Tag Archives: Lyman Ukraine

Roundup: Aloha, Bonjour …

A much-needed mid-winter touch of Hawaii came to the Westport Library Sunday night.

The Staples High School Orphenians put on an aloha-themed cabaret, as part of their fundraising efforts for their summer trip to the Aloha State.

Longtime Staples music aficionado — and former Fairfield music teacher — Ellen Kuroghlian was there. She writes:

“The benefit was outstanding. The singers were better than I have ever heard at Staples. The program included individual singers, with Broadway star Kelli O’Hara singing the last number — “You’ll Never Walk Alone” — with all Orphenians.

“David Pogue was the emcee. He worked on Broadway for 10 years, and is an expert at the piano, so he used it to emphasize a story or point. What a wonderfully dedicated father of a current Staples student, and 2 college age ones. And what wonderful gifts from these 2 pros.

“Choral director Luke Rosenberg sang too. He is a terrific performer. ‘Excellent modeling,’ as we educators say.

“Staples culinary instructor Chef Cecily Gans deserves ‘extra credit’ for the wonderful and bounteous ‘aloha-themed bites’ (which were large ones). Aliso Milwe Grace was there too, helping out.

“The performance, and the whole evening, was totally special.”

If you missed it — or just want to add something to the Orphs’ fund — click here.

Two of the many performers. James Dobin-Smith sang “My Way,” while Ethan Walmark played “Piano Man.”


Yesterday’ Roundup item about the regular weekend pop-up clean-up projects around town led several readers to ask: When is the next one?

It’s Saturday, February 5, at the Imperial Avenue parking lot (11 a.m.). Bring gloves and trash bags, and wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty in.

There will be more than enough garbage to go around!

Questions? Email acolabellartm4@gmail.com

This past weekend’s trash pick-up on Greens Farms Road. Next up on February 5: the imperial Avenue parking lot.


Earlier this month the mayor of Marigny — Westport’s French sister city — announced they’d be joining us, in offering aid to Lyman, Ukraine.

Marigny has not forgotten the help our town provided in the years following World War II.

Want proof? Check out the banner on the top of the region’s daily newspaper:


Today’s Kings Highway Elementary School students have no clue about the 1980s. Some of their parents may be too young to remember it too.

But the KHS PTA hosts a “totally tubular ’80s-themed prom fundraiser” on Saturday, February 4 (7 to 10 p.m., Norwalk Inn). All KHS parents – past, present and future are invited. So is everyone else in town, no matter what you though about (or did during) that decade.

It’s a fundraiser for the school’s Outdoor Learning Center. Money is needed for raised planter beds, special bat-watching cameras, a greenhouse and more.

There will be dancing to ’80s tunes, and auction items from places like Modern Dermatology, Splatterbox, and Wakeman Town Farm, plus field passes to a Mets game, and a chance to have kids driven to school in a police cruiser.

While satin prom dresses, shoulder pads and “Miami Vice”-inspired pastel suits are encouraged. Tickets include a full open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and charcuterie, crudité and pasta stations. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Artists’ rendering of Kings Highway Outdoor Learning Center.


For 60 years, Weston Emergency Medical Service has provided free care to town residents — and mutual aid to Westport, Wilton, Fairfield, Redding, Norwalk, Easton and Georgetown.

On March 25 (6:30 p.m., Rolling Hills Country Club, Wilton), the 100%-volunteer organization celebrates those 6 decades in a very Weston way.

Tony Award-winning director/longtime TV and movie star/proud Weston resident James Naughton will emcee.

Dan Micciche — music director of “Wicked” — will perform, along with other Broadway stars.

Weston EMS hopes to raise $100,000 to continue their mission of neighbors helping neighbors with the highest level of emergency care services and state-of- the-art equipment — all free.

An online raffle begins March 10. Tickets will also be available at the gala, plus silent and live auctions.

To become a sponsor, advertise in the program, or donate a product or service to the raffle or auctions, email abelport@westonems.com

Tickets are on sale now.  To purchase tickets, click here and scroll down. Questions? Email gala@westonems.com. 


Sarah Jane Cion returns to Jazz at the Post this Thursday (January 26, shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner at 7).

First place winner of the 17th annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition, and a thoughtful composer, her songs “Cat in the Hat” and “Golden Song” were featured respectively in “The Mule” and “Thor: The Dark World.”

