Tag Archives: Melissa Newman

Roundup: Cottage Cluster Housing, RTM Rules, Bill Mitchell …

On Monday (7 p.m., Zoom), the Planning & Zoning Commission will review text amendment application #835, for Cottage Cluster Developments. The amendment would create an opportunity for 100% affordable cottage cluster housing on town-owned land.

The targeted beneficiary of this text amendment is 655 Post Road East — Linxweiler House, across Crescent Road from McDonald’s.

The amendment would “promote sustainable development practices through smaller, more efficient housing and effective use of residential land, increase the diversity of housing choices by allowing for a grouping of smaller, single-family dwellings on one lot, and provide additional below market rate housing within Westport, located on lots owned by the Town of Westport.”

The proposed regulations would apply to 63 town-owned properties. However, regulations limits the number of developments in town to 5.

Deputy P&Z director Michelle Perillie says her department “is working to implement the goals of the Town of Westport Affordable Housing Plan, which recommends encouraging sustainably developed modular construction kits and prefabricated cottages to build multifamily and small houses quickly and efficient.”

All application materials may be viewed on the Town’s website. Click here to see all application materials. To see all eligible properties, scroll down to Text Amendment #835: “Cottage Cluster Developments.”

The meeting will be livestreamed on the town website, and aired on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020. Comments can be sent prior to the meeting: PandZ@westportct.gov or offered during the meeting. Click here for the Zoom link.

If passed, a text amendment would allow cluster cottage housing at Linxweiler House on the Post Road.


The Representative Town Meeting meets on Tuesday.

The night before (Monday, October 2, 7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium), the RTM Rules Committee meets.

They’ll address a petition, submitted by 38 electors. It says:

RESOLVED, that the full Westport RTM at its October 3, 2023 meeting affirms that the meaning of the term “Shall” in “Sec. A 162-6. – Agenda” of the “Representative Town Meeting Rules of Procedures” as found in Exhibit A of the “Code of Ordinances of Westport Connecticut” is to be “construed as being mandatory”, per the definition of the word “Shall” in “Sec. 1-2. – Definitions and rules of construction” and that “Sec. A 162-6. -Agenda” compels and requires the Moderator, or in the event of the Moderator’s inability to act, the Deputy Moderator or, in the event of the inability of both, the Town Clerk to place on the RTM meeting agenda such matters as petitioned by at least 20 Westport Electors not less than 14 days prior to a Representative Town Meeting.

The agenda item was submitted by Jeff Wieser. He’s the RTM moderator, and also chair of its Rules Committee.


Bill Mitchell — self-styled “socks salesman” and “doorman,” but actually one of Westport’s most beloved figures, thanks to his generosity, grace, spirit, and senses of humor and fun — will sell his last pair of socks, and open his last door, at Mitchells this Saturday.

He’s been his parents’ employee, then co-owner, and always the public face of the high-end, customer-centered clothing and jewelry store.

He’s retiring now, after 58 years with the family business. His squintillion friends are invited to say thanks and goodbye — or, more realistically, to share stories and laughs — this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The coffee pot (well, its 2023 equivalent) will be on. There will be plenty to eat (as always).

It’s just another Saturday at Mitchells. But also one for the ages.

Bill Mitchell says goodbye.


Longtime Westporter Stacie Curran is proud of her town.

So she was very distressed to learn that “the hard-working, super-kind, smart, approachable construction crew” on the Post Road renovation project at Roseville/Hillspoint Roads and Bulkley Avenue “believe we are the most arrogant, horrid town of drivers they have ever worked among — well worse than Greenwich, Darien, Ridgefield (they named a few).”

They cited frequent behaviors: “cursing, speeding, flipping them off, not caring about safety…”

So Stacie did what Stacie does: She brought them homemade chocolate chip cookies, and pounds of donated coffee cake from The Porch at Christie’s and their Sweet P Bakery.

It helped.

Marlin (on the far right in the photo below, holding a tray of cookies and box of coffee crumb cakes) of Guerrera Construction Company said, “Westport, you’re not all that bad.”

But some of us are.

These guys are just doing their job. And their job is to make the Post Road safer, in the long run.

So don’t cruse, speed or flip them off.

Be kind. Smile. Wave.

And if you really care: Be like Stacie. Give them cookies and cakes, not the bird.

Smiles from the Post Road crew. (Photo/Stacie Curran)


Paul Newman died 15 years ago this week.

But his memory lives on. It’s particularly strong here in Westport, the town he lived in for 50 years, loved — and where he and his wife Joanne Woodward raised their family.

On October 10 (7 p.m., Westport Library), their daughter Melissa will launch her new book: “Head Over Heels: Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman, A Love Affair in Words and Pictures.”

She and her longtime friend — filmmaker/Remarkable Theater co-founder Doug Tirola — will chat, in the Trefz Forum. Melissa will share insights into her affectionately curated and lushly illustrated book, which offers a fresh perspective on her parents.

Newman will sign copies of the book too, which will be available for purchase there.


Staples Players staged 2 memorable productions of “The Laramie Project” (and one of “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later”).

Now there’s another Players connection with the ground-breaking play about a town’s reaction to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.

Staples Class of 2011 grad Matt Greenberg is producing a staged reading of “The Laramie Project” — with its originators, the Tectonic Theater Project.

And it will take place at the University of Wyoming, in Laramie.

The event is October 11 — the day before the 25th anniversary of the 21-year-old’s death.

Greenberg — who starred in Players’ “Curtains,” among other shows — is now assistant professor of acting and musical theater at Wyoming.

Click here for more details on the show.

Matthew Greenberg


Westport Police made 2 custodial arrests between September 20 and 27.

A woman was arrested for driving under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane, following a 1-car accident at 11:30 p.m. on Cross Highway.

A man was arrested on 4 counts of failure to appear.

Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 4 citations
  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 1
  • Failure to grant right of way: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 1.

Don’t drink and drive!


For 24 years, the non-profit Westport-based Oyebog Tennis Academy has supported underserved children in Cameroon, More than 20,000 children have participated in tennis programs starting at age 3.  Two OTA students earned full scholarships, and are competing on NCAA Division I college teams. 

This year the Staples girls tennis team raised thousands of dollars for OTA. But the need is great, as demand keeps growing.

Gently-used items — racquets, gear, shoes, even household items — will be shipped soon. Donations can be dropped off today through Saturday, September 30 at 104 Long Lots Lane.  

OTA will also sponsor a pro-am tennis event at the Country Club of New Canaan on September 30. The Bryan Brothers will compete against local players, and some of the best young players from Cameroon. Click here for tickets, and more information.


First, Make-a-Wish Connecticut announced the stars of their October 3 (6 p.m., Aitoro Appliance, Norwalk) “Taste of Wishes” event. Six boys and girls will have their wishes come true: They’ll cook with the area’s top chefs.

Now Make-a-Wish has announced the menus.

