Tag Archives: masks

Marpe: Fight COVID Fatigue!

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

As we enter a new month of restrictions and regulations designed to keep ourselves and others safe, it is understandable that some are experiencing “COVID fatigue,” and perhaps becoming too relaxed in abiding by public health requirements.

Westport needs to remain vigilant. We must all maintain social distancing, not gather in large groups, practice diligent hand washing, and continue to be responsible by wearing a face covering whenever leaving our homes. This is especially important during the summer months when we are drawn outside to exercise, shop, dine outdoors and go to the beach.

Wearing a face covering properly over both the nose and mouth protects us, and protects those we may come in contact with. To those who forget, or choose not to wear a face covering: You are placing those around you in an uncomfortable position, and may put their health at risk. Remember to bring your face covering as if it were your cell phone!

There are some who may not agree with the actions that are being taken by town health and safety official. Please: Remember that the best interests of our residents and visitors are foremost in the decision-making process. We want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy all the town’s amenities in a safe and responsible manner while respecting family, neighbors and friends. Everyone can help by wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing.

To date, we have not mandated the wearing of face coverings because my leadership team believes that residents’ personal responsibility in insuring the virus does not spread in this community has a much stronger impact than the imposition of a mandate. I am confident that residents, visitors and guests will be considerate of others. If we all wear face coverings, then we are setting a positive example to those around us. Please continue to be respectful of others, and wear face coverings properly at those times when you are required to do so.

Residents are reminded that weekend traffic and possible overcrowding at town beaches may result in early closure. In an abundance of caution and to insure public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, when a beach reaches a capacity where it is deemed impossible to maintain social distancing, it will be closed to additional beachgoers. Signage at key intersections on local roadways will inform drivers if a beach is closed, and traffic will be diverted from the area. Parking on local streets to avoid the parking lots is not allowed.

Residents who wish to spend the day at a town beach are advised to arrive before 10 a.m. If a beach closes, it may reopen mid to late afternoon, provided safer conditions relative to crowds and social distancing are observed at that time. The town will make every effort to inform residents of the current conditions throughout the day via the Town of Westport and Parks and Recreation Department website homepages, and the Town and Parks and Recreation Facebook pages.

While in the Compo Beach area, please wear a face covering when walking on the boardwalk, using the restrooms or area sidewalks, or any other time when you are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. Please have a face covering available at all times.

Online:  www.westportct.gov/COVID19

Updates:  Sign up for emergency alerts and email subscriptions

Roundup: BMS Masks; Heather Grahame Podcast; More


Everyone needs a mask — a good one. But just a few miles from here, plenty of kids can’t afford one.

In one of the most brilliant partnerships since the pandemic struck, the Bedford Middle School PTA and Westport Masks has teamed up to help the Read School in Bridgeport, which serves 800 youngsters in pre-K through 8.

The PTA is selling masks (and gaiters). For every one sold, two will be donated to Read. The program launched less than a week ago, yet enough orders have already been received to supply 250 masks to Read.

Westport Masks’ team volunteers hand-create each donation mask. The PTA sourced a 2-ply, 100% cotton style mask with a filter pocket. The design is a royal blue and white bandanna print, with 2 layers of 100% cotton and reinforced stitched nose for a comfortable fit. There are adjustable ear straps; another strap allows the mask to hang from the neck. There is no logo. Sizes are teen and adult.

As for gaiters: They are less likely than masks to be lost, can be easily pulled up and down as needed (for drinking water, eating lunch and outside during PE), and are comfortable. Designs include blue camo, blue and white shibori tie-dye, and micro-stripe/blue fade (the only one with the BMS bear logo). One size fits all.

Both styles are washable.

The cost is $20 for the gaiters (1 for your child or yourself, 2 others donated), $14 for the masks. The PTA notes that sales are not restricted to Bedford; everyone can (and should!) buy the face coverings.

To order, click here. To arrange pickup (a week before school begins) or for questions, email bms_pta@westportps.org. To help WestportMasks with sewing or fabric cutting, email westportmasks@yahoo.com.

Gaiters and masks


Heather Grahame has been an athlete all her life. In 1972 she captained Staples High School’s field hockey team. She played 2 more years at Mount Holyoke College, then transferred to Stanford University.

During college summers she leveraged her experience as a Compo Beach lifeguard to teach swimming, water safety and first aid in rural Aleut villages. The state of Alaska funded the program, to combat a high drowning rate.

After graduating from the University of Oregon law school, Grahame headed to Anchorage to practice public utility law. In 2010 she moved to Montana.

She’s on the road a lot. But she finds time to train for triathlons. Though she began when she was 56, it’s a natural for her.

