Tag Archives: Gloria oyster boat

Roundup: Robbery, High Tide, Triathlon …

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A rash of car break-ins and thefts is bad enough. Yesterday, a different crime was committed: an alleged robbery, just before noon on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

A man approached a couple quickly from behind, Westport Police say. The suspect walked in step with the male victim, allegedly brandishing a knife, threatening the female and demanding to be brought to the couple’s car.

The woman darted across the Post Road to escape. Her husband followed, and flagged down a patrol officer driving by. The suspect fled toward Jesup Green

A detailed description of the suspect was relayed to all officers. Patrol units flooded the area. During a search of the area, a member of the Westport Fire Department said he had seen a suspect fitting the description across from Playhouse Square.

Officers quickly James S. Cummings, 41, of Bridgeport. He was identified by the victims as the man who accosted them on the bridge. A knife was found in his possession.

Cummings was charged with attempt to commit robbery in the 1st degree, attempt at larceny in the 3rd degree, carrying a dangerous weapon, and threatening in the 2nd degree. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.

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Here’s the latest on one of Westport’s greatest, and so-glad-it’s-back-after-COVID, traditions: the Rotary Club’s Lobsterfest.

A crowd of 1,500 is expected this Saturday (September 18, 3 to 7 p.m.), for a townwide party.

Fewer than 80 tickets remain. You can get them at Hook’d by the Sound (Compo Beach concession stand), or by emailing leslie2of8@gmail.com. They’re $70 each, for either 2 lobsters or a 14-ounce steak.

Plus lots more, of course. Volunteers and Rotarians will cook and serve 2,500 lobsters, great steaks and a raw bar. They’ll serve beer and win (with a Tito’s scotch tasting). Plus there’s a great band, and plenty of kids’ activities (including magic shows, and an antique fire engine to climb on).

COVID protocols include 30% more tables, further apart, and fewer seats per tables. Masks are optional, but recommended when spacing is not possible.

There’s also a drive-through option, for guests who choose to party elsewhere.

As well as an exhibition tent, and a kickoff for Rotary’s Afghan relief resettlement project.

Volunteers are still needed! To help, click here or email lobsterfestvolunteers@gmail.com

As the sun set on Lobster Fest in 2016, no one wanted to leave.

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Burying Hill’s High Tide Club has been around a long time.

Not as long as the venerable beach perhaps. But its members have seen — and swum in — more than their share of incoming and outgoing tides.

Membership skews older. But recently an influx of younger swimmers has waded into the water. They’ve enjoyed the social gatherings too, while forming one of Westport’s most fun, under-the-radar groups.

Nico Eisenberger reports that at high tide yesterday — just after 4 p.m. — members brought food and drinks to celebrate another great season.

High Tide Club: It’s not just about swimming. (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

The late summer weather was perfect. The camaraderie was strong. Nico says he and his wife “feel blessed to have this place, and these fun and funky folks, as part of our daily lives here.”

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Yesterday’s Westport Kiwanis Club Minuteman Triathlon was another success.

The family-friendly event at Compo Beach included a jetty-to-jetty swim, and short bike and running courses throughout the flat neighborhood streets. It was perfect for first-timers, and families that race together.

It was advertised as open to all abilities, and that was true.

MyTeamTriumph was out in force. The organization helps children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who otherwise could not participate in endurance events like triathlons and road races.

Volunteer “angels” take “captains” out on the water in special inflatables. They assist with wheelchairs for the biking and running parts too.

There were plenty of smiles yesterday at the Minuteman Triathlon. And regardless of times, everyone was a winner.

MyTeamTriumph captains and angels. (Photo/Peter Swift)

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Munich has Oktoberfest. Westport has Westoberfest.

Now we’ve also got Oaktoberfest.

Okay, there’s no drinking, drinking games or lederhosen. But the October 4 event (7 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm) is still worth checking out.

Sponsored by Westport’s Tree Board, it’s a chance to learn about all the good things trees do in our yards — and how to return the favor, by caring for them.

Attendees receive free samplings, too.

Panelists include Mary Ellen Lemay (Aspetuck Land Trust), Danica Doroski (Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection), Doug Williams (Bartlett Tree Experts), and Tree Board members.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

White oak tree at Kings Highway Elementary School.

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Jesup Green is the site of this Saturday’s free, outdoor Japanese Fall Festival (September 18, 2-4 p.m.). The event — sponsored by the Japan Society of Fairfield County — features taiko drummers, an Okinawan dance performance, a live play of the Japanese folktale “Tanabata” (“Star-crossed Lovers”), traditional Bon dancing, Japanese calligraphy and a craft activity to make dance hats.

Click here for details.

A scene from the 2019 Japan Fall Festival.

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“06880” has posted many stories and photos of “Gloria,” the oyster boat owned for years by the late Alan Sterling.

It was beached this summer in Gray’s Creek, between Compo Beach and Longshore.

Bruce McFadden has watched and — photographed — the craft for years. He wonders if this is its final resting place.

“Gloria” (Photo/Bruce McFadden)

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Linda Doyle was harvesting rhubarb for jam, when she spotted this guy in her garden. What a great way to start off the “Westport … Naturally” week!

(Photo/Linda Doyle)

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And finally … in honor of yesterday’s gathering at Burying Hill Beach (see story above):

Pic Of The Day #1604

Gloria has been through a lot.

The oyster boat’s owner, Alan Sterling, died in 2014. Since then it’s drifted in Gray’s Creek, been battered by weather and — earlier this summer — was beached.

Most recently, 7 inches of rain from Hurricane Ida poured down on what’s left.

But you can still see Gloria, sitting — bent but not bowed — between the Longshore exit road and Compo Beach Road. 

(Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)

Question Box: Answers #2

Last week’s Question Box was a smash.

Readers wanted answers to everything from Grace Salmon Park and “Bob” to our eternally renovated bridges and old/new firehouse. 

I did what I could to respond. Readers pitched in. (Click here if you missed it.)

Then you sent more. Here’s the next set of questions. I know some of the answers. When I don’t — someone else will. Click “Comments” below to help.

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I’m sure you’ve covered this in the past. But I’m curious about the history of the boat “Gloria” that I pass every day as I ride through Longshore. And what might the future hold for this venerable vessel? (John Richers)

Short answer: Yes, I’ve written about Gloria many times. Click here for some of those stories and photos.

Longer story: Alan Sterling built the wooden oyster boat himself. He named it after an old girlfriend, and took it oystering on 150 acres of beds, between Compo Beach and Cockenoe Island. It was a tough job, but Alan — a Staples grad — loved it from the day he began, in 1964.

Alan moored Gloria in Gray’s Creek, between Compo Beach Road and the Longshore exit. Some winters, he lived on the boat. It was cold — but it was home.

On July 4, 2014, Alan died of a heart attack.

After that, Gloria drifted. Michael Calise took care of it. Earlier this year, it washed up on shore. Its future is uncertain. It’s an old boat that’s seen a lot, and given many Westporters years of joy.

Just as it did for Alan Sterling.

Gloria, in 2017. (Photo/John Kantor)

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I am new to Westport, from Brooklyn. I know there is talk about revitalizing downtown, and bringing in businesses to fill some of the vacancies. I’m curious if there has ever been a survey of what people would like to see downtown? I am interested in business ownership, and really being part of the community. I wonder what type of businesses folks think would be needed and supported. (Travis Rew-Porter)

Travis, this is awesome. I don’t know of any consumer/user survey. It’s a great idea.

And readers: If you’d like to work with Travis on a business or revitalization project, click “Comments” below!

What kind of businesses do Westporters want? Great question! (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

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Does Public Works have any input into local traffic lights? The timing at Morningside Drive/Post Road has changed to prioritize the Post Road more dramatically. The green light for Morningside lasts just 3 seconds. It is impossible to cross on foot. Help! (Amy Bedi)

Unfortunately, nearly every light in town is on a state road. Those balls are in the Department of Transportation’s court.

Click here for a link to report issues to the DOT. But don’t hold your breath.

Town officials — including the 1st selectman and Department of Public Works — are in contact with the state about traffic lights. They can sometimes push things along. But they don’t hold their breath either.

