Tag Archives: Jesse Levin

Roundup: Compo Cove, Compo Cold, St. Patrick’s Day …

One of the most well-known homes in Westport — 48 Compo Mill Cove, the one closest to Old Mill Beach beyond the Sherwood Mill Pond pedestrian bridges — sold recently.

Now the second most well-known home on the Cove — #43 — is on the market.

43 Compo Mill Cove (Photo courtesy of MLS)

Built in 1940 (original location: the other side of the walking path), the property is just .18 acres.

But it’s surrounded by nearly 100 acres of the Mill Pond, and preserve. The sun and moon both rise over the pond, and there are stunning views in every direction. It’s the only house on the left side of the Cove’s path.

The 2-bedroom cottage needs work (and to be raised, to mitigate flood concerns).

The listing price is $1,999,000. For more information, click here.

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Speaking of the beach:

On Saturday, Simon Gurvets noticed a dozen or so people wading into the Compo Beach water. They were all ages, and both genders.

The stayed for about 20 minutes. Simon stayed too — fascinated, and snapping photos.

From the 45-degree warmth of the sand.

Everyone into the water! (Photo/Simon Gurvets)

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Bonnie Erickson lives in Monroe. But the Staples High School Class of 1971 member still feels connected to Westport.

She also wants to do whatever she can to help others in need.

So when she saw an “06880” Roundup item about a call to assemble 600 life-saving medical kits that will be hand delivered to front line units in Ukraine, she headed last night to The Readiness Collective in the SoNo Collection mall.

The event was organized by Staples High School graduates Jesse and Sefra Levin. The twins are readiness skills specialists, whose company — Tactivate – prepares people for survival worldwide.

Jesse and Sefra have worked in Ukraine since last February.

Last night’s diverse group, assembling medical kits. (Photo/Bonnie Erickson)

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Sure, and though it’s still January, the fine folks at Stop & Shop are already thinking about … St. Patrick’s Day.

Forget Valentine’s. No way, Presidents Day.

This display is all about the green.

In more ways than one.

Late January, at Stop & Shop. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

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From green to red, orange and purple …

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a colorful daybreak, from the kitchen window of Mark Yurkiw’s Cross Highway home.

(Photo/Mark Yurkiw)

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And finally … as noted above, it’s still January. But — as Stop & Shop shows — it’s never too early to celebrate March 17.

(You don’t have to wait until St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate “06880.” Please click here today to support this blog. Thank you!)

 

Roundup: Lunar New Year, EMT Training, Dick Rauh’s Botany …

What’s a Lunar New Year without a celebration?

On Tuesday, AAPI Westport founders Patra Kanchanagom, Rosie Jon and Sarin Cheung headed to Town Hall. They brought popular treats.

Selectwomen Jen Tooker, Andrea Moore and Candi Savin, and Police Chief Foti Koskinas, joined them. The AAPI members shared new year traditions, and showed the work of middle school Mandarin classes. Each year, they decorate schools with words signifying good future, prosperity, peace and protection.   

農曆新年快樂!

AAPI representatives and town officials celebrate the Lunar New Year at Town Hall.

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Have you always wanted to be an EMT?

Act now!

Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services’ spring class begins February 28. It runs through June.

For more information, click here or email training@westportems.org.

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Upcoming at the Westport Library:

98-year-old artist Dick Rauh talks about his current (and remarkable) exhibit, “A Botanical Retrospective.” A reception follows. (Sunday, January 29, 2 to 4 p.m., Trefz Forum.)

“Musical Notes: Selections from the Westport Public Art Collections Reception” is set for Tuesday (January 31, 6:30 to 8 p.m.). The Staples High School Jazz Combo performs, and light snacks will be served.

Dick Rauh, and his art.

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Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup gave an incorrect time for this Sunday’s “medical kit maker” event at The Readiness Collective, in Norwalk’s SoNo Collection. The correct time is 4 to 6 p.m.

Run by Staples High School graduates Jesse and Sefra Levine — who since 2003 have been helping people around the globe survive disasters.

