Tag Archives: Mary Ann West

Great Day For A Wedding

I was at the Longshore pavilion tonight, for Mary Ann West’s low-key birthday party and book launch.

But as I wandered past the tennis courts, to take a photo of the stunning sunset, I stumbled on a wedding at the Inn.

Or, at least, the picture-taking part of it.

Longshore wedding - 2

I have no idea who the happy couple is.

But they sure started their marriage on a beautiful night.

Longshore wedding - 1

Wheels: The 2nd Round

Alert “06880” reader Alan Phillips was driving on the Post Road today. He decided to fill up at the Wheels station. That’s the station that got rapped by another reader this week, when the price on her pump did not match the amount for the gallons pumped. Alan says:

I am happy to report that my purchase calculated precisely to their posted price.

I spoke to a regional manager who was on premises. He said the discrepancy revealed in “06880” was a clerical sign-changing error for that pump, not a short-changing of a customer. The state has validated that the pump is calculating precisely.

It seems the attendant never changed the super rate on that pump at the last rate change to $2.87 9/10. The attendant had left it at $2.81 9/10.

Note that 3.743 gallons times $2.87 9/10 is $10 (actually 9.9998767, but who’s counting?).

Thanks, Alan, for the explanation. It should be noted that Mary Ann West — who reported the discrepancy — insists that she “very purposefully” hit the regular ($2.43 9/10) button, not the super one.

Mary Ann West's pump prices (top); Alan Phillips' photo today.

Mary Ann West’s pump prices (top); Alan Phillips’ photo today.

Wheels Goes Round And Round

You and I pump our gas. We pay. We may or may not take our receipt. We leave.

The photo below is as ordinary as it gets:

Wheels gas pump

But you and I are not Mary Ann West.

Look closely. On Tuesday Last Saturday she pumped 3.473 gallons of regular gas. At 2.43 9/10 a gallon, that’s $8.47.

Even if she’d bought super — which she did not — the bill would be $9.79.

Yet Wheels on the Post Road, next to Torno Hardware, charged her $10.

Mary Ann is nobody’s fool. Both the principle and the pennies meant a lot to her.

CT Department of Consumer ProtectionShe complained to the state Department of Consumer Protection. Yesterday — just 4 days later — an inspector visited the Wheels station.

He could not replicate the problem. But he ordered the manager to submit all of Saturday’s receipts. The inspector will check  each one.

Mary Ann gets a full refund.

And Wheels gets a black eye.

NOTE: Every gas pump in the state has a Department of Weights and Measure sticker, with an 800 number to call if a customer believes the pump is measuring incorrectly. Every pump must also have a sticker indicating when it was last checked for correct calibration. If you see a pump without that information: beware!

Bridgeport Fire: Many Hands Reach Out To Help

Elaine Marino has done yeowoman’s work, in the aftermath of the Bridgeport condo fire that displaced 120 residents. Here’s one more report, from late yesterday:

What a day! I was so happy that almost everything on my list was picked, and I could get to Bridgeport by 3 p.m.

On the way home, I stopped at Colony Pizza in Fairfield. As I pulled my car into the lot, a nice woman with 3 teens in her Jeep Wrangler backed right into me. My car has considerable damage to the passenger side, so the police were called.

As we waited in the parking lot, the Jeep caught on fire! Fortunately, the police arrived quickly and put the fire out immediately. The fire department came and inspected the Jeep. Luckily, no one was hurt.  What an ending to a great day!

Here is the scoop: 999 Broad Street in Bridgeport was pure chaos. Piles of items and furniture were left on the sidewalk because the municipal center was completely filled, so the police cordoned off the area.

Mary Ann West was another Westporter who helped. She photographed this scene of donations in Bridgeport...

Mary Ann West was another Westporter who helped. She photographed this scene of donations in Bridgeport…

I was directed to the new donation center at 837 Seaview Avenue, which is a huge warehouse. After donating, I asked if they wanted me to stay to help sort items, but they said no. They told me to stay tuned on Monday by checking the City of Bridgeport Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BridgeportCT.

There will be no donations accepted Sunday, while thousands of items are sorted. If someone expected to have their items picked up in Westport on Sunday, we will not be doing so.

Today (Saturday), 31 families across town that had requested pick-ups of their donations. It was impossible to do this alone. Fortunately, a team of guardian angels helped:

Rob Bolandian and daughters Grace and Hannah (Staples ’17 and ’19), plus Grover Fitch and Monika Lazaro, donated many things, picked up items all over town and made several trips to Bridgeport.

Staples alums Jack Ewert ’13 and Danny Ewert ’15 picked up sofas, tables and other heavy furniture in their truck and made several trips to Bridgeport.

Ed Gerber donated items, picked up items at neighbors’ homes and delivered them to Bridgeport.

Lynn Goldberg and Michelle Titlebaum donated items, picked up items at neighbors’ homes and brought the items to my house.

Kind fellow residents such as Lori Corenthal, Alison Schachter and Karen Sherman dropped off many items off at my house, and many other generous neighbors such as Carolyn Cohen took time to gather many new or gently used donations, which will help make the season brighter for the 54 families who fled their homes with only the clothes on their backs.

If If I missed anyone who dropped off items at my house, please excuse the oversight. It was a long day!

...and this one. (Photos/Mary Ann West)

…and this one. (Photos/Mary Ann West)

If you expected to have your items picked up today but they were not, please know that donations have been suspended until Monday at the earliest. They do not need any more clothing. The current most urgent need is for gift cards to Stop & Shop, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Once BB&B saw 4 sets of Elsa and Anna bedding with pillows, and 4 sets of Star Wars bedding with pillows in my 2 shopping carts, they asked if I was purchasing items for the families affected by the fire. They applied 20% off automatically — no coupons required. Thank you, Jamie et al at BB&B Fairfield!

From what I was told, the most efficient use of donations and volunteers’ time is to shop at these stores with a designated list of what to buy and a (donated) gift card in hand. Please check the City of Bridgeport Facebook page for the appropriate municipal office address to deliver gift cards.

I sincerely appreciate everyone’s kindness, generosity and community spirit. I am so proud of our town.

Huff Po Here

Some Westporters love the Huffington Post.  Others hate it.

Mary Ann West writes for it.

The Westport resident — who in real life is a screenwriter with her own production company — is a regular contributor to the popular news site/blog that’s popularly called “the progressive counterpart to the Drudge Report.”

It’s not, of course.  The news on HuffPo is actually true; the opinions far more intelligent, and the writing much better.

You can argue any of those points, of course, but 1 thing is certain:  Mary Ann West nails some pretty good topics.

She began her Huffington Post career during the 2008 presidential campaign, contributing pieces to the “Off the Bus” civilian journalist project.  Her big break came on August 7 of that year, when her report on TEAM Westport’s open forum — asking whether America was ready for a black president — was featured on the website’s front page.

Since then, Mary Ann has written on everything from receiving a dinner invitation from Newt Gingrich (she opted out of sending $50 and entering a lottery for the opportunity); the fallout from Chris Dodd’s decision not to run for re-election (it was heavy with wrestling references, thanks to the entry of WWE president Linda McMahon), and giving a lap dance as a Christmas present.

That latter story referenced Bedroom Matters — the Westport intimacy boutique that recently closed.  Mary Ann often includes Westport references — another one cited Homes for Hope as a great community response to homelessness — though her readers may be in Iowa, Israel or Istanbul.  Bringing global issues to the local level — and vice versa — is a key to successful blogging.

Such writing does not come easily to Mary Ann.  She is more comfortable writing long pieces.  She spends a lot of time “fixing” — editing and chopping — but the results are worth it.  Her words reach an international audience.

Still — and despite plenty of travel, like a recent North American tour in which she interviewed a cross-section of people about health care and the recession — Mary Ann remains committed to Westport.  She is a Red Cross disaster volunteer, and is very active in the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Among her church projects:  the Farmers Market, which last year donated 10,000 pounds of goods to a Bridgeport food pantry; an upcoming fundraiser for outreach efforts and women-oriented workshops; and June’s intriguing Field of Flags (details coming soon).

Mary Ann was co-chair of Westport’s Community Gardens, back in the “raw dirt” days.

“Westport is a really good community,” she says.  “It allows us all to be as creative and active as we want to be.”

Sounds like just another of Mary Ann West’s crazy progressive notions.