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Can Westporters use the track at Staples to run, jog or walk? If so, is it time restricted? Do you need a pass? (Carmen Castedo)

The Laddie Lawrence Track at Paul Lane Field (the first time I’ve written that!) is open to all — except during the school day, or when it’s used after school by the track team, or if there is another sports event going on.

No pass is needed. But keep Fido home!

The Laddie Lawrence Track, at Paul Lane Field. (File photo; the track is now blue.)

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Is Clinton Avenue named after the namesake of Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 on Riverside Avenue? (Linda Velez)

Not only have I never been asked that — I never even thought about it.

Private Joseph J. Clinton was a Westport soldier. He was killed in France just 4 days before the armistice.

That explains the VFW name. But the road off Main Street, opposite North Compo: I have no idea. Except to say that it is not named for either Bill or Hillary.

VFW Joseph Clinton Post 399.

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What happened to the time capsule that was buried at Greens Farms Elementary School for the bicentennial? I heard that at one time 3 people had plans and permission to dig it up. There is a new road in front of the school. You have a lot of fans who were involved in the project. (A passive-aggressive reader: This was sent by mail, with no name or return address.)

I addressed this in 2012. The answer was the same then: No one knows. (Click here to see.) 

But one reader responded with a back story:

I remember the time capsule at Greens Farms El in 1976. It was buried in the front lawn. All the classes/grades were asked to participate in drawings (I think that I was in maybe 3rd grade & our class drew pictures of ourselves and described our lives. We all mused how fun it would be for people 100 years later to see how we lived).

A crane dug a deep hole, and there was quite a bit of ceremony around the time capsule being buried. I’ve told people about it over the years, only to wonder if anyone else remembered it, as well:)

If anyone can dig deeper (ho ho), click “Comments” below.

Has anyone seen my time capsule? (Photo/Seth Schachter)

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Some 80 years ago I lived on 573 Imperial Avenue, at the corner of Wakeman Place. The numbers have been reset, but the house is still there. My brothers and I used to swim in the river. I remember diving off “White Rock,” which was close to the shore. Is it still there, or am I dreaming? (Karl Taylor)

You’re probably not dreaming, but I have not heard of it. Wakeman Place residents: What’s the deal?

Wakeman Place at Imperial Avenue. Karl, was this your house?

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Why did the state Department of Transportation remove and replace the trees, bushes and buffering hills from the northbound side of the Merritt Parkway, near the Westport Weston Family YMCA? It cost a lot of money. Was the outcome worth the expense? (Jacque O’Brien)

I asked State Representative Jonathan Steinberg, who serves on the House Transportation Committee. He says that location was a major staging area for projects up and down the Merritt.

Now that equipment and material has been moved in and out, it’s time to replace what was lost.

New trees on the Merritt Parkway, near the Y. (Photo/Bob Mitchell)

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What first inspired you to start “06880,” and did you ever think it would keep you this busy? (Jack Krayson)

Wow! I didn’t expect an “06880” question on “06880.”

I started the blog in March of 2009. I was a columnist for the Westport News (I still am!), but realized the future of print journalism was, um, iffy. I wanted to continue to write about town people, issues, events and history. Someone suggested I start a blog.

“No way!” I said. (That’s also what I said about cell phones, when they came in. And computers, before that.)

But he showed me WordPress, a great blogging platform. I learned the basics in a weekend. Here we are, 13,000+ posts (and 136,000+ comments later).

I never dreamed it would keep me this busy. If I knew then what I know now …

… I’d do it all again, in a heartbeat.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

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Why is Westport pronounced “Wessport”? The “t” is silent! (Kevin McCaul)

My guess: It takes too long to say the first “t.”

And Wessporters are always in a hurry.

 

 

Roundup: Gloria, National History Day …

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Gloria — oysterman Alan Sterling’s beloved boat, which for years after his death has bobbed in Gray’s Creek between Longshore and Owenoke — has run aground.

Several Westporters noticed it yesterday. The years had taken their toll on the wooden vessel. But — defying weather and time — Gloria continued to enthrall everyone who saw it.

Alan was a Westport original. Saw was Gloria.

Her fate now is unknown. (Hat tip: Gene Gavin)

(Photo/Bruce McFadden)

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The last public concert Frederic Chiu played before the world shut down and all his concerts were cancelled was March 5 2020. The internationally famed pianist played a few miles from his home, at The Westport Library for an audience of 400 people.

