The Staples boys basketball team is gunning for their first FCIAC championship since 1962. It won’t be easy — but tomorrow’s quarterfinal game should be a great one.
It’s against Fairfield Warde (Saturday, 5 p.m.) — at Fairfield Warde. It’s a rematch of a fantastic contest a couple of weeks ago, when the Wreckers edged the Mustangs by 1 point in a thriller before a packed house. Though Staples is the higher seed, Warde is the site of all 4 quarterfinals.
Staples finished 15-5 this year, tied for 3rd place. They play exciting basketball, and Warde will pack their home gym with fans.
If you can’t get to Fairfield Warde, click here for the livestream.
Staples boys basketball fans packed the Wreckers’ gym, earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of The Ruden Report)
Who knew? One of the unintended consequences of COVID is that head lice has pretty much vanished.
And who knew that that would have an unintended consequence: the closing of Hair Genies Lice Treatment, on the Post Road near Calise’s.
Just a month before the pandemic, Westport-based Sharkey’s was expanding its Hair Genies franchise with new locations in Houston and Frisco, Texas. Those were halted immediately. Now comes the closure of the Westport site.
The good news is that Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids — the parent business — is opening 46 new locations in 2022. Their original Westport spot is now the #1 location throughout the entire brand (104 current sites).
Sharkey’s newest brand — EveryHomeShouldHaveAChallah.com — is also in full expansion mode. They’re leasing additional space on the Post Road to meet our expansion plans for both brands.
Hair Genies — aka Lice Treatment Institute — on the Post Road is closed.
Westport’s 16th annual Martin Luther King Day program — a keynote address by Heather McGhee, whose book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together spent 10 weeks on TheNew York Times bestseller list, and whose TED talk “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone” reached 1 million views in just 2 months — has been rescheduled for May 18. The original January date was postponed due to COVID.
It’s 2022. You know that practicing meditation just a few minutes every day can improve mental health and emotional wellbeing; increase focus, productivity, and creativity; promote kindness; reduce anxiety; manage addiction and pain; help heal grief, even regulate sleep patterns.
But if you’re uncertain how meditation can work for you: Relax!
The Westport Library and Pause + Purpose — the new mindfulness studio, across from the Library on Jesup Road — are partnering on a new monthly event series.
The event is called “Self-Checkout” (get it?!). The first event is next Wednesday (March 2, 6 to 7 p.m., Westport Library).
Emily Tuttle — founder of Pause + Purpose — will discuss why there’s a need for a positive communal space to explore meditation. That’s followed by a discussion on parenting during uncertain times, and guided group meditation
And finally … Mark Lanegan, part of the 1980s and ’90s Pacific Northwest grunge scene as a singer with Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age, died Tuesday at his home in Ireland. He was 57. He had struggled with drug use in the past, and been hospitalized with COVID last year.
The New York Times said
Though his stints in Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age and the Gutter Twins (a collaboration with Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs) never brought him the kind of fame achieved by other Seattle grunge bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden, Mr. Lanegan nevertheless drew attention for his deep, world-weary voice that could take a song to both soaring heights and melancholy lows….
His voice could be a haunting, mournful rasp, conveying mystery or, as he got older, weariness and vulnerability. Its evocative power made Mr. Lanegan a favorite of critics and especially of fellow musicians. Among his many varied collaborations were recordings with the British alt-rock star PJ Harvey and Tinariwen, a group of nomad African blues masters from the Malian desert.
In his memoir, he chronicled his journey from a “self-loathing redneck” to a rock star to a homeless heroin addict, and said (Kurt) Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, had helped get him to rehab after Mr. Cobain’s death.
Last Friday’s Question Box sparked a debate about when Carvel opened.
The definitive answer: August 1954.
And the man who provided that answer — RTM member Harris Falk — also offered proof. Here’s a newspaper advertisement from that month:
Check out the ice cream cone on top of the store. As Dave Lowrie noted in the Comments section, both it and the red and white bucket over KFC (now Sun Reflexology, next to Layla’s Falafel) came down in the 1970s. The Architectural Review Board was trying to make the Post Road look “less commercial.”
William Nicholas (Nick) Delgass died peacefully at his West Lafayette, Indiana home last month, attended by his family, after a 9-year battle with cancer. The 1960 Staples High School graduate was 78.
His interest in the world and the way it works led him to science. He graduated from the University of Michigan, then earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford University.
He was more than a scientist. Throughout his life, Nick was well rounded. When he spotted Elizabeth (Betty) Holstein at a mandolin concert in 1966, he convinced her to go out with him after they bonded over a love of English literature. They married a year later, and would have celebrated their 54th anniversary at the end of August.
He and Betty had their first child, Michael, while Nick was completing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California. He accepted his first faculty position at Yale University, and the growing family moved to Branford, where their second son, Leif, was born. Nick was on the faculty at Yale University for 5 years before accepting a position at Purdue.
he became chair of the chemical engineering department there, and taught until retirement. Nick was globally recognized for his work in integrating new tools and methods into reaction systems. His colleague Fabio Ribeiro said that few researchers impacted the field so broadly. He was a joint author of over 200 scientific papers, 2 books, advisor to many graduate students, and consultant to many companies.
His love for Betty was fierce. Nick often biked from the lab to have lunch with his family, and was a constant presence at his sons’ events. When his grandchildren were born, he made cross-country trips to visit.
Nick served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Catalysis, the flagship journal of the field. he earned various awards, and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).
Teaching was one of his great loves, as evidenced by his many honors, including the Shreve Teaching Award 7 times, and inclusion in the Purdue University Book of Great Teachers.