In the 1980s Grahame competed in bicycle racing on the US Women’s Circuit. She placed 6th at the 1988 Olympic team time trials.

She and her family then became competitive sled dog racers. Her top international finish — 6th — came at the 2000 Women’s World Championships.

As for triathlons — well, okay. Grahame actually did a full Ironman. That’s a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

The other day, she was a guest on the Purple Patch Fitness podcast. Host Matt Dixon is a top fitness and triathlon coach. She’s lived most of her life out west, but Grahame talked quite a bit about Westport and Staples sports. Click here for a very entertaining hour.

Heather Grahame (Photo courtesy of Helena Independent Record)


And finally … tonight the Remarkable Theater screens “Elf.” It’s “Christmas in July” — and drive-in moviegoers are encouraged to dress (and decorate their cars) appropriately.

And because we need a little Christmas (right this very minute), here’s “06880”s contribution. Starring, of course, our talented and beloved former neighbor, Eartha Kitt.

 

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 19 Gallery

It’s mid-summer. But this is a great arts town. Readers of all ages keep sending work, for the Saturday morning gallery that began in early spring.

Professional, amateur, old, young — we want it all. Every medium is welcome. We especially love student art!

The only rule: Your art must be inspired by, reflective of, or otherwise related to the times we’re going through — or the times we’ve lost. Email dwoog@optonline.net.

John McKinney spotted this patriotically decorated storm drain on Fairfield Avenue, near Compo Beach.

Rebecca Ross drew this of her cousin, who works on the front lines at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

While staying home, Jana Ireijo has painted murals in her backyard. She created this, on her garage, in reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement. The charcoal (sent to her from a bushfire site in Australia) is not permanent. It will wash away in the rain.

“If Wishes Were Hugs” (Ellin Spadone)

“A Sign of the Times” (Karen Weingarten)

“Another Sargent” (Lawrence Weisman)

“Create Balance” (Amy Schneider)

COVID Roundup: No Camp Compo Or RECing Crew; Antibodies And Masks; More


One more casualty of COVID-19: Westport Parks & Recreation’s long-running, popular Camp Compo and RECing Crew programs.

Parks & Rec director Jen Fava says:

“Due to the many restrictions placed upon camps by the state, the limited number of children that could be served, limitations of our facilities, the challenge of social distancing, and the new unknowns related to Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, we are concerned about our ability to provide these programs in a safe manner. Additionally, they would not be the camp experiences that our campers and parents have come to expect.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe adds, “This was not an easy decision to make, but after consulting with staff and the Westport Weston Health District, we believe this is the right decision for our specific programs.  The health and safety of our participants and staff, and the larger community, is our foremost concern. In light of that and the uncertainties related to the Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, there was too much health risk as it pertains to these programs.”

Other Parks & Rec summer programs are being evaluated and restructured to meet requirements. Information will be provided as soon as they are finalized.


This weekend on Hillspoint Road, Peter Maloney asked a 40-something woman to please use a mask as she walked near him.

“Not a problem! I have the antibodies,” she chirped.

Of course, Peter — and most Westporters — don’t have “the antibodies.”

Earth to woman: It’s not always about you.


And finally … the holiday’s over. Back to work (from home)!

COVID-19 Roundup: Office Evolution, Finding Westport, Diapers, Masks, Loose Change And More

A year ago, Office Evolution opened across from Fire Department headquarters. It was the newest entrant into the rapidly developing market for co-working spaces.

On its first anniversary, COVID-19 hit. Suddenly, working remotely was imperative. Yet so was avoiding other people.

Because it delivers mail, and some members do “essential” work, Office Evolution is considered an essential business. Doors are locked, but members have 24/7 access via electronic fobs.

Owner Laura Kaufman knows that working from home is new for many people. So she’s looking for pictures and stories of how that’s going. Anyone posting on Facebook, Instagram, NextDoor or LinkedIn (Office Evolution Westport) will receive a $25 gift card, and a chance to win up to $1,000 more. For more information click here, email westport.ct@officeevolution.com, or call 203-635-8770.

Office Evolution


To the list of great resources for finding what’s open in Westport — restaurants, stores and more — check out FindingWestport, on Instagram and online. It includes store hours, phone numbers and hyperlinks.


Mercy Learning Center has been gratified by the response from “06880” readers to their plea for food, supplies, and funds for rent and bills for the hundreds of women they serve so well in Bridgeport.

Another overwhelming response came from Gina Oliveira Beranek. After posting a request on Facebook’s great Westport Front Porch page, she and another driver headed yesterday to MLC. Their cars were stocked with food — and over 4,800 diapers.

Way to go, Gina and all you Porchers!


As “06880” has reported, Virginia Jaffe and her Greens Farms Elementary School sewing moms are busy every day, making masks. And, Virginia reports, their efforts are paying rewards.

