Tag Archives: Earthplace

Roundup: Turtles, Art, Car Wash …

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A dramatic rescue unfolded in Westport.

Frank Rosen reports that Glenn Ferrari found a diamondback terrapin — a species of special concern in Connecticut — with a broken shell on Harbor Road. She had been hit by a car on the way to her nesting site.

He called Pam Meier, a specialist at wildlife rehabilitation agency The Turtle’s Back.

Glenn Ferrari, Pam Meier and the endangered turtle.

She lives in Madison. But she met Glenn in Fairfield.

The turtle didn’t make it. But Pam salvaged her 11 eggs, and incubated them.

Yesterday she and Glenn released the hatchlings back home in Saugatuck Shores, where — hopefully — they will thrive.

One of the 11 baby turtles.

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There’s a new gallery in town.

Miami-based Contemporary Art Modern Project (The CAMP Gallery) has just opened its second space. It’s at 190 Main Street — near Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolate and Joe’s Pizza.

An opening reception is set for tomorrow (Friday, September 24, 5 to 8 p.m.). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dominik Schmitt’s works, at the CAMP Gallery.

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I don’t usually plug car washes. But because this one is run by the Staples High School boys soccer team that I coach — and it’s my blog — I will.

The varsity, reserve and freshman teams will be at the Christ & Holy Trinity Church parking lot off Elm Street this Saturday (September 25), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There’s no minimum donation. Give whatever you wish (and buy baked goods too). Funds raised support many of the team expenses not covered by the school budget.

Clean as a whistle!

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Turtles are an important part of Westport’s wildlife. So — long ago, and now returned in force — are turkeys.

Abby Tolan-Gordon spotted this flock yesterday, at Earthplace. They’re perfect for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Abby Gordon-Tolan)

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And finally … speaking of turtles:

Roundup: Officer Honors, American Relay, Rach’s Hope …

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Congratulations to Mark Heinmiller: Westport Police Department’s Officer of the Year.

The detective received the honor last night, in a family ceremony at the Remarkable Theater.

A WPD press release called him “an incredibly accomplished and effective investigator who successfully closed a number of complicated cases over the last year. Heinmiller’s knowledge and dedication to his investigations has undoubtedly improved the safety and quality of life for all of Westport’s residents and visitors.”

Other awards included unit citations, certificates of recognition, meritorious service awards, investigator ribbons and life-saving awards.

Marc Heinmiller and K-9 dog Lola at work.

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Bacharach Community — Homes with Hope‘s supportive housing program for formerly homeless families — needs new roofs for its 3 homes.

They hope Westport has it covered.

“We’ve Got You Covered” — the clever name for the project — is reaching out to local businesses. They can redirect their 2021 state tax dollars for a 100% one-to-one tax credit, through the Neighborhood Assistance Act program.

“We’ve Got You Covered” is less than $25,000 away from its goal. To help sponsor the Bacharach Community roof project (minimum contribution: $250), click here.

The program deadline is October 1. However, payment is not due until December 31. For more information, email Janet Zamparo: jzamparo@hwhct.org

Homes in the Bacharach Community.

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When Nancy Wilson saw an “06880” post announcing the Great American Relay — a relay race fundraiser for first responders and military personnel, beginning September 11 in Boston and ending 38 days later in Santa Monica, California — she set out to find a team.

On Wednesday, her crew — Nancy, Jason Lucas, Kelly Konstanty, Lisa Goldstein, Karla Cohen, Lauren Leppla, Kenji Ogawa and Ken Gallagher — arrived in town. They handed their baton to Barbara Campbell, Elizabeth Hofmann and Jeffrey Wollman, who ran to Darien.

To learn more about the Great American Relay, click here.

Westport Fire Department personnel with runners (from left): Barb Campbell, Jeff Wollman, Ken Gallagher, Jason Lucas, Lauren Leppla, Nancy Wilson, Kelly Konstanty, Lisa Slow Goldstein, Karla Cohen Fisher.

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As Gold’s prepares for Yom Kippur, the longtime, always popular delicatessen wants its customers to know what’s going on.

Here are a few signs:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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One coming-of-age film, and another about what happens years later, highlight this weekend’s Remarkable Theater offerings.

The drive-in on Imperial Avenue screens “The Big Chill” — the still very relevant 1983 classic — on Friday, September 17 (7:30 p.m.).

The next night’s feature (Saturday, September 18, 6:45 p.m.) is “Luca,” a 2021 release about 2 boys experiencing an unforgettable summer.

Click here for tickets and more information.

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Three years ago, Rachel Doran — a rising senior at Cornell University, National Merit Commended Scholar, talented Players costume designer, and founder of “Rachel’s Rags,” a company that makes intricate cotton and fleece pajama tops and bottoms — died following a rare reaction to common medications.

Her family now has a mission: to support families with critically ill children. To help, they’ve organized an outdoor, family-friendly event for October 2 (4 p.m., Compo Beach).

Rachel’s grandfather “Pa” pledged to walk 1,000 miles in his 80th year to honor Rachel, and raise money for Rach’s Hope. He’s almost there. He plans to finish at the upcoming event — nicknamed “Walk the Extra Mile with Pa and Team Rach’s Hope.”

