Tag Archives: Full moon

Pics Of The Day #1588

When the clouds parted last night, Rowene Weems and Phil Kann headed to Compo Beach for the full moon. She posed for this image … (Photo/Phil Kann)

… and then picked up her own camera, for an equally striking shot. (Photo/Rowene Weems Photography)

Roundup: Bus Shelters, Cell Tower, Strawberry Moon …

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Westport has taken a big step toward adding more bus shelters.

Last night the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-0, with 1 abstention, on a text amendment. It adopts a definition for “bus shelters,” and exempts them from being considered a “structure.” That removes many obstacles from where they can be located.

Transportation and employment advocates have pushed for more bus shelters for years. Before last night bus shelters were deemed to be structures, and could not be located within the 30-foot setback along roads.

Thus, except for one shelter near Stop & Shop, bus riders on the Post Road must stand in all kinds of weather, on sidewalks or even the roadway.

Approval for new bus shelter locations will be made by the director of Public Works, in consultation with the Police and Fire Departments.

Among the people working for years for this change are members of the ad hoc Bus Shelter Working Group (Pippa Bell Ader, Harold Bailey, Ross Burkhardt, Ron Corwin, Jennifer Johnson, Melissa Kane and Larry Weisman), plus Peter Boyd of Sustainable Westport, and Planning & Zoning director Mary Young.

Click here for full details of the text amendment.

Waiting for the bus. (Photos courtesy of Planning & Zoning Commission Bus Shelter Working Group)

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Earlier this month, “06880” reported on a proposal to build a cell tower on private property at 92 Greens Farms Road.

An information session is set for Monday (June 28, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium

To provide written comments before the session, email selectman@westportct.gov.

A cell tower been proposed for the property on the left: 92 Greens Farms Road. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

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Though the Westport Country Playhouse will not host any live productions this summer, the famed theater is opening up for special events.

They include cabaret performances tomorrow (Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m., with Tonya Pinkins and Brad Simmons, and another cabaret July 24); an in-person screening of the virtual production “Tiny House” (Tuesday, June 29), and more. (Click here for details.)

Playhouse managing director Michael Barker filmed a “welcome back” video. Click below to enjoy.

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Longtime Westporter Herman Smith died June 17. He was 84

Herman lived in The Villages, Florida for nearly 20 years, but called Westport and Danbury home. He was the second of 4 generations of Westport residents, following his father who started a business in the 1940s.

Herman was educated in the Westport school system, from kindergarten through his graduation from Staples High School in 1955. He then attended the Engineering Institute of Bridgeport. He was also honorably discharged from the United States Air Force, and served in the National Guard.

Herman was in management at United Parcel Services, working in the South New England District for over 30 years. He retired in 1995.

Herman Smith

Herman was an original member of the Gents, and a long time member of the African American Club at The Villages. He enjoyed his time with the Frogs and Flakes, and the ROMEOs with his neighbors on Lawson Loop.

He was also a collector of baseball hats, an avid golfer and a world traveler.  He and his wife Mary Fran traveled  to over 25 countries, and visited all 7 continents.

His favorite spots and activities included his gardens in Westport, boating on Candlewood Lake, golfing at the Villages, watching the ocean at Daytona Beach Shores and making memories at Disney with his family.

He was predeceased by his parents, John Herman and Jane Smith, and sister, Jane “Patsy” Smith. Herman is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Frances; children Mark of The Villages, Florida; Susan of New Haven, and Scott (Jane) of Westport, CT), and grandchildren Brandon, Jacob and Joshua.

Herman’s family will celebrate his legacy by establishing a scholarship in his name to advance the education and talents of promising youth. In lieu of flowers, they ask for contributions to that scholarship once it is established. Donations may also be made to another charity that fittingly honors Herman’s kind spirit, generous soul and full life.

A memorial service is planned for July 10 (11 a.m., Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, The Villages, Florida). A celebration of Herman’s life will also be held in Connecticut in September.

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Last night’s Strawberry Moon was marred by a few clouds. But Daniel Johnson was one of many Westporters who gathered at Compo Beach. He captured this great shot:

(Photo/Daniel Johnson)

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Today in “Westport … Naturally”: Miggs Burroughs spotted this white deer in his Old Hill backyard. It (or a relative) has appeared once a year, for the past several years. Miggs writes:

“According to Native American legend, the appearance of an all-white deer signifies an abundant harvest. I must say, I have more weeds this year than ever.”

(Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

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And finally … in honor of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s vote last night that will lead to more (much-needed) bus shelters in Westport:

Roundup: Blight House, Tiny House, Stiles Market …

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Partrick Road is historic, winding and beautiful. Tucked into Westport’s northwest corner, it’s one of our town’s true gems.

Except for the property that’s sat, unoccupied, for nearly 30 years.

First the home was abandoned. Then it became blighted. After it was removed, the lot became overgrown and unkempt.

The 3-decade saga is nearly over. New owners bought the property. They’re planning to build a nice, single family home.

The weeds and rotted wood will soon be gone. The entire neighborhood’s 3 decades of frustration is at an end.

Meanwhile, the homeowners would love to know more about its history — and previous plans to subdivide the land. If you know anything, click “Comments” below.

The formerly blighted house on Partrick Road.

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Require masks, or not? Take a hard line, or soft? Make customers make a choice, or give them options?

With masks largely optional now — but COVID still real — every business has to decide what’s right for their customers (and employees).

It’s not easy. But Stiles Market seems to have threaded the needle as well as anyone. Their sign says:

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

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Aspetuck Land Trust is seeking a community engagement coordinator. This is a paid 11-month service position through TerraCorps — the conservation version of AmeriCorps.

The coordinator would inspire and educate homeowners about how to build biodiversity into their home landscapes and yards. This is a key goal of Aspetuck Land Trust’s Green Corridor Initiative: to save the planet, one conserved acre and one homeowner at a time.

Activities include creating hands-on classes at ALT’s innovative model native landscapes, helping organize th annual native plant sale, and implementing a local “native” garden tour to showcase homeowners who have taken steps to create biodiverse yards. Click here for the full job description.

Qualifications include at least a high school diploma or GED (ideally a 4-year degree). The coordinator should want a career in conservation, and be passionate about repairing our natural world. This is a great opportunity for a recent college graduate to gain valuable work experience with a land trust.

For more information, email David Brant: dbrant@aspetucklandtrust.org.

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Several readers sent photos of last night’s gorgeous moonrise. (Tonight’s is the actual full moon. The “Strawberry Moon” — a signal to Native Americans to pick strawberries — will be the last “supermoon” of 2021, Betsy Pollak says.

“06880” readers sent in plenty of great photos. Among them:

(Photo/Dick Wingate)

And this:

(Photo/Alexandra Gay)

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Politicians love photo ops. And free meals.

So the turnout was great yesterday, when Romanacci Cafe celebrated its expansion on Railroad Place.

Romanacci Xpress — which opened 5 years ago — has moved into the old Commuter Coffee location next door. Owners Graziano and Maurizio Ricci created an inviting new restaurant, with full bar and outside seating.

Guests yesterday were treated to a nice feast, including fresh burrata and seasonal zucchini flowers.

Among the dignitaries in the photo below: Selectmen Jim Marpe, Jen Tooker and Melissa Kane; State Senator Will Haskell; State Representative Jonathan Steinberg; Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce executive director Matthew Mandell; members of the Chamber staff; the Ricci brothers, and their staff.

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Staples High School graduate and volunteer firefighter Peter Zarges died peacefully at home last month. He was 74.

After graduating from Staples High School, he joined the US Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam and North Korea during the Pueblo crisis.

Peter began his 40-year career with the various ATT companies in 1970. He started with Southern New England Telephone, and moved to Southwestern Bell.

His lifelong commitment to the fire service started at Coleytown Volunteer Engine Company #6. He continued with Klein Volunteer Fire Department. Throughout the years he served as lieutenant, captain, district chief and fire marshal. Peter was also an advisor to Exploring Post 31.

Peter is survived by his wife of 49 years, Janet; 2 children, Liz (Kelcey) Trotty and Robert (Corey) Zarges; grandchild Jace Trotty, brother and sister-in-law David and Debbie Zarges and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Gary Sinise Foundation or Fisher House.

Peter Zarges

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In all the discussions about current politics, it’s easy to forget Newt Gingrich. But we would not be where we are today without the 1990s-era House Speaker.

Princeton historian and CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer just wrote a new book: Burning Down The House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.

On July 7 (7 p.m., Zoom) he’ll discuss Gingrich, American politics and more. The program is sponsored by the Westport Library and League of Women Voters. Bruce McGuirk, leader of the Library’s Pages Through the Ages history discussion group, leads the conversation.

Click here to register. Bookplate signed copies of the new paperback are available here.

Julian Zelizer

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Westport Country Playhouse presents a virtual symposium, in conjunction with the on-demand staging of the new comedy “Tiny House.”

The free Symposium features playwright Michael Gotch an WCP associate artistic director David Kennedy. will be on the Playhouse’s website from June 30 through July 18. They’ll hat about the themes of utopia and apocalypse, political polarization, downsizing, escaping urban life, and fresh starts — plus the challenges of producing a play virtually.

In “Tiny House,” fireworks fly when family, friends, and quirky neighbors come together for a Fourth of July barbecue at the off-the-grid, isolated mountain paradise of a young, urban couple.  “Tiny House” streams on demand from June 29 through July 18. A one-night, in-person screening at the Playhouse is set for Tuesday (June 29, 7 p.m.). Click here for more information.

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Lou Weinberg sends today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo — and details:

“Mason bees pollinate up to 80 times more than honeybees. They are native too — and they don’t sting!”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … yesterday, “06880” saluted Banff, Canada’s first national park. Today we note the 141st anniversary of the first performance of “O Canada.” One hundred years later, it became the country’s official national anthem.

It certainly is a lot easier to sing than ours.

Pic Of The Day #1500

Last night’s full moon at Compo Beach (Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

Roundup: Garage Renovation, Mike Krysiuk, Larry Aasen, More


Want to celebrate New Year’s at home, but worried about asking guests inside? And no fire pit or hot tub outside to gather round?

Take a page from Claudine Rossman’s book. She and her family converted their Saugatuck Shores garage into a “lodge.” On Christmas Eve a small family group gathered — tested, masked, socially distant, and with the door opened as much as it needed to be.

It’s a great idea. But if you want to do the same for tonight, get busy. This project looks like it took a while.

Claudine Rossman’s garage before …

… and after.


In 1974, Mike Krysiuk was having a great senior year at Staples High School. He played baseball, and worked at Mario’s. But a devastating automobile accident left him with a traumatic brain injury and many broken bones.

He’s well known in his home town, for the motivational talks he gives and the 25 years he’s spent working in Town Hall.

Now Mike has written The Big One: Miracles Happen when You Shoot for the Sun, about his youth in Westport.

He shares insight about his astonishing comeback from the unimaginable, fueled by dogged determination and a dream.

His co-author — award-winning writer Julia Bobkoff — is the co-founder of Westport’s Christmas Lake Creative writing workshop.

The Fairfield University Bookstore host Mike’s virtual book launch on January 14 (7 p.m.); click here for the link. To purchase The Big One, click here.

Mike Krysiuk


Meanwhile, Larry Aasen has just compiled his 9th book — at 98 years old.

The latest effort from the indefatigable, longtime Westporter — who has also authored a possible world record 4 books about his native North Dakota — is Stolen Jokes and Swiped Cartoons.

With illustrations by the late, beloved Westport illustrator Howard Munce, the booklet has gags like this: “A 90-year-old man was complaining. He said, ‘My eyesight is not very good, and I can’t hear too much. Thank God I can still drive a car.'”

To order, email aasenm@aol.com, or call 203-227-6126.


Westporters can’t get enough of this end-of-the-year Full Cold Moon. Jeanine Esposito shares these great shots:

Over the Cribari Bridge …

… and the Saugatuck River (Photos/Jeanine Esposito)


Marcelle Smart — one of a corps of young teachers at Staples High School in the mid- and late-1960s — died recently December 21, from vascular dementia. She was 77 years old.

The French instructor then moved to New Hampshire with her husband, Staples graduate “Doc” Hagen, and raised 2 children. 

Former colleague Jeff Lea remembered her as “very bright, and student-centered.” She graduated from the University of Michigan, and earned a master’s in teaching at Johns Hopkins.

Donations in her memory may be to the Special Friends program at The Worship Place, 811 Sun City Boulevard, Georgetown, TX 78633.

Marcelle Smart, in the Staples High School 1969 yearbook.

And finally … for generations of American’s, it’s not New Year’s without “Auld Lang Syne.”

And it’s not “Auld Lang Syne” without Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians.

The orchestra played almost half a century of New Year’s Eves, first on radio — from the Roosevelt Grill in New York in 1928 — and beginning in 1956 on television, first from the Waldorf Astoria and then Times Square. Lombardo died in 1977, but his band continued playing on CBS for 2 more years.

“Auld Lang Syne” is a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788, and set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song.

 

Pics Of The Day #1176

Last night’s full moon, as seen from Old Mill Beach … (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

… and Saugatuck Shores (Photo/Debra Levin)

Pic Of The Day #644

Full moon tonight over the Saugatuck River (Photo/Dr. Al Levy)

Pic Of The Day #465

Good moon on the rise, an hour ago at Compo Beach. (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

Good Moon Rising

Catherine Calise captured the first moon of 2018: a full one!