Tag Archives: MaryGrace Gudis

Roundup: Leaf Blowers, Paper Source, Cable Monopoly …

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Leaf blowers — those must-have yet most-hated suburban scourges — are the subject of a proposed Representative Town Meeting regulation.

The RTM Ordinance Committee meets March 25 (7:30 p.m., conference call). They’ll discuss these rules:

  • Summer (May 16-October 14): Gas-powered leaf blowers not permitted; electric/battery-powered leaf blowers allowed.
  • Fall cleanups (October 15-November 30): Gas- and electric/battery-powered blowers allowed.
  • Winter (December 1-March 31): Gas-powered blowers not permitted; electric/battery-powered blowers allowed.
  • Spring cleanups (April 1-May 15): Gas- and electric/battery-powered blowers allowed.

In addition:

  • No leaf blower of any kind may be used before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
  • No more than 1 leaf blower (regardless of power source) may be used simultaneously on any site less than 2 acres in size.
  • No gas-powered leaf blower may be used on any state or federal holiday.
  • Exceptions: If the 1st Selectman declares an emergency, then gas-powered leaf blowers and/or electric/battery-powered leaf blowers may be used as necessary.

Fines (property owner is responsible):

  • $100 for 1st offense (after a warning)
  • $200 for 2nd offense
  • $500 250 for third or subsequent offense.

The public can call in to the meeting: 646-876 9923. The meeting ID is 850 4769 6393. The passcode is 788806.

 

 

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Paper Source — the Chicago-based stationery store chain — closed 11 stores in the past year.

The downtown Westport shop — between Bank of America and Barnes & Noble — remains open.

It is corporate owned. A recent story on the Well-Appointed Desk blog notes that headquarters “bought a bunch of product from small makers, declared bankruptcy so they would not have to pay the bills, then sell it in the stores for 100% profit.”

It’s great to shop local. But caveat emptor: Supporting this Westport business may mean complicating situations with its corporate owner. (Click here for the full story.)

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The weather’s nice. Time to get the kids moving!

The Joggers Club has opened a group for youngsters. Led by experienced runners, the focus is on form, endurance and fun.

It “runs” Sundays, 2 to 3:15 p.m., April 4 to May 2 at the Staples High School track.

Space is limited to 20 children, grades 3 to 8. The cost is $50 per child.

The Venmo account is “TheJoggersClub-Westport.” Questions? Email thejoggersclub@gmail.com.

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This evening Wednesday, March 10, 6:45 p.m.), Congressman Jim Himes hosts a “telephone town hall.” He’ll discuss the American Rescue Plan. Audience members can ask questions during the call. Click here for the link.

Congressman Jim Himes, at Bedford Middle School.

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Looking for another COVID test center?

There’s an under-the-radar spot right under our noses. Yale New Haven Health operates a drive-through operation at 140 Mill Plain Road in Fairfield, just off I-95 Exit 21.

Hours are by appointment only. Click here for more information, or call 833-275-9644. (Hat tip: Carol Waxman)

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Westport’s MaryGrace Gudis is one of 4 new members of Norwalk Hospital’s board of directors.

Director of the Norwalk Hospital Foundation Board since 2011, she has spent more than 1,000 hours researching and compiling the hospital’s history.

Active at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, MaryGrace is also involved in initiatives providing college educational assistance to disadvantaged students.

The Southern Methodist University graduate has held senior communications positions in the financial industry, including director of public information and senior liaison to the board of directors at the Federal Reserve Bank. Her husband Mark is on the board of directors for Nuvance Health, Norwalk Hospital’s parent company.

MaryGrace Gudis

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Last month, “06880” reported that the Tristate Coalition for Fair Internet Service is working on legal challenges to Optimum/Altice through the New York State Attorney General’s office, and promoting alternate providers. They’re also collecting data on customer experiences with the longtime cable service.

