Tag Archives: Halloween

Roundup: Leaf Blowers, Jim Wheeler, Trick Or Treat! …

Leaf blower legislation alert!

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 1, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall), the Representative Town Meeting holds a first reading. of the newly revised leaf blower regulation.

Click here to read the full proposal. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)

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Jim Kemish — son of former 1st Selectman John Kemish — now lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

The other day his neighbor Adam, and Adam’s daughter, knocked on Jim’s door. She was selling coupon books to fund her class trip to Washington.

Jim asked them in, and Adam admired the art on the walls.

Jim pointed to his favorite print and said proudly, “That was done by one of my high school art teachers.”

He was stunned when Adam replied, “That’s a Jim Wheeler!”

Jim Kemish and Adam Goby had been dog-walking buddies for a couple of years. But they never knew they both went to Staples — in fact, Adam’s father Dave was a highly respected biology teacher there — and that, to top it off, both were Jim Wheeler fans.

Jim and Adam both wondered if Jim is still alive.

I told them: Not only alive, but healthy, active — and still drawing!

Jim Kemish’s Jim Wheeler print.

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Tonight, the streets around Compo Beach will be flooded (with trick-or-treaters).

There’s safety in numbers. So hopefully, not even the littlest one will be scared off by this guy on Soundview Drive.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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Also tonight: kids begging for candy on Lone Pine Lane will have to navigate past these eerie inflatable eyeballs.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

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Meanwhile, as Halloween fades into the rear view mirror — except, of course, for your kids’ 3 tons of candy — it’s time to think about our 2nd “06880” Holiday Stroll.

Mark your calendar for Friday, December 2 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.). It’s right after the tree lighting — just walk down the Town Hall hill to Main Street.

This year, we’re partnering with the Westport Downtown Association. Details will be announced soon — but right now we’re looking for a Santa Claus and a face painter.

If you can help in either role, please email 06880blog@gmail.com. Thanks in advance!

Staples Orphenians’ will once again sing at the Holiday Stroll.

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The weather is turning colder. But last week was delightful — perfect beach weather. And there’s no better place to catch some rays — and catch up on reading than Compo.

(Photo/Howard Silver)

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Claudia Sherwood Servidio took her first hike yesterday at Haskins Preserve. Like everyone who discovers the hidden gem on Green Acre Lane, off Compo Road South, she was awed.

For a bit of what you’ll see, at this Aspetuck Land Trust property, check out this “Westport … Naturally” image:

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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And finally … ain’t no haint gonna run me off!

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Roundup: Leaf Blowers, Halloween Stuff, Pumpkin Toss …

For several years, a proposed gas-powered leaf blower ordinance has been blowin’ in the Westport wind.

On Tuesday (November 1, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall), a proposal — already approved by the Ordinance Committee — heads to the full Representative Town Meeting. for a first reading.

The text of the amendment is not yet available online. It is available at the Town Clerk’s office during business hours.

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Four Halloween films — and a bonus Christmas movie — top the bill at the Remarkable Theater this weekend.

The Imperial Avenue drive-in will screen:

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (tonight: Saturday, October 29; doors open at 6, movie at 7; free (donate whatever you wish)

Double feature: “Charlie Brown” and “Curious George” (Sunday, October 30; doors open at 5, movie at 6)

“Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (Sunday, October 30; doors open at 8, movie at 8:30)

“Halloween” (Halloween, Monday October 31; doors open at 6, movie at 7)

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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On Thursday (November 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the same site — the Imperial Avenue parking lot — turns into the Great Pumpkin Toss.

The free community composting event returns for its 4th year, at the Westport Farmers’ Market. Action Waste Solutions will collect pumpkins — aka “Halloween food waste” — while also having some fun.

Just “toss” your pumpkin (or gourds) in the bin, and go.

All pumpkins and gourds in their natural state are welcome. Squishy and rotted ones are fine, but decorated or painted pumpkins cannot be composted.

In addition to creating compost, pumpkins provide food for livestock. Stephanie Maynard from Ox Hollow Farm will fill her truck with good pumpkins that will serve as food for her cows .

