April is Autism Acceptance Month. The Westport Police Department will take the opportunity to promote both education, and a greater understanding of the spectrum.
Many officers have bought Autism Acceptance badges. They’ll wear them all month.
In addition, the rainbow-colored “infinity” symbol — donated by Fleet Auto Supply — will be attached to all police cars.
The department takes this opportunity to remind residents about Westport’s Disability Registry. Created by the WPD, Department of Human Services and Commission on People with Disabilities, it’s a confidential way to provide information that assists police and other emergency workers in addressing th needs of residents of all abilities. Click here for more information.
When Jersey Mike’s announced that more than 2,000 stores would support Special Olympics — by donating 100% of its sales on March 30 (yesterday) — Westporters Rick Levin, Bob Levy and Sunny Sherman decided to help.
The Post Road location is closed. But they bought hundreds of sandwiches in Norwalk, and donated them to STAR Lighting the Way of Norwalk, and Bridgeport’s Alpha Community Center and Cardinal Shehan Center.
Clients at the 3 centers were very grateful.
And extremely well fed.
Bob Levy (3rd from left), delivering Jersey Mike’s sandwiches yesterday to STAR Lighting the Way.
For years, people have asked WestportMoms to sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt.
Get those baskets ready!
The social media wizards have hopped to it (ho ho). The event is set for this Saturday (April 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), on the big lawn in front of Saugatuck Congregational Church.
It includes make-your-own bags for egg collecting, courtesy of One River Art School; music by DJ Marcello; sports and games with Sara Holland; face painting; food trucks, pictures with the Easter Bunny — and of course, a hunt for 3,000 eggs.
Jersey Mike’s’ Westport location may — or may not — be closed.
But the Norwalk store joins more than 2,000 others on Wednesday (March 30), in donating 100% of its sales to Special Olympics.
You read that right: Not 100% of profits. 100% of sales.
Making the offer even tastier, Westporters Rick Levin, Bob Levy and Sunny Sherman are buying a few hundred sandwiches. They’ll be donated to STAR of Norwalk, and Bridgeport’s Alpha Community Center and Cardinal Shehan Center.
The Jersey Mike’s at 360 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk has been excited to work with Rick, Bob and Sunny on their idea. They’re ready to make those sandwiches — and all others that area residents order, on that special day.
And finally … Taylor Hawkins, the ever-smiling, fierce drummer and occasional vocalist for Foo Fighters for more than 2 decades, died Friday in Colombia, at 50. Several drugs were reportedly found in his system. Click here for a full obituary.
Speaking of Ukraine: The world owes Lynsey Addario a huge debt of thanks.
The Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellow-winning New York Times photojournalist — and, not for nothing, a 1991 Staples High School graduate — has taken some of the most riveting photos in the month since Russia invaded Ukraine. Her images have opened billions of eyes to the horrors of this war.
Yesterday, Lynsey returned home — to her home in London, anyway. Her family there — and her parents, Westporters Phillip and Camille, and her 3 sisters spread across the US — are grateful for her safe return.
Lauren, Lynsey, Lisa and Lesley Addario — the 4 sisters.
So far, we’ve heard — from various Jersey Mike’s communications — that they are “closed permanently” (front door) and “temporarily closed for renovation” (social media).
“06880” reader Jason Stiber used the company’s “Support” function to ask if they were closing the Westport location.
The response, from “Kristin” of the Customer Relations Team at Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. in Manasquan (New Jersey, of course) was: “The store is relocating. That is all the information we have at this time. Please feel free to check back for updated information.”
So that’s a third option. Almost as difficult as deciding what to order there …
“06880” reader James Grogan asks: “What are the best places — coffee shops, areas of the Library, etc. — in Westport (and surrounding areas) with Wi-Fi to get work done? I have a fully remote job, and want to change my routine.”
I’m sure he’s not the only one. If you’ve got a favorite spot — and don’t mind sharing it — click “Comments” below.
When the power went out during Tropical Storm Isais in 2020, Westporters took advantage of the library’s WiFi al fresco — masked and socially distanced, of course. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)
Connectalent — the Westport-based recruiting company that places female talent and increases diversity within companies, –has just received B-Corp certification from B Lab.
Connectalent qualifies as a full-service recruiting agency that aims to solve a social issue through its work serving an underserved population of candidates — a group that faces chronic discrimination in a particular market, which includes job discrimination based on gender.
Westport teardowns happen so often, they’re not news.
This one might be.
A 5,400-square foot, 5-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom 1930 Tudor at 36 Green Acre Lane — well known by visitors to nearby Haskins Preserve — will be demolished soon. A 180-day waiting period set by the Historic District Commission has expired.
The sign on Jersey Mike’s says “Permanently Closed.” A couple of screen shots on social media show the Westport location as “Temporarily Closed for Renovation.” The app and website list it along with all the others as open.