That survey data was lost when Google disabled the account without the group’s knowledge. They’re appealing. Meanwhile, they created a new survey.

They ask people to complete the Optimum/Altice survey, even if it was already done before. Click here for the link.

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The Webb Road goose is ready for every holiday. Next up: St. Patrick’s Day!

(Photo/MaryLou Roels)

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And finally … exactly one year ago today, COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

You know: WHO.

Westporters Lead Norwalk Hospital Board

When Amy Schafrann recruited Mark Gudis for the Norwalk Hospital board of directors, it seemed like a good fit.

The senior investment professional had spent much of his career examining healthcare companies. His wife MaryGrace was already on the hospital’s foundation board.

He found the work fascinating. “The landscape is changing so rapidly,” he says. “But people will always get sick. Working on the board is all about seeing what we can do to make things better for everyone.”

Then Gudis himself got sick.

A health scare in early 2013 caused him to reflect on what was most important in his life.

Mark Gudis

“It was humbling and scary,” he says. “But it made me a better person. I’m more focused now on doing things that benefit others.”

Which is why Gudis has just been named chairman of the Norwalk Hospital Association board of directors. And Schafrann — who recruited him years ago — is the new vice chair. Both are longtime Westporters.

Gudis has 4 goals for the hospital. He wants to engage all 1,400 employees, making sure they’re growing in their jobs and satisfied with their work; ensure that the hospital’s 425 physicians get whatever they need to serve patients; continue to enhance and innovate the hospital’s work in the community, and make continuous improvement in safety and security.

For 125 years, Norwalk Hospital has been a part of the local community. But it’s also moved forward, extending its reach and resources.

In October, the hospital partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. That means accelerated access to the latest treatments — and Sloan Kettering’s renowned physicians — right here at home.

The hospital is also allied with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center — which means improved inpatient medical care for kids.

And Norwalk Hospital is collaborating with Northwell Health, the large New York provider, to share best practices and provide better buying power.

“So a community hospital can have all the resources of a large metropolitan hospital,” Gudis explains.

Last year, Norwalk Hospital did 10,000 surgeries, and treated 50,000 emergency room patients.

“We’ve done a good job,” Gudis notes. “The Norwalk Hospital of 10 years ago is not the Norwalk Hospital of today — or tomorrow. It’s very exciting.”

He looks forward to working with Schafrann. The 1972 graduate of Staples High School — who spent 20 years as a Yankelovich managing partner, and now runs a college consulting firm — says that for many years she took the hospital for granted.

Twenty-eight years ago, she went into labor at 26 weeks. Her daughter Sara was born — weighing just 1.5 pounds.

“It was a very scary time,” Schafrann says. She and her husband Richard grew to appreciate the neonatal intensive care unit.

After 3 months of “incredible care,” Sara went home. She weighed 5 pounds.

Her story ends happily. A few months ago, several doctors and nurses attended Sara’s wedding. She earns her doctorate in clinical and social psychology this May, and will work with children with learning disabilities and special needs.

Amy Schafrann

“We wanted to give back to the hospital that gave us our wonderful daughter,” Schafrann says. At first, she and her husband made financial donations to the unit.

Several years ago, she was asked to join the Foundation board. Now she’s vice chair of the full board.

Schafrann is proud of the Circle of Caring/Grateful Patients program she founded. It encourages notes of appreciation to doctors, nurses, aides, meal deliverers, technicians — anyone who made a paitent’s stay easier or better.

While co-chair of the Whittingham Cancer Center Walk/Run — with fellow Westporter Tammy Zelkowitz — Schafrann recruited local students to form teams. She’ll continue to search for ways to keep teenagers involved in the hospital.

Her goal on the board is “to help deliver high-quality care. With all the financial pressures, many local hospitals have disappeared. Through our network, with economies of scale and thanks to our donors, we’ll continue to provide advanced emergency care, state-of-the-art cancer treatment, and community health and wellness.”