Tag Archives: “Dodge a Cop”

Cabry Lueker Takes Reins As Youth Commission Chair

The first requirement to serve on any Westport board or commission is clear: You must be a registered voter.

There is one exception: The Westport Youth Commission.

That makes sense: Half of the 30 members can’t vote. They’re still high school students.

The Youth Commission has a low-key presence. That’s surprising. It’s been around since the 1970s; it was the impetus for creations like Toquet Hall and the Compo Beach Skate Park, and it organizes popular events like Dodge-a-Cop, bringing teens and police officers together.

(Full disclosure: Way back in my Staples High School days I served on what was then called the Youth-Adult Council; later, as an adult, I spent a decade on the Youth Commission.)

As the Commission gears up for a new school year, incoming chair Cabry Lueker hopes to raise its presence in town.

Cabry Lueker

His path to leadership was swift. His extracurricular activities are diverse — he started Staples’ Finance Club, is a member of the Up Next service organization, and is very involved in WWPT-FM and the television program. Last year he heard about the Youth Commission last year from a friend.

Cabry attended the first meeting of the year, at Toquet Hall. He was impressed to see all the members facing each other — not sitting in a row, as at many town commission sessions.

Alex Laskin and Carolyn Caggiano ran the meeting, as the teen leaders always do. Everyone offered opinions. Cabry was encouraged to speak too.

He learned about Youth Commission initiatives like iMentor, a 6th grade internet safety program.

He became a regular member. A year later, he’s president.

Cabry has several goals. Having enjoyed being an iMentor. He’d like to expand it to 8th graders, with an emphasis on teaching about “digital footprints” (including implications for college admissions).

He’d like to resurrect a long-discussed project — mini-golf — through discussions with the Parks & Recreation Department. He hopes the Youth Commission can work with Parks & Rec and Staples’ Skate Club too to renovate the Skate Park.

The Compo Beach Skate Park began as a Youth Commission initiative. (Photo/Larry Silver) 

Cabry wants to raise the Youth Commission’s visibility too. He encourages all students to attend meetings, citing his own path beginning as a non-voting member.

There are a couple of vacant seats for adults, he notes. Meetings are held once a month, evenings at Toquet Hall.

There are 2 sub-committees: Peer Advisory (dealing with iMentor, mental health, police-youth relations and more) and Town Improvements (Skate Park, mini-golf, etc,).

Working closely with adults has been beneficial, Cabry says. He has learned about marketing and finance — their day jobs — from fellow members. People like Lee Shufro and Adam Chusid have gone “above and beyond” to help.

Youth Commission group photo, from several years ago.

“People think government is inefficient,” Cabry says. “But if you get involved actively, you can get things done.” He and vice chair Lola Lamensdorf are open to all suggestions.

“The whole premise of the Youth Commission is to bring youth and adults together, with youth representing their peers.

“It’s a privilege to live here. Other towns have Youth Commissions too. But I don’t think the others have the advantages we do, or work as thoroughly.”

He cites Dodge-a-Cop and Corn-a-Cop — 2 youth/police initiatives (dodgeball and cornhole, respectively) — as examples of close relationships forged through the Youth Commission.

A Dodge-a-Cop team, with actual police officers on the far left and right.

Now as chair, Cabry says, “I want to make sure everyone in Westport knows what we do, and knows they can help.”

(The first Youth Commission meeting of the 2023-24 school year is August 31, 7:15 p.m. at Toquet Hall. It is open to the public. Click here for the Youth Commission website.)

(“06880” highlights Westport activities of and for all ages. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Dodge-a-Cop, Tree Lighting, Uber Discount …


Police officers and Staples High School students battled last night. For 2 hours in the fieldhouse, they hurled objects at each other.

It’s all good.

The event was Dodge-a-Cop. The annual dodgeball tournament is a fundraiser for Toys for Tots — and a great way to get police and teenagers working together. Each student team included at least one officer.

Dodge-a-Cop was organized by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group.

There were no arrests.

Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (2nd from right) and RTM member Andrew Colabella (far right) joined in the fun. (Photo courtesy of Westport Police Department)


Dueling tree lighting ceremonies!

Both the town of Westport, and Wakeman Town Farm, will do the honors on Friday, December 3.

The Town Hall event begins at 5 p.m. The Staples High School Orphenians will sing.

The WTF lighting starts at 4:30, and features music, cocoa, cookies and a bonfire.

If there are any other tree lightings that day, please let us know.

The Town Hall tree, in 2018. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Speaking of the holiday season: What a time for parties, celebrations and fun!

Not time for drinking and driving afterward, though.

Smart imbibers know that one way to avoid arrest — or worse — is to call Uber. Now — thanks to the Connecticut Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety — you can get a $10 discount off that potentially life-saving ride.

And it’s available every day from now through January 14, between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. The discount code is: SaveTheNightCT.

Put that code in your phone now. It may be harder to find when you need it the most.

This program comes thanks to a grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association, in partnership with Uber. Connecticut is one of only 5 states to receive the funds.

For more information, click here.


Anaiza Morales moved to Westport only 2 months ago, from New Jersey. But it didn’t take her long to get involved in her Westfair neighborhood.

Impressed by how much fun everyone had on Halloween, last Sunday she organized a chili crawl/cook-off.

Anaiza met new neighbors, and their college-age kids and mothers in for the holiday weekend. They shared food and stories, while walking around the neighborhood (in perfect weather).

It was a blast. And people who did not have a chili recipe brought dessert.

The competition was close. Only .6 of a point separated the top cooks (as calculated by a young engineer). The winner: Wendy, with Brazilian feijoada.

Enjoying the chili (and warm weather) in the Westfair neighborhood.


MoCA Westport’s current exhibition – “When Caged Birds Sing” — features 8 life-size sculptures by the late Westport artist Ann Weiner. They represent women’s rights activists who survived abuse because of their gender, yet still advocate for the rights of others at risk.

In conjunction with this important exhibit, MoCA hosts 3 human rights experts for a panel discussion at 6 p.m. on December 2:

  • Claudia King, from Connecticut’s Human Anti-trafficking Response Team
  • Cadence Pentheny, coordinator, community and corporate learning, LGBTQ+ Training Institute, Triangle Community Center
  • Jamie Rubin, Southwest regional manager, Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required (click here). Attendees who arrive early can grab a beverage at Bar MoCA. Guests can stay after the event to watch a documentary associated with the exhibition.

Part of MoCA’s “Caged Bird” exhibition.


A memorial service for Julie Belaga — the former state representative, regional EPA administrator and Export-Import Bank director who died Friday — is set for December 19 (10 a.m., Westport Library). All of Julie’s friends and admirers are welcome.

Julie Belaga


Two days ago, our Roundup featured 2 intriguing photos. Both showed a fancy women’s shoe, abandoned at Compo Beach. In one shot, it lay on the ground; in the other, it was perched on a railing.

That shoe sure gets around. Here’s a third image:

(Photo/Indrani Basu)

It sure gets around. If you see it on the cannons — or anywhere else — let us know.


“Westport … Naturally” celebrates Turkey Day with, of course …

Dogwood Lane buck. (Photo/Eric Roth)


And finally … 5o years ago today, hijacker DB Cooper parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane over the Pacific Northwest, with $200,000 in ransom money. He has never been found.

Click here for full details. Click below for DB Cooper’s song.

Dozens Of Staples Students Dodge Cops

Occasionally, Westport kids run from cops. Tonight, they ran toward them.

And threw dodgeballs at their heads.

The cops threw them right back.

In fact, cops and kids were on the same team. They played with and against each other, in the Westport Youth Commission’s annual “Dodge a Cop” event. Staples’ Teen Awareness Group co-sponsored the event.

Dodgeball kids 2

The dodgeball tournament — held in the Staples fieldhouse — drew over 100 students. They came from every social group: athletes, actors, robotics team members, you name it. The English department had a group of teachers.

Each of the 31 teams had at least 1 police officer. Talk about someone having your back!

Each player paid $5 to participate. The money goes to Homes With Hope.

That’s a big 10-4.

Basketball players...

Basketball players…

Staples Players (the actors) ...

… Staples Players (the actors) …


… teachers…

... and police officers all had a great time tonight, at the Youth Commission's annual "Dodge a Cop" event.

… and police officers all had a great time tonight, at the Youth Commission’s annual “Dodge a Cop” event.