  • Jes Bengston: Swedish meatballs, pomme puree, apple and kohlrabi relish.
  • Matt Storch: Ricotta gnocchi “Rolled Live,” tossed with vodka sauce and garlic bread,
  • Robin Selden: Braised short ribs with shiitake beurre blanc and butternut squash puree, and salted dark chocolate Bridgewater chocolate chip cookies baked to order.
  • Dan Kardos: coconut mussels with basil and curry butter.
  • Anthony Kostelis: Tomato risotto with sundried peppers and taleggio.
  • Christian Petroni: Surprise dish.

Additional food vendors include Sweet Brioche Artisan Pastries, Forever Sweet, Copps Island Oysters, Crust Issues, Amit, Dave & Charlie’s Hometown Deli, Blind Rhino, Bartaco and Candy Connections.

A VIP ticket includes early entrance and a sneak peek, Prosecco, and great swag. Click here for VIP and general admission tickets, and more information.


Today’s wonderful “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from the wide-ranging and talented Johanna Keyser Rossi:

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … Terry Kirkman, who sang, played 2 dozen instruments, wrote music and formed the group the Association, died last weekend in California. He was 83, and suffered from congestive heart failure. Click here for a full obituary.

If you don’t remember their name, you know at least some of their songs:

(Every day, we “round up” the most important Westport news. If you appreciate our local journalism, please consider a tax-deductible contribution. Click here — and thank you!)

Roundup: Yankee Doodle Fair, Wakeman Farm Stand, Emmy Squared …

Okay, now we know summer is just around the corner.

The Westport Woman’s Club has announced the dates for the Yankee Doodle Fair.

The decades-in-fact-almost-a-century-old tradition returns Fathers Day weekend. From Thursday, June 15 through Sunday, June 18, the grounds and parking lot on Imperial Avenue will transform from a staid club into a carnival, for “kids” of all ages.

Profits support charities throughout Fairfield County, need-based scholarships to Staples High School students, and the Woman’s Club food closet.

Among the rides: a carousel, Flying Dumbo, Dizzy Dragon, Frog Hopper, Scrambler, Cliff Hanger, Zero Gravity and Expo Wheel. Unlimited ride wristbands make things easy (and inexpensive). 

Entertainment includes rock and country/bluegrass bands. There are raffle prizes and a “take a chance” tent. 

Plus of course a food court with hamburgers, hot dogs, Greek food, Good Humor ice cream, baked goods — and beer and wine.

Last year, proceeds helped the WWC fund $300,000 for a new Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services ambulance.

The greatest show on earth (or at least, in Westport). (Photo/Lee Scharfstein)


Another sign of summer: The Wakeman Town Farm farm stand opens June 10.

Running every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 28, the stand features fresh organic produce and flower bouquets from the Farm, WTF honey and logo wear, plus local artisanal products like organic coffee, bread, pastries, extra virgin olive oils, gourmet balsamic vinegars and salsas.

BMW of Darien  is the summer and fall sponsor of the Wakeman Town Farm farm stand. The dealership will also serve as a lead sponsor of WTF’s annual fundraiser, Harvest Fest.

The Wakeman Town Farm farm stand.


Speaking of food: Westport pizza lovers (perhaps that’s a redundant phrase) salivated at news that Emmy Squared is coming to town.

The Brooklyn-based restaurant is known for its “Detroit-style pizza”: square, crisp bottom, fluffy dough, cheesy crust and sauce strpes.

Their double-stack burger — served on a pretzel bun — was named one of the “20 Best Burgers in New York” by The Infatuation.

There are 8 location in New York, Nashville, Philadelphia, Washington and Louisville. Number 9 will be …

… at the site of the now-closed Amis Trattoria.

That’s the center-of-town location next to Anthropologie, where Church Lane meets the Post Road near Main Street.

No word yet on an opening. The salivation continues.

Pizzas from Emmy Squared.


gorjana comes to 74 Main Street on June 16.

And if you don’t know — as I did not — what is replacing the Sunglass Hut, read this breathless press release from the Laguna Beach-based jewelry brand (which for some reason does not use a capital letter in its name):

“When gorjana Westport officially opens its doors, shoppers will be immersed in a welcoming coastal bungalow inspired by co-founders Gorjana Reidel and Jason Griffin Reidel’s Southern California roots. Light wood finishes, a crystal quartz chandelier, three sparkling window pendants and a hand-dipped Lauren Williams Tapestry inspired by the iconic Laguna Beach coastline create the perfect backdrop to gorjana’s elevated yet effortless designs.

“Located in a beautifully restored historic building along bustling Main Street, the store will bring together the best of Southern California with the charming history of Westport right in the heart of the coastal city. gorjana Westport is the perfect shopping destination for out-of-towners and locals alike.

This is gorjana’s 49th location, but only the second in Connecticut. The first was in Greenwich.


Two weeks ago, a college student named Emily posted a TikTok. She wanted to give a hand-painted romantic gift to a classmate she had a crush on, but needed her followers to give her confidence.


both of our love languages are gift giving, and she’s also extremely crafty, so no i dont think this is too much #fyp#foryou#wlw#wlwtiktok help

♬ original sound – wayn3sw0r1d

The video went viral, with over a million views. She got more validation than she ever dreamed of.

Five days later, she shared an update. The woman she gave the gift to loved it.

Now they’re dating.

The woman is Samantha Webster — a 2021 Staples High School graduate.

As for Sam, she texted her parents that she had a new girlfriend.

And, she said, a million people knew before her parents did.


Replying to @Mikala Walker the highly anticipated cupdate: I didnt get a chance to package it up all cute, but I was too excited I couldn’t wait any longer💛🌼#fyp#foryou#wlw#wlwtiktok#dandelions

♬ Dandelions (Originally Performed by Ruth B.) – Piano Karaoke Version – Sing2Piano


MoCA Westport just hired its first-ever director of performing arts.

Kristen Young knows MoCA well. She’s worked there for 3 years, most recently as its music associate. She created the Music at MoCA concert series, bringing a diverse range of emerging and established artists to the museum.

In her expanded role Young will curate all performing arts experiences, fostering collaborations with music programs across the region, and providing music education opportunities.

Young holds a master’s in violin performance and a graduate certificate in arts management and entrepreneurship from the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor’s in music management from the University of Delaware.

Kristen Young (Photo/Nina Capozzi Photography)


Speaking of music: Jazz at the Post favorite Melissa Newman returns this Thursday (May 25; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner begins at 7; VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399; $15 cover; reservations: JazzatthePost@gmail.com).

The Westporter will be joined by guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Bobby Leonard.

Melissa Newman


Speaking still of the performing arts:

Saugatuck Congregational Church song leader Anthony DeLuco hosts a recital at the church on June 10 (4 p.m.). It’s a fundraiser, to support his attendance at an intensive vocal workshop this summer in Salzburg, Austria.

DeLuco is a young Western Connecticut State University graduate (with many honors and awards). He’s in his second year as a high school teacher.

He’ll play works by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and more. Donations can be made at the recital or by clicking on this GoFundMe link.

Anthony DeLuco


It’s not graffiti, at the Post Road/Main Street intersection.

And they’re not hieroglyphics.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

They’re markings for utility workers.

But what do all those symbols, arrows and colors mean?

If you know, please click “Comments” below.


Understated yet colorful landscaping near Saugatuck Shores stands out in today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/David Stone)


And finally … on this day in 1829, Cyrill Demian was granted an Austrian patent for the accordion.

(“06880” is your home for accordion music — and much more. Please click here to support what we do. Thank you!)

Roundup: Lyman Seeds, Launch Party, Lumi …

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second year, one crucial casualty looms: agriculture.

Continued fighting severely curtailed planting this spring. The fear was felt everywhere, from large commercial farmers to individuals whose home gardens provide increasingly scarce food.

In Lyman, those worries are over.

Thanks to Westporters’ donations, 2,000 residents of our sister city have received seeds. They were delivered by Ukraine Aid International — our partners on the ground, founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer — just in time for spring planting.

Onions, tomatoes and much more will soon grow, in back yards throughout the beleaguered town. Click below for a video of the seed distribution; click here to contribute to our continuing drive to help our friends, in as many ways as we can. (Click on the “Designation” drop-down menu; then select “Westport-Lyman.”)


“Pick of the Pics” — the “06880” book highlighting over 100 of our blog’s best Pics of the Day — was published a couple of months ago.

Now it’s time for the launch party.

The event is Sunday, April 30 (2 to 4 p.m., Savvy + Grace, 146 Main Street). Books will be available for purchase at a special price of $20 (regular Amazon price: $24.95).

I’ll be there signing copies; so will Lyah Muktavaram, my “06880” intern who did 99% of the work on it.

Photographers featured in the book can pick up a free book at the launch party too.


The newest “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast continues with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker’s conversation with Human Services director Elaine Daignault.

They talk about juvenile services and program, the Prevention Coalition for Substance Abuse, and Westport Together.

Click below to listen to the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston podcadst:


Videos of a woman carrying her 52-pound Samoyed dog in her backpack has gone viral.

Over a million viewers have seen one version.


Replying to @mjaucrame Big dawg. Big backpack 🎒 #fyp #dog #puppy #samoyed #nyc #funnydog

♬ Collide (more sped up) – Justine Skye

She does it because “dogs have to be in bags” on New York subways.

A People Magazine story called the woman — Jackie Hornung — a “New York City native.”


Jackie grew up in Westport. She graduated from Staples High School in 2016.

In fact, she’s a 3rd-generation Westporter.

Some People! (Hat tip: Johnny Donovan)


Westport favorite Melissa Newman — one of our own — headlines this week’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, April 6; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner from 7 p.m.; $15 cover; reservations strongly suggested: JazzatthePost@gmail.com).

Joining Melissa: guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Bobby Leonard.

Melissa Newman


Several members of the Diverse Westport Facebook group attended a dance-a-thon on the Anna & Raven Show. Several dance schools performed BollyX.

The event raised funds for the Tiny Miracles Foundation. As a mother who had a premature baby, Westporter Ifeseyi Gayle can relate.

Also at the event: Kumuda Kumar, Rose Mlay Gardner. Kristen McDonald. Carrie Guttman, Patty Mantilla, Qing Huang, Lucy Rivera, Jenny Stork and Wanda Arias.


A woman who works at the 55 Greens Farms Road office complex watched sadly yesterday, as Westport police recovered the body of 62-year-old Errol Whyte from a pond on the property.

As she left for home that afternoon, she took a picture of the once-again-peaceful pond. She was heartened, she told “06880,” that “maybe Errol can now rest in peace.”


Jonathan Prager spotted — and snapped — today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo on Owenoke.

It’s one of the first. But many more will join it, in “daffodil days” to come, all over town.

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)


And finally … there is still plenty of uncertainty and fear in Lyman. Russian forces are near, and continue to bombard our sister city.

But the recent distribution of seeds to 2,000 residents (story above) — thanks to funds provided by Westporters — has brought some light into their lives.

Here’s 3 more minutes of beauty and hope:

(“06880” is indeed where Westport meets the world. Please click here to support your hyper-local, global-minded blog. Thank you!)



Roundup: Intensity, Longevity …

The ad said: “INTENSITY — everything must go!” 

Westporters worried that the tennis/squash/fitness/dance center just over the Norwalk line would close. 

Racquet sports are still there. But the health and fitness component is changing.

Clair Mason, owner of Elliptica, and co-owner of Intensity — says that the health and fitness industry has changed. COVID, and the rise of paddle and pickleball, provided an opportunity to remodel both businesses.

Elliptica developed a virtual offering, with a class and partnership with a machine manufacturer. 

And all Intensity fitness classes are now under the Elliptica brand at a new (and nearby) location: 345 Post Road West, Westport. They include barre, Herman Walker Body Design System, dance fitness, bodypump, Pilates, bootcamps and more. For more information on Elliptica, click here

On January 1, Intensity became a racquets-only club. There are 6 indoor tennis courts, 4 squash courts, 4 pickleball courts and 2 new paddle courts. A warming hut opens soon. For more information on Intensity racquets, click here

Clair Mason owns both Elliptica and Intensity.


Speaking of fitness: For Peloton, COVID was just what the doctor ordered.

The stationary bike company’s sales surged during the pandemic. With gyms closed, home workouts — which Peloton delivered, via its equipment and streaming platforms — were the only game in town (or anywhere else).

Since 2018, Peloton had a retail presence here. The Main Street store — one of the few of its 80-plus outlets not in a mall — closed temporarily, along with nearly every other retailer.

It reopened (though supply chain issues made it difficult to meet the enormous demand for bikes and treadmills).

This coming Sunday, it will close for good. The decision is part of an “aggressive” reduction in retail stores (and, last summer, the elimination of roughly 780 employees.

Peloton’s fortunes crashed as quickly as they rose. As COVID eased, people returned to the gym.

The Main Street tenant before Peloton sold Sperry boat shoes. There is no word on what kind of business — sports and leisure-related, or not — will replace it.


Speaking still of fitness: Longevity Westport — the center offering non-invasive, quick and very sophisticated testing of muscle mass, bone density, metabolism, cardiovascular health, oxygen consumption and more — opened on Post Road East in 2021.

But — true to their name — they may be the business with the longest time before hosting an official ribbon-cutting.

It’s set for this Saturday (January 21, 1835 Post Road East). First Selectwoman Jen Tooker does the honors at 1 p.m.

She’ll be followed by 3 speakers: Ralph Esposito, a naturopathic physician and head of nutrition at Athletic Greens; Atlas Nutrition chiropractic physician Dr. Beth Atlas, and Sherpa Westport’s Jean Paul Desrosiers.