Joining Sarah Jane are bassist Peter Brendler, drummer Michael Camacho and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall.

The cover charge is $15. Reservations are strongly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Sarah Jane Cion


It took a while for last year’s jetty project to be completed at Burying Hill Beach.

Now — with crowds gone — it’s a perfect home for gulls.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from one of the few folks at Westport’s “other” beach: Eric Bosch.

(Photo/Eric Bosch)


And finally … if you’re ready for the ’80s (as in, the Kings Highway Elementary School fundraiser — story above), then you must get up and dance to this:

(“06880” hasn’t been around since the 1980s. But we’ve covered Westport — and have not missed a day — since 2009. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)

Roundup: Traffic, Microgreens, Bagels …

Today’s “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast features 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker talking traffic.

In the bi-weekly series — produced by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston — she talks about Post Road intersection improvements, from Bulkley Avenue to Fresh Market; the Easton Road/Weston Road/Exit 42 clusterf***, and a study of Cross Highway, from North Avenue to Bayberry Lane.

Click below for the full podcast.


How bad are conditions in Lyman, Ukraine?

“06880” has reported on life Westport’s sister city. Now the BBC has taken note.

A long report on the British news service website reads like a horror story. Click here — and think about our new friends overseas.

Apartment building in Lyman, after missile strikes. (Photo courtesy of BBC)


Westport’s weekly volunteer trash pick-up continued on Saturday.

A dozen or so residents, members of Assumption Church and St. Francis Church of Weston joined in clearing litter on Greens Farms Road, near I-95 (and the Assumption Cemetery).

Interested in joining? Email Andrew Colabella: acolabellartm4@gmail.com

Trash pick-up on Greens Farms Road.


Everyone is talking about (and eating) microgreens.

On March 13 (7 p.m.), Wakeman Town Farm offers “Microgreens 101: Grow Your Own!”

The evening covers urban farming, sustainable food systems, minimizing waste, rethinking food production and distribution, nutrition, and (of course) how to get started.

If you sign up by February 6, you can get a starter kit in time.

For more information and to register, click here.



Westport Country Playhouse’s Family Festivities presents “Woof Woof the Shadow Pup.” The February 12 (1 and 4 p.m.) shadow theater musical is one hour, and appropriate for grades pre-K and up and runs approximately one-hour in length.

“Woof Woof” illuminates the importance of understanding and acknowledging the emotional life of young children. This inspiring story is an invitation for families to experience the magical world of shadow theater.

Click here for details and tickets.

“Woof Woof the Shadow Pup,” at the Westport Country Playhouse.


Besides breaking national age group (85-89 years old) records on the track, Westporter Norma Minkowitz is also a prestigious artist.

“Body to Soul” — her solo exhibition at Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Galleries opens January 27. There’s an opening talk and reception January 26 (5 p.m.). Click here for more information. Click below for a video about Norma’s work.(Hat tip: Jeff Mitchell)


Did you lose your bagels?

If so, Chris Grimm spotted them yesterday, near High Gate Road off South Maple:

(Photo/Chris Grimm)


Mark Shufro died peacefully at home in Brooklyn on October 16. He was 66, and had lived for more than a decade with spinocerebellar ataxia-13 and multiple-system atrophy.

Born in New York City, he soon moved with his family to Westport, and graduated from Staples High School. He discovered Ultimate Frisbee there, which was in its infancy at the time but became a lifelong passion.

In his teens Mark established his first business — Marco Sales — distributing swimming pool chemicals to neighbors and family friends. .

At Brown University Mark majored in math and French, studied abroad in France and Colombia, and continued to play Ultimate Frisbee. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 1979.

Mark worked as an actuary for a year before being accepted into General Electric’s Financial Management Program. Mark earned an MBA from New York University while working at GE Credit and at several other firms. He started his own company, Greyrock Capital Group, in 2001.

Mark married Lisa Kerpen in 1985. After living in Manhattan and Irvington, New York, they settled back in Westport in 1992. There Mark pursued his hobbies of woodworking and tinkering, reading, traveling, skiing and Ultimate Frisbee while raising his family of 4 children

In 2017, as empty nesters, Mark and Lisa moved to Carroll Gardens. Mark continued to be involved with his company, advising and supporting younger members. He also took an active role in research into his illness, funding several important studies at Yale University. He was overjoyed to celebrate the wedding of his daughter Hannah to Roberto Ferdman, a few weeks before his death.

