Tag Archives: Dave Briggs

Roundup: Club 203, Native Plants, Cohl Katz …

Club 203 — the new Westport organization providing social and fun activities for adults with disabilities — launched with a bang Wednesday night.

Over 100 people gathered at MoCA for the kickoff event. DJ Joe’s great playlist got everyone on the dance floor from the moment they arrived.

The dance floor was filled.

Participants came from as far as Middlebury, Connecticut. DJ Joe rocked the night! Everyone was in on the dance floor. MoCA, The Porch at Christie’s, CVS for providing the venue and snacks. We would also like to thank all the volunteers from our community who helped us last night. We could not have done it with out them!

Hanging with the DJ …

Club 203 organizers Stacie Curran, Kathryn Sonne, Joe Anastasi and Sharuna Mahesh thank MoCA, The Porch @ Christie’s and CVS for providing the venue and snacks — as well as the many volunteers who made the night special.

Next up: a Halloween celebration (October 23, Remarkable Theater). For more information, click here.

,,, and hanging out.

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One of the most well-known houses in Westport (the Kowalsky home) sat for years on one of the last large open residential spaces in Westport.

Now the home — officially, 117 Morningside Drive South — has joined the list of notable town teardowns.

A recent photo …

… and an even more recent one. (Photo/Alan Phillips)

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Though all eyes were on the UK yesterday, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, viewers watching Yahoo! Finance got a double dose of Westport.

Dave Briggs — one of the platform’s anchors — interviewed internationally best-selling author Jane Green, a British native. Both now live here.

Click here for the full interview.

Screenshot of yesterday’s interview.

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Speaking of Her Majesty … on Monday (September 12), the Remarkable Theater honors her life and legacy with a special showing of “The Queen.”

Helen Mirren stars in the 2006 film, which examines Queen Elizabeth II n the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana.

The lot opens at 6:15 p.m. for tailgating. The movie starts at 7;15 p.m. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Who was Sigrid Schultz, for whom part of the newly designed Elm Street parking lot is named?

She was a pioneering female reporter, social justice activist — and longtime Westporer — who played an important role in exposing the growing Nazi threat during the lead-up to World War II, and beyond.

Last night, the Westport Museum for Culture & History hosted Professor Dr. David Milne of the University of East Anglia. He is writing her biography, and shared fascinating details of her life. The “Dragon Lady” exhibit is open to the public at the museum through the end of the year. (Hat tip: Dave Matlow)

Dr. James Milne, at the Westport Museum for History & Culture. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Wondering about all those yellow ribbons downtown?

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The ribbons create awareness too: for Circle of Care, a Wilton-based organization that helps families deal with the diagnosis of a child with cancer.

Click here to learn more about Circle of Care. Then click below, for a local video:

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With autumn around the corner, it’s time for Aspetuck Land Trust’s fall native plant sale.

Hard-to-find plants, trees, shrubs and perennials can be ordered online, and picked up September 30 to October 2 at the Caryl & Edna Haskins Preserve off Green Acre Lane. Click here for details.

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Aarti Khosla believes that teachers are the backbone of our society. In these unprecedented times, she says, they need our love more than ever.

Aarti owns Le Rouge Chocolates, on Main Street. So she’s in a position to make it happen. Sweeeeet!

Her “Give a Little Love” chocolate heart campaign works like this: For $8 each, customers can sponsor a heart for one Westport teacher. Aarti hand-delivers the treats to each school.

This is the third year in a row for “Give a Little Love.” Teachers have been very touched by this small gesture, she says.

To donate one or more chocolate hearts online, click here.

“Give a Little Love” with chocolate hearts.

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MoCA’s next show — the premiere of the From The Pen To The Knife exhibition, featuring close to 300 watercolor paintings by Marian Christy, who creates watercolors using only palette knives and puddles of paint — is on view from October 15 to November 27.

An opening reception is set for October 15 (5 to 7 p.m.).

Christy was a Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe journalist, covering fashion and celebrities, for the first chapter of her life.

In the second chapter, she pivoted from “the pen to the knife.” Christy, now 90, had no formal training. She has worked for the last 15 years in her basement at an easel, held firm by used bricks to sustain her forceful palette knife strokes. For more information, click here.

One of Marian Christy’s nearly 300 works, exhibited soon at MoCA Westport.

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Cohl Katz’s clients have included Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barbara Bush, Bob Dylan, Cal Ripken, Cindy Crawford, Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton, Hilary Swank, Jerry Seinfeld, John McEnroe, Johnny Depp, Katie Couric, Keith Richards, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martha Stewart, Mary Tyler Moore, Mel Gibson, Mick Jagger, Muhammad Ali, Nicole Kidman, Phil Donohue, Ray Charles, Robert Redford, Robin Williams, Rod Stewart, Rosie O’Donnell, Sting and Tom Cruise,

The hair stylist and makeup artist recently moved back to Westport. She’s offering a back-to-school special for new clients (of all ages): a 50% first-appointment discount. Call 917-848-9596 — and mention “06880”!

