Tag Archives: Maritime Rowing Club

Roundup: Traffic Survey, Fiery Crash, Real Estate University …

It appears another traffic survey is underway.

Devices have been placed at various points downtown.

Results will be posted, when available.

Meanwhile, here’s an early finding: There’s a lot of traffic these days.

Traffic survey device at Post Road East and Myrtle Avenue. (Photo/Sal Liccione)


Tragedy was averted at 8:30 p.m. Friday night. A northbound SUV driver on Newtown Turnpike went into the woods. The vehicle caught fire, but he was pulled out by a neighbor.

A nearby resident notes that young children live in the area. “The road is very dangerous, because drivers who use it as a cut-through speed by.”

The Fire and Police Departments, and EMTs, were on the scene. Eversource responded quickly, and replaced the downed power line.

Newtown Avenue car fire.


LymanAID — the huge party thanking Westporters for their support of our sister city in Ukraine — has a booth at the Yankee Doodle Fair.

Stop by today and tomorrow to learn about the big event. It’s Sunday, July 9, 1 p.m. until dusk, at the Ukrainian-American Club, Post Road in Southport next to northbound I-95 Exit 19 entrance ramp.

There’s music, food, drinks, and much more. And it’s free — though there will be opportunities to help support Lyman through  raffles, a treasure sale, Yankee auction, coffee table book pull, plant sale, “LymanADE” stand and more.

VIP tickets are available too. Click here to register, and for more details.

Katya Wauchope, at the LymanAID booth at the Yankee Doodle Fair.


Davide — the new Church Lane pop-up — is a year-old brand. Its first retail outlet features its second collection ever.

Davide (pronounced dah-vee-day) is the brainchild of Joseph Davide Tacopina. A Westport native (and son of one of President Trump’s attorneys), he attended Cheshire Academy and met students from around the world.

Inspired by his father’s ownership of several Italian soccer clubs, Tacopina’s collection blends “athletic culture” with pieces inspired by Marlon Brando and Lake Como. There is plenty of loose-flowing linen and silk.

The 24-year-old designer is self-taught. He chose Westport as the site of his first pop-up because it’s his home. He hopes to take it global.

Click here for more information; click here for the Instagram.

Joe Tacopina, with one of his designs.


Wakeman Town Farm’s annual Family Fun Day is set for Saturday, July 8 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

The event includes ice cream, pizza, burgers and dogs for purchase, plus cocktails for adults, cold lemonade and iced coffee. 

There’s a scavenger hit, bubble show, School of Rock music, and visits to the animals. 

Click here for tickets, and more information.

This guy is ready for Wakeman Town Farm’s Family Fun Day.


There’s a new school in town.

Real Estate University — the school for aspiring (and current) real estate professionals, founded in 2005 by Karena Piedmont — has moved from Norwalk to Saugatuck.

The move felt right. She’s already trained scores of Westport realtors over the years. Classes are both in-person and via Zoom.

The address is “Saugatuck Lofts, 101 Franklin Street” — the exposed brick, co-working space in a former grain facility at the Westport Metro-North station, as you take a right at the end of Railroad Place. It’s literally “steps from the train,” for students who travel that way.

“There’s so much synergy here,” Piedmont says. “I share space with real estate attorneys and other professionals. I love being part of a community of like-minded, hard-working small business owners. I wish I moved here years ago.”

“And I love hearing and seeing the trains pass.”

There’s one more bonus: She’s also just a few steps away from “The Benjamin“: the Airbnb she owns at 35 Franklin Avenue.

Saugatuck Lofts


Also new: the Westport Weston Family YMCA’s director of gymnastics.

Former USA national team gymnast Bryon Knox brings over 40 years of competition. coaching and program development to his new role.

Most recently, he was head gymnastics coach at Southern Connecticut State University. Before that, he led the University of Bridgeport to 6 straight NCAA Division II national championships.

Byron coached 70 USA Gymnastics/All-Americans, and 150 scholar-athletes. He is a former USA women’s national team coach.

He has been with the Y part-time since October, coaching the competitive girls team and instructing coaches. Click here for more information on the Y’s gymnastics program.

Byron Knox


Rob Docters’ new book — “Ethics and Hidden Greed: Your Defense Against Unethical Strategies and Violations of Trust” — answers questions like, “How do we protect ourselves and our business interests from the unethical behaviors of others? Why doesn’t intuition serve as the best guide for detecting unethical strategies?”

The 1975 Staples High School graduate hopes to make people more aware of (and armed against) scams, as well as choosing more ethical choices themselves. (A strong animal rights activist, he covers the brutality of boiling lobsters alive).

Click here for details.


Charles McGillion-Moore of Westport helped Norwalk’s Maritime Rowing Club to a national championship in the Men’s Under-15 Coxed Quad, at least weekend’s 28th USRowing Youth National Championship in Sarasota, Florida.

Other top finishes by  Westport and Weston rowers include Men’s Youth U-16 Coxed Quad, 4th place (Adam Turner and Matthew Lupinacci); Women’s Youth U-17 Quad, 6th place (Mina Leon); Men’s Youth U-17 Quad, 7th place (Jack Cushman); Women’s Youth U-15 Coxed Quad, 8th place (Syke Coats); Men’s Youth U-16 Coxed Quad, 12th place (Fox Parker), and Men’s Youth U-16 Eight, 18th place (Simon Meyers).

The regatta marked the final high school event for Maritime’s seniors, including Dan Kleeger and Lilly Murphy of Westport, and Justin Sun of Weston.


Two years after taking over Rosebud Slumber Parties, Helen Martin-Elmer is expanding.

Rosebud has helped nearly 2,000 area children celebrate birthdays and special occasions with themed slumber, outdoor teepee and picnic parties.

This summer, they’re expanding to Westchester County. Click here for details.

A unicorn-themed party from Rosebud.


It’s a dog-eat-dog world.

Or, at any rate, a Sherwood Mill Pond “Westport … Naturally” scene yesterday, where cormorants chased breakfast, and egrets grabbed whatever was left.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


And finally … on this day in 1994, Los Angeles police chased OJ Simpson’s Ford Bronco for an hour and half. He finally gave up, and was arrested for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog — and a non-profit. Please click here to make a tax-deductible contribution. Thank you!)

Roundup: Post Road, Playhouse Jazz, Miggs’ Art …

The first casualty of the Post Road East construction project was a dozen or so trees at Linxweiler House, between McDonald’s and Fresh Market.

The second casualty is a dozen or so businesses on the other side of the street.

Crews have completely blocked the median’s left-hand cut-through, just before the Roseville Road light. There is also no left-hand turn onto Hillspoint Road.

Work is shut down for Easter weekend. So customers headed west who want to patronize Calise’s Market, International Wines, the Double L Farm Stand or other stores have to head to Mitchells or beyond, to turn around.

A plumbing business there missed a delivery yesterday. The driver refused to turn around, forcing the owner to travel to Bridgeport to pick it up.

There is no word on how long the closures will last.

Yellow construction truck blocks the Post Road East cut-through. (Photo/Michael Calise)


The Westport Museum for History & Culture and Westport Country Playhouse are collaborating on a new micro-exhibit.

“Music of the American Experience: Black Excellence and the Sounds of the Jazz Age” is on view in the Playhouse lobby, from April 11th to 29th.

Tying in with the Playhouse’s current production, “Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical,” the exhibit explores music featured in the show, and the historical events that led to the Harlem Renaissance.

It’s free, and open 2 hours before show time.

Last fall, the Museum’s exhibit “Departures/Arrivals” accompanied the WCP production “From the Mississippi Delta,” about the Great Migration.

“Ain’t Misbehavin’”’s score of jazz, blues and swing music of the 1920s and ’30s provides insight into a vibrant time in American history and music.

For more information on the show, including tickets, click here.

The cast of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (from left): Judith Franklin, Will Stone, Miya Bass, Jay Copeland, Paris Bennett. (Photo/Ron Heerkens Jr.)


It’s about time.

Miggs Burroughs is the Westport Book Shop’s guest exhibitor of the month.

The Staples High School graduate has designed hundreds of logos, ads, brochures and websites for commercial and non-profit clients throughout Fairfield County — often pro bono.

He created Westport’s town flag, a US postage stamp, an Easter egg for the Reagan White House, and 4 Time magazine covers. He’s also a co-founder of the Artists Collective of Westport. His honors and awards are too many to list here (so click here to see).

Westport Book Shop will exhibit Miggs’ “Signs of Compassion.” The work is a composite of 30 individual lenticular images, each showing a member of the Westport community using American Sign Language to sign a word or phrase from an Emily Dickinson poem about compassion. It can be seen during business hours (Sundays and Mondays, noon to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

A larger version will be exhibited in the lobby of the United Nations building soon.

Miggs Burroughs with “Signs of Compassion,” at the Westport Book Shop.


From time to time, we see a variety of markings on local roads.

These days, the Evergreen Parkway/Tamarac Road intersection is particularly colorful.

It’s part of the sewer project in the area. And every color means something different.

Alert — and engineer-minded — “06880” reader Mark Mathias notes: “Blue is for water lines. Yellow is for gas lines. Pink is a survey marker. White is the proposed dig area.”