Meanwhile, the phone rings there, but no one answers.
It’s late March. April 15 — Tax Day — is closer than you think.
Help is closer than you think too — at least, for preparing your forms.
No-cost, full-service tax preparation assistance is available, with special attention to seniors and low- to moderate-income households.
The program — offered by Westport’s Department of Human Services, through VITA/IRS volunteers — includes both personal counseling by appointment at Town Hall and the Senior Center, and virtually through a secure website.
Counseling at Town Hall is available Mondays (1 to 6 p.m.) and the Senior Center (Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.). Appointments are required; call 860-590-8910.
The free Tax Assistance Program is available to all individual filers regardless of income or age. Last year, more than 5,000 returns were prepared and filed – almost all electronically – by the counselor group that services Westport. Federal refunds totaling $4,500,000 were received by clients..
Bob Knoebel — longtime Westport YMCA aquatics director and Water Rats coach — now lives in Idaho. The other day, he traveled east and visited with his own Staples High School swim coach from 51 years ago, Bruce Gardiner.
Bruce is retired, after a long career as director of admissions at Lehigh University. Bob posted a photo on Facebook, adding: “Thanking you properly for being a fantastic coach, and apologizing for the awkward, tongue-tied thank you I delivered at the banquet as team captain in 1971.”
Bob Knoebel (left) and Bruce Gardiner, at Lehigh University.
Staples just wrapped up a very successful World Language Week.
Each day began with music related to the Language of the Day — Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin and Mandarin. Morning announcements (including the Pledge of Allegiance) were made by students, in the language of the day.
Language clubs raised awareness — and funds for less fortunate youngsters in other countries.
The Italian Club, for example, collected $400 for at-risk youths in Napoli. The club also offered Italian pins, bracelets, lanyards and Italian goodie bags. Grazie! (Hat tip: Bruno Guiduli)
Italian Club members outside the Staples cafeteria, with goodies (from left): Luca Caniato, Bruno Guiduli, David Sedrak, Amanda Rowan, Maisy Weber, Caroline Motyl.
In September, the Westport Unitarian Church high school youth group embarked on an intensive environmental initiative. The goal was to become more mindful of how everyday decisions profoundly affect the Earth.
That effort culminates next month in a trip to Alaska, to see the effects of climate change close up. Members hope to return both nourished by nature, and awakened to the realization that we live on an amazing planet that we often take for granted.
To help fund their trip, the youth group presents an “Afternoon of Music and Laughter.” It’s this Sunday (March 27, 2 p.m., both in-person at the Unitarian Church and via Zoom). The program includes vocal music, classical piano and guitar, comedy routines and more.
Tickets are $25 each. They’re available at the door, and online (click here).
Thomas Howard, a well-respected economist, lifelong adventurer and Westport resident, died last week while mountaineering in the Adirondacks. He was 63.
His family says, “Many will remember him for his deep morality, thoughtfulness, loving nature, intellectual capacity, generosity, and playful sense of humor.”
He was born in 1958 in Richmond, Virginia. At both the Highgate School in London and Hopkins School in New Haven he was an avid track and cross country runner, at one point setting the 10K record in Britain for his age group.
At Dartmouth College he studied math under John Kemeny. and became his teaching assistant. He completed an honors thesis exploring the equations and logic required to teach computers to talk. He earned a doctorate in economics from Yale University, where he expanded on an interest in econometrics and completed a dissertation on employment uncertainty under advisor Robert Shiller.
During his 40-plus year career Tom worked as a computer programmer for the Pentagon, a macroeconomist for Fuji Bank, and a consultant for Arthur D. Little and PIRA Energy. He was skilled in forecasting, econometrics, data analysis, and formulating options trading strategies. Other employers included Louis Dreyfus, Statoil and, most recently, the Department of Defense.
Tom was an accomplished mountaineer and hiker. He spent over 40 years climbing some of the most challenging mountains on the globe: ascending Mt. McKinley, Mt. Huascaran in Peru and Xixabangma Peak in the Himalayas, to name a few. He hiked the 273-mile Long Trail in Vermont and the entirety of the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail, from Maine to Georgia. In October 2021 he crossed the entire White Mountain Presidential Range in one day. Tom aspired to climb the second-highest mountain on all 7 continents. Hw finished the first part of this journey when he scaled Mt. Kenya in the fall of 2021.
Tom is survived by his wife, Zhu Zhang Howard (Julie), and daughters Gwendolyn and Madison Howard. He met Julie while working in New York; they married in 1993, and moved to Westport in 1997. He is also survived by his siblings Margaret Paar of Niantic; James Elbert of Wallingford; Amy Howard Chase of New Rochelle, New York; Mary Howard of Branford; Martha Howard of Guilford, and Emily Howard of Washington, DC, plus many nieces and nephews.
