Tag Archives: Hiro Wyatt

Roundup: Bears In The Woods, Hiro On The Mound …

The other day, Ana Rogers was walking with friends in Winslow Park.

They noticed stuffed bears, scattered in trees throughout the 32 acres. They figured someone was having a scavenger hunt.

The next morning, walking alone, she spotted an older woman placing one of the animals on a tree. Ana asked if it was part of a hunt.

“No,” the woman said.

“These are just for fun. Bears belong in trees!

She said at first she just placed them in branches, but people took them.

Now, she has to zip tie them.

People: Whether they’re stuffed or real, when you see a bear — leave it alone!

(Photos/Ana Rogers)


Staples High School has a new — and official — MLB prospect.

Hiro Wyatt — the superbly named Staples High School baseball hero who graduated last month, after helping the Wreckers comethisclose to the state championship — was drafted this afternoon by the Kansas City Royals.

The right-handed pitcher was chosen in the 3rd round. He was the 75th pick overall.

According to CT Insider’s GameTimeCT, Wyatt will join a Kansas City affiliate once he signs his contract. He had been committed to the University of Southern California.

This past spring, Wyatt went 8-0. He struck out 107 batters and walked only 11, in 54.2 innings pitched.

He allowed 4 earned runs all season, with a 0.51 ERA and a 0.677 WHIP. He also hit .367 with 6 doubles, 3 home runs and 17 RBIs.

He was named GameTimeCT MVP, Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year and CHSCA Player of the Year. He holds Staples  records for strikeouts per 9 innings (17.64), most strikeouts in a game (18), scoreless innings streak (42.1) and single-season strikeouts (107).

Wyatt is the 4th Staples baseball player drafted in the past decade. He follows Chad Knight (2019, 31st round, New York Yankees), Ben Casparius (2017, 5th round, Los Angeles Dodgers) and David Speer (2014, 27th round, Cleveland Indians).

In 1976, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Mike Calise in the 24th round. (Hat tip: Jeff Mitchell)


The Westport Transit District’s May ridership figures show it to be the second highest in the previous 12 months.

There were 2,737 Wheels2U riders, second only to March (2,788).

With 25,511 total rides since the start of the fiscal year on July 1, 2022, the WTD was on garget to reach its target of 27,000.

In May, 501 individuals took at least 1 ride. The figure for April was 447.

Since July 1, 2022, the number of people taking at least one ride is 1,272.


Roe Halper has been a professional artist in Westport for 63 years.

Her work has evolved from social commentary (her woodcuts hung in Martin Luther King’s home) to dance, then nature, and finally abstraction in many forms.

She has worked in woodcarving, pen and ink, and clay. Now she concentrates on acrylic painting.

Roe’s current exhibition, “Circles and Rectangles,” is on view at One River Gallery (next to Shearwater Coffee) through July 30.

On Saturday, July 22 (1 to 2:30 p.m.), she’ll give a class for “older students,” using circles and rectangles.

It’s not her first time as an instructor. For the past 25 years, Roe has taught art to talented high school students, in her studio.

“Circles and Rectangles X” (Roe Halper)


What’s the connection between the Volkswagen emissions cheating settlement, and Weston?


In this week’s “What’s Next in Weston” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor describes how money from that case will help her town build new infrastructure.

Spoiler alert: It will support the use of electric vehicles, and reduce harmful emissions.

The podcast is produced by the  Y’s Men of Westport & Weston. Click below to see:


Last night at the Westport Library, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston presented a talk on “Humanity Through Technology.”

Sam Gustman — associate dean and chief technology officer at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation and USC Libraries — discussed the ground-breaking ways in which Holocaust victims have been recorded for posterity.

Long after they are gone, people will be able to “interview” them, learning their stories.

The Shoah Foundation’s technology, on view at the Westport Library. (Photo/Bruce Borner)


Speaking of technology: What’s the future of astrophotography?

Richard S. Wright Jr. — contributing editor for Sky & Telescope magazine — shines a light on the subject July 18 (8 p.m., virtual; click here for the Zoom link; click here for the YouTube link).

He’s the next guest lecturer at the Westport Astronomical Society’s free online science series.

Viewers will have a chance to ask questions at the end. Click here for (much more) information.

Richard S. Wright Jr.


Westport has many notable advertising, marketing and PR people.

Yesterday, one of them became an official “notable leader.”

Michael Gordon was one of 75 men and women in the tri-state area, cited by Crain’s.

His writeup says:

As chief executive of the public relations firm Group Gordon, Michael Gordon oversees client work spanning the corporate, social impact, and crisis practices. He also participates in media engagements and webinars regarding industry trends, such as the influence of artificial intelligence on public relations.

Gordon has led key social impact launches, such as the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s restroom finder app. He serves on councils to support undergraduate financial aid and first-generation college students at the University of Pennsylvania, and has been honored by Connecticut’s Anti-Defamation League for his leadership. Gordon has served on the board of the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition.

Westporters know him for him as a former Board of Education chair. Congratulations, Michael!

