Tag Archives: Mancini Salon

Roundup: Dogs, Deer, Teenagers …

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Yesterday’s rally against antisemitism drew Westporters of all faiths and ages.

Bedford Middle School 8th grader was there too. He took this compelling photo, capturing some of the sentiment at the scene.

(Photo/Preston Siroka)

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Staples Tuition Grants’ annual awards ceremony is one of the high school’s premier events.

Last year’s was particularly impressive. The organization — founded in 1943, with a $100 grant from the PTA — awarded $350,000 in need-based scholarships, to 129 students. Nearly half are seniors who graduate this month; the rest are Staples grads, currently in college.

The grants — ranging from $500 to $5,000 — will help them attend a total of 77 institutions, in 24 states.

Guest speakers included longtime STG donor Dick Fincher, and past recipient/current educator, EMT and Westport Local Press publisher Jaime Bairaktaris.

But — as always — the “stars” were the students. To learn more about Staples Tuition Grants, and donate, click here.

Staples Tuition Grants honorees. (Photo/Pamela Einarsen)

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As your dog enjoys the great outdoors, remember: June is dog license renewal month.

All dogs over 6 months old must be licensed. Fees are $8 for neutered male or spayed female, $19 for others. Additional fees apply for online applications.

A $75 infraction will be issued for any non-licensed dog, and any dog not wearing a current dog tag.

Click here for everything you need to know about dog licenses.

Can I see your dog’s license?

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Kami Evans is all about connections.

Usually she connects Westport shoppers and merchants, and businesses with businesses. Now she’s working with teenagers, through a Teen Job Fair.

ConneCTalent owners Jasmine Silver and Runa Knapp will talk about interviewing and follow-up skills, and conduct mock interviews.

It’s set for June 13 (10 to 11:30 a.m., MoCA Westport, 19 Newtown Turnpike).  Click here to register. The Teacher Marketplace is sponsoring the event.

How can teenagers get jobs? The Teen Job Fair can help.

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Speaking of teenagers: Westport Farmers’ Market‘s 5th annual Young Shoots Photography Contest opens soon. And you can be even younger than 13 to enter.

There are 3 age categories: 8-10 years old, 11-14 and 15-18. Any photo taken at one of the Thursday Farmers’ Markets is eligible. Judging is by a panel of local artists, and the public.

The contest runs from a week from today (June 10) through July 18. Winners — who earn cash prizes, special swag and membership to local art organizations — will be celebrated at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, with catering by Sugar & Olives. Click here to submit photos.

“Starstem” by Calista Finkelstein placed 1st in the 2016 contest, in the 8-10 category.

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What does it mean to be Asian American? That’s the title of a conversation next Thursday (June 10, 7 p.m.) Presented by the Westport Library, TEAM Westport and AAPI Westport, there’s limited seating at the library. But everyone around the world can tune in virtually.

Professors Erika Lee and Jason Chang are the guests. The discussion will be moderated by Westporter Heather Lee. They’ll explore Asian American life through a wide historic lens, as well as the current wave of anti-Asian discrimination and physical attacks, and AAPI communities uniting with others to create an inclusive and equitable society.

To register for in-person seating at the Westport Library, click here. To register for the Zoom link, click here.

A scene from Westport’s Asian-American rally, outside the Library.

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An event last night at Mancini Salon honored owner Carla Morales. The staff surprised her with a party, thanking her for all she did to get them through the pandemic year. She kept all her employees on, under difficult circumstances — and kept them and their patrons safe. The salon reopened exactly a year ago.

Congratulations, Carla. Here’s wishing you and Mancini a great summer! (Hat tip: Patti Brill)

Cheers at Mancini Salon.

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Sustainable Westport’s Zero Food Waste Challenge matching grant has a month left to meet its $7,500 goal. The deadline is July 2.

The aim is to double our town’s food scrap recycling participation in the next 6 months. Funds raised will educate and inspire residents about the project. Click here to donate.

Food scrap recycling – it’s easy!

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Tired of bears? For today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, let’s go back to our old favorites: deer. Lauri Weiser spotted this cute one (in between nibbles) at her Lansdowne condo complex.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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Speaking of deer: At least one baby was born yesterday, at Willowbrook Cemetery. May it rest — and romp — in peace.

(Photo/Danny Amoruccio)

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Westport Country Playhouse’s popular Script in Hand play reading series continues with “The Savannah Disputation.” The comedy — filmed on the Playhouse stage — will be broadcast virtually. It premieres June 14 at 7 p.m., and streams on demand from June 15 through 20.

In “Savannah Disputation,” Mary and Margaret are feisty Catholic sisters living in Georgia, who forget about Southern hospitality when a young Pentecostal missionary knocks at their front door to shake up their beliefs. The women call in their local priest for backup, in this entertaining examination of what it means to truly believe.

Click here for tickets and more information.

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And finally … in honor of Kami Evans’ initiative to prepare teenagers for the job market:

A Salon Reopens: One Owner’s Saga

Mancini Salon reopens today. Gone are the luxurious capes, delicious coffee bar, and comfortable waiting area.

Instead, clients will have their temperature taken. They’ll be given disposable gowns. They’ll find stylists wearing full PPE.

It’s not the warm, welcoming environment owner Carla Morales has cultivated since opening in 2007. But — after nearly 3 months of locked doors and conflicting guidance — she’s thrilled to be back.

Carla Morales

In early March, Morales heard women at her popular 180 Post Road East salon talking about the coronavirus. She stockpiled wipes and hand sanitizer, posted CDC information, and asked her cleaning crew to come in every night.

Then she heard about the now-infamous party that led to a COVID outbreak in town. Within days, Governor Lamont shut all non-essential businesses.

Since then, she and her staff of 2 dozen stylists have not cut or colored one head of hair. They miss their clients — and their clients really miss them.

The shutdown was initially supposed to last 2 weeks. Then it was a month. Then until May 20.

At first Morales busied herself with improvements. She painted the walls, buffed the floors, renovated the bathroom with touch-less fixtures.

As the state slowly provided information on reopening — and, just before May 20, pushed the date back to June 1 — Morales did whatever was required.

She ordered full PPE — gloves, gowns, shoe coverings — for her entire staff, and vast amounts of the same disposable equipment for clients. She placed hand sanitizing stations at the entrance to her salon, and inside.

She removed the beverage service. She got rid of the soft, porous furniture in the reception area. She converted her cash register to credit-card only payment, and installed expensive sneeze shields.

The “new” Mancini Salon. It still looks great!

She figured out which of her 8 chairs and 24 sinks she could use. New regulations permit only 10 to 12 people allowed inside at a time.

“It looks like a different place. I hate to say it. But it looks like a hospital.”

The limit on customers means Morales has must extend her hours. They’re now 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. She and her employees will work longer, to make the same amount (or less) money.

Of course, while operating at 50% capacity, she is responsible for 100% of her rent. “He’s in the same boat,” she says.

It’s not a great picture. But Morales knows she is not alone.

“What about the salons that have only 10 chairs?” she wonders. “That’s really, really tough.”

The new interior — including the hand sanitizer at left.

Figuring out what needed to be done took a long time. And it was not easy. At first, state regulators said salons cannot offer blow drying. Then they seemed to say that was okay.

Late last week, Morales was still trying to figure out whether blow drying is allowed. “It makes women feel so good. And it’s a big money-maker,” she says. “But we would never do something that isn’t allowed.”

“I’ve crossed all the t’s, and dotted all the i’s,” Morales says. She wants to do this right. Before reopening, she brought her staff in for a run-through with the new equipment and protocols.

Her clients have waited patiently — and with longer, now naturally colored hair — for Mancini Salon to reopen. She’s booked solid for the first month.

Still, Morales admits, “It’s scary. I’m the leader. I have to make everyone who comes here — my clients and staff — comfortable.

“I’ve put my heart and soul into this place. I believe in the business. Hopefully we’ll get back to our lives, to people feeling good about themselves when they get their hair done. Hopefully people will see we’re doing everything we can to help.”

She pauses.

“Safety is the new luxury now.”

(Hat tip: Patti Brill)