Besides his wife Lisa, daughter Hannah and son-in-law Roberto, Mark is survived by his mother, Edith Evans; sisters Cathy Shufro and Carol Shufro; son Paul; daughter-in-law Lydia Melamed Johnson; son Jacob, and his daughter Sophie. Mark’s father, Arnold Shufro, predeceased him in 2000.

Donations in Mark’s memory can be made to Common Cause. Lisa can be reached at Lisa@shuf.ro.

Mark Shufro


Cape Cod or the Hamptons?

No. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is from our own Sherwood Island State Park.

The amount of natural beauty here continues to astonish Connecticut residents.

And the few Westporters who appreciate this great resource, smack in the middle of our shoreline.

(Photo/Neal Radding)


And finally … on this day in 1986, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first  members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

Not a bad class!

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Roundup: Ukrainian Stoves, Chinese New Year …

Westport’s $250,000+ fundraising for our new sister city of Lyman, Ukraine continues to make a real difference, in that war-ravaged town.

Yesterday, 50 stoves were delivered. They fill a crucial need. Many residents lack both heat and electricity, in the aftermath of 5 months of Russian occupation.

The stoves — sourced in Europe by Brian Mayer, the Westporter/founder of Ukraine Aid International, and delivered with the help of Liz Olegov from the Alex21 group — bear the names of those groups, and our 2 towns.

Brian and Liz continue to address the immediate needs of Lyman residents.

To see Katya Wauchope’s video of the stove deliveries, click below.



The new Chinese Year of the Rabbit begins today.

In Chinese culture, the rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity. It can’t come a moment too soon.

And Jolantha — Weston’s favorite pig — is ready to celebrate, with her fellow animal.

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)


Toquet Hall is providing a “lighthouse” for LGBTQ+ youth.

Lighthouse is a confidential drop-in space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people to seek support. It runs every Monday, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.. at the downtown teen center.

A special “Night of Queer History” will introduce the program, with a special Jeopardy game, and a free dinner (January 30, 6 p.m., Toquet Hall). Longtime LGBTQ advocate Dan Woog — hey, that’s me! — will speak briefly on where the gay community has been, and where it’s going.

LGBTQ+ people of all ages — and allies — are welcome.

Questions? Call 203-661-1911, or email Phoebe Oler: poler@kidsincrisis.org.


Chabad of Westport celebrated its annual gala last night.

Honorees included Marissa and Hy Saporta (Community Builder Award), Elke and Lyle Katz (Jewish Heritage Award), and Sarah Hanna and Noah Wollowick (Camp Gan Israel Award).

Enjoying last night’s Chabad gala (from left): 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Liz and Avi Kaner, Rabbi Yehuda Kantor.


The CAMP Gallery’s new show opened Friday. It runs through February 28, with a special wine-and-cheese, meet the artist event set for this Friday (January 27, 5 to 8 p.m.).

Lydia Viscardi is a mixed media artist who creates paintings through collage and sculpture, with found objects. 

Rita Valley works in large-scale, hand-sewn fabric banners. Her political and confrontational imagery tackles social trends, morality and political behaviors. 

CAMP Gallery (190 Main Street) is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CAMP Gallery’s current exhibit.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is a bit more grisly than usual.

Saugatuck resident Rick Jaffe sent this shot, of what he believes is a deer leg in his back yard.

Rick asks: “What animal takes down a deer, tears it apart, eats it, and lives in my neighborhood?”

(Photo/Rick Jaffe)


And finally … English poet John Donne was born today, in 1573.

Contrary to what he wrote …

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Roundup: Marigny, Downtown, Jazz …

Westport’s longtime sister city of Marigny-le-Lozon, France, has officially joined us in support of our new sister city: Lyman, Ukraine.

In his annual January address to the town, Marigny mayor Fabrice Lemazurier said that — with the full support of their Town Council — they will direct aid to Lyman children impacted physically and emotionally by the war.

The project will involve Marigny students, and their parents.

Our connection with Marigny grew out of World War II. Two Westporters who served in the Normandy town encouraged residents here to send food, clothes, Christmas gifts and more.

Marigny never forgot Westport. Now, our 2 towns join together to aid a third.


Westport’s downtown revitalization project is one step closer to reality.

Yesterday morning, the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee approved the design concept. Next up: cost estimates, and advisory and funding body approvals.

Click here for more information about the plan.

This screenshot from the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee shows the Parker Harding lot, and its proximity to the Saugatuck River.


Want to raise your tech skills? Or just get some basic ones?

The Westport Library’s “Anyone Can Use…” classes offer free in-person instruction. The next 2:

  • February 1: Foundation Center Professional Database (registration required; click here)
  • February 15: Social Media for Marketing (registration required; click here).

Both classes are 11 a.m. to noon.

For more tech instruction, click here for the LinkedIn Learning database. It  offers over 16,000 professionally produced courses in 7 languages — everything from tip-of-the-spear technologies to basic computer literacy and photography.

Questions? Email ref@westportlibrary.org.

Technology is not just for kids!


Staples High School alumni do some very cool and creative work.

On January 31 (6:30 p.m., Zoom), they’ll share their journeys.

It’s part of the career exploration “Spark Your Future” series, sponsored by the Staples Counseling Department and Westport Library.

But anyone with an internet connection is invited to watch.

Panelists nclude:

  • Max Samuels (Staples Class of 2011): stage, screen and voice actor based in New York.
  • Jacqueline Devine (Staples ’13): co-owner of The Soze Agency, specializing in social impact campaigns.
  • Noah Johnson (SHS ’14): visual designer at Fjord, an innovation consultancy.
  • Trevor Williams (SHS ’18): animation supervisor at Steamroller Studios.

They’ll discuss their journeys, including the ups, downs and detours that brought them where they are today. Click here to register for the webinar.

In Staples Players, Max Samuels (with Eva Hendricks) appeared in “Brighton Beach.” (Photo by Kerry Long)


Speaking of Staples:

The Music Department’s always popular “Jazz and Java” concert is set for this Thursday (January 26, 7 p.m., cafeteria).

Five high school and Bedford Middle School groups are featured, including the award winning combos and Staples Jazz Ensemble.

It’s free — and light refreshments will be served.

Last year’s jazz concert, in the Staples cafeteria.


Club 203 — the area’s very cool social club for adults with disabilities — celebrates Valentine’s Day early.

A celebration dance is set for February 2 (7 to 8:30 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse).

The club’s own DJ Joe returns. Planet Pizza provides heart-shaped pies. And everyone is invited to “dress for the dance.”

For more information and to RSVP, click here.


The Westport transfer station has installed a new configuration, including scales on the right side for trucks.

To learn more about Westport’s unofficial community center — the place where everyone sees everyone else — click here.

Westport transfer station. (Photo/Seth Schachter)


Today is National Granola Bar Day. (I know: Who knew?)

To celebrate, The Granola Bar offers a free almond butter chocolate chunk bar with any purchase of $10 or more (while supplies last).

Stop by, or click here to order online for pickup or delivery.


TAP Strength sponsors a “deeply restorative and healing night of yoga and singing bowls” on February 1 (6 p.m., 180 Post Road East).

The evening combines stretching, sound and Reiki healing, and essential oil aroma therapy.

Call 203-292-9353,  or email nancy@tapstrength.com for more information.



If you’re an Alan Fiore fan — and who isn’t? — click here for the latest release from the Staples High School Class of 2021 grad. He’s now at the Berklee College of Music.

Alan Fiore


Westport resident Lois Ann Crawford died Wednesday at Norwalk Hospital. She was 90.

Born in Cross Creek Township, Ohio in 1932, she graduated from The Ohio State University. Lois taught school in Downey, California; Mather Air Force Base, Sacramento; Greensburg, Indiana and Englewood, Ohio.

She lived in California, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, following her husband’s career moves. She married Otis L. Crawford in Nevada, while he was in the US Air Force.

Lois was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston, where she was an offering steward for many years. She was an active tennis player, golfer and bridge player. Lois also ran the Komen golf charity event for the 9-hole women’s golf group at Longshore.

Survivors in addition to her husband include her daughters Jean Crawford and Laura Provencal, 4 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter. She was pre deceased by her son Gregory Crawford.

Services will be private. Click here to leave online condolences.

Lois Crawford


Dick Lowenstein spotted these 2 dozen-plus birds — “most likely carrion-eating black vultures,” he says — in a tree in his Greens Farms back yard. They make an intriguing “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Small birds are not bothered, though. They continued to feast at his bird feeder.

(Photo/Dick Lowenstein)


And finally … Westport offers thanks to Marigny. Our sister city in France has officially joined our efforts to help another sister city: Lyman, Ukraine.

So, in the spirit of siblings, we offer:

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Roundup: Trash Trucks, Smithereens, Smokes …

Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup announced the delivery of 2 trash trucks and 2 police cars to Westport’s new sister city: Lyman, Ukraine.

Katya Wauchope took yesterday’s videos and photos from Brian Mayer, and created this important report of the day. As mayor Alexander Victoravich Zuravlov notes, this was the most pressing need for his town.

Click below for the video:


The first announcement of VersoFest 2023 is a big one.

The Smithereens headline the Friday, March 31 concert at the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum.

Joining the Smithereens as lead vocalist that night: Marshall Crenshaw.

The opening act is Americana musician Amilia K Spicer, fresh off a rave review from NPR. Miriam Linna DJs the night, with 45s from one of the most revered record collections anywhere.

VersoFest is a multi-day music and media festival/conference, born at the Library’s Verso Studios.

The festival opens Thursday, March 30, and continues with a full slate of programs and workshops Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. Famed producer Steve Lillywhite delivers the keynote Saturday afternoon.

Founded in New Jersey in 1980, The Smithereens have created electrifying, original rock ‘n’ roll for 42 years. Their take-no-prisoners, East Coast roots-rock sound was inspired by Buddy Holly, The Who, Nick Lowe and The Move.

They were in heavy rotation on MTV, and appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Saturday Night Live.” The Smithereens have performed at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Radio City Music Hall, and internationally from Europe to Australia. Tourmates include Tom Petty, Squeeze, the Pretenders, Lou Reed and the Ramones.

Tickets for the show are $40; click here to purchase. Click here for more information on the Smithereens, and VersoFest.

The Smithereens, with Marshall Crenshaw (white vest).


Westport Police report 2 custodial arrests between January 12 and 18.

One was a follow-up on a previous incident on Center Street where an individual was acting erratically, drinking motor oil. and yelling at officers. While fighting with the officers, the suspect punched them in their heads, causing one to fall and break his wrist. He referred to officers with derogatory names, and made threatening statements concerning officers and their families. He was charged with assault on a public safety officer, and threatening.

The second arrest came after damage to property owned by the Westport Housing Authority, caused by driving on grass. He was charged with criminal mischief.

Police issued the following citations:

  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 8
  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 4
  • Misuse of plates: 4
  • Failure to obey control signal: 4
  • Speeding: 2
  • Distracted driving: 2
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 2
  • Failure to display plates: 2
  • Failure to renew registration: 2
  • Violation of any traffic control regulation: 2
  • Insurance coverage fails minimum requirements: 2
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
  • Driving with out-of-state plates after 30 days: 1
  • Disobeying the signal of an officer: 1.

One arrest began when a suspect was drinking motor oil.


In other Westport Police news, the department yesterday conducted unannounced inspections of businesses that sell tobacco products and/or e-cigarettes. The goal was determine compliance with state laws prohibiting sales to anyone under 21.

All 5 were found to be in full compliance

  • Shell/A1 Smoke Shop (322 Post Road East)
  • Cumberland Farms (690 Post Road East)
  • Westport Cigar & Vape
  • Merritt Country Store
  • WP Convenience (1761 Post Road East).

Vaping devices.


Remember how much fun the Yankee Doodle Fair was? Of course!

Remember how the sponsors — the Westport Woman’s Club — told you it was a fundraiser for important local causes? Of course not!

But it was. It always is.

The WWC has just announced their 2023 grant recipients. Thanks to your generosity — well, your purchase of ride tickets, games of chance and food — these non-profits will share $41,000:

  • Burroughs Community Center
  • Cancer Care
  • Child Advocates of Southwestern Connecticut
  • Circle of Care for Families of Children with Cancer
  • Circle of Friends Connecticut
  • CLASP Homes
  • Domestic Violence Crisis Center
  • ElderHouse
  • Family & Children’s Agency
  • Food Rescue US
  • Hall Neighborhood House
  • Homes with Hope
  • Horizons at Norwalk Community College
  • Human Services Council/Children’s Connection
  • Liberation Recovery for Life Programs
  • Malta House
  • My Team Triumph – Connecticut
  • Norwalk Housing Foundation
  • Person to Person
  • Positive Directions
  • Regional Hospice and Home Care Western Connecticut
  • St. Catherine Center for Special Needs
  • Suzuki Music School
  • Urban Impact of Black Rock
  • VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399.

See you at the fair!

These kids helped raise $41,000 for charity. (Photo/Stephanie Mastocciolo)


Westporters continue to help Lyman, Ukraine.

On the heels of yesterday’s delivery of 2 police vehicles and 2 trash trucks to our new sister city, Katya Wauchope — a key member of the group that worked to raise $252,000 in 19 days for the war-torn town — sent a photo of her latest project:

It’s one of many camouflage hats she’s knitting for the Lyman police.

“Ukrainians are used to having their grandmas knit hats, socks and mittens for their family,” Katya — a native of that country — says.

“So I decided to be the town grandma!”

She began knitting last month. So far, she’s made nearly 2 dozen.


Against all odds, a group of residents continues to battle the Hiawatha Lane/Summit Saugatuck development. They write:

“Our historic, working-class, single-family neighborhood became the sacrificial lamb of Westport. Due to their lack of proper planning, the town of Westport had failed to meet their mandated 8-30g [affordable housing] quota, and allowing this project to go forward would remedy that oversight, so the rest of Westport would not be burdened.

“Please note: Our objection has to do with size, scale, environmental issues, traffic, pedestrian safety, and EMS access issues. Our objection to this development has nothing to do with permitting affordable housing, as that is acknowledged and recognized as the historic and existing strong community identifier and profile that is Old Saugatuck.

“Having taken our objections as far as we could through Town of Westport channels, we had to secure legal services from an attorney to fight this dangerous development in court… which is extremely costly. But we must Save Old Saugatuck.

“We have received contributions from very supportive neighbors and friends, and that has enabled us to begin this challenging legal process. We are forever grateful for their help. However, the battle is not over, and we desperately need further contributions to see this chapter through successfully.

“The court ruling has the potential to be a historic and ground-breaking (no pun intended!) ruling… we believe it is worth the effort to preserve the integrity and beauty of this historic neighborhood. After 20 years – we don’t want to give up!”

They created a GoFundMe page, to raise legal fees. Click here for the Save Old Saugatuck website.

Artist’s rendering of the proposed 187-unit apartment complex on Hiawatha Lane.


You’re not going with Staples Orphenians on their summer trip to Hawaii.

You may not even be able to attend this Sunday’s Aloha Cabaret fundraiser.

But you can join the elite singing group’s silent auction.

Items include jewelry, tickets to a late night show, a private plan flight, trips, golf and more.

Click here for the full list, and to bid. The auction ends Monday (January 23), at 9 p.m.


Business Networking International’s Westport chapter invites professionals to an open networking session (7 to 7:30 a.m.) and Visitor’s Day (7:30 to 9 a.m.) next Thursday (January 26, United Methodist Church, 49 Weston Road).

The organization — which is limited to one professional per category — has openings in these categories: LinkedIn expert, counseling services or psychotherapist, home security, HVAC, photographer, caterer or bakery, florist, event/wedding planner, home inspector, moving company, travel/tour operator, automotive repair, landscaper, electrician, payroll, product development firm/inventor, IP attorney, consumer products company and professional writer.

All visitors must pre-register; email cara.mocarski@welcomewagon.comClick here for more information.


Michelle Lieberson explains today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

“Yesterday I looked outside to find 3 goats in my Clover Lane yard. When Animal Control walked over I asked if they escaped from Wakeman Town Farm, which is not that close, but not far.

“He said they came from a neighbor’s house on Victoria Lane. It took a while, but they wrangled one of them. I snapped a photo of the other two.

“I asked if it’s legal to keep them. The man from Animal Control said he would have a talk with the neighbors.”

(Photo/Michelle Lieberson)


And finally … in honor of the Smithereens’ upcoming appearance at the Westport Library’s VersoFest (story above):


(Where else but “06880” would you learn that drinking motor oil could lead to an arrest? Please click here to keep stories like that one coming. Thank you!)



Sister City Aid: Police Cars, Trash Trucks Arrive In Lyman

Four desperately needed vehicles — 2 police cars and 2 trash trucks — were delivered today to Lyman, Ukraine.

The used vehicles are part of the fundraising effort by Westport, to help our new sister city. They were sourced and paid for in Europe by Brian and Marshall Mayer — the Westporters who founded Ukraine Aid International — and Liz Olegov of Alex21, UAI’s on-the-ground partner.

New (though used) police cars (foreground) and trash trucks were delivered to Lyman, Ukraine earlier today.

The Russians destroyed or took every police car and trash truck during their 5-month occupation of the town, in the Dombas region.

Police are the first responders during missile attacks — which still continue — and all other emergencies.

Enormous amounts of debris litter Lyman, after apartment buildings, homes, schools, hospitals, police and fire headquarters and other sites were attacked. Before the arrival of the vehicles, there was no way to remove it.

The trucks bear the Westport flag, the UAI and Alex21 logos, and a “Westport ♥ Lyman” banner. At a brief meeting, Mayor Mayor Alexander Victoravich Zuravlov, Lyman’s police chief and the regional police chief thanked Westport for their continuing relief efforts.

Brian Mayer, Mayor Alexander Victoravich Zuravlov and Liz Olegov, the trash truck and the Westport signs.

That’s not all.

Brian and Liz also delivered 1,000 loaves of freshly baked bread. For the cold and hungry residents of our sister city, it was another warm gesture of friendship and support.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Lyman through Ukraine Aid International — the non-profit co-founded by Westporter Brian Mayer. Please click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other tax-deductible donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo). You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

Brian Mayer and Liz Olegov (left) join Mayor Alexander Victoravich Zuravlov (2nd from right) and other officials for a quick meal, earlier today. (Photos courtesy of Brian Mayer)

Roundup: MLK & Tracy Sugarman, Lyman Rocks, Cathy Talmadge’s Trees …

More on Martin Luther King. Day:

Linda Sugarman writes: “When Dr. King visited Temple Israel in 1964, he met illustrator Tracy Sugarman. Tracy — my father-in-law — decided to go to Mississippi,  to belp register voters.

“The result of that experience was  ‘Stranger at the Gates,’ published in 1966. Over the years after the Mississippi Freedom Summer, Tracy, his wife June, and their friends Bill and Ellie Buckley created an educational film production company called  Rediscovery Films.

“They produced many films about the people involved in that summer, and about the continuing struggle throughout the South for recognition and support of the quest for civil rights and attaining the vote.

“The Westport Library has copies of all of their films, and of the book written by Tracy during that critical time.”

That book is displayed on Martin Luther King’s desk in this photo:


Cathy Talmadge made her mark on many local organizations.

One of them — Friends of Sherwood Island — has found a way to honor the longtime board member.

One of her contributions was helping create the Three Sisters Garden in 2010. Now Cathy’s countless admirers can donate a tree, in her memory.

Click here; then choose the “100 Trees” box, and note “in memory of Cathy Talmadge”).

A reminder: Cathy’s friends will gather January 27 at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield (1 p.m.), for her memorial service.

Cathy Talmadge


There’s always something special at the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Next month, it’s extra special.

On the first 2 Thursdays — February 2 and 9 (Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — you can drop off gently used winter coats, mittens, hats and gloves, plus medical supplies. All are desperately needed in Ukraine.

Cash contributions to help with shipping costs are always needed.

Questions? Want to help? Email Mark Yurkiw: mark.think3d@gmail.com.


Speaking of Ukraine: In the first days of the pandemic, Jen Greely and Lindsay Weiner had an idea.

They encouraged everyone in town to pain rocks with colorful, encouraging messages — then leave them for others to find.

Their project — Westport Rocks —  spread joy, at a time when it was in very short supply.

They’re still rocking Westport.

Lindsay’s latest rock honors our new sister city: Lyman, Ukraine.

We’ve moved from one global disaster to another. One rock won’t change anything.

But it will serve as a constant reminder that people care.

And that counts for plenty.


The air temperature on Saturday was 37. The water was 41 degrees.

These women didn’t care.

In fact, they enjoyed their Compo Beach dip.

Without a wet suit in sight.

(Photo/Joel Cipes)


We’ve all done it: backed into a parking space, realized we didn’t get it quite right, and taken an extra 12 seconds to realign ourselves.

This driver in the Stop & Shop lot couldn’t be bothered.

(Photo/James Morgan)


No, it’s not a big deal. Unless you were one of those who had to squeeze past the already-narrow lane that people also walk through to get to the store.

Or unless everyone else decided to park the same way.


If there’s few people around to see a Compo Beach “Westport … Naturally” sunset, does that make it any less glorious?


(Photo/Laurie Sorensen)


And finally … it’s astonishing and grievous to think what our nation has lost, to madmen’s bullets.

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Roundup: Saugatuck Hamlet, Lyman Video …

The next stop for the rezoning of Saugatuck: the full RTM.

On Thursday, 2 subcommittees of the Representative Town Meeting — Planning & Zoning, and Transit — discussed a text amendment and map amendment, approved earlier by Westport’s Planning & Zoning Commission.

That decision — which would create a new district in Saugatuck, suitable for development of a retail/restaurant/hotel/residential/marina complex — was opposed by more than 30 voters.

Their petition to the RTM led to the subcommittee hearings. The votes to uphold the P&Z’s approval of the new district were 6-0 in the RTM P&Z Committee (with 1 abstention), and 5-1 in the Transit Committee.

The full RTM votes this Tuesday (January 17, 6:30 p.m.; remote). Two-thirds of the members — 24, regardless of how many are present — must vote in favor of the petition to overturn the zoning change.

The meeting will be livestreamed on www.westportct.gov, and shown on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020.

The shaded area includes the new text and map amendment boundaries.


Several readers had difficulty accessing the link in yesterday’s Roundup to a YouTube video showing the delivery of supplies to our sister city Lyman, Ukraine, and the exchange of town flags.

Click the red arrow in the middle of the logo below to view.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” bald eagle was spotted at the Cross Highway/Sturges intersection.

Which makes it a good candidate for “Fairfield … Naturally” too.

(Photo/David Furth)


And finally … today in 1973, Elvis Presley’s “Aloha from Hawaii” concert was broadcast live via satellite. It set a record: the most watched broadcast by an individaul entertainer in TV history.

(The King is long gone, but “06880” lives. Please click here to support your local blog. Thank you!)

Video From Lyman: First Westport Aid Arrives

Less than a week after Westport surpassed its $250,000 fundraising goal for our new sister city of Lyman, Ukraine, the first aid has arrived.

Alex21 — the on-the-ground partners of Ukraine Aid International, founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer — delivered much-needed supplies to the police department.

Printers, laptops, Starlink communications, tablets — and shoes, sweaters and socks — will help first responders immensely. That was identified as one of the town’s highest priorities by the mayor, after police headquarters were hit by Russian missiles.

On the way: materials to shore up apartment buildings until they can be fully repaired this spring. Residents are spending the winter in structures without head or electricity — sometimes without roofs or windows.

Much more aid is on the way, including crucial supplies for children and bombed-out schools.

Westport’s support has been a tremendous morale-booster, Lyman officials say.

For a first look, check out the video below. It was shot in Lyman this week by the Mayers and Liz Olegov of Alex21. It was edited by Katya and Clyde Wauchope, 2 members of the working group in Westport that helped raise the $252,000.

NOTE: The “Sister Cities” logo was designed by Miggs Burroughs. Then graphic artist and Staples High graduate has Ukrainian heritage.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Lyman through Ukraine Aid International — the non-profit co-founded by Westporter Brian Mayer. Please click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other tax-deductible donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo). You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

Westport Flag Flies In Lyman

A day after 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker formalized Westport’s sister city relationship with Lyman, our town flag was delivered to the war-torn Ukrainian town.

Soon, the Lyman flag will be sent here.

Brian and Marshall Mayer — the Westport natives who founded Ukraine Aid International, and helped forge the sister city partnership — met today in Lyman with Mayor Alexander Victoravich Zuravlov and the chief of police.

‘The Westporters, and Liz Olegov of the on-the-ground organization Alex21 — provided a report of the goods and materials on the way to Lyman. They also presented the flag, which Tooker had given them in Westport.

The flag was designed for Westport’s 150th anniversary, in 1985, by native Westporter and renowned artist Miggs Burroughs. He is of Ukrainian descent.

The mayor handed them the Lyman flag, and thanked Westport for its help. In 3 weeks, the town raised $252,000 for Lyman.

Holding the Westport flag (from left): Lyman’s police chief and mayor. With the Lyman flag: Marshall Mayer, Brian Mayer, Liz Olegov.

“I am excited to build ties with America and the West — especially Westport,” he said.

“Spending time with you Americans, I realize the only way we differ is our language.”

Mayor Zuravlov then gave the Mayers and Liz a tour of the town. Among the sites: a school, recently destroyed in a missile strike.

The most recent casualty in Lyman: a school, destroyed by a Russian missile.