Tag Archives: De Tapas

Roundup: College Choices, Hillspoint Teardown, Lyman Party …

The Staples High School Class of 2023 graduated Tuesday.

This fall, they’ll head out across the country — and beyond.

Here are the top college choices for the 430 graduating seniors:

  • University of Connecticut (includes Storrs, Stamford and Waterbury campuses): 19 students
  • Indiana University-Bloomington: 15
  • Pennsylvania State University-main campus, and Syracuse University: 11 each
  • University of Colorado-Boulder: 10
  • Northeastern University: 9
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison and Virginia Tech: 8 each
  • Tulane University: 7
  • American University, Lehigh University, Miami University, Norwalk Community College, the University of Texas-Austin and University of Miami: 6 each
  • Boston University, Elon University, Fordham University, New York University, University of Vermont and Vanderbilt University: 5 each.

Twelve students are attending universities outside the US. The furthest is the American College of Greece. All told, they will attend 179 different post-secondary institutions.

The #1 intended major is business/accounting/finance. Second is “undecided,” followed by political science/international relations.

Four are joining the military, or attending a military academy.

In addition, 20 graduates have these plans:

  • 2-year college: 7 students
  • Vocational/trade school: 6
  • Employment: 4
  • Post-graduate year: 3,

(Hat tip: Staples High School counseling department; Inklings)

The most popular school for Staples graduates.


The wrecking ball came today for 254 Hillspoint Road.

The 3-bedroom, 2 1/2-bathroom, 2,866-square foot home on .54 acre, with 120 linear feet of waterfront, was built in 1952. It’s a familiar sight to the many people who walk between Compo Beach and Old Mill.

It sold recently for $5 million.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


When Westporters gather July 9 to celebrate our new sister city — Lyman, Ukraine — we’ll do so with a boost from our long-time and first sister city, Marigny-le-Lozon, France.

The ties forged nearly 80 years ago still endure. Our French friends — who first came up with the idea of joining to help a Ukrainian town, just as Westport did for Marigny after World War II.

Marigny is sending:

  • 3 special sweatshirts, which say “Westport/Marigny-le-Lozon/Lyman”
  • 3 copies of the 700-page book “601 Towns & Villages in La Manche,” with a special bi-lingual, handwritten dedication
  • 1 bottle of “hors d’âge” calvados. It’s a drink that American GIs enjoyed in 1944.

Attendees will get a chance to win the books — and much, much more — at the LymanAID event July 9 (1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ukrainian-American Club, Southport).

It’s a chance for the community to come together, as thanks for raising $252,000 last winter for Lyman (pronounced LEE-mon).

It’s a free family-friendly day filled with food, fun and music.

There is no admission. You don’t have to pay anything for snacks, drinks and entertainment.

But there will be plenty of opportunities to help Lyman too — including raffles, a treasure sale, Yankee auction, coffee table book pull, plant sale, “LymanADE” stand and more.

There are two tiers of VIP tickets, too. $350 include reserved seating, a commemorative gift, open bar, homemade Ukrainian-inspired meal and more.

VIP Plus tickets ($1,000) receive all those benefits , plus signage with your family name or company logo, a message for the Ukrainian people, and a Ukraine flag signed by Mayor Alexander Zhuravlov.

To RSVP, purchase VIP tickets and for more information, click here. To make a direction directly now, click here; under “Designation,” click on “Westport-Lyman Sister City” in the dropdown menu.

NOTE: The entire event has been privately underwritten. No Ukrainian Aid International funds will be used. All money raised will go directly to Westport’s sister city. 

The Marigny book and dedication flank a bottle of calvados. All are gifts from our sister city of Marigny, as prizes at the July 9 LymanAID event for other city in Ukraine.


Welcome to the Westport Police Department’s newest officer: Melissa Bike.

The 24-year-old graduate of St. Joseph High School earned a BA in criminal justice investigative services, and a master’s in emergency management from the University of New Haven (where she also starred in softball). After college, she interned with Stamford Superior Court.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas and new police officer Melissa Bike.


Yesterday’s Pics of the Day carried an incorrect photo credit.

