Tag Archives: CLASP Homes

Roundup: Elvira’s, Club 203, Rhone …

Elvira’s is gone. The popular store has been replaced by the equally popular Old Mill Grocery & Deli.

But Elvira’s pizza will soon be back.

Harry Yiovanakos is following in his family’s footsteps. Elvira’s Pizza will open just over the border on Norwalk’s Belden Avenue.

“06880” will let readers know as soon as the first pie comes out of the oven.

Elvira’s Pizza opens soon. (Photo and hat tip/Andrew Colabella)


Club 203 — Westport’s social group for adults with disabilities — returns for another year soon.

And the lineup of activities is bigger and better than ever:

  • September 20: Reconnect and renew friendships at Toquet Hall
  • October 12: Halloween Bingo & Barbeque at the Senior center
  • November 15: “Get Your Turkey On” at Earthplace
  • December 4: Holiday bash at MoCA
  • January 15: Splash and celebrate 2024 at the Westport Weston Family YMCA
  • February TBD: Valentines at the Westport Country Playhouse
  • March TBD: Celebrate the luck of the Irish at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399
  • April TBD: Rock on at the Westport Library
  • May TBD: Bowling event
  • June 5: Beach bash at Compo.

Sign up for all events for $100; individual events are $15 each. Click here for more information, and to register.

Questions? Email club203ct@gmail.com, or call 203-418-7672.

EJ Zebro (far right) and friends have fun at Jesup Green in April.


Rhone — Main Street’s new men’s store — celebrates its grand opening next Saturday (August 26), with a full day of activities.

C0-founders Nate and Ben Checketts will host:

  • 10 a.m. to noon : Ribbon-cutting with the Westport Downtown Association; bagels and coffee from Popup Bagels and GG & Joe.
  • Noon to 2 p.m.: Ice bath with Edge Theory Labs; first 30 customers receive a free pair of Rhone swim trunks.
  • 2-4 p.m.: Recovery with Restore Hyper Wellness; juices and snacks from Green & Tonic.
  • 4-6 p.m.: Drinks from Two Roads Brewing and Athletic Brewing Co.

Customers get 20% off their purchase, plus a free pair of Essentials boxer briefs or trunks with all purchases over $350.

Plus: It’s the final day of Connecticut’s Tax-Free Week..

Rhone is ready for business.


The Levitt Pavilion’s summer series continued last night, with DJ Rekha playing Bollywood tunes.

Tonight’s show features Bill & the Showmen. Tomorrow, it’s the always popular Frank Mastrone & Friends. Click here for more information.

Bollywood night at the Levitt. (Photo/Sarathi Roy)


Speaking of music: Yesterday’s “06880” preview of CLASP‘s “Rockin’ Halloween Bash” (October 20, Fairfield Theatre Company) — a benefit for the organization providing group homes and other services for people with autism and intellectual disabilities — included incorrect information about the music.

CLASP now says that the danceable, great rock from artists like Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Journey, Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and more will be provided by Stephanie Harrison (powerhouse leader of the band Fake ID), Anthony Gadaleta, Crispin Cioe (Westport saxophonist who toured with the Stones), Pat Marafiote, Marcos Torres Jr. (Cosmic Jibaros), and Rob Fried, Band Central founder.

The pre-party starts in the FTC gallery at 6:30 p.m., with light bites. Click here for tickets, and other information.


MDSolarSciences is a Westport sunscreen and skincare brand.

On Tuesday (August 22), CEO Renee Plato and employees will travel around Fairfield County, to donate sunscreens to lifeguards, fire and police departments, and others. They’ll also offer advice and tips on sunscreen application techniques, and the role sun protection plays in maintaining healthy skin.

The event begins in Westport.

MDSolarSciences says: Sunscreen is important!


On Wednesday, members and guests of the Y’s Men of Westport & Weston toured Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park. It was part of the group’s New York historic walking tour series.

Warren Jahn led the informative and fun event.

Y’s Men at Prospect Park. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Tomorrow (Sunday, August 20, 2 p.m.), high school sophomore and Connecticut Entomological Society member Lukas Keras leads a bug walk in Sherwood Island State Park’s West Woods.

Lukas looks forward to inspiring visitors to love the natural world as much as he does. Entrance to the state park is free for vehicles with Connecticut license plates.


Michael Chait provides both a stunning photo, and an appropriate caption, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

“The cruelty of Mother Nature. One life ends and one continues, high above the Saugatuck River.”


Jerry Moss — the “M” in A&M records, the label behind the Carpenters, the Police, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton and (the “A” in the name) Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass — died this week in Los Angeles. He was 88.

Click here for a full obituary.


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Roundup: Untimely Death, Frazier Forman Peters, Pesto …

The on-scene investigation of the “untimely death” of a 56-year-old woman — found yesterday at 11 a.m. — was completed at 12:45 this morning by the Westport Police Detective Bureau, assisted by the Connecticut State Police Major Crime unit. The investigation remains active.

The woman was identified as Jennifer Lindstrom, of 3 Oak Ridge Park. Westport Police responded to the residence after a housekeeper found her unresponsive at the bottom of a staircase leading to the basement.


Among the hidden-in-plain-sight treasures of Westport: Frazier Forman Peters houses.

Between 1924 and 1936, the architect designed and built over 40 distinctive stone homes in Westport (and more in surrounding towns).

On November 5 Histoury — a non-profit dedicated to significant buildings — offers a bus tour of 20 Frazier Forman Peters houses. Experts will offer commentary on their designs and histories. Several interior tours will be included.

Tickets are $75 for adults, $49 for students. Click here to purchase. For more information on Frazier Forman Peters, click here.

A Frazier Forman Peters house on Riverview Road with fieldstone facades, slate roof and copper gutters.


There’s always something new at the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Yesterday, it was this hand-lettered sign from Fort Hill Farm, offering a simple recipe for basil pesto.

“Beautiful flowers and foods, live music, kid’s crafts — it was a great vibe,” says Jo Shields Sherman, who sent the sign shot to “06880.”

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)

The Farmers’ Market is halfway through its season. It runs every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.


Report from the transfer station:

The recycling section was roped off yesterday, for electrical work to install a dedicated cardboard compactor.

The new cardboard compactor will allow cardboard to leave in its own dedicated stream, like the glass dumpster currently does.

In the meantime, temporary bins were set up this morning to accept recyclables.

(Photo and hat tip/Ken Stamm)


Here’s our first Halloween-related story of the year. (No, it is not Dunkin’s pumpkin lineup — although it is already available.)

This is about CLASP‘s “Rockin’ Halloween Bash.” Set for October 20 (Fairfield Theatre Company), it features lite bits from Little Pub, and live music from Band Central — the popular group made up of clients at the organization providing group homes and other services for people with autism and intellectual disabilities.

