Tag Archives: Deer

The Deer Hunter: Westport Edition

All hunting is prohibited in Westport. It’s the only municipality in the state with such a broad ban.

The ordinance dates back to 1933, when the General Assembly allowed Westport to “regulate, limit or prohibit hunting and trapping.” The reason has been lost in history.

Gradually, limits were set. In 1960 hunting was banned south of I-95, and near the Sherwood Island Connector and Hillspoint Road.

In 1971, all hunting was prohibited throughout Westport. The town was so “sufficiently congested that there presented an acute safety hazard to the people,” a report said.

Bow hunting: Bam — for Bambi.

A reader has noticed the increasing deer population. She writes: “Why is Westport the only town in the state that does not allow bow hunting on properties over 2 acres (as every other town in Connecticut does)? We could safely start to cull what, without such measures, may soon become the majority of inhabitants, surpassing human residents here.”

She wonders whether “06880” readers see bow hunting as a viable alternative to the growing number of deer. Is it an idea whose time has come? Or is it way too dangerous (to people as well as deer)?

Click “Comments” below, to share your thoughts.

Get off my lawn — or I’ll shoot? (Photo/Patricia Auber)

(“06880” raises important local questions — and welcomes all comments. If you appreciate our work, please consider a contribution. Just click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Fireworks Photos, Soundview Sculpture, Burying Hill …

There’s a lot going on today.

The beach will be jammed. Folks deck themselves out in red-white-and-blue. There are cookouts, picnics, and flags galore.

“06880” wants to show the world what a Westport Independence Day (5 days early) looks like. Please send photos — of your kids, your decorations, your dog — to 06880blog@gmail.com. Deadline is 10 p.m. tonight.

Be creative — and have fun!

NOTE: Please stay away from actual photos of fireworks. They pretty much all look the same.

Happy birthday, America!


Speaking of fireworks:

Tonight, Soundview Drive will be closed to traffic. Thousands of Westporters will stroll up and down the beach exit road. It’s party time!

And — just in time for Westport’s biggest bash — a new sculpture has been installed in a Soundview yard.

It’s drawn stares — and raves — from passersby. Today, many more will see it for the first time.

Among the comments overheard:

  •  “Wow! I never noticed the sculpture in that garden before!”
  • “Is she the goddess of the sea?
  • “Is she Medusa, but not have snakes?”
  • “She’s the captain’s wife, waiting for him to return.”
  • “No, she’s the captain’s wife, waiting for her to return.”
  • “Compo Beach mama will protect my grandson.”
  • “Is she an Indian goddess?”
  • “Why couldn’t they just get a natural tree?”
  • “I have tears in my eyes.”

(Photo/John McKinney)


Speaking still of the fireworks:

All is ready, in many ways. When you gotta go …

(Photos/Dinkin Fotografix)

Here’s hoping we haven’t, um, wiped out United Site Service’s entire inventory.


Compo Beach will look great tonight (except for the port-a-potties).

Burying Hill … not so much.

An “06880” reader sends this photo —

— and writes:

“This looks like a tort waiting to happen.

“The bottom rail is rusted and snapped off the cement step, with no support.

“Folks like the beach ‘rustic.’ I’m sure they don’t like unsafe/dangerous.”

And, the reader adds: “The showers need attention too. And other things.”


Westport’s rainbow crosswalk — installed at 5 a.m. June 1 on Jesup Road and Taylor Place, in honor of Pride month — is showing signs of wear.

But a new crosswalk will replace it soon. And — because honoring the LGBTQ+ community has no end date — it will be permanent.

Yesterday morning, the Board of Selectwomen unanimously approved the new downtown feature.

It will be funded entirely by donations. Material used for the new installation will be thermally fused to the asphalt, which Public Works director Pete Ratkiewich says ensures durability for up to 10 years.

The same material has been used previously on Main Street, as well as by Norwalk for their rainbow crosswalk.

The design will feature 2 white bars, with colored panels representing the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community in between.

Dr. Nikki Gorman, who sponsored the June crosswalk with Galia Gichon, hard at work installing it earlier this month.