Last year’s Great Pumpkin Toss diverted one ton of pumpkin waste from landfill. Can we break that record this year?

Come help!

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We’ve got winners!

Last Saturday, over 75 children painted 63 store windows throughout town this past Saturday, in the annual Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce Halloween Contest.

Winners received gift certificates for an ice cream cake at Gofer Ice Cream.

They are:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 

  • Scariest: Chloe Robbin (Cycle Dynamics; Long Lots grade 4)
  • Best Halloween: Scarlett Nathan (Stephen Kempson, Saugatuck grade 4)
  • Most creative: Calvin and Julian Carreras (ASF, Long Lots grades 1 and 3)

MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • Scariest: Hailey Kipperman (Sephen Kempson, The Southport School grade 8)
  • Best Halloween: Linda Morgan and Julie Ferraro (Cold Fusion, Bedford grade 6)
  • Most Creative: Milo Milgrom (Greens Farms Spirit Shop, Bedford grade 7)


Chloe Robbin with her “Scariest” Elementary School award, at Cycle Dynamics.

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Kaitlyn Steffa loves living on High Point Road. “There’s always something fun going on,” she says.

Like her neighbor at #26, For the past few weeks Sarah Maraun has entertained anyone driving, biking or walking by with creative skeleton displays in her front yard.

One day they’re out playing Twister; the next, they’re doctors performing surgery, or having a potato sack race.

As you can see, Sarah does not mess around. These are some hard-core decorations — and some very hard skeletons.

(Photo/Kaitlyn Steffa)

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More than 200 movie lovers thronged the Westport Library this week, for the opening night of “Short Cuts.”

Five international short films were screened, followed by a conversation.

The next installment of the “short film” festival (Thursday. November 17) features documentary films, with guest Oscar-nominated Kevin Wilson Jr. Click here fpr tickets. and more information.

“Short Cuts,” at the Westport Library.

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“06880” does not often post wedding announcements.

But this one has a twist.

Staples High School graduates Juliet Senia and Josh Jeavons are getting married November 18, at Town Hall. State Representative Jonathan Steinberg will perform the ceremony.

Bride and groom live in England. A celebration is planned there in June.

What makes this special is that Juliet was the first baby born to a Westport couple in the new millennium.

Billy and Linda welcomed their 7-pound, 5-ounce daughter into the world at 9:09 a.m. on January 3, 2000.

Julia’s parents are not the only ones thinking right now, “Time sure does fly!”

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Westport PAL’s first-ever gala on Thursday was a hit.

The Inn at Longshore was packed, as residents dined, drank, danced, and raised funds for the kids-first organization’s projects like renovating the clubhouse at PJ Romano Field. Click here to see all that PAL does.

Westport PAL gala-goers (from left):Anna Rycenga, Pam Romano, PAL president Craig Bergamo, Kristen Zygmant, Catrina Hegarty, Emma Rojas, Georgia Rojas. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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Longtime Westporter Nancy Gershon died last month, 10 days before her 87th birthday, of multiple medical causes.

The Brooklyn native was a stellar student, and an excellent pianist and flutist.

After graduated from James Madison High School and Barnard College, majoring in math, then earned a master’s degree in education from Teacher’s College.

Nancy married Richard Gershon in 1957. She worked as a calculator (a pre-computer-era job)  at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory. After he graduate from Harvard Business School they moved to Queens NY, where she worked as a substitute high school math teacher.

The couple moved to Westport in 1963. Her 4 children, born in 6 years, kept her busy, but she took up cello. She played in the Norwalk Symphony and in informal Westport chamber groups. Nancy ‘s oldest child went on to a career as a professional musician.

Nancy and Richard divorced in 1980e. Once her nest was empty she continued with musical activities, including learning jazz piano and taking up saxophone. She also studied computer science at Norwalk Technical College. She collected large quantities of music books, which her musician son has been distributing to music students.

She is survived by her children Russ of Chelsea, Massachusetts, and Andrew, Jill and Laurie of Manhattan; 3 grandchildren; sister Maryanne Lehrer of Oceanside, New York and brother Dr. Robert Leon of Scottsdale, Arizoba. She was ably cared for in her home by Lorna Jones for the last 6 years of her life.