Click here for tickets, and other information.


Also on October 20 (and 21 and 22): StoryFest.

The 6th annual Westport Library event — the largest literary event in Connecticut — has just secured Stephen Graham Jones as moderator for the keynote conversation with Neil Gaiman.

Tickets are available starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 22. Click here to order. The event is free, but seats are limited.

In addition, Eric LaRocca will cap a full day of Saturday events with a staged reading of his new play, “Gentle Hacksaw.”

Tickets for LaRocca are $20, and are available now. They include a reception with StoryFest authors, small bites and a cash bar.

From left: Stephen Graham Jones, Neil Gaiman, Eric LaRocca.


A bit earlier than October — Sunday, August 27 — MoCA sponsors “Kaleidoscope,” a 1-day exhibition featuring works from  MoCA Gives Back Healing Arts, as well as Camp MoCA Westport participants. Food trucks will be on site.

Click here for more information.


Oliver Bub is rowing his boat — all the way to Serbia.

Or at least, in the Balkan country.

The Staples High School 2014 Biology Student of the Year is part of the men’s eight team that will represent the US at the World Rowing Championships next month in Belgrade. He was an alternate on last year’s squad.

The 6-6, 205-pound Dartmouth College graduate was Saugatuck Rowing Club’s 2015 Most Valuable Oarsman. He lives now in Oakland, and rows for the California Rowing Club.  (Hat tip: Lisa Marriott)

Oliver Bub


“Monarchs in Motion” — a free September 7 (6 p.m.) event at Earthplace — does not refer to King Charles’ recent ascension to the throne.

It’s about “understanding how insect movement and dispersal ecology informs conservation planning.” Speaker Dr. Kelsey Fisher is an “insect movement ecologist.”

There is space for 100 people. Click here to register, and for more information.

Dr. Kelsey Fisher 


Earlier this month, the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club honored 34 members with Paul Harris Society awards.

They’re presented to Rotarians who give $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. New fellows include Holly McCarthy, Mike Hibbard, Gail Lavielle, Jeff Cohen, Helen Garten, Anil Nair, Liz Wong, Tim Wetmore, Jacquie Masumian, Karen Klein, Jen Tooker, Bruce Paul, Ron Holtz, Yvonne Senturia and Barbara Levy.

Those honored for donating $2,000 were Tom Ayres, Jane Ross, Linda Bruce, Eileen Flug, George Masumian, Mark Mathias and Carole Rubenstein.

Donors at the $3,000 level were Bill Harmer, Ann Lloyd, Steve Violette, Joe Renzulli and Arnold K. Wolgast.

Sheilan Keenan contributed $4,000; Hal Levy and Rick Jaffe gave $5,000; Bob Galan, $6,000; Brian Strong and Arlo Ellison, $8,000, and — topping the Paul Harris Society list — Eric Zielinski and Martin Burger, at $9,000.


Tessie DeMattia — a chef who worked for over 40 years with her brother Frank DeMace, the founder of Mario’s Place — died Tuesday.

Tessie is survived by her daughter, Linda Voulgarakis (John) of West Haven; son James of Dummerston, Vermont; grandchildren Dawn Blinn, Libby Mazzella, David Aronson, Nikki Voulgarakis and Harry Voulgarakis, and 4 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband Liberty Michael DeMattia, she was predeceased by her daughter Sandra Blinn; siblings Dominick, Frank, Michael and Joseph DeMace and Marie Wallacem and granddaughter Jacqueline Perez.

A funeral service will be tomorrow (Friday, August 18, 11 a.m., Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, Fairfield). Friends may greet her family one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Tessie DeMattia


Sunil Hirani calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo — shot at Compo Beach — “Leapfrog.”

Look closely to see why.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)


And finally … on this day in 1977, Elvis Presley’s funeral was held at Graceland.

The “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” had several phases in his career. Among them:

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Roundup: PopUp Pizza Bagels, Bank Scam Alert, Trash Pickup ….

The tagline for PopUp Bagels is “not famous, but known.”

They’ll be known a lot more soon.

The Westport-based company’s pizza bagels will now be sold at all Citi Field events in 2023.

So that’s Mets games — and NYCFC (MLS soccer) matches, and concerts.

Forget peanuts. To hell with Crackerjacks. Buy me some pizza bagels!

PopUp pizza bagels, and a Mets-ish hat.


Westport Police responded Thursday to a potential scam at M&T Bank.

A woman had told a teller that she received a call, saying he and her daughter were involved in a motor vehicle accident. The man said he had the woman’s daughter as hostage, and demanded she withdraw as much money as she could.

He warned her not to text or call anyone. In the background, a woman was rying.

The teller sensed something was wrong, and realized this was a scam. The bank called Westport Police, who advised the woman to contact her daughter at work — where she was fine.

This was the third potential scam in the past week, police say. They thank alert bank employees, and offer these reminders:

  • Do not send any money or gift cards to an unknown person.
  • Make contact with family who claim to be in danger prior to sending money.
  • Call the police if unable to contact family members.
  • Report any potential scam.


Andrew Colabella writes:

“Tomorrow’s trash pick-up (Sunday, March 26, 11 a.m.) is along Greens Farms Road.

“We will park at the Public Works Garage at the transfer station (they are closed) and make our way to Prospect Road. Depending on the size of group, we will continue on to Hillspoint Road. This location is back by popular demand from residents.

“Wear comfortable shoes or boots, and gloves — and bring a trash bag.”

Looking ahead, Andrew says:

“For 3 years our weekend group of residents, elected/appointed officials and town employees has volunteered to do weekend trash pick-ups in Westport. Our last pick was Elaine Road, which is probably the worst area of trash collecting from I-95.

“I have written and called the state. They are aware, and are picking up along the guardrail in the coming weeks.

“However, the trash that has spilt below is overwhelming. Three weekends ago a group of 12 tackled the steep hill. We completed about 1/8 of it. I have obtained further help to complete the job.

“I have just confirmed with SLOBs (Staples Service League Of Boys) group. They are on for an Earth Day trash pick on Elaine Road, where Westport’s Animal Control building is located.

“We will have 45 from that group. I am inviting employees from Town Hall, Westport Police, Westport Fire, Public Works, VFW, Parks & Recreation and other departments to join us on April 22nd, at 10 a.m.

“With 45 people plus others we can clean up the entire hill, and along South Compo where trash has made its way into the gutter line and sidewalk area.

“Wear boots and gloves, bring a garbage bag and pickers if you have them, and prepare to get dirty. Spread the word. All are welcome. Let’s clean up Westport!”

Westport Animal Control building, on Elaine Drive.