At the end of the mile walk, everyone will gather to celebrate Pa’s feat with a pizza truck, live music by Ellis Island, and beverages.

PJs are optional, but encouraged!

Click here for more information, and to register or donate.

Rachel Doran’s grandfather gets ready to walk. You can too!

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The Westport Tree Board in partnership with Earthplace present Call of the FOREST.

The science and enchantment of the global forest provides us with answers to modern dilemmas.

‘Call Of The Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees’ is a documentary featuring scientist and acclaimed author Diana Beresford-Kroeger. The film follows Diana as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Her global journey explores the science, folklore, and restoration challenges of this essential eco-system.

Beresford-Kroeger explores the most beautiful forests in the Northern Hemisphere from the sacred sugi and cedar forests of Japan to the great boreal forest of Canada. She shares the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while also explaining the science of trees and the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.

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You could call it a “rain forest.”

“Call of the Forest” — a movie co-sponsored by the Westport Tree Board and Earthplace — was rained out in July.

The new date is September 22 (6:30 p.m., Earthplace outdoor amphitheater; indoor if rain).

The coumentary features scientist/author Diana Beresford-Kroeger as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Her global journey explores the science, folklore and restoration challenges of this essential ecosystem.

Click here for more information.

In other Tree Board news, they’re joining with the Westport Library for a children’s “Oaktober oaktivity on Jesup Green (October 23, 11 a.m.)

Oak seedlings — courtesy of Bartlett Tree — will be available at both events (while supplies last).

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Today’s very serene “Westport … Naturally” scene comes courtesy of Lauri Weiser:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … Lauri Weiser’s image above leads (naturallyto:

 

Roundup: B3, Earthplace, Butterflies …

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Hard to believe, but B3 starting its 30th year of helping teenagers build character and responsibility while improving communities in need at home and around the world.

Enrollment is open for both the local (Fairfield County) program (8th graders) and the traditional high school (Latin America) program.

Since 1992, B3 has volunteered in 13 countries, with over 7,000 volunteers. This year they’ll construct facilities in Guatemala.

There’s an open house with more information tomorrow (Thursday, September 2), and another on October 6. Both are from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the B3 office (66 Fort Point Street, Norwalk). Click here to register. Click here for the B3 website.

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Earthplace is gearing up for 2 great events. One is for adults; the other is family friendly.

The (adult) event — “Woodside Bash” — includes a harvest dinner under the stars, open bar, mechanical bull and music by the party band Pimpinella. It’s Saturday, October 2 (7 to 10 p.m.). Click here for tickets.

The next day (Sunday, October 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is a Family Festival. Activities include a climbing wall, apple slingshot, donuts on a string, pumpkin bowling, hayride, corn pool, food trucks and more. Kids under 2 go free!

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Thomas McCarthy died peacefully at his Westport home on Sunday. He was surrounded by his children, holding the hand of his wife of 61 years, Mary, who he called the most beautiful woman in the world. He was 89 years old.

He was a member of the Class of 1954 at Dartmouth College. After serving in the Army in Berlin, he purchased a 1-way Greyhound tickeet to New York City.

Within a week he met the love of his life, Mary, at a St. Patrick’s Day CYO dance on 7th Avenue, and embarked on a successful career in the insurance industry.

Thomas worked for almost 40 years for General Reinsurance Corporation, where he spearheaded groundbreaking innovations in the pricing of reinsurance policies for individual properties. His department was known for its underwriting profitability for many years. He was a great leader and mentor for many. His career culminated with successful international assignments in London and China.

While he traveled the world extensively, he felt there was no better place to be than the front porch of his home in Westport, which he called the most beautiful place on Earth.

Thomas was deeply curious, with a passion for the world, and an extraordinary eye for beauty and the works of talented artists and artisans. In addition to his collection of children, he amassed a world-class collection of antique and modern glass paperweights. He cultivated a spectacular rose garden that brought beauty and joy to many.

A lifelong lover of golf, he played many of the world’s greatest courses but enjoyed a round at Longshore most of all.

He was a proud progressive and a faithful Catholic. He volunteered for many years at the Gillespie Center where he and Mary served dinner one Monday each month for many years.

An avid reader and student of history, he gladly shared his books and his opinions with any who asked. He was extraordinarily generous with his good fortune, and always willing to give a helping hand to those in need.

He served as an inspiration to his grandchildren and took great pleasure in watching them grow.

He is survived by his wife Mary; children Christine, Thomas, John (Susan), Maggie, Michael (Stacy), Paul (Ann) and Stacey), and grandchildren Kathleen, Thomas, James, Crissy, Patrick, Jack, Danny, Siobhan and Sean.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Catholic Relief Services or the ACLU.

Family and friends are invited Thomas’ funeral this Friday (September 3, 11 a.m., Assumption Church for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, 73 Greens Farms Road. The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home (210 Post Road East) tomorrow (Thursday, September 2, 4-8 p.m. Masks are required.

Click here to leave online condolences.

Thomas McCarthy

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Former Westporter Carl Spagnuolo of Fairfield died August 27, surrounded by his family. He was 87.

A Bronx native, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University. He had a career as a marketing executive at Union Carbide, Stauffer Chemical and Lonza.