Visitation hours at the Courtyard Marriott, 474 Main Street, Norwalk will be tomorrow (Friday, March 25, 5-8 p.m.). A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, (March 26, 11 a.m., St. Luke Church), and can be viewed via livestream. A reception will follow to celebrate his life. Masks are recommended.
Meanwhile — not far away — an osprey has returned to its Fresh Market perch.
Alert “06880” reader Wendy Crowther reported last evening: “He was primping the nest as I passed by just now. I drive by Fresh Market to and from work or doing errands nearly every day. I always look in that direction.
“This is my first sighting since he left for parts south last fall. I was in my car so I don’t have a photo.”
The Kiwanis Club is one of Westport’s less publicized civic groups. But they’ve been around for decades, aiding everything from Safe Rides and local playgrounds to gear for the EMS bicycle unit.
Very quietly, they continue to enrich our town.
The other day, they donated $5,000 to Save the Children’s relief efforts in Ukraine. Now Kiwanis is gearing up for their grant program for high school seniors. Funding comes from their annual family-friendly Mini-Triathlon at Compo Beach.
The Kiwanis College Grant application is open to income-qualified Staples High School who have demonstrated academic excellence and service to the community. Click here for an application. The deadline is April 15.
The Triathlon is open to all ability levels. It includes a point-to-point swim at Compo Beach, followed by short bike and run courses in the Compo neighborhood.
The event is great for first-timers, and families wishing to race together. To register for the September 11 event or donate to the college grant program, click here.
What do Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, Golda Meir, Jackie Kennedy, Peggy Guggenheim and Mother Teresa have in common?
All will be celebrated this Saturday by Westporter Suzanne Tanner, in her inspiring millinery musical “Voices of Herstory.”
The event (March 26, 3 p.m., St. Andrew’s Church, Kent) coincides with Women’s History Month. And it’s for a great cause: Proceeds benefit Ukrainian refugees, honoring the memory of Tanner’s daughter Tess.
We all know how “Romeo and Juliet” ends, right? (Spoiler alert if you don’t: badly.)
On April 8 and 9 (7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively; Sacred Heart Community Theatre, Fairfield) you’ve got a chance to change Shakespeare’s 425-year-old classic. Internationally renowned pianist — and Westport neighbor — Frederic Chiu is a Prokofiev expert. Among his most noted works: the piano suite from the composer’s “Romeo and Juliet” ballet.
Almost 30 years ago, Chiu discovered the original score. Written entirely for the piano, it contained a revised ending. The lovers do not die.
Twenty-five years later, he commissioned choreographer Sandra Shih Parks to collaborate on “Romeo & Juliet: The Choice.” The audience votes on which ending — Prokofiev’s original happy one, or the traditional dismal version — will be performed.
It debuted at Drexel University in 2018, with Chiu playing the entire ballet on piano, while dancers performed — and the enthralled audience waited for the outcome.
Now, WSHU brings it to Fairfield. Click here for tickets and more information.
Staples High School’s Zero Waste Committee is wasting zero time making an impact.
In addition to next month’s pop-up thrift shop, countering the wasteful “fast fashion” shopping trend, co-chairs Kayla Iannetta and Jenn Cirino are partnering with Sustainable Westport and ZenWTR for a Compo Beach cleanup on April 30.
This is the first time all the Zero Waste Committees from different Westport schools join together for one effort.
ZenWTR is the first beverage in the world to be certified plastic negative (meaning they remove more plastic from the environment than they produce, by investing in sustainable programs). ZenWTR is sold in the Staples High School cafeteria.
A new store — Bobbles & Lace — has opened their first Connecticut location in Bedford Square.
Lindsay Rose Rando launched the store 14 years ago in Marblehead, Massachusetts. B&L offers “modern fashion forward designs at affordable prices.” There are other outlets in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.
Rando says she “loves the sense of community” in Westport, and calls her Church Lane location “bright and beautiful.”
Bobbles & Lace is opoen Monday through Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Bobbles & Lace, Bedford Square. (Photo courtesy of Inklings News)
A few seats remain for this year’s Westport Library “Booked for the Evening” gala. The June 1 honoree is television producer/screenwriter/ author Shonda Rhimes — twice named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
The “fast-casual sub sandwich” spot — the 10th Connecticut location for the franchise, and one of 1500 overall — joins Trader Joe’s, Chipotle and SoulCycle in contributing plenty of constant, in-and-out traffic to Westport’s toughest-to-navigate shopping center.
That traffic will be particularly intense for a while. In addition to the usual let’s-try-the-new-place mentality, there’s an added incentive: Through Sunday, Jersey Mike’s is offering free subs for a minimum $1 contribution to Special Olympics.
The only catch: You’ve got to already have one of the 10,000 certificates “circulating throughout the community.”
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