Tag Archives: Earthplace

Roundup: Mattress Recycling, Document Shredding, Experience Camping …

Did you know that more than 75% of a mattress can be recycled — even that old one in your basement?

So how to get rid of it? Sustainable Westport and Earthplace host their semi-annual mattress recycling drop-off event this Saturday (May 14). Bring your dry, unsoiled mattress and/or box spring to Earthplace from 8:30 to 11: a.m.

It will be recycled into all sorts of stuff, from carpet pads and insulation to air filters and steel products.

Can’t get your mattress to Earthplace? Boy Scout Troop 36 will take it for you. Spots are limited; click here to sign up. A donation of $20 is suggested.

And … if you miss this event and can’t wait for the fall collection, Park City Green in Bridgeport accepts mattresses and box springs year round, Call 203-212-3860.

Boy Scout Troop 36 picks up recyclable mattresses.

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And … once you’ve recycled your mattress, bring your secure documenets to the William Raveis parking lot (47 Riverside Avenue, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

You can watch them being shredded. And you don’t even have to remove any staples.

The suggested donation is $10 for a box or shopping bag, $20 for a large garbage bag. 100% of all funds go to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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The Day of Champions is set for this Sunday (May 15, 9 to 11:30 a.m., PJ Romano Field between Saugatuck and Kings Highway Elementary Schools).

The family-friendly fun and fierce competition may remind you of summer camp. That’s because it’s a fundraiser for Experience Camps — the place where children who have lost parents or siblings can smile again, with peers who understand and caring counselors.

Click here for more information — and to create, join or donate to a team.

Fun at Experience Camps’ 2019 Day of Champions.

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Tickets are going quickly for the Queer Cook-off. The Westport Pride fundraiser — pitting 3 teams, each with a noted chef, and celebrity teams — is set for Thursday, May 19 (6 p.m., Aitoro Appliance, Norwalk).

As they’re cooking in a “Chopped”-style competition, there’s plenty of food and drink for the “audience.” Food and beverage sponsors include Organic Krush, Copps Island Oysters, Dave & Charlie’s Hometown Deli, Garden Catering, Longford’s Ice Cream, The Kitchen and Tribus.

Ingredients for the chefs — Bill Taibe of Don Memo, Kawa Ni and The Whelk; Jes Bengtson of Terrain Café and Amis Tattoria, and Arik Bensimon of Monogram Design Center — come from Sport Hill Farm, Ayn’s Chili Oil and Pam’s Jams. Raffle prizes are donated by Nordstrom, Clay Story CT, Munson’s Chocolates, artist M.C. Hewlett, Monogram and various chefs.

As if that’s not enough to whet your appetite: I’m one of the judges.

Click here for tickets and more information.

 

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“Westport .. Naturally” has featured a few shots of the Parker Harding Plaza swan.

Most have been wide-angle shots. Here she is, primping for her close-up.

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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And finally … Susan Jacks, the Poppy Family singer best (and probably only) known for her 1969 hit “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?,” died last month in British Columbia. She was 73, and on the waiting list for a second kidney transplant. Click here for a full obituary.

Roundup: Pro-Choice Protest, Mitzvah Day, Bathroom Humor …

News of a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision in an important abortion case has sparked nationwide protests.

There’s one planned for 4 p.m. this Sunday — Mother’s Day — on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown. Organizers (DefenDemocracy of CT) expect a large turnout.

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“Mitzvah,” loosely translated from Hebrew, means “good deed.”

Last Sunday, over 150 congregants of all ages showed up at Temple Israel to perform mitzvahs.

Among the donations:

  • 10,000 meals to Ukrainian refugees
  • 200 comfort bags to hospitalized children
  • Dozens of lap blankets, walker bags, potted plants, and centerpieces to Jewish Senior Services and Weston Senior Center
  • 100 blessing/toiletry bags to Bridgeport Rescue Mission
  • 12 lasagnas were baked and delivered to Homes with Hope
  • 100 bagged lunches to Gillespie Center
  • 30 Mother’s Day cards to women fighting breast cancer
  • 50 cards and letters to US service members and IDF lone soldiers,

It was truly a local — and global — Mitzvah Day.

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Want to give Mom something different for Mothers Day weekend? (Psssst…it’s Sunday!)

Take her to join Anthony Zemba at Earthplace on Saturday (May 7, 8 to 10 a.m.). The avid birder/environmental analyst/soil scientist/certified ecologist will lead a group along the trails of the nature and wildlife sanctuary.