Today marks the 92nd birthday of the Westport Country Playhouse.

On this day in 1931, the curtain rose on “The Streets of New York.” Dorothy Gish starred, and a new era in American theater was born.

Nearly a century later, the historic institution is in dire straits. Here’s the birthday greeting the Playhouse sent yesterday:

“Tomorrow the Playhouse celebrates 92 years of creating theater and entertainment for all ages right here in Westport!

“Now we need your help to ensure we’re here for another 92 years of vibrant arts programming for our community. Please join us in helping us raise an immediate and necessary $2,000,000 by July 31.

“We’re 10% there and every bit counts — click to give $92 in honor of our birthday or any amount to help save your Playhouse!”

Gloria Swanson arrives at the Westport Country Playhouse (1961).


Lowell Weicker died yesterday, at 92.

The Connecticut Mirror’s obituary begins:

Lowell P. Weicker Jr., who swaggered through three terms as Connecticut’s last Republican senator, challenging Richard Nixon over Watergate and the GOP’s rightward shift under Ronald Reagan, then willed the state’s income tax into existence in a second act as a third-party governor, died Wednesday.

He did not have much to do with Westport, beyond representing us in the US House of Representative for 1 term and the Senate for 3, and serving as governor for 1 term.

But he was a towering figure — both politically and physically — for much of his life.

And, as a moderate, socially progressive Northeast Republican, he was part of a party branch that is now virtually extinct.

Weicker was “a fierce defender of abortion rights, the separation of church and state, and funding for social services, oceanic exploration and AIDS research.” He also co-authored the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In Connecticut, his legacy — proposing and passing a state income tax — endures today.

Click here for the full CT Mirror obituary of this fascinating man.


Timing is everything.

LifeBridge — the Bridgeport non-profit that offers behavioral health services, youth development and asset-building resources for underserved families — scheduled its annual fundraising gala for tonight at the Inn at Longshore.

When they learned the fireworks were set for the same night, they adjusted the timing so guests could get to and from the event without getting stuck in traffic. The new start time is 4 p.m.

Of course, attendees can stay to watch the pyrotechnics after the program ends, at 7:30.

The gala includes the premiere of a documentary featuring Bridgeport middle school youth involved in LifeBridge’s Mural Club. They designed and painted a 100-foot mural on the side of their building on Fairfield Avenue. It’s based on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s concept of a “beloved community,” part of his 6 Principles of Nonviolence.

LifreBridge hopes to serve more youth, in response to soaring demand. To donate, text the word “Beloved” to 53555.

LifeBridge mural.


There was animal drama earlier this week.

Eagle-eyed Westport Library patrons spotted a baby deer trapped on a narrow stretch of rocky shoreline, on the west bank of the Saugatuck River.

(Photo/Keith Styrcula)

Keith Styrcula and Mike Loparo drove across the bridge, to see if they could help unite it with its mother.

Animal Control and the Westport Fire Department responded to calls from residents.

Firefighters had to leave for another call — but returned as soon as they could.

Joe Saponare of Animal Control was there the entire time. With persistence and ingenuity, he eventually got the baby up to land, across from Assumption Church.

Congratulations to Joe, and all who helped in any way.

Part of the rescue effort. (Photo courtesy of Joe Loparo)


Eugene Gans of Westport died Monday, at Norwalk Hospital. He was 93.

The New York City native loved his career and colleagues in R&D at Hoffman-LaRoche, Richardson-Vicks and Medicis.

Gene is survived by his wife of 70 years, Roslyn Gans; daughter Lois Gans Kemp (Lee), grandson Steven Kemp, and family and friends. He was predeceased by his son Steven Gans.

Funeral services will be held today (Thursday, June 29, 11 a.m., Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home, Fairfield, CT). Shiva will be observed at the Gans residence in Westport. For more information and to share an online message, click here.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Westport Senior Center, 21 Imperial Ave. Westport, CT 06880 or the Westport Library.


Clearly, today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo was not taken this morning.

 (Photo/Cathy Malkin)

If it had been, you’d see dozens of ghost chairs, tables and tents lining the sand.