An avid reader and New York Giants fan, his true love was travelling the world with his wife and family. His travels spanned 4 continents with his favorite stops being Aruba and Italy.

He and his wife Margaret celebrated 65 years of marriage in June. He also leaves behind daughters Dawn Curtis (Brian) and Elisa Brennan (Christopher) and grandchildren Justin, Christopher, Ryan, Olivia and Brittany.

Private services will be held. Click here for online condolences.

Carl Spagnuolo

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Up next at Amy Simon Fine Art (123 Post Road East): “Good Company.”

The exhibit features Cara Enteles, Kristina Grace, Takefumi Hori, Maura Segal, Louise P. Sloane and Ayse Wilson.

It opens tomorrow (Friday, September 3), and runs through October 8.

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Bryan Schwartz is visiting from Boston. He collected 15 Monarch butterfly eggs from the leaves of the milkweed plant, then placed them in a special container where they changed into caterpillars. They became butterflies a month later. He holds them for an hour or so, drying their wings before flying.

Yesterday, he was at Compo Beach. People were amazed to see a magnificent monarch butterfly perched on his hand, ready to fly away. Thanks to Barbara Schwartz and Karen Como for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Karen Como)

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And finally … speaking of butterflies taking off (above): Elton John knows as well as anyone. “Butterflies are free to fly away …”

Roundup: Vaccines, Basso, Butterflies …

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The Connecticut Department of Public Health, Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and many youth sports organizations are urging all athletes 12 years and older to get vaccinated against COVID.

It’s the best way, officials say, to ensure a healthy, safe and uninterrupted fall season. The organizations suggest that sports groups host and sponsor mobile or other vaccine clinics, to reach students.

They note one major reason to get a shot: people who have been vaccinated do not need to quarantine if exposed to a COVID case, if they are asymptomatic.

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La Plage — the great new restaurant at the Inn at Longshore — opens today. But — as noted in a recent 06880″ story — it’s dinner only for now, Wednesdays through Sundays.

The reason: staffing. Finding help — cooks, servers, dishwashers, bussers, front-of-the-house, you name it — is tough.

It’s a town-wide (and nationwide) problem. Basso is one of Westport’s most popular restaurants. This sign hangs near the outdoor tables, on Jesup Road:

(Photo/Dan Woog)

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. But there may be no lunch at any restaurants, if they can’t find enough help.

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Devil’s Den has reopened.

The popular 1,800-acre Weston preserve — The Nature Conservancy’s largest in Connecticut — closed in the spring of 2020, in the early days of the pandemic. It was overwhelmed with visitors, many of whom parked illegally, brought dogs or stayed past dark.

As of last Sunday, the woodlands, wetlands and rock ledges are open from sunrise to 5 p.m. Click here for more information. (Hat tip: Weston Today)

Devil’s Den

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Speaking of nature: Earthplace did it! They reached their $40,000 fundraising goal — and got a full matching grant for their Animal Hall.

Donations came from regular friends, new donors, neighbors and from afar. A matching grant of every dollar up to $20,000 was key too.

Earthplace officials thank the “amazing, generous and kind” community for its support. The animals join in too (see below!).

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Speaking still of nature: ButtARfly  is inelegantly named.

But it’s a great program, bringing butterflies from the Smithsonian’s Open Access collections to life on a computer screen. Users can learn about butterfly species, add them to a virtual shadow box, and release them into an augmented reality experience for desktop and mobile. There are even different sounds for each specimen.

The Department of Media Arts & Technology at New Mexico Highlands University helped develop the initiative — with the help of 1984 Staples High School graduate Lauren Addario, as audio advisor and content developer.

Click here to enjoy.

Monarch butterfly at Compo Beach. They’re everywhere — including the Smithsonian. (Photo/Jamie Walsh)

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Lotsa nature today. Our “Westport … Naturally” photo shows “2 bees in a bud.” It’s courtesy of Tracy Porosoff, from her garden near Compo Beach.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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The Y’s Men (and their wise spouses) meet every Tuesday during the summer at South Beach, for food, camaraderie and sunsets. Jon Fox organized the event several years ago.

Yesterday they added a bit of fundraising, for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Peter Nathan solicited donations — and brought in over $1,300.

That’s one more feather in one of Westport’s premier volunteer organization’s cap!

Y’s Men (from left): Mike Guthman, Roy McKay, David Kalman (hot dog supplier), Peter Nathan, Jon Fox, Baxter Urist and Larry Lich. (Photo/Dorothy Fox)

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And finally … our musical interlude usually celebrates birthdays, anniversaries and upbeat events from years gone by. After all, there aren’t too many downer songs about bad things in history. (Okay — “Eve of Destruction.”)

But today is the 47th anniversary of the day 3 civil rights workers — Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney — were found dead in Mississippi. They had disappeared 43 days earlier.

So — at the risk of alienating all my friends from that state — I present Phil Ochs:

Roundup: Darlene Love, Emmy Nominees, Kicking + Screening …

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Only a few tickets remain for Darlene Love’s sure-to-be-great benefit show tomorrow night (Friday, July 16, 7:30 p.m.)) at the Levitt Pavilion.