There are 2 weeks left to save 20% on tickets to the 17th annual Taste of Westport.

The event — a fantastic benefit for CLASP Homes (May 10, 6 p.m., the Inn at Longshore) — always sells out.

Particularly when folks can save big, before April 10.

More than 2 dozen establishments provide all-you-can-eat food and drinks.

Click here for tickets, and more information (including a list of participating restaurants, chocolatiers, and wine and spirits shops).

Can’t make it to the event? Click here, to be part of the Toast the Taste campaign.

To learn more about CLASP Homes, click the video below:


Staples High School Counseling Department honors Women’s History Month.

The next episode of their “Spark Your Future!” series features “Women in the Military.

The virtual event is set for this Tuesday (March 28, 6:30 p.m.). The panelists — all Staples graduates — include

Dominica Wardell (Staples Class of 2014) is an officer in the Marine Corps. She earned her Wings of Gold as a naval aviator, and now flies the MV-22 Osprey.

Asia Bravo (SHS ’11) served 7 years active duty in the Army. She has now been selected as a member of the United States Space Force.

Emily Troelstra (SHS ’13) served as a Navy officer aboard the USS Princeton. After medical separation from the military, she is pursuing a master’s degree in athletic training at George Mason University.

Amanda Troelstra (SHS ’18) is an active duty signal officer and satellite communications platoon leader in the Army.

The program is open to students in all grades, and their families. Scan the QR code below to register.

If you are not able to attend live, the webinar will be recorded and shared in a follow-up email.


Bedford Acting Group’s spring production — “Seussical Jr. ” — opened to great reviews last night.

Two more performances are set for today (Saturday, March 25): 3 and 7 p.m.

Directed by Ryan Smith, the story of friendship, loyalty and love comes through strongly with great choreography, an intriguing set, and of course excellent acting by future Staples Players.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

A scene from “Seussical Jr.” (Photo/Kerry Long)


Westporter Mike Greenberg — host of ESPN’s “Get Up” and “NBA Countdown” — is off the air for a bit.

He underwent a cardiac ablation Monday. The procedure corrects heart rhythm problems. is slowly on the mend after he underwent a heart procedure on Monday.

His wife Stacy posted on Twitter: “Recovery is slow, he has to do nothing and believe me…. he’s not great at that! We both really, really appreciate all the nice messages.”

“06880” joins Mike’s million-plus Twitter followers in wishing him a speedy recovery. (Hat tip: Jack Krayson)

Mike Greenberg


All around Westport, there are many signs of spring.

Lauri Weiser spotted this one in her yard, at Lansdowne Condominiums. It’s a “Westport … Naturally” natural.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


And finally … Fuzzy Haskins, “a foundational member of the vocal group that morphed into Parliament-Funkadelic, the genre-blurring collective led by George Clinton that shook up the pop music world in the 1970s,” died last week in Michigan. He was 81, and suffered from diabetes. (Click here for a full obituary.)


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Roundup: Patriot Front, Church Lane, Kids’ Tutors …

“Patriot Front” stickers — advertising what the ADL calls “a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else” — were found on signs in Saugatuck Wednesday.

They were small, and in some cases old and tattered. The Westport Police Department contacted the Connecticut State Police Hate Crimes Unit.

According to the ADL, Patriot Front “justifies its ideology of hate and intolerance under the guise of preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of its members’ European ancestors.”

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker said, “I am grateful to the police for managing the issue with expediency and professionalism. This does not represent Westport and is unacceptable. Nor does it diminish the qualities of our community that focus on volunteerism, neighborly engagement, and civil discourse. We are proud of our residents and business and civic leaders who work tirelessly to make Westport a better place.”

Tooker asked community members to report any suspicious activity to Westport Police. Anyone with information or evidence of those responsible for placing the stickers in Saugatuck should call the Detective Bureau: 203-341-6080.

Patriot Front stickers.


The closure of Church Lane — begun during COVID, and continued in following years thanks to the popularity of outdoor dining and leisurely strolling — has been approved for 2023.

The Board of Selectwomen gave their consent this week. The short stretch of road between Elm Street and Post Road East will be closed to traffic beginning April 1, through November 6.

Evening on Church Lane (Photo/Ed Simek)


Kids helping kids:

Staples High School students are on hand at the Westport Library now through April 27 for drop-in tutoring in a range of subjects, for children in grades 2-8.

Sessions take place in the Children’s Library. The schedule:

  • Mondays: History and math (4- to 6 p.m.); Language arts (6 to 8 p.m., beginning March 20)
  • Tuesdays: Language arts (4 to 5 p.m.,), math (5 to 6 p.m.)
  • Thursdays: Language arts and math (4 to 6 p.m.).

The tutors are all Library volunteers, looking for more ways to give back.

Youngsters should bring homework and workbooks for which they need help. Adults with students under age 12 must stay in the Children’s Library while their children are being tutored.

Westport Library children’s section. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)


Tickets went on sale today for CLASP Homes’ 17th annual Taste of Westport benefit.

This year’s event (May 10, 6 p.m., the Inn at Longshore) features over 2 dozen restaurants and beverage suppliers, live music by the Bar Car Band, and a very cool silent auction.

Food and drink — as much as you want! — comes from:

  • Artisan
  • Bridgewater Chocolate
  • Fifth State Distillery
  • Grumpy Dumpling
  • Little Pub
  • Mrs. London’s Bakery
  • Nordic Fish
  • Rizzuto’s
  • Tablao
  • Black Bear Wine & Spirits
  • Cold Fusion Gelato
  • Gabriele’s of Westport
  • Isla & Co.
  • Mionetto
  • NewSylum Brewing
  • Post Oak Barbecue
  • Romanacci
  • Tarantino
  • Boathouse at Saugatuck
  • Gruel Britannia
  • La Plage
  • Magic 5 Pie Co.
  • Nômade
  • Rive Bistro
  • SoNo 1420
  • Walrus Alley.

Click here for tickets, and more information.


Speaking of food (and Taste of Westport’s Walrus Alley):

The downtown Southern-inspired restaurant is now open for lunch on Fridays.

On the menu, in addition to their fried chicken sandwich: lighter options like salads, vegetarian jackfruit tacos, tofu stir-fry, and an Impossible McWalrus Burger.

Walrus Alley serves Friday lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy Hour is available Wednesday through Friday (3 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Dinner starts at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, while brunch is available Saturday and Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Marinated beet salad, at Walrus Alley.


Still speaking of food:

In January, Spiga — a popular New Canaan Italian restaurant — announced they’d add a second location. They would replace Tarry Lodge on Charles Street. The target for opening was late March.

Not so fast.

A sign in Mario Batali’s former restaurant identifies the new place as Zucca Gastrobar, opening in April.

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

The website says that it is currently hiring, for front and back of the house. (Hat tip: Les Dinkin)


Middle school students identify with Percy Jackson. That makes “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” a great choice for Coleytown Middle School’s next musical.

The curtain rises March 31 (7 p.m.), April 1 (1 and 7 p.m.), and April 2 (1 p.m.).

Based on a best-selling book series by Rick Riordan, “Percy Jackson” explores themes of friendship, betrayal, self-discovery and parent-child relationships (complicated by parents who are immortal and have superpowers).

Coleytown Company vocal director Clay Zambo calls the show “a great choice for middle school students, because it’s about the issues kids this age are facing. The ‘magical powers’ and family issues are a metaphor for what they may be discovering in their own lives.”

Click here for tickets, and more information.


In a town filled with volunteer opportunities, myTeamTriumph stands out.

The program pairs children, teens and adults with disabilities (“captains”) with volunteers (“angels”) who help them participate in triathlons and road races. In those events, everyone truly is a winner.

The next big event is the Westport Young Woman’s League’s Minute Man 10K and 5K Runs, and 5K Walk, on April 23.

MyTeamTriumph always looks for more captains (special needs athletes). They’re also short of angels (volunteer runners). This is their first time participating in the Minute Man.

They’re excited to provide an opportunity for people with special needs (and their families) to have increased visibility, and be involved in a great community event.

There is no cost. Angels can be any ability of runner or jogger.

Captains and angels can click here to sign up. MyTeamTriumph will take care of race registration.

Questions? Email kziebell@myteamtriumph-ct.org. For more information on myTeamTriumph, click here.

Sami Leskin, racing with myTeamTriumph in the 2018 Westport Triathlon.


Longtime friends and Staples High School classmates Mark Mollica, Dan Asher and Joe Izzo join Mark’s college roommate Dylan Connor — the headliner — tomorrow (Saturday, March 11) at Fairfield Theatre Company.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; the show begins at 7:45. Click here for tickets, and more information.


William (Bill) Barron — a Weston resident since 1954 — died last week.  He was 77.

The Detroit native earned a BA degree from Yale University in 1967, and a JD from Cornell University Law School in 1970.

Barron worked with several law firms before joining Alston and Bird in 1977 as a partner. He later became a partner at Franzino and Schur.

He was a member of the Art Law Committee of the International Bar Association, the Yale Russian Chorus Alumni, Kiwanis International, and a longtime member of Norfield Church in Weston.

Barron joined the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston in 2017. He participated in the Book Club, bridge, the Classical Music Society and the Global Issues discussion group.

He is survived by his wife Jennifer, sons David and Will, 6 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 18, 11 a.m. at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston.

Bill Barron


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows what Molly Alger calls “1/3 of the Whitney Street” deer herd.

They blend in well with their surroundings.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … Topol, the Israeli actor who took played Tevye on stage and screen all over the world for decades, died yesterday at his home in Tel Aviv. He was 87, and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Click here for a full obituary.

(From local politics to restaurant and arts news to obituaries, “06880” is your source for whatever is happening in Westport [and Weston]. Please click here to support this hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

Unsung Heroes #277

Westport’s calendar is packed with fundraising events.

Each week, there are galas to choose from. They feature food, drinks, silent and live auctions, and entertainment.

Westporters support them all generously. We pay good money, for great causes.

But these events don’t just happen. They take a ton of behind-the-scenes work, by corps of hard-working volunteers. Committed to the non-profits they serve, they spend countless hours making sure everyone has a good time (and buys tickets, bids on items, etc.).

Some are singled out for thanks. Many are not. Of course, that’s not why they help. They just want to make our community a better place for all.

Last Saturday’s “Fashionably Westport” was one of those very important benefits. Organized by the Westport Downtown Association, to raise funds for Homes with Hope — our wonderful supportive housing and food pantry organization — the 2-day event includes shopping and store promotions.

The centerpiece was a fashion show at the Westport Library. Over 60 models showcased apparel from 21 local businesses. Hair and makeup was done by 6 salons. Restaurants and spirit shops provided food and drink.

On the runway at Fashionably Westport. (Photo/Dan Woog)

It was an enormous undertaking, involving months of preparation and attention to detail.

Sometimes things go wrong. Saturday’s MC rubbed some attendees the wrong way. She mocked some merchants, made inappropriate “jokes,” and sent at least a dozen people to early exits.

Yet none of that detracts from the real heroes of the event: the men and women who worked tirelessly to put on a great fashion show (and more); the many local businesses who donated goods and time, and the Westport Downtown Association and Homes with Hope, who partnered for a crucial cause in a creative, fun (and fundraising) way.

“06880” salutes all the individuals, businesses and organizations that make “Fashionably Westport” — and so many other events like it — so successful. You are our Unsung Heroes of the week.

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Let us know: 06880blog@gmail.com.)

Coming May 10: the 17th annual “Taste of Westport.” The Inn at Longshore event benefits CLASP Homes.

Roundup: Flooding, BMS Earthquake Help, Graffiti …

Today’s trash pick-up at Elaine Road has been canceled, due to predicted bad weather. A new date will be announced soon.


The coastal flood warning — in effect until noon today — is real. Here was the scene earlier this morning at Canal Road on Saugatuck Shores:

(Photo/Gene Borio)

And high tide was still 2 hours away.


When the Bedford Middle School community learned that Heba, one of their popular cafeteria workers, had relatives in Syria — and was still waiting for news after the earthquake — they swung into action.

In just a few days, donations of coats, sweaters, shoes, scarves, hats, blankets (and backpacks filled to the brim) poured in. Many of the gifts were new, or almost new.

Yesterday, Dan Barberio — a physical education teacher and member of the Spirit Leadership Team, who helped organize the effort — packed his van. He delivered it all to a mosque in New Haven, for shipment to Syria today.

Congratulations, BMS, for your important, school-wide effort.

Dan Barberio (far left) and Bedford Middle School students, with some of the collection for Syrian earthquake victims.


A reader found new racist graffiti — this time, on the picnic tables at Compo’s South Beach. She reported it to Westport Police.

Previous racist graffiti at the state boat launch underneath I-95 was also reported, and immediately removed.

Racist raffiti at the state boat launch. (Photo/Nathan Selsky)


Danbury countered Staples’ fast start with a faster finish — and excellent defense — at last night’s boys basketball FCIAC championship.

The Hatters’ 69-53 win, at Wilton High School, denied the Wreckers their first league championship since 1963, and their first ever on the court. (The previous title came by having the best record.)

Danbury — seeded 3rd in the tourney — had beaten #4 Staples 63-54, in the regular season.

But the blue-and-whites’ superb season continues. First-year coach Dave Goldshore’s squad — now 17-6 — begins action in the state Division II on Tuesday.