And before you yap “Dogs are not allowed on the beach!” — look carefully.

Honey, Daisy, Yogi Bear and Bailey are not actually on the beach.

Happy fireworks!


And finally … on this day in 1956 President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System.

Sure, it’s now possible to drive the entire length and breadth of the country without stopping for a red light. But today, at least one part of it — I-95 in Connecticut — can be called …

(Today — before celebrating the red, white and blue — consider sending a little green “06880”‘s way. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)




Pic Of The Day #2164

Fenced in — and out — at Lansdowne (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

Unsung Heroes #269

As animal control officer, Peter Reid does plenty of heroic things. “06880” readers appreciate him — and in November 2021, he was our Unsung Hero of the Week.

Today, Peter pays it forward. He writes:

Last week, the Animal Control department received a call from a citizen reporting that a deer was stuck in her fence.

I went to the scene, but could not free the deer with the tools I had.

Deer stuck in fence. (Photo/Peter Reid)

I called the Westport Fire Department for assistance. Soon there were a lot of very competent firefighters on the scene, with the know-how to do the job.

The deer was freed. Although she was initially weak and shocked, and had suffered abrasions on both sides of her torso, I was able to guide her out a gate. She left the scene under her own power, and was last seen running into the relative safety of a stretch of woods.

I want to nominate the Fire Department as Unsung Heroes. They have helped me rescue animals before. Quite often we are so focused on the task we don’t take photos, but this time I did.

Firefighters at work. (Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department)

Thanks, Peter. Like you, the Westport Fire Department goes far beyond its job description — often without notice.

This time, their good deeds were seen. Now they can be appreciated by many.

Do you know an Unsung Hero? Please email nominations: 06880blog@gmail.com.

(“Unsung Heroes” appears every Wednesday on “06880.” If you like this (and/or any other features), please contribute to our work. Just click here. Thank you!)




Roundup: Another Hillspoint Home, ShoutOut LA, Church Organ …

Yesterday’s Roundup featured a $7.9 million house. It’s being built on one of the most famous spots in Westport: 233 Hillspoint Road, site of the former Positano restaurant.

Diagonally across the street, at 246 Hillspoint, there’s another well-known home. Built in 1930, it’s the last remaining bungalow on the increasingly modern (and pricey)  stretch of water-view road.

Of course you know it:

At 695 square feet, with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on a 3,049-square foot lot, it could have been yours — for a mere $2 million.

But you had to act fast. Offers were due by Sunday

I don’t know a lot about real estate. But I’m guessing the buyer does not plan to live there as is.

So that $2 million is just a starting point. (Hat tip: John Richers)


David Winther graduated from Staples High School in 2006. He went on to a career as a talent agent (focusing on music and arena touring. He works now in Los Angeles at Elite World Group as a director of global partnerships. He also owns Winther Agency, which strikes brand and licensing deals for content creators.

The other day, he was interviewed by ShoutOut LA. Asked who deserved credit for his success, he gave shout-outs to 2 people from his Westport past: his mother Lynn, and his mentor Jack Klinge.

David said:

My 2 sisters and I got to grow up in Westport, CT, an affluent town with great education systems that push kids academically, athletically etc. to excel. She worked 2 fulltime jobs to get us a “slot” in that town. Ma missed a lot of soccer games, football games, lacrosse games, band recitals to afford that town. I think there was a certain teenage angst I had where I didn’t understand it and actually grew distant from her for a while. Now, in my mid-30s I see what she did and what she keeps doing and how much she gave for her kids. I know she would do it again in a second.

Second, Jack Klinge. I didn’t have a father figure at all my entire life. The town of Westport has a great program that mentors kids who may not have the “typical” nuclear family… In my case I was a latchkey kid in a rich town. Jack and I met when I was in 2nd grade and we started off our first day by going outside and playing soccer against each other. The relationship was great. He became more like a grandfather figure who would give me sage advice and be at my games. He would be proud. I know he is proud, even though I thoroughly believe he still doesn’t understand what I do, haha!

Thank you Mom. Thank you Jack.