Nancy Gershon

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Today’s spectacular “Westport … Naturally” fall foliage photo is from Compo Road South, near Bradley Street. Thanks, Matt Murray, for the image — and kudos too to whoever takes care of this beauty!

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis died yesterday in Mississippi. He was 87.

He was a legend. Just imagine what his career would have been like if he hadn’t married his 13-year-old cousin. He was 22 years old at the time — and still married to his second wife. (Click here for a full obituary.)

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Roundup: Voters’ Guide, Traffic Study, Halloween …

The print version of the Westport League of Women Voters’ voter guide has gone the way of much of the print media: It’s disappeared..

But the LWV still provides important information. And it works for anyone, anywhere in the United States.

Just click on vote411.org. Enter your address. You’ll see every race being contested at your polling place. Clicking any office and candidate’s name brings up plenty of background information.

It’s a rich resource. And a lot better way to decide who to vote for than yard signs. (Hat tip: Charles Wiseman)

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In August, the Board of Finance unanimously approved funds for a traffic and safety study of Cross Highway, at the North Avenue and Bayberry Lane intersections.

Monitoring devices have been installed. They’ll measure things like traffic volume and patterns.

No — they’re not cameras catching stop sign violators.

Although that might not be a bad idea.

Traffic monitoring device at North Avenue/Cross Highway stop sign. (Photo/Matt Murray)

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Westport Chinese Takeout — the bare bones, simply named but popular restaurant on Saugatuck Avenue at Franklin Street, closed recently.

The location is historic. It was the original site of the Arrow Restaurant. The Nistico family eventually moved their famed Italian eatery to larger digs on Charles Street.

When the Arrow’s run ended there, it became Jasmine — a Chinese restaurant. When that closed, the owners opened the much smaller Westport Chinese Takeout — in the Arrow’s first spot.

Jasmine then became Blu Parrot, and later Mystic Market. Now it too is gone.

And the original Chinese Takeout owners sold to others too.

For now, a phone message says: “We’re sorry. Westport Chinese Takeout is no longer in business. In the meantime, we’re getting ready to bring you the best of Peruvian food at this location. We’ll see you soon!” 9(Hat tip: 

Westport Chinese Takeout is now closed.

Halloween alert: Tomorrow (Saturday, October 29, 2 to 4 p.m.) — not Monday — the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston hosts their annual (and very popular) “Trunk or Treat,” 

The parking lot will be filled with car trunks from church and community members, Staples PRIDE, and more, decorated for (non-scary) Halloween. Kids (up to age 12) can pick up candy and other goodies.

It’s free for the community — but there’s a chance to give back too. The church is collecting canned goods for the Person to Person food pantry. A donation of 5 cans of food per child attending is requested.

All (kids up to age 12) are indeed welcome at the United Methodist Church’s “Trunk or Treat” tomorrow. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Speaking of Halloween: Wednesday’s downtown parade was a smashing success.

We can’t ask the kids — they’re still devouring their candy — so here’s the perspective of a parent. Tyler Errickson writes:

“Westport is a special town, and my son Henry had a special time at the Halloween parade. He was proud to mount the Westport fire truck, on a very special day.”

Henry Errickson, on a fire truck at the Halloween parade. (Photo/Tyler Errickson)

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Jonathan Alloy reports on a long-running projecct:

“The bridge on Bayberry Road North Extension saw major progress on Thursday: The deck rails arrived.

“Each of the 7 concrete and steel rails is more than 50 feet long, and weighs over 19 tons.

“They came from Vermont, each on its own special 24-wheel trailer truck. A portable crane lifted them into place.

“Instead of being flat, the rails are built with a camber (arc) to allow for flex with weight and weather. Inside the concrete, steel cables allow for that bending.”

The trucks caused a traffic mess on Bayberry. Westport Police soon straightened things out.

Plenty of work remains. But yesterday marked a big step forward.

Trucks line Bayberry Lane yesterday morning …

… and work is completed yesterday afternoon. (Photos/Jonathan Alloy)

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Everyone in the world knows about TED Talks.