The beautiful shot of a rainbow over Staples High School should have been credited to Jen Kobetitsch. Apologies for the editing error!

(Photo/Jen Kobetitsch)


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport celebrates the summer solstice with a labyrinth walk.

Sure, it’s a bit early: this Saturday (June 17, 2 to 4 p.m.).

But there will be talks by applied mathematician Dr. Bart Stuck, and Jungian astrologer Rev. Marjorie Partch, plus sacred music; a mandala coloring meditation, and a chance to “sync up with ongoing lunar cycles to re-focus your intention to manifest your unique potential ~ as revealed in your birth chart ~ with ongoing New & Full Moon Manifestation Circles at Yoga Shala.”

The congregation adds: “Labyrinths have been used for millennia for inner peace, contemplation, walking meditation, spiritual healing, and prayer. The circular paths are a spiritual technology designed to facilitate insight, transformation, and awakening.”


Our Minute Man looks better than ever.

But — like all of us — the town symbol needs care and attention. He got it this week.

Photographer Jamie Klein did not get the worker’s name. But we thank him for his attention to the Minute Man — and his plaque.

(Photo/Jamie Klein)


All is set for today’s Bedford Middle School moving up ceremony, at Wakeman Field.

Congratulations, 8th graders! Enjoy the next 4 years. They will pass very, very quickly.

(Photo/Robert Augustyn)


La Batalla del Vino — the “Battle of Wine” — takes place every June 29 in Haro, a town in the Rioja Alta region of Spain that is home to nearly half of the area’s vineyyards.

DeTAPAS celebrates the annual tradition this year. They won’t be spraying each other with wine from bottles and water guns, the way they’ve done in Haro since the 10th century.

But owner Carlos Pia promises a 6-course tapas and wine pairing, with 6 wines from Rioja.

The cost is $75 per person. Reservations are required: 203-557-0257;  hola@detapasrestaurant.com.


MoCA Westport’s summer exhibitions feature contemporary artists Richard Tsao and Sao.

Tsao was born in Thailand, and lives in New York. Sao — a native of Portugal — now lives in Southport. Both work with color. Tsao uses accumulative, and Sao layered, washes.

An opening reception is June 28 (6 to 8 p.m.). The event is free for MoCA members, $10 for non-members. Click here to reister.

“Moon Dust” (Richard Tsao)


Singer/songwriter PJ Pacifico kicks off the Weston History & Culture Center’s 8th annual “Music at the Barn” series on June 25 (5:30 p.m.).

Bring a picnic dinner, BYOB and lawn char. Tickets ($15 members, $20 non-members; children under 12 free) are available at the door (gate?) or in advance. WHCC Members: $15 per person; General admission: $20 per person; Children

In addition to the music there is a kids crafting table, lawn games, and a walk through the  sculpture garden.

PJ’s band’s debut single “Coming Up For Air” debuted on “Grey’s Anatomy.” It shot to #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart, and was featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist.

PJ Pacifico


Edward L. “Ted” Garrity died peacefully at home on June 4. He was 98.

He was a Michigan native, but grew up in Missouri. After high school he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, where he earned his wings. He became a B-24 and B-25 instructor at the age of 19.

In 1951, after completing his education at the University of Arizona he was hired as a pilot for United Airlines. He met his wife Cathym who was working in the Denver pilot office. In 1963 they moved to Westport, where they raised 5 children.

During his 34year career at United he flew over a dozen types of aircraft. He began on a Douglas DC-3, then turboprop aircraft, advancing to United’s first jets, before finishing on the Boeing 747.

He quickly rose through the ranks to become an instructor, flight manager and a chief pilot. He continued to fly smaller airplanes for fun after he retired from United in 1984.

During his free time he loved taking his family on ski vacations, sailing, collecting model trains, and staying active around the house. He could fix almost anything, and always lent a helping hand.  He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

Ted was also active in the community as a member of The Westport Y’s Men.

Ted was predeceased by his daughter Deborah. He is survived by his wife Catherine of 70 years, and their children Michael, David, Linda, Thomas, and 8 grandchildren.