Yesterday they donated 90 to Homes with Hope residents. Since March 30, they’ve given away 350 masks, to bus drivers and other frontline personnel.

There are now 10 seamstresses and 6 fabric cutters, all across Westport. They need help: cutting, sewing, and donating funds to buy fabric, threads and elastic. Just email westportmasks@yahoo.com.

Every donor will get the satisfaction of helping. Plus — just as important — every donor gets a mask.

Virginia adds that the group encourages children to wear masks, by making plain white ones that can be decorated with personal designs. Here’s Jake Martin, with his special theme (and disinfectant):


Every day, Larry Weisman puts his loose change in a jar. The last time he went to the bank, there was $800. He gave it to his grandchildren.

Now — in light of the need, and with the support of his grandkids — he’s donating the money to World Central Kitchen. Jose Andreas’ extraordinary non-profit has already furnished a million meals to hospitals and those in need, while also providing much needed work for restaurants employees.

It’s a great cause. Larry urges “06880” readers to donate their spare change too.


And finally, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson and a host of other great musicians were social distancing months before it was a thing:

COVID Roundup: Fields Monitoring; Free Coding Class; Mask Making; Easter Baskets; STAR Funding; More

Beginning yesterday, town personnel are monitoring facilities closely. The goal: making sure that physical distance standards are adhered to by all.

Director Jen Fava says, “We continue to find people not only using our closed facilities, like athletic fields, courts, and other recreational areas, but also gathering in groups at these and other Parks & Rec and school facilities. In addition, there continues to be an issue with people not having dogs on leash.

“Parks and Recreation Department staff, in conjunction with school security staff and the Westport Police Department, will monitor the facilities to ensure compliance in an effort to protect the health and safety of our residents. Any non-compliance with staff will be referred to the Westport Police Department.”

Crowds have been gathering at the Staples football field, among other venues.


Looking for a new hobby, for yourself or your kids?

Learn to code — for free.

Staples High School Class of 1992 graduate Mark Lassoff has made a career offering tech ed videos online. Now he’s paying it forward.

Lassoff’s Fairfield-based Framework TV COVID-19 Code Camp teaches digital skills like coding, web development and digital design — for free. No prior experience is needed.

Video lessons and activities are offered 4 times a week. It’s interactive: Participants get to know each other, and ask questions of instructors.

For more information and registration, click here.

Mark Lassoff


For the past 2 years, Virginia Jaffe helped make costumes for the Greens Farms Elementary School play. Now she and her fellow designers are putting their creative skills to use by making masks for men and women on the front lines — in food stores, markets, hospitals, medical offices and the like.

Virginia, Jurga Subaciute, Marisa Zer and Taran Gulliksen set up production lines in their homes. They make over 100 masks a day. “We’re home schooling, house cleaning and meal making,” she says. “But we can also cut fabric and sew.”

As national and state officials urge Americans to wear masks, the need will grow.

The women need unused flat 5mm or thin rope elastic. Colors do not matter.

In addition, they’re looking for people with sewing machines who wants to help. “We’ll give you instructions and patterns for making masks,” Virginia says. “And we will coordinate where they need to be sent.”

If you can’t sew but want to get involved through a financial contribution (to purchase fabric, threads and elastic directly from a Norwalk supplier who offers heavily discounted prices), see below.

If you know of a group of local front line workers who need masks, she’d like to know too.

To donate elastic and/or funds, offer to help, or suggest recipients, email Westportmasks@yahoo.com.


With all that’s going on, add another stress: how to fill an Easter basket.

Savvy+Grace’s doors are closed. But energetic, creative owner Annette Norton offers safe (curbside pickup) for orders. And every one includes a solid chocolate bunny!

Email savvyandgracewestport@gmail.com. Include:

  • Your full name and cell phone
  • The age, name and gender of the gift recipient
  • The gift recipient’s size (top and bottom)
  • The recipient’s interests (dance, theater, type of sport, etc.)
  • Pierced ears? Likes jewelry?
  • Any other info that might be helpful.

Annette will text back with photos and prices, for your perfect basket.

Annette Norton is ready for Easter.


Laura Blair is one of STAR’s best fundraisers. This time of year, she’s usually a familiar figure outside stores and Staples sports contests, collecting pledges and donations for the annual Walk, 5K and Roll at Sherwood Island State Park.

STAR serves individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The event helps support 12 group homes and 10 apartments, assisting 110 people with independent living, plus training and job placement to nearly 250 adults.

This year, the fundraiser is online. Click here to help Laura reach her $15,000 goal.

Laura Blair is a fundraising STAR.


And finally, what better way to end the week than with the wonderful Louis Armstrong: