Tag Archives: Heather McGhee

Roundup: Senior Records, Family Day, “The Scream” …

We all know how great Westport is.

This morning (Thursday) at 11:30 a.m., everyone in the tri-state area will find out too.

Well, everyone watching “New York Live,” anyway.

The WNBC Channel 4 show features our town. The long (for TV) segment includes scenes of Compo Beach, Longshore, downtown and much more, plus interviews with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, La Plage executive chef Frederic Kieffer, and Savvy + Grace owner Annette Norton.

Of course, “New York Live” is not live. It’s clear from the not-quite-spring foliage that the segment was taped a couple of weeks ago. That’s show biz!

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The other day, “06880” reported that Westport artist Norma Minkowitz shattered 3 US records at the National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale.

Now she’s demolished a fourth.

On Tuesday, Norma ran the 1500 meters in 8:35 — a full 2 1/2 minutes faster than the prior record in her 85-89-year-old age group. It won the 80-84 division too! (Hat tip: Jeff Mitchell)

In 2016– age 79 — Norma Minkowitz led a pack of much younger runners.

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Lynsey Addario continues to provide graphic — and important — images of the war in Ukraine to the world.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photojournalist — a 1991 Staples High School graduate — contribute a series of images to yesterday’s story, headlined “In Ukraine, Gruesome Injuries and Not Enough Doctors to Treat Them.”

Click here to understand the toll the fighting has taken. It is not easy to see. But it would be worse to look away.

The boots of a slain soldier named Ihor (right), next to tennis shoes belonging to another soldier, killed a day earlier. They were placed outside a hospital, for soldiers who might need them. (Photo/Lynsey Addario)

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It took 4 months. But author Heather McGhee finally delivered her Martin Luther King Day address last night.

The author of “The Sum of US: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” spoke at the Westport Library. The town’s 16th annual event — sponsored by the Westport/Weston Interfaith Council and Clergy, Westport Country Playhouse and TEAM Westport — had been postponed by COVID.

The program included songs from the Bridgeport Boys Choir, and a dance by the Regional Center for the Arts.

Heather McGhee, at the Westport Library. (Photo/David Vita)

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Lucia Wang is editor of Staples High School’s STEM Journal.

But her writing is earning notice far beyond Westport. The junior just earned an honorable mention in the New York Times’ global STEM writing contest.

Out of 3,564 entries, judges chose 8 winners, 16 runners-up and 33 honorable mentions. Click here for the full story.

Her essay was titled “Crumbling Paintings, Swelling Crystals and Menacing Monsoons: Climate Change’s Erasure of Humanity’s Oldest Art.”

But Lucia does not spend all her time studying climate change, and writing. She’s also a member of the Wreckers’ varsity tennis team. They finished 15-1 this year, and compete in the FCIAC semifinals at 4 this afternoon at Staples.

Congratulations, Lucia!

Lucia Wang

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On Monday (May 23, 7 p.m.), the Planning & Zoning Commission will review a lease between the town and the Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) for the PJ clubhouse at PJ Romano Field behind Saugatuck Elementary School, plus the lawns, driveway and walkways around it. Click here to see all application materials.

PAL has leased the building from the Board of Education for over 50 years. The lease expired last November. On March 21, the BOE relinquished control back to the town, effective July 1. The proposed lease is 20 years.

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Everyone, of all ages, is invited to MoCA Westport’s Family  Day (June 18, noon to 2 p.m.).

The theme is “inclusion and kindness.” Among the attractions: Piglet, the deaf and blind pink puppy who has inspired a global movement for acceptance, inclusion, empathy and kindness. Westport’s own Melissa Shapiro share his story and talk about her new children’s book, Piglet Comes Home.

Norwalk artist 5iveFingaz will create a mural of Piglet in real time. Visitors can view “Spark,” a showcase of K-12 Westport Public School student art curated by Staples High School students.

Other highlights include a sensory art activity led by MoCA Westport instructors, live music by local favorite Dustin Lowman, an ice cream truck, a meet and greet with dogs from Westport Animal Shelter Advocates, and homemade dog treat giveaways from Earth Animal.

Click here for tickets.

In other Piglet news, Melissa Shapiro’s new children’s picture book, “Piglet Comes Home: How a Deaf Blind Pink Puppy Found His Family,” will be published June 7.

It’s beautifully illustrated, and will be a favorite with parents, children’s librarians — and of course young readers — everywhere. Click here to order, and for more information.

Piglet, with his new book.

 

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The next Westport Country Playhouse Script in Hand play reading is “The Scream: A Musical Comedy Fantasy.” The June 13 (7 p.m) live performance will also be livestreamed, from June 16-19. Script in Hand readings offer intimate storytelling, as professional actors bring words to life without sets or costumes.

Click here for more information, and tickets.

“The Scream: A Musical Comedy Fantasy” is based on Edvard Much’s famous painting.

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Former Staples High baseball player George Goldstein is the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Pitcher of the Year. He’s only the second relief pitcher in history to win the honor, and just the second Middlebury College pitcher to do so.

With the season still continuing, Goldstein holds several Middlebury baseball records, including career saves and career appearances. He is second in best season and career ERA, and saves in a season.

George Goldstein pitches in the snow earlier this season. (Photo/David Goldstein)

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A hummingbird has flitted around Paul Delano’s house recently, collecting spider webs for its nest. He captured this great shot — perfect for “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Paul Delano)

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And finally … in honor of the next Script in Hand play reading at the Westport Country Playhouse (story above):

                                                                  

Roundup: Staples Basketball, Lice, Julia Marino …

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Due to today’s weather, the Westport Weston Family Y is closed all day. It will reopen tomorrow (Saturday).

The Senior Center has canceled all of activities, including the lunch program. Questions or concerns? Call 203-341-5099.

In addition, the Westport Library has delayed its opening until 11 a.m.

Closed today.

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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)

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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.

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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 The New 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.

To attend in person at the Westport Library, click here. For the livestream, click here. To purchase copies of The Sum of Us, click here.

The event is sponsored by the Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy.

Heather McGhee

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Where do you go after winning an Olympic medal?

For Julia Marino — the Westporter who took a snowboarding silver in China — it was off to Milan. She’s sponsored by Prada, and Fashion Week beckoned.

Click here to see Julia on the runway. She’s on at the 7:55 mark. Just after (ahem) Kim Kardashian.

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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

Click here for more information, and to register.

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Winter is still hanging on.

So is this creature — the subject of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Betsy Pollak)

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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.

And this:

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.

Click here for a full Times obituary.

Sunday’s MLK Program Postponed

The program scheduled for this Sunday — celebrating the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring author Heather McGhee — has been postponed.

Due to the worsening COVID situation, she made the difficult decision to delay upcoming speaking engagements. She looks forward to another opportunity to honor Dr. King’s legacy in Westport, when large gatherings become tenable.

The sponsors — Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy — will announce a new date as soon as possible.

Heather McGhee

Roundup: MLK Event, Fleet Feet, Local Art …

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There’s a new time for this Sunday’s Dr. Martin Luther King celebration.

The free program featuring author Heather McGhee begins at 2:30 p.m. It had been set for 3 p.m.

Her book — The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together spent 10 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Her TED talk — “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone” — reached 1 million views in just 2 months.

Due to COVID, the event — sponsored by the Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy — is now online only.

The program includes performances by the Bridgeport Boys Choir, and dance by the Regional Center for the Arts.

To register for the link, click here.

Heather McGhee

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Fleet Feet is leaving Sconset Square.

But Westport’s favorite running store is not going far. The new location is just a jog away: the Fresh Market plaza, next to Little Beet.

Fleet Feet will double its size, offering an even larger selection of footwear, apparel and accessories. The more open space will also allow for expanded service, and social distancing. The move is planned for mid-February.

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Sure, Local to Market is a great place to shop for food with “local” ties.

But it also provides food for the soul.

Westport artist Elizabeth Petrie DeVoll has a solo show at the store — formerly Talbots and before that, the Remarkable Book Shop — at the corner of Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza.

The show also features cards by Jane Gilman Fleischner.

There’s a great tie-in with the historic building. DeVoll creates new art from old objects. She “enlivens history and questions the supposed border between the past and the present. She sees possibility in the discarded, weathered, and forgotten.”

Her work is part of a rotating gallery. All art shown at Local to Market comes through the Artists Collective of Westport.

Elizabeth Petrie DeVoll, with her work at Local to Market.

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A free Zoom event featuring Westport child psychiatrist Gwen Lopez-Cohen Dr. Harold Koplewicz is set for next Tuesday (January 18, 7:30 p.m.). They’ll discuss Koplewicz’s new book, The Scaffold Effect: Raising Resilient, Self-Reliant, and Secure Kids in an Age of Anxiety.

Koplewicz says that the deliberate buildup and then gradual loosening of parental support (like scaffolding on a building) is the single most effective way to encourage youngsters to climb higher, try new things, grow from mistakes, and develop character and strength.

Click here to register. Sponsors are Schoke Jewish Family Service and the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County.

Dr. Gwen Lopez-Cohen

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An opening reception for the latest George Billis Gallery show — featuring 34 artists curated by New York critic and writer David Masello — is set for Saturday (January 15, 4 to 7 p.m.).

The public is welcome.

Norm Siegel’s “Mona Rolla” oil on canvas is featured at the new George Billis Gallery show.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from Marie Gross. She spotted these beautiful birds on Riverside Avenue.

(Photo/Marie Gross)

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And finally … Ronnie Spector died yesterday, after a brief battle with cancer. She was 78.

Her career was defined both as the leader of the spectacular Ronettes, and her marriage to the abusive producer Phil Spector.

The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 by Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones.

Ronnie’s sister and fellow Ronette Estelle Bennett died in 2009. But their music will live on for ages.