A celebration of Ted’s life will be held at the Saugatuck Congregational Church on June 24 (2 p.m.).

Ted Garrity


A gull enjoys a crabby Burying Hill Beach breakfast, in today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … in honor of the popular college for the Staples High School Class of 2023:

 (Click here to honor a graduate, through a donation to “06880.” Make sure to let us know who your grad is. Thank you!)

Roundup: Staples AD, Coffee Mugs, De TAPAS …

Staples High School will soon have a new athletic director.

Vincent J. “VJ” Sarullo succeeds Marty Lisevick on February 1. 

Sarullo has spent the past 17 years as athletic director at Jonathan Law High School in Milford. Before that he was AD at Sheehan High-Wallingford and Notre Dame of Fairfield.

Sarullo currently serves as president of the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors.

Lisevick retires on January 31, after more than 2 decades in the post. The other finalist for the position, Colin Devine, spent 15 years as Staples’ boys basketball coach.

VJ Sarullo, iin 2014.


With 3 Starbuckses, 3 Dunkin’ Donuts, and many more places to buy coffee, Westporters use plenty of cups.

We don’t have to.

Sustainable Westport has just launched “Refill Not Landfill.”

The program encourages residents to use reusable cups and mugs at participating coffee shops to reduce waste, combat climate change, and help support small businesses.

Most paper cups used for hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate are coated with plastic to prevent leaks, so they can’t be recycled. Plastic cups used for iced coffee, tea and other drinks, often end up in the trash. It is estimated that only 5% of plastic is ever recycled.

By committing to bring their own reusable mug or cup to participating locations, residents can help reduce waste — and be entered to win monthly prizes.

Beginning this Sunday (January 15), bring a clean, reusable cup or mug to a participating location. (NOTE: They do not wash cups or mugs.)

Order a drink that’s eligible to be filled (some, like smoothies, are not).

At checkout, scan a QR code. Submit your name and email address for each drink you purchased using a reusable cup, to receive credit for your visit.

To be eligible for the monthly raffle, you must participate at least 5 times within a month.

Each month through July 15, Sustainable Westport will draw one winner, for a prize from a local business.

Participating locations include:

To add your business, email emilyabate@gmail.com.

Don’t have a mug?Purchase a Sustainable Westport “Refill Not Landfill” travel mug Thursdays at the Westport Farmers’ Market, or the Earthplace gift shop.

For more information, click here. Questions? Email admin@sustainablewestport.org.

A familiar sight in Westport. But it doesn’t have to be.


Speaking of restaurants:

DeTAPAS celebrates its 1-year anniversary this weekend with a complimentary glass of Cava.

Carlos Pia’s Spanish gastrobar has become one of Westport’s hottest spots. A native of Barcelona, he’s brought the flavors of his native country here — and the culture and the colors too.

Pia’s Flamenco Nights, Jamon Jamoon Iberico and wine tasting, and other events have added to DeTAPAS’ allure.

Carlos Pia in his vibrantly decorated De Tapas.


Club 203 — Westport’s social group for adults with disabilities — held its January event at the Westport Weston Family YMCA on Saturday.

A huge turnout of enjoyed basketball, line dancing, stretching and yoga, crafts (hosted by MoCA Westport), a photo booth and snacks. Among the volunteers: Staples High School’s Service League of Boys (SLOBs).

The next event will is at the Westport Playhouse (February 2). It’s a Valentine’s dance — details soon.

Fun at Club 203.


Stressed-out parents, take note: S4 Study Skills is hosting a free webinar.

In “Why Course Selection is Important to the College Application Process” (January 17, 7 p.m.), college admissions counselor and Westport resident Amy Chatterjee explains what course selection reveals about motivation and focus, and how it impacts college admissions. Click here to register.


Jazz vespers comes to the United Methodist Church of Westport & Weston.

The service combines liturgical traditions with the soulful sounds of the John Collinge Quartet.

The worship — for all ages and denominations (and a great introduction to jazz for young audiences) is Sunday, January 22 (4 p.m., United Methodist Church sanctuary).

The United Methodist Church on Weston Road.


