Tag Archives: Greens Farms Association

Roundup: Cava, Shred, ARPA …

Yesterday, “06880” introduced The Blondinit. The Israeli restaurant opens this summer in the former Church Lane space of Manna Toast.

It’s not the only new place with cuisine from that part of the world.

Cava will take over the newly remodeled spot next to Westport Hardware, across from Fresh Market.

As first reported on Westport Journal, it’s a national fast food chain with over 100 outlets. Among them: New York, Westchester and Greenwich.

The menu includes pitas (crispy falafel, spicy chicken and avocado, spicy lamb meatball and Greek chicken), and salad bowls (spicy chicken, zesty falafel, lemon chicken, harissa avocado, lentil avocado, tahini caesar and more).

3 choices, from the online menu.


Need documents or other stuff shredded? Want to support cancer research?

You can do both at once this Saturday (May 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., William Raveis rear parking lot, 47 Riverside Avenue).

The real estate firm is sponsoring another “Shred It for Cancer Research” event.

The suggested donation is $10 per box or large shopping bag; $20 per large garbage bag (cash or check).

Staples do not need to be removed. You can watch the shredding  happen — without even getting out of your car.

100% of every donation benefits the William Raveis Charitable Fund, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Quote of the Day:

“Part of me was obviously happy that Donald Trump was not branded a rapist.” — Joseph Tacopina, the former president’s lawyer and a Westport resident, after a jury found his client liable for the sexual abuse and defamation of E. Jean Carroll. She was awarded $5 million in damages.


This week’s “What’s Next in Weston” podcast features 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor, with details on how American Rescue Plan Act money is being used to deliver improvements in many areas of Weston.

It covers lots of areas, and answers many questions. Click below to listen to the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston production.


Much of the Greens Farms Association’s work involves zoning.

So the guest speaker for their annual meeting (May 18, 7 p.m., Green’s Farms Church) makes a lot of sense.

Danielle Dobin, chair of the Westport Planning & Zoning Commission, will discuss that topic, including affordable housing, upcoming developments and more.

The meeting includes a recap of the Association’s 2022 activities, and a look ahead to the coming year. Non-members are welcome.

Green’s Farms Church — one of the icons of the neighborhood — is the site of the Greens Farms Association’s annual meeting.


Luisa Francoeur is downsizing from the Westport home she grew up in, and lived in for many years.

On her mantel sits her late husband Jim Goodrich’s model of a schooner. It’s very handsome — and large.

She would like to sell it for $300 to someone who can come take it away (without breaking it).

It is 45 inches from the tip of the bowsprit to the end of the boom, and 8 1/2 inches from the deck to the bottom of the keel.

If interested, email nutmeg5@optonline.net.


Unlike Sam Cooke, Westport students do know much about history.

Last Saturday was Connecticut History Day — the state-level part of a national competition. The them was “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.”

Seven teams from Staples High School (Senior Division) and Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools (Junior Division) finished in the top 3 in their categories. There were also 2 special prize winners.

The Staples winners are:

1st place, Individual Performance:  Camille Mergenthaler (“Food Network; Pioneering Opportunities for Women in the Culinary Industry”).

2nd place, Individual Exhibit: Kate Rodriguez (“The Boom Heard ‘Round the World: The Development and Deployment of the Atomic Bomb”).

2nd place, Group Exhibit: Perrin Root, Oliver Oren, Evan Wallitt, Claudia Trinchi (“Laying Down Frontiers of the Future: The Transcontinental Railroad’s Economic and Cultural Influence”).

3rd place, Group Website: Levi Nested, Elliott Galina, Jake Wadley, William Fleming (“From TV Dinners to Fast Food Nation: The Cultural Impact of Processed Foods in America”).

Special prizes, Outstanding Entry Related to Civics, Government or Citizenship: Liam Furlong (“Ulysses S. Grant and His Effect on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1800s”).

Special prize, Outstanding Entry in American Legal History: Katherine Fitzgerald, Lola Lamensdorft, Rhiya Anand, Sophie Cochran (“Margaret Sanger: The Creation of Birth Control”).

The Bedford winners are:

1st place, Group Documentary: Siri Klassen, Gargi Karve, Elise Yan (“From the Farmland to the Runway: How Denim Revolutionized the
Fashion Industry Through Affordability and Transformative Styles”)

2nd place, Papers: Blake Carson (“An Unexpected Frontier: How the Civil War Exposed Medical Shortfalls and Prompted Change”).

The Coleytown Winners are:

2nd place, Individual Website: Jonah Frey (“How Amateur Radio Changed the Nation”),

F0r more information on Connecticut History Day, click here. For a list of all winners, click here.

From left: Evan Wallitt, Perrin Root, Oliver Oren in front of their Transcontinental Railroad project.


On Monday, Morgan Veltri spotted a great egret eating fish in the water. Here’s the very cool, binocular-focused “Westport … Naturally” that followed.

(Photo/Morgan Veltri)


And finally … sure, a schooner has 2 masts, a sloop only 1. But there are no schooner songs, so this will have to do:

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“06880” Podcast: Art Schoeller, Greens Farms Association President

Greens Farms is where Westport began, over 300 years ago.

It’s changed a lot since then. But Greens Farms is still a neighborhood of open spaces, water and woods.

That it’s remained that way — despite the addition of a railroad station, private school, and the town’s first large complex — is due in large part to the vigilance of the Greens Farms Association.

The other day, I chatted at the Westport Library with its president, Art Schoeller, about his role, his neighborhood, and his town. He offered an inside look into what it takes for a community to retain its character. Click below to watch:

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[OPINION] CARES $$$ Can Help Beach Jetty

As president of the Greens Farms Association, Art Schoeller has a special fondness for Burying Hill Beach.

Over the years, he’s watched the jetty deteriorate. He has an idea on how to keep it safe — without spending one local tax dollar. He says:

An old aphorism suggests it’s better to invest early. Waiting costs more in the long run.

This sign went up at Burying Hill Beach years ago, after lobbying by the Greens Farms Association and concerned neighbors.

“Dangerous” indicates the dire condition of the jetty. While its main purpose is not for pedestrian traffic, it still describes the poor condition of the structure, whose main purpose is to protect the beach.

Up to 40% of the structure has eroded or decayed away, due to normal aging. It was built in 1958. Some research indicates the useful life of a jetty is 30 to 50 years.

Losing the jetty means losing the beach.

The first selectman’s office has already directed Public Works to obtain estimates and permits. This is a “shovel ready” project, estimated to cost $900,000. Not acting now would allow these permits to expire, therefore wasting that investment.

One view of the Burying Hill Beach jetty ,,, Photo/Amy Schneider)

Now we have a chance to finally push this project through — at no cost to the town.

The town of Westport is due to receive $8.4 million in CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding from the federal government. On January 5, the Board of Finance will decide whether or not to apply a portion of those funds to this sorely needed project.

As noted in numerous “06880” postings over the years, a thriving community of users beyond Greens Farms residents enjoy the informal, relaxed and quiet nature of Burying Hill Beach.

The Board of Finance will consider CARES funding soon, If you think this is a project worth considering, please contact board members by email: BOFcomments@westportct.gov.

… and another.  (Photo/Michael Nayor)

[OPINION] Keep Tesla Out Of Saugatuck!

Alert “06880” reader Mark Kirby is an organizer of Saugatuck Neighbors. As outlined below, he is opposed to the plan for a Tesla service facility in his neighborhood.

Two months ago I got a letter from Mel Barr, former Westport Planning and Zoning director, now a zoning consultant. Tesla Motors wanted to change town zoning to allow a “service center” at one of two sites in Saugatuck, including one that abuts part of our backyard. Would I attend a meeting to learn about the proposal?

I had mixed feelings. I was excited to have Tesla in Westport. I support its vision for a less carbon-reliant future; I signed up for a Model 3 before it was officially announced.

But as a neighbor, I worried about noise from tools like compressors and pneumatic wrenches. A service center isn’t what I’d imagined in the neighborhood—in fact, it’s prohibited. But because it was Tesla, I wanted to keep an open mind.

20 Saugatuck Avenue — the proposed site for the Tesla facility.

The meeting was held on a Tuesday night. Mr. Barr was there, along with the building’s landlord, Bruce Becker (a Westport architect and Tesla enthusiast), 4 Tesla representatives, and Tesla’s realtor.

Mr. Barr handed out his proposed zoning amendment. Something jumped out immediately: the zoning change was for a dealership. I asked him and the Tesla representatives about it.

Me (reading their amendment): “Said establishments may also provide vehicle sales of new and used electric motor vehicles, subject to a State License.

Them: Well, we can’t actually sell cars in Connecticut right now.

Me: But I’ve just signed a petition supporting legislation that would allow you to.

The conversation went on from there, but you get the idea: It was a challenge getting forthright answers from this group. At one point, I asked whether Tesla would be willing to go forward without the dealership. Their answer was no.

What’s so bad about a dealership? I’ve heard lots of reasons from neighbors but I’ll share only mine here.

My wife and I settled in Saugatuck because we liked the easy access to transit, and that it was a walkable neighborhood. Many families in Saugatuck have done so for similar reasons.

It’s not just the immediate neighbors who want to preserve this area. Creating a walkable Saugatuck is a priority for both the current Saugatuck Transit-Oriented Master Plan and the town’s draft 2017 Conservation Plan of Development.

I can’t think of a single example of a walkable neighborhood with a car dealership smack in the middle. Our kids are young, and we’re especially concerned about test drives in cars that are fast, silent and accelerate in ways that startle new drivers. While there may be virtues to having a pioneering company like Tesla in town, I wouldn’t count bringing car dealerships to residential areas as one of them.

I realize that some people will read this and cry NIMBYism! But the kind of zoning change proposed here isn’t just bad for Saugatuck; it’s bad for Westport.

Some Saugatuck residents fear this is what the Tesla facility will turn into.

Saugatuck is already a chokepoint for the town — and that’s predominantly from local trips. Tesla would mean additional cars from out-of-towners hopping off I-95 for gas, a rush-hour service appointment or a test drive.

The fact that Saugatuck has the village character it does today is the result of decades of zoning decisions aimed at keeping highway services out of the area. There’s also the question of why we’d want a car dealership (which even for green cars aren’t pollutant-free environments) either on the river or alongside a stream feeding directly into the river.

While learning about zoning rules and knocking on neighbors’ doors weren’t things I anticipated doing this spring, I’m glad for it. It’s been a great way to meet neighbors, get to know town officials, and learn about the many fights over neighborhood preservation that have made Westport what it is today. We’re pleased that Save Westport Now and the Greens Farms Association are supporting neighbors in protesting this zoning change. If you’d like to support us too, you can here.

Westport is investing a lot of time and effort into studying Saugatuck. Will it be a well-planned, cohesive community with local businesses and residents supporting each other, or will we pre-empt all that by dumping a dealership right in the middle of the village?

My hope is that the Planning and Zoning Commission will listen to the neighborhood at the hearing tomorrow (Thursday, June 15, 7 p.m. Town Hall), and make this decision wisely.