Less than 24 hours remain, to reach our goal of $250,000!
That would help rebuild every home and apartment in Lyman — our Ukrainian sister city — that can be salvaged. It would give them each a generator. It would provide a water filtration system for the town. (Click here for the first story about Westport and Lyman, with important details.)
It would get them through a dark, dangerous winter. Those brave, embattled men, women and children need to know that they are not alone.
They already know that Westport has their back. They are very, very grateful for what we’ve done.
Now, on Christmas Day, let’s give them everything they need.
$250,000 sounds like a lot. But it breaks down to just $10 for every resident of Westport.
Can you spare that? If not, no worries. Someone who can, will cover you. Right?
Just click here for the credit card “Donate” button. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” You can also scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.) Or you can donate directly, via Stripe (click here).
Meanwhile, our online auction for an oil painting of Marigny — our other sister city in France, which joins us in helping Lyman — ends at 11:59 p.m. We began the bidding at $1,000. It is now up to $1,500. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or click “Comments” to bid; you don’t need to fill out your real (but please include your email).
Westporters have been supremely generous so far. We are nearing our audacious — but crucial — $250,000 goal. Every dollar helps our sister city of Lyman. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Eversource earned props for putting crews on the road early during Friday’s wind and rain storm. The number of outages in Westport was halved throughout the day, from 700 or so to about 350.
Their performance since then has been less praise-worthy.
An “06880” reader wrote last night, just before midnight:
“I am spending the holidays with my 92-year-old homebound mom on Bayberry Ridge Road. Power has been out for the whole street since 4 a.m. Friday. Despite 40-plus hours elapsing, Eversource still has no projection for repair, citing ‘To Be Determined’ as the date when one inquires.
“They no longer even list Westport on the updated outage report, because over 99% of homes have power. This is cold comfort to residents on this street, who cannot get any information out of this vastly overpaid and underperforming public utility. With zero communication since the beginning, we worry that they’ve forgotten about us entirely.”
The reader responded at 1:04 a.m. that his power was back on. He doesn’t know if it was the result of his phone call, Tweet, or because they were about to do it anyway.
I’m keeping his complaint up though, because it’s not isolated. I’ve heard from other readers in the north end of Westport, who also had issues with Eversource.
Most seemed to understand the severity of the problem. What bothered them was Eversource’s lack of communication about when power was expected to return.
“We just want to be able to plan,” one reader said.
Compare the situation in Lyman (top story above) with the behavior of one Very Entitled Driver downtown yesterday.
He ignored several “One Way/Do Not Enter” signs. He headed past all the cars, on 2 sides of the street, facing toward him.
Drivers stopped. One rolled down his window, and explained the driver was going the wrong way.
He couldn’t be bothered. Perhaps backing up was too difficult or time-consuming. Maybe doing so would be admitting wrongdoing, or a blow to his masculinity.
So he got out of his car. He had angry words with one of the right-way drivers.
Then he got back in his vehicle, swerved around a couple of cars, and kept driving.
All the way to the Post Road.
Also downtown: Our own Barnes & Noble was featured in the opening seconds of Yahoo News’ recent feature on the chain’s resurgence.
Young readers in particular have driven the opening of new (and newly designed) stores.
CEO James Daunt was interviewed by Dave Briggs. The Yahoo journalist knows what he’s talking about — he lives here in Westport, just a couple of miles from one of those slimmed-down, brighter, more open and less “library-looking” Barnes & Noble’s than the previous one.
Click here for the full Yahoo story.
The Burying Hill High Tide Club has earned an “06880” mention — and props — for weekly swims at that Greens Farms beach, all the way through fall.
Now another group is earning even more awe (and raised eyebrows).
Nico Eisenberger reports: “This year we spawned a crazy cousin of the High Tide Club. Inspired by some of the hardy originals, and carried forward with an unreasonable and illogical vigor, is Club Plunge.
“We’ve done it every week since early November. It’s amazing and wonderful — and makes you think that maybe the extremophiles one sees on YouTube are really on to something.”
The group includes 8 regulars.
“We try to stay in for at least 3 minutes,” Nico says. “The screaming subsides after 1 minute, then picks up again after 2.”
No word on “weather” they ventured in yesterday.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows how a gifted decorator can transform beautiful plants and flowers into something even more stunning.
This is the holiday table at the home of Elena and Richard Nasereddin. She’s Catholic. He’s Muslim.
Both wish everyone in the “0688o” community — in Westport, and cyberspace — “happy holidays, and many blessings in the new year.”
And finally … Christmas music ends tonight. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your threshold for jinglyness.
But before we say goodbye (till next year) to Mariah Carey, Josh Groban, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Bobby Helms, Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, let’s tip our Santa hat to Johnny Marks.
He lived for many years on Green Acre Lane, off South Compo. He died in 1985 from complications of diabetes. His son still lives here.
Who was Johnny Marks?
Just the guy who wrote “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
And “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” “Run, Rudolph, Run.” “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.” And many others.
Not bad for a Jewish kid from Mount Vernon, New York.
Merry Christmas! Oy!