There weren’t many people the other day, at Compo Beach.

But the sun is there, regardless. Naturally.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image was captured by Bob Mitchell.

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)


And finally … Jeff Beck died yesterday of bacterial meningitis, in England. He was 78.

Though never as flashy or well-known as Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, he was a member of the Yardbirds and other very important blues-based groups.

Westport has a couple of ties to the legendary guitarist. When the Yardbirds played at Staples High School in 1966, he was part of the band.

A young photographer in New York heard they would be in Westport. She came here, and photographed Beck and a very young Jimmy Page tuning up backstage, in the choral room.

The photographer’s name? Linda Eastman.

Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, in the Staples High School choral room. (Photo/Linda Eastman)

And the offices of Connoisseur Media in Westport — owner of some of the most successful radio stations in the area — contain plenty of music memorabilia.

One of the most prized possessions hangs on the wall by CEO Jeff Warshaw’s desk. It’s a guitar, signed by Beck.

On the wall in Jeff Warshaw’s office: a guitar signed by Jeff Beck. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Click here for a full obituary.


Roundup: Dog Park, Distracted Driving, Nice House …

Right now, there are no fenced dog parks in Westport. (Winslow Park is enclosed, but there are many gaps and areas without walls or fences.)

Andrew Colabella wants to change that.

The Representative Town Meeting member worked with Karen Kramer and Matthew Mandell to create a petition. The goal is to gauge support, to show town officials the need. Click here to see.

There are gates, and some new fences, at Winslow Park. But it is not a fully enclosed dog run. (Photo/Nell Waters Bernegger)


The Westport Police Department is participating in the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s high visibility distracted driving enforcement campaign. The campaign — beginning today, and running through October 31 — will increase efforts to enforce distracted-driving laws.

Connecticut law prohibits the use of any hand-held mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers who are 16 or 17 years old are prohibited from using a cell phone or mobile device at any time — even hands free.

The fine for the first offense is $200. It’s $375 for the second ticket, and $625 for the third and subsequent offenses.


Who knew so many “06880” readers also read the New York Post?

I’d need an entire haberdashery to hand out hat tips to everyone who sent me the tabloid story noting Shonda Rhimes’ purchase of Doug and Melissa Bernstein’s 11-bedroom home. The 7.5-acre property also includes a basketball court, bowling alleys, arcade, home theater, playroom, billiards room, 8 fireplaces, kitchen with a pizza oven, tennis court, pool, playground, and outdoor seating and dining areas.

Karen Scott was the KMS Partners at Compass broker who sold the property to the producer/screenwriter/author/global media company CEO/Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee’s agent.  Rhimes will move from elsewhere in Westport; the Bernsteins have bought another home here.

Click here for the full New York Post story.

Shonda Rhimes’ new home.


Meanwhile, another New York newspaper — the Times — this week ran a Critic’s Notebook piece headlined: “Has War Changed, or Only War Photography?”

It begins by citing a 1991 Staples High School graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist:

Lynsey Addario began taking war pictures when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Only two-thirds of a century had elapsed since Robert Capa documented the Spanish Civil War. But to go from the exhibition of Capa’s Spain photos at the International Center of Photography to the Addario show at the SVA Chelsea Gallery is to traverse not just time and geography but a profound shift in sensibility. Capa’s pictures express his belief in war as a conflict between good and evil. In our time, which is to say in Addario’s, unwavering faith in the justice of one side has perished, a casualty of too many brutal, pointless, reciprocally corrupt wars.

Addario over the last two decades has taken her camera to some of the most dangerous places on earth. A MacArthur fellow, she is a freelance photographer who shared a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting awarded to The New York Times in 2009 for its coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like Capa, she calls herself a photojournalist, not an artist. She has said that she is dedicated to “using images to undo preconceptions and to show a reality often misunderstood or misrepresented.” She has also named Capa as one of her main influences, even though many of the preconceptions she seeks to undermine are those he enshrined.