Anthony recently joined LandTech, the civil engineering and environmental science firm that’s underwriting the bird walk.

Among the probable wildlife: scarlet tanagers; wood thrush; pileated, red- bellied, hairy and downy woodpeckers; indigo buntings, goldfinch and orioles.

Spots are limited. Click here to register, and for more information.

Calling all bird watchers: See the pileated woodpecker!

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Staples was ranked #5 nationally (large schools division), in this year’s 100 Best Wise (Working In Support of Education) High Schools Teaching Personal Finance. It was the top finish for any Connecticut school.

The list and ceremony honor excellence in personal finance education. Congratulations to teachers Lenny Klein and Sarah White — and of course their very “wise” students.

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Whether it’s a Broadway show or a Westport restaurant, women know the drill: There’s a longer wait for the women’s restroom than the men’s.

So Tammy Barry was relieved (ho ho) when she spotted this sign yesterday at Rye Ridge Deli:

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

Every problem has a solution. This one is simple. It doesn’t cost a cent.

Now let’s see it everywhere else in Westport too.

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Westporters know that the Memorial Day parade is one of the best community events of the year. Those who stay afterward, for the ceremony on Veterans Green across from Town Hall, know that it is a moving and important way to honor those who gave their lives for our country.

That is the idea of the holiday, after all.

There’s another chance to pay tribute too. That morning (May 30, 7:45 a.m.), the Fire Department honors all who died in service to our nation, and the Westport firefighters who died in the line of duty.

All are welcome at fire headquarters on the Post Road.

Westport Fire Department headquarters,

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Former Westporter Diane (Prezkop) Reed died in November, after a brief illness. She was 71.

Diane graduated from Staples High School in 1968. She participated in intermural sports, and wrote for the school newspaper Inklings and yearbook.  She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in English and a master’s in Counseling and Higher Education.

In 1972, Diane married Steven Reed. She began a career at UConn as a research associate, then became assistant director of research and data acquisition for the Institute of Social Inquiry at Storrs.

The couple’s careers took them to Ohio, where Diane worked as an analyst, project director, manager of research operations and operations manager. A final move took them to Michigan, where she worked as marketing group director and director of teleservices. She loved being a mentor and coach to her staff, and enjoyed social and golf activities at Indianwood Golf Club.

After her divorce= Diane created a consulting practice, developing and editing training curricula and coaching management teams. In 2005 Diane returned to Westport to enjoy her family, and pursue her writing.

Friends and family describe Diane as “sweet, witty, compassionate, generous and kind.” She loved literature, science, spectator sports, music and humanity as a whole.  She was an avid collector and supporter of local artisans and craftsmen. She was passionate about her family, lifelong learning, and creative writing.

Diane’s siblings were Edward of Seattle, Raymond of Westport, Carole Prescott of Madison, and the late Thomas Prezkop of Newburyport, Massachusetts.  She is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews.

A memorial service to celebrate the lives of Diane and her brother Thomas Prezkop will be held June 29 at Waters Edge in Westbrook. Donations in her name may be made to the Westport Library.

Diane Prezkop Reed

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Former Westporter Thomas Prezkop, of Newburyport, Massachusetts, died earlier this year, after a battle with pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. He was 73.

Tom was raised, and taught himself to sail, here. That started a lifelong love for all things aquatic. He graduated from Staples High School in 1966.

In early 1971 he headed to St. Maarten. There he co-owned and restored a 108-foot ketch, which he chartered. He also managed restaurants, started an omelet café, and captained other boats.

In 1978, Tom settled in Massachusetts. He married his first wife, Linn Anderson, and had a son, Andrew

Tom’s second career was in mechanical design engineering. He worked for medical device companies before founding Andover Medical Development Group, to do component manufacturing. He operated AMDG for 35 years, fulfilling contracts with NASA, Boston Scientific and others.

Tom was a passionate sailor.  He was an expert angler, certified scuba diver, licensed pilot and professional cook. He also enjoyed snow skiing, surfing, water skiing barefoot, and golf. He could build and fix anything

Tom passed his patience, creativity and playfulness on to Andrew, in whom he fostered lifelong passions as a musician, athlete, craftsman, outdoorsman, adventurer and father.  He was overjoyed to be a grandfather to Avery and Luke.