Everyone in Westport should know about TEA Talks.

The free Thinkers, Educators, Actors — “TEA” — event returns to the Westport Library on Sunday, November 6. Among the notables: an Emmy-winning composer, Oscar-nominated filmmaker, former Westport Teacher of the Year, and many more.

They’ll share the Trefz Forum stage, to explore provocative, topical subjects in the arts. Particularly apt for an event impacted for 2 years by COVID, they’ll consider the effects of recent history on creativity in film, music and visual art.

Were home-bound artists more or less creative? What new ways were discovered to express one’s creativity? Does the public now consume the arts differently from the way it did before?

Westport textile and fashion designer Shobana Mani converses with Oscar-nominated New York City filmmaker Kevin Wilson Jr.

Dr. Richard Epstein (Westport musician, dentist and WPKN radio host) speaks with Emmy Award-winning composer, music supervisor and pianist Michael Whalen

Westport 2013 Teacher of the year Cecily Anderson discusses the state of the arts with Westport artist Tom Berntsen and Norwalk street-muralist 5ive Fingaz.

TEA Talks is sponsored by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee. An audience Q-and-A and refreshments follow the presentation. For more information, click here.

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There’s a big honor ahead for The Conservative Synagogue‘s Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and his wife Riki.

Next month, the New York Board of Rabbis presents the Westport couple with  Humanitarian Award.

They’ll be in good company. Receiving the same award: former US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The event is November 16, at the Pierre Hotel. Click here for tickets and more information. (Hat tip: Avi Kaner)

Riki and Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn.

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Speaking of honors: The Westport Garden Club earned several honors at this week’s Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s 93rd annual awards luncheon.

The club received the Certificate of Achievement – Arboreal for planting a swamp white oak at Grace Salmon Park for “Oaktober 2021.”

They also won a Certificate of Achievement – Historic, Memorial and Public Gardens for their 2022 renovation of the Nevada Hitchcock Garden at the Cross Highway/Weston Road intersection.  The garden — established in 1941 — was reworked to focus on native and pollinator plantings.

Two members received individual awards. Andi Turner was given a Certificate of Individual Achievement for her work as horticultural chair. At each meeting, she shares well researched and informative best practices .

The Tribute Award in Landscape Design went to Ellen Greenberg, a Westport Garden Club past president, for her leadership in the club and community, involving a diverse array of partners including the Waltersville School Garden Project with Pivot Ministries, Wakeman Town Farm Pollinator Gardens, a Kaboom playground project in Bridgeport, and  Aspetuck Land Trust’s Green Corridor Initiative and Haskins Preserve Project.

Westport Garden Club members at the Nevada Hitchcock Garden.

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Many Westporters know Pippa Bell Ader for her environmental activism.

She’s also a talented potter. Next Thursday (November 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), she’ll sell her work at the Westport Farmers’ Market (Imperial Avenue parking lot).

All money raised at the “Urban Farming and Food Justice” fundraiser go to Green Village Initiative. The non-profit grows food, knowledge, leadership and community, through urban gardening and farming, to create a more just food system in Bridgeport.

Can’t make it to the Farmers’ Market, but interested in helping Pippa and GVI? Email bellader@gmail.com.

Pippa Bell Ader’s pottery.

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MoCA Westport’s next 2 “Cocktails and Conversation” events are set.

On November 3 (6 p.m.), Diana Mashia — founder and CEO of Invest In Her Art — discusses “the power of story, and the role that narratives play in shaping identity, fandom, advocacy and positive social impact.” She’ll lead a conversation around “how to better utilize stories and the arts to build awareness and advance women and non-binary people.” Click here to register.

On November 10 (6 p.m.), exhibition co-curators Tom Berntsen, Liz Leggett and Ruth Mannes describes the design and installation of MoCA’s current exhibition, “From the Pen to the Knife,” and the fascinating story of artist Marian Christy. Click here to register.

Both events are free; advance registration is requested. Access to the exhibit beforehand is free; cocktails and drinks are available for purchase.

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You may have to slow down to read this Halloween-themed sign on Bridge Street, near the Cribari Bridge:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

It says “Fast Drivers are Scary.”

