Tag Archives: Dogs

Roundup: StoryFest, Train Station, Puppies …

It’s almost here: StoryFest, the Westport Library’s genre-spanning literary festival (and the largest one in the state). Plus: It’s free!

StoryFest celebrates all forms of stories, and storytellers from across all media.

Among the highlights:

  • StoryFest Kick-Off: Isaac Fitzgerald in Conversation with Saeed Jones (Friday, September 9, 6 p.m. — click here to register)
  • Tessa Smith McGovern and Patricia Dunn launch their new podcast, “Go Ahead, Write Something” with bestselling author Naomi Novik  (Saturday, September 10, 4:30 p.m. — click here to register)
  • Raise a glass to StoryFest weekend with specialty cocktails. Mallory O’Meara (James Beard Book Award-winning author) and Brea Grant (filmmaker/actress) bring their podcast “Reading Glasses” to the Library stage, with guest stars: Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, Alexis Henderson and Clay McLeod Chapman (Saturday, September 10, 6 p.m. — click here to register).

Several authors authors are releasing new books early, for StoryFest. They include:

For the full StoryFest schedule, and more details, click here.


It’s been nearly 30 months since the pandemic struck.

Westport — a town of commuters — changed immediately. Anyone who could work from home, did.

Metro-North slashed service. The railroad parking lots stayed empty. People who had waited for years for parking permits suddenly had them.

Offices re-opened slowly, often only 2 or 3 days a week. But many men and women — unwilling to sit next to others on trains where conductors did not enforce mask mandates — traded trains for cars.

Yesterday though, “06880” reader Ellen Bowen noticed something: The Westport train station’s eastbound lot was once again full. From Donut Crazy to the lower spots by Saugatuck Avenue, every spot was taken.

A sign that things are pretty much back to normal? A cause for celebration? Concern that the great experiment in working from home is ending?

Click “Comments,” to offer your take.

No spots — not even by Saugatuck Avenue. (Photo/Ellen Bowen)


Aquarion has requested a revenue increase of $49.9 million — a 25% increase. If approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, it would add about $4.25 per month to the bill of a typical residential water customer using 72,000 gallons of water annually.

Public hearings will be held today (Thursday, September 8, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall), and Thursday, October 6  (via Zoom; click here) and Tuesday, October 25 (via Zoom; click here).

For more information, click here(Hat tip: Mark Lemcke)


The Porch @ Christie’s is going to the dogs.

This Sunday (September 11, 10 a.m. to noon), the popular Cross Highway spot will be overrun by puppies.

Westport animal Shelter Advocates will bring a litter of 11, and other furry friends, including older dogs — all available for adoption.

There is no on-site adoption. But for those who follow up through WASA, Earth Animal is donating pup packs. (They’ve already provided nutritious puppy food.)

WASA will also hold a silent auction at the Porch, to raise funds to assist and advocate for neglected and homeless dogs. Featured items include a certified signed Aaron Judge baseball, and four VIP Yankee Stadium Legends seats for the September 24 Yankees-Red Sox game.

For more information, call 203-557-0361. or email wasa1@optonline.net.


It’s a paradox: There are so many utility wires, we often don’t really notice them.

But Michael Brennecke does.

The native Westporter thinks there are too many. He cites this “particularly egregious example of wire pollution,” where Hillspoint Road and Prospect Road meet:

(Photo/Michael Brennecke)


As the weather cools, the Joggers Club heats up.

The all-runners-welcome group once again sponsors Saturday morning events, starting at the Greens Farms train station at 8 a.m. The $50 yearly fee includes all paces, 2 new routes each week, free Brooks Endurance running shirts for all new members, unlimited post-run coffee, along with track nights and the Joggers Club Jr., for youngsters in grades kindergarten through 8th.

For more information, click here, or go to Instagram (@TheJoggersClub.CT),
Facebook or Strava for weekly courses and local running chatter.