The goal this Sunday is to build 600 med kits, to be hand delivered next month to front-line units.

Everyone is welcome. Questions? Email jesse@tactivate.com.

Jesse and Sefra Levin.

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On Saturday, the Fairfield County Story Lab (21 Charles Street, 2 to 4 p.m.) welcomes Sandi Shelton (aka Maddie Dawson) to celebrate her latest novel, “Snap Out of It!” Everyone — Lab member and others — is invited to the reading, signing and snacking.

The Fairfield County Story Lab is a shared workspace for creatives. To reserve a spot, email info@fcstorylab.com.


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Darwin Day is an international event. Proceeds from dinners around the US support the National Center for Science Education.

Locally, the 15th annual Darwin Day Dinner is set for February 11 (The Inn at Longshore; also Zoom).

It’s both a party (cocktail hour, dinner), a science quiz (with prizes), and a lecture.

“Concurrent Infections” is the topic of the presentation by Dr. Vanessa Ezenwa, professor and researcher at Yale’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in wild animal populations.

High school and college students passionate about science join the celebration (and help their tables with the Science Quiz). Their tickets are covered by attendees and benefactors.  

Click here for tickets and more information. Questions? Email jlevin6@zoho.com, or call 646-221-9134.

Dr. Vanessa Ezenwa

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo features the sight just outside Lauri Weiser’s Lansdowne condo window:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … in honor of Dick Rauh’s fantastic botanical art exhibit, at the Westport Library (story above):

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Roundup: 8-30g, Crime, Med Kits …

Connecticut’s 8-30g regulation may be in for a change.

House Republicans have proposed a “technical adjustment” to the affordable housing law that allows developers to bypass most local zoning restrictions for new developments. unless a municipality has at least 10% of its stock designated as “affordable” under strict guidelines.

Westport’s housing stock includes “affordable” units that were built before 1990, but are not included in the formula because that is the law’s start date.

The proposed adjustment would “put many Connecticut towns well over the threshold that exempts them from potential legal action if they deny developers’ proposals for certain affordable housing — without any new housing going up or changes to zoning policy,” the CT Mirror reports.

It would add would add properties that are not deed restricted, but are affordable to people whose income is up to 80% of the area median income.

Click here for the full CT Mirror story.

Westport’s approval of a 187-unit apartment complex on Hiawatha Lane was driven in large part by 8-30g factors.

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Westport Police made 5 custodial arrests during January 19-25.

One — for burglary, larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and failure to appear — dated back to an April 11, 2020 burglary at a residence. Approximately $70,000 in jewelry and personal effects were taken.

Another arrest for larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny was connected to a January 25, 2022 incident in which checks worth over $28,000 from a local business were altered and fraudulently cashed.

A woman was arrested for third degree assault, following an incident on December 7, 2022 in which she bit the arm of someone in the Walgreens parking lot.

A man was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol after he was seen speeding and driving erratically on Post Road West. When an officer caught up with him, he was driving extremely slowly in the left lane.

A man was charged with breach of peace after he took a neighbor’s cat.

Police also issued the following citations:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 5
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 2
  • Speeding: 1
  • Improper passing: 1
  • Failure to obey control signal
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
  • Criminal mischief: 1
  • Breach of peace: 1.

Not the stolen cat. But bad luck for the thief.

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Meanwhile, in related crime news:

On Tuesday, people got out of 2 vehicles in the Westport Weston Family YMCA parking lot, then smashed the windows of several cars and snatched laptops, credit cards and other items.

The Westport Police responded promptly, but no arrests have yet been made. The license plates on the vehicles were obscured; the thieves wore hoodies, and the car visors were down to further obscure their faces. They most likely made their getaway on the adjacent Merritt Parkway.

