost) like a mid-summer day.

(Photo/Karen Como)

Can the rest of the year continue on such an upbeat note?

Fingers crossed …

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Also seen at Compo Beach: this message to “rock” (ho ho) 2023.

It’s the handiwork of Ross and Wendy McKeon. And the “rock” part can be taken literally: They’re the parents of 2000 Staples High School graduate Drew McKeon. Among his many talents, he’s the longtime drummer in fellow Westporter Michael Bolton’s band.

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Yesterday’s Roundup included a photo of a utility pole on Hillandale Road. An “06880” reader explained why it’s hard to get broken ones fixed, or obsolete wires or cables removed.

The example shown was hardly the worst. Michael Lonsdale noticed more, on the short stretch of Kings Highway North between Main and Canal Streets.

(Photos/Michael Lonsdale)

It will not be easy to address the issue. Each pole has multiple “owners” — Eversource, Altice and Frontier, for example.

Low hanging wires and excess poles are low priorities. They’re prime candidates for buck-passing.

But the lower the wires droop, and the more old poles tilt and rot, the more dangerous they are.

When they come down in a storm, excess poles and obsolete cables make clean-up that much harder.

Our electric and telecom companies have lots to do. Removing unsightly — even dangerous — wires and poles are not at the top of their lists.

And unlike weeds or brush, this is not something we can take in our own hands.

Thoughts? Click “Comments” below. Please be constructive, not nasty. And be sure to use your full, real name.

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Photographer Lauri Weiser calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo “my holiday friend.”

Check out her friend’s claws!

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … on this day in 1788, Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the Constitution.

The next? Connecticut.

(Wherever you live — Westport, Georgia or anyplace else — you can contribute to “06880.” Please click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: At-Home COVID Kits, Tree Recycling, Keith Richards …

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The State of Connecticut has procured 500,000 at-home COVID test kits; each contains 2 tests. Westport’s allotment 3,420 kits.

The kits will be distributed to Westport residents tomorrow (Thursday, December 30) at Staples High School, beginning at 1 p.m.

Each vehicle will receive 2 kits, on a first-come, first-served basis. A driver’s license will be required to receive the test kits.

As early as next week, the state will also distribute N95 masks. Details are still being finalized.

Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani says:

I strongly encourage people to limit gathering sizes during this holiday week. Because of the scarcity of these kits, I ask residents to please take only the kits that you need for your immediate family so that we can distribute as many as possible to help flatten the Omicron curve.

Residents testing positive via the home test should stay home or isolate for 5 days if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. There is no need to obtain a follow up PCR test.

Given the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant, it is vital to wear a mask both in public, and when interacting in close contact with individuals outside of your household. For the latest CDC guidelines, please click here.

Westport Public Schools families should report positive COVID cases of students using the district’s reporting voicemail or email (click here for details). It is not necessary to report positive results from at-home testing to the Westport Weston Health District. (Hat tip: Ernie Lorimer)

An at-home COVID test.

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COVID did not stop you from buying a Christmas tree.

And it won’t stop Boy Scout Troop 39 from hauling yours away, either.

The Scouts’ annual tree pick-up project — one of the town’s most-awaited post-New Year’s events — is set for Saturday, January 8.

It’s simple: First you register (click here).

Then put your tree by your mailbox by 6:30 a.m. on January 8. Tape an envelope with a donation (suggested: $20 per tree) to your front door (cash or check, payable to “Boy Scout Troop 39”).

They’ll do the rest. Scout’s honor! (Hat tip: Jenny Rago McCarthy)

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This has been a tough year for many. It’s been especially difficult for the Colletti family.

Chuck and Roe Colletti have been active with Westport organizations, events and charities since 1974. Their daughter Cassie is married to Sean Mecsery. They have 2 children, 6 and 2 years old. For the past 2 years Sean has battled stage 4 brain cancer for 2 years.

They’ve shuttled between hospitals on both coasts for surgeries, chemotherapy radiation and trial medications. It’s been brutal.

Cassie has been strong, focused and committed throughout the ordeal. Meanwhile, she’s managed Sean’s family’s business — Cos Cob TV & Audio — to help keep the family afloat. COVID has made that especially hard.

Many daily medications and infusions are not covered by insurance. A GoFundMe page has been set up, to help. To donate, click here.

Sean and Cassie Colletti Mecsery, with their kids.

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The “06880” tagline is “Where Westport meets the world.”

It doesn’t get more global than this.

Bert Spenkelink lives in Amsterdam. He loves the Rolling Stones. He has 25,000 photos of them in his library, and posts about them often on Instagram.

He just uploaded this one:

The photographer — uncredited — took this shot of Keith and his daughter Theodora the other day, at Sherwood Island State Park.

Avid “06880” reader (and Stones fan) Fred Cantor sent it along to me. He got it from our former Staples High School classmate Alan Bravin, who now lives in California.

So, to be clear: A fan in the Netherlands found this photo of Weston’s most famous resident, celebrating the holidays in Westport — and it came to me, a couple of miles from where it was taken, by someone on the West Coast.

Happy holidays, Bert, Fred, Alan, Keith and Theodora!

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As reported on “06880” last month, Savannah Bee has left its hive.

The Bedford Square store — which branched out from (great) honey products to become both an educational center and gathering place for ecologically minded Westporters — was shut by the owners of the largely Southern chain.

There’s a big hole in the heart of Church Lane today. No word yet on what will fill that very sweet spot.

Meanwhile, just a few feet away, Franny’s Farmacy closes Friday (December 31). Click here for details, reported earlier this month on “06880.”

It too is for rent.

The former Savannah Bee. (Photo/Sal Liccione)

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Fourth-generation Westporter Jonathan Maddock died December 19, after fighting a courageous battle against ALS. He kept his positive attitude and wonderful sense of humor until the end. He was 66 years old.

Jon grew up here surrounded by the love and friendship of his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins,  sisters and parents Larry and Fran Maddock, who he believed were the best parents anyone could have.

Jon loved the outdoors, and enthusiastically embraced life. He bicycled more than 5,000 miles from Westport to California and back, alone. He served as commodore of the Sandy Hook (New Jersey) Catamaran Club, sailing and racing catamarans.

He skied, mountain biked, ran long distances, ice skated, and enjoyed trout and fly fishing. He was an avid photographer of nature, as well as silly things. Jon was a skilled woodworker, building furniture and special wooden boxes as Christmas gifts. He loved listening to music, played trombone (which he laughingly balanced on his nose), and long ago enjoyed being part of the Fred Robinson Big Band.

Jon graduated from Staples in 1973, then from the University of Maine in 1977. After following a variety of career paths he and his family settled in Wolfeboro. New Hampshire, where he was employed as senior designer at Lars Heating Systems. He worked there for 20 years, and made good friends who supported him through his ALS journey.

Jon is survived by his wife Karen; daughter Kelsey; loving sisters Becky (Ray) Racine, Judy Anderson and Sandy Hasket, and many nieces an nephews and good friends. He was predeceased by his parents.

Until the end Jon was was loving, kind, understanding, compassionate, smart, funny and brave. To help carry on Jon’s fight to stop ALS, click here.

Jon Maddock (Photo/Barbara Marks)

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For a few days now, a Christmas tree has dangled from a crane over the boatyard near the railroad station.

(Photo/Nancy Vener)

There must be a back story. But I sure don’t know it. If you do, click “Comments” below.

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We like serene scenes for our “Westport … Naturally” feature — especially at the end of this chaotic year.

It doesn’t get more calming than this:

(Photo/Bobbi Essagof)

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And finally … in honor of the Keith Richards/Amsterdam/California story (above):

Boy Scouts’ Good Deed: Recycling Christmas Trees

Sure, yesterday was magical. Christmas is, you know, the “most wonderful time of year.”

But today. Christmas is so yesterday. Boxing Day is for Brits. Us go-getting Americans need to throw away the toys that no longer work. Toss out the leftovers.

And think about getting rid of that big Christmas tree too.

Fortunately, there’s help. At least for that last task.

Boy Scout Troop 39 of Westport will happily pick up your tree. That once beautiful, soon dying and needle-dropping symbol of recent holiday cheer can be disposed of with one simple mouse click.

The big day is Saturday, January 11. This is the 11th year in a row the Scouts are providing the service, so they’ve got the drill down pat. (And it’s a green drill: The trees are recycled as mulch. Typically they collect and chip enough trees to provide the town with 5 tons of garden mulch!)

Boy Scout Troop 39 to the rescue!

To register, click here. Reservations are limited so — unlike Christmas shopping — don’t delay.

Place your tree by your mailbox by 6:30 a.m. that morning.

The suggested donation is $20 per tree (cash or checks made out to “Boy Scout Troop 39” are fine). I’m sure the Scouts would not refuse higher amounts. Funds go toward activities like food drives, community service projects and backpacking trips.

The Boy Scouts are well known for “good turns” like helping old ladies across streets. Bush league. In Westport, they help little old ladies — and strapping young men — dispose of big old Christmas trees.

NOTE: The Scouts can’t accept wreaths or garlands (the wires ruin tree chippers). You’re on your own for those!

(Hat tip: Nanette Buziak)

Boy Scouts Will Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Sure, yesterday was magical. Christmas is, you know, the “most wonderful time of year.”

But today. Christmas is so yesterday. Boxing Day is for Brits. Us go-getting Americans need to throw away the toys that no longer work. Toss out the leftovers.

And think about getting rid of that big Christmas tree too.

Fortunately, there’s help. At least for that last task.

Boy Scout Troop 39 of Westport will happily pick up your tree. That once beautiful, soon dying and needle-dropping symbol of recent holiday cheer can be disposed of with one simple mouse click.

The big day is Saturday, January 6. This is the 8th year in a row the Scouts are providing the service, so they’ve got the drill down pat. (And it’s a green drill: The trees are recycled as mulch. Last year they collected and chipped enough trees to provide the town with 5 tons of garden mulch!)

Boy Scout Troop 39 to the rescue!

To register, click here. Reservations are limited so — unlike Christmas shopping — don’t delay.

Place your tree by your mailbox by 6:30 a.m. that morning. Then tape an envelope with your donation to your front door.

The suggested donation is $20 per tree (cash or checks made out to “Boy Scout Troop 39” are fine). I’m sure the Scouts would not refuse higher amounts. Funds go toward activities like food drives, community service projects and backpacking trips.

The Boy Scouts are well known for “good turns” like helping old ladies across streets. Bush league. In Westport, they help little old ladies — and strapping young men — dispose of big old Christmas trees.

NOTE: The Scouts can’t accept wreaths or garlands (the wires ruin tree chippers). You’re on your own for those!