Tag Archives: Domestic Violence Crisis Center

Roundup: Junior Prom, Caitlin Parton, Michael Bolton …

Last November, the cast of Staples Players’ “Grease” sang “It’s Raining on Prom Night.”

Last night, many of those actors gathered for parties, then the junior prom.

And guess what?

It was raining.

Staples Players and dates (from left): Sebastian Gikas, Raia Badurina, Tess Feldman, James Dobin-Smith, Zoe Schwartz, Charlie Watson. (Photo/Danielle Dobin)


In 1988, Caitlin Parton became the youngest person ever to receive a cochlear implant.

After graduating in 2003, she headed to the University of Chicago. She interned for Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, worked at the Department of Justice and spent 2 years as a paralegal for a Washington civil rights firm, before earning a law degree from City University of New York.

Caitlin — the daughter of longtime Westporters Steve Parton and Melody James – is now general counsel for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

On May 24 (4 p.m., Zoom), she’ll receive the Center for Hearing and Communication’s Sheldon Williams Leadership Award. Click here for details and registration.

Caitlin Parton


Award-winning singer-songwriter– and Westporter — Michael Bolton gets asked to support many causes.

He’s said yes to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

This Thursday (May 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tokeneke Club, Darien), he’ll  be a guest speaker at the 20th annual Voices of Courage Spring Luncheon.

Westport Police Lieutenant Jillian Cabana is head of the Westport chapter.

Click here for tickets and more information.


Marie Gross spotted these little guys in her garden. It’s amazing what pops up in “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photos/Marie Gross)


And finally … happy birthday to Brian Eno, The English singer-songwriter, keyboard player, producer — and favorite of crossword constructors everywhere — turns 74.

Roundup: Bill Clinton, LobsterFest, Rugby …


Last month, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship.

This weekend, the trophy came to Westport.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Everyone loves the Westport Farmers’ Market.

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

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

Click here to vote. The deadline is September 19.

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

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


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

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

Isaiah Sharkey

It did not take long for the crowd to dance.

(Photos/JC Martin)

This week’s Levitt lineup:

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

Click here for times and (free) tickets.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

(Photos/Dan Woog)

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


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

Shoppers enjoyed these selections yesterday:


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

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

(Photo/Karen Weingarten)


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

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

Woman’s Club Grants Go To Groups With COVID Need

Since 1907 — 10 years before the Spanish flu pandemic – the Westport Woman’s Club has served Westport.

They’ve done too many good things for the town to list (click here for the “History” page).

Just one example: Westport’s Visiting Nurse Service was started and funded by the club. Free dental, vaccination and well-child clinics;tuberculosis campaigns; free milk distribution; polio tests; a lending service of sickroom equipment – all were begun by the WWC.

Each year the club evaluates applications for Community Service Grants from nonprofit organizations in Fairfield County. Members volunteer many hours from October through spring, finding the right balance between needs and the WWC’s mission to support nearby charitable, educational, cultural and public health services.

At the end of this year’s cycle, COVID-19 roared through town. Club members wondered how they could now make the biggest impact for the most people in Fairfield County. They realized that the public health, and physical and mental well-being of residents, should take precedence in the spring grants.

Today they announce 5 non-profits, to share $50,000 in WWC Community Service Grants.

Bridgeport Rescue Mission provides 3 meals a day in containers; a mobile kitchen that distributes meals in South Norwalk and Bridgeport, and a food pantry, among many other services. All food programs are free to anyone who is hungry, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or socioeconomic group.


Filling in the Blanks. Schools offer weekday lunches for children in need. This organization provides them on weekends for vulnerable children in Norwalk, Stamford, Greenwich and Westport.

Westport Families in Need (coordinated by Westport’s Department of Human Services). Funds are needed for food and requests for help, like rent money, which are increasing rapidly. Some families need gas cards to pick up school meals. A town COVID fund addresses those issues, as well as the mental health needs of people affected by the crisis.

Domestic Violence Crisis Center (Stamford and Norwalk). In stressful times, domestic violence increases. DVCC offers 24/7 crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy, safe housing, and a 24-hour hotline (888-774-2900).

Homes with Hope. The demands of this Westport nonprofit — which provides safe emergency shelter, as well as food assistance — have greatly increased during the coronavirus.

Project Return’s “Susie’s House,” on North Compo Road. All residents — and those at other supportive housing facilities, like the Gillespie Center — have been moved into local hotels, during the coronavirus. That’s another financial burden for Homes with Hope

The Westport Woman’s Club has not been immune to the pandemic’s effects. They’ve suspended all fundraisers (like the Art Show, originally scheduled for this weekend), closed their Curio Cottage Gift Shop, and lost rental income through the closing of their Bedford Hall meeting space.

Anyone wishing to support the 113-year-old club’s good works can do so through the newly designed website (click here).

One good thing from all this time at home: Members had a chance to create an Instagram account. You can follow the club: @westportwomansclub.

Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Avenue.

Fairfield Domestic Tragedy Hits Home Here

The news from our neighbors next door is tragic. On Tuesday a Fairfield police officer shot and killed an attorney, ending a violent domestic assault involving his wife, 3 children, a baseball bat and knife.

Domestic violence knows no age, gender or socioeconomic bounds. Or town borders.

Domestic violenceIn the aftermath of Tuesday’s carnage, a number of Westporters contacted me. Some had ties to the family; others have worked for years with social service or domestic violence agencies. They hope that out of this tragedy, more people will be aware of the issue.

The Westport Police Department website offers this information about various forms of domestic abuse:

  • Verbal, psychological, emotional: Your partner uses insults, put-downs, name calling or mind games to humiliate, confuse or make you feel bad or guilty.
  • Isolation: Your partner controls what you do, where you go, who you see and talk to, what you read, activities you are involved in, how you dress.
  • Economic: Your partner controls all the finances, makes you ask for money, gives you an allowance, demands an accounting for every expenditure, prevents you from getting or keeping a job.
  • Coercion and threats: Your partner threatens to leave you, take the children, report you to welfare, commit suicide, hurt someone or something you love in order to control you.
  • Intimidation: Your partner uses looks, gestures or actions that are threatening to you.
  • Physical: Your partner hits, slaps, pushes, kicks, shakes, strangles or uses any kind of physical force against you. Your partner harms or destroys something you hold valuable, including pets or treasured objects.
  • Sexual: Your partner rapes you, hurts you or forces you to perform acts against your will.

It adds:

Your partner may use one, several or all of these forms of abuse in any combination to control you.

The abuse may start out very slowly and increase over time so that you may be unaware that it is happening.

It may start as verbal or emotional abuse and become physical.

The physical abuse may become so bad that your health and life are in danger.

Any kind of ongoing abuse between adults will have a seriously negative impact on children in the household and may result in damaging psychological, emotional and behavioral problems.

The Police Department offers these resources:

  • If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, and you are in immediate danger, CALL 911!
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, and you are looking for information, the following links can help:
  • Domestic Violence Crisis Center offers a 24-hour hotline at 888-774-2900, There are many links to information, safety planning and information on safehouses.
  • EsperanzaCT provides Spanish-speaking victims the same services with a 24-hour hotline at 888-774-2900 OR 203-663-6641.
  • Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence also offers links to resources and publications.

Domestic Violence Crisis Center logo

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with what is expected to be $200,000 in medical and other expenses. As of this morning, nearly $165,000 had been raised. Click here for more information, and to contribute.

“Vaginas” Coming To Westport

I could have headlined this “V-Day In Westport,” but I wanted to make sure absolutely no one skipped over this very important post.

Hope Boone, Jessica Rae Patton and Marianne Goodell rehearse their monologues.

Next Sunday (March 7) at 1 and 5 p.m., “The Vagina Monologues” will be performed at the Westport Country Playhouse.  The performances’ primary beneficiary is the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.  Also benefitting:  V-Day’s City of Joy, a campaign to end the rape and torture of women and girls in Congo.

“V-Day Westport 2010” involves women from all walks of life.  Some are actors or activists.  Others are 1st-time performers.  All hope to end violence against females, locally and globally.

The Vagina Monologues” was 1st performed Off-Broadway in 1998.  Diving into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement of women’s experiences, it has been called “spellbinding, funny and almost unbearably moving…a work of art…a poem and a polemic, a performance and balm and a benediction.”

V-Day — named one of Worth Magazine’s “100 Best Charities,” and one of Marie Claire Magazine‘s “Top 10 Charities” — has raised over $70 million in just 12 years.  V-Day Westport is part of over 4200 similar benefits around the world.

(“The Vagina Monologues” is directed by Jill Jaysen of Center Stage Theatre Company.  Click here for tickets, or call 203-227-4177.  For more information on V-Day Westport, email vdaywestporttvm@gmail.com; check out the Facebook “VDay Westport” page, or Twitter @vdaywestport.)

Jill Jaysen rehearses her cast.

In Harms Way


Harms Way, in action

Harms Way was the winning band in Friday night’s Please Don’t Stop the Music Middle School Night, at Toquet Hall.

They beat out several local bands — and helped raise nearly $3,000 for PeaceWorks, the prevention education project of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

We hear a lot about the great things Staples students do.

Middle school — not so much.

It’s good to know our community pump is well primed.