The Y offers this advice to members (but it applies to everyone):

Before you exit your vehicle, make sure:

  • Your personal items and valuables are out of sight – including phone, cash, laptop/laptop bag, small electronic devices, briefcase, shopping bags, etc. Items visible on the seat, dashboard, floor may elicit unnecessary interest.
  • You always lock your doors and close windows (including sunroof).
  • Take your keys/fob with you.

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Since graduating from Staples in 2003, Jesse and Sefra Levin have been on a mission: preparing people around the globe to survive. They bring “readiness skills” to the veteran, disaster response and entrepreneurial communities.

Their company — Tactivate — outfits customers with gear, and offers advice and training, for every conceivable emergency. They call themselves “bespoke readiness outfitters. For a while, they had a pop-up shop on Church Lane.

They have been in Ukraine since February. They’ve assembled a team of 20 people, focused full time on efforts there and throughout Eastern Europe.

This Sunday (January 29, 7 to 9 p.m.), they’re hosting a “medical kit” maker space event at The Readiness Collective, in Norwalk’s SoNo Collection.

The goal is to build 600 kits, to be hand delivered next month to front-line units.

Everyone is welcome to help create the kits. Questions? Email jesse@tactivate.com.

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There’s a special, behind-the-scenes look this Saturday at the development and pre-production of “The Team Room” — a new play about Army Special Forces immediately before, during and after 9/11.

The sneak preview is set — very appropriately — at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 (Saturday, January 28, 3:30 p.m.).

Playwright Bill Raskin and producer Michael Hare will discuss the production and premiere in Washington, scheduled for this coming October.

The 501 (c)3 show will raise awareness for veterans’ services. Following the run, all net proceeds will be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Saturday’s event is free. The production team is excited to share their story, and raise awareness of the show. Click here for more information.

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Generations of Westporters remember the Country Playhouse kids’ shows. For many, those weekday summertime events were their first introductions to live theater.

They’re still around — in a different form. Three family-friendly shows are on tap on weekends, to liven up the long (if snow-less) winter.

They include:

“Woof Woof” shadow theater; grades pre-K and up (Sunday, February 12; 1 and 4 p.m.).

“Pete’s Big Hollywood Adventure”; grades pre-K and up (Sunday, February 26; 1 and 4 p.m.).

“Scaredy Kat Presents”; grades 6-10; Sunday, March 5, 2 p.m. Click here for details.

All tickets are $25. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

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CronArt — a cool little pop-up gallery — enlivened Bedford Square in 2018.

Artist/owner Ryan Cronin is back in New Paltz, New York. But his many Westport fans may want to know that his “Obama” painting has been accepted into the Obama Presidential Center’s permanent art collection in Chicago.

The curatorial process took a year and a half. But now Ryan’s work lives forever.

Ryan Cronin, with his “Obama” painting.

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Staples High School Class of 1979 graduate David Halsey died unexpectedly in his sleep earlier this month. He was 61, and lived in New Canaan.

His family said in his obituary that he died of natural causes, and was active, healthy and happy in the days before his death.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan native spent much of his life in Westport. He was described as :a voracious reader with wide-ranging interests,” and “an avid rock hound.” He loved the outdoors, animals and music.

Dave is survived by his mother, Carol Halsey of Knoxville, Tennessee; Karen and brothers John and Peter. He was preceded in death by his father Philip B. Halsey of Underhill, Vermont.

No funeral services are planned.

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Rev. Demetrios Recachinas of Westport, protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, died Sunday. He was 74.

Born on the island of Lefkada, Greece, he came to Washington in 1966. He graduated from Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA. Father Demetrios earned a master’s of theology from Princeton University School of Theology. He attended Catholic University, working towards a Ph.D. program

Father Demetrios was ordained as a deacon in 1977 and ordained into holy priesthood at Saint Paraskevi in Greenlawn, Long Island, four months later. He was assigned as Assistant Pastor at his home parish of Saints Constantine and Helen.

Father Demetrios served on several committees in the DC area, including the National Conference of Christian and Jews Executive Committee, the White House Conference for the Elderly and the President Reagan Inaugural Committee for the International Sector, Catholic University and Maryland University Ethnic Studies Committee, and the UN Environmental Program Committee. He represented the Archdiocese in many official capacities as well.