Speaking of sports:

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker honored Westport’s 11U Little League district all-star state champion team yesterday. Each player received a commendation for their “hard work and perseverance.”

Rear (from left):1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Nolan Walters, Wyatt Johnson, Justin Goldshore, Henry Ellis, Toby Slavin Jack McGrath, coach Jon Ellis, Dylan Burdeshaw, coach Marc Theisinger, manager Justin Walters Front: Torrey Rossetter, Chase Landgraf, Luke Moneyhon, Grant Theisinger, Miles Delorier, Christopher Lambert.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is a bit different than most.

Maggie Boroujerdi writes: “Tuesday’s much-needed rain revived our dry stream along Morningside Drive North and Keenes Road.

“We’re relatively new to the neighborhood. At the bus stop the other morning, neighbors said this is the first year they’ve seen the little stream dry up completely, for weeks. I took this photo:

(Photo/Maggie Boroujerdi)

“I’m grateful to have the water running again.”


And finally … in honor of Sunday’s dog adoption event at The Porch @ Christie’s:


(How much is that doggie in the window? No clue. But you can click here to support “06880.” Any amount is appreciated!)

Pics Of The Day #1957

Dakota is a popular Grace Salmon Park dog walker. They listen intently to his commands. The other day they posed for a photo …

,,, and then headed out for some fun. (Photos/Pam Kesselman)

Homeopathic “Home Vet” Helps Pets Heal

From the 1980s until 15 years ago, Dr. Jeff Feinman was Westport’s “HomeVet.”

With clients like Paul Newman, Keir Dullea and Patti Davis — and hundreds of less famous, but equally loving pet owners — he was known for his house calls.

Inside their homes — watching dynamics between animals and humans — he developed a holistic approach to treatment.

Medications like antibiotics and anti-inflammatories have their place, “Dr. Jeff” notes. But he helps pets (and their owners) heal naturally too.

Dr. Jeff Feinman

A  neurodegenerative disease led to Dr. Jeff’s pivot to online treatment. His HomeVet site offers advice like: Do a “sniff walk” with your pet. Let it engage with the environment, and “feel the awe of nature.”

Many problems have to do with their owners, he says. Their worries can exacerbate issues for their pets.

“Dogs and cats go with the flow,” Dr. Jeff says. “Humans get in the way, with all our own fears.”

Now he’s gone one step further. His newest site, HolisticActions, offers new ways to learn how holistic care and conventional veterinary medicine work together. Through forums, webinars and consultations, members can access professional advice and community support.

With one-on-one guidance, Dr. Jeff is returning to the personal approach he enjoyed when he was just starting here.

This past Friday morning, he had a 2-hour consultation scheduled with an owner in Pennsylvania. The dog had diarrhea, and skin, ear and behavioral problems.

Dr. Jeff planned to advise the owner on upgrading his pet’s diet, from processed to fresh food. He’d talk about ways to re-engage with the animal, to help the dog re-engage with the world.

Some of the pets Dr. Jeff Feinman has treated over the years.

The vet points to a Westport client’s dog, diagnosed with nasal cancer that had metastasized to the brain.

With chemotherapy and radiation, the pet’s prognosis was 6 months. Following Dr. Jeff’s homeopathic protocol, he says, the animal lived for 18 months — pain-free.

“Researching and teaching love-based strategies that heal pets are my all-consuming passions,” Dr. Jeff says.

“I’m enjoying reconnecting with our Westport community, to help in any way I can.”

(“06880” relies on reader support. Please click here to help.)

RIP, Winnie The Pooh

Teona Pipiya Johnson writes:

This weekend, our dog was hit by a car when he ran out of Winslow Park. My 10-year-old son Alex — a 5th grader at Kings Highway Elementary School — wants to share a letter with the Westport community, in an effort to save other dogs.

If you have recommendations on what we can do to make this park safer for dogs, please let us know.


Dear Westport:

On Saturday I was volunteering at the library with my mom. After our shift ended we were looking for books, when we got a call from my dad. He said my dog got hit by a car. We rushed to get out of there.

A little while later we got a call from my dad again, saying my dog died. I was so sad, and so were my dad and mom.

The Johnsons, and their dog.

The reason he died is because he was running out of Winslow Park. There was this perfectly high stone wall … and a literal 5-foot gap. He ran and ran. When he came to the road he stopped for a split second and ran. And when he was in the middle of the road he got hit by a car. He got hit in the head and died immediately. The good thing is that he had no pain.

We have been grieving ever since he died. April 30, 2022 is the WORST DAY EVER. We cried and cried.

My point is that we should close off that big gap in Winslow Park. Some dogs died before my dog the same way, and I want to prevent that from happening to other dogs in the future.

My dog was only 3 years old. His name was Winnie the Pooh.

RIP Winnie The Pooh. We love you so much. You will forever be in our hearts, and will be with us in spirit. Love you so much Winnie.

Winnie the Pooh.

Roundup: Dogs, La Plage, Playhouse …


The other day, Jo Ann Miller saw a dog roaming the aisles of a Norwalk store.

(Photo/Jo Ann Miller)

Okay, it was Petco.

Still, as she thought about the dogs she’s seen in Westport — at CVS and Starbucks, among other places — she wondered: Is there a law here covering that?

The answer appears to be “no.” Town ordinances don’t seem to mention animals and stores.

So, “06880” readers: What do you think? Are we fine just the way we are? Should there be a regulation? If so, what should it say? Click “Comments” below.

And remember — as always — use full, real names. (Yours. Not Fido’s.)


If you need more reasons to visit La Plage — and you really don’t — the popular Longshore restaurant is now open for lunch.

Starting today, it adds that to its Saturday and Sunday brunch, and 6-days-a-week dinners.

The lunch menu includes a raw bar, a la carte items, entrees that change daily, and a 2-course prix fixe for $24.

La Plage  plans to serve lunch and dinner 7 days a week in early spring, coinciding with the opening of the golf course.



Westport Country Playhouse has named 5 new trustees. Two have close Westport connections.

 Westport resident Tracey Knight Narang is a Tony Award-winning producer, and a playwright. Her producer credits include “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”; “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf” (coming to Broadway this spring); “Sing Street,” and Arthur Miller’s “The American Clock” at the Old Vic. Narang is the lead producer of “Period Piece,” currently in development. She is on the board of directors of New York City Center, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the League of Professional Theatre Women, and a steering committee member of Connecticut’s LPTW chapter.

Stafford W. Thomas, Jr. is principal of Staples High School in Westport. While principal of Hillcrest Middle School in Trumbull he was honored as Connecticut Middle School Principal of the Year. Thomas currently serves as an adjunct professor in the graduate school of education at Sacred Heart University. He earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from Georgetown University, a master of arts in teaching from Brown University, and a dual degree in law (Juris Doctor) and educational administration (M.Ed.) from Boston College.

Ania Czekaj-Farber of Westport chairs the Playhouse board of trustees.

Tracey Knight Narang and Stafford Thomas.


Staples High School’s February Students of the Month are seniors Krishin Wadhwani and Elena Lim, junior Julia Herlyn, sophomores Sophia Papp and Dagny Dahl, and freshmen Isabel Brookbanks and Mieszko Solowinski.

Principal Stafford Thomas says they “help make Staples High School a welcoming place for their peers and teachers. They are the ‘glue’ of the school community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students who keep the high school together, making it the special place that it is.”

From left: Krishin Wadhwani, Elena Lim, Sophia Papp, Julia Herlyn, Dagny Dahl, Isabel Brookbanks. Missing: Mieszko Solowinski


“06880” readers often see the name Pippa Bell Ader. She’s one of Westport’s leading environmental advocates.