She’s a legend. Under Phil Spector, she sang lead on the Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel.” She worked with everyone from Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick and the Beach Boys to Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Sonny & Cher. She performed on Broadway (“Hairspray,” “Grease,” and as herself in the first jukebox musical ever, “Leader of the Pack”), then won a Grammy for her featured role in the Oscar-winning “20 Feet From Stardom,” about backup singers.

She’s ranked among Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers. And in 2011, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

As an added attraction, she’ll be joined by Westport’s own Crispin Cioe. A legend himself — he’s a renowned music director, saxophonist, composer and songwriter who has played and recorded with James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Solomon Burke, Tom Waits, Ray Charles and the Ohio Players — he calls Darlene Love “my soul and inspiration.”

Click here for the few remaining tickets.

Darlene Love (right) and Crispin Cioe (left) will rock the Levitt on Friday.

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The 2021 Emmy nominations are in. And at least 3 have Westport ties.

Two nominees are from the very same Staples High School class. Kerri Kenney-Silver is up for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her role as Deputy Trudy Wiegel in “Reno 911!”

Here 1988 classmate Eric Beetner was nominated for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured Reality or Competition Program. He edited “The Amazing Race.”

Up for an Emmy for Outstanding Music Supervision for “Halston” is Amanda Krieg Thomas. Her father, Peter Krieg, graduated from Staples in 1969.

I am sure there are plenty of other Emmy nominations with Westport connections. Email dwoog@optonline.net, and I’ll give them their due. (Hat tip: Bonnie Erickson)

Emmy Award

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Kicking + Screening may be the world’s biggest celebration of soccer culture.

Since 2009, the gloriously named organization has screened hundreds of soccer-related films, raised thousands of dollars for soccer charities, and organized panels, parties, soccer poetry readings and soccer art shows.

Kicking + Screening has (of course) strong Westport roots. Co-founder Rachel Markus — a former “ruthless striker,” and 20-year film industry veteran — lives here.

(Co-founder Greg Lalas — brother of former national team star Alexi Lalas — has been MLS vice president of content and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated and The New York Times. He is on the board of Soccer Without Borders.)

COVID brought a halt to in-person movie showings. But Kicking + Screening is ready to start up again.

And their first show is right here in Westport.

The North American premiere of “Men of Hope” is set for the Westport Library on Thursday, July 29 (7 p.m.). The fascinating-way-beyond-soccer documentary follows the Afghanistan national team, as it attempts to qualify for the Asian Cup. Challenges include war, political squabbling, corruption — and some formidable opponents.

Click here for tickets. For more information on Kicking + Screening, click here.

(Can’t make the July 29 Library screening? “Men of Hope” is available to stream from July 30 through August 1, through the link above.)

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For a while, Earthplace has struggled to raise money to feed and support its animals. The need is great, for everything from weekly produce for Animal Hall ($50) to a month’s supply of food for the bald eagles, Cerena and Chatty ($250).

Now — in the midst of a fundraising drive — several donors have stepped up. They’ll match all pledges up to $20,000. That would cover the animal program’s cost for a full year. Click here to help.

Cerena, one of Earthplace’s 2 bald eagles, can’t go hungry!

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Earthplace does not feed bears. But — as part of their educational mission, particularly during this summer when several Westporters have had close encounters of the ursine kind — the Woodside Lane center is sponsoring a free program about bears.

On Wednesday, July 28 (7 p.m., Earthplace amphitheater), Connecticut master wildlife conservationist Felicia Ortner will provide “bear facts” — and dispel myths and misunderstandings.

This was the scene recently, off Weston, (Photo/Denny Galindo)

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Two days ago, our “06880” Roundup featured a photo of a car whose 4 wheels — probably because of the rims — had been stolen, on the top floor of the Wilton Road parking garage.

Today’s shot — eerily similar — is from the eastbound side of the Westport train station.

(Photo/Frank Rosen)

Pretty brazen, in these days of security cameras everywhere.

And boy, those rims must be really cool.

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A closing reception for the George Billis Gallery “Summer Escape” pop-up exhibit is set for next Wednesday (July 21, 5 to 7 p.m., 166 Main Street).

Artwork includes oceans, beaches, pools, sailboats, waterscapes, and paintings inspired by travel around the US and Europe. Westporter Dale Najarian is a featured artist.

“Compo Beach,” oil on canvas (Dale Najarian)

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Jeffrey Evans died peacefully in the company of family in Cumming, Georgia on Sunday. He was 64., and lived in Westport for over 35 years.

A graduate of Staples High School, Jeff had a successful career in communication technology sales.

Jeffrey Evans

Jeff was known for his ready smile and constant humor. He was an excellent golfer and dancer. He enjoyed music, and went on many travel adventures with his wife.

He is survived by his wife, Diane Evans; daughters Adriana and Theresa of Connecticut; stepdaughters Brandi Garner and Kristin Baxter of Georgia; sister Valerie Russell of North Carolina, and 8 grandchildren. His family says, “His generous heart and wonderful spirit will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”

A memorial service will take place at Christ Church in Greenwich on Sunday, July 25 (2 p.m.). In lieu of Flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jeff’s name to your favorite non-profit organization.

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The Westport Farmer’s Market is open today (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Imperial Avenue parking lot).

But a few steps away, at Baron’s South, you can snag some free raspberries. How’s that for “Westport … Naturally”?!