At this spot, all of that will happen soon.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)


Speaking of local roads …

Bill Dedman offers a warning for “good Samaritans who clean up the advertising signs spamming the town streets and state highways.

“At least one repeat offender has started coating the backs of illegal signs in a noxious sticky gray non-drying paint, to try to deter removal.”

This sign was nailed to a utility pole on Main Street — a state highway (Routes 57 and 136) at Compo Rd North and Clinton Ave.

(Photo/Bill Dedman)

Bill adds tersely: “Didn’t work.”


Speaking of Staples High School’s biggest sports super-fans.

She’s also one of STAR Lighting the Way‘s biggest boosters.

On Sunday, May 7 — as she’s done since it began — Laura will be part of the 18th annual STAR Walk at Sherwood Island State Park.

It’s a fundraiser for the non-profit, which serves more than 700 area families. They support 11 group homes and 16 apartments so that people with intellectual and developmental differences can live independently. They provide training and job placement for 236 adults, plus intervention services for infants and children.

Last year, Laura raised over $16,000. “Team Laura” was second, out of 30 teams.

You can purchase “stars” ($1 minimum each). Click here, or send a check made out to STAR Inc. to Laura Blair, 58 Woodside Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

Laura Blair (right).


Here’s another important walk:

Ray Flanigan was a soccer star at Staples High School. After graduating in 1969, and then from Hartwick College, he coached and played on Westport teams. He moved to Bethel, and many Westporters made the trip to the photo shop he owned for decades.

His wife Juleen was a special education teacher, revered throughout the state. A severe concussion, suffered when a large truck smashed into her in 2014, resulted in permanent impairment.

In 2018 she was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s. Through fitness, nutrition, proper sleep, music, her faith and assistance from her family and friends, she delayed the disease’s progress.

In November — having difficulty recognizing family members, and needing full time care — she moved into a facility. The cost is $8,200 a month.

A walk on May 13 (11 a.m., Bethel High School track) will raise needed funds. But anyone, anywhere can donate to Juleen’s care. Click here for details.

Ray and Juleen Flanigan


Yesterday, “06880” profiled architect and solar energy advocate John Rountree.

Next Thursday (April 13, 5 p.m.., Zoom), he’ll present his insights on the benefits of solar energy in public buildings, to the Public Site & Building Commission.

Rountree is no stranger to the subject. He has already designed the solar panels for Westport’s fire headquarters and train station.

Click here for the meeting link.

This is a rendering John Roundtree made for Westport fire headquarters. The actual view today looks very similar.


Westport’s sister city of Lyman, Ukraine continues to need our aid.

And Westporters of all ages  help.

Yesterday, Staples High School sophomores Sam Rossoni and Alex Kuster spent several hours sorting through and documenting supplies, donated by the town for police organizations in the embattled city.

It takes a village — and ours stands ready to help.

Alex Kuster and Sam Rossoni flank Ukraine Aid International’s Katya Wauchope, at the police station garage where goods for Lyman are stored before shipment.


On Tuesday, Staples High School’s Club Green formally thanked Westport’s Representative Town Meeting for passing an ordinance limiting the use of leaf blowers.

But, senior Tanvi Gorre says, “the RTM set more than a green standard throughout this process. As a student involved in the process, the RTM gave me the liberty to share my voice and aid change in our town.

“Although our young voices are still deemed null in a sea of experience, I never experienced this feeling with the RTM. They were willing to see the power in someone who hasn’t seen the world for what it is, but instead for what it can be.

“They were willing to respect me enough to challenge me. For that, I am truly grateful.”

Tanvi Gorre thanks the Westport RTM, on behalf of Club Green and herself.


Staples freshmen Adam Turner and Matthew Lupinacci helped lead Maritime Rowing Club’s Under-16 coxed quad to victory at the San Diego Crew Classic last weekend.

The premier regatta includes over 100 races, and draws more than 4,000 athletes. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Crew Classic, but only the 4th year that youth sculling events were included.

Other Maritime rowers from Westport included Mina Leon (part of the 4th place women’s under 17 4x), and Daniel Kleeger (part of the 6th place men’s youth B 4x B).

Boys Under 16 picture: L-R: William Whitman, Henry Brauweiler, Asher Daniel, Matthew Lupinacci, Adam Turner


Caron Keenan — former chair of Staples’ foreign language department — died peacefully on Wednesday. He was 84, and lived in Fairfield.

The Norwalk native originally intended to enter the priesthood. After graduating magna cum laude from Fairfield University and earning an M.A. in French at Assumption College, he taught middle school in Stamford before joining Staples as a French and Latin teacher in 1967.

He was also an assistant headmaster for library and media, before retiring in 1995.