That’s true all year round. But especially now when it gets dark early, but people are still out walking, running and riding bikes.

Slow down — particularly on Halloween!

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Here’s another Halloween photo:

(Photo/Anne Bernier)

Anne Bernier explains: “Anyone has seen ‘Stranger Things 4’ episode 3 (or has heard the Kate Bush song ‘Running Up that Hill’) will understand the floating Halloween decoration my 8th grader Luke created. Hopefully it won’t scare off any potential trick-or-treaters.”

Beware: It’s in the Old Hill neighborhood.

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Yogi Bear has appeared in “06880” before.

But never like. Cathy Malkin snapped this great “Westport … Naturally” photo the other day.

Because what’s more natural than a pair of skeletons hanging out in lawn chairs on Fairfield Avenue?

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)

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And finally … Charlie Daniels was born on this day, in 1936. The singer/ songwriter/guitarist/fiddler died in 2020, at 83, after a stroke.

(Once again, “06880” is jam-packed with stuff. Once again, we hope you’ll click here to support our work.)

Pics Of The Day #2017

Flannel Halloween on Hillspoint … (Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

… and inflatable pumpkins on Soundview (Photo/Karen Como)

Pic Of The Day #2013

Skeletons on Soundview (Photo/Les Dinkin Fotografix)

This Halloween, Keep In Mind …

WestportMoms is our town’s go-to multi-platform destination for upcoming family and kid events, merchants and helping professional news, and and school and camp advice.

The head moms — Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post — always have every child in mind. They know “it takes a village,” and they always support ours.

The other day, they posted this advice. It comes from Dr. Ali Griffith, and is worth repeating for the (few) folks who don’t follow WestportMoms:

Pic Of The Day #1993

Early Halloween at the train station (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Roundup: Parks & Rec, Julia Marino, Twiddle …

Westport Parks & Recreation Department seasonal employees do it all.

Lifeguards keep everyone safe at our beaches and pools, handle first aid and medical concerns, and answer countless questions (over and over again).

Guest Services staffers collect daily fees, organize parking, keep the beaches and lots clean, and answer countless questions (over and over again).

Tennis clerks greet customers, schedule reservations, collect fees, and maintain the courts and surroundings.

Dock attendants assist boaters n docking, sell gasoline and ice, and oversee the marinas at Compo and Longshore.

Those are thankless jobs. So of course, most of us never say “thanks.”

On August 8, Parks & Rec operations manager Carmen Roda and waterfront foreman Michael Giunta will.

They (and guest services supervisor Donny Christopher, and tennis supervisors Jamie Boone and Matthew Schwartz) are treating those employees — well, the ones who won’t be working, anyway — to a “thank you” picnic.

It’s a welcome gesture. These (mostly) young men and women help make our summers rock. 

Meanwhile, the next time you see a lifeguard, beach or dock attendant, or tennis employee, say “thank you” too.

Westport Parks & Rec staff help the summer run smoothly.

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Over the past few years, the dingy pedestrian tunnel underneath the Westport railroad station tracks has been transformed into a much more welcoming space.

A partnership between the Westport Police Department — they’re in charge of railroad parking — and the Westport Arts Center, with gifts from Bill Scheffler and his wife Ann Sheffer, Robin Tauck, the late Gordon Joseloff and others, turned the sometimes-scary passageway into a stunning art gallery.

Westport native and noted artist Miggs Burroughs created 16 LED-lit lightboxes. Each continued a lenticular image that combined one from a 100-year-old postcard of Westport’s past, with a current shot of the same scene. Compo Beach, Longshore, the station itself — all are represented.

This spring, a new lightbox was added, on the station wall itself. You don’t have to descend into the tunnel to see another handsome lenticular, with scenes of the cannons and downtown. This one actually says “Welcome to Westport!”

Now there’s a new one, with a modern twist. It honors Olympic snowboarding silver medalist (and Westport native) Julia Marino.

It’s another great lenticular image by Miggs. Unveiled yesterday morning, it will be displayed for the next year.

One view of MIggs Burroughs’ lenticular image …

… and the other.