(Photo/Jay Dirnberger)

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And finally … speaking of those delicious raspberries (above):

Roundup: Kids, Trees, Birds …

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The Levitt Pavilion’s Children’s Series continues tomorrow — and every Wednesday, through August 25.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 7, 7 p.m.), Grammy winner Dan Zanes (The Del Fuegos) and Haitian-American jazz vocalist/music therapist Claudia Zanes perform a mix of old and new songs from near and far. Audience members are invited to dance along.

In the wings:

  • The Hall Family (July 14)
  • Divinity Roxx (July 21)
  • Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats (July 28)
  • Hopalong Andrew (August 4)
  • Elena Moon Park & Friends (August 11)
  • The Pop Ups (August 18)
  • Sonia De Los Santos (August 25).

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Click here to register, and for more information.

Dan and Claudia Zanes

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The Earthplace amphitheater is a beautiful spot, nestled in the woods. It’s the perfect place to learn about trees.

So mark July 21 (6:30 p.m.) for a free program there. Earthplace and the Westport Tree Board are sponsoring an outdoor showing of “Call of the Forest: Wisdom of Trees.”

In the video, noted scientist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger will discuss the profound human connection to ancient and sacred northern forests, and the essential role they play in sustaining the health of our planet.

Admission is free.

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Finding Westport always finds great causes to support.

This “Independence” month, they invite you to show off your patriotism by shopping their collection of unisex tees, camping mugs, sweatshirts, beach towels, stickers, pins and weekly specials.

All say “God Bless Westport … The Land That I Love.” 10% of all sales go to VFW Joseph Clinton Post 399, right here in town. Click here to see, and order.

Camping mug

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Ah, to be young and agile. Seen somersaulting on Soundview Avenue were Branden Acselrod and Adam Cooper.

(Photo/Marc Sheinbaum)

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Today’s “Naturally … Westport” series features Tina Green. She’s been photographing birds in and around town — and she sure knows what’s up.

Here’s her report on our bald eagles:

“The juvenile bald eagles are the Sherwood Island State Park siblings from what I believe is the first documented nest in Westport. An adult pair of bald eagles began working on a nest last fall in the park, and were successful in fledging 2 young. It’s extremely likely the eagles will continue nesting at this location. They will add sticks to the nest each year, and will continue to be seen year round in that area.”

Here are 2 double-crested cormorants. They nest on Goose Island, just west of Cockenoe.

Finally, here’s a marsh wren. Tina says they nest in the cattails and phragmites that surround most of Gorham Island.

(Photos/Tina Green)

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And finally … Van McCoy died of a heart attack on this day in 1979. He was just 39 years old.

He has 700 song copyrights to his credit, and produced songs for artists like Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Stylistics, Aretha Franklin, Brenda & the Tabulations, David Ruffin, Peaches & Herb  and Lesley Gore. But he will be forever known for his Grammy-winning, million-selling, summer-of-1975-defining smash:

Roundup: Staples Players, Mattress Recycling, Pet Photos …

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The Staples High School auditorium has been dark for 14 months.

But later this month, Staples Players will be back on stage.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Saturday, May 8) for a unique show. “Words Words Words … And Music” is a feel-good, very funny journey through 5 short plays by award-winning (and witty) playwright David Ives, plus 2 mini-musicals and a smattering of songs and monologues.

The curtain goes up May 20 and 21 (7:30 p.m.), and 22 (2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.). Socially distant seating is available tomorrow (click here). NOTE: Cultural starvation and fewer seats may create a toilet paper-in-2020 situation.

A virtual livestream is set for June 6 (6 p.m.).

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Who wouldn’t like free compost?

Just bring a container (no larger than a kitchen trash can) to the mattress and box spring recycling event at Earthplace tomorrow (Saturday, May 8, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.). Boy Scouts will fill it!

Sustainable Westport is thanking Westport for making the food scrap recycling program such a success. Started less than a year ago, residents now divert 10 tons of food scraps a month. (That’s in addition to me compost piles.)

That’s great. But the goal is to double participation in the Zero Food Waste Challenge in the next 6 months. For options, and guidance, click here. For more information on tomorrow’s event, email ZeroWaste@SustainableWestport.org or call 203-293-6320.

Free compost at Earthplace!

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Speaking of Earthplace: This year, their annual fundraiser has been turned into a special “Cocktails & Clams To Go” have-your-own-picnic event.

100 boxes of Copps Island oysters or clams (your choice) are on sale (along with a shucking knife, cocktail sauce and mixer, Harbor Watch car magnet, and raffle entry.

Each basket purchased allows Harbor Watch to continue its fight against pollution in local waterways. Click here for more information, and to purchase your shellfish.

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Ever since she opened Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates, Aarti Khosla has helped people and organizations in need in Westport, Bridgeport and throughout Fairfield County.

Now she’s helping people in her native land.

As COVID causes havoc in India, Aarti is helping raise funds to mobilize oxygen concentrators and other equipment. “No amount is too small to make a difference,” Aarti says. She is working with Vibha, a non-profit whose tagline is “Save lives. Save India.” Click here for details, and to contribute.

She is also donating 20% of all sales from Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week to Vibha. So this is the perfect time for some fantastic chocolate — and to help an important cause.

