Tag Archives: Mac Forehand

Roundup: Parks & Rec Programs, Real Estate Sales, Lost Keys ….

Spring must be close. Summer too!

Registration for Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department’s spring and summer program offerings begins online on March 10 (9 a.m.). Offerings will be viewable soon, at www.westportrecreation.com.

Department officials urge residents to log into their online account now, to verify family information. Once logged in, click “Manage Family Member” on the bottom right. Check that contact information is accurate. (In the personal information box, it is important to make sure that children’s grades reflect the current school year). Cell phone information will be used for class cancellations or location changes.

Address changes should be emailed to recreation@westportct.gov. Additional proof of Westport residency may be required.

Problems? Do not create another profile. Email recreation@westportct.gov or call 203-341-5152.


Single-family real estate figures for January 2023 are down, compared to January ’22:

  • Unit sales: 19 (down 34.5%)
  • Median sales price: $1.65 million (down 25%)
  • Inventory: 82 (down 7.9%)
  • Days on market: 54 (down 33.3%)

(Hat tip: Meredith Cohen)

This home at 2 Owenoke Park is on the market for $8,950,000.


Think your lost keys are gone for good?

Think again.

Residents who find keys often bring them to Westport Police Department headquarters. A plastic bin near the front desk currently holds several dozen keys.

And — this being Westport — plenty of them are for some very nice vehicles.

(Photo and hat tip/Seth Schachter)


The health of the Compo Acres Shopping Center sycamore, at Post Road East and Compo Road South, is a constant concern to Westporters.

This morning, Bartlett Tree Experts provided some maintenance and love.

(Photo/Frank Rosen)


Carl Addison Swanson continues his crusade for traffic safety. He writes:

“Due to a 53% increase in pedestrian deaths from 2009 to 2018 with 6,283 total nationally, Connecticut passed a new ‘crosswalk law’ which went into effect on October 1, 2021.

“Now, unless there is a traffic signal directing otherwise, a pedestrian always has the right of way at a crosswalk throughout the state. A pedestrian may merely raise their hand to signal any oncoming traffic that he or she is intending to cross the street. Drivers must yield.

“Thanks to the recent passage of SS4A Infrastructure bill and Representative Jim Himes, our Congressional 4th District will receive $450,000 to implement safety measures to insure, among other things, pedestrian safety.  We are the only district in the state to receive such funds.

“That said, a tour of the town shows little implementation of any safety measures. While yellow pedestrian warning signs are in place, they are often concealed by untrimmed tree branches.

“Recently a female driver yelled at a runner crossing North Avenue at Bedford Middle School, ‘There is no crossing guard at the crosswalk, so get out of my way!” She sped away, nearly hitting the runner.

“Westport has chosen to spend $200,000 on a study of 2 Cross Highway intersections, at North Avenue and Bayberry Lane. Where and when is our taxpayer money going to be utilized to insure our safety before someone is killed?

“We know stop signs and worthless solar speed limit monitors do not work, at least on North Avenue. So what is next? Little green men? We might start by educating the public, strict law enforcement and some real traffic lights.”

Slow down!


Brien Buckman is the newest member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting. The 33-year-old fills a vacancy in District 6, caused by the death of Cathy Talmadge.

He has lived in Westport since 2020. (Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)

Brien Buckman


If you’re an X Games fan, you know that Mac Forehand — a member of the 2022 Olympic US ski team — just won gold in big air at the competition in Aspen.

He did it in a big way:  with a perfect 50 score, landing a 2160 Cuban that wowed the crowd. He also won silver for slopestyle.

But you may not know that Mac is the son of 1976 Staples High School graduate Ray Forehand.

Mac also made history in 2019, winning the overall World Cup title in slopestyle at just 17 years old. It was his first full season on the World Cup circuit.

Mac grew up in Fairfield, and attended the Stratton Mountain Ski School.

If you knew Ray Forehand, you’ll notice the great resemblance in the video below. (Hat tip: Sam Febbraio)


11-year-old Kathryn is paralyzed by social anxiety. She spends all her time in her basement with her 2 passions: Alfred Hitchcock and stop-motion animation. When a new neighbor moves in, will she be able to share her dream and make a new friend?

