Tag Archives: Lyman

Roundup: Tyler Hicks’ Lyman, Connecticut Mag’s 40 Under 40, Farmers’ Market’s Lectures …

As the year ends, Westporters look back on a tough one. COVID is still hanging around. The stock market plummeted. Our nation is politically divided.

Compared to Ukraine though, we live on Easy Street.

Our new sister city of Lyman is entering its 10th month of hell. The Russians are gone after 5 months of occupation. But they left devastation behind.

Buildings lack roofs and walls. There is virtually no electricity or heat. Fire trucks and police cars were demolished. Debris is everywhere.

You can click here to read the latest devastating news, from yesterday’s New York Times. (This news just in: Earlier today, a Russian missile hit the police station. Only 2 patrol cars are left in the town.)

You can see some brutal images too — taken, coincidentally, by Westport native/Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Tyler Hicks.

A Lyman firefighter battles a blaze with just a trickle of water, in bitter cold. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

On this final day of 2022, please help Westport’s drive to help Lyman.

Our goal is $250,000. As of yesterday — less than 2 weeks after we began — we’ve raised $219,200. Wouldn’t it be great to reach our target today?

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). 

(Hat tips: Elisabeth Keane and Sharon Fiarman)

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After Italian and Chinese food, what’s next?

Peruvian.

When blandly named but popular Westport Chinese Takeout closed in October, it left a void in Saugatuck.

That’s where — decades earlier — the original Arrow Restaurant began. (The name comes from the angle of the road, where Franklin Street meets Saugatuck Avenue.) When it outgrow that location, the Arrow moved around the corner to Charles Street.

Work has begun on Lomito. The windows are still papered over. But there are new steps, and a spiffy logo. Two signs promise: “Opening soon.”

(Photo/JD Dworkow)=======================================================

Connecticut Magazine is out with their annual “40 Under 40” list.

Among the 40 people under 40 years old who are “changing the game in Connecticut and beyond”: Westporters Drew Angus and Julia Marino.

The writeup on Angus — a 2007 Staples High School graduate — says:

Finding success as a musician is not easy, explains this Bridgeport-based and Westport-raised singer-songwriter. “In this business, behind all the accomplishments and successes are many more unsuccessful projects and ideas that just never quite worked out,” Angus says. “It takes a certain kind of drive and a sick love for things not working out to be successful in creative ventures like music.”

Fortunately for him and fans of music everywhere, Angus has that drive, as his easy-to-listen-to, melodic New Americana music propelled him to be a finalist on American Idol in 2016. He’s also shared the stage with Harry Styles and Nile Rogers on Saturday Night Live, as well as Pat Benatar, Ann Wilson of Heart, and Andrea Bocelli. He has also toured with Marc Broussard and last summer impressed his hometown music fans with a set at Sound on Sound festival in Bridgeport.

When asked what advice he has for aspiring songwriters, he urges artists to not over-revise their work. “Finish those songs and put them out,” he says. “There’s a point of diminishing returns when changing lyric, melody or mix on a song no longer makes it better but just different or actually worse. Sometimes version one is actually the magic take.”

Drew Angus

For Olympic silver medalist Marino, it reads:

Lots of notable folks can boast about throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for a Red Sox game at fabled Fenway Park, including slopestyle and Big Air snowboarder and Westport native Marino. But she also has bragging rights none of those others can touch. In 2016, Marino, then an 18-year-old World Cup newcomer, replaced an injured teammate to compete in the Polartec Big Air event held at Fenway Park … and won.

A hit at Fenway, she returned to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in 2017, and again for a Red Sox-Yankees game in August 2022. Eighteen was a good age for Marino, who that year also became the first woman to land a double in slopestyle competition, according to her U.S. Ski & Snowboard team bio, landing two in the same run, a cab double underflip and a double backflip. Marino is most famous, of course, for winning a silver medal in women’s slopestyle at the 2022 Beijing Olympics (slopestyle is snowboarding down a course filled with terrain-park features and obstacles like rails and jumps.)

Also a 2018 Olympian and a seven-time X Games medalist, Marino loves photography, making videos, and spending time outdoors with her family and dog.

Julia Marino, on the Olympic podium.

Click here for the full Connecticut Magazine “40 Under 40.”

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The Westport Farmers’ Market: It’s not just for fresh produce anymore.

Well, everyone knows that. But here’s more proof, if anyone needs it:

Through January, the Market will host a 4-part lecture series, Thursdays at 1 p.m. at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center on Sylvan Lane.

Each presentation is 20 minutes, followed by a Q-and-A.