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Tickets for individual Westport Country Playhouse virtual performances are now on sale.

This season’s online offerings include a comedy (“Tiny House,” June 29-July 18), a Script in Hand (“The Savannah Disputation,” June 14-20), a classic (“Man of La Mancha 2018,” August 23-September 5), and a gripping drama (“Doubt: A Parable,” November 2-21).

Virtual tickets start at just $20. Click here for more information, and to order. Questions? Call 203-227-4177, or email boxoffice@westportplayhouse.org.

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Staples junior Katie Davitt has found a way to combine her passions for art and advocacy. She draws pet portraits for families — and donates 100% of the proceeds to causes she cares deeply about, like racial justice (Equal Justice Initiative), animal welfare (Connecticut Humane Society) and combating climate change (Environmental Defense Fund).

So far, she has raised and given away over $1,500.

Katie says, “the pandemic has given me an opportunity to look inward and realize what is truly important to me: family, friends, pursuing my passions. At the same time it’s opened my eyes to injustices in the world. I feel like I am doing my small part in making a difference.”

Katie is busy with schoolwork. But anyone interested in pet portraits this summer should send a photo of the pet, its name and your background color preference to kateedavitt@gmail.com. She charges $65 for a printed portrait in a 9”x11” black frame with a white matte, $45 for a digital file.

One of Katie Davitt’s pet photos.

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Westport Transit director Peter Gold writes:

“Ten days ago, I urged the community to ask the RTM to support public transit in Westport by restoring funds cut from the Westport Transit District’s budget for the Wheels2U Westport shuttles.

“The response was overwhelming. Over 100 letters were sent to the RTM from individuals and organizations in favor of restoring the funding. The RTM heard your voice, and voted 32-to-1 to restore the budget and keep Westport’s Wheels2U shuttle running and growing!

“Wheels2U Westport was launched in October 2020 to support Westport residents and businesses. It provides a convenient and environmentally-friendly way for Westport residents and reverse commuters to travel between the train stations and their homes, employers and downtown. Wheels2U is now an integral part of Westport.

“We cannot thank you enough! A diverse group of residents, commuters and key Westport organizations came together to share your stories, explain the shuttle’s benefits, and lend your voice to restoring the budget.

“There are exciting things planned for Wheels2U Westport in the next year. We look forward to keeping everyone up to date about our growth and new initiatives.”

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Westport’s wonderful spring continues. Judith Katz spotted these tulips on Myrtle Avenue, across from Sconset Square. Just a few of the many colorful flowers that make our town so beautiful.

(Photo/Judith Katz)

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And finally … in Vienna today in 1824, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was first performed. It’s considered the composer’s greatest work — and one of the finest musical achievements of all time. Groundbreaking in its use of voices, it is also one of the most performed symphonies in the world.

Of course, Beethoven never heard his masterpiece. When he began composing the 9th Symphony in 1822, he was already deaf.

Roundup: Earth Day, Animals, Toilets …

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Earth Day crops up soon. And Sustainable Westport has partnered with Earthplace for a month of activities. Here are 2.

Today (Sunday, April 11, 1 to 1:45 p.m., Zoom, free) or next Sunday (April 18, 1 to 2:30 p.m., in person, $10 per person), join naturalist Veronica Swain for sessions on invasive plant identification and non-chemical removal. Click here to register for today; click here for next Sunday.

This Tuesday, (April 13, 12 noon, Zoom) the topic is toilets.

In “Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet,” award-winning science journalist Chelsea Wald dives into the future of thrones with Peter Boyd, Sustainable Westport chair. They’ll profile scientists, engineers, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and activists focusing on making toilets accessible and healthier for humans and the planet. No s*it!

Click here to register. Click here to buy copies of the signed “Pipe Dreams” book.

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Weston celebrates Earth Day too.

A “Trash to Treasure Hunt” is set for Lachat Town Farm (April 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Local artist Andy Reiss will show how to create sculptures from items that would otherwise be thrown away.

For the first time, visitors can walk the farm’s new mile-long nature trail, and enjoy Lachat’s animals, woods and pond.

Experts will offer advice about recycling and seed planting. They’ll also launch a new environmental initiative in Weston: a bottle bank at the transfer station to recycle glass.

Every family that attends will get a free native tree sapling to plant at home.

Other Weston Earth Day events include Green Up Day (April 24, Norfield Church with Weston Kiwanis), and an online information session about recycling trends (April 29, transfer station).

Throughout April, Weston Library offers recycled children’s crafts both online and as packs to pick up. There’s also a book display in the children’s room about the environment and gardening.

For more information and how to register for all the events, click here. http://facebook.com/sustainableweston.

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Speaking of nature: Gil Ghitelman spotted this visitor near the Westport Library yesterday. He (or she) was waddling out of the Saugatuck River, and appreciated the steps.

(Photo/Gus Ghitelman)

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Staples’ spring sports teams are back in action, after missing the entire 2020 due to COVID.

Two squads made impressive debuts. Carter Kelsey (6 innings, 12 strikeouts) and Matt Spada (1 inning, 3 strikeouts) combined for a 6-0 no-hit win over Darien. It was the Wreckers’ first game since winning the 2019 state “LL” championships.

Boys lacrosse delivered a 7-3 victory over New Canaan, traditionally one of the top teams in the FCIAC league.

And looking back at winter sports: The boys ice hockey team reached finished 8th in the state Division 3 hockey rankings. Four players earned Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State Division 3 honors: seniors Owen Sherman and Victor Sarrazin (1st team), and senior Zachary Schwartz and sophomore Aaron Kail earned (2nd team). Schwartz also received the state’s Hobey Baker Character Award, for outstanding performance on and off the ice.

Clockwise, from upper left: Owen Sherman, Victor Sarrazin, Aaron Kail, Zachary Schwartz.

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MoCA Westport has announced a Summer Open Calls. The juried exhibition  is open to all emerging, mid-career and established visual artists over 18.

It will be on view from June 25 to August 21, 2021. Submission deadline is May 21.

All mediums will be considered. There are no size limitations. Artists must submit digital samples of 5 to 10 works of art, a resumé and brief artist statement. Click here for applications. For more information email liz@mocawestport.org or call 203-222-7070.

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And finally … happy 89th birthday to Joel Grey!

Roundup: Outdoors, Suffragists, DMX …

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Spring is in the air. And there’s no better place to smell it — and enjoy the outdoors — than Wakeman Town Farm.

Westport’s sustainable jewel is back open. Visiting hours begin today (Saturday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), including the popular Meet the Farmer program.

Everyone 13 and older is welcome for a walk around the gardens and grounds. (All COVID rules are in effect.) For more information, click here.

Wakeman Town Farm is open once again.

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Speaking of the environment: The Parks and Recreation Department sponsors “Clean Up Westport Day” on Saturday, April 24.

Over 50 local organizations and groups will help. Individuals and families can show up at the Parks Advisory Committee’s sites — Riverside and Grace Salmon Parks — or any street or public space.

Formal groups should call Parks & Rec (203-341-5091) before April 16, to let them know the time and location of their cleanup efforts. After the event, the town will collect bagged garbage and debris from each site.

Free trash bags are available outside the Parks & Rec office (opposite the Longshore golf course pro shop) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on April 16 b8:30am and 4:30pm. Bags are limited to 6 per organization, and must be requested by April 15.

Cleaning up Grace Salmon Park.

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“Westport’s Suffragists — Our Neighbors, Our Crusaders: The 19th Amendment Turns 100” was the Westport Library’s best exhibit that no one visited.

Well, hardly anyone. It opened last year just days before COVID shut the town down.

But the Connecticut League of History Organizations knows about it. And they’ve awarded the Library an Award of Merit for it.

The awards committee was impressed with “how the exhibit fit nicely into a larger series of public programs and showcased the lives of local women in their fight for suffrage.”

Fortunately, the exhibit is online (click here). It explores the careers and political triumphs of suffragists who made Westport home. It also honors over 50 Westport women — many forgotten — who left their parlors for the streets, to fight for voting rights.

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The Remarkable Theater drive-in is back in action. Last year , the Imperial Avenue lot also served as the stage for the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s Supper & Soul Series. Next month, they return there.

Dark Desert Eagles — an Eagles tribute band — have been booked for Friday and Saturday nights, May 14 and 15. The Chamber urges attendees to get takeout from local restaurants and markets, and bring it to the concert.

Tickets for each show are $150 per car (5 person maximum). They go on sale this Monday, April 12 (10 a.m.). Click here to order.

Dark Desert Eagles

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Yesterday’s Roundup highlighted the mattress recycling program at Earthplace on May 8 (8:30 to 11:30 a.m.).

Not everyone has a mattress to get rid of. But you should still head to Earthplace that day.

Particularly if you’d like free compost. Bring a bucket, and Sustainable Westport will fill it. It’s open to all Westport residents, as a thank-you for making the food scrap recycling program such a success.

Sustainable Westport is collecting nearly 10 tons of food scraps a month from the transfer station (a free service for residents), and from the 2 licensed food scrap haulers (a paid curbside service). Over 500 Westport families are composting in some form.

Intrigued, but don’t know how to begin? Volunteers will sell food scrap recycling starter kits (with a countertop pail, compostable gags and 6-gallon transportation container) during the May 8 Earthplace event. (They’re free for income-eligible folks).

If you’re not into mattress recycling or food scraps — come anyway. It’s a family-friendly outing, with guided trail tours and animal feeding.

PS: Bring natural corks, used magic markers, mascara wands and batteries for recycling.

For more information click here, or email admin@sustainablewestport.org.

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Mark your calendar for these Sherwood Island State Park events. They’re presented by the Friends of Sherwood Island. That’s what friends are for!

Early Bird Earth Day (Saturday, April 17, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.): Kites and model airplanes; disc golf; information tables and more.

How to Grow Raspberries & Blueberries (April 18, 2 to 4 p.m., Nature Center). Mini-lesson — and 6 plants will be given away.

One Tree Planted Grant (April 23 and 24): 125 native trees and shrubs will be planted these days. Help is needed! Email michelemsorensen@gmail.com

Growing Potatoes (May 9, 2 to 4 p.m., Nature Center). Bring a potato with eyes to plant.

Plant corn, beans and squash (May 30, 2 to 4 p.m., Nature Center). Take home free seeds!