In 1995, Tom and a friend rescued a fellow boater who had fallen overboard in Gloucester and been seriously injured by the propeller. Tom received a congressional commendation.

In addition to his wife, son, daughter-in-law Geneva Brion and grandchildren, he is survived by his sister Carole Prescott of Madison, and brothers Edward of Seattle and Raymond of Westport, as well as nieces, nephews and cousins. He was pre-deceased by his sister Diane Reed of Westport.

There will be a celebration of life at Water’s Edge in Westbrook on June 29.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The Ocean Foundation and the Kaplan Family Hospice House.

Thomas Prezkop

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a recent visitor to Berkeley Road.

Hey, a guy’s gotta eat!

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … in honor of Rye Ridge Deli’s new restroom policy (see above story): These are the 2 best bathroom songs I could find.

Roundup: River Dredging, Beach Cleanup, Ukraine …

The other day, 1st Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker, Congressman Jim Himes and Senator Richard Blumenthal took a boat tour of the Saugatuck River. They surveyed conditions, and announced $2.81 million in federal funding for proposed dredging.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas and Public Works director Peter Ratkiewich were on board too.

Tooker calls the river “one of Westport’s greatest assets. Westport is fortunate that this long-needed project is on the near horizon. For years, the sediment coming down the river has caused shoaling of the federal channel, and has diminished the multi-use capacity of the river.

“With funding now earmarked for this important dredging program, the outlook for downtown, the Saugatuck neighborhoods and the river shoreline is positive and vibrant for our businesses and our residents.“

Ratkiewich adds, “the dredging project will increase recreational opportunities on the river, allow for maritime connectivity between downtown and Saugatuck, and most importantly will enhance the ability of our emergency services to respond to emergencies that happen on or near the river.”

From left: Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Public Works director Pete Ratkiewich, 1st Selectman Jen Tooker and Congressman Jim Himes on the Saugatuck River. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Himes’ office)

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Sustainable Westport, the Zero Waste Committees of all Westport schools and ZenWTR join together to sponsor a community Compo Beach cleanup this Saturday (April 30, noon to 2 p.m.).

Everyone is invited to help. Meet at the pavilion by the volleyball court and playground.

Questions? Email zwcstapleshs@westportps.org.

Beach garbage, from a previous cleanup. (Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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As reported last week, Lynsey Addario is back in Ukraine.

The 1991 Staples High School graduate  — and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, and MacArthur “genius grant” fellow — captured grim scenes of Orthodox Easter services yesterday along the frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region.

“Hopes for a cease-fire over the holiday weekend were quickly dashed,” the Times reported, “as Russian artillery fire and missiles continued to strike Ukrainian infrastructure, government buildings and residential homes.”

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

Her fellow Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner — and Staples ’88 grad — Tyler Hicks has been in the embattled nation all along.

Today his photos illustrated a story about 12 people who have chosen to stay in the basement of a shattered school building. Click here for the piece.

The view from a bombed-out apartment in Saltivka, one of Kharkiv’s most brutalized neighborhoods. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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“The Art of Nature” — Earthplace’s first benefit art show and sale — opens this Thursday (April 28, 5 to 9 p.m.).

Each artist has up to a dozen pieces. All are inspired by the natural world.

Westporters in the show include Jennifer Williams, Kris Toohey and Nancy Breakstone.

The opening reception includes wine, light bites donated by Rizutto’s, and a $15 donation to Earthplace. 35% of each piece sold is tax-deductible.

The show continues with free admission Friday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Kris Toohey’s “Sunkissed Marsh” is one of dozens of works at Earthplace’s art show.

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It takes all kinds.

And all kinds were out in force the other day, posing for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

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And finally … on this day in 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed “La Marseillaise.” It became the French national anthem.

Quelle coincidence! France is in the world headlines this morning, thanks to a very important election yesterday.

Roundup: Fire, Beach Stickers, Cannabis …

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Just before midnight, Westport firefighters responded to a fire alarm at the Townhouse for Dogs building on the Post Road, between Little Barn and Maserati.

There was heavy fire on the 2nd floor apartment of the building, Fairfield and Norwalk Fire Departments provided mutual aid.

Westport firefighters and police officers rescued and removed approximately 50 dogs and cats from the pet boarding facility.

The 3 occupants of the 2-floor apartment were awakened by smoke detectors.  With their  exit blocked by fire, they jumped from a window. They were treated by Westport EMS, and did not require hospitalization.