At the unveiling yesterday (from left): 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Julia Marino, Deputy Chief Sam Arciola, Julia’s father John (hidden), Miggs Burroughs.

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Twiddle fans are all a-flutter for this Friday and Saturday’s special Levitt Pavilion shows (click here for details, and tickets).

An added bonus (besides the Vermont-based jam band, plus Mihail and The Nth Power):

The White Light Foundation supports causes and organizations important to Twiddle and its fans. They receive $1 from every ticket sold, then donate it back into each community where the band plays.

For their Westport shows, White Light has selected Earthplace and Project Return.

Great choices! The science/conservation/education group, and the empowerment program for homeless young women, both do wonderful work.

No wonder this weekend’s headliners have such a devoted following. They — and their fans — truly care about others. And they walk the talk.

They don’t just sit around twiddling their thumbs.

Twiddle. ©Jay Blakesberg

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Speaking of the Levitt Pavilion: Sunday’s Sweet Remains concert was a smash. A full house loved the sweet-sounding group, an annual Levitt Pavilion favorite.

But you didn’t have to haul a lawn chair to the grass to enjoy the show.

Dylan Germishuys has a different idea. He writes:

“I line up Sunday concerts with higher tides, then get some people on our boat to go up the Saugatuck River and listen  from the best seats ‘in’ the house.

“There was a perfect incoming tide for the Sweet Remains. We took a slow trip, found our spot, and had a picnic during the concert. The sound was great.

“At lower tides you have fewer options as to where you anchor, and have to be a little more cautious coming up this far. If the river was dredged, that might create more space.

“At higher tides , the Cribari (Bridge Street) bridge is a challenge for bigger boats. We only had a foot or two clearance on the way out.

“There’s enough room for quite a few more boats to do the same. You have to test your Bridge Street clearance at high tide before venturing up at low though, and being stuck for a tide cycle!”

Boating by the Levitt. (Photo/Dylan Germishuys)

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Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup noted the (aaaaargh!) holiday music at the Bridge Square Dunkin’ Donuts.

Halloween is a lot closer than Christmas: only 97 days away.

So hurry on down to HomeGoods, which has already stocked all your costume needs.

(Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)

That area of town is quickly cornering the Halloween market. Just moments after Sandy Rothenberg sent her (aaaaargh!) HomeGoods report, Jack Krayson noted that Spooky Town — across from Stop & Shop, by Bulkley Avenue North — is open for business too.

No sign of pumpkins yet though, at either store.

Slackers.

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Connecticut’s Democratic and Republican parties have primaries on Tuesday, August 9.

Unaffiliated voters cannot vote in primary elections — unless they change their registration to either party. Unaffiliated voters have until noon on August 8 to change, and register with either party. Click here for the link, to make the change online.

In other August 9 primary news: The town needs poll workers.

Poll workers must be registered voters in Connecticut. They must take part in a training session, for which they are paid $25.

Pay for the August 9 election day: A full day is $200, with a $40 food allowance;  a half=day shift is $100, with a $20 for food allowance.

Election Day work starts at 5:45 a.m. (polls open at 6 a.m. sharp) and concludes at 8:15 p.m. (polls close at 8 p.m. sharp).

For more information, email dgreenberg@westportct.gov.

Voting machines and poll workers, at the Westport Library.

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From time to time, “auction” signs pop up around Westport. Recently, we’ve been overridden with these:

(Photo/Matt Murray)

Alert reader Matt Murray writes:

“I called this number. Just for laughs. I wanted to see where they were located. It had been disconnected. Gee, do you think you could have been a scam?”

I’m not a betting man, Matt. But I’d bet my Patek Philippe, Rolex or Lamborghini on it.

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Dream Spa & Salon is turning 22 years old.

To celebrate, they’ve hired an ice cream truck to treat their clients (and anyone else who wanders by).

It’s August 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. (1220 Post Road East — the funky house in front of Crate & Barrel).

Happy birthday, Dream!

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We head inside for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo — a cool image of Dusty Smith’s colorful zinnias.

(Phoro/Dusty Smith)

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And finally … if you’re intrigued by Twiddle (see story above), but have never heard of the band (or even if you have), give a listen:

(“06880” is your blog. Please click here to help support this online community.)

