Tag Archives: Melissa Newman

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)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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

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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

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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.)

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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.

Roundup: WTF Dinner, Sherwood Island, Friday Flowers, More


Wakeman Town Farm’s Harvest Fest is a major fundraiser — and major fun.

This year’s event (Saturday, Sept 12, 5 to 9 p.m.), is still on. But it’s “reimagined,” to be COVID-compliant.

The dinner features a small number of tables of 4 to 8 friends, spaced out on the lawn, served by masked-and-gloved waiters. There is a 75 guest limit.

There’s an outdoor, multi-course feast by Marcia Selden Catering + Events, drinks courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka (signature cocktails) and Iain and Linda Bruce (wines), and live acoustic music by Henry Jones. Town Fair Tire is the presenting sponsor. Click here for tickets.

Because of limited seating (tables sell out fast!), WTF chefs created a gourmet picnic box, to be enjoyed at the beach, a favorite scenic spot or home.

Each box includes a full meal for 2: Long Island lobster roll, jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, classic creamy coleslaw, handcut crisp potato chips with French onion dip, and truffled popcorn. Click here to order.

You can even help Wakeman Town Farm without eating. It costs more than $10,000 a year to feed their alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits. Click here to donate.


We’re #4!

That’s the rank of Sherwood Island State Park on New England Travel Today’s list of 10 Prettiest Beaches in the 6 states. Many Westporters already know how great it is. Others have no clue.

Click here to read the writeup, and compare. (Hat tip: Jon Sinish)

Very pretty indeed! (Photo/Lauri Weiser)


Also beautiful: this week’s Westport Garden Club’s #FridayFlowers basket.

The group honored the hard work of school administrators and staff