All will offer specials for customers. In addition, Longevity will provide 50% off a second test, with the purchase of a full price test (and 20% off a bundle package).

There’s food too. Healthy, of course.

Inside Longevity. The DEXA scan machine is at left.


Hard to believe, but Westport Book Shop is 2 years old.

The used book store (and much more) honors the milestone with several community events.

A Volunteer Appreciation Celebration is set for January 28 (10:30 a.m. to noon), at the Westport Library across Jesup Green from the shop.

A “Show Your Love” competition offers a $50 Westport Book Shop gift card. Just film a short video showing why you love the Book Shop, then post it on social media.

Every entrant receives a free vinyl record, CD or book of their choice from the current inventory ($6 or less). The deadline is 6 p.m. January 27. Click here for details, and the entry form.

Meanwhile, story time for kids at the Book Shop runs on Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29. Call for details: 203-952-0070.


Westport favorite Melissa Newman — one of our own — headlines this week’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, January 19; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner from 7 p.m.; $15 cover; reservations strongly suggested: JazzatthePost@gmail.com).

Joining Melissa: guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Arti Dixson.


PFAS chemicals in the Weston water supply?

On this week’s “What’s Next in Weston?” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor describes how her town has addressed the issue, with remediation and clean water for every family.

The bi-weekly series is produced by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen:


Aspetuck Land Trust’s first “Lunch and Learn” webinar of 2023 is called “Landscapes for Better Living.”

On January 27 (noon to 1 p.m.), Jay Archer of Green Jay Landscape Design will discuss how ecological landscape design, organic horticulture and land stewardship can improve human health (and save the planet).

In addition to designing, building, managing and maintaining beautiful, natural ecosystems and plantscapes, Archer has taught, lectured and consulted with organizations from NYBG and The Institute for Ecosystem Studies to the Native Plant Center, Nature Conservancy and Audubon International.

For more information and to register, click here.

One of Jay Archer’s ecological landscapes.


Many “Westport … Naturally” photos are gorgeous.

This one isn’t.

A reader who lives nearby writes: “I saw these giant birds in the dumpsters behind Gaetano’s.

“The dumpsters are open, and so is the door on one side. There were others in a tree, walking nearby, and sitting on the roof of a house, all waiting their turn. Apparently they are black buzzards.

“I called Gaetano’s. The woman who answered said, ‘yeah, it’s been like that all week.’ I said, ‘just close the dumpsters.’ She thanked me.”


And finally … today is the birthday of Muhammad Ali. “The Greatest” boxer — and an important political activist was born in 1942. He died in 2016, age 74.


(If all the stories above about fitness leave you exhausted … take a break! As you rest, please click here to support “06880.” Thank you!)

Roundup: Car Crashes, Cannabis, Cuseos …

Just before 1 a.m. today, a car went off the road, into the Saugatuck River.

The Westport Fire Department responded with 3 engines and a rescue truck. Firefighters wearing cold water rescue suits removed the lone occupant, who was trapped in the vehicle.

Westport EMS transported the patient to the hospital, with unknown injuries.

Westport firefighters in action early this morning. (Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department)


Speaking of accidents: Another of those baffling midday, clear weather crashes  took place yesterday, at the Hillandale Road/Morningside Drive South intersection.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

With the way people drive these days, though — and the so-much-to-do pressure of the holidays — perhaps it’s not that surprising.

Just keep this image in mind the next time you want to gain 2 seconds at a stop sign.

Or think that your errand is more important than everyone else’s.


A recent “06880” story on what’s for sale — illegally — in Westport smoke shops and convenience stores noted that recreational marijuana sales have not yet begun in Connecticut.

Yesterday, state officials announced that adult-use marijuana sales will begin January 10.

Nine existing medical marijuana dispensaries have received approval for sales. The closest stores are Stamford and New Haven.

More sites will be approved in coming months. None are in Westport. The Planning & Zoning Commission has — at least for now — banned non-medical marijuana sales here.

Click here for a full report on recreational cannabis stores statewide.


A Teen Business Holiday Shop fills the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum today (Saturday, December 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

An array of creative, high-quality products — jewelry, services and more — are on sale. All were created by local teenage entrepreneurs.

The event is sponsored by Up | Next Teens. The student-founded and run organization teaches teens the principles of entrepreneurism, with a commitment to social activism.

A portion of the proceeds will help fun the group’s efforts to help alleviate food insecurity.

PS: There’s live music, baked goods — and gift wrapping too!


Registration is open for several Earthplace kids’ programs. They include:

  • Junior Naturalists (Grades 6-12)
  • Teen Volunteer Club (Grades 6-12)
  • Vacation Day Camp (Ages 3-12, January 16)
  • Holiday Break Camp (Ages 3-12. February 20-24, 27; April 7, 10-14)
  • Summer Camp.

Click here for details — and other programs too.


Staples High School Class of 2010 graduate Luke Hammerman is the digital audience manager for the National Military Family Organization. The non-profit supports and enhances military families through advocacy and programming.

Luke wants Westporters to know about the group’s holiday drive — and remind them that Tuesday is the anniversary of the National Guard’s founding (in 1636!).

He also found this link to an inspirational “06880” story about some Westport military families in years past.

During World War II, 8 of the 12 Cuseo brothers enlisted in the military. Bottom row (from left): Charles, Robert, James, George. Middle: Angelo, father James, mother Lucia, Albert. Top : Nicholas, Frank, Anthony, William, Joseph, Michael. Not pictured: Mildred.


Westport will be well represented at “Layers Revealed” — the new exhibit at Norwalk Art Space.

Photographer Jerri Graham and artist Melissa Newman are in the show, which explores “all of life’s intricacies and complexities.”

“Slowly, the layers of our lives are revealed and once they are, we fully come through,” Graham says. Through “each frame of the camera,” she aims to highlight “a fraction of a second of a life that will be lived for a time unknown. Within these fractionated layers, we find our lives and ourselves.”

“Layers Revealed” encourages viewers to explore the many cycles and layers of humanity, nature, beauty, creation and decay.

At the opening reception Thursday (December 15,, 6 to 8 p.m., 455 West Avenue, Norwalk), Graham will take portrait photos at a pop-up space.

She’ll also host 3 portrait photo sessions (December 18, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.; January 8 (10 a.m. to noon) and January 15 (noon to 2:30 p.m.). Book sessions at 203-252-2840; donations are accepted. Students ages 13 to 18 who are interested in helping Graham (and learning about lighting, composition and more) can apply here.

On January 15 (3 p.m.), Graham will give a talk. On January 28 (11 a.m.), Newman — who is also a vocalist — will join guitarist Tony
Lombardozzi for a jazz brunch performance at The Norwalk Art Space.


In With the Old” — a Discovery+ series — features old-home enthusiasts transforming abandoned structures.

In the current season 3, Staples graduates Brian and Megan Austin Philpott work their magic on a “little Weston cabin.”

Also shown: former Westport Planning & Zoning Commission member Al Gratrix. Spoiler alert: It’s his grandchildren’s log cabin. (Hat tip: Chip Stephens)

Brian and Megan Austin Philpott, at work.


The Dartmouth College Brovertones serenaded Staples High’s  Choralaires yesterday, with tunes ranging from Hozier to The Beach Boys.

Luke Rosenberg’s singers were especially excited to hear SHS 2020 graduate Sam Laskin. They asked plenty of questions too, about college and a cappella life.

Sam Laskin (front row, 3rd from left), the Brovertones, and the Staples Choralaires.


There’s a new event on the Westport benefit calendar.

On March 19, Sunset Wine Party hosts a wine tasting at the Inn at Longshore. All net proceeds go to Berni & Murcer, a non-profit supporting area children with cancer.

The event includes grazing tables, music, and private VIP rooms

Discount tickets are available December 15 through January 1. Click here for more information.


Last night’s full moon was spectacular. Thanks to all who sent photos.

Two of the best were these:

Moon over Compo Beach … (Photo/Jim Hood)

… and Sherwood Island State Park. (Photo/Matt Murray)


Just before the moon rose, Tessie and Stinky Pete posed for this “Westport … Naturally” photo at Compo:

(Photo/Richard Abramowitz)


And finally … another little known — but hugely important — music pioneer has died.

Jim Stewart, a white man who who with his sister founded Stax Records — the hugely successful R&B/soul label — died Monday in Memphis. He was 92.

A country and rockabilly fan who “had scarcely seen a Black person till I was grown,” his work with artists like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett and Carla Thomas helped create the soundtrack of the ’60s and early ’70s.

His house band — Booker T. & the M.G.s — included Black and white musicians, an enormous step for the very segregated city of Memphis.

Click here for a full obituary.

(Cars in the river, marijuana sales, military families … “06880” covers it all. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)



Roundup: Tree Lightings, World Cup, Staples Football …

‘Tis the season to be … tree-lighting.

Twin ceremonies take place this week.

The “official” town event is Thursday (December 1, 5 p.m., Town Hall). The evergreen by Myrtle Avenue will glow, and Staples High School’s Orphenians will sing.

The next night (Friday, December 2, 4:30 p.m.), it’s Wakeman Town Farm’s turn. This one features treats from The Porch, hot chocolate from The Granola Bar, a bonfire and local musicians.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker does the honors at both. She’ll be joined at WTF by Wakeman family member Bill Constantino.

The Christmas tree at Town Hall, following a lighting ceremony.


The huge Trefz Forum screen at the Westport Library is not just for author talks and music concerts.

Today (Tuesday) at 2 p.m., they’ll show the equally huge US-Iran World Cup first round match.

How huge? If we win, we advance to the round of 16. If we tie or lose, we’re out.

You don’t need to be a soccer fan to enjoy this one. Everyone is welcome.


Are you a fan of the other football, but didn’t get a chance to see the Staples High School football team’s dramatic 39-38 win over archrival Greenwich on Thanksgiving Day?

Click below, for a very cool highlight video. It was produced and edited by senior Daniel Burgin, with video shot by junior Charlie Scott.

The win vaulted the Wreckers into tonight’s state “LL” quarterfinal playoff game against Fairfield Prep (6:30 p.m., Staples’ Paul Lane Field). It’s the blue-and-whites’ first post-season appearance in 7 years.

Can’t make that one either? Click here for the livestream.


“Fine jewelry” and “rescue animals” may never have appeared in the same sentence.

Thanks to JL Rocks, they do now.

The high-end Post Road East retailer partnered with designer Peggy Reiner, for a new collection of whimsical animal-inspired pieces. Proceeds benefit PAWS (Pet Animal Welfare Society) in Norwalk and 4LittlePaws rescue in Southport.

“It’s a great gift that gives back to pets in need,” says JL Rocks founder/owner Jamie Camche. “Animals have given us so much. We want to give back to them.”

The collection features 3 diamond-studded designs: petite 14K gold pawprint earrings, 14K gold chains with diamond pave dog bone, and paw charms. It’s  available at JL Rocks’ Westport and Greenwich stores, and online.


Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?” debuted on Netflix this month. The docuseries is about the Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc. court case — you know, the one where the college kid thought he found a loophole in a Pepsi promotion, and sued them to win a fighter plane. Reviews were good.

The “06880” connection: 2007 Staples High School graduate Nick Boak is an executive producer.

Spoiler alert: The guy never got his jet. (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)


Face painter alert!

We need a face painter for this weekend’s Holiday Stroll (Saturday, December 3, 5 to 7 p.m., Main Street and environs).

If you (or your daughter or son) are available to help with this great kids’ activity, please email 06880blog@gmail.com.

For more details on the Holiday Stroll — co-sponsored by “06880” and the Westport Downtown Association — including the nearly 40 participating retailers and restaurants — click here.


The weekend weather report is good. But Bedford Middle School will be “Frozen.”

On December 2, 3 and 4, Bedford Acting Group takes the stage in “Frozen Jr.”

The 7th and 8th grade actors were toddlers when the movie hit theaters in 2013 (!),  Yet they know its characters and songs well. At last, they can perform it.

The curtain rises Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (3 and 7 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.). Click here for the few remaining tickets.

The Bedford Acting Group cast and crew of “Frozen Jr.”


What has the Greens Farms Garden Club been up to?

Every year they design and maintain the Atrium Garden at Earthplace in Westport, and the Victorian Cottage on Fairfield’s Town Green.

They provide horticultural therapy events at STAR in Norwalk, and make flower arrangements for the Pequot Library Art Show.

The Greens Farms Garden Club also manages 3 “Growing for Good” gardens:  Prospect Garden and Wakeman Town Farm in Westport, and St. Timothy’s Church Garden in Fairfield.

They were planted and cared for throughout spring, summer and fall, with over 180 buckets of fresh organic produce harvested and donated to help with food insecurity at Mercy Learning Center and St. John’s Family Center in Bridgeport.

A highlight of the year came at the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut 93rd annual awards luncheon. Wynn Herrmann — a 30-year veteran — was recognized for Civic Development. Dina Schmidt and Jude earned Certificates of Merit for the club’s monthly newsletters and website, respectively.

For more information about the Greens Farms Garden Club, including events and membership, click here.

Greens Farms Garden Club members (seated, from left): Chris Supernaw, Wynn Herrmann, Judy Reynolds, Ann Watkins. Standing: Kate Carroll, president Kathy Mitchell, Carol Shear, Jude Smith, vice president Maybette Waldron.


Fewer than 5% of rainbows occur in the morning (according to Google). And the ones that do are most often seen in summer (ditto).

But yesterday — driving to work on the Merritt Parkway — this is what Larry Bartimer saw:

(Photo/Larry Bartimer)

We could probably blame the same culprit as everything else. (No, not Joe Biden — climate change.)