In a follow-up conversation, David told “06880”:

I owe everything I am as a person and a professional to my upbringing and my roots. My roots will always be with Westport. Without the strong leaders like Cathy Schager, Jack Klinge, John Dodig, David Roth and many many more, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

To any parent reading this: Please trust in Westport. There is a special love and care for its community to succeed in whatever they want to do in life.

Click here to read the full ShoutOut LA story.

David Winther (Photo courtesy of Steven Shutters/ShoutOut LA)


Rick Tripodi was the beloved music director and organist at Green’s Farms Congregational Church.

That organ was close to Rick’s heart. As a teenager in 1965, he attended its  dedication.

Classically trained, with a master’s degree in organ performance from Juilliard, Rick designed the refurbishment of the Peragallo/Walker organ during the church’s recent renovation project.

Sadly, he died just 2 days before the instrument was reinstalled.

The organ will be re-dedicated this Sunday (November 20, 4 p.m.). Justin Bischof — known internationally for his improvisations — will play. His program will include themes submitted by the audience.

The public is invited. A reception will follow.


More than 5 weeks ago, an “06880” Roundup featured a gaunt deer, whose entire face was entangled in a badminton net.

It was gaunt — probably because it could not see to eat.

The deer is still wandering around Westport. Yesterday, it was in Jilda Manikas’ yard.

The good news: The net no longer covers its eyes. It looks a bit healthier — though certainly not happier.

(Photo/Jilda Manikas)


Pianist Brian Marsella returns to “Jazz at the Post” this Thursday (November 17; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner from 6:30 p.m.; VFW Post 399, 465 Riverside Avenue).

He’s joined by bassist Reid Taylor, drummer Brian Floody and the “Jazz Rabbi,” saxophonist Greg Wall.

The cover charge is $15. Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Brian Marsella


George Billis Gallery hosts an opening reception for artists Elizabeth Higgins, Dean Fisher and Josephine Robinson.

It’s this Thursday (5 to 8 p.m.) at Billis’ new location: 180 Post Road East. New work is also available.

“Pear Tree” (Dean Fisher)


The entrance to Burying Hill Beach teems with life.

Peter Gold captured today’s “Westport … Naturally” image at that often-overlooked site.

(Photo/Peter Gold)


And finally … what will you see and hear if you visit Green’s Farms Church on Sunday, for the dedication of their new organ?

If you’re intrigued by the idea of an improvisational organist (story above), click below:


(Oh, deer! If you forgot to support “06880,” please click here!)


Roundup: Deer, Alaska, Trump …

A deer in distress has been wandering around the Long Lots Lane/Keene Road area.

Tangled in what looks like a badminton net, its gaunt appearance suggests it cannot see to forage for food.

Residents who spot the deer should call Westport Animal Control (203-341-5076) pr Wildlife in Crisis (203-544-9913). They are aware of the situation, and are ready to help.

Ruth Ayles, who sent this photo — which she saw on Facebook — reminds residents to properly dispose of balloons (or skip them all together).


You’ve probably seen the ads for ABC and Hulu’s new drama “Alaska Daily,” which debuts tonight.

They’re hard to miss.

But all the marketing for the Hilary Swank show neglect to mention Gabe Sherman’s contributions.

The Westport native is a key writer on “Alaska Daily.” He’s collaborating with Tom McCarthy, who executive produced a show based on Sherman’s book about Fox News, “The Loudest Voice.” For a rave preview of the series, click here.

In addition to this TV project, Sherman is a regular writer for Vanity  Fair.

Gabe Sherman


Elections loom in a month. Westport’s League of Women Voters is ready.

They want you to be, too.

They want everyone to know about Vote411.org, It’s a national information center. Type in your address, and get all the voting information you need.

On November 2 (7 p.m., Westport Library Trefz Forum and Zoom), the LWV sponsors a candidates’ debate. Included are Senate District 26 hopefuls Toni Boucher and Ceci Maher, House District 136 (Alma Sarelli, Jonathan Steinberg), and House District 143 (Nicole Hampton, Dominique Johnson).


Speaking of politics: Check out the latest “Cross Examining History” podcast (link below).

