Tag Archives: COVID vaccine

Roundup: MoCA, Levitt Pavilion, Vaccine …

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MoCA knows how to throw a party.

Mark your calendars for September 18. Its fall benefit — “The Art of Jazz” — features silent and live auctions, and live music by Grammy Award-winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery. Guests will be entertained by DJ Mo.

The live auction is hosted by Westporter Dave Briggs, former CNN, NBC Sports and Fox News anchor.

Can’t be there? Bidding opens September 4 for the silent auction, with plenty of items from Westport businesses (and more).

Tickets go on sale to MoCA members July 28, and the general public August 4. Click here for details.

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Speaking of parties: The Levitt Pavilion is hardly a secret. Westporters flock there all summer, for over 50 nights of all kinds of entertainment.

But the covered patio at the top of the amphitheater is one of the town’s hidden jewels. Many days, it’s a great place to congregate and picnic before the show (and away from whatever heat or rain might mar the evening).

Other times, it’s a perfect place for a party. Businesses use it to thank their customers and clients. Organizations use it to show off what they do. Individuals book it for celebrations.

Last night, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 90th birthday there. 

The next time you see a group underneath the Levitt roof happily eating, drinking and chatting, think ahead. Yours could be there too.

Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell welcomes members and friends to the Levitt Pavilion party last night.

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Need another reason to be vaccinated against COVID, besides not dying?

Westport Public Schools announced that students and staff who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine — even if they have contact with someone who tests positive.

Fully vaccinated individuals can continue with school, sports and extracurricular activities, regardless of contact. Vaccines are available now to everyone age 12 and older.

Vaccinations started now will allow students to be considered fully vaccinated at the start of the school year.

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How bad was traffic yesterday?

It was “moving” at 16 mph on I-95. But for the many drivers who jumped on Westport’s back roads, it crawled along at 6 pm on Greens Farms Road and Bridge Street.

And that bad light there caused backups on South Compo nearly to Longshore.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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Susan Garment captured one of our most colorful “Westport … Naturally” photos ever:

(Photo/Susan Garment)

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And finally … in honor of that screenshot of clogged roads above:

Roundup: Staples Players, Waxx Vaxx, Stop Sign …

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Excitement is building in the Staples High School auditorium. The curtain rises this Thursday (and Friday, and twice on Saturday) for the first Staples Players live production in 14 months.

David Ives’ “Words Words Words … and Music” is a truly funny series of mini-plays (with 2 mini-musicals to boot). But even though each audience is limited to only 300 seats, tickets remain.

It it because the show is unfamiliar? Perhaps there’s residual pandemic fear (click here to see the precautions taken). Maybe audiences have forgotten just how professional-quality Players’ acting and music are.

Whatever the reason: The program needs community support. For 63 years, that support has sustained Players, and allowed it to thrive,

Westport cherishes the high school acting troupe. But Westporters may not realize how important it is for all 300 tickets to sell out for each show (Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m., and May 22 at 2 p.m.).

“Words Words Words … and Music” is laugh-out-loud funny — and very family-friendly. Young audiences, in fact, are the future of Players. They’ve missed a year of shows, so this is the perfect time to bring them back.

Click here for tickets and more information. See you at the show!

Sophie Rossman, Benny Zack and Samanath Webster in “Words Words Words.” Fully vaccinated actors will perform in clear visors. (Photo/Kerry Long)

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The CDC’s head-turning elimination of mask-wearing for vaccinated people raises a good question: “How do I know if someone is vaccinated?”

Staples High School Class of 2009 graduate Mike Bowen has a way.

Bowen — aka Mike Waxx — owns Illroots brand. It branched out from music and videos to apparel and footwear. For a while, it’s offered a custom apparel “Shirt App” in the App Store.

Users can create their own t-shirt or hoodies. They choose the design (including pictures from their iPhone library), then add text and stickers.

So what’s the Waxx/vaxx connection? You can design a shirt like this:

Or — better yet — add a photo of yourself getting your shot.

Then wear it proudly the next time you stroll — mask-less — into Trader Joe’s.

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A 185-foot sailboat drew attention yesterday, as it anchored dramatically in Long Island Sound just beyond the Compo Beach cannons. Several “06880” readers sent photos of the luxurious craft.

Westporters are reminded of the yacht that anchored near there several years ago. Rumors — never confirmed — were that it belonged to Eric Clapton, and he was visiting Keith Richards in Weston.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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Yesterday’s Roundup included a photo of a handmade poster hung beneath the stop sign on Clinton Road, at Fillow Street.

It said: “Stop! Kids live here!”

Here’s the back story, courtesy of Erika Brunwasser:

“Few stop, many ‘pause,’ and a bunch fly through without even pausing.

“I have 2 little girls, ages 2 and 5. It’s scary and unacceptable. I called the police several times and asked about a flashing light, a speed bump and a sign to monitor speed. I’ve been told none of these are possible.

“They promised me that someone would monitor the area. This happened less a handful of times. The other day I sat in my front yard screaming at people, and realized I needed a better plan.

“I brought in the help of my next-door neighbor, artist Lilie Fortino (who was raised in Westport) to make a sign. We put it up Saturday evening. It made an immediate difference. Everyone has stopped (if only to glance at the beautiful sign — that’s fine with me). It worked.”

It shouldn’t take a sign and a stop sign to get drivers to stop roaring through residential neighborhoods (or anywhere else).

But if that’s what it takes — we’ll take it.

Lilie Fortino and her 1-year-old. Erika Brunwasser and her children. SLOW DOWN!

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Speaking of yesterday’s Roundup: It also included mention that Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson would read The Sly Fox of the Mind — a children’s book by Westporters Brooke Olstein and Lee Scharfstein — on her YouTube channel, “Story Time with Fergie and Friends.”

Click below to watch. It’s a wonderful book — made even greater when read in the Queen’s English.

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Speaking of books: Financial journalist and author Michael Lewis will be interviewed by noted former New York Times writer Lisa Belkin.

Lewis’s newest book, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story follows 3 main characters – a biochemist, public health worker and federal employee – as they confront COVID, and find that the response from the US government is woefully inadequate.

The event is June 15 (7 p.m.). Click here to register.

Michael Lewis

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Speaking of entertainment: This is a week of animated adventures and classic comedies at the Remarkable Theater.

The Imperial Avenue drive-in features:

  • “Zootopia” (Wednesday, May 19, 7:45 p.m.)
  • “Minions” (Friday, May 21, 8 p.m.)
  • “Happy Gilmore” (Saturday, May 22, 8:30 p.m.)

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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The Westport Woman’s Club’s 6th annual Art Show this Saturday and Sunday (May 22-23, 2 to 6 p.m.) features an all-star list of 14 area artists. They include Nina Bentley, Amy Bock, Trace Burroughs, Susan Fehlinger, Judith Orseck Katz, Tom Kretsch, Susan Leggitt, Kerry Long, Michael Ledner, Carole McClintock, Bernard Perry, Jon Puzzuoli, Katherine Ross and Jo Titsworth.

Plus light snacks and wine, of course. It would not be an art show without them.

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Everyone at Staples High School knows Laura Blair. She runs the copy machine room, and is a tireless fan of Wreckers sports teams.

She’s also one of STAR’s greatest fundraiser. For years she has participated in the non-profit’s annual Sherwood Island walk. Funds help serve hundreds of area people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This year’s STAR Walk is virtual. But Laura is working as hard as ever. So far her team has raised over $6,000 — more than half of her $12,000 goal.

“Stars” are just $1 each. Click here to help. To learn more about STAR Lighting the Way, click here.

Laura Blair is a fundraising STAR.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is from behind the pro shop, on the Longshore golf course:

(Photo/Tom Lowrie)

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And finally … was Eric Clapton really on that yacht off Compo years ago?

 

Roundup: Food Drive, Westport READS …

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The pantry is (nearly) empty.

So Homes with Hope — the umbrella organization for the Gillespie Center, and a much-utilized Community Kitchen — is running a food drive. It’s this Saturday (May 1, 1 to 4 p.m., Gillespie Center, behind Barnes & Noble and Don Memo on Jesup Road).

It’s contactless: Just pull your car up, and pop the trunk.

The most needed items: canned meats (chicken, tuna, salmon, Spam); cold and hot cereals; canned soups and stews; peanut butter and jelly; mayonnaise; pasta sauce, canned vegetables.

In addition, Homes with Hope’s Community Kitchen program is gratefully accepting prepared lunches and dinners, 7 days aw eek. To become a Community Kitchen volunteer, click here. Click here for volunteer guidelines.

NOTE: During COVID, the Gillespie Center and Hoskins Place buildings are closed to the public. Staff serves all meals to shelter guests.

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The Westport Library’s thought-provoking WestportREADS programming continues with virtual events this spring.

Tuesday, May 4 (7 p.m.): Ty Seidule discusses his new book,  Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause, with Maggie Mudd. He describes how he confronted the racist legacy at the core of his identity, and challenges the persistent myths of the Lost Cause. Click here for information, and to register.

Wednesdays, May 5 and 19, June 2 (7 to 8:30 p.m.): Me and White Supremacy: The Challenge Continues. Small group discussions on Layla Saad’s groundbreaking book. Click here for information, and to register.

Thursday, May 6 (7 p.m.).: The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till. The Library  hosts a virtual screening of Keith A. Beauchamp’s documentary, followed by a conversation with Beauchamp and the film’s producer, Steven Laitmon. Click here for information, and to register.

Saturday, May 8 (7 p.m.): Beechwood Arts presents the 2nd AMPLIFY Festival at the Westport Library. Black artists present music, song, and theatrical works. Click here for information, and to register.

Tuesday, June 1 (12:30 p.m.): In her book, We Need New Stories: The Myths that Subvert Freedom, Nesrine Malik examines 6 political myths used to deflect and discredit demands for social justice with Catherine Lewis. Click here for information, and to register.

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‌Taylor Lane is a pleasant little road, off Clapboard Hill between Turkey Hill South and Maple South.

It is not to be confused with “Talyor Lane,” which is — well, nowhere, despite what the sign says.

Alan Phillips spotted it the other day on a bike ride.

At least, he says, it’s consistent. It’s misspelled on both sides.

(Photos/Alan Phillips)

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The Connecticut Institute for Communities in Danbury is hosting walk-in clinics for the Moderna vaccine every day this week. Anyone 18 and older who lives or works in Connecticut is eligible.

The location is 132 Main Street, Danbury; weekday hours are 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 2 to 3:30 p.m. No appointment is needed.

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Here was last night’s moonrise. It never gets old.

(Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

Old Mill Beach (Photo/Lawrence Zlatkin)

Compo Beach playground (Photo/Tomoko Meth)

From Beachside Avenue (Photo/Karen Weingarten)

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And finally … On this day in 1981, Xerox PARC introduced the computer mouse.

Roundup: Vaccines, Zoning, Schlaet’s Point, Ospreys …

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Not every “06880” reader lives in Westport. Sarathi Roy notes: “New York or New Jersey residents can book COVID vaccine appointments in their home state or in Connecticut.”

Here is New York state information:

A few days ago, “06880” posted a comprehensive list of Connecticut vaccine options, thanks to Sarathi’s HR department. Click here for information on CVS, Walgreens, Yale New Haven Health, Stamford Health and VAMS sign-ups.

In addition to that list, Sarathi adds:

  • Check your town’s website for information and clinics available only to residents. You may be able to register in advance or receive a call for available appointments or excess doses.
  • Connecticut’s  Vaccine Assist Line (877-918-2224) operates 7 days a week, from 8am-8pm. Agents can schedule appointments at state-run clinics. If you call early and are given the chance to leave a message, you should. They accept a certain number of messages each day, then call those people back throughout the day to assist in booking appointments. Once the maximum number of calls for the day has been reached the message option is turned off.
  • You can now search additional locations, including supermarkets and local pharmacies. A great tool to see who is administering the vaccine in your area is Vaccinefinder.org. Search a zip code, make note of the providers nearby, then search for booking websites.
  • Here are a few of the more common ones:
    Rite Aid

ShopRite

Big Y

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Did you miss last night’s webinar on the many housing bills making their way through the state’s General Assembly, and their possible impact on Westport?

Planning and Zoning chair Danielle Dobin gave a comprehensive overview. Our 4 local legislators — Senators Will Haskell and Tony Hwang, and Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Stephanie Thomas — tackled the pros and cons. Viewers asked questions. It was a wide-ranging, engaging 80 minutes. (And I would say that even if I had not served as moderator.)

It’s now available to watch — or re-watch — at your leisure. Click here for the link.

Everything you wanted to know about zoning — including sewers — and more.

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One of the few positive parts of the pandemic: Many more Westporters have had time to walk.

Because we practice social distancing, we’re not always on the sidewalk. And — as Tammy Barry’s photo of Hillspoint Road at Schlaet’s Point shows — the result is some barren patches where grass once grew.

I’m sure saltwater flooding had something to do with t too.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

Here’s hoping the town can find some resources to bring this beautiful stretch of waterfront back to what it once was.

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CNN anchor (and Westport resident) Alisyn Camerota’s last day on “New Day” is today. The show was filled with many nice tributes. Yesterday, co-host John Berman started things off (click here to see).

Alisyn is not going very far — just a few hours later. She’ll anchor CNN’s weekday coverage with Victor Blackwell.

Congratulations, Alisyn, on your new gig — and the chance to sleep in a little longer. (Hat tip: Seth Schachter)

Alisyn Camerota

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Today’s osprey report comes courtesy of Chris Swan.

He wants Westporters to know that there are 3 platforms near Sherwood Island State Park.

One is in the saltmarsh behind the Nature Center, midway to the last house off Beachside Common.

The second is in the saltmarsh on the eastern shore of Sherwood Mill Pond, several hundred feet above the Compo Cove homes. It’s visible from the path on Sherwood Island’s western edge, above the fire gate to Compo Cove.

Both platforms are occupied by returning osprey pairs.

A 3rd location can be seen from the saltmarsh shore of the northeastern corner of the Mill Pond, looking west. This was erected last fall. No osprey pair has yet staked their claim.

A 4th platform is at the entrance to Burying Hill Beach, in the marsh across New Creek. Chris has watched it for 10 years, but has never seen it occupied.

He thinks it’s too low. He believes old utility poles make the best platforms — citing the ones at Fresh Market, Longshore’s E,R. Strait Marina, and Gray’s Creek.

Chris should know: He spent his professional career with Eversource.

The newest osprey platform in Sherwood Island Mill Pond. A house on Grove Point is visible behind it. (Photo/Chris Swan)

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Congressman Jim Himes holds a Facebook Live session today (Wednesday, April 7) at 3 p.m. He’ll discuss how constituents can benefit from the American Rescue Plan. Click here to watch live. To watch later, click here.

Congressman Jim Himes

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And finally … on this day in 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first African-American depicted on a US postage stamp.

In November 1944, Booker T. Jones Jr. was born in Memphis. He was named after his father, Booker T. Jones Sr., a high school science teacher — who himself was named in honor of Booker T. Washington, the educator.

 

Roundup: Vaccine, Beach, Tennis …

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Over 100 pharmacies will soon be administering COVID vaccines — and one of them is in Westport.

That’s Achorn Pharmacy, in the Playhouse Square shopping center.

Governor Ned Lamont’s office said the sites will open over “the next several days.”

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Lifeguards won’t be back at Compo Beach until Memorial Day. But right before Easter Weekend, crews were hard at work getting Compo Beach ready for the season.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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For over 20 years, Joseph Oyebog has taught tennis all over Westport.

The former Cameroon Davis Cup player retains strong ties to his homeland. In 1999 he founded the Oyebog Tennis Academy. Westporters have been strong supporters of the project, which provides Cameroonian children with coaching, education and life values.

John McEnroe is a supporter too. He called his friend Yannick Noah. After the French star visited OTA in February, a video went viral.

But money is tight. The annual fundraiser at Intensity was canceled by COVID — for the second straight year.

Board members — many of whom live in Westport — are searching for a corporate sponsor, as well as donations of any amount. Click here to help.

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Up on Weston’s Kellogg Hill, Jolantha looks forward to Easter.

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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And finally … on this day in 1964, Beatlemania had taken over America. The lads from Liverpool had the top 5 — five! — songs on Billboard’s Top 100. From #1 on down: “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.”

But that’s not all. The Beatles had 7 — seven! — other songs on the list: “I Saw Her Standing There” (#31), “From Me to You” (#41), “Do You Want to Know a Secret” (#46), “All My Loving” (#58), “You Can’t Do That” (#65), “Roll Over Beethoven” (#68) and “Thank You Girl” (#79).

Take that, Harry Styles!

COVID Vaccine: Tons Of Websites, Phone Numbers, Tips!

Beginning this Thursday (April 1), all Connecticut resident and employees 16 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Supplies are increasing; more locations and appointments are added weekly.

Alert — and helpful — “06880” reader Sarathi Roy got a ton of info from her company’s very caring HR department, here in Fairfield County. It’s the most comprehensive list I’ve seen.

He asked me to pass it along. Feel free to forward widely to others!

NOTE TO READERS BETWEEN 16-45 YEARS OLD: Not all sites update their eligibility questions at midnight, but you are able to book appointments starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Select the age eligibility box for 45+, then use your real age and accurate date of birth in the booking process.

If you don’t get an appointment right away, be patient. New appointments are added daily. Patience and persistence pays off.

CVS

  • Use this shortcut link to book appts through CVS: https://www.cvs.com/vaccine/intake/store/covid-screener/covid-qns
  • CVS releases new appointments daily around midnight, and again at 5:30 or 6 a.m. The appointments typically book 3-5 days out.
  • You do not need a unique account to schedule CVS vaccine appointments. And you can book them on behalf of other family members, if you have their information.
  • CVS has many locations administering the vaccine in Connecticut. To widen your search beyond your home zip code or town, use “CT” in the search box to view all locations

Walgreens

  • You must have a Walgreens account to schedule a vaccine appointment. You can register for an account at anytime
  • Use this link to book appts through Walgreens: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19/location-screening
  • Walgreens releases new appointments daily at 7 a.m. You should be logged into your account and ready to search at that time for fastest results. Appointments are released for 3 days in advance.
  • To widen your initial search area, use “Connecticut” in the first location search. You can narrow to a zip code or town in a later search window.

Yale New Haven

  • The Yale New Haven health system requires a MyChart account for vaccine scheduling. You can register for an account in advance at: https://mychart.ynhhs.org/MyChart-PRD/Authentication/Login
  • Vaccine clinics are being run in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Greenwich, Milford, New Haven, North Haven, New London, Old Saybrook, Orange, Trumbull and Uncasville.
  • You can call 833-275-9644 for help scheduling.

Stamford Health

VAMS

  • VAMS is a federal and state tool for registering and booking appointments. It is not required in Connecticut. You can use it as an option for scheduling, but you do not need to register in VAMS in order to book appointments with any of the above providers.
  • You can register in VAMS around 8 a.m on April 1 for the new eligibility group: https://dphsubmissi.ons.ct.gov/OnlineVaccine/
  • Once registered, you will receive several emails. The first will confirm your registration; the next (from CDC) will ask you to complete your profile in VAMS. Then it will allow you to schedule an appointment at a state-run clinic.
  • Additional information about using VAMS can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/vaccine-portal/COVID-19-Vaccinations-VAMS-Support

Other

  • Check your town’s website for information and clinics available only to residents. You may be able to register in advance, or receive a call for available appointments or excess doses.
  • Connecticut Vaccine Assist Line (877-918-2224) operates 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Agents can schedule appointments at state-run clinics. If you call early and are given the chance to leave a message, you should. They accept a certain number of messages each day, then call those people back throughout the day to assist in booking appointments. Once the maximum number of calls for the day has been reached, the message option is turned off.
  • Vaccinefinder.org will show which locations in your area are administering which vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson).

Roundup: Firefighters, Swans, Geese …

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Earlier his week, Westport firefighters assisted the Westport Weston Health District and Department of Human Services by providing COVID vaccinations to homebound residents.

And … while delivering the vaccines, Fire Department members performed home safety inspections, including inspecting flammable substance storage, and checking and installing smoke and CO2 alarms.

Then yesterday morning, our firefighters helped Human Services by loading and unloading food boxes from the Connecticut Food Bank. 60 will be distributed to food-insecure households in Westport. Two more pick-ups are scheduled next month.

For more information on food resources, email humansrv@westportct.gov or call 203-341-1050.

Kudos to all involved. It takes a village — and ours is a great one. (Hat tip: Jennifer Gallini Petrosinelli)

Firefighter Liz Ferguson helps with food distribution.

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At the same time, Fire Department members were training downtown:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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Audrey Hertzel posted a COVID vaccine comment. It’s so good, I’m repeating it here. Every “06880” reader needs to see this — and follow through.

Audrey wrote: “I had my first shot at the Stamford Lord & Taylor parking lot last week. Everyone was so wonderful.

“Someone on a local neighborhood group suggested bringing cookies, coffee, etc. to the the workers.

“I brought 100 Dunkin’ Munchkins and a Box of Joe for them to share. They couldn’t have been more appreciative. I’m hoping more people do the same — and spread the word to others!”

Thank-you donuts. (Photo/Audrey Hertzel)

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Interested in the future of downtown?

Tomorrow (Friday, March 26, 1:30 p.m., Zoom), the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and Senior Center offer an interesting online panel.

Topics include:

  • How is downtown doing?
  • Where is downtown headed, post-COVID?
  • Can people live downtown?
  • What is there for seniors?

The high-powered panelists include:

  • Randy Herbertson: President, Westport Downtown Merchants Association
  • David Waldman: Owner, David Adam Realty
  • Kim Harizman: Realtor, KMS Partners @ Compass
  • Annette Norton: Owner, Savvy + Grace

Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell will moderate.

Click here for the Zoom link. The meeting code is 889 0588 3613. The passcode is wcsa.

What’s up downtown? (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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Yesterday, the Board of Selectman unanimously adopted this resolution:

WHEREAS, Asian-Pacific American communities are suffering acts of discrimination, hate crimes, and microaggressions, which have been exposed and heightened due to COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, anti-Asian rhetoric and sentiment is stigmatizing, tends to incite fear and xenophobia, and numerous Asian-Pacific Americans are experiencing increased racial profiling, hate incidents, and, in some cases, hate violence; and

WHEREAS, in an effort to bring attention to baseless and xenophobic actions, hate speech, and bias, and most particularly, those against the Asian American and Pacific Island community, the Town of Westport must demonstrate its support for neighbors, families and friends who are adversely affected and traumatized by these acts.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Westport Board of Selectmen emphatically denounces xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment. The Town of Westport joins municipalities, counties, and states across the country in affirming its commitment to the safety and well-being of Asian-Pacific Americans and in combating hate crimes targeting Asian-Pacific Americans; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Westport remains committed to condemning all manner of racism, stigmatization, hate speech, hate crimes, xenophobia, discrimination and violence.  Protecting residents, business owners, workforce members, and victims of hate through supportive programs and policies that embrace inclusivity, diversity, civil discourse, and acceptance for all, remains at the forefront of our intentions as a community to combat hate and racial injustices.

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Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup mention of Christopher Lloyd prompted Jack Backiel to dig out his Staples High School 1958 yearbook.

Here’s what he found for his now-famous classmate:

Football? Party of the year? Lawrence (sp) Olivier? But hey — he still looks (almost) the same.

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Whitney Raith spotted this scene on Monday, just a few steps from busy Parker Harding Plaza. The swans were protecting their nest.

(Photo/Whitney Raith)

But, she notes: “When I walked by, one of the parents got very upset. I know swans can get nasty. I hope people are aware, and keep their distance.”

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On the same day, Daniel Hoffman spotted this guy at Compo:

(Photo/Daniel Hoffman)

“Spring is officially here,” Daniel says.

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After 38 years as founder and chair of the Susan Fund — where she oversaw raising and distributing nearly $2 million in scholarships to 285 Fairfield County students diagnosed with cancer — Ann Lloyd has stepped down from her role.

Incoming chair Jeff Booth’s first official act was to name Ann chairman emeritus.

That’s her second recent honor. Last month, the indefatigable Westporter was an “06880” Unsung Hero of the Week.

Ann Lloyd

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And still another sign of spring — and the (hopeful) end of the pandemic:

(Photo/Bill Ryan)

Bill Ryan says that the Longshore golf course sand traps are raked — and rakes are in place, ready to be used.

Last year, COVID restrictions included the removal of all rakes. Fore!

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And speaking of sports: Dave Briggs is a great interviewer. (He should be: He spent more than 2 decades at Fox News, NBC Sports and CNN.) His Instagram Live sessions have become must-see viewing for ever-larger audiences.

It helps that he snags great guests.

Today’s is Jay Williams. The NBA analyst and ESPN radio host is — like Dave — a a Westport resident.

It’s live at 2 p.m. today (Thursday, March 25; @WestportMagazine). The 2 guys welcome your questions. Shoot!

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In January 2020, “06880” reported that Little Beet was coming to the Fresh Market shopping center.

The chain offers “wholesome, healthy food that not only tastes great, but makes you feel great.” Food is “carefully sourced … from farmers and purveyors we trust, guaranteeing all of our food is gluten-free and better for you.”

The menu includes make-your-own rice and quinoa-based meals, poké and other bowls, vegetable sides, and breakfast sandwiches, parfaits and oatmeal.

Little Beet would open that summer, I confidently said.

COVID and (perhaps) other issues intervened. The storefront sat empty. But now, work has begun.

Perhaps a summer 2021 opening is on the table?

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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Last month, “06880” paid tribute to Bob Comstock. After a legendary career in New Jersey journalism, he spent nearly 20 years in Westport. He was active in the Unitarian Church and Y’s Men.

Yesterday, at his daily COVID press briefing, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy added his own tribute to Bob. Click below to watch:

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And finally … we celebrate 2 big musical birthdays today: Aretha Franklin and Elton John. What a duo they would have made!

Unsung Heroes #183

Last week’s Unsung Heroes were all the folks — young and old, family and friends and strangers — who help others schedule COVID vaccine appointments.

This week we honor the men and women who actually give the shots.

They include EMS volunteers, like Westporter Nicole Donovan. She was at the Lord & Taylor parking lot last weekend.

I was there getting my shot. I did not see her — or any other Westport EMS members. But I did see a slew of National Guard folks. The men and women were uniformly polite, well-organized, efficient — even fun.

During my 15-minute wait after the shot — making sure there was no allergic reaction — I bantered with a Guardsman. He’s a mortgage specialist by trade, but he’s worked full time in the Lord & Taylor lot for a couple of months. He appreciates the opportunity to help.

I sure appreciate his work, and that of every other National Guard member, EMT, doctor, nurse and other medical professional who is helping stem the pandemic’s tide.

It’s not easy. They come in contact with hundreds of folks a day, and that puts them at risk. But we would not be safe — and getting safer — every day without them. Thanks for their service!

National Guardsman at the Lord & Taylor vaccine site. (Photo/Dan Woog)

 

Roundup: Amazon — And More Books …

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Connecticut — already in the Top 5 states nationwide for its COVID vaccine program — took a huge step forward yesterday.

Governor Lamont announced the expansion of the vaccine to everyone over the age of 16. The planned date to begin scheduling those shots is April 5. That’s significantly ahead of the previous target date.

This Friday (March 19), scheduling opens to all residents age 45 to 54.

For information on making appointments and finding the closest available clinic. click here. You can also call Connecticut’s vaccine appointment assist line: 877-918-2224 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Other vaccine providers include:

Yale New Haven Health
Sign up online here, or call 833-275-9644

CVS Health (limited locations)
Sign up online here, or call 800-679-9691.

Walgreens (limited locations)
Sign up online here, or call 800-925-4733

Stamford Health
Sign-up online here, or call 203-276-7300.

Hartford Healthcare
Sign-up online here, or call 860-827-7690.

Infants are not yet eligible for the COVID vaccine. Maybe soon though …

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The best selling book on Amazon yesterday was LifeLines: An Inspirational Journey from Profound Darkness to Radiant Light.

And by “best selling,” I mean just that. Westporter Melissa Bernstein’s book about her battle with existential anguish and depression was #1.

Not just in the self-help category. Not in “books by women authors.” Not in any of the dozens of other categories that Amazon uses to try to create buzz.

Lifelines was Amazon’s best selling book, among the bajillions of titles the retail behemoth sells.

It may have gotten a boost from fellow Westporter David Pogue’s segment about it on “CBS Sunday Morning,” the day before.

But it also benefits from being a very important book, by a well-known and very honest writer, at a time when talking (and reading) about mental health is crucial.

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Alec Lobrano graduated from Weston High School in 1973. Until he landed a job in the Paris office of Women’s Wear Daily, his experience with French cuisine was limited to browsing cookbooks at the Weston Library, where he worked as a teenager.

But he carved out a niche as a food critic in Paris. The lessons he learned from leading culinary figures helped him master fine dining, and also find his place as a gay man navigating the alluring city and his exciting career.

Lobrano has won several James Beard Awards. He writes on food and travel for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, Eater, Condé Nast Traveler and more.

His memoir — My Place at the Table: A Recipe for a Delicious Life in Paris — will be published June 1.

The book is filled with vivid descriptions of Parisian restaurants, his favorite and least favorite meals, and run-ins with figures from like Julia Child and Ruth Reichl. It’s also a coming-of-age story about the healing power of food. Click here for details.

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On March 30 (7 p.m.), Westport takes center ice in hockey world.

NBC Sports’ Emmy-winning NHL broadcaster Mike Emrick sits with USA Today‘s veteran beat writer Kevin Allen, for a discussion about Emrick’s new book, Off Mike.

The candid discussion about his exciting life is free. Click here to register.

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Weston’s beloved Jolantha celebrates St. Patrick’s Day:

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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And finally … though the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, was officially ratified in 1865, it took 130 more years for Mississippi’s formal approval. It happened on this day in 1995.

Got The Vaccine? Tell The World!

COVID canceled the 2020 Maker Faire Connecticut. It may do the same this year.

But Makers are creative, resourceful and nimble.

And not just with their annual showcase of all things scientific, environmental, magical and cool.

As Makers picked up on all the vaccine buzz — and noticed how eager folks are to let others know they’ve gotten the shot — they had their own Archimedes “Eureka!” moment.

Quickly, they created 9 pins in 2 sizes for people to buy, wear, and show their commitment to eliminating the virus.

But wait! There’s more! All proceeds help fund Remarkable STEAM — Maker Faire’s parent organization.

In true Westport Maker fashion, the pins were all designed — and made by hand — here.

Remarkable STEAM offers “06880” readers a 25% discount on all pins. Just click this link.

COVID vaccine pins “make” great gifts for friends, relatives, employees, customers — anyone who is vaccinated, in fact. For quantity pricing and other questions, contact Mark Mathias by phone (203-226-1791) or email: mark@remarkablesteam.org.

Remarkable, indeed!