  • January 5: “Yoga is (Not) a 4-Letter Word: Demystifying the Practice” (Abbey Chase, owner, Abbey Chase Yoga)
  • January 12: “Muscle Activation, Neurological Inhibition, and Chronic Pain” (Dr. Andrew Crape)
  • January 19: “The Lymph” (Rev. Dr. Mark L. Heilshorn owner, Dharma Massage Therapy)
  • January 26: “Gut Healing and Anti-inflammatory Bonebroth Detox Soup” (Christine Beal Dunst, CEO and co-founder, Embody Wellness Company).

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This photo is a bit of a mystery.

Matt Murray noticed all these shoes lined up at Old Mill Beach.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

There was no one nearby. No one swimming.

Who owns them? Why are they there?

Maybe it’s part of SyFy’s annual “Twilight Zone” marathon. The annual event — an homage to the show and its creator, former Westporter Rod Serling — began at 5 a.m. today. It runs through 4 a.m. on Tuesday.

Click here for the full schedule.  (In case you’re wondering: “A Stop at Willoughby” — the classic Westport-themed episode — airs Monday, at 5 p.m.)

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Congratulations to Dr. Cindy Dunbar. The 1976 Staples High School graduate  was recently inducted into the National Academy of Medicine.

A Harvard graduate who specializes in hematology, she’s had an amazing career. Click here for an in-depth interview. (She begins with her youth in Westport — and her interest in music and theater. It continues to this day.)

Click here for a more scientifically oriented piece. (Hat tip: Ed Stalling)

Dr. Cindy Dunbar

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It wouldn’t be a holiday without a photo of Jolantha.

Weston’s favorite pig welcomes the new year in (as always) style:

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image combines a favorite subject (the beach) with a manmade-but-natural offering.

As the holidays wind down … enjoy!

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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And finally … who needs Guy Lombardo (or Dan Fogelberg), when we’ve got Mariah Carey?!

 (The year is not yet over! You’ve still got a few hours to support “06880” — and, because we’re a non-profit, take a tax write-off. Please click here. Thank you!)

 

Roundup: Lyman Donations, Amazon Fresh, Saugatuck Church …

President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the White House and speech before Congress yesterday reminded Americans that Ukraine’s war against Russian occupation continues, even as media attention has waned.

Westporters don’t need that reminder.

Since we announced our “Building Bridges” campaign with our new sister city of Lyman on Monday, residents (and their families and friends) have raised $105,909. That’s an outstanding outpouring of generosity!

We need less than $145,000 more to reach our goal of $250,000. That will provide 150 homes ruined during the Russian occupation with new roofs, windows and more — plus a generator for every one. And a water filtration system for the entire devastated town.

We hope to reach that goal by Christmas (Sunday). Thanks to our partnership with Ukraine Aid International — a non-profit founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer — all material can be delivered 3 days later.

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). 

Support for the effort comes from Rabbi Michael  Friedman of Temple Israel. He says:

“We are all inundated with requests for charitable contributions at this season of the year. Yet a personal call to help specific people in a specific city — even if it is very far away — gives our heartstrings a special tug. What a fabulous way to directly aid fellow human beings in dire need.”

Rabbi Michael Friedman, Temple Israel

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At least once a week, someone asks “06880”: What’s up with the Amazon Fresh store that was supposed to replace Barnes & Noble? Nothing has happened there for months.

We’re not the only town left in — literally — the dark.

An answer comes from The Real Deal. The New York real estate website says that since September, Amazon has not opened a new Fresh store. At least 7 locations appear to be completely built out, but unopened. Another 26 locations are like ours, with development halted.

There are “zombie stores” in several states.

The Real Deal explains:

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s cheaper for the company to keep the stores in place while not operating, rather than ditch the stores altogether. While the company is on the hook for rent, maintenance and taxes, shutting down a store could also force Amazon to pay a fee for a lease withdrawal or severance to hired employees.

Click here for the full story. In the meantime, if you want to give Amazon money for groceries, go to Whole Foods. They have not yet closed that part of their operations yet. (Hat tip: John McCarthy)

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Yesterday’s innovative “Holiday Card” — actually, a series of large images projected on the front of Saugatuck Congregational Church, thanks to the AV team of Craig Patton and Mark Mathias — was even more stunning that anyone expected.

(Photo/Richard Hyman)

The show will be repeated tonight and tomorrow (weather permitting), from 5 to 8 p.m. The best viewing spot is probably the Colonial Green parking lot, across the street.

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Jarret Liotta has many memories from his time in Los Angeles. Once, he attended a Passover Seder with Mel Brooks. The 1983 Staples High graduate quipped, “I didn’t know you were Jewish!”

Now — as Hanukkah collides with Christmas — Liotta is “proud to re-present a shot, low-quality video” he made back in those days.

He thinks Mel Brooks would have appreciated it.

Liotta’s latest film, “Small Town Movie,” is “a light comedy that explores racism, gun violence and the cancel culture.”

He calls this Christmas vs. Hanukkah piece “probably more controversial.”

You be the judge.

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The Westport Police have released arrest reports for the December 14-21 period.

Five people were detained in custody. The charges for each:

  • Conspiracy to commit larceny, interfering with a police officer, assault on public safety personnel.
  • Reckless driving, disobeying the signal of an officer, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell a controlled substance.
  • Burglary, threatening, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief.
  • Possession of burglar tools, conspiracy to commit larceny, criminal attempt to commit larceny, disobeying the signal of an officer, misuse of plates, reckless driving, failure to signal properly.
  • Manufacture or possession of burglar tools, conspiracy to commit larceny, attempt to commit larceny.

The following citations were issued:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 12
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 5
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 5
  • Violation of any traffic commission regulation: 4
  • Stop sign violation: 3
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 3
  • Insurance coverage fails minimum requirements: 2
  • Disorderly conduct: 1
  • Traveling too fast for conditions:1
  • Cell phone, 1st offense: 1
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian: 1
  • Tinting windows: 1
  • Failure to keep plates readable: 1
  • Misuse of plates: 1
  • Failure to display lights: 1

One citation was issued last week for overly tinted windows.

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Speaking of the police:

The license plate on this car may signal “Never Guilty.”

But that looks an awful like a ticket on the windshield.

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At first glance, this looks like a “holiday lights” photo:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

A closer look, though, shows it’s traffic clogging Charles Street yesterday afternoon, coming off I-95.

Eventually of course, everyone got through. It’s just late on a holiday afternoon — and, probably, a bit of Waze action too.

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The photo above provides a great segue to this item: Wheels2U is growing every day. Last month, the door-to-door ride service provided rides for over 2,300 people directly from their homes and offices, to and from the train station.

The service will take 2 brief holidays — December 26 and January 2 — before resuming full steam ahead.

For more information about Wheels2U, click here. For more information about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.

Santa ditches his sleigh for Wheels2U.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image was spotted yesterday at Sherwood Island State Park, by John Kantor:

(Photo/John Kantor)

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And finally … on this day in 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven conducted and performed in Vienna, with the premiere of his 5th and 6th Symphonies, 4th Piano Concerto and Choral Fantasy.

It must have been quite a show.

 

 

Roundup: Ukraine Aid, NYU Scam, All-State Football …

The first day of Westport’s drive to raise $250,000 for our new sister city of Lyman, Ukraine went well.

As of last night, over $73,000 had been donated. That’s nearly 1/3 of the way to repair 150 homes destroyed by Russian forces, give generators to all, and provide a water filtration system to the town.

Thanks to a partnership with Brian and Marshall Mayer — the Westporters who founded the non-profit Ukraine Aid International — the supplies can be delivered to the desperate town within 3 days.

As noted yesterday, the goal of $250,000 — by Christmas — is certainly reachable. It’s only $10 for every resident of Westport.

Of course, not everyone can afford that. If you can, please consider a donation for those who cannot.

To donate to the non-profit, just click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.) You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

“06880” reader Jamie Klein has a great idea. She sent yesterday’s story to neighbors and friends, with this note:

This is one example of what is special about living in this town. What a great gift for someone in your family, or as a thoughtful hostess gift for one of the parties you may be attending.

As we enter the holiday season the message of miracles and hope are a theme across all faiths, and from our small place on this earth, we can make a miracle happen.

Thanks for all who have contributed to help rebuild Lyman, and all who will do so. Let’s double that $73,000 by tonight!

Christmas in Lyman. 150  out of 240 homes have been destroyed — including this one.

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Meanwhile, another local drive for Ukrainian aid bore fantastic fruit.

When Mark Yurkiw learned there was space in a container leaving in 10 days, he acted fast.

He put out the word on “06880.” In just over a week, readers delivered 8 whole house generators, 8 gas chain saws, 8 phone power banks, 20 sleeping bags, 20 flashlights, 2 kerosene heaters, plus boxes of rechargeable batteries, winter blankets, pillows, and children’s warm winter clothing, to his door.

All those items are now on their way to that embattled nation. Each one can help change lives.

“Thank you, Westport!” Mark says. “It takes a village.”

Ukrainians Ross Voytovych (now of Ridgefield) and Dima Dovgan (Redding) move equipment to be loaded on to a tractor trailer.

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Westport’s downtown Hanukkah menorah is back.

It will be lit tomorrow (Wednesday, December 21) at 5:30 p.m., in front of Anthropologie on the Post Road at Church Lane. The entire community is invited, with jelly doughnuts and chocolate gelt for all.

