There will be no 5-peat for the Ridgefield High School boys basketball team.
But there may be a first for Staples.
The 4th-seeded Wreckers demolished the #1, 4-time reigning champion Tigers last night 71-54, in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) semifinal at Wilton High.
Staples’ only league championship came exactly 60 years ago, in 1963. But there was no actual tournament then — just the standings — so this title would be a long-awaited first.
First-year coach Dave Goldshore’s team faces #3 Danbury for the crown tomorrow (Friday, March 3, 6 p.m., Wilton). The Hatters topped Trumbull 52-50, in last night’s other semi.
The Wreckers — who got 23 points from Chris Zajac, 16 from Gavin Rothenberg, 15 from Cody Sale and 11 from Sam Clachko — proved their earlier 61-54 victory at Ridgefield was no fluke. After that loss, the Tigers went on a 16-game winning tear.
Beyond their first-ever FCIAC tournament crown, Staples has added motivation in tomorrow night’s title match: Danbury won this year’s regular season game, 63-54.
Speaking of Staples:
Yesterday’s incident, in which a Jeep driven by a teacher crashed through a door and windows, and into a culinary classroom, could have been tragic.
Fortunately, it happened before school. No one was injured, including the driver.
Fire officials shut off a gas leak. Classes began, after a delay.
The classroom was a mess yesterday:
But officials say it will be only a few days before the damage is fixed.
Meanwhile, here is the scene from the parking lot:
Monday night’s informational session on 8-30g — the state’s affordable housing regulation — drew nearly 200 virtual attendees.
The event was recorded, and is now online. Click below to see:
Andrew Wilk has a big heart.
The longtime Westporter — and Emmy-winning television executive producer and director of shows like “Live at Lincoln Center” — often donates his talents to his home town.
Up next: a 3-part Westport Library series focusing on cardiovascular health.
Part 1 (March 14) focuses on coronary artery diseases, with Drs. Robert Altbaum, Ari Pollack and Mitchell Dreisman in conversation.
Part 2 (March 22) covers valvular heart disease; Part 3 (April 17) is on atrial fibrillation.
All 3 sessions begin at 7 p.m. All will be led by Dr. Altbaum, with coronary experts. Click here for details.
NOTE: Heart disease may not seem to be in Andrew Wilk’s wheelhouse. But before he turned to television and the performing arts, he wanted to be a doctor.
Jen Greely lives on Caccamo Lane. Though close to downtown, she often spots wildlife in her back yard.
In almost 10 years though, she’d never seen a bobcat.
Click below for her fascinating video:
Nathan Selsky went for a walk yesterday by the Saugatuck River boat launch, underneath I-95.
His good time was interrupted by racist graffiti.
The spray-painted messages included “Tired of anti-white propaganda,” “Reject white guilt!” and “Blacks 14% population, 53% homicide.”
Nathan says: “I know of no better way to stop behaviors and actions and feelings like this, than to discuss and understand it.”
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward continue to make news.
This June, Sotheby’s will auction “The World of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.” A series of sales of more than 300 items — drawn primarily from their Westport home — will include film and entertainment memorabilia, automotive and racing collectables, family photographs, antique furniture and fine decorative arts.
Special items include autographed letters and photographs from presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and Joanne’s wedding dress and ring from her marriage to Paul in 1958.
PS: Happy belated birthday to Joanne Woodward. The actress turned 93 on Tuesday.
Click here for more information. (Hat tip: Valerie Szeto)
Bridgewater Associates — the Westport-based world’s largest hedge fund — keeps a low profile.
But a Bloomberg article yesterday notes:
Bridgewater is capping the size of its flagship funds, plowing more money and talent into artificial intelligence and machine learning, expanding in Asia and in equities and doubling down on sustainability. To pare costs and free up resources, it’s also embarking on a firm-wide reorganization over the next two weeks, eliminating about 100 jobs in a workforce of roughly 1,300.
“Just doing what we’ve been doing isn’t good enough,” (CEO Nir) Bar Dea, 41, said in an interview. “Evolve or die. That’s what’s happening here.”
Click here to read the full story.
In other Bridgewater news, Rob Copeland’s new book — “The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend” — is available for pre-order.
Called “the unauthorized, unvarnished story of famed Wall Street hedge fund manager Ray Dalio,” it “peels back the curtain to reveal a rarified world of wealth and power, where former FBI director Jim Comey kisses Dalio’s ring, recent Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick sells out, and countless Bridgewater acolytes describe what it’s like to work at his fascinating firm.”
(Hat tips: Allan Siegert and Bill Dedman)
Fresh off last night’s packed opening of the Artists Collective of Westport March pop-up show opening, Eric Chiang is showing various artworks — from small to very large, and from realistic landscapes to abstract — at 3 other high-quality group shows, now through May.
- Through Mar 18: “Artists Collective Members Show” (Gordon Fine Art Gallery, 1701 Post Road East).
- March 8 – May 9: “Music to Our Eyes” and “Piece by Piece” (Westport Library); opening reception March 8, 6 to 8 p.m.
- Early March through April 16: “Home” (Greens Farms Church Gallery Hall).
NOTE: The Artists Collective show is on view at the Westport Country Playhouse barn now through Sunday, March 5 (2 to 6 p.m.). There’s an artists’ talk Sunday, at 5 p.m. too.
Speaking of art: The Westport Book Shop‘s guest exhibitor for March is George Radwan.
He’s showing birdhouses, inspired by shacks he saw years ago in Soweto. He’s also exhibiting small mixed media pieces, constructed of found and repurposed materials.
All artwork is available for purpose. To see more of Radwan’s work, click here.
Speaking still of art:
Bonnie Marcus has owned a design company (next to Arezzo Restaurant) for over 20 years. From her small studio, she and her team of Westport moms ship invitations and greeting cards to thousands of stores around the world, including Bloomingdales, Harrods, Target and Barnes & Noble. Celebrities like Britney Spears, Cindy Crawford and Christina Aguilera A-listers who have ordered invitations for special events.
Tonight you can see where Bonnie’s creativity comes from. An art exhibit featuring her great-uncle — abstract artist/painter/printmaker/social activist Louis Schanker opens at the Stamford JCC (7 p.m.).
Shanker and his wife, blues singer and socialite Libby Holman, enabled their close friend, Martin Luther King Jr,. to travel to India to learn firsthand non-violent techniques to battle racism in America.
Shanker’s paintings, sculptures and prints are on display through March 17. Click here for details.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is celestial: Venus and Jupiter, taken by Diane Lowman from her window.
Is the one on top Venus (smaller than Jupiter?) or Jupiter (further away than Venus)? Diane did not say.
And finally … Karen Carpenter was born on this day in 1950, in New Haven. She died 32 years later, from complications of anorexia.
(Wow — there’s a lot of news today. “06880” covers it all, every day. To help keep it coming, please consider a contribution. Click here — and thank you.)