In 1983 Father Demetrios was appointed pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Bridgeport. His emphasis in his ministry was on youth. He served as president of the Orthodox Clergy Association of the Greater Bridgeport Area. He was a member of the Archdiocesan Youth Commission and the Advisory Board of Sacred Heart University, and a chaplain at St. Vincent’s and Bridgeport Hospitals.

Father Demetrios served on the Board of Trustees and Executive Board of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology and also served on the Board of Trustees of St. Basil’s Academy.

Father Demetrios represented the church at the Ecumenical Patriarchate during the Third Millennium first World-Wide Orthodox Ecumenical Conference, and represented the Archdiocese at the World-Wide Biennial SAE Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In 2001, Father Demetrios was bestowed with the highest honor awarded to a married clergyman of the Greek Orthodox Church, “Protobresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne,” by Patriarch Bartholomew on his visit to Holy Trinity.

In addition to his wife Eleftheria he is survived children, Tassos Recachinas, Katerina (Daniel) Pergola and Emmanuel (Paige) Recachinas; grandsons Christopher, James and Nicholas; brothers, Dion (Laura) Recachina and Andrew (Sophie) Recachinasl sisters, Sophia Espanopoulos and Christina Plotas; sister-in-law, Haido Neda, and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Trinity Church. Click here for online condolences.

Rev. Demetrios Recachinas

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Harold Gross died peacefully at his Westport home on Tuesday. He was 96.

Born in the Bronx, he graduated from high school in 1944, then proudly served as an Army paratrooper in World War II. He remained in Japan with the occupational forces, and lived there for 13 years.

He saw the world through his work, selling medical and dental equipment and supplies to countries in need. He became fluent in Japanese and Portuguese.

Harold is survived by his wife Francine Schweiger; son David Grosz, stepson Jordan Schweiger (Wendi) and their children Chase, Mason and Sloane Schweiger and son-in-law Michael Collins; grandson Nick Grosz and nephew Daniel Gross. He was predeceased by his daughters Diana Gross and Debbie Collins, grandson Brian Grosz and brother Joseph “Lenny” Grosz.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Friday, January 27, 11:30 a.m., Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home, 88 Beach Road, Fairfield). Shiva will be observed immediately following services at Francine Schweiger’s home in Westport. For more information and to share a condolence message, click here.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish National Fund to plant trees in Israel.

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“Westport … Naturally” can’t resist dogs-at-the-beach photos. From October 1 through March 31, that’s their playground.

The other day, Bobo had a blast.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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And finally … the Army Special Forces featured in an upcoming play (story above) are also known as the Green Berets.

 

Roundup: Twilight Zone, Parks & Rec Registration, Cell Tower …

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Submitted for your approval: “Westport in the Twilight Zone.”

Rod Serling used that “submitted” phrase only 3 times, as writer and host of one of television’s most acclaimed series ever. But it’s come to be associated with him.

Did you know that? And did you know that — beyond the famed ““Willoughby” episode, featuring a train ride to Saugatuck, Westport influenced other “Twilight Zone”s?

And why not? He lived here in the 1950s.

Find out more about Rod Serling and Westport tonight (Wednesday, March 2, 6 p.m., Zoom) at a free webinar: “Westport in the Twilight Zone.” The host and guide is Westport author/artist Arlen Schumer.

You can journey into that other world by clicking here. The meeting ID is: 884 7739 9778. The passcode is 653762. No advance sign-up is necessary.

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Registration for many Westport Parks & Recreation’s spring and summer programs began online at 9 a.m. this morning. Registration for Camp Compo, RECing and pickleball begins later: 9 a.m. on Monday, March 28.

Spots go quickly. Click here to see all the choices.

Problems? Email recreation@westportct.gov or call 203-341-5152.

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Kitt Shapiro hosted an overflow crowd last night at WEST, the great downtown women’s store she owns.