Three of Cohl Katz’s clients.

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Several Westport chefs will prepare 4-course tableside meals at Greenwich Wine + Food. The fundraiser for the Jacques Pépin Foundation and Wholesome Wae is set for October 7 (at Abigail Kirsch The Loading Dock, Stamford).

The local contingent includes Jes Bengtson (Terrain Garden Café. Amis Trattoria); Debra Ponzek (Aux Delices), Matt Storch (Match Burger Lobster) and Bill Taibe (The Whelk, Kawa Ni, Don Memo).

The evening includes honors for the Serendipity’s 2022 Most Innovative Chefs. Among them: Will Friedman of Kawa Ni.

Click here for the full schedule, and ticket information.

Bill Taibe and Jes Bengtson will cook at Greenwich Wine + Food.

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The girls are gone from Compo. Now — as seen in today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo — the gulls take over.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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And finally … as we remember the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II, the United States mourns with our British friends.

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(“06880 is entirely reader-supported. Please click here to contribute.)

Roundup: Ukraine, March Madness, History Bowl …

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Lynsey Addario’s photo of a family killed on the street in Ukraine horrified the world.

“06880” has reported on the reaction, and the back story. Yesterday, Lynsey — a 1991 Staples High School graduate — described it herself, on the New York Times’ “The Daily” podcast. Click here to listen to her fascinating, important words. (Hat tips: Tommy Greenwald, Lee Feldman, Susan Woog Wagner)

Ukrainian soldiers do what they can, moments after a mortar attack on civilians on the streets of Irpin, near Kyiv. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

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Speaking of Ukraine: Irene Braziler is a native of that country. She’s spent the last 17 years in Westport; her sons Jake and Sam are in school here.

Last Thursday, Irene left for Romania. She met longtime Ukrainian friends at the border, where she’s helped them with cars and accommodations as they make their way to safety.

A video shared by Irene’s Westport friend Kelly Haazen shows the women — after being attacked, leaving their husbands behind, heading to an unknown destination with no idea how long they’d be there — beaming with joy at the sight of their old friend Irene.

Irene has started a GoFundMe drive to provide support to hospitals in Ukraine, civilians like her friends, and many others in desperate need. Every dollar donated will directly impact refugees and medical aid efforts, through DirectRelief.org.

Click here for Irene’s GoFundMe page.

Irene Braziler and her Ukrainian friend embrace at the border.

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Dave Briggs has been bitten by March Madness.

The media personality hosts a streaming show for Turner Sports during the first 2 rounds of the hoops classic.

“Fast Break” features Briggs, Kentucky legend Tony Delk, Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner, and former Northwestern player/sports betting expert Tim Doyle. There’s action from every game, analysis, and player and social media reaction.

Click here for the website; click here for the March Madness app.

Dave Briggs was formerly with CNN.

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Sure, Ken Jennings and Amy Schneider won over $1 million on “Jeopardy!” But could they do what Aalok Bhattacharya, Oliver Clachko and Thomas Sargent have done?

The Staples students — a junior and 2 seniors, respectively — took first place in last month’s regional History Bowl competition on Long Island.

They don’t just have to answer obscure questions (or, in “Jeopardy!”-speak, provide questions to answers). The History Bowl — run by former “Jeopardy!” champ David Madden — is buzzer-based. But there are toss-up questions, a lightning round, and besides, these are just high school students.

But — unlike Sam Cooke — Aalok, Oliver and Thomas know a lot about history. And not just our own. They know Roman history, European history, the history of philosophy — you name it, they know it.

And they practice it after school, with faculty advisor (and chemistry teacher) Dominick Messina. They work on questions and answers — and on being first to buzz the buzzer.

Staples’ win vaults them into the national competition, April 23-24 in Washington. They hope to raise $675 to help with the registration fee and travel expenses. History-minded Westporters — or anyone else — who can help sponsor them should email aalok.bhattacharya1@gmail.com.

History Bowl champs (from left): Thomas Sargent, Aalok Bhattacharya, Oliver Clachko.

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The last couple weeks of “Kids Are Talking” — the online show hosted by local therapist Dr. Don Cohen — have been interesting.

In a partnership with Turning Point CT, an organization for young people in recovery from mental health and substance use issues, Mental Health Stigma took a close look at breaking stigmas. A subsequent Mental Health in the Mirror episode addressed eating disorders.

College Application Stress was created in partnership with Fairfield CARES. The discussion included advice from high school seniors on how to handle the admissions process, and gave a heads up to juniors about what’s ahead.

Last week’s Athletes and Mental Health discussed the physical and mental stresses of performing during COVID and beyond.

Tomorrow’s show centers on the War in Ukraine, with teens who have family and friends in that troubled region. State Senator Will Haskell is the guest ono March 31.

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There’s a “BIG” event here March 31.

“BIG” — the acronym stands for “Believe, Inspire, Grow” — debuts in Westport at the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s Boathouse Restaurant, at noon.