Click here to read the full story. (Hat tip: Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

In one of Lynsey Addario’s most famous photos, Ukrainian soldiers try to save the father of a family of four — the only one at that moment who still had a pulse — moments after being hit by a mortar while trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)


The Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County has received a $5,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

It’s for their Dignity Grows chapter, part of a national network to fight period poverty among nearly 30% of menstruators in the U.S. Donors and volunteers fund and pack monthly totes of hygiene and period essentials. They’re delivered free of charge to partner agencies, who then provide them to their clients. 

From last September through June, the Federation organized 10 packing events — many in Westport — and delivered 800 totes. The grant will help them expand their reach, to meet a growing need.

A packing event hosted by Sharon Navarro (top right, 3rd from right) and Jen Frank (bottom row, 2nd from right). All participants are Westport residents — except the lone male, Ofek Moscovich. He’s the Federation Israel emissary spending a year here. The group packed 100 totes for LifeBridge Community Services in Bridgeport.


Who knew there were “professional carvers”?

On Thursday (October 20), you can meet one. DeTapas restaurant hosts one. He’ll serve a “world-class jamon,” paired with special Spanish wines.

The carver will go from table to table, from 5:30 p.m. on. The cost is $45 per person. Guests can stay and enjoy dinner afterward. To RSVP, use Open Table, or contact the restaurant: hola@detapasrestaurant.com; 203-557-0257.

Owner Carlos Pia in his handsomely decorated De Tapas restaurant.


Speaking of restaurants:

After a successful summer, La Plage pivots to fall. Highlights include “Mussels Wednesday” (Pemaquid Maine mussels with non-stop fries service, paired with a special Pilsner from Spacecat Brewing in Norwalk); “Lobster Bake Thursday” (with head-on shrimp, mussels, clams and andouille), and “Paella Sunday” (clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, chicken, chorizo).

La Plage also offers a “Halloween Bash” (Sunday, October 30). The winning costume earns 2 tickets to the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve dinner and gala.

Killer water views at La Plage.


Looking for money?

Connecticut has just published a new “Big List” — names of people owed money from various sources, currently held by the state treasurer.

The website (click here) guides users through a form to complete and have notarized.  

If you get a windfall, consider sharing it with Dennis Jackson — the “06880” reader who found the site.

And, of course, with “06880.”


The Joggers Club is not running out of great ideas.

Besides Fun Runs every Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. at Compo Beach, and Track Night every Wednesday at 6:q5 p.m. (Staples High School), they’re taking part in races throughout the state. Among them:

  • Pumpkin Run: October 30 (costumes encouraged)
  • Jamie’s Run for Children: November 6 (DJ Party after)
  • Hot Coco 5K: November 12 (“Hottest Race in November”)
  • Branford Thanksgiving 5K: Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Run for Children: December 4 (free beer and live music).

The Joggers Club offers a free race bib to each of those races to one member — and discounted coupons for everyone else.

Club membership is $50 a year (new members get a free Endurance Brooks racing shirt. Click here or on Instagram or Facebook for more information.
$50 a year (And new members get a free Endurance Brooks racing shirt)



The scene outside Winslow Park Animal Hospital changes with the holiday. It’s clear what’s next:

(Photo/Molly Alger)


We’ve featured wasp nests before, in our “Westport … Naturally” series.

But I don’t think I’ve seen any as large — and scary-looking — as this. Pete Powell spotted it on the Longshore golf course, opposite the green at hole 13.

You sure don’t want to hit a ball near there.

(Photo/Pete Powell)


And finally … in honor of the Connecticut state treasurer’s trove:


(Not much to add to the song above. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)


De Tapas: Spanish Gastrobar Graces Downtown

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Or tapas.

In 2015, Carlos Pia quit a high-powered career in finance. The Barcelona native had spent 12 years in Ireland, where he married and had twin boys. Then came a stint in Miami, where he ran South American operations for Oracle, and a move to Greenwich when he joined a New York private equity firm.

But Carlos enjoys other activities. He’s a triathlete. And he loves to cook. He was the one to make holiday meals, and try new recipes.

He (and his wife) took a leap of faith. He left corporate America. He wanted to see if his dream could become a reality.

Carlos’ first job was as host at a New York restaurant. When diners heard he lived in Greenwich, they sometimes wondered how he could afford the train fare.

He moved on to manage José Andrês’ Mercado Little Spain in Hudson Yards. The “amazing experience” helped nudge him toward opening a restaurant of his own.

Then came COVID. With eateries everywhere shut down, Carlos had an idea. He’d bring equipment to people’s back yards. He would cook tapas and paella — outdoors.

Word of mouth spread. That summer Carlos did 2 or 3 parties, anniversaries and other celebrations a week. He called his business “De Tapas.”

But restaurants would not be closed forever. Carlos began looking for a place of his own. Last February, he found space at 180 Post Road East. It had opened in early 2020 as Chez 180. The timing was grim; despite great reviews, it shut in the early days of the pandemic, and never reopened.

De Tapas replaces Chez 180.

Carlos loved the layout. It was big and centrally located, with plenty of parking behind. He envisioned an open kitchen.

“It’s great when you can see what’s cooking,” he says. “The cooks feel better too. They’re part of the show, not cramped behind closed doors. When people leave, they thank everyone who cooked their food.”

He signed a contract in late June. Town Hall officials were “very helpful,” he says, helping every step of the way.

Yet opening a restaurant — renovating the interior, importing tiles from Spain, finding staff, creating a menu, stocking the bar — takes time.

Finally in mid-January, De Tapas — Westport’s first “Spanish gastrobar” — opened.

The lounge area looks out on Post Road East.

Diners love the still-small selection of tapas and paella, the welcoming bar and the homey lounge area. All stocks are homemade; all fish and meat are fresh.

Carlos’ favorite tapa: poached egg and truffled boletus on potato foam. His favorite paella is fideua negra (Spanish noodles with shrimp, calamari and cuttlefish ink).

Carlos Pia in his handsomely decorated De Tapas.

With the support of his wife Patricia every step of the way, Carlos’ dream is open and excited. He has chosen a great location. It is surrounded by other restaurants — Jeera Thai, Finalmente, Capulli, Don Memo, Walrus Alley, Basso, Amis, Pink Sumo, Manna Toast, Spotted Horse — creating a destination buzz.

“We’re not competitors. We’re friends,” Carlos says. “I like the Cottage, Gabriele’s, Italian restaurants. Not everyone will have Spanish food every day. But if we do well, people will come back.”


(De Tapas at 180 Post Road East is open at 5 p.m. for dinner every day except Monday. Weekend brunch and lunch service will be added soon, with outdoor seating in warmer weather. Click here for more information.)

Roundup: De Tapas, Pink Floyd, Pumpkins …


One of the earliest casualties of COVID was Chez 180.

The patisserie at 180 Post Road East had been open just a couple of weeks in March 2019. It earned rave reviews, but could not weather the sudden, total town shutdown.

Now — 19 months later — a new tenant is moving in. According to a sign on the door, it’s De Tapas: a “Spanish gastropub.” Details to follow soon.


Adventure, music, sports and motorcycles — all star in the upcoming Remarkable Theater schedule.

Films at the Imperial Avenue drive-in include:

  • “Pirates of the Caribbean” (Saturday, October 16)
  • “The Last Waltz” (Monday, October 18)
  • “Slap Shot” (with Westport’s own Paul Newman: Tuesday, October 19)
  • “Easy Rider” (Wednesday, October 20)
  • “Pink Floyd: The Wall” (Saturday, October 23).

All shows begin at 6:30 p.m. Click here for tickets and more information.


As the leaves turn, Earthplace welcomes families for fun events. They include:

Pumpkin carving and painting (Saturday, October 23, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — click here to register)

Halloween stories and family campfire (Sunday, October 31, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. — click here to register)

Bicycle repairs (while you wait: Friday, November 5, 12 to 3 p.m.).


You should never drive while distracted.

Especially from tomorrow through October 31.

That when the Westport Police Department joins the state Department of Transportation’s “distracted driving enforcement campaign.”

They note that sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph — the average speed on the Post Road, sometimes, ahem — that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

And did you know that driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than intoxicated driving?

If you don’t care about that, consider this: Tickets for distracted driving are $200 for the first offense, $375 for the second, and $625 for all subsequent violations. 