Host Talmage Boston — a 1972 Staples High School graduate — interviews Peter Baker and Susan Glasser about their new book about “The Divider,” about Donald Trump.

The entire series, in fact, is worth hearing. Boston examines American history and leading books, through in-depth and entertaining interviews.

That’s only one of Boston’s many talents. He’s a commercial trial and appellate litigator in Dallas, a Texas Monthly “Super Lawyer” with a sideline as a writer, on topics as diverse as baseball history and Teddy Roosevelt.



There’s something new at Old Mill Grocery: tables.

Three handsome, sturdy tables now welcome customers to sit inside. The Hillspoint Road spot continues to attract a steady stream of guests.

As OMG transitions to fall, regular dinner specials are an added attraction.

Old Mill Grocery tables. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Westport’s Representative Town Meeting is seeking candidates to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Arline Gertzoff. The vacancy must be filled by a registered voter residing in RTM District 3.  No party affiliation is required, as Westport’s RTM is non-partisan.  The term expires November 28, 2023.

Residents of RTM District 3 interested in being considered to fill the vacancy should send a resume by October 14 to JDunkerton@westportct.gov.


Wait! The Remarkable Theater drive-in movie season is not yet over!

They’ve just added another film. It’s tomorrow night — and it’s the 1941 Disney kids’ classic “Dumbo.”

The Imperial Avenue parking lot opens at 5:45 p.m. for tailgating. The show begins at 6:45. Click here for tickets.


Everyone talks about historic preservation in Westport.

But — as homes and buildings as old as 200 years, and as new as 20, fall to the wrecking ball — what are our greatest protection needs?

The Westport Historic District Commission recently received a Historic Preservation Enhancement Grant from the State Historic Preservation Office.

Funds will be used to hire a consultant to prepare a town “Preservation Plan.” It will identify and prioritize the greatest areas of need for historic preservation.

The plan will also will help establish and prioritize more Local Historic Districts and Local Historic Designations.

Properties within a Local Historic District have a higher degree of protection. The HDC must approve an application for alteration to a historic structure, as well as any new construction within a district.

Gorham Avenue is one of Westport’s Historic Districts.


Push Against Cancer is a family affair.

Jessica and Keith Larit’s daughters Emma, Leah and Katie wanted to do something special for the kids of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Their idea: a “Kids Helping Kids” bake sale.

On October 16 (Staples High School, 9 a.m.), everyone attending the 13th annual Push Against Cancer can do push-ups for pledges — and then reward themselves with tasty treats.

Katie says, “I enjoy helping because all kids deserve to have fun at camp.”

Emma adds, “I hope we can raise enough money to send hundreds of kids and their families to camp to have fun.”

Click here for more information on the Push Against Cancer.

Andrew Berman (red shirt), CEO and founder of Push Against Cancer, with
Emma, Leah and Katie Larit, and their parents Keith and Jessica. The sign refers to this year’s event, which will surpass $1 million raised in 13 years.


“The Afro-Semitic Experience” is the intriguing title of the next Y’s Women meeting.

In 1998 Dr. David Chevan, professor of music at Southern Connecticut State University and Hartford native Warren Byrd co-founded a 6-piece group of Jewish American and African American musicians. The Afro-Semitic Experience has performed, recorded and taught together ever since.

On October 10 (Greens Farms Church. 10:45 a.m.), they’ll share stories and songs, and discuss their conviction that people of different faiths, races and beliefs can come together with music to celebrate and build community.

Click here for more information.


“From the Pen to the Knife” is MoCA Westport’s new exhibit. A free opening reception is set for October 15 (5 to 7 p.m.).

The collection is by artist 90-year-old Marian Christy. She creates innovative watercolors using only palette knives and puddles of paint — no drawing or brushes. Click here for information.

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


Westport Community Gardens director — and superb nature photographer — Lou Weinberg sends this superb “Westport … Naturally” image:

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

Lou notes: “The magical honeybee is not just a great pollinator. It is also an acrobat, sitting out the rain vertically on glass!”


And finally … on this date in 1927, “The Jazz Singer” — the first full-length “talkie” (sound) movie premiered. The site was Warner Bros.’ flagship New York City theater.

Wikipedia notes: “In keeping with the film’s theme of a conflict within a Jewish family, the film premiered after sunset on the eve of the Yom Kippur holiday.”

Among the many notable performances in the movie: Al Jolson’s performance of “Mammy.” Though he wore blackface, as other entertainers in the era did, he was known as a strong advocate for racial justice, particularly on Broadway.

(“06880” is your source for all kinds of info. Please click here to support this blog, and keep it coming!)




Roundup: Harvest Fest, Deer Plants, CraftWestport …

The Wakeman Town Farm Harvest Fest fundraiser is September 10.

The online auction — a key part of the event — opens September 6.

But you can preview all the items now.

They include destination travel, private dinners at WTF, kids’ cooking parties, sunset cruises, and great sporting events.

All proceeds — and those from the live auction at Harvest Fest — help fund youth programs, adult classes, scholarships, the farm stand, family events and more.

Click here for a preview.

Those alpacas didn’t pay for themselves. (Photo/Cathy Malkin)


Oh, deer!

Aspetuck Land Trust’s next “Lunch & Learn” webinar should appeal to just about every homeowner in Fairfield County.

Called “Designing With Native Plants in Deer County,” it’s set for next Wednesday (September 7, noon to 1 p.m.).

Landscape designer Brid Craddock will discuss deer-proof plants, and the techniques that will actually keep Bambi at bay. Click here to register.

(Gorgeous. Now get off my lawn! Photo/Karen Weingarten)


CraftWestport — the monster pre-holiday show with over 175 vendors selling handmade fashions, accessories, jewelry, home décor and furniture, plus photography, ceramics, glass, metal, wood, mixed media and other artworks — returns to the Staples High School fieldhouse November 5 and 6.

Also on sale: gourmet specialties like bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup, hand-painted chocolates, teas and honey, cheese spreads and curds, baked goods,  skincare products, soaps and candles.

It’s the first time in 3 years for the popular Westport Young Woman’s League show, following 2 COVID cancellations.

Net proceeds from Connecticut’s largest indoor fine crafts festival go to charitable agencies in lower Fairfield County.

Click here for more details.  

One of 175+ booths at CraftWestport.


The deadline for comments on the proposed cell tower at 92 Greens Farms Road is September 7.

The email address is sitingcouncil@ct.gov; the snail mail address is Connecticut Siting Council, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

A cell tower been proposed for the property on the left: 92 Greens Farms Road. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)


There’s a back story to today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo. Lauri Weiser writes:

“I was at Compo yesterday, under the South Beach trees that provide a little bit of shade. The crow that’s been here all summer was there.

“Anyone who spent  time under these trees knows that this crow lives here and never shuts up. There were many threats on its life today🤣😳”

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


And finally … in honor of the Compo Beach crow (story above) … “it’s the same story the crow told me …”

(“06880” is your hyper-local, reader-support blog. Please click here to contribute.)

Pic Of The Day #1961

It’s a rite of passage for London tourists: Pose in the crosswalk by the Abbey Road studio. It’s an homage to the Beatles, and one of the most famous album covers in history.

These 4 deer were outside Little Barn in Westport — not England. But they had the same idea. 

(Photo/John Babina)

Pics Of The Day #1748

Scenes from a nor’easter/bomb cyclone/blizzard that wasn’t.

BUT — it sure was cold. At mid-afternoon, it was just 11 degrees.

Time for lunch! (Photo/Betsy Pollak)

Kings Highway North (Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

Ellie Mae is dressed for the cold (Photo/Audrey Hertzel)

(Photo/Pat Saunders)

Molly Alger snowshoes to Winslow Park

Misty romps (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Waiting for spring (Photo/Larry Untermeyer)

Not a great day for an outdoor nap (Photo/Robin Frank)

Looking for food (Photo/Robin Frank)

Hot coffee on a cold day (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

Compo cannons at sunset (Photo/Tony Evans)

Pic Of The Day #1674

Deer me! Seen by the river … (Photo/Patricia McMahon)