Readers all over the country are now meeting her husband. David Ader recently published his first book of short stores.

A retired bond strategist who mined his many interests and hobbies for inspiration, the stories reflect David’s sense of irony.

Amazon says of the 32 short pieces: “You will encounter people in situation which are not always what they seem. There’s a good bit of humor, some shocks, and always twists and turns that lead to ‘ah hah’ conclusions.

“You will meet a bullied parochial school student who gets his revenge. An elderly widower is about to leave his beloved home until his memories keep him there. A well-heeled lawyer decides to take an evening walk through Central Park and greets a man he fears is a mugger for an O’Henry-esque meeting. A couple planning to climb Kilimanjaro on an eco tour reveal political-correctness gone awry. Another couple go out on the wrong day for a sail. A loner in the backwoods of Maine.”

Click here for more information, and to order. (Hat tip: Mitchell Lester)


Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup noted that registration for many Parks & Recreation programs begin March 2.

That’s the same link to sign up for Wakeman Town Farm camps and classes too.

To see programs on the WTF website, click here. Then follow the prompts.

Eager students in a Wakeman Town Farm cooking class.


Starting to make summer plans?

Pencil in June 19. Musician/humanitarian/activist/filmmaker Michael Franti brings his high-energy live show, inspiring music, devotion to wellness and power of optimism to the Levitt Pavilion.

The #1 artist (“Sound of Sunshine,” “Say Hey [I Love You],” “I Got You”) will release his 12th album around the same time as his show.

Pre-sale (Levitt Pavilion members) began yesterday. General public tickets are available this Friday (February 18, 10 a.m.). Click here for more information, and to reserve a spot.

Michael Franti


This week’s cold temperatures set the scene for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo. Claudia Sherwood Servidio took off her gloves long enough to capture this stark image of Gray’s Creek, by the Longshore golf course.

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)


And finally … happy 84th birthday to contemporary classical composer John Corigliano. In a long, distinguished career he’s won 5 Grammys — plus one Pulitzer Prize, and an Oscar.


Roundup: Dogs, Deer, Teenagers …


Yesterday’s rally against antisemitism drew Westporters of all faiths and ages.

Bedford Middle School 8th grader was there too. He took this compelling photo, capturing some of the sentiment at the scene.

(Photo/Preston Siroka)


Staples Tuition Grants’ annual awards ceremony is one of the high school’s premier events.

Last year’s was particularly impressive. The organization — founded in 1943, with a $100 grant from the PTA — awarded $350,000 in need-based scholarships, to 129 students. Nearly half are seniors who graduate this month; the rest are Staples grads, currently in college.

The grants — ranging from $500 to $5,000 — will help them attend a total of 77 institutions, in 24 states.

Guest speakers included longtime STG donor Dick Fincher, and past recipient/current educator, EMT and Westport Local Press publisher Jaime Bairaktaris.

But — as always — the “stars” were the students. To learn more about Staples Tuition Grants, and donate, click here.

Staples Tuition Grants honorees. (Photo/Pamela Einarsen)


As your dog enjoys the great outdoors, remember: June is dog license renewal month.

All dogs over 6 months old must be licensed. Fees are $8 for neutered male or spayed female, $19 for others. Additional fees apply for online applications.

A $75 infraction will be issued for any non-licensed dog, and any dog not wearing a current dog tag.

Click here for everything you need to know about dog licenses.

Can I see your dog’s license?


Kami Evans is all about connections.

Usually she connects Westport shoppers and merchants, and businesses with businesses. Now she’s working with teenagers, through a Teen Job Fair.

ConneCTalent owners Jasmine Silver and Runa Knapp will talk about interviewing and follow-up skills, and conduct mock interviews.

It’s set for June 13 (10 to 11:30 a.m., MoCA Westport, 19 Newtown Turnpike).  Click here to register. The Teacher Marketplace is sponsoring the event.

How can teenagers get jobs? The Teen Job Fair can help.


Speaking of teenagers: Westport Farmers’ Market‘s 5th annual Young Shoots Photography Contest opens soon. And you can be even younger than 13 to enter.

There are 3 age categories: 8-10 years old, 11-14 and 15-18. Any photo taken at one of the Thursday Farmers’ Markets is eligible. Judging is by a panel of local artists, and the public.

The contest runs from a week from today (June 10) through July 18. Winners — who earn cash prizes, special swag and membership to local art organizations — will be celebrated at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, with catering by Sugar & Olives. Click here to submit photos.

“Starstem” by Calista Finkelstein placed 1st in the 2016 contest, in the 8-10 category.


What does it mean to be Asian American? That’s the title of a conversation next Thursday (June 10, 7 p.m.) Presented by the Westport Library, TEAM Westport and AAPI Westport, there’s limited seating at the library. But everyone around the world can tune in virtually.

Professors Erika Lee and Jason Chang are the guests. The discussion will be moderated by Westporter Heather Lee. They’ll explore Asian American life through a wide historic lens, as well as the current wave of anti-Asian discrimination and physical attacks, and AAPI communities uniting with others to create an inclusive and equitable society.

To register for in-person seating at the Westport Library, click here. To register for the Zoom link, click here.

A scene from Westport’s Asian-American rally, outside the Library.


An event last night at Mancini Salon honored owner Carla Morales. The staff surprised her with a party, thanking her for all she did to get them through the pandemic year. She kept all her employees on, under difficult circumstances — and kept them and their patrons safe. The salon reopened exactly a year ago.

Congratulations, Carla. Here’s wishing you and Mancini a great summer! (Hat tip: Patti Brill)

Cheers at Mancini Salon.


Sustainable Westport’s Zero Food Waste Challenge matching grant has a month left to meet its $7,500 goal. The deadline is July 2.

The aim is to double our town’s food scrap recycling participation in the next 6 months. Funds raised will educate and inspire residents about the project. Click here to donate.

Food scrap recycling – it’s easy!


Tired of bears? For today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, let’s go back to our old favorites: deer. Lauri Weiser spotted this cute one (in between nibbles) at her Lansdowne condo complex.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


Speaking of deer: At least one baby was born yesterday, at Willowbrook Cemetery. May it rest — and romp — in peace.

(Photo/Danny Amoruccio)


Westport Country Playhouse’s popular Script in Hand play reading series continues with “The Savannah Disputation.” The comedy — filmed on the Playhouse stage — will be broadcast virtually. It premieres June 14 at 7 p.m., and streams on demand from June 15 through 20.

In “Savannah Disputation,” Mary and Margaret are feisty Catholic sisters living in Georgia, who forget about Southern hospitality when a young Pentecostal missionary knocks at their front door to shake up their beliefs. The women call in their local priest for backup, in this entertaining examination of what it means to truly believe.

Click here for tickets and more information.


And finally … in honor of Kami Evans’ initiative to prepare teenagers for the job market:

Roundup: Granola Bar, Pruning, Pups, More


When COVID hit, restaurants needed fast, to-go-friendly food. The Granola Bar scaled back their menu.

Many customers missed their oatmeal and turkey chili.

Great news: They’re back!

So is the kids’ menu. And the expanded bakery now includes cookie dough brownies, plus paleo and traditional chocolate chunk cookies.

There are specials each week. Coming soon: a robust catering department.

The Granola Bar has closed down their  pop-up taco bar. But more evening pop-ups will be announced soon. Follow @thegranolabar on Instagram for details.


Pruning a tree, and raising a dog.

They’re all in a day’s work — well, 2 — at Wakeman Town Farm.

On February 8 (7 p.m.), master gardener/composter and Westport Garden Club civics chair Nathalie Fonteyne Gavrilovic offers the fundamentals of pruning. She’ll cover techniques, tools and timing. Click here to register.

On March 8 (7 p.m., Zoom), Dr. Jessica Melman discusses diet, crate training, vaccination schedules, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, common house hazards and more. She’ll answer questions too.

It’s perfect for all the new pandemic puppy owners. Click here to register.


As a junior on the Boston College women’s rowing team, 2018 Staples High School graduate Brooke Schwab has spent more hours than she can count on the erg machine. It’s the workout rowers love to hate.

But today (Tuesday, January 26), she’ll erg 100,000 meters — with joy (and sweat).

A usual BC workout is 2,000 meters — 5,000 tops. These 100,000 meters — equivalent to 63 miles — will take 10 to 12 hours to complete.

The goal is to raise money for pancreatic cancer research, through the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

She’s honoring a close family friend, who was diagnosed last year at just 18.

Brooke is doing the heavy lifting — er, rowing. To do the easy thing — contribute — click here.

Brooke Schwab


Published today: “The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance.”

Author Rich Diviney — a 1991 Staples High School graduate — is a retired Navy SEAL commander. In 20-plus years, he completed more than 13 overseas deployments — 11 to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was intimately involved in the SEAL selection process, whittling a group of exceptional candidates down to small cadre of the most elite.

His new book examines what it takes to be those optimal performers.

Diviney was often surprised by which candidates washed out and which succeeded. Some had all the right skills yet failed; others he might have initially dismissed rose to the top.

Seemingly objective criteria did not tell him who would succeed in the toughest military assignments. It is just as hard to predict success in the “real world.”

Diviney explores the lessons he’s learned about attributes –including cunning, adaptability, courage, even narcissism — that determine resilience, perseverance. situational awareness and conscientiousness.

He shares stories from the military, business, sports, relationships and parenting.

Click here for more information. (Hat tip: Celia Offir)

Rich Diviney


Many Americans honored Martin Luther King last week. STAR Lighting the Way is celebrating him all year.

The non-profit — which serves people of all ages impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families — is collaborating this year with Open Doors Shelter and Person-to-Person. Together, the organizations will address local food insecurity and hunger.

Volunteers will collaborate with STAR clients to prepare, deliver and serve hot meals to Open Doors Shelter, and collect non-perishable food to deliver to Person-to-Person.

The first meals were prepared by chef Luis Solis, owner of Don Carmelo’s. Dessert came from Sweet P Bakery in Norwalk, founded by Westporters Bill and Andrea Pecoriello. Both institutions are longtime STAR cooking class supporters.

The initiative was launched on the MLK Day of Service. Officials lauded a $20,000 grant from The Arc-US and AmeriCorps, to help the effort.


Karen Veronica — founder of Bread & Roses, the AIDS care center in Georgetown — died yesterday at her home in Ohio.

Her path to helping hundreds of people — at a time when many communities turned backs on them — began when her ex-husband contracted AIDS.

She, his lover and her 2 teen-age daughters — students at Staples High School — cared for him during the 18-month illness that kept him bed-ridden until his death in 1988.

Her grief turned to activism. Bread & Roses opened the next year. Click here for Jarret Liotta’s story on her impact from the New York Times.

Karen Veronica


Bernie Sanders continues to hang around town.

Now he’s waiting impatiently for the start of Westport Country Playhouse’s 2021 season.

(Meme courtesy of Bruce Miller)


And finally … today is Australia Day. (Well, it is still January 26 in the US. In Australia, it’s already tomorrow.)

The holiday marks the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson in New South Wales, and the raising of the British flag at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip. Aboard the ships: 750 British prisoners, and 250 military men.


Pic Of The Day #1143

Everyone gets into the swim of things, at Ned Dimes Marina (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

Pic Of The Day #1035

Early morning dog walk at Compo (Photo/Jimmy Izzo)

Pic Of The Day #732

Dog day at Compo Beach. (Photo/Anthony Carafa)