That’s the first offering of Westport Country Playhouse’s mobile unit — though this one will be the main stage. “Scaredy Kat Presents” runs for 1 performance only: Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. All tickets are $25. Click here to purchase, and for more information.


It may be February, but the defending state champion Staples High School rugby team is heading outdoors.

They host their 3rd annual College Showcase & Combine this Saturday (February 11, noon to 4 p.m.). They expect 150 high school players — boys and girls — from the tri-state area, and representatives from over 50 college.

The 2-hour combine will be run by the 2 Major League Rugby teams in the area: the New England Free Jacks and reigning champs Rugby United New York.

The “showcase” portion takes place in the school cafeteria. Each college has a table; players and their parents can learn more about their academics and rugby programs.

Meanwhile, the Staples Rugby Club announces Little Barn as their “preferred restaurant partner.” They’ll hold several events there, beginning the weekend of March 11 (a viewing party for the Six Nations matches).

Little Barn will also be the site of post-match celebration, after Staples hosts a top-ranked club from Texas (March 11) and their first international friendly (vs. St. Andrews College of South Africa, April 15).

The state champion 2022 Staples High School rugby team. (Photo/Chloe DeAngelis)


Westport Pride joins with the Department of Justice, FBI and Connecticut US Attorney’s office to explore hate crimes at the federal, state and local levels.

“United Against Hate” — a free training to inform LGBTQ+ community members and allies about those crimes, and how to respond, is set for March 28 (6 p.m., Westport Library; in-person and virtual).

The interactive program also involves the Westport and Norwalk police chiefs, and the Connecticut State Police’s Hate Crimes Unit.

The meeting is part of a national initiative, by all 94 US Attorneys offices. Click here for details on that program. Click here for details of the March 28 event.


Native Westporter Scott Brodie sends along this striking image of his mother’s back yard on Burr Farms Road, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Scott Brodie)

He writes:

“My father built his house on a wooded lot at the north end of Burr Farms Road in 1954. The lots on the southern end of the road had been a working apple orchard and were mostly cleared, but the northern end had been allowed to return to woodlands, interspersed with the remains of low stone walls.

“My parents loved the idea of living ‘in the woods,’ and cut down as few trees as possible. Many decades later, the aerial images of the site on Google Maps and Google Earth show the house and garage nearly obscured by the foliage.

“But looking up at the sky through the treetops in winter, it is striking how the trees seem to ‘respect’ each other, with their elaborate branching patterns carefully avoiding contact with each other.

“This phenomenon, known as ‘crown shyness,’ is frequently observed in hardwood forests, but is not well understood. The trees seem to skillfully avoid encroaching on their neighbors’ space, but the mechanisms which mediate this avoidance remain unclear.”


And finally … Charlie Thomas, a longtime member of the Drifters (and the Rock & Roll Hall Fame), died January 31 in Maryland. He was 85, and suffered from liver cancer.

Thomas was part of the group for over 60 years, from its hit-making time in the late 1950s to the version that toured until COVID struck.

Thomas mainly sang backup. But he took the lead on “Sweets for My Sweet” and “When My Little Girl Is Smiling.” Click here for a full obituary.

(Whatever your musical tastes, if you enjoy our daily musical offering, please click here to contribute to “06880.” Thank you!)

Roundup: Mask Mandate, Downtown Stores, Another Olympian …


Masks in schools may not be required statewide after February 28.

Governor Lamont announced yesterday recommending lifting a mandate for students and staff.

The topic has been a hot one. Last week, a group posted “Unmask Our Children” signs around town. Others countered that masks are still needed, to prevent vulnerable populations.

School mask decisions will now be made by local authorities, such as boards of education. Westport Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice — who is empowered to make the decision, based on town COVID protocols — said at last night’s Board of Ed meeting that he’ll consult with medical experts and others, before making a recommendation.

A number of parents spoke at last night’s session, urging an end to Westport’s mask mandate.