Nah. Just chill, and enjoy this very rare late November scene.


Melissa Newman headlines a cool evening of hot jazz this Thursday, at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399.

Westport’s own vocal star is joined for Jazz at the Post by guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Bobby Leonard,

There are 2 shows: 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Melissa Newman


“A Charlie Brown Christmas” — Vince Guaraldi’s timeless, feel-good music — gets the jazz treatment on Saturday (December 3).

The Heather Pierson Trio comes to the Westport Unitarian Church’s Voices Café at 4 p.m., for an in-person and livestreamed holiday concert.

Show-goers can bring snacks and beverages. Groups of 4 or more can reserve tables. For more information and tickets, click here.

Voices Café and its artists are committed to social justice. A portion of the proceeds benefit the battle against food insecurity, through Mercy Learning Center.


It’s late November. But the leaves on a few trees are still hanging on.

Fred Cantor photographed one of them at Old Mill Beach. Its a vivid reminder of the “Westport … Naturally” beauty that surrounds us everywhere we look.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)


And finally … in honor of today’s crucial World Cup clash between the US and Iran (story above), here is the greatest pump-up soccer song ever. Crank the volume up to Spinal Tap 11, and enjoy!

(Wave that flag for “06880”! Please click here to  support our work.)

Roundup: [UPDATE] Book Display, Book Sale, Wine …

[UPDATE] Several readers have pointed to a Westport Journal story that includes a photo of the banned book display at the Staples High School library. The book covers are exhibited, and students could browse the contents.

I have removed a story posted earlier today, citing a reader who emailed me saying she had changed her mind about the display, after learning that the book jackets had been covered.

That appears to be erroneous information. I have deleted this story, and will also remove other comments pertaining to it.

I apologize for posting her story.


The “garden” part of Westport Community Gardens is clear to anyone wandering by the 100 plots just south of Long Lots Elementary School. They’re beautiful, and bountiful.

But the “community” part is just as important. Led by Lou Weinberg — and with plenty of help from everyone else — there’s as much camaraderie and spirit as there are vegetables, flowers and birds.

Yesterday, the Gardens community celebrated with a fall harvest party. Dozens of families shared friendship, music, pizza, gelato — and of course, plenty of salads.

Community Gardens fall harvest party.


No, you did not miss the Westport Library’s summer book sale.

The mega-event has been moved to fall. This year, it’s Friday, November 11 through Monday, November 14.

There are thousands of gently used books for children and adults in over 50 categories: non-fiction, fiction, romance, cookbooks, antiquarian, plus music CDs, and movie and TV series DVDs. Also, “a limited selection of artworks and ephemera.” 

Westport resident Joseph Califano — President Carter’s Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare — has donated dozens of books signed and inscribed to him, from his personal library.

There’s a new “Fiction for $1 Room”: an entire conference room filled with hardcover fiction, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, young adult fiction and paperback novels — all just $1 each.

Also: a large selection of holiday-themed books, CDs and DVDs. Crank up that Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer!

Click here for information on prices, hours (and early-bird access).

Westport Library book sale.


Last night’s hunter’s moon was gorgeous.

“06880” readers sent plenty of photos. Here’s the view from Sherwood Mill Pond …

(Photo/Matt Murray)

… and Long Island Sound:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Westporters love wine.

Which is why the Sunrise Rotary Club’s next event is such a winner.

“Westport Uncorked” (November 18, 6:30 p.m., the Inn at Longshore) is “a wonderful evening of dozens of fine wines (and heavy hors d’oeuvres).

Every dollar raised goes directly to charities supported by Sunrise Rotary. Click here for tickets, and more information.


Staples High School Class of 1978 graduate Dave Ruden served as chair emeritus of this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. He lost his mother to the disease.

Ruden’s day job is publisher of The Ruden Report — the go-to multi-platform site for coverage of Fairfield County sports. So he put out the word to all 16 FCIAC schools — asking all sports, all seasons to help.

Over 60 responded, raising funds and walking yesterday at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk.

Among them: Staples baseball, cheer, boys ice hockey and girls tennis volleyball.

The Staples boys soccer program participated too — big time. Led by tri-captain Alex Laskin, they raised $9,428. That was the most of any FCIAC team — and 5th highest, among the 284 groups that raised funds.

Way to go, all you Wreckers!

Boys soccer varsity team, at the Alzheimer’s Walk. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


Speaking of sports: On Election Day night, you may be cheering or crying.

Earlier in the day, your kids will definitely cheer.

That is, if they’re part of the Staples High School cheer team’s clinic (November 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). It’s open to children in grades kindergarten through 8 (

The $75 fee includes lunch and a t-shirt. It’s a fundraiser for the team. Click here to register, and for more information.

The Staples High School cheer team.


“The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man” — Paul Newman’s memoir — will be published October 18.

Next month (November 20, 3 p.m.), it’s the topic of a Westport Country Playhouse discussion.

Who better to talk about the beloved actor/philanthropist/race car driver — and longtime Westporter — than Melissa Newman? She wrote the book’s foreword — and is his daughter.

She’ll be joined by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist, who served WCP co-artistic director with Newman’s wife, actor Joanne Woodward.

An audience Q-and-A will follow the talk.

Tickets are $45, and include a copy of the book. To purchase, and for more information, click here.

Melissa Newman


In August, “06880” reported on Steve Bannon’s podcast about Westport. The segment alleged that our town is run by an “unelected Marxist Politburo.”

It included an interview with the editor of CD Media. The initials stand for “Creative Destruction,” which is “reopening newspapers up and down the Colonies.”

CD Media’s chief investigative correspondent and senior editor Christine Dolan comes to Westport on November 1 (6:45 p.m., Westport Library). She’ll bring her “American Conversation” series, to discuss “How Public Policy is Putting Our Children at Risk.” The event is co-sponsored by Children’s Health Defense, the anti-vaccine group chaired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Among the topics her panel will address:

  • “Significant increase in child human trafficking”
  • “Exponential increase in youth deaths from fentanyl”
  • “Alarming increase in suicides of young people”
  • “Decrease in mastery of basic academic skills.”

Click here for tickets and more information. (Hat tip: Tom Prince)

Promotional photo for CD Media’s November 1 event.


Soccer’s World Cup kicks off next month, in Qatar.

Games will be played primarily from what is early morning to mid-afternoon, Eastern Standard Time. An “06880” reader named Fernando asks:

“What are the bars and other places in the area that will be open for all the matches? Are there any places that did this in 2018 that can be counted on to do it again, or new venues that will do so?”

If you know the answer, click “Comments” below.


The praying mantis is Connecticut’s state insect. (I know, I know …)

A pair of “06880” readers had the same idea this weekend: send a photo, for “Westport … Naturally”:

(Photo/Ken Yormark)

(Photo/Jill Grayson)


And finally … contrary to what I learned in school, Christopher Columbus did not “discover” America. It was already here — and was home to a thriving population.

It took hundreds of years, but today we celebrate the indigenous people of North America — those millions  who were here first.

Roundup: Scholars, Cyndi Lauper, Universe …

Twelve Staples High School seniors have qualified as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Congratulations to Aalok Bhattacharya, James Cao, Sharmila Green, Emma Losonczy, Colin Morgeson, Gavin Thomas Rothenberg, Katharine Shackelford, Matthew Shackelford, Tegh Singh, Lucia Wang, Lilly Weisz, Tom Zhang   

Nationwide, 16,000 semifinalists — fewer than 1 percent of the over 1.5 million students who took the 2021 PSAT/NMSQT qualifying exam –will compete for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $28 million.

From left: Aalok Bhattacharya, Tom Zhang, Colin Morgeson, Sharmila Green, Lilly Weisz, Emma Losonczy,

From left: Lucia Wang, Gavin Thomas Rothenberg, James Cao, Matthew Shackelford, Katharine Shackelford. Missing: Tegh Singh.


A sold-out crowd loved Cyndi Lauper’s Friday night benefit concert at the Levitt Pavilion.

And she loved Westport.

That’s not just “06880” speculation. The legendary singer/actress posted “thanks” on both her Facebook and Instagram pages.

She put on a great show. It was clear the girl just wanted to have fun.


There’s a true hometown flavor to this week’s Jazz at the Post.

“Jazz Rabbi” Greg Wall will be joined by Westport’s own Melissa Newman.

She’s had a long career singing jingles for companies like AT&T and Chevrolet. Neighbors know her from performances at Blue Lemon, Tengda and Harvest.

There are 2 shows — 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. — on Thursday (October 6) at VFW Post 399 (465 Riverside Avenue). There’s a $10 cover. Food service starts at 6:30.

Guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Matt Moadel will join Greg and Melissa.

Reservations are strongly suggested. Email JazzatThePost@gmail.com.

Melissa Newman


For thousands of years, humans have wondered about the universe: How big is it? How did it start? How will it end?

Only in the last few decades have we had the space tools to begin to find answers.

Marty Yellin has special insights. With a doctorate in biomedical engineering, he worked at PerkinElmer on a top secret program to design and build the largest spy satellite ever. Then he helped design and manage the Hubble Space Telescope.

On October 20 (10 a.m., Westport Library Trefz Forum and Zoom), he offers an overview of the fascinating, often mindboggling discoveries made by modern  telescopes. Click here for the Zoom link.

Just an infinitely small portion of the universe. Can you see where we are?


Need another reason (besides great books) to go the Westport Book Shop this month?

How about Susan Lloyd’s shells?

The longtime Westporter exhibits an assortment of 2-dimensional shell art works, including mirrors and mosaics.

Over 15 years, her work has evolved to include skulls (plastic reproductions), old dolls and Saints (for their stories, not religious reasons). Colors, shapes, textures and shell varieties are all important elements n her designs.

Her work is on display through October 31, and is available for purchase. To see more of her art, click here.

Susan Lloyd at the Westport Book Shop, with shell art.


The 13th annual Push Against Cancer is coming soon. And a group of Westport dads is pushing hard, to raise money for campers and their families at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

Founded in 1988 by Paul Newman, it offers fun, friendship and a healthy dose of mischief to seriously ill children at its great facility in upstate Connecticut, plus  outreach to hospitals, clinics and communities across the Northeast. All services are free.

The event is Sunday, October 16 (10 a.m., Staples High School). Andy Berman and Adam Vengrow are spearheading the dads’ effort. Click here to help.

Adam Vengrow (far left), Andy Berman (far right) and friends get ready for the Push Against Cancer.


It’s still early October. But Al’s Angels is getting ready for the holidays.

This year’s goal is to provide toys to over 20,000 children suffering from cancer, rare blood diseases and financial hardship.

They’ll do it by providing an Amazon wish list. Just click here; purchase as many needed items as you wish, and have them shipped to: Al’s Angels, 342 Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880.

You can also make a cash donation; click here.


Date clarification: Westport Moms’ 2nd annual Fall Family Festival is next weekend — not the coming one. It’s Saturday, October 15 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greens Farms Academy; $20 per family).

The event includes food, crafts, games and fun (bouncy houses, ninja course, music, art projects, DJ, pumpkin and cookie decorating, face painting, hair extensions, glitter tattoos, magic, STEM activities and more).

Many businesses will show off their products and services — all with activities for kids.

Organizers Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post ask attendees to bring gently worn jackets, for donations to a local non-profit.

A scene from last year’s Fall Family Festival.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature is one of the happiest ever.

And why not? Junior, Winston and Frank are thrilled to be back (legally) at Compo Beach.

(Photo/Nicola Sharian)


And finally … in honor of the upcoming Westport Astronomical Society lecture (story above):


Roundup: Hillspoint Home, Compo Cove, Christian Soriano …

Old Mill Grocery opens soon.

But that’s not the only good news on Hillspoint Road.

The home diagonally across the street — where construction was halted 2 years ago, and which has since been sheathed, half-finished, in blue, due to permit violations — may soon be completed.

As first reported by Westport Journal, last night the Zoning Board of Appeals approved a settlement with the property owners. They can resume work, including removing a chimney and cupola.

The new home will replace a decades-long succession of restaurants, including Positano and Cafe de la Plage. Before that, it was a grocery store.

Construction halted at 233 Hillspoint Road. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)


Meanwhile, around the corner, 44 Compo Mill Cove — the 1910 home standing closest to Old Mill Beach, and possibly the most photographed house in Westport — has sold.

It and its companion, a newer cottage at #42, were marketed together. The closing price of $5.29 million was the same as the asking price. The new owners are longtime Westporters and Staples High School graduates Lance and Ann Lonergan.

44 Compo Cove (Matt Murray)


Christian Siriano moved to Westport in 2020, during COVID.

It hasn’t taken him long to feel at home. Or get involved with the community.

Last night, a large crowd turned out for the opening of his new retail concept store. The Collective West is at 940 Post Road East, opposite Earth Animal. It features furniture, accessories and art.

It carries brands the designer curates, including furniture, accessories and art.

Among the brands: Swoon Gallery, Josh Levkoff jewelry, Irene Lummertz, Snif, Franny’s Farmacy, Blossom + Stem, and Bungalow Decor.

Christian Soriano, in The Collective West.


Westport’s own Melissa Newman highlights tomorrow’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, July 14, 7 and 8:30 p.m., Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399, 465 Riverside Avenue).

Nationally, Melissa sings jingles for companies like AT&T and Chevrolet, Locally, she’s performed at the Blue Lemon, Tengda and Harvest in Westport.