Roundup: Free Money, Pumpkins, College Transcripts …

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Does your organization want free money?

Tomorrow (October 30, 2021) is the deadline for Fairfield County non-profits to apply for a grant from the Westport Woman’s Club. They go to deserving groups working in education, health and safety, and the arts.

Applications are being accepted too for a one-time use of their clubhouse, for an event.

Typed proposals should be sent — postmarked by tomorrow — to: Westport Woman’s Club, Attn.: Community Service Grant, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

For more information, call 203-227-4240 or click here.

The Westport Woman’s Club on Imperial Avenue is giving out grants — and offering the use of its clubhouse for an event.

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The 2nd remarkable season of the Remarkable Theater’s drive-in comes to an end with an exciting Halloween weekend.

Tonight (Friday, October 29, 6:30 p.m.), it’s Beetlejuice.

Tomorrow (Saturday, October 30, 6 p.m. — “come in costume; truck or treat!”), there’s a double feature: “Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest.”

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Speaking of pumpkins: Liam Borner and Julia Matusiewicz turned this one into something — well, great:

Can you top that> Send a photo to dwoog@optonline.net.

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Craig Schmarr, the Westport Public Schools’ supervisor of building operations,  died yesterday morning at Bridgeport Hospital. He served the district for over 27 years, in a variety of capacities. A full obituary will appear later.

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The tent outside Savvy + Grace was packed last night. Owner Annette Norton hosted a special “shopping and cocktails” benefit for The Cancer Couch breast cancer foundation.

WICC;s “Melissa in the Morning” was among the dozens of guests. The event was held in memory of Laura Nelson, the beloved Westporter who died last month.

Annette Norton, at last night’s Savvy + Grace benefit for The Cancer Couch.

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COVID has dramatically altered the college landscape — and the application process.

Private counselor Amy Chatterjee believes that a transcript is the most important part of a student’s application. On November 8 (7 p.m., Zoom), the Westporter offers a 1-hour workshop for parents.

She’ll discus “what it actually is, how students can show a love of learning through their courses,” and more. Click here for more information, and to register for the free event.

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Autumn means more than changing leaves. Tree Board chair Monica Buesser’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows the sometimes overlooked beauty of this familiar scene:

(Photo/Monica Buesser)

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And finally … Robin McNamara died last week, at 74. He played Claude in the Broadway production of “Hair,” and had this very ’70s-ish pop hit. (Hat tip: Amy Schneider)

Trick Or Treat?

Once upon a time, Halloween was a hallowed — and very neighborly — holiday.

Some kids wore mom-made costumes. Others had store-bought masks. The younger ones went out with parents. But everyone 8-ish or older roamed their road, and one or two nearby, on their own.

They scarfed up as much candy as they could, in an hour or so. A few pennies were collected for UNICEF. Sometimes a pumpkin got smashed, an egg tossed.

Then the arms race began. Costumes grew more elaborate. Parents drove their kids to Westport’s densest neighborhoods,* maximizing the candy-to-ground-covered ratio.

Adults joined in the fun, opening their homes (and liquor cabinets) to friends and srangers chaperoning ever-older trick-or-treaters. With so many parents (and security cameras) around now, kids have no idea how to smash a pumpkin or toss an egg.

Last year, the pandemic threw Halloween for a loop. Would trick-or-treating on crowded streets turn into a super-spreader event? Was it dangerous to grab candy from a communal bowl? Wasn’t everyone sick of wearing masks,, anyway?

Some parents said: Go for it. Kids have lost so much already, let’s not take away Halloween.

Others said: Not this year. COVID before candy.

Which brings us to Halloween 2021. The virus still lurks here. Many in their prime candy-grabbing years have not yet been vaccinated. What’s a parent to do?

Full steam ahead? Only with friends? Sorry — no candy this year, kids? 

“06880” wants to know how your family is handling Halloween. Click “Comments” below.

Whatever your choice — and speaking now as an adult, not a youngster — let’s hope it does not involve eggs.

At least, not at my house.

2021?

* If you don’t know where, I’m not going to tell you.