This Thursday (June 24, 7  p.m.), he return to the Library. It’s his first post-pandemic live concert, once again on the Forum stage.

The program is the 3rd of his 3 Classical Smackdowns. It’s a great format. Chiu pits the music of 2 favorite composers against each other, with the audience voting, interactively, in real-time, round by round.

This one is “Young Geniuses: Mendelssohn vs. Chopin.” It includes music they composed before they were 20. It’s only the second time this program is played, after its premiere in 2020.

The ability to perform live was made only days ago. He’s excited by the chance to have votes from a global audience (virtually) and a live audience.

This is a great opportunity to help Chiu, the Westport Library and Beechwood Arts (series sponsor) celebrate their return to in-person, immersive music experiences!

Tickets are $30. They  provide a “Series Pass,” to see and vote on all 3 Classical Smackdown programs virtually.

To attend in person on Thursday, you must purchase a ticket. If you already have one, you must still register for the entry list.

To attend in person on Jun 24 at The Westport Library, you must register and purchase a ticket. If you’ve already purchased a ticket, you still need to register (for free, using the link above) to be put on the entry list.

To attend the Global Live-stream, click here, To purchase a Series Pass to watch and vote on all 3 Smackdowns at your convenience, click here.

For a sneak peek, click below:

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Staples High School students made history.

At, fittingly, the National History Day national competition.

Honorees included:

  • Zachary Brody, 3rd place, Senior Individual Exhibit
  • Jeffrey Pogue, 4th place, Senior Individual Performance
  • Hannah Fiarman, 6th place, Senior Individual Exhibit
  • Michael Nealon and William Jin, 10th place, Senior Group Exhibit.

Congratulations to all — and to their teachers, Drew Coyne and Neill-Ayn Lynch.

Click below for Jeffrey Pogue’s clever, creative performance, channeling Thomas Paine.

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Speaking of Staples: The high school rugby team returned yesterday from Kansas City. Playing in 100-degree heat, they exceeded expectations: Seeded 5th, they finished 4th, in the 8-team event.

They opened with a 26-22 win over higher-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas, then fell 48-14 to eventual champion Herriman (Utah) 48-14. The dropped the consolation match, 17-14 to Gonzaga (Washington).

Congratulations to coach Dave Lyme and his ruggers on a great run!

The 2021 Staples High School boys rugby team.

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Congratulations to Westport’s newest Eagle Scouts — and #86 and #87 for Boy Scout Troop 100.

For his project,  Benjamin Cohen collaborated with the Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited to repair the Norwalk River’s riparian buffer at Schenck’s Island. He removed invasive species, and used native plants to prevent further erosion and decline.

 Jeffrey Pressman worked with Temple Israel to organize materials, books and supplies for classrooms; inventory all materials, to determine needs for supplies; organize High Holiday books; clean and organize the basement to prevent flooding, and build and fix cabinets that hold religious school supplies.

Ben Cohen and Jeffrey Pressman.

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 Old Hill is the site for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo. Brian Schiller captured a deer, nursing her fawn:

(Photo/Brian Schiller)

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And finally … it’s the first full day of summer.

I could have picked 100 songs with “summer” in the title today. These are 3 that stand out. What are yours? Click “Comments” below.

BONUS TRACK: It doesn’t have “summer” in the title. But it’s hard to find a better summer song than this one:

 

Pic Of The Day #1399

Gloria, in Gray’s Creek (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

Pics Of The Day #1122

Springtime in Westport: “Gloria” in Gray’s Creek … (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and Myrtle Avenue downtown (Photo/Marcia Falk)

Pic Of The Day #846

Gloria — the late Alan Sterling’s oyster boat — still sits in Gray’s Creek. (Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

Pic Of The Day #683

Gray’s Creek, looking southwest over Gloria. (Photo/Ward French)

Pic Of The Day #486

Longshore Sailing School kayakers swarm Gloria, the late Alan Sterling’s oyster boat, in Gray’s Creek (Photo/Marcia Falk)

Pic Of The Day #260

The late Alan Sterling’s oyster boat, frozen in time. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)