The fire is under investigation by the Westport fire marshal’s office. The WFD reminds residents that working smoke detectors save lives.

Norwalk and Wilton Fire Departments provided station coverage during the incident.

Last night’s fire at the Townhouse for Dogs. (Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department)

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Beachgoers, take note: On May 1, parking emblems (aka “stickers”) will be required to drive into town beaches.

Click here to begin the purchase process online. If you bought an emblem or registered for Parks & Recreation programs previously, choose “Memberships”; in the search box, type “vehicle,” and follow the prompts. It may take 7-10 days to receive your sticker in the mail.

Walk-in purchases are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Questions? Email recreation@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-5152.

(Photo/Mark Marcus)

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A towering, powerful band kicks off Levitt Pavilion’s “Stars on Tour” series.

Tower of Power comes to town Saturday, June 4 (7:30 p.m.).

The soul/funk/R&B horn-driven band has been rocking audiences for over 50 years.

Levitt Pavilion members can access the pre-sale now. Click here for information on membership.

General admission tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday, April 22, noon). Click here to purchase.

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Lynsey Addario is back in Ukraine.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist — and 1991 Staples High School graduate — is once again documenting important front-line stories.

Yesterday, her photos from Avdiivka illustrated the brutal lives of those who live in the Donbas, the eastern territory in Russian forces’ crosshairs, as they begin a new and violent assault.

“God bless her, Tyler” — Hicks, her fellow Times award-winning photographer and Staples grad — “and everyone reaching out providing  aid to Ukraine,” Lynsey’s mother Camille says.

“Please let it end.”

Like other residents of Avdiivka, Ukraine, Matviy, 12, sought shelter in a basement. The village has come under increasing artillery fire as Russia shifts its offensive to Ukraine’s east. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

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A reminder about Arbor Day (April 29), and related events:

This Saturday (April 23, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Jesup Green, free): The Tree Board and Westport Book Shop celebrate Earth Day with a fun event to promote reading for all ages, with attention also on the value of trees. Interactive family-friendly activities involving reading and early learning; educational materials and a native tree sapling giveaway, courtesy of Bartlett Tree Company.

Friday April 29 (Arbor Day, 3 to 4 p.m., Town Hall, free):  The Tree Board hosts their annual native sapling giveaway, plus brochures and advice from professional associations on tree-related topics, from site selection to proper maintenance.  Native saplings for giveaway are donated by Bartlett Tree.

Saturday, April 30 (3 to 4 p.m., Earthplace): The Tree Board hosts a live discussion and free information session with a tree professional on the basics of tree planting and maintenance, including selection, mulching, pruning, pest management and more. Native tree saplings, courtesy of Bartlett, will be available while they last.

As part of Arbor Day, Earthplace also hosts a “Toast To The Trees” family event 4 to 6 p.m.), with kids’ activities and s’mores, handmade pizza, beverages for adults and kids, plus a “tree walk” tour.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Also, the Tree Board and Westport Library have created a “StoryWalk” at the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum (2 Woodside Lane).  The featured book is “Be a Tree!” For more information, click here.

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The District 8 “traffic meeting” — arranged by 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, with Public Works, Planning & Zoning and Public Safety Department representatives — is set for tonight (April 21, 7 p.m., Town Hall). This is also the middle of our public schools’ spring break.

Residents who can’t attend tonight are invited to an alternate session on Tuesday (same location and time).

RTM District 8 includes Coleytown. Traffic issues include cars waiting on North Avenue, near Coleytown Elementary and Middle Schools. (Photo/David Gottlieb)

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Speaking of traffic:

Replacement of the Bayberry Lane bridge over the Aspetuck River began yesterday. It’s scheduled to be closed from April 28 through November 30.

The detour route is Easton Road to Coleytown Road to North Avenue to Lyons Plain Road to White Birch Road, or the reverse as necessary.

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If you’re not aware of AWARE: You should be.

For a decade, the non-profit (the acronym stands for Assisting Women through Action, Resources and Education) has partnered with non-profits like Mercy Learning Center, Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, Malta House, Caroline House and Cancer Couch.

For a year, AWARE members learn about that particular organization, and its clients. Through hands-on activities and dinners, they offer support and guidance. Through fundraising, they offer financial help.

This year’s partner is the Women’s Mentoring Network. The Stamford-based group offers education and job training, and assistance in areas like financial literacy and computers.