But the focus was not on shopping. She was there as an author. Her book “Eartha & Me: A Daughter’s Love Story in Black and White” — published in November — is already in its second printing.

It’s a memoir of growing up with her mother, Eartha Kitt. Nearly everyone there had already read it. They asked pointed, poignant and provocative questions. Kitt described her mother’s influence and legacy — on her, and on the world.

The event was sponsored by AWARE (Assisting Women with Actions, Resources and Education), the non-profit that — like Eartha Kitt and Kitt Shapiro — empowers women every day.

Kitt Shapiro, and the WEST crowd. (Photo/John Videler Photography)

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A “balloon test” scheduled for Presidents Day — to show exactly how high a proposed 124-foot cell tower would rise, on private property at 92 Greens Farms Road — was canceled the night before. It was hastily rescheduled for 7 a.m. today.

Westporter Don Bergmann wrote several local officials, expressing anger at the late notice provided to the town and its residents.

At 8 a.m., Jaime Bairaktaris — publisher of Westport Local Press — drove by. He reports not seeing any balloon.

Neither did RTM member Andrew Colabella.

Westporter Steve Goldstein headed to the site an hour later, and saw nothing — except, that is, 2 police officers who had been there since 7.

A cell tower been proposed for the property on the left: 92 Greens Farms Road. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

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Jesse and Sefra Levin grew up in the comfort of Westport. Life here is almost always safe.

But for nearly 20 years, the Staples High School Class of 2003 twins have been on a mission: helping prepare people around the globe to survive any kind of disaster, natural or manmade. They’ve taught “readiness skills” to veterans, disaster response teams and entrepreneurs. The Levins call themselves “bespoke readiness outfitters.”

A couple of years ago, they had a pop-up shop in Bedford Square. They outfitted customers with gear, and offered advice and training, for every conceivable emergency.

Now they’re in Poland, at the Ukrainian border. In less than 2 days they gathered medical supplies, and made their first delivery.

Their goal is to ramp up a medical supply chain, and help coordinate between international military veteran first response efforts and in-country operational elements.

A growing network of Polish and Ukrainian contacts helps identify and relay real-time needs from conflict areas, and ensure effective distribution of supplies and equipment to where they are needed most.

(Hat tip: Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Jesse and Sefra Levin

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There’s less than a month to go before dogs are banned from Compo Beach. Which means we won’t be able to run “Westport … Naturally” photos like this, from April 1 through the end of September.

Tessie on the Compo jetty (Photo/Gwen Tutun)

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And finally … on this day in 1498, Vasco da Gama’s fleet visited the island of Mozambique.

Roundup: 3rd Moderna, Modern Thermometer, Polestar EVs …

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The Westport Weston Health District will host a “3rd dose” Moderna vaccine clinic — for moderately and severely immunocompromised people — on September 10 (1 to 4 p.m., Senior Center).

Appointments can be scheduled here. Bring your vaccination card to the appointment.

The CDC’s additional dose recommendation includes people who have:

Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood

Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

Received a stem cell transplant within the past 2 years, or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency

Advanced or untreated HIV infection

Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress an immune response.

To learn more, speak with your healthcare provider. Click here for the CDC website.

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Polestar2 — an all-electronic vehicle — is giving test free test drives to the public. From now through Sunday (11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.), they’re doing it at Bedford Square.

If you’ve never driven a fully electric vehicle, this is a great. chance. Everyone is welcome — so long as you have a driver’s license!

Polestars, at Bedford Square.

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On Wednesday, Bob Weingarten went to Town Hall, for house research.

Usually he signs in at the front desk, and heads to the Town Clerk’s office. This time, he was asked for a temperature check — and to do it himself.

There’s a device, just inside the main door. Stand in front, and get a readout.

I haven’t been in Town Hall in months. I don’t know if this is new and noteworthy, or not news. It could be cool — or a story like George H.W. Bush’s surprise at how a supermarket scanner works.

You be the judge. I’m just passing along Bob’s photo.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

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2003 Staples High School graduate Jesse Levin owns the Readiness Collective — an emergency training club and outfitter in Norwalk. Earlier, he opened a pop-up shop in Bedford Square.

After the chilling news from Afghanistan, Jesse turned the Collective into am ad hoc volunteer emergency operations center, to facilitate emergency evacuation efforts.

We have turned our training club, The Readiness Collective into an ad hoc volunteer emergency coordination operations center to facilitate efforts under way for emergency evacuations in Afghanistan.

Professional logistics and disaster response experts on site help guide volunteers on how to contribute. They’re tied in with working groups on the ground, and assisting from abroad.

Recent efforts include the expatriation of 20 targeted Afghan nationals and their families to Uganda, critical medical advice provided to parents of a young girl injured by a tear gas canister and unable to reach medical help, and the development of overland evacuation plans for wide distribution.

Jesse’s Collective needs help and support. “Just bring a computer and a willingness to dig in,” he says.

Offices are in the SoNo Collection (just off I-95 Exit 15 in Norwalk, Level II0. Questions? Email ready@readinesscollective.com, or call 203-275-7297.

Jesse Levin, providing aid in Puerto Rico.

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Sure, Westport Book Shop is the go-to for “pre-owned” (okay, used) books and more — including music.

But they also run an online store. It’s got a selection of new, sealed CDs, in categories from pop and oldies to classical and jazz.

Click here to browse the online selections.

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Three attorneys at Westport-based FLB Law have been named to the Best Lawyers in America list.

The FLB honorees are managing partner Stephen P. Fogerty, and attorneys Alan S. Rubenstein and Leslie E. Grodd.

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Seen the giant sunflower at Viva Zapata?

The restaurant’s Sam O’Mahony explains today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, growing out of the 2nd-floor window boxes:

“We didn’t plant sunflowers this year! We’re assuming a bird dropped it up there last summer from our garden in the side yard.”

(Photo/Sam O’Mahony)

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And finally … in honor of Town Hall’s new temperature scanner:

 

Roundup: Scam Alert, Girls Basketball, Be Prepared …

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I get over 250 emails a day. I’m pretty good at separating the real “06880” readers from the fakes, frauds and grifters.

But the “free piano” story I posted yesterday is — despite its perfect grammar and syntax — probably a scam. A reader warned me that he’d heard the same story.

I Googled “piano sale fraud,” and found this, from a music educators’ website:

I wanted CEOMTA to be aware of a recent iteration of the “free” piano scam. One of our members received an unsolicited email from someone claiming to be an elderly woman who was downsizing and looking to give away her late husband’s piano to a loving home.

The piano was a Yamaha baby grand. The email came from a legitimate sounding Gmail account and included several pictures. The teacher did have an interested student, so the student made contact and arranged the delivery with a moving company they were referred to.

However, the moving company was a fake. Although they sent a convincing invoice that included details like the size and weight of the piano, the parents realized after payment that the invoice had a different name than the company they were originally referred to.

After being contacted again regarding the discrepancy, the moving company immediately took down their website and the family were unable to get back the money they had already sent. The original email said that she got the teacher’s name from a friend in her piano teacher’s association, so please be careful if you are contacted with a similar sounding situation.

So, if you contacted “Charles Webb”: I hope you did not get into any financial transaction with “him.” If you did: cancel immediately. My profuse apologies!

The piano offer is a scam.

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The Staples High School girls basketball team is on a hot streak. The Wreckers are undefeated — 6-0 — in FCIAC play.

Last Friday they went to Cold Fusion. When it opens this spring, the gelato shop will be one of the hottest spots in town.

On a cool afternoon, 22 varsity and junior varsity girls spent some bonding team decorating the storefront, during construction.

It was their way of making Main Street look a little brighter — and of bringing a bit of attention to a truly great team.

Go get ’em, girls. You give new meaning to the hoops term “in the paint.”

Staples girls basketball scores at Cold Fusion (Photo/Justin DeVellis)

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Jesse Levin believes in being prepared.

The 2003 Staples High School graduate owns the Readiness Collective — an emergency training club and outfitter. He’s had a pop-up shop in Bedford Square.

Now he’s offering a special Civilian Medical Course. The material — which includes Basic Life Support and Tactical Combat Casualty Care national certifications — adapts combat life-saving techniques to everyday emergencies.

Two US Army Special Forces medics, a Special Ops surgical team leader and a flight nurse will prepare people with the skills and confidence to provide medical care to themselves and their families, in the critical time before first responders arrive.

Hiking accident? Car crash? Active shooter scenario? Whatever you worry about: Be prepared.

The course runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 5, 6 and 7 at the Readiness Collective in Norwalk’s SoNo Collection. Click here to register.

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And finally … today in 1998, “Titanic” became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide. “You jump, I jump!”

Bespoke Readiness Outfitter Pops Up Downtown

Reading today’s headlines is not for the faint of heart. Disasters — natural and man-made — are all around.

Westport can seem immune. But Jesse and Sefra Levin know we’re not.

Since graduating from Staples in 2003, they’ve been on a mission: prepare people around the globe to survive. They’ve brought “readiness skills” to the veteran, disaster response and entrepreneurial communities.

Now they’ve popped up in Westport.

Literally.

The twins opened a pop-up shop at 29 Church Lane. Their company — Tactivate — outfits customers with gear, and offers advice and training, for every conceivable emergency. They call themselves “bespoke readiness outfitters.”

The Tactivate pop-up shop, at 29 Church Lane.

According to their website:

From classes on how to pack and use a serious go- bag and medical kit to how to communicate when there is no cell service, we partner with you to devise custom tailored solutions and training experiences delivered by professional first responders and military veterans on and off site.

Tomorrow (Thursday, December 12, 6:30 p.m.), they offer their first event: “Tequilas and Tourniquets.” They call it “paint and sip for bad-assery.”

Suffice it to say, they’ve hacked out a path quite different from most of their classmates.

While still at Staples, Jesse ran a small guerrilla marketing operation, doing X and Gravity Games promotions for SoBe.

Jesse Levin, in Puerto Rico.

He took wilderness survival school courses, and after graduating from Babson College went straight to Panama where he launched a cultural mediation advisory firm (and got his first exposure to disaster response, during floods).

He formed Tactivate in 2010, after working with local populations, the military, government, NGOs and the private sector following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Most recently, he helped carry out a food and water security project in the aftermath of the Puerto Rico hurricane.

Sefra attended Staples, graduated from Greens Farms Academy and Colorado College, then earned a master’s in agro-ecological education from Cornell University. She built seed banks all over the world, while specializing in designing spaces quickly.

Jesse says that the Westport pop-up store was conceived only last week. Within a couple of days — with help from the Downtown Merchants Association and Bedford Square developer David Waldman, plus his sister’s “wild outfitting skills” — they had a lease and a decorated space.

“We employ the same sort of expediency and operational efficiency required to save lives in disasters to our business ventures,” he explains.

Jesse and Sefra Levin.

He says that his survival school experience — and all that followed — has empowered him. He wants others to experience “the freedom that comes from knowing you can help yourself and others in a very serious situation.”

Disasters can bring out the best in people, he has seen. Now he’ll show Westporters how to be ready for whatever may come.

“We want to expose people to the pleasure and comfort that comes from taking proactive steps to be of better service to others when it counts,” Jesse says.

“We have big storms, the power goes out and things are going boom around us. You can live in fear, react in an uninformed way when something happens and be a liability. Or you can take simple measures to get a little training and acquire a few critical pieces of gear to make you, your family and your business ready to provide for themselves and others in a time of need.”

So there it is: tactical preparedness, pop-up style. You can find it in the heart of downtown, right between the home furnishings of Anthropolgie, and the honey at Savannah Bee.

(For more information on Thursday’s “Tequilas and Tourniquets” event, click here.)