Michael Gordon


“Dial M for Murder” opens tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Audience members will enjoy the show — and the garden outside. It’s in full bloom, as today’s “Westport … Naturally” image by Molly Alger shows.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … Peter Nero died Thursday in Florida. He was 89.

The New York Times said the pianist “soared to popularity in the 1960s with a swinging hybrid of classics and jazz and kept the beat for nearly six decades with albums, club and television dates, and segues into conducting pops orchestras.”

Click here for a full obituary.

(If you read about Hiro Wyatt — or any other interesting Westporter — on “06880,” you too can be a “hero.” Just click here to support our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Baseball, Tennis, Gardens …

The road to the state championship ended one run short — and 3 innings extra — yesterday for the Staples High School baseball team.

The Wreckers’ Hiro Wyatt and Fairfield Warde’s Griffin Polley dueled brilliantly — and scorelessly — for much of the game. In the end — the 10th inning — Polley drove home the Mustangs’ winning run, in a 2-1 contest at Palmer Field in Middletown that was even closer than the score. It was the 2nd straight state title for the Fairfielders.

Congratulations to the Wreckers, and coach Jack McFarland, on their great run to the ultimate game of the season.

Hiro Wyatt — the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year — had a heroic season on the mound for Staples. (Photo courtesy of Staples Baseball)


Congratulations too to Staples’ number 1 doubles team. Karenna Birns and Audrey Kercher won the State invitational championship Friday, at the Milford Indoor Tennis Club.

The #3-ranked pair defeated Fairfield Ludlowe’s top seed 6-4, 6-3. They also won the semifinals in straight sets, over #3 Amity-Woodbridge.

Karenna heads to Georgetown University in the fall, and Audrey to the University of Florida. Congratulations to both — and to coach Jena Wider.

Audrey Kircher and Karenna Birns: state champs!


Speaking still of Staples: Westport photographer Tom Kretsch just returned from a tour/workshop in Washington state.

Walking around Pullman, he spotted pictures in many stores of the high school graduates, in windows and on signs.

He wonders if it’s something we could replicate in Westport.

Sounds like something to investigate. And it sure would be less intrusive than the epidemic of signs that sprawls all along the entrances to Staples, for every team and activity imaginable, which no one can even read.


And speaking again of baseball: The Westport Winners Challenger team, for players with disabilities, ended their 10th season yesterday with a special event.

A big party included player announcements and personalized trophies, plus free ice cream gift cards from The Porch at Christie’s.

Scenes from yesterday’s Westport Winners party. Coach Mike Connors (top left) has been with the program since it began in 2013.  

The Little League Challenger division is one of the best sports programs in Westport. Congratulations to all who participate — and all who make it happen!

The Challenger crew. (Photo and hat tip/Beth Cody)


Today is the open house at Prospect Gardens.

The public is invited to the magnificent Greens Farms property (Sunday, June 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; GPS either 13 or 25 Prospect Road).

Besides 9 acres of beauty and joy, Prospect Gardens offers something else.

Last year, the Greens Farms Garden Club has assumed responsibility for the 3-tiered vegetable garden, for their Growing For Good program.

Owners John and Melissa Ceriale turned over the space for their effort. All produce is donated to the Mercy Center in Bridgeport, at time serving as the only source of fresh produce for some of families.

Last year, the Greens Farms Garden Club donated over 1,600 pounds of vegetables. It’s a win-win-win: for the Ceriales, the Club, and Mercy Learning Center.

A small part of Prospect Gardens. 


The Westport Rotary Club is one of our town’s true jewels. Members never stop giving.

Earthplace director Tony McDowell (with trash bag) and other Rotarians hard at work, at the Gillespie Center. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)


Registration is open for the Westport Weston Family YMCA’s annual Point to Point Compo Beach swim (July 16, 7:30 a.m.).

The annual open water race raises funds to benefit aquatics safety at the Y, through swim lessons for children and adults.

There are prizes for top finishers — and a kids race too.

Pre-registration is $60; day of registration, $75. Click here for details.

The start of the Point-to-Point swim.


America celebrates Groundhog Day on February 2.

Except here on “06880,” where today — June 11 — it’s “Westport … Naturally Groundhog Day.”

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … on this day in 2002, “American Idol” premiered on the Fox network.

This became the best-selling song to come out of the show:

And this song has been covered the most:

(Be a sport! Please click here to support “06880.” Thank you!)





Roundup: Luke Rosenberg, Hiro Wyatt, Rebecca Schussheim …

Staples High School choral director Luke Rosenberg is leaving Westport.

The much-admired, multi-talented musician has taken a position at Greenwich High School.

He told “06880”: “I am incredibly thankful to Westport for the last 11 years. Shortly before I was hired at Staples, I thought my career as a choral director was over.

“But Westport took a chance on a young teacher, and I was able to continue doing what I love. I will forever be thankful for all that Westport has given me.”

Luke Rosenberg, at the 2019 Pops Concert.


Hiro is a hero.

Hiro Wyatt — one of the stars of Staples High School’s baseball team — has been named Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Player of the Year.

The honor recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field. Wyatt is now a candidate for National Gatorade Player of the Year.