This year’s fundraiser is May 14 (6 to 8 p.m.). “Tapas @ Twilight” includes food, beverages and an auction. Click here or email info@awarect.org for more information.

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Unfortunately, we got this too late to post yesterday (4/20). Still, here goes:

The American Marketing Association Southern Connecticut chapter’s first hybrid event — “CannaCurious? Marketing, Regulations and Social Equity” (May 19, networking at 6 p.m., program at 7, Earthplace and Zoom) — focuses on the booming cannabis sector.

Industry leaders from state and federal regulatory, marketing, social equity and investment advisory groups will share best practices, tips and guidelines for the quickly changing landscape.

To register and for more information, click here.

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Who would put a port-a-potty in the marsh, at the extreme end of Sherwood Island State Park?

(Photo/Art Schoeller)

No one. Well, no one except Mother Nature.

Greens Farms Association president Art Schoeller sent this photo, and an explanation: Monday’s storm floated the portable toilet from the Burying Hill parking lot — where it’s being used for the jetty reconstruction project — across the channel to Sherwood Island.

No s—.

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Westport Country Playhouse has branched out into podcasting.

“Stories from the Playhouse” — a new series — launched this week on Spotify and Libsyn classic feed, and on the Playhouse website.

Hosted by Playhouse assistant artistic director Liam Lonegan, the podcast hopes to inspire artists, audiences and community members. The monthly series will feature guests from throughout the theater world, sharing their stories.

The first episode is “Redefining Normal,” with guest Marcos Santana, director and choreographer of “Next to Normal.” The show runs through Sunday, April 24. Santana tells his story, from growing up in Puerto Rico to performing on Broadway, and sheds light on bringing the pop/rock musical to the Playhouse stage.

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Linda Colletta is launching a new “Westport Studio Concept Space,” open through September.

Her goal with the 33 Elm Street spot is to “make the art studio experience more accessible to the public, enhance education about abstract art, and invite artists and art enthusiasts to connect with the artist in person.”

An opening reception is set for April 29 (6 to 9 p.m.).

Linda Colletta, and her art.

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Westport college admissions counselor Amy Chatterjee offers a free webinar on the admissions process, and the importance – or not – of the SATs and ACTs.

It’s set for Thursday, April 28 (7 p.m.). Click here to register.

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“Westport … Naturally” appreciates our town at all hours of the day. Here was the view at 6:30 yesterday morning, on Riverside Avenue.

(Photo/Tom Cook)

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And finally … tonight on this date in 1977, “Annie” opened on Broadway. The next morning … well, you know.

Nancy Breakstone’s Natural Portraits

There’s something about a small wooden studio off Sylvan Road.

For years it was where artist Perry Barlow worked, creating covers and cartoons for the New Yorker.

Photographer Nancy Breakstone made it her own. She frames and displays photos of abstract patterns she finds everywhere: in the volcanic sand of Costa Rica’s beaches, in coral, even in modernist buildings like the TWA Hotel at JFK. They’ve been on display at local art shows, and online.

She took a turn, creating pictures that could seem tough to understand — until you see how the ocean makes them. Click here for a gallery talk at Silvermine with Trace Burroughs and others, a month before COVID changed everything.

Now Breakstone takes portraits. As always, she’s earned great recognition.

It started 7 years ago. She and her husband Bill Kutik were walking on the coast of Costa Rica, enjoying interesting patterns in the sand. She shot them on her iPhone.

Back at their house, he was surprised. He’d stood next to her, but not seen what she saw. Her photographer’s eye framed things perfectly.

For the past 3 years, the couple  has spent winters in the British Virgin Islands. Breakstone could not find similar abstract natural patterns to photograph.

But she discovered portraits of people. One — a 21-year-old woman named Kimberly — who grew up on an isolated island is a standout track and field athlete events like discus, and distance and relay races.

Her real talent is soccer. She is the goalkeeper for the British Virgin Islands national team.

That’s not enough to pay the bills. Breakstone met her as a day worker at the hotel beach 2 weeks before she headed to Guatemala for the first World Cup qualifying round. The opponent was powerhouse Cuba.

Kimberly said confidently, “We’re gonna win.” She was equally sure a soccer scholarship was coming her way from a college in Louisiana.

They met after the beach bar closed. Breakstone didn’t pose Kimberly; instead, she asked about her life. Breakstone snapped this photo:

Kimberley (Photo/Nancy Breakstone)

Cuba easily beat BVI in the soccer match. But Breakstone’s photo hangs in “Coming of Age,” a show of 70 artists older than 60 at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists. It ran on the cover of a newspaper supplement about the show.

Next up: “The Art of Nature.” The art show and sale Breakstone organized opens soon as a benefit for Earthplace. She will show a new 10-part series of coral and other recent work Nine local artists will exhibit their work too.

The opening night reception (April 28, 5 to 9 p.m.) includes a talk with all 10 artists, and wine and canapés donated by Rizzuto’s. Tickets are $15; click here to purchase, and for more information.

The show is free on Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30. It’s a natural!

 

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Free Trees!

Most “06880” tree stories involve cutting them down.

This one is about planting more.

Westport’s Tree Board is gearing up for Arbor Day with 3 days of free giveaways.

Bartlett Tree Experts is providing 100 red maples and 100 smaller native variety trees. They’re small enough to carry away yourself. After you plant them, they’ll grow large.

The red maples being given away are smaller than these.

Some of the trees will be given away on April 23, as part of the Westport Book Shop’s Jesup Green event.

On Arbor Day itself — April 29 — the trees will be offered at Town Hall.

The next day (April 30), the Tree Board partners with Earthplace. Following the 3-4 p.m. giveaway, there’s a “Toast to the Trees” educational talk.

But that’s just part of the Tree Board’s work.

At last week’s meeting, chair Monica Buesser says, they discussed a “tree inventory.” The survey of every tree on town property (parks, schools, rights of way, etc. — not private land) would allow warden Ben Sykas to figure out where trees should be removed and new ones planted, and the best maintenance schedule, among other information.

An inventory would also provide a record for possible reimbursement, when trees are destroyed in a natural disaster.

The computerized list would be updatable, and searchable. The Public Works Department is looking a different vendors, and costs.

Also in the works: updating the Tree Board’s webpage with more resources, and information on planting, mulching and more; creating a “Be a Tree” story walk at the Wadsworth Arboretum; planting red maple hybrids at Grace Salmon Park, and a “Mayple” spring event to complement “Oaktober” in the fall.

A 2019 storm downed trees at Grace Salmon Park. The Tree Board hopes to replace them. (Photo/Wendy Cusick)

Roundup: Ukraine Rally, Morningside Subdivision, Virtual Bingo …

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There’s a slight time change for today’s Support Ukraine rally on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in downtown Westport.

The event — created quickly this week, in response to President Zelensky’s call for a global peace rally — begins at 11:30 a.m. this morning (Saturday). The event runs through 1 p.m.

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The long-rumored subdivision of one of Westport’s last remaining large residential open spaces is moving forward.

The first agenda item on the Planning & Zoning Commission’s April 4 meeting (7 p.m., Zoom) is an application for 6 building lots at 109 Morningside Drive South. That’s the property owned by the Kowalsky Family, off Clapboard Hill Road.

109 Morningside Drive South

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In the early days of the pandemic — when everyone hungered for human interaction, and Zoom was a novelty — Stan Witkow organized a virtual Bingo game.

Each week, players from Westport — and around the globe — competed. The winner donated his or her winnings to any charity of his or her choice.

In 2 years, players raised more than $20,000 for COVID-related non-profits.

The game continues. Now though, the weekly pool will support Ukrainian relief efforts. Witkow and friends created a list of reliable organizations from which winners can choose. So far, nearly $1,000 has gone to help Ukraine.

New players are welcome. Email stan@witkow.com.

A screenshot from the virtual Bingo game.

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We can never have enough osprey photos. And Carolyn Doan is one of the best photographers of our favorite raptors.

She took this shot this week, at the nest by Fresh Market. It’s a scene we’ll never tire of:

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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Wakeman Town Farm welcomes Easter with its 5th annual “EGGstravaganza.”

On Saturday April 9 (10 to 11;30 a.m.), families can bring egg baskets to WTF. Two hunts (ages 4 and under, and 5 and up) kick off the morning, followed by egg-themed games, story time readings, photos with Big Bunn and visits to the farm’s real animals.

New this year: Families can “adopt” a chicken, and meet and name it there.

Tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Easter at Wakeman Town Farm,

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Speaking of Easter: If there’s a holiday ahead, Winslow Park Animal Hospital is ready.

Here’s the scene in front of the Post Road East clinic:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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The next holiday after Easter is … Arbor Day.

Earthplace celebrates with “A Toast to the Trees” on April 30 (4 to 6 p.m.).

There’s a trail walk, campfire, pizza, kids crafts, s’mores and (I guess this is the “toast” part) beer tastings. Click here for tickets.

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With in-person performances back at the Westport Country Playhouse, there’s a great need for … ushers.

They perform important tasks: greeting patrons, scanning tickets, distributing programs, answering questions and more.

Ushers must be at least 18, unless accompanied by a guardian who will usher with them. Ushers are paired to work together as a team. Dress code is white shirts and black skirts/pants.

For more information contact Kelly Richards Mikolasy, house manager: krichards@westportplayhouse.org; 203-571-1296.

Where’s my seat? Ushers know! (Photo/Robert Benson)

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Cloud Nine — a new designer consignment shop at 339 Main Street (next to Coffee An’) — celebrates its arrival with a special event on March 30.

That day, 10% of all proceeds go to AWARE. That great non-profit assists women through action, resources and education.]

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Last fall, the Westport Woman’s Club put out a call to non-profits needing assistance.

Dozens responded.

A few days ago, 29 organizations got their wish. The WWC handed out $39,000 in grants, to:

Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders; Bridgeport Rescue Mission; Burroughs Community Center; Caroline House;  Center for Family Justice; Child Advocates of Southwestern Connecticut; Circle of Care for Families of Children with Cancer; Circle of Friends; CLASP Homes; Domestic Violence Crisis Center;  ElderHouse; Family & Children’s Agency; Food Rescue US; Help for Kids; Homes with Hope; Human Services Council/Children’s Connection; Malta House; Person-to-Person; Positive Directions; REACH Youth Program at Bridgeport Hospital; Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut; St. Catherine Center for Special Needs; Sweet P Bakery; The Rowan Center; VFW; Westport Department of Human Services Family and Elderly Programs; Westport Community Theatre; Women’s Mentoring Network.

The Westport Woman’s Club has been helping others since 1907. Here’s to the next 115 years!

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Today’s colorful “Westport … Naturally” photo comes courtesy of Jeanine Esposito. She writes:

“A cardinal couple (who mate for life) joined lots of other newcomers in searching for a place to make a nest for their family in Westport. This is from our Beechwood window, on Weston Road.”

(Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

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And finally … you knew it was coming. To celebrate the opening of Cloud Nine, next to Coffee An’ (story above):

Photo Challenge #363

Last week, I noted how rare it was for only 2 readers to correctly answer a Photo Challenge.

This week is even rarer. Not one “06880” reader knew where to find the picture I posted.

Zero. Zilch. Nada. None of you knew that Diane Bosch’s image of a Native American wood carving — complete with headdress — could be found at Earthplace. (Click here to see.)

Specifically, it’s in the Birds of Prey exhibit, inside the cage that houses 2 bald eagles.

Diane thought plenty of kids would know. I — who had no clue where it was — am as surprised as she that not a single person answered correctly.

Which means all have to get to Earthplace more often. Or I have to pick easier Photo Challenges.

Does this one qualify? If you know where n Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

HINT: It’s somewhere nearly all of us go, usually a few times a week.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

 

Pics Of The Day #1661

Woodside Lane, near Earthplace …

… and nearby …

… and the Earthplace sculpture “The Couple,” by William King. Installed in the tall pines in 2016, it was donated by the late Susan Malloy, a longtime Earthplace supporter and daughter of founding trustee Aaron Rabinowitz. (Photos/Rowene Weems Photography)

Meanwhile, this morning brought the first frost of fall to Coleytown Cemetery on Weston Road (Photo/Larry Perlstein)

Roundup: Candidates, Moon, Music …

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Worried about traffic? Want more bike lanes? How can we balance growth with greenery? Interested in Westport’s goal of Net Zero by 2050, energy, transportation, waste, water and conservation issues?

Sustainable Westport and Earthplace are sponsoring a pair of “environmental debates,” prior to next month’s election. Candidates for the Planning & Zoning Commission will meet this Monday (October 18, 6:30 p.m.). Those running for Board of Selectmen will meet on Thursday, October 21 (7 p.m.).

Both events are virtual. Click here for links, and more details. The debates will be recorded, and posted on the Sustainable Westport website for viewing later.

Click here for details on how to watch. Both debates will be recorded and posted to the Sustainable Westport website.

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Sunday is International Observe the Moon Night. The worldwide public event encourages observation and appreciation of (yes) the moon.

The Westport Astronomical Society invites everyone to the observatory on Bayberry Lane this Sunday (8 p.m. — only if skies are clear). It’s a chance to see the moon as you’ve never seen it before. All you have to do is look up.

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Chris Frantz knows music. The Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club artist — and Fairfield resident also knows the importance of introducing new musicians to new audiences.

He’s partnering with the Westport Library on a new series. The inaugural “Chris Frantz Presents Emerging Musicians” concert (December 4) features New York’s Lulu Lewis, and New Haven’s The Problem with Kids Today. Both specialize in punk rock.

This is another music collaboration and production by Verso Studios at the Westport Library and the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. The series will feature up-and-coming regional, national and international talent, hand-picked by Frantz..

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Chris Frantz (Photo/Ebet Roberts)

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Congratulations to this year’s Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services award winners. They were cited at this week’s annual dinner.

Vice President Larry Kleinman won the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He logged vastly more than the 4,000 volunteer hours required for the honor. Kleinman also received Crew Chief of the Year.

Jenna Baumblatt and Ryan Blake were named Youth Corps Members of the Year. EMT of the Year went to Yves Cantin, an ex-president who stays involved.
Volunteer of the Year is Andrew O’Brien.

Volunteer Service Award winners include James Bairaktaris, Jenna Baumblatt,. Ella Bayazit, Ryan Blake, Michael Burns, Yves Cantin, Andrew Dinitz, Carol Dixon, Danielle Faul, Leah Foodman, Daniel Guetta, Dorothy Harris, Deanna Hartog, Jonathan Huzil, Mary Inagami, Vignesh Kareddy. Larry Kleinman, Eliza Lang, Christopher Moore, Annika Morgan, Christopher Muschett, Andrew O’Brien, Lynette Pineda, April Rademacher, Stewart Reifler, Morgan Rizy, Joshua Rosen, Alice Sardarian, Kathleen Smith, Ian Speers, Swati Sriram, Nancy Surace, Audrone Tarnok and Ekaterina Taylor-Yeremeeva.

Honorees (clockwise, from upper left):Yves Cantin, Jenna Baumblatt, Larry Kleinman, Ryan Blake.

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The Westport Garden Club installed Ginger Donaher as its 52nd president yesterday. She’s new — but her family is very familiar.

Ginger’s mother, Nancy  Gault — yes, of those Gaults — served as president from 1991 to ’93. Ginger’s aunt, Judy Sterling, held the position from 1983 to ’85.

Ginger’s grandmother, Georgiana Gault, was not president. But she was an active Garden Club member from the 1950s until her death in 1994.

Kelly Pollard — Ginger’s’ cousin, and Judy’s daughter — is the club’s current hospitality chair. And — who knows? — perhaps a future president herself.

Westport Garden Club president Ginger Donaher (center) is flanked by (from left) Kelly Pollard and Judy Sterling. (Photo/Topsy Siderowf)

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Westporter and animal Reiki volunteer Cathy Malkin is featured in this month’s Connecticut Humane Society spotlight.

She describes herself as “an animal muse who is able to translate animals’ thoughts, feelings and viewpoints so they can be better understood.” For the full Q-and-A, click here.

Cathy Malkin

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Despite the recent deaths of 3 of the their most active, engaged members — and the COVID cancellation of the traditional Great Duck Race and Wine Tasting fundraisers — Westport’s Sunrise Rotary Club pushes forward with its mission to give talent, time and money to community and social causes.

Sunrise Rotary’s International Service Committee got approval last week for 2 new projects: sustainable agriculture to benefit Syrian refugees in Jordan, and battling malnutrition through improved food security in Guatemala. Members are also excited about participating in the upcoming Bridgeport schools’ Read Aloud Day.

For more information on Westport Sunrise Rotary, click here.

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Up Next Teens is a Staples High School organization that fights food insecurity in Fairfield County.

They’re sponsoring tomorrow’s Remarkable Theater showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Ticket purchasers have the option of contributing $25 to their fundraiser. Click here for tickets. Enjoy the show — and help a great cause.

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It’s mid-October. Most leaves have not yet turned. Here’s today’s “Westport … Naturally” image, for example, from Weston Road near Lyons Plains.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

A week from now, this will be an entirely different scene.

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And finally … on this day in 1878, the Edison Electric Light Company began operation. By 1890 it merged with several other Edison companies, and became the Edison General Electric Company. Today we know it as GE.