Tag Archives: Jim Ryan

Roundup: Closures, Mrs. London’s Bakery, Jazz & Java …

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You don’t need to be a weatherman to know that nearly everything in Westport — the Library, Y, you name it — is closed today.

Local to Market has also postponed tomorrow’s Cloudy Lane Bakery event, scheduled for Sunday. A new date will be announced soon.

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The long-awaited Mrs. London’s Bakery — successor to Aux Delices, Java, Wild Pear, Chef’s Table, and a few other places I’ve probably forgotten on Church Lane, at the foot of Elm Street — will open next month.

“Hopefully for Valentine’s Day,” says Max London. His parents started the now-famous original Mrs. London’s Bakery in Saratoga Springs, New York, in the 1970s.

Nearly a year ago — on February 25, 2021 — “06880” broke the news about the 2nd location. I wrote:

He (she?) feature pastries, baguettes, croissants, grilled sandwiches, paninis, salads, quiches, soups, “decadent desserts,” espressos and teas. Ingredients are organic, locally grown and sourced.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Il Pastaficio — “artisanal pasta” and more, around the corner on the Post Road and announced in the same story — to open.

(Click here for a full CT Examiner story on Mrs. London’s Bakery’s Westport location.)

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Homelessness is a national issue — even in Fairfield County.

And even in Westport.

We’re fortunate that many dedicated organizations and individuals are addressing the problem.

Helen McAlinden — CEO of Homes With Hope — also co-chairs the Opening Doors Fairfield County Advocacy Taskforce. On Monday (January 31, 8:30 a.m.), they host a roundtable information session including breakout discussion groups.

Interested residents can learn more about legislative priorities, and how to help our most vulnerable neighbors.

Click here to register, and for more information.

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Jazz aficionados know the best clubs — places many others have never heard of.

They were out in force Thursday night, at the Staples High School cafeteria. Phil Giampietro’s Jazz Ensemble hosted a “Jazz & Java” night.

Well, okay — most of the attendees were parents and friends of the very talented young musicians. COVID kept the crowd small.

But — thanks to this very talented group — the joint was jumpin’!

Just a small section of Staples’ Jazz Ensemble. (PHoto/Allison Ginzburg)

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Speaking of arts: Two new exhibits opened last night at MoCA.

“The Westport Idea” features selections from WestPAC holdings of more than 2,000 artworks. Most of these works are housed in public schools and municipal buildings, not always accessible to the public.

The Museum’s annual high school exhibition features nearly 200 compelling works focused on the theme of “Identity,” created by student artists from across Connecticut and Westchester.

The exhibitions are on view through March 12 (weather permitting, duh). Free docent-led tours are available, and free supporting Cocktails and Conversation events will be held on Thursday evenings. Click here to learn more.

Staples High School junior Sophie Spheeris, a 17-year-old junior from Staples, with her artwork “Us and Them.” It’s the collage of the woman, on the left.

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The recent death of Meat Loaf — followed a few days later by Jim Ryan‘s passing — sent Kathleen Dehler looking for a photo.

She found it. In 1988, the 2 men joined her husband Will Dehler as coaches of their daughters’ Westport softball team, the Rebels.

“What wonderful memories!” Kathleen says. “And so sad that Meat and Jim are no longer with us.”

Meat Loaf (left), Jim Ryan (right) and Will Dehler (center), with the Rebels.

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Congratulations to Westport’s 9 Presidential Scholar candidates.

Nomination for the prestigious program is a high honor for high school seniors. Selections are made on superior academic and artistic achievement, leadership, strong character, and involvement in school and community activities. The program is run by the US Department of Education.

The Westporters include Staples High School’s Aidan Mermagen, Tessa Moore, Chloe Nevas, Konur Norbert, Nicholas Prior and Julian Weng, and Hopkins School’s Will Cooper, Max Gordon and Finnbar Kiely.

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Hours before the snow began, William Webster captured this “Westport … Naturally” image of what he believes is an immature eagle, 100 yards across the Saugatuck River.

“The beak looks right,” he says, “and the front feathers are starting to turn white.”

(Photo/William Webster)

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And finally … on this day in 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union, as our 34th state. Years of controversy led up to the event: Would it be a free state, or a slave state? Abolitionists prevailed.

But less than 3 months later, the Civil War began.

 

 

 

Roundup: Jim Ryan …

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Longtime Westporter and sports volunteer Jim Ryan died Monday. He was 76.

The Queens native was president of his Holy Cross High School class. After graduating from St John’s University, he began a career in accounting.

Jim lived here for nearly 50 years. His family was his pride and joy. He devoted his life to caring for his children, and was involved in their various activities. He was a soccer, basketball, and softball coach for years, and a past president of the Westport Soccer Association. His favorite teams were the New York Mets and Jets. He was also a longtime parishioner and supporter of St. Luke Church.

He is survived by his daughters Kim Constantino (Bill) of Westport; Kellie Ryan (Paul Ouimette) of Trumbull, and Kristin Beirne (Chris) of Fairfield; grandchildren Ashley and Kaitlyn Constantino, Ryan and Reese Ouimette, and Alexandra and Grayson Beirne; his former wife Joan Ryan of Westport, and brother Ed Ryan Jr. of Monroe. He was predeceased by his older sister Carol Ryan-Smith.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Monday (January 31, 4 to 7 p.m., Harding Funeral Home, Westport). A Mass of Christian burial will be held Tuesday (February 1, 10 a.m., St. Luke Church, Westport). Masks are required at both.

Jim Ryan

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The Westport PAL Longshore Ice Rink may not be “natural” — but June Rose Whittaker calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” image “The Calm Before the Storm.” And there’s nothing like a threat from Mother Nature to make us both vigilant and appreciative of all that we have here.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … David Mugar died Tuesday, at 82. You may not know the Boston businessman and philanthropist — but he’s the person who, in 1973, suggested to Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler that playing the “1812 Overture” — with fireworks, church bells and cannons — might reignite flagging interest in the orchestra’s annual July 4th concert on the Esplanade.

It did. Mugar produced the spectacular for the next 43 years.