Ranked 7th, they host #26 Manchester. Tipoff is 6 p.m.

The 2023 Staples High School boys basketball team.


Wakeman Town Farm is getting a jump on spring.

Among its just-announced events:

Old-Fashioned Maple Syrup Boiling (Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; free). Farmers Ryan Brunelle and Sharon Stone boil maple sap into pure maple syrup from trees tapped on the Farm. Ask questions about tapping your own trees, and checking out WTF’s homestead-sized evaporator.

Learn About Chicken Keeping (March 27, April 24, May 8): A 3-session series for the novice; take 1, 2 or all 3. At the end, attendees of all 3 sessions can “adopt” 2 of the chicks raised on the farm, and bring home a starter pack with feeder, waterer, wood shavings and 5 pounds of organic feed. $60 per session; $50 for starter pack. Click here for more information, and to register.

Lamb socials (selected dates, March 31 through May 1; $20): Snuggle and  hold lambs, to socialize the new flock; watch them play. All ages welcome. Click here for details and registration.

Home Vegetable Gardening: Dos and Don’ts (Monday, April 10, 7 p.m.). WTF farmer Sharon Stone describes how the Farm prepares for the growing season, past mistakes they’ve learned from, and the importance of maintenance and management. All ages and gardening levels are welcome. Click here to register.

Lunch and Learn to Cook an Italian Meal with Chef Vita (May 16, 11 a.m.; $125). On the menu: orecchiette pasta. Click here to register.

In addition, registration for spring programs begins online next Friday (March 10, 9 a.m.). Click here for details.

Down at the farm … (Photo/Lauri Weiser)


Staples Player alum Remy Laifer has joined the national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof.” He’ll play Mendel.

The Class of 2017 graduate will also understudy for Motel — a role he played in Players’ production of the same show. (Hat tips: David Roth and Kerry Long)

Remy Laifer


Save the date, for one of our town’s best (and most delicious) fundraisers:

Taste of Westport returns May 10 (6 p.m., the Inn at Longshore).

The 17th annual event — featuring fantastic food, wine and spirits from more than 2 dozen of the area’s best vendors, plus live music ad a silent auction — benefits CLASP Homes. The non-profit provides homes, support and services to adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Tickets are $125 per person from March 10 until April 9, then $150 until they sell out. Click here to purchase. For sponsorship opportunities, email rhammond@clasphomes.org or call 203-226-7895, ext. 144.


NBC Connecticut’s “CT Live” featured a fascinating interview yesterday about the Westport Country Playhouse.

In just 5 minutes, cultural associate and archivist Bruce Miller gave a history of the famed space; described the stage, sets and costumes, and added a plea to support live theater everywhere, in these post-pandemic days.

Click here to see.

Screenshot from “CT Live.”


Rita Leyden died Thursday, at 85. She and her husband Tom — who died in 2020 — lived in Westport from 1965 through 2019.

Her son Tommy posted this tribute on Facebook:

“We mourn today because Mom has gone home, but we’re also celebrating and giving thanks for how fortunate we were to absorb her spirit, wisdom and love for 85 years.

“Where will I go for my fill-up of confidence and reassurance? A selfish reflection, but I’m not alone in saying Rita Leyden was the queen of providing a boost of conviction when you needed it, sometimes right after she tactfully told you there was room for improvement.

“Mom was a woman of extraordinary elegance and faith, a rare fusion of class and humility. Her virtuous essence was pure, her love was sacrificial and whole. She believed in reconciliation and the power of positive reinforcement, always empowering others to find their right path as she offered support.

“Inspired each day by her dedication to Catholicism, her regular trips to church kept Mom centered on surrendering her soul to God and living a life of generous example. She trusted prayer in times of need and times of thanksgiving. With a Miraculous Medal always around her neck, Mom sought peace and graciously granted forgiveness to everyone in her life who sought it. Those who couldn’t find the strength to ask, she forgave anyway, and that’s a lesson we can all carry with us.

“Her smile was soothing, the signature grin of an eager hostess, pleased to open her home to guests. When you entered 6 Bradley Street, and 2 Garden Street before that, you were part of the family. Now, that may mean you had to take the buns out of the oven, grab a knife out of the drawer or bring a plate to the table, but if you were spending time laughing with Rita, even washing a pile of dishes by hand was fun.

“Perhaps most endearing was Mom’s true appreciation for others. It takes great humility and self-confidence to listen intently and Mom was truly engaged. With a warm hug and intent eye contact, she would ask about your life, your accomplishments and your struggles because she cared about each and how they affected you. If you wanted her opinion, Mom would offer intelligent insight.

“She was able to balance her words of support and encouragement with wit and humor, sharply delivering a memorable punch-line or zinger with pizazz. Every family has classic moments and Mom delivered more than a few.

“Even in her final days, Mom was always thinking about the details that make a difference. Just last week, I made her famous chocolate chip bars for a colleague. She reminded me to cut them a little smaller than I did the last time.

“Like the stories in the thousands of books she flipped through over the course of eight glorious decades, her life story was page-turning in its excitement, colored with fantastic twists and turns, drama, sadness and laughter.

“We spoke 2 weeks ago about growing old and reaching the end. Mom shrugged and told me, ‘There’s nothing you can do. Just hang in there the best you can. It’s part of the journey.’

“Another morsel of wisdom from the woman who never failed to fill up my tank of reassurance.

“Give Dad a hug. I’m glad you’re reunited.”

Rita and Tom Leyden


A river runs through downtown Westport.

And though we don’t always notice, it’s one of our greatest natural resources. Andrew Fishman captured it recently, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Andrew Fishman)


And finally … in honor of Remy Laifer’s new touring gig (story above), here’s a video from his 2015 production, with Staples Players:


Roundup: Dads’ Survival Guide, Outdoor Dining, Aliens …

An incorrect email was posted in this morning’s story on “Dads’ Survival Guide”: David Smith’s weekly blog for fathers.

Dads interested in subscribing should email davidosmith7777@gmail.com.

Dave and Jeanne Smith, and their 4 children.


Summer outdoor dining is almost over.

Autumn outdoor dining arrives soon.

Westport’s dining scene — which has been hot for a while — will be enhanced by the arrival of 3 new restaurants.

Mexicue adds to its 3 New York City, 2 Washington DC-area and 1 Stamford location when it opens at 38 Main Street, the site of the former Bobby Q’s and Onion Alley.

Casa Mi takes over from the old Le Penguin, in Sconset Square.

Further east, Tacombi moves into the property that for many years was AJ’s Farm Stand, near Stop & Shop.

All 3 will feature outdoor dining.