BIG is a global woman’s empowerment community offering inspiration, community, and tools to move personal and professional lives forward. Members build relationships in a dynamic, supportive entrepreneurial community.

Melissa Bernstein — co-founder of toy company Melissa & Doug, and the mental health multi-media platform LifeLines — is the featured speaker.

All local women are invited. Click here to register. To learn more about BIG, email bigconnecticutregion@gmail.com.

Melissa Bernstein

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Another longtime, much-loved, and COVID-affected event is back — at a new but important location.

CLASP Homes’ “Taste of Westport” fundraiser is set for June 15, at the newly renovated Inn at Longshore. As always, it’s a great (and tasty) evening filled with food and drinks from your local restaurants, music, and a silent auction. Mark your calendars; details to follow.

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Westport resident — and internationally acclaimed photographer — Larry Silver has the lens pointed directly at him this month.

Fairfield University Art Museum presents 13 Ways of Looking at Landscape: Larry Silver’s Connecticut Photographs. The solo exhibition includes more than 80 works, and is on view from March 25 through June 18.

The exhibition brings together over 40 years of Silver’s work, made of and in this state. It opens with a lecture by guest curator Leslie K. Brown on March 24. For more information, click here.

“Sitting at Water’s Edge, Sherwood Island State Park, Westpor, 2014/2022,” archival inkjet print. Courtesy of Larry Silver and Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York.

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Here’s a “Westport … Naturally” scene you don’t see every day: a red fox, sunning itself in Greens Farms. Elena Nasereddin captured this image on Monday.

(Photo/Elena Nasereddin)

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And finally … in honor of Staples High School’s History Bowl team, which heads to the national competition next month (see story above):

Roundup: Restaurant Pickups, Winter Olympics, The Walters …

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The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce “Order Direct/Pick It Up” initiative has educated Westporters to use restaurants’ actual websites (or phones) to place pick-up orders. That’s because Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub and similar platforms take huge chunks of the bill for themselves.

Now the word has spread throughout the state. Other Chambers of Commerce are educating their residents too.

Now the Westport Weston Chamber is going a step further.

Click here, then scroll down for “direct” clickable links and phone numbers of Chamber restaurants. Now there’s no excuse to hand over much of a restaurant’s profit to 3rd-party apps.

The list includes:

  • 190 Main
  • Allium
  • Amis
  • Bistro du Soleil
  • Black Duck
  • Boathouse at Saugatuck Rowing Club
  • Don Memo
  • Dunville’s
  • Gabriele’s
  • Granola Bar
  • Harvest
  • Kawa Ni
  • Little Barn
  • Manna Toast
  • Match Burger Lobster
  • Naan
  • Pane e Bene
  • Rive Bistro
  • Rizzuto’s
  • Romanacci Express
  • Sakura
  • Sherwood Diner
  • Spotted Horse
  • Tarantino
  • Tarry Lodge
  • Terrain Garden Café
  • Tutti’s
  • Via Sforza
  • Viva Zapata
  • Wafu
  • Walrus Alley
  • The Whelk

(Graphic courtesy of Miggs Burroughs)

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The Winter Olympics open in 9 days, in Beijing. Of course there’s a Westport connection.

Our neighbor Julia Marino is on the US snowboarding team (slopestyle/big air).

With no fans, friends or family — plus COVID rules, political pressure, burner phones (!) and zero real snow (!!), it will be nothing like her previous Olympics.

Westport journalist Dave Briggs interviewed our local Olympian for his Westport Lifestyle Instagram Life series. Click here for her candid, up-close-and-personal view of these very unusual Olympics Games.

Dave Briggs and Julie Marino.

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Last month, “06880” reported on The Walters. The band — fronted by 2010 Staples High School graduate Walter Kosner had broken up, but became social media-famous thanks to a sudden slew of TikTok videos.

I included a link to their biggest hit, “I Love You So.”

But tomorrow (Thursday, January 27, 11:35 p.m.), Westporters — and everyone else in the world — can watch The Walters live. They’ll be on Jimmy Kimmel Live, on ABC.

They probably won’t be on for 15 minutes. But they will be famous.

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Several Staples students have taken the first step toward national recognition.

Judges have chosen winners in the PTA’s annual Reflections contest. They advance to the state level; after that comes the national competition.

Congratulations to 1st place winners Charlie Jandora (Literature), Jason Capozucca (Music) and Shivali Kanthan (Visual Arts), runners-up Josh Gordon, Jadon Laitman and Camille Vynerib, and 3rd-place finisher Hugh Kennedy.

Reflections winners: Front row (from left): Charlie Jandora, Shivali Kanthan, Camille Vynerib Rear: Jason Capozucca, Jaden Laitman, Hugh Kennedy, Josh Gordon, principal Stafford Thomas.

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We’re midway through dog season at Compo Beach. They take to the sand and shore like they own it. Which — from October to March — they do.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes courtesy of Karen Como.