She’s joined by Tony Lmbardozzi, Phil Bowler and Matt Moadel. There’s a $10 cover. Dinner is served from 6:30 p.m., by chef Derek Furino. Reservations are strongly suggested: jazzatthepost@gmail.com.


Young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities are invited to a STAR dance party. It’s set for this Friday (July 15, 7 to 9 p.m., STAR headquarters, 182 Wolfpit Road, Norwalk).

Snacks and drinks are provided. There is a separate lounge area for parents and caregivers to meet and socialize, if they wish to remain while allowing the young adults to enjoy supervised independence on the dance floor.

The cost is $25 per person. There is complimentary entry for siblings and peer dance buddy volunteers.

Advance registration is required; click here. NOTE: Anyone ages 15-22 can volunteer as a peer buddy, with or without a sibling or past involvement with STAR.


Just before COVID struck, John Németh highlighted a Supper & Soul concert at the Westport Library. It was one of the best, in the long-running series.

The musician has had some setbacks since then. He writes:

“I have a new album. I recorded it before my jaw amputation. It’s called ‘Maybe The Last Time,’ cause I didn’t know then and I still don’t know now if I will ever sing or play again like I used to. I have to say the magic of this performance is beyond this world and maybe the greatest of my life.

“I am asking for a little help from. Please pre-order this CD or digital download. I am currently not working and have some staggering bills. The legendary blues guitarist and pop icon Elvin Bishop (‘Fooled Around And Fell In Love’) and famed producer Kid Andersen wanted to cut an album for me before my surgery, knowing it could be the last time we ever make music again.

“You will receive immediately upon ordering the first single ‘Maybe The Last Time.’ I will email or mail the full record to you by September 16.  This is your order link.

“My surgery has been a success so far. I still do not have feeling in my jaw or lower lip.  I hope and pray that someday I will get back to 110 percent. Thank you for enjoying my music and performances.” (Hat tip: Michael Wolfe)

John Nemeth


Yesterday’s Westport Rotary Club luncheon meeting included an inspiring talk by Vince Santilli.

The CEO of Bridgeport-based Homes for the Brave told members and guests at Greens Farms Congregational Church about the organization’s success sheltering people in need — especially veterans — in Bridgeport and West Haven. HFTB also provides case management, vocational guidance and housing assistance for  homeless vets. The non-profit received a Westport Rotary Club Community Grant this year.

Vince Santilli addresses the Westport Rotary Club. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


It’s a tight turn, coming out from the Compo Shopping Center back lot. You squeeze past the Verizon store, stop (maybe), and if you’re going to turn left into the front lot, you face plenty of traffic.

What you, I or anyone else — except this extremely entitled driver — don’t do is to make the sharp turn even sharper, then hog 3 spaces directly in front of one store.

We may think we’ve seen everything, parking-wise. Then this driver reminds us we haven’t.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

PS: Yes, that’s a handicap sticker hanging from the rear view mirror. With 3 empty spaces right in front, that does not excuse this parking job.


Connecticut is offering a child tax rebate of $250 per child, up to a maximum of $750 per household.

Residents must apply for the check. The deadline is July 31. Click here for details. (Hat tip: Melissa Crouch Chang)


Longtime and much-loved Westport PAL coach Scott Turkel died yesterday. He was 64, and suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

A graduate of American University, Scott spent the early part of his career as an equity trader at Goldman Sachs and Lehman Bros. He then launched his own hedge fund, TCM Partners. Scott spent the latter part of his career working at Turkel Investments, where he made private investments and served as a management consultant to many businesses.

While he enjoyed helping investors and businesses achieve their goals, Scott most loved helping others and serving as a mentor to many in his community.  Exceptionally philanthropic, he contributed generously to charities and causes, including the Samara Jan Turkel Clinical Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, created in memory of his late daughter.

He also made lasting impacts as a longtime coach for the Westport PAL football program. Scott kept in touch with his players through the years, and developed close relationships with many of them and their families.

Scott is survived by his sons Max, Bryan and Spencer, and his soulmate of nearly 8 years, Alyssa Rapko.

Scott’s service will be held tomorrow (Thursday, July 14, 11 a.m., Beth Israel Chabad of Norwalk 40 King Street). The family will sit shiva on Thursday (5 p.m.), Friday (4 to 6 p.m.), Saturday (7 to 9 p.m.) and Sunday (4 to 7 p.m.) at 27 White Birch Road, Weston.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

Scott Terkel


Former Westporter Luigi Scaramuzzo died Sunday. He was 87.

Before immigrating from Italy to the United States, Luigi helped build Alps tunnels between Switzerland, France and Italy. Here, he worked for many years at Pepperidge Farm as a shipping clerk. He was an avid gardener and fisherman.

Survivors include his son Nicola of Norwalk, daughter Anna of Norwalk, and brother Pietro of Italy. Luigi was predeceased by his wife Teresa Scirocco-Scaramuzzo, brothers Giuseppe and Michele Scaramuzzo, and sister Giuseppina.

Tomorrow (Thursday, July 14, 10 a.m., Assumption Church) there is a Mass of Christian Burial. Entombment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery. Condolences may be left online. Contributions in Luigi’s memory may to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,

Luigi Scaramuzzo


John Prenderville Jr. writes:

“Locals are discussing the number of chicks in the osprey nest at Burying Hill Beach.

“These pictures say 2. I don’t think there are 3, but I thought there was only 1. So what do I know?!”

Here’s what I know: John’s photo is a fantastic addition to our daily “Westport … Naturally” series.

(Photo/John Prenderville Jr.)


And finally … the story about John Németh (above) sent me scurrying to learn more. He’s the real deal, as this video shows:


0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 27 Gallery

We’re past the midpoint of our “gallery year” — with no lack of subjects. In fact, we’ve added wildfires to the list of contemporary themes our artists and photographers are tacklng.

As has been the case since March, all submissions are welcome — in any medium. The only rule: It should be inspired by, relevant to, or somehow, in some way, connected to our current world. Student art of all ages is especially welcome.

Coronavirus, social justice, politics, or just the beauty around us — have at it! Email dwoog@optonline.net, to share your work with the world.

Untitled. Amy Schneider photographed these yarhrzeit candles, “in memory of loved ones we’ve lost.” They will be lit tomorrow night, on Yom Kippur.

“To Be Free Again” (Karen Weingarten). In the sky above Compo Beach.

“The Pandemic Blues” (Lawrence Weisman)

Patricia Driscoll took this photo of her husband and their home after the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County. California. It was the first day they were allowed to return. “Everything was lost,” she says. The fire destroyed 1500 homes in their neighborhood, and another 1500 nearby. 

“Standing For.” Paul Delano erected this art installation of 16 painted poles in Westport. “In 2020, what are you standing for?” he asks.

Untitled lithograph (Ann Chernow)

Untitled stoneware vessel (Melissa Newman)

“Refuge.” This mixed media, acrylic and fabric was inspired inspired by the beauty of artist Mary Pat Pino’s own back yard.