Considering the consequences, that’s low.


Bob Cooper reports vandalism at the Riverwalk downtown. He noticed a bench that was missing, except for one leg. The other leg, as well as its engraved seat, were in the water.

Fortunately, he says, the bench look reparable. It’s made from 3 piece, and each appears intact.

He also spotted engraved bricks that had been thrown into the brush:


Yesterday’s Roundup note about the upcoming webinar on the impact of family violence on children (October 18, 7 p.m.) was missing a linkClick here to register.

The event is sponsored by the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force, Westport Human Services Department and Westport Library


What’s better than shopping and cocktails?

How about shopping, cocktails and supporting breast cancer research?

Savvy + Grace’s fundraiser offers all that. The date is Thursday, October 28; the time is 5 to 7 p.m. (146 Main Street). Funds raised for the Cancer Couch Foundation will be matched 100%.


Congratulations, Avi Kaner!

The former 2nd selectman and Board of Finance chair has been named to the Algemeiner’s list of “Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life 2021.”

His writeup calls the co-owner of the Morton Williams supermarket chain a “social media activist on behalf of Israel. When ice cream manufacturers Ben & Jerry’s announced in July that its products would no longer be sold to Jewish communities in the West Bank, Kaner went on the counteroffensive, securing agreement from the Morton Williams Board to reduce the Ben & Jerry’s products it sells in its 16 stores in New York and New Jersey by 70 percent.”

Avi Kaner


Congratulations too to Lucy Dockter.

A Staples High School Inklings editor, and editor of the literary journal Soundings, was quoted at length in a Guardian story about the school surveillance tool Gaggle. The reporter found her through an Inklings editorial she wrote last year. Click here for the eye-opening Guardian article.

Talk about surveillance!

Lucy Dockter


The outdoor fall fun celebration (with ’70s singalong) at the Unitarian Church in Westport, scheduled for this Saturday, has been moved to Sunday (October 17, 12 to 3 p.m.) due to predicted rain.

The event includes a musical mural, cake carousel, rock painting and bobbing for apples. For COVID safety, bring your own food.

Westport’s Unitarian Church


The VFW is collecting new hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and socks, for men women and children.

There will be a drop-off box in the lobby (or patio, if closed) at their building (465 Riverside Avenue), from October 23 through November 20. They ask for only those items listed above.

VFW Joseph Clinton Post 399.


Westporter Jim O’Donoghue died Sunday. He was 83 years old.

The Dublin native captained the rugby team at University College Cork. He earned a bachelor’ degree in electrical engineering there, and also met his wife Margaret.

Working for Quigley steel refractories, Jim travelled extensively, and brought his 3 daughters mementos from all over the world. The company was bought by Pfizer, and the family moved to Westport in 1984.

Jim ran regularly, golfed and rowed. He loved fishing, especially on Waterville Lake. He was a historian, a great conversationalist and a gripping storyteller. Dinner was punctuated with discussions on politics, as well as anecdotes about travel.

Jim wrote several books, including children’s stories, and read avidly. He was a fan of Russian classics and spy novels.

Jim is survived by Margaret, his wife of 58 years; daughters Elina (Dan), Sharon (Jack) and Lisa (Ilair); brother Neil; sister Anne, and grandchildren Ryan, Ciara, Maija and Sophie.

A viewing and farewell is set for Harding Funeral Home in Westport this Sunday (October 17, 3 to 6 pm). Mass will be held at St Luke Church also in Westport on October 18 (11 a.m.) The service will be live streamed (click here).

Jim O’Donoghue


Fall is all about colorful leaves. But today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo takes us to Bonnie Brook Road, and a different kind of scene.

(Photo/Liz Blasko)


And finally … Paddy Moloney died Monday in Dublin, at 83.

The New York Times called him “the playful but disciplined frontman and bagpiper of the Chieftains, a band that was at the forefront of the worldwide revival of traditional Irish music played with traditional instruments.”

They won 6 Grammys, and collaborated with everyone from Van Morrison, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney to Luciano Pavarotti. Click here for the full obituary.