In addition to his wife Betty, Nick is survived by his sons Leif and Michael (Jessica Spector), and grandchildren Isaac, Aidan, Ariella, and Serafina.
No formal service is planned, but there will be a memorial reception on October 16 at the Whittaker Inn in West Lafayette. Click here to leave condolences.
It’s easy these days to forget the origins of the holiday. We may not remember (or never learned) the importance of unions in our nation’s history. They brought about safety, minimum wages, overtime pay and more.
Winning those rights was not easy. The power of unions has waned over the years — look at the recent Amazon battle in Alabama — even as income inequality has grown. Organizers there no doubt wish they still had a Pete Seeger to champion their cause.
Effective today, Wheels2U Westport — the Westport Transit District’s on-demand, group ride, door-to-train platform shuttle service — is expanding to serve even more of Westport. The area from Coleytown Road to the Weston border is now included.
The new addition is bounded by North Avenue, Lyons Plains Road and Coleytown Road and includes all of Arlen Road, Fraser Road, Fraser Lane and Snowflake Lane. Wheels2U Westport now provides convenient service to over 90% of all Westport.
Residents living in the service area can use the Wheels2U Westport app to request a pickup between 5:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m., to be taken to or from the Saugatuck or Greens Farms train platform and their front door.
Pickups should be requested about 20 minutes before you would normally leave to drive to the station. The fare is $2 when paid with the Wheels2U app. A Metro North Uniticket rail/bus pass can also be used.
For more information, click here. For more information about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.
Westport’s VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 reserved a special table today. The setting honored the 13 US servicemembers killed last week in Afghanistan.
The “Missing Man Table” — also known as the “Fallen Comrade Table” — is steeped in symbolism. It is a humble way to remember the sacrifice of the men and women who gave their lives protecting our freedom.
Last night’s almost-season-ending Levitt Pavilion performance — Dr. K’s Motown Review — had a filled-to-capacity audience dancing in the street.
Or at least, in their pods.
Three shows remain: Always-popular DNR, in a benefit for Westport EMS and first responders (September 10, 7:30 p.m.); Barboletta, a tribute to Santana (September 11, 7:30 p.m.), and Sheryl Crow, a ticketed benefit show (October 8, 8 p.m.).
The Westport-based delivery company has just acquired ChallahFresh, Silicon Valley’s tech-enabled business.
“My goal is to deliver a freshly baked challah, candles, a weekly dose of inspiration each week, plus black & white cookies, rugelach or hamentaschen to as many homes, nursing homes and college dorms as possible in the US, says CEO Scott Sharkey.
“Now we ae one step closer to accomplishing this.”
Sharkey donates a portion of each challah subscription to a charity of the customer’s choice. A dropdown menu offers a dozen or so options, including ADL, Doctors Without Borders, Feeding America, Red Cross, Save the Children, St. Jude’s Hospital, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund, Hadassah and UJA Federation.
“Two bumble bees harvest resources on a stand of thistle at Baron’s South last week. Thistles have a high wildlife value. They not only provide pollen and nectar to bees and butterflies, but later the flowers turn to seeds that will be eaten by goldfinches. Even the down from the seeds will be used by birds to line their nests.”
His Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids hair salon — with nearly 100 locations, and dozens more franchises in the works — will soon be the largest of its kind in the world.
Scott Sharkey, in his Westport salon.
The Westport location — right here in his home town — is #1, by both revenue and number of haircuts.
A second business — Hair Genie lice treatment centers — fared less well during the pandemic. “No one got lice when no was touching anyone else,” Sharkey notes.
But as America reopens, it too is coming back,
Now Sharkey has embarked on a third venture: challah.
The braided bread that’s integral to Jewish Shabbat — and is beloved by non-Jews too — may seem a world away from haircuts and lice. But, says Sharkey, the idea germinated for nearly a decade.
He’s long been perplexed that despite Birthright’s inspiring program — the non-profit offers free trips to Israel for Jewish young adults between 18 and 32 — there is no follow-up. “Everyone just goes back to their daily lives,” he says.
Sharkey wanted a way to keep Birthright participants connected to their religious roots.
Meanwhile, last summer — while renting a house in Southampton — he longed for a bit of “home” every Friday night. But there was no way to deliver challah from Westport.
Spurred by friends, and urged on by Westport rabbis, he spent August investigating a challah delivery service.
The idea is for anyone who wants challah to have it on a Friday night. The tie-in with Birthright: Sharkey’s goal is for every traveler to have a challah delivery once a month, until they get married.
Bread is baked in New York on Monday. It’s trucked straight from the oven to Westport. There — at the UPS store opposite Stop & Shop — Sharkey and his crew packs it for overnight or 2nd-day delivery. It’s in customers’ hands on Thursday. And in their mouths on Friday.
Most challah is the traditional egg variety. Occasionally, there are surprise challahs.
Each package also includes black-and-white cookies or rugelach, chocolate gelt, candles, and a “dose of inspiration.”
The shipping box, and its goodies.
Subscriptions can be ordered for 18, 36 or 54 weeks; the delivery address can be changed any time. A one-week trial is also available.
Grandparents are among the most grateful customers. Every Home Should Have a Challah sends packages everywhere in the US — including places like dorm rooms and nursing homes.
Synagogues are customers too. Some send challah to all their congregants.
Sharkey donates a portion of each challah subscription to a charity of the customer’s choice. A dropdown menu offers a dozen or so options, like ADL, Doctors Without Boders, Feeding America, Red Cross, Save the Children, St. Jude’s Hospital, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund and UJA Federation.
“It’s just bread,” Sharkey says. “But the magic of challah is incredible.”
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