The 6-1, 190-pound senior right-handed pitcher and designated hitter posted a 7-0 record with a 0.67 ERA and 90 strikeouts (and just 10 walks) in 41.2 innings pitched. He allowed no runs in 31.1 innings leading into the state “LL” (extra large schools) state tournament.

The Wreckers — seeded 3rd in the state tournament — host #6 South Windsor in today’s quarterfinals (1 p.m.).

Perfect Game’s Number 1 state prospect in the Class of 2023 also hit .359 with 3  home runs, 15 RBI, 18 runs scored and a 1.025 OPS through 20 games.

Wyatt has volunteered with Special Olympics and helped fundraise for the St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

He has a 3.63 weighted GPA in the classroom. He has signed a mational letter of intent to play on scholarship at the University of Southern California this fall.

Previous Gatorade Athlete of the Year honorees include Chad Knight (2019) and Ben Casparius (2017) in baseball, and Kyle Martino (national winner) in soccer, in 1999. (Hat tip: Vince Kelly)

Hiro Wyatt.


Still at Staples:

Rebecca Schussheim was honored last week, as winner of the Key. It is the high school’s highest honor.

The Class of 2023 salutatorian is co-president of Staples’ Sikorsky STEM challenge team, principal cellist in the Chamber Symphonic Orchestra, and co-captain of the squash team.

She did an Independent Learning Experience in astrophysics, examining galaxy images with a Yale University graduate student. She presented her findings at the International Science Youth Forum in Singapore in January.

The 2 other finalists for the award were musician/actor/youth volunteer James Dobin-Smith, and political activist/club founder Spencer Yim.

Rebecca Schussheim


And we haven’t left Staples yet:

The jazz combo plays an hour-long set this Monday (June 5, 7 p.m., Westport Library). The event is sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

Band director Phil Giampietro will talk about the Staples jazz program, and answer questions.

The Staples High School Jazz Ensemble, with director Phil Giampietro (front right).


Speaking of the Y’s Men: If it seems like they’re everywhere, it’s because they are.

Molly Alger joined several members of the very active social group yesterday, on an in-town hike near Winslow Park. She photographed them crossing the bridge over Deadman Brook, by Evergreen Cemetery.

Very wisely for walking in Westport, they wore very visible bright colors.

From left: Jay Dirnberger, Peter Donovan, Baxter Urist, Joel Wasserman, Dick Sallick, Larry Lich. (Photo/Molly Alger)


Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas headed to New Haven on Thursday.

He joined a small group of Connecticut Police Chiefs who met Attorney General Merrick Garland and Connecticut US Attorney Vanessa Avery. The discussion included crime trends, fentanyl deaths, addressing juvenile offenders and resources at the federal level.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland (front row, 3rd from left), Connecticut US Attorney Vanessa Avery (front row, 4th from left) and Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (back row, far right).


Speaking of law enforcement:

The man accused of illegally squatting at Cobb’s Mill Inn is in jail, on an unrelated charge.

Connecticut Insider reports that Anthony Villano was ordered locked up by a judge in Milford Superior court, for violating conditions of release for not fully complying with random drug tests. He also allegedly removed his GPS anklet.

Eight charges against Villano include drunken driving, trying to fraudulently sell a Post Road property, and stealing a vehicle he once owned from the Milford Police Department impound lot.

Click here for the full story.

Cobb’s Mill Inn.


Westport’s newest landmark — the Pride crosswalk at Taylor Place and Jesup Road — has drawn raves since it was installed early Thursday morning.

Here’s how it looks from a drone:

(Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

Westporters can see it from ground level tomorrow (Sunday, June 4, noon to 4 p.m.). The 3rd annual Pride festival at Jesup Green includes music, speakers, kids’ activities and more. The public is invited, and welcome.


The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics made its way through Westport yesterday afternoon.

Police officers from several towns took part, before the opening of the Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games. The “Flame of Hope” was passed along at each town line in the area.

The run ended at Fairfield University, where the Summer Games opening ceremony will take place.

Special Olympics Torch Run on the Post Road, at the Sherwood Island Connector. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The Westport Book Shop’s June Artist of the Month is Sally VanDevanter Her colorful abstract and figurative acrylic and oil paintings, done with cold wax, are on display throughout June.

VanDevanter has a background in advertising, working as an art director at Saatchi & Saatchi, and in art book production management for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

She studied at the Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual Arts in New York, and the Cocoran School of Art in Washington.  She holds an MA in organizational psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a BA in art history and psychology from the University of Virginia. 

All pieces on display are available for purchase.

Sally VanDevanter


Peonies and daisies decorate Tracy Porosoff’s driveway on Compo Parkway.

Today’s forecast is for much cooler and cloudier weather than yesterday. Her “Westport … Naturally” image brightens our weekend considerably.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


And finally … Cynthia Weil died Thursday in Beverly Hills, She was 82.

With her writing partner and husband, Barry Mann, she wrote some of the most memorable songs of the rock and pop era. One — the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin'” — was cited by BMI as the most played song on radio and television of the 20th century,

Click here for a full obituary. Click below for a few of her songwriting classics.

(From Staples High School to downtown — and everywhere else in Westport and Weston — “06880” has you covered. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)