Casa Me opens soon, with tables fronting Sconset Square. Previous restaurants there had outdoor tables in an enclosed space, closer to the Post Road. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Lynsey Addario is usually behind a camera.

This month, the 1991 Staples High School graduate — and New York Times, Time and National Geographic photojournalist/Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur “genius grant” winner — is herself the focus of a well-deserved feature story.

Vanity Fair posts some of her most compelling photos, from Ukraine, Darfur, a US military hospital and more. Her insights into each make for riveting reading. Click here to see and read. (Hat tip: Bonnie Erickson)

Lynsey Addario captured this dramatic shot, of desperate Libyan refugees in a boat off the coast of Italy. (Photo/Lynsey Addario)


Yesterday’s heavy — and long-awaited — rain may have contributed to downed wires on Wilton Road. A large tree took down power lines and a transformer between River Lane and Rices Lane, around 8 p.m. Crews worked through the night to restore power.

Wilton Road, last night. (Photo copyright by Ted Horowitz)Dave Matlow reports that according to Eversource this morning, power had been restored to approximately 30 of the 144 customers affected by the outage.

Utility work continued this morning on Wilton Road. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Some real estate figures, from August 2022:

  • Median sales price: $1,949,500 (up 11% from August 2021)
  • Median sales price per square foot: $484 (up 17%)
  • Number of sales: 48 (down 36%)
  • Inventory: 114 (down 28%)
  • Days on market: 44 (up 16%)

(Hat tip: Michelle Cohen)

This 8-bedroom,, 8 1/2-bath house at 5 Hedley Farms Road is listed for $12,500,000. It is 13,128 square feet, and sits on a 7.27-acre lot.


In June, the Staples boys lacrosse team beat Darien 12-3, winning their first-ever state championship.

This month, 12 congratulatory banners — one for each goal — are displayed on a dozen businesses around town.

You can see them at Angelina’s, ASF Sports & Outdoors, Baker Graphics, Calise’s, Cushman & Wakefield (Loft space, Main Street), Gaetano’s, Gold’s Deli, Layla’s Falafel, Parker Mansion, Redi-Cut Carpet & Rugs, The Porch @ Christie’s and Westport Hardware.

When the banners come down, they won’t be tossed or forgotten. On October 3, they’ll be raffled off at the Staples Lacrosse Association’s golf fundraiser. To learn more, call Willis Gay: 203-216-4937.

Calise’s Carmine Cenatiempo points proudly to the banner.


Trombone master Steve Davis headlines tomorrow’s Jazz at the Post.

The Grammy Award winner will be joined by New York musicians Jason Cottler, Rick Germanson and Jason Tiemann, plus Westport’s own “Jazz Rabbi” Greg Wall.

Shows on Thursday, September 8 (VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399, 465 Saugatuck Avenue) at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Dinner service begins at 6:30. There’s a $10 cover. Reservations are strongly recommended: jazzatthepost@gmail.com.


Where are all the aliens?

Dr. Stephen Webb of the University of Portsmouth answers that question on September 20 (8 p.m.). It’s part of the Westport Astronomical Society’s free online science lecture series. Click here for the Zoom link; click here for the YouTube link.


CLASP Homes provides housing and support for people with autism and developmental disabilities.

On October 14 (Fairfield Theater Company, 7:30 p.m.), Band Central — a philanthropic organization that gives back to local charities through live musical events — headlines a CLASP fundraiser. “Flower Power: Music From the Generation of Love” features covers of songs from Buffalo Springfield, The Band, the Youngbloods, Doors, Sly & the Family  Stone, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, CSN&Y and more.

The pre-arty starts at 6:30 p.m., with light bites and the chance to win cool stuff. Click here for tickets and more information.


“Connectalent” is a bit of a mouthful.

So the full-service recruiting agency focused on “female and mom talent, has changed its name to FoundHer.

Co-founders Runa Knapp and Jasmine Silver — both Westport residents — say the name more accurately reflects their mission of “recruiting with purpose.” So far this year, 85% of placements have been of mothers returning to work.

For more information, click here.


John Hanley died peacefully Saturday, surrounded by his family. He was 31 years old.

Born in Norwalk to Terry and Dianne Hanley, he grew up in Shelton. He moved to his parents’ hometown of Westport for high school.

John played football for Shelton Pop Warner. He spent summers in Westport working with his father playing in the dirt, and learning how to run machines. As he grew older, he found his passion operating machinery of all types.

He worked as a heavy equipment operator with Burns Construction. He took great pride in his work, and joined Heavy Equipment Operators Local Union 478.

John enjoyed spending time with his family on his father’s boat, and at Longshore. He loved going to New York Giants games.

He also enjoyed discussing history and world issues, and never shied away from a good debate.

John’s family says, “his smile and charm lit up the room. He was always the life of the party.”

John’s survivors include his mother Dianne and stepfather Craig; father Terry and stepmother Marcy; sisters Celeste, Noelle and Hailey; brother Shawn; brothers-in-law Rene and Luis; nieces Jocelyn, Eyda and Stella; many aunts, uncles and cousins, and best friends Jack and Matt.

The family will receive friends tomorrow (Thursday, September 8, 4 to 8 p.m., Harding Funeral Home). John’s funeral is Friday (September 9, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery on Greens Farms Road.

Click here to leave online condolences. In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s memory may be made to a charity of choice.

John Hanley


Molly Alger has a keen eye for nature. The other day she spotted a monarch butterfly, developing on milkweed. It’s one more example of our wonderful “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … in honor of the Westport Astronomical Society’s webinar about aliens (story above):

(“06880” is Earth’s most hyper-local Westport local blog. Please click here to support us.)

Roundup: Taste Of Westport, Juneteenth, You Be You Day …

“A Taste of Westport” returned yesterday, after a 2-year COVID absence.

A record crowd — starved for great food for an even better cause — showed up at the Inn at Longshore. It was the perfect venue for the festive, almost-summer event.

A small portion of the large “Taste of Westport” crowd at the Inn at Longshore.

The traditional fundraiser for CLASP — the local non-profit celebrating its 40th year serving adults with autism and developmental disabilities — featured plenty of tasting stations, live music from the Bar Car Band`, a silent auction and a raffle.

Restaurants and vendors participating included Artisan, BE Chocolat, Black Bear Wines & Spirits, Boathouse, Cylinder, Evarito’s, Freixenet Mionetto, Little Dumpling House, Gabriele’s, La Plage, Little Pub, Lindsay’s Handmade, Mrs. London’s, Newsylum, Nordic Fish, Post Oak, Rive Bistro, Rizzuto’s, Romanacci, Tablao, Tarantino, The Spread and Walrus Alley.

It’s not an easy time to own a restaurant. Last night, all of them went above and beyond the call.