Caron — a passionate ham radio operator (WA1OMJ) — helped run Staples’ radio station WWPT. He was an early adopter of Apple computers, promoting computer labs in Westport schools and repairing Apple II(e)s and the first Macintoshes.

He had a lifelong relationship with France. On a sabbatical, he lived in Rennes with his young family. He organized school exchanges, there and made many close friends.

He wrote a book about American high schools for French audiences, “Life in a High School.”

In retirement he enjoyed researching his ancestors in the US, Quebec and Ireland.

Caron is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lynn; children Christine Fodor (Gabor) of Fairfield, Keenan (Ashlee) of St. Augustine, Florida and Kevin (Sarah Azaransky) of New York City, and grandchildren Calli, Michael and Daniel Fodor, Ryan Keenan, and Finn Keenan and Anna Lucy Azaransky. Other family includes the Sjodins, Kanes, Caskins and Eckloffs.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, April 12 (10:30 a.m., The Chapel at St. Pius X, 834 Brookside Drive, Fairfield. Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery, Norwalk.

Caron Keenan


Staples High School Class of 2002 Jared Frank visited his hometown recently. In the heart of downtown, near Gorham Island, he spotted this sleeping swan.

It’s today’s “Westport … Naturally” image, and a peaceful way to begin the Easter (egg) weekend.

(Photo/Jared Frank)


And finally … speaking of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (story above): Here’s Fats Waller’s original stride piano performance of the song. He co-wrote it for the musical “Connie’s Hot Chocolates” (called “Hot Chocolates” when it moved from Connie’s Inn in Harlem to the Hudson Theater on Broadway).

He re-recorded “Ain’t Misbehavin’” as a vocal in 1943.

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. We’re a non-profit, and we rely entirely on reader support. Please click here to contribute. Thank you!)

Anne Faber Rows For Her Life

In 1996 — on her son’s 13th birthday — Anne Faber’s husband was killed by a drunk driver.

In one moment, her life changed forever.

She left her job as a Wall Street analyst. She moved to Westport, for its strong school system.

Yet not until Ginger Katz — a fellow member of her Norwalk Hospital bereavement support group — mentioned rowing did Anne find a reason to get up in the morning, and really do something.

Anne knew nothing about the sport. But Ginger took her to the old Saugatuck club. The very first time Anne picked up an oar was in a race.

She was hooked.

“I’d been a dancer,” Anne — now 70 years old — recalls. “Rowing seemed very rhythmic.” She discovered a talent for tempo. Today, she says proudly, “I’m known as the metronome.”

Ginger Katz (front) and Anne Faber, years ago on the Schuylkill River.

Ginger Katz (front) and Anne Faber, years ago on the Schuylkill River.

She joined Norwalk’s Maritime Rowing Club. She became certified as a coach. A trustee of the Berkshire Rowing and Sculling Society, she heads up to Pittsfield every Monday, coaching adults and giving back to her sport.

Anne is much more than a rower, of course — a committed knitter, she makes healing shawls for chemo patients through the Westport Senior Center’s Knit One, Nibble One program, and she has trained to be a pharmacy technician, learned to be a baker and chef, and earned certification as a paralegal — but it is on the water that she feels most fulfilled.

Last month, at the USRowing Masters National Championships in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Anne won 5 medals. There were over 2,000 entries from 143 clubs, and no one is believed to have earned more.

The races were 1000-meter sprints. Anne’s stash includes golds in lightweight singles and (with fellow Westporter, 72-year-old Peggy Bliss) lightweight doubles, plus a pair of silvers and a bronze. Some of those medals came rowing with 50-something women.

Anne Faber with her medals.

Anne Faber with her medals.

Her victories mean “I’ve arrived at a level of competency that makes my boat move,” Anne says. “I train all year long, so there’s some self-satisfaction too.”

But rowing has given her more than medals.

“It’s allowed me to find myself again,” Anne explains. “It’s made me someone else. I’ve seen a different part of life. I regained my feeling of rhythm and motion.”

She loves being on the river, with fish and birds. Rowing — as difficult as it is — is quiet and peaceful.

And, Anne notes, “when the boat moves quickly and efficiently, just skimming the waterline, it’s an incredible, exhilarating feeling. It’s like a Zen period in time.”

Last fall, Anne won an Over-70 race at the prestigious Head of the Charles. She hopes to return this year.

Beyond that?

“I’m still trying to figure out what to do in the next stage of my life,” Anne says. “Whatever it is, I like exploring new things and meeting new people.”

Who knows? That may lead to more self-discovery, as wonderful as the day nearly 20 years ago when Anne Faber first dipped her toes in the rowing water.

(Hat tip: Diane Lowman)