Bill Mitchell of Mitchells — long involved in interfaith efforts — will have the honor of lighting the candles.

This menorah and lighting is a joint effort of Beit Chaverim, Chabad of Westport, Temple Israel, and The Conservative Synagogue.

The downtown menorah, in 2020. (Photo/Arlene Yolles)

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Who knew so many Westporters read the New York Post?

A dozen or so readers sent links yesterday to the tabloid’s story that began:

A former New York University director of finance allegedly siphoned $3.5 million meant for minority and women-owned businesses and blew some of the cash on herself — including on an $80,000 pool for her Connecticut home, prosecutors said Monday.

Cindy Tappe, 57, was charged with diverting funds from New York State Education Department grants into shell companies that she created over a six-year scheme that was discovered in 2018, when she left NYU, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Some of the embezzled money went to expenses related to the grants or employee reimbursements — but at least $660,000 ended up in Tappe’s own pockets, according to the indictment.

She allegedly spent the dough on personal expenses, including the pool and renovations on her her home in Westport, Connecticut.

The scam started with a $23 million grant awarded to NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and Transformation, where Tappe worked, with the cash meant to go to state programs to help special education students and those learning English.

Though the press release from the New York State Comptroller lists her as a Westport residence, no one here has verified that.

And the Post’s photo shows the house below. According to Peter Blau, it’s at 87 Juniper Lane, New Canaan.

Sure looks like Westport.

Or New Canaan.

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The good news is: Staples High School has two All-State first team selections — out of only 26 in all of Connecticut. Congratulations, Caleb Smith and Tyler Clark!

The interesting twist: They’re longtime friends — and grew up on the same small street.

There are only 9 homes on Twin Falls Lane. So more than 20% of them are the homes of All-State football players!

PS: Congrats too to James Hillhouse, who made the All-LL/L (large schools) all-state squad.

(From left): Tyler Clark, Caleb Smith, James Hillhouse.

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All you ever wanted to know about white oaks is now on a video starring Westport Tree Board member Dick Stein.

Produced by fellow member Frank Rosen, the 8-minute piece covers their distinguishing features, history in Westport (the Bedford family helped with acorns), and more.

It was filmed in familiar places, like Sherwood Island State Park. Click below to learn about those ubiquitous (and handsome) species.

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Yesterday’s Roundup included an item about a car crash on Riverside Avenue.

An “06880” reader who lives on that street calls it “the lawless road of Westport.”

His car was parked legally. But a driver took the turn by Destination Haus too fast, and slammed in to the side of his car.

That was the 4th time a car has been hit in that area this year — and the second time for the reader.

The first time, he lost a mirror and the car suffered some scratches. This time, his vehicle was not as lucky:

“The owners at Destination Haus, and people working at 50 Riverside, are too scared to pull out,” the reader says.

It’s so bad that when Destination Haus has events, they have to hire police officers. But the last 3 times, the officer says he was nearly hit.

Several times.

Slow down! Even if you don’t care about anyone else, just think how much time it takes out of your day after you smack into someone.

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Speaking of traffic: Everyone (except the speeders themselves) is looking for a way to slow drivers down.

Peter Gold spotted one possible solution yesterday, on Thomas Road:

(Photo/Peter Gold)

Hanukkah began Sunday night. So — as this “tasteful” photo shows — there are “0 Days” left.

(Photo/Pam Kessselman)

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Speaking of Hanukkah etc. … The Jazz at the Post folks say: “It’s that time of year again. Why have our favorite holiday tunes been relegated to lifeless background music, advertising jingles or Muzak?

“In the hands of inspired musicians, the holiday repertoire makes for a fine opportunity for a night of hard swinging jazz.

“Name your holiday: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, even Festivus (for the rest of us) — we got it covered!”

This Thursday (December 22), Jazz at the Post (VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399) hosts a “Holiday Swingfest.” The lineup includes pianist Dave Childs, drummer Greg Burrows, bassist Joe Fitzgerald, and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall.

“Special guests and elves are sure to drop by” too, they say.

Shows are 7:30 and 8:45 p.m., with dinner beginning at 7:30. Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

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And speaking (still) of the holidays:

Cecily Anderson is a talented art teacher.

How talented? Check out this great holiday installation piece. It’s drawing stares — and raves — at its pop-up location, right there at BMS. (Hat tip: Kerry Long)

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No, it’s not a sad little Christmas tree.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows — according to photographer Molly Alger — a “brand new tiny tree at the top of Baron’s South walking path.”

It was the only one like it she saw.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … in honor of the Tree Board’s white oak tree video (story above):

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