Last December, participants in Staples High School’s Candlelight Concert wore masks. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The Planning & Zoning Commission also met last night. Members adopted 2 downtown text amendments. One will eliminate a prohibition on retail operations above the first floor. The other allows will allow stores over 10,000 square feet (after applying for a special permit).

The P&Z continued to tweak zoning language for permitted uses at Baron’s South.

The Gap (left) has been grandfathered in for retail above the first floor. That will now be permitted elsewhere downtown.


A bit of personal news: To celebrate my retirement as Staples High School boys soccer coach, I’ve helped endow a fund.

The Dan Woog Staples High School/LGBTQ Fund brings together my passion for high school soccer and LGBTQ advocacy, and my work with United Soccer Coaches — the 30,000-member professional organization I’ve served since 1983.

The fund will enable high school coaches who have shown commitment to the LGBTQ sports community to attend annual conventions, for education, networking and professional growth.

As founder of United Soccer Coaches’ LGBTQ & Allies member group, I’ve worked closely with Black, Latino, Native American, AAPI, disabled and faith-based groups. I’m honored to give back to this inclusive, progressive organization, which helps grow the sport of soccer for all coaches and players.

For the full press release, click here. To contribute to the fund, click here; then click “Select for a list of funds to support,” then “Options,” then scroll (way) down. (You may have to click “View More” at the bottom of the list …)

This poster greeted visitors to last month’s annual United Soccer Coaches convention in Kansas City.


Speaking of Staples soccer : As Westporter’s celebrate the silver medal of our neighbor, Julia Marino, in slopestyle at the 2022 Olympic Games, we’ve got another nearby athlete to cheer for too.

Freestyle skier Mac Forehand grew up in Southport. His father — Ray Forehand — was on the Staples soccer team in 1976. Click here for details. Click here for a story about Ray and his wife, as they watch Mac compete half a world away.

Mac also competes in freeski slopestyle. (Hat tip: Rick Leonard)

Mac Forehand


You know Earth Animal for its steadfast commitment to dogs and other creatures.

But since 1979, the local business has cared for people too.

Last year, the Post Road East store’s Mitten Project raised $40,000. Thanks to CT Foodshare, those funds will help local residents who struggle with food insecurity.

The Mitten Project began in 2007, with Earth Animal founder Susan Goldstein. She raised $300 that year.

Now, there’s plenty of help from area businesses, neighbors, friends, proceeds from the Earth Animal store, and matching contributions from Earth Animal Ventures in Southport.

Special thanks go to J. McLaughlin, Millie Rae;s, Farmer Sal, Outdoor Design & Living, Appleberry Farm, BP Provisions, Pine Creek Deli, KL & Sam, and Westport Hardware.


Voices Café honors Black History Month with the noted duo Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway. Their signature performance — “Deeper Than The Skin” — comes to the Westport Unitarian Church’s long-running live music venue on Sunday, February 20 (7:30 p.m). It will also be livestreamed.

“Deeper Than The Skin” is a deeply personal presentation, in story and song. of race in America. Harris and Greenway face down racial injustice with creative resistance, friendship, music and joy.

Proceeds from Voices Café’s performances benefit local social justice causes. Future guests include Westporter Suzanne Sheridan (March 12) and Connecticut’s creative artists Caravan of Thieves (April 9).

Click here for more information about Voices’ spring season, and for tickets.


The Westport Library’s strong support of the arts continues. A generous grant from the Drew Friedman Community Arts Center will support upcoming exhibits.

Next up: “Stepping Out on Faith: The Art and Journey of Charles Joyner.” The event — with the world-renowned (and Staples High School graduate) artist opens with a panel discussion and reception on March 10.

This exhibit, with a corresponding podcast series and musical performance, is also supported by a grant from CT Humanities.

“Village @ Ntonso” (Charles Joyner)


Our “Westport … Naturally” feature has highlighted wild turkeys. But none have been as close-up — and wild-looking — as this shot by David Vita, from Lyons Plains Road:

(Photo/David Vita)


And finally … want a little taste of Voices Café’s Black History Month presentation of “Deeper Than the Skin” (above)? Click below: