Tag Archives: John Suggs

We (Were) #1!

According to alert reader John Suggs — whose colleague in Pittsburgh sent him the screenshot below — Westport was ranked yesterday as having the worst air quality.

In the entire country.

Greenwich was 2nd.

And they think they’re so hot.

Air quality May 31, 2013


Robert Kennedy’s Westport Connection

Robert F. Kennedy has long been identified with Massachusetts and New York.  Tomorrow, the former attorney general and slain presidential candidate will be featured in a PBS documentary whose roots lie right here.

RFK in the Land of Apartheid:  Ripples of Hope” (Channel 13, 10 p.m.) is produced and directed by Westonite Larry Shore, a film and media studies professor at Hunter College.

The film’s outreach director, John Suggs, lives — and serves on the RTM — in Westport.

Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, and interviews in South Africa and the United States, the film tells the story of Senator Kennedy’s influential 1966 visit to South Africa, during the worst years of apartheid.  It also explores the role of individual South Africans who challenged the oppression and made a commitment to change.

As with so many local creative endeavors, there’s a Westport Library connection.

More than 6 years ago, when Shore and Suggs were struggling for funding, they received vital assistance from library director Maxine Bleiweis and her staff.

She arranged an early public screening of the basic concepts and footage of the film.  It was a long shot for attracting money — but it worked.

To thank the library, Suggs and Shore returned in December 2009 for one fo the 1st public screenings of the final cut.   The event was co-sponsored by TEAM Westport.

Ethel Kennedy, Larry Shore and John Suggs, at the film's screening in Washington.

Since then the film has been shown all over the world — including the JFK Presidential Library in Boston; Washington, DC for dignitaries including Ethel Kennedy; the UN’s Geneva office, and throughout South Africa.

Closer to home, the film served as the 2010-2011 official common “text” for the students at Fairfield University.

Tomorrow night — thanks in part to Larry Shore, John Suggs, their neighbors and their library — the entire country can learn about this important, long-forgotten part of Robert Kennedy’s legacy.

More Signs Of The Times

Sunday’s “06880” story about unenforceable, hypocritical or just plain odd street signs struck a chord with John Suggs.

He responded, noting a sign on the Sherwood Island Connector his 7-year-old son Joshua spotted on the last day of school:

“Considering the thousands of times I’ve driven past that sign without noticing the misspelling,” John said, “I want to acknowledge not only my eagle-eye son Josh, but all the wonderful teachers at Greens Farms Elementary School, especially Mrs. Mary Ellen Barry, who have seen to it that our 1st graders know the correct spelling of their school, their neighborhood and the street sign.   Maybe we should send the sign makers back to Mrs. Barry for a makeup lesson?”

Well done, Joshua. And you were probably just being polite not to mention the lack of a space between “Green” and “Farms.”

But wait — there’s more!

Shouldn’t it be “Green’s Farms”? — with an apostrophe — I asked John.

Quickly, he replied:

I just did some quick fact checking on the history of the correct spelling, and discovered a few things.

The elementary school website spells it both ways on different pages of their official web site (click here, then click on “Directions to GFS”).

Wikipedia states:  “Green’s Farms Metro-North Railroad station is one of two New Haven Line stations serving the residents of Westport, Connecticut. The station is located in the Greens Farms area of Westport in the southeastern part of town, and the technically-incorrect apstrophe in the station name dates to New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad ownership of the line. No other entity spells “Greens Farms” with an apostrophe.”

(“06880” notes that Wikipedia itself spells “apostrophe” incorrectly, and hyphenates “technically-incorrect” even though we have always learned that words ending in “ly” should not be hyphenated.)

The neighborhood association, John says, uses the apostrophe — contrary to Wikipedia’s assertion that “no other entity” does.

So does Green’s Farms Congregational Church.

Greens Farms Academy — which, as an expensive private school, should probably know such things — ignores the apostrophe.

John concludes:

Basically it is anyone’s guess as to which version is the “correct” usage now, as opposed to the original usage which appears to have been with the apostrophe.   I, personally, have always spelled it Greens Farms myself — and I am one of the representatives of the GF area on the RTM (District 5)!

So most likely there is a whole other blog surrounding the  “apostrophe versus no apostrophe” debate!

Consider it done.