Artisan offered (among other items) a very tasty goat dish. Inn at Longshore principal Michael Ryan is at right. (Photos/Dan Woog)


On June 19, 1865, Union troops  liberated enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas. Fifteen men from Westport took part, with the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry Regiment.

For years, the day was informally called “Juneteenth.” Finally, it’s a federal holiday (Monday, June 20).

The Westport Museum for History & Culture celebrates with 2 events.

Tonight (Thursday, June 16, 7 p.m.) historic interpreter Dontavius Williams offers a virtual performance of the experiences of an enslaved man. Click here to register.

A walking tour — based on a 2018-19 exhibit about Westport’s African American history — is set for Saturday June 18 (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). Click here to register.

The Westport Museum’s walking tour will include a stop at historic 22 1/2 Main Street.


The Levitt Pavilion has never looked better.

As a quasi-town, quasi-private facility, the Pavilion itself is responsible for maintaining its ornamental plantings and beds — including the ones between the Riverwalk and lawn.

Every year, Friends of the Levitt volunteers answer the call. This year, Gault Energy helped out by donating all the mulch.

So the next time you enjoy a free show — enjoy the “free” scenery too.

Work day at the Levitt Pavilion.. (Photo/Jimmy Izzo)


It was “You Be You Day” yesterday, at Westport’s elementary schools.

The night before, Kings Highway families helped “chalk the walk.”

Kings Highway 1st grader Siena Adams helps chalk the walk. Her mother, Cori Caputo Adams; is a Kings Highway and Staples High School (Class of 1994) alumnus.

Dozens of youngsters and parents wrote kind, motivating chalk messages on the walkway in front of the school. The goal was to encourage every student to be proud of who he or she is — and to feel proud too of being part of a community that accepts and celebrates them exactly as they are.

In the morning, KHS staff and students were greeted with colorful, positive sayings. It was a great start to “You Be You Day,” says PTA board member Meghan Bell.

Meanwhile, Greens Farms Elementary School celebrated in several ways.

Teachers read books with positive messages to their classes. Youngsters wore “You Be You” shirts. The sidewalk was chalked

And there was this bulletin board too:

(Photo courtesy of Leann Duggan)


The Westport Kiwanis Club provides annual scholarships to graduating seniors who show exemplary community involvement and academic achievement.

This year’s recipients are Lena Lemcke, Elena Lim, Jaden Mueller and Ella Williams.

Funds come from Kiwanis’ annual Minuteman Triathlon. This year’s’ event is September 11, at Compo Beach. Click here for information and registration.

Kiwanis officials and scholarship recipients, at the recent awards ceremony (from left): Todd Ehrlich, Dave Fuggit, Jaden Mueller, Judy Stripp, Lena Lemcke, Rob Gould, Elena Lim, Elaine Daignault. Not pictured: Ella Williams.


Osprey admirer/expert Carolyn Doan visited the Fresh Market nest this week. She was happily surprised to find “2 heads being shaded by mom. They must have been hot, as their mouths were open in the sun directly on the nest.

“They seemed to be having a serious chat with her. She listened patiently. She made a quick trip away from the nest. When she returned, they were thrilled.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)


What could be more mundane than a midday chat?

Martin Greenberg captured this scene, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Martin Greenberg)


And finally … in honor of our elementary schools’ great “You Be You Day” yesterday:





Roundup: WTF Trifecta, Y’s Men, Clinical Trials …

Sustainability — and Wakeman Town Farm — are non-partisan, apolitical efforts.

But WTF was swarming with Democrats yesterday.

The Democratic Women of Westport organized a half-day program for adults and children. It was part of the Farm’s “Giving Trifecta Program.” The community service, education and donation effort is open to organizations, clubs and business of all sizes.

WTF staff work with each group to design an experience that educates volunteers on a specific sustainability-related topic, and provides participants with community service hours. Programs could include beekeeping, composting, the Pollinator Pathway and Gardens, animal husbandry or restoring the pond.  

In return, organizations make a donation from the Farm’s Wishlist. Funds replenish items necessary to keep the farm running.

Saturday morning saw Congressman Jim Himes, State Senator Will Haskell, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg and State Senate candidate Ceci Maher all got their hands dirty — and learned a lot.

“06880” looks forward to highlighting the efforts of other “Giving Trifecta” groups — of any political party, or none at all.

Taking a break at Wakeman Town Farm yesterday are (standing from left): WTF co-chair Bill Constantino, Ceci Maher, Will Haskell, Jim Himes, Dominique Johnson, Front:  Jessica Hill, Allyson Stollenwerck


Speaking of sustainability:

In 1989, the Westport Garden Club created a garden at Earthplace. They’ve  maintained it ever since, renovating it in 2015 to feature more native plants to sustain bees, butterflies, birds and all pollinators. The garden was part of the Pollinator Pathway long before that concept became popular.

In early April the club learned that a large oil tank underneath the garden had to be replaced. Members scrambled to save as many plants as possible. Many found their way to the club’s annual plant sale.

The tank was removed on April 18. A new garden was planned, aligning with both the club and Earthplace’s missions to build passion and respect for the natural world and a more sustainable future for our community.

The garden is ready for visitors — just in time for today’s International Day for Biological Diversity.

Standing, from left: Earthplace’s Becky Newman, Westport Tree Board chair Monica Buesser, Nathalie Fonteyne, Seated: Andi Turner, Jane Eyes. All are Westport Garden Club members.


It was Selectwomens Day at the Y’s Men on Thursday. The group heard from 2 leaders — Westport’s Jen Tooker and Weston’s Samantha Nestor. Both spoke frankly about the challenges they face. Both were elected in November.

Tooker says she is focused on 5 issues: traffic, recreation (particularly Longshore), strengthening downtown, addressing stream management and flood mitigation, and creating a safe, comfortable and diverse community for all.

Nestor said that Weston is at an inflection point. It is a bedroom community with a minimal commercial grand list, with schools as the most common asset. They are “top notch,” but need capital investment. She hopes to resolve that contentious issue this year. Her major challenge is upgrading the town’s infrastructure.

To hear both women, and the Q-and-A that followed, click below.


Matthew Jordan is a Staples High School senior (and recent honoree with a Moffly Media “Light a Fire” award, for his work with Kids in Crisis).

Before he heads to Georgetown University, Matt’s senior internship this spring is with Medidata. The company develops and markets software for clinical trials.

His project involves enrolling patients who are interested in receiving information about enrolling in upcoming trials. His goal for the week is 800 registries.

Matt says, “I’ve learned how important it is to get an accurate representation of the population in clinical trials. We are trying to flip the ‘last resort’ stereotype of clinical trials to being more of a great first-choice option. Sometimes they can be lifesavers.”