Connecticut Trails Day (June 5, all day). Kayak and walking tours, hikes.

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Judith Katz has just 2 words for this magnolia tree in her backyard at Harvest Commons: “At last!”

(Photo/Judith Katz)

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Long-time Westporter Sarah Kennedy takes after her great-aunt: Henrietta Cholmeley-Jones, a noted artist and supervisor of Westport’s WPA art project.

During the COVID lockdown, Sarah painted this acrylic of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

“They are inspirations to me,” Sarah says. “Anyone who keeps smiling and doing their duty at their age, I admire.”

After the news of Prince Philip’s death yesterday, at 99, she shares her work with the “06880” community.

 

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And finally … DMX — described by the New York Times as a “snarling yet soulful rapper … who had a string of No. 1 albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s but whose personal struggles eventually rivaled his lyrical prowess,” died yesterday in White Plains. He was 50.

Roundup: Vaccines, Teacher Of The Year, Mattress Recycling, Jeff Immelt …

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Yesterday’s 4th Westport Public Schools’ vaccine clinic was another success.

Hundreds of educators — along with their colleagues in Weston and Easton — have now received their 2nd COVID dose.

Yesterday’s event in the Staples High School fieldhouse was an “all in the family” affair. In the photo below, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice receives his injection from Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Technician Ben Frimmer.

Frimmer’s name may sound familiar. That’s because his day job is theater teacher and drama director at Coleytown Middle School.

(Photo/John Bayers)

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Speaking of education: Eric Lawrence is the Connecticut PTA Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of the Year. The 18-year veteran is a technology instructor. Right now he also teaches 4th grade distance learning.

Yesterday, his Saugatuck Elementary School community came together to celebrate.

A parent said: “Mr. Lawrence, you have always been a truly outstanding teacher here at Saugatuck. But as we all know when we face really difficult times, the absolute best can come out in people.

“Many of us thought we could never express how much SSN (Saugatuck Seal News) meant to us from the early days of the shutdown through this year, but we hope we can express it now. The response to your nomination for this honor was overwhelming.”

She then presented him with a binder filled with letters from colleagues, parents, and leaders in the Cub Scout community, where his leadership also made a great impact.

Mr. Lawrence will be honored at a virtual celebration May 5.

Celebrating Eric Lawrence.

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You know that old mattress or box spring you’ve always meant to get rid of?

Now — well, on Saturday, May 8 (8:30 to 11 a.m.) — you can.

Earthplace hosts a free mattress recycling drop-off event. It’s sponsored by the Mattress Recycling Council, and they know what they’re doing. Each year they recycle more than 190,000 mattresses  — and that’s in Connecticut.

They’re not only diverted from the waste stream. They’re used to make other products, from carpet padding and insulation to filters and mulch.

Can’t transport your mattress to Earthplace on May 8? Boy Scout Troop 36 offers free same-day pickup. Spots are limited; click here to sign up.

If you miss this event, you can bring your mattress or box spring to Park City Green in Bridgeport, a non-profit that recycles mattresses. Call for hours of operation and drop-off instructions: 203-212-3860 or 203-209-6915.

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Want to chat with Jeff Immelt?

GE’s former CEO talks virtually on Thursday, April 22 (7 p.m.) about his 16 years at the helm. The Westport Library program is hosted by Westporter Steve Parrish.

Immelt’s first day on the job was September 10, 2001 — 24 hours before 9/11. His new book Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company details his proudest moments — and missteps — at the helm of the global giant.

Click here to register.

Jeff Immelt

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The Westport Country Playhouse internship program began in 1946. Four years later, 19-year-old Stephen Sondheim spent the summer at the already-famous stage.

The program — now named for longtime Playhouse benefactor Joanne Woodward — continues this summer.

Interns will join the development, education and marketing teams, from June 7 to August 13. They’ll work directly with Playhouse staff, gain practical skills, and hear guest speakers including visiting designers and artists, commercial producers and more.

With a virtual season, the internships are also virtual this year. There are limited in-person requirements, based on department needs.

Application deadline is April 21. Click here for more information.

Stephen Sondheim (crouching, top of photo), during his 1950 apprenticeship. Also in the photo: future film director Frank Perry (front row, left) and Richard Rodgers’ daughter Mary (2nd row, 4th from left).

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The Westport Weston Family YMCA has added over 150 live classes a week, and hundreds more on demand. They include cardio, endurance, strength, bodywork, dance, mind/body, seniors, adaptive, kids and family.

They’re all virtual of course — but available through a collaboration with 29 Y’s across Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts.

You must be a YMCA member, of course. For details on the “Y Wellness 24/7” program, click here.

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Congratulations to Staples High School basketball co-captain Nicole Holmes. The senior was one of only 4 FCIAC players — and 10 overall — named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State team, in the “LL” (extra large schools division).

Holmes helped lead the Wreckers to a sparkling 13-3 record this winter.

Nicole Holmes (Photo courtesy of The Ruden Report)

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Today’s gorgeous nature shot: a cardinal, courtesy of Karen Weingarten:

(Photo/Karen Weingarten)

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And finally … on this day in 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. That was the effective end of the Civil War, though skirmishes continued for several weeks.