(Photo/Karen Como)

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And finally … on this date in 1934, the Apollo Theater reopened in Harlem. Begun as a white-only burlesque house in 1914, it fell into disrepair. It was transformed 2 decades later into a jazz venue, with primarily Black performers and patrons.

Duke Ellington was on the opening day bill in 1934. So was Benny Carter and his Harlem Club Orchestra. He probably played this hit, recorded 3 months earlier:

 

Dave Briggs: Business’ Biggest Booster

For 18 months, COVID has devastated the globe.

It’s also been really good for Westport.

That’s the counterintuitive — but strongly held — view of Dave Briggs.

“People are reluctant to say it. And I’m not downplaying all the damage it’s done, and the lives it’s impacted,” says the longtime Westporter, and former Fox News, NBC Sports and CNN broadcaster.

“But because of COVID, we have hundreds of new residents who love it here. Downtown is being revived. It feels alive. New stores are opening. The vacancy rate is way down.

“There are new restaurants everywhere. There’s so much positive energy all over town.”

Dave Briggs

Briggs says it’s “tragic” that some restaurants and shops did not make it through the pandemic.

For the many that did though, it’s time to do three things.

“Let’s introduce our businesses to our residents, new and old. Let’s help them out, by telling their stories. And let’s celebrate what they’ve done to our town during COVID.”

Briggs is just the guy to do it.

For a number of months he’s parlayed his media background into a series of Instagram Live interviews, with intriguing area residents. Now he’s taking his platform one step further.

Using Instagram Live, Facebook Live (both @DaveBriggsTV), and then archived on his YouTube channel, he’ll highlight local business owners.

Restaurants, retail stores, spas, gyms, services like Vivid-Tek and home stagers — all will be part of his as-yet-unnamed venture. So will businesses like Merican Mule (premium cocktail brand) and Q-Collar (concussion product), which are locally based, yet still low-profile.

First up: The Granola Bar.

“Julie (Mountain) and Dana (Noorily) are two of my favorite business owners,” Briggs says.

“They started from the ground up with a coffee shop, when I’m sure many people said ‘Don’t do it.’ Now they have 5 stores, and a truck. They’ve got a great story.”

Briggs envisions other subjects, including people who are thinking about starting their own business.

He likes the immediacy of Instagram Live and Facebook Live (and knows that different people prefer one over the other). Both offer the ability to ask questions and respond in real time.

Social media is “a small business’s best medium to tell people about themselves,” Briggs says. “But not a lot of owners know how to use it well.”

Dave Briggs does.

Click on. Tune in. And celebrate all the good things that came out of COVID.

(Watch @DaveBriggsTV on Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Got an idea? Email DaveBriggs1976@gamil.com.)

Roundup: Bill Clinton, LobsterFest, Rugby …

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Last month, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship.

This weekend, the trophy came to Westport.

Billionaire owner Marc Lasry — he also dabbles in hedge funds — hosted a party at his Greens Farms home.

Former Fox News, NBC Sports and CNN TV personality — a fellow Westporter — was there.

From right: Dave Briggs, Marc Lasry and Briggs’ son Will pose with the NBA trophy.

So was a non-Westporter, from just over the New York border in Chappaqua.

Former President Bill Clinton is a longtime friend of Lasry’s. And — presumably — the Milwaukee Bucks.

Former President Bill Clinton and Dave Briggs, at Marc Lasry’s Westport home.

PS: Other big names in attendance: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, players Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton, head coach Mike Budenholzer, and CNBC’s Scott Wapner.

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Westport civic organizations sponsor many good fundraisers. A lot of them are fun.

But for money raised and good times, it’s hard to beat Westport Rotary‘s LobsterFest.

The early fall feast-and-more returns to Compo Beach for its 10th year on Saturday, September 18 (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), following last year’s COVID cancellation.

LobsterFest is a townwide event. Food and entertainment from the Hot Rubber Monkey Band bring old friends together. It’s a great chance to meet (and welcome) newcomers too.

Children’s activities include a magician, glitter tattoos and face painting.

In past years, LobsterFest volunteers served 2,400 lobsters, 300 steaks and 1,600 ears of corn, and countless raw oysters.

In addition to the usual waterside dining option, there’s a new drive-through option for anyone wishing to eat their delicious Maine lobsters (and/or large steaks) at home, or at a less crowded part of the beach.

Funds support dozens of Rotary grants to local non-profits like Mercy Learning and Child Guidance of Mid-Fairfield County, plus humanitarian projects worldwide.

It’s a great value: $70 per person for 2 large lobsters or a 14-ounce New York strip steak — and corn, cole slaw, bread and butter, potato salad, Peppermint Patties, and all the beer or wine you can drink.

Tickets are available only in advance, online at www.westportrotary.org and directly from Westport Rotary Club members.

In 2016, not much remained of the 3,000 lobsters.

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For one day yesterday, Westport was the center of the rugby universe.

A special pre-draft event drew Major League Rugby scouts, coaches and star players, including Ben Foden to Staples High School’s Paul Lane Field. 

There was physical testing, professional coaching, laser timing and live scrimmaging. It was just like the NFL Combine, without the NFL Network cameras.

It was broadcast on the Rugby Network, however. And TV personality/ Westporter Dave Briggs was there. (It was not the biggest event of his weekend, though. See story above.)

He reports: “I was blown away by the strength (29 reps x 225 pounds), speed and toughness of these dudes. If I wasn’t so damn old and broken, I’d love to try.”

Click below for his interview with international star Ben Foden, and more.

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Everyone loves the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Here’s your chance to put your (well, someone else’s) money where your (well-satisfied) mouth is.

The WFM has made it to the final round of the American Farmland Trust’s 13th annual contest, ranking the best farmers’ markets in the country. The winner gets $2,500; 2nd and 3rd prizes are $1,500 and $1,000.

Click here to vote. The deadline is September 19.

And don’t forget to visit the Westport Farmers’ Market, every Thursday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Imperial Avenue parking lot) through November.

The Westport Farmers’ Market appeals to all ages. Let’s make it #1 in the country! (Photo/Margaret Kraus)

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From rugby to rockin’ the Levitt. Chicago native Isaiah Sharkey brought his gospel, jazz, R&B, blues, rock and funk music to the riverside pavilion last night.

A Grammy winner, he’s recorded and toured with John Mayer, Patti LaBelle, Paul Simon, Keith Urban, Boyz II Men, the Winans and many others.

Isaiah Sharkey

It did not take long for the crowd to dance.

(Photos/JC Martin)

This week’s Levitt lineup:

  • Tonight (Sunday, August 8): Mimi & the Podd Brothers
  • Tuesday, August 10: Tony Trischka, Banjo Master
  • Wednesday, August 11: Elena Moon Park & Friends
  • Thursday, August 12: The Sweet Remains
  • Friday, August 13: Baskin & Batteau, and Jesse Terry
  • Saturday, August 14: The Simple Radicals
  • Sunday, August 15: Dan Levinson’s Palomar Jazz Band

Click here for times and (free) tickets.

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From tomorrow (Monday, August 9) through Sunday, August 15, the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force is collecting back-to-school supplies. They’ll go to residents of the 2 Domestic Violence Crisis Center safe houses in the area.

Items needed include new and unused backpacks and lunch boxes, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, crayons, graphing calculators, and diapers.

Donations can be left in the collection bin in the lobby of the Westport Police station, 50 Jesup Road.

For information on Westport Domestic Violence Task Force initiatives, click here.

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Work continues on what is rumored to be an Amazon Go store. That’s the new grab-and-go technology. There are no checkout lines; you pay via an app.

The old Barnes & Noble — and Marshalls shoe store next door — has been gutted.

Meanwhile, the adjacent former Mobil Self-Serve has finally been leveled.

(Photos/Dan Woog)

On Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen were slated to vote on a temporary exit from the construction site, onto Morningside Drive South. Neighbors objected, citing safety issues with nearby Greens Farms Elementary School. The item has been withdrawn from the agenda.

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Local to Market continues to offer fresh, locally grown produce on Saturdays, on its patio at the former Talbots by the Main Street entrance to Parker Harding Plaza.

Shoppers enjoyed these selections yesterday:

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Time again for “Westport … Naturally” to feature a deer.

Hey — we’ve got plenty of deer. Not to mention, deer photos.

(Photo/Karen Weingarten)

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And finally … today is August 8. You know: 8/8. So of course this is our song of the day.

PS: It’s one of many that have been called “the first rock ‘n’ roll record ever.” I’m not going to wade into that swamp.

Roundup: Joey’s, Captain America, COVID …

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A year after Elvira’s reopened as Joey’s By the Shore — Featuring Elvira Mae’s Coffee Bar,” there’s more news from Old Mill/Compo’s favorite food spot.

The building is for sale. But Joey Romeo and Betsy Kravitz are not going anywhere. They’re keeping the business just as is — with great eats, an ordering window and a beachy vibe, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A long-term lease protects the business.

That’s the good great news. Now if only we had some good news about that long-halted home construction project on the site of the former Positano restaurant, a few yards diagonally across the street …

Betsy Kravitz and Joey Romeo, ready for another season.

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Both myTeam Triumph-CT and Remarkable Theater support the special needs community.

It’s no wonder they’re partnering for mTT’s “Spring Into Action” season-opening event. On Saturday, May 1 (gates open at 6:30 p.m.; movie at 7:30), myTeam Triumph sponsors a showing of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”  — the Marvel adventure film — at the downtown drive-in.

It’s not just that the Remarkable Theater employs people with disabilities for screenings at the Imperial Avenue lot. Or that myTeam Triump pairs children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities with volunteers, who join them in triathlons and road races.

The volunteers are called “angels.” The special needs participants are called … “captains.” So the May 1 film is very fitting.

All proceeds from the event will be shared by Remarkable Theater and myTeam Triumph-CT.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here. To learn more and volunteer with mTT (you don’t have to be an athlete!), click here. To donate, click here.

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Starting tomorrow, there’s another COVID testing center in town.

Progressive Diagnostics opens at 8 a.m. in Saugatuck railroad station parking lot #8. That’s the one off Saugatuck Avenue, between I-95 and the Exit 17 entrance/ exit ramp. They promise same-day PCR and antibody test results.

Weekday hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Speaking of COVID: Who better to answer questions about the virus than Dr. Scott Gottlieb — former FDA commissioner (and Westport resident)?

And who better to ask those questions than Dave Briggs — longtime journalist (and fellow Westporter)?

The event is on InstagramLive today (Thursday, April 22, 6 p.m., @WestportMagazine). You can ask questions now: DM@DaveBriggsTV.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb

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Looking for a special Mother’s Day gift? Head to the farm!

Wakeman Town Farm offers spring arrangements, through Hedge Floral. Options include a garden bouquet in twig-wrapped vessel ($95) and posies in upcycled tin cans ($30).

Hedge designs each arrangement with the best of what’s available in early May.  That probably means Queen Anne’s lace, mustard, lilac, pieris, euonymus, viburnum, azalea, honeysuckle and spirea.

Click here to order. Deadline is noon on May 5. Pick-up is Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m. to noon at WTF.

A garden bouquet option.

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Speaking of nature: Jolantha celebrated Earth Day today with a few friends, on Weston’s Kellogg Hill:

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We’ve spent the past 13 months urging Westporters to wear masks.

Looks like we need to talk about helmets too.

An “06880” reader sent this photo, from earlier this week at the Compo Beach skatepark. Several other helmet-less youngsters were nearby, he reports.

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And finally … Jim Steinman died Monday in Danbury. He was 73, and had been in poor health.

His New York Times obituary explains that Steinman “wrote all the songs on Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf’s operatic, teenage-angst-filled 1977 debut album, which remains one of the most successful records of all time.”

Meat Loaf was one of Westport’s many famous musician residents. When he wasn’t recording operatic, teenage-angst-filled songs, he played softball at Compo Beach and Greens Farms Elementary School, and coached it too.

Just another normal neighbor. (Hat tip: Adam Stolpen)

Roundup: Longshore Inn, Outdoor Dining, Ospreys …

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The new operators of the Longshore Inn have big plans.

This afternoon (Wednesday, March 31, 5:30 p.m.), Charles Mallory — CEO of Greenwich Hospitality Group, which runs the very successful Delamar Hotels — joins Dave Briggs on Instagram Live to reveal what’s ahead.

Listen — and respond in real time — via @WestportMagazine. You can send questions on Instagram ahead of time too: @DaveBriggsTV.

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The Westport Transit District recently replaced its previous fixed route system with Wheels2U Westport service, an on-demand, door-to-train station group shuttle service.

As part of the changeover, posters advertising the 50-year-old fixed route service at the Saugatuck train station were replaced with new ones highlighting the advantages of Wheels2U.

The Westport Transit District donated one of those now-historic fixed route posters to the Westport Museum for History & Culture yesterday. for its collection.

With Metro-North ridership beginning to pick up again, Wheels2U provides a convenient, reliable, and inexpensive way to get to and from the Westport and Greens Farms train stations. It serves a larger portion of Westport and meets more trains than the prior fixed route service.

Riders can order a ride using the Wheels2U phone app, be picked up at their door and then dropped off at the station platform at any time between 5:45 and 9:45  a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m. Reverse commuters can take the shuttle from the train station to their jobs almost anywhere in Westport for less than other alternatives.

Future plans for the WTD include getting more employees to their jobs, shoppers to stores, and seniors to the Senior Center.

For Wheels2U Westport’s service area, fares and other information, click here.  For information about Westport Transit’s door-to-door services for the elderly and people with a disability, click here.

Westport Transit District director Peter Gold presents Westport Museum of History & Culture collections director Nicole Carpenter with a now-historic Westport Transit District poster.

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Yesterday, the State Senate unanimously approved legislation to extend outdoor dining in Connecticut through March 31, 2022.

Local zoning or planning officials still have the final power to permit or expand outdoor dining. The law minimizes paperwork like site surveys or traffic studies, in order to expedite the process.

Earlier this month, Westport’s Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to extend outdoor dining here until further notice.

Outdoor dining on Church Lane last year.

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The ospreys are back — and not just at Fresh Market.

Chris Swan spotted one pair of the magnificent raptors at the nesting platform on Sherwood Mill Pond. He saw another on the saltmarsh at the end of Beachside Common, behind the Nature Center at Sherwood Island State Park. Welcome home to those two happy couples!

A Fresh Market — not Sherwood Island — osprey. (Photo.Carolyn Doan)

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Patagonia is holding a food drive for Homes with Hope. Bring non-perishable goods like canned chicken, tuna, salmon and soup, mayonnaise, peanut butter and jelly, cereal and pasta source to the downtown store.

They also sell “Patagonia Provisions” — items that can be bought, then given away. (Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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Taylor Whiteside (Whitey) Bailey, a Wesport native and member of a prominent Westport family, died March 18 in Escondido, California of natural causes. He was 88 years old.

He was the 5th child of Franklin and Mary Alice Bailey. His mother was well known here as the assistant to Miss Irene Comer at her dancing school, held in the second floor ballroom of the Westport YMCA. His father was the stepson of Arthur Dare Whiteside, a founder and president of Dun & Bradstreet, and one of the early developers of the Sylvan Road and Nash’s Pond areas of Westport.

Bailey’s brother and sisters included Mary Bailey Beck, Ann Bailey Hall, Franklin Bailey, Jr. and Dare Bailey Wells, all deceased. Joan Whiteside was his step-sister.

Bailey attended Bedford Elementary School and Bedford Junior High School, and was a 1950 graduate of Staples High School. He was a competitive swimmer at Longshore Country Club and a lifeguard at Compo Beach.

He joined the U.S. Marines after high school, and served overseas from 1950-53 during the Korean War. While stationed with the Marines at Camp Pendleton, he was chosen to be the jeep driver in the movie “Retreat, Hell.”

Bailey and his first wife, Allison Norris Bailey, moved to California from Westport in the late 1950s. The former sales manager of Pace Arrow motor home company, he spent the last 25 years of his life in Fallbrook, California.

Allison Norris Bailey and Mr. Bailey’s second wife, Jan Bailey, are deceased.
He is survived by twin sons Kim W. Bailey and Timothy Norris Bailey, both of Westport; Will Mason Bailey of Maui, and 3 grandchildren.

Taylor Whiteside Bailey

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Sure, you can have all the apps and video games you want. But there’s nothing like flying a good old-fashioned kite.

The good news: Tomorrow will be windy. The bad news: It may rain.

Amy Schneider spotted this colorful kite yesterday, at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … happy 336th birthday, to Johann Sebastian Bach!

Roundup: Chiller Island, State Street, Senator Blumenthal, More

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Wendy Crowther helped create the Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve, at the site of the old Allen’s Clam House. She thought she knew everything about that amazing area.

But the other day on Google Maps, she saw a reference to “Chiller Island.”

That’s the tiny spit of land — not an island at all — near the tidal gates leading out to Compo Cove. There were once 3 small homes there. One was destroyed by a 1950s storm. The other 2 were demolished a few years ago, after being damaged beyond repair in another storm.

The area is now a pocket park. Should we call it Chiller Island Park?

If so, we’d need some history. If you know where the name came from — and when and why it fell out of use — click “Comments” below.

Christmas tree at the pocket park on “Chiller Island.” (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Of course, that’s not the only throwback name Google Maps uses in Westport. Some sections of the Post Road are still called “State Street.”

That was changed in the 1970s. Right around the time Sergey Brin and Larry Page — the founders of Google — were born.

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The Westport Library is slowly reopening. Hours are still limited, and restrictions apply.

The Library’s digital services, meanwhile, are available to cardholders 24/7/365.

Popular books, magazines, audiobooks, music and movies — it’s all there.

You don’t have to be a technical wizard to access it. Staff members can help, with everything from setting up accounts to choosing and selecting materials.

Click here for details. And don’t overlook the little blue “Help” button on the bottom right.

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Do you have a question for Senator Blumenthal? Go to Instagram, and DM @DaveBriggsTV.

Westporter Dave Briggs — former CNN, NBC Sports and Fox News anchor — interviews him on IG Live at 4:30 p.m. today (Tuesday).

You can catch the conversation @GreenwichMag.

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Snow has canceled several Red Cross blood drives. The pandemic has made collections even slower.

There are several drives upcoming. Appointments can be made on the Red Cross blood donor smartphone app, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 800-733-2767.

Click here for a full list of sites. Among the local drives:

FAIRFIELD

  • Feb. 23 (today): 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Scandinavian Club, 1351 South Pine Creek Road
  • March 3: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Scandinavian Club, 1351 South Pine Creek Road
  • March 8: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Black Rock Church, 3685 Black Rock Turnpike
  • March 8: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Black Rock Church, 3685 Black Rock Turnpike

NORWALK

  • Feb. 23: 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., St. Philip’s Church, 25 France St.
  • March 3: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., St. Philip’s Church, 25 France St.
  • March 12: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., United Church of Rowayton, 210 Rowayton Ave.

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And finally … Peter Fonda was born today, in 1940. He died in 2019.

Roundup: Pre-Apprentice Program, Library Studios, More

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Staples High School students have many possibilities.

Here’s one most have not heard of: the Connecticut Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.

The free state Department of Transportation project offers work-based opportunities through Staples’ guidance department — and after graduation.

Virtually, students learn about real-life trades: carpentry, electricity, ironworks, masonry and engineering.

Students will be placed in Westport Department of Public Works internships — with the possibility of paid employment later.

They earn OSHA 10-hour, flagger and CPR/First aid/AED certification. They’ll be eligible for resume review, interview preparation, and to receive employment opportunity notifications.

The program is aimed at seniors who want to enter the workforce after graduation, and juniors hoping to explore the workforce and/or an engineering trade after high school.

The program runs Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m., from March 3 to May 5.

“This is perfect for kids who don’t want to spend their work life behind a computer, or who are unsure about college,” says Staples counselor Victoria Capozzi. “It’s great too for potential civil engineers.”

For more information, email vcapozzi@westportps.org.

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Former State Senator Toni Boucher’s husband, Henry “Bud” Boucher, died on Sunday, suddenly and peacefully.

An Air Force veteran who worked as an energy, finance, insurance and healthcare management consultant, he was very involved in Wilton organizations like American Legion Post 86, Wilton Rotary and Knights of Columbus.

A socially distanced wake will be held this Saturday (January 30) from 9:30 to 11 a.m., with a limited seating service to follow at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton. The service will be livestreamed on YouTube and the church website.

For a full obituary, and to leave online condolences, click here(Hat tip: JC Martin)

Henry “Bud” Boucher

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Just a few months after its Transformation Project was complete, COVID forced  partial closure of many services.

But the recording spaces have been as active as ever.

Verso Studios — the new name for its media studios — was used recently by Ports of Spain. The cutting-edge New Haven band recorded, mixed and mastered a music video, “All You Can Carry.” It includes a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a professional recording studio. Click below to see.

Verso Studios offers training programs and virtual drop-in clinics on podcasting and video production. For more information, email dbibbey@westportlibrary.org.

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Westporter Dave Briggs continues to score great interviews with on Moffly Media magazine Instagram feed.

Tomorrow (Thursday, January 28, 2 p.m.) the former CNN, NBC Sports and Fox News anchor chats with ABC News chief White House correspondent and “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl.

Search @ncdmag for the livestream.

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Yesterday’s snowfall was just a dusting.

But it was enough for Doug Fierro to make a snowman in his backyard. It sits — literally — “on top of the world.”

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And finally … today is the 136th anniversary of the birth of Jerome Kern. He composed over 700 songs, for more than 100 stage works. Nearly a century later, many still endure.

 

Roundup: Candlelight Concert, Dead Fish, Gingerbread Houses, More


Staples High School’s 80th annual Candlelight Concert will look nothing like the previous 79.

But it will still look very cool.

Yesterday, “06880” described this year’s COVID format: a livestream on December 19, with recorded performances and intriguing interviews. (Click here for details, and a registration link.)

Staples senior Brandon Malin was the lighting director for last weekend’s taping. It was a professionally produced event, as befits the music department’s traditional, beloved gift to the town.

Here’s what it looked like, when the masked, socially distanced musicians arrived:


Dead fish continue to pile up on the shores of Compo and Old Mill Beaches.

They’re bunker. They form large colonies, deprive themselves of oxygen, and die. It’s unusual though for it to happen so late in the season.

Patricia McMahon composed this grim but natural collage:

(Photo collage/Patricia McMahon)

Who doesn’t love gingerbread houses? But who has time to make them?

Members of the Westport Woman’s Club, that’s who.

They’ve created 20 gorgeous (and non-edible) houses for a special fundraiser.

Click here to see all of them. For a $20 ticket, you’ll be entered in a random drawing. It’s a great way to help the Woman’s Club fund many worthy projects. Tickets can be purchased at the link above; in person at the club (44 Imperial)Avenue, or mailed to the above address.

A few of the gingerbread houses.


Bruno Guiduli is a key defender on Staples High School’s soccer team.

But this winter, he’s scoring — not preventing shots. He’s shooting on a small cutout banner in his yard. By scoring 2,020 times, his “goal” is to raise money and increase awareness of TOPSoccer, a nonprofit that embraces children and teenagers with intellectual, emotional and/or physical disabilities. Players develop at their own pace, in a safe, fun and nurturing environment.

Bruno has set up a page for donations, while he shoots. Funds help special needs players participate. “No one should be turned away due to financial challenges,” he says.

“Soccer has been a source of competition, challenge and discipline,” Bruno says. “It has taught me the value of teamwork and reaching a goal (no pun intended). So I want to help kids of differing abilities reach their goals. and experience a similar love for the game as I do every day.” Click here to donate.

Bruno Guiduli, with the TOPSoccer goal he’s shooting at.


Dave Briggs is a pro.

The former CNN, Fox News and NBC Sports anchor’s Instagram Live interviews (@WestportMagazine) are consistently compelling and clever.

And I’m not just saying that because I’m his guest today (5 p.m.). Check us out!


The other day, Nile Rodgers testified before Parliament. The world-famous singer/guitarist/musician/arranger/producer told British lawmakers that streaming platforms should pay musicians more. He said he realized the situation when COVID curtailed his touring.

I’ve never been inside his Saugatuck Shores home. But if the Daily Mail photo below of his testimony — livestreamed, of course — was taken there, it’s got some pretty impressive decorations. (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)

(Photo courtesy of Daily Mail)


And finally … today marks the first night of Hanukkah. Don’t let the light go out!