To help Matt reach his goal of 800 registries — and learn about clinical trials that may help your health — click here.


Speaking of health: Massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture — those, and more, are available at the new Westport Medical and Wellness Center on Whitney Road Extension, behind the CVS parking lot.

Tomorrow and Tuesay (Monday 23 and 24, 9 to 11 a.m.), founder Dr. Nikki Gorman invites residents to tours of the versatile space.


Very quietly, CLASP Homes serves adults with intellectual disabilities. Their group homes — 4 in Westport, 8 others and 9 apartments throughout Fairfield County, plus a day program in Bridgeport — provide community, stability, jobs and fulfilling lives to men and women from their 20s to 82.

I’ve featured their fundraiser —  the very popular eat-and-drink “Taste of Westport” (June 15, 6 p.m., Inn at Longshore) — before.

Today the spotlight shines on their new website. It was constructed thanks to a grant from another great local non-profit: Near & Far Aid. To see the end result of these 2 organizations working together, click here. (Pro tip: You can find out more about “Taste of Westport” there too.)


With the thermometer nearing 90 yesterday. Compo Beach was hopping. Some folks ventured into the water; others dusted off their beach chairs.

And on South Beach, every barbecue grill was in use.

Similar temperatures are expected today, with possible thunderstorms after 2 p.m. This week, we’ll be back in the 60s and 70s.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)


You never know where a “Westport … Naturally” photo op will pop up.

Ellen Wentworth found these chicks right on top of her front door light.

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


And finally … Rosmarie Trapp died last week in Vermont, at 93.

She was a member of the von Trapp singing family made famous by “The Sound of Music.”

You may not recognize her name. She is not in the play or movie, because “The Sound of Music” focused on the 7 children Georg von Trapp had with his first wife — not with Rosmarie’s mother, a governess who later married the baron.

But she did did travel and perform with the Trapp Family Singers for years, including at the lodge in Stowe. Click here for the full obituary.


Roundup: Mystic Market, Spencer Platt, James Madison …

Mystic Market — the successor to the Arrow, Jasmine and Blu Parrot restaurants  — is “regretfully” closing its Saugatuck location on May 27.

“The rent is 3 times what we pay for our other properties. And lease for the second term is even more,” says David Griswold. He’s senior vice president of The Coastal Gourmet Group, which owns 3 similar properties in eastern Connecticut.

The company is searching for a new location. A property in Wilton did not work out, because it was not zoned for a food establishment.

Mystic Market opened in the winter of 2019 on Charles Street, near I-95 Exit 17 and the Westport train station. It offers a variety of sandwiches, prepared foods, pastries, coffee and more.


Two weeks ago, Spencer Platt won a Pulitzer Prize for Photography.

Next Wednesday (May 25, 7 p.m., Westport Library), the Staples High School graduate returns to town. He’ll talk about his career, his most recent award (for coverage of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol), and how and where it all began.

Platt has covered conflicts and news stories in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. In 2006 he won World Press Photo of the Year honors for an image taken during fighting in Lebanon. In 2021 he was a Pulitzer finalist for coverage of the COVID epidemic.

Spencer lives in Brooklyn with his wife — fellow Staples grad Erica Sashin — and daughter,

To register for a seat in the Trefz Forum, click here. For a livestream link, click here.

Spencer Platt at work, in 2006.


Social studies teachers Drew Coyne and Suzanne Kammerman are 2 of Staples High School’s most celebrated educators.

Her “We the People” team competes regularly at the national level. She has won awards from American Lawyer and Civics First. He is a Connecticut Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year and University of Chicago Outstanding Educator.

But you don’t have to be a teenager to learn from them.

On June 8 (7 p.m., Westport Library), adults can enjoy the same “Community Case Discussion” they’re known for. Coyne and Kammerman will moderate a discussion on the role of the federal government in relation to the states — from the perspective of a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. (Think: James Madison.)

But you can’t just stroll into class. Participants must click here to register, and receive case study materials from the Library.

The good news: There are no grades.

James Madison


David McCormick — former CEO of Westport-based Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund — remained locked in a tight race this morning for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania senator.

With more than 90% of the vote counted, just 2,000 votes separated him from his closest challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz. McCormick had 31.3% of the vote; the celebrity doctor had 31.1.%. Thousands of mail-in ballots remained to be counted.

McCormick joined Bridgewater in 2009 as president. He was named co-CEO in 2017, and sole CEO 2 years later. He resigned in 2021 to run for retiring senator Pat Toomey’s seat, in his native state.

David McCormick


“A Taste of Westport” — the bring-your-appetite-all-you-can-eat-and-drink fundraiser for CLASP Homes — has announced the restaurants and vendors for the June 15 event (6 p.m., Inn at Longshore).

The mouth-watering list includes:

  • Artisan
  • BE Chocolat
  • Black Bear Wines & Spirits
  • Boathouse Restaurant at Saugatuck Rowing Club
  • Cylinder Vodka
  • Evarito’s
  • Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse
  • Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine
  • La Plage
  • Lindsay’s Handmade
  • Little Dumpling House
  • Little Pub
  • Mrs. London’s Artisan Bakery
  • NewSylum Brewing Company
  • Nordic Fish
  • Post Oak Barbecue Company
  • Rive Bistro
  • Rizzuto’s
  • Romanacci
  • The Spread
  • SoNo 1420
  • Tablao
  • Tarantion
  • Walrus Alley.

Click here for tickets and more information.


Calling all teenagers!

The “Teens of MoCA” organization invites all of their peers to a free Spring Arts Festival this Sunday (May 22, 4 to 7 p.m., MoCA Westport, 19 Newtown Turnpike).

There’s a food truck (of course), live music by teen bands, and products for sale from local teen-run art businesses. Follow @teensatMoCAWestport to learn more.


Shopping for nice things may seem to have little connection with human trafficking.

But Westporters Michelle Pollack, Sandra Rose, Becca Zipkin and Alex Cohen have just launched a new organization: Concierge with Conscience.

The inaugural event is June 3 (10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), in Westport. Brand partners include The Westside, Ever After, Freedom Moses, Metta10, LeSuperCool and more. 15% of all proceeds go to Partnership to End Human Trafficking.There’s a raffle too, with 100% of the proceeds going to PEHT.

Click here for more details (including complimentary piercing, with the purchase of an earring). RSVP at info@conciergewithconscience.com. Shoppers will receive an email, with information about the location.


Lauri Weiser sent today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo with this simple note: “Mother Nature is amazing.” She’s absolutely right!

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


And finally … the great opera singer Ezio Pinza was born today in 1892. He died in 1957 — after (among other notable achievements) more than 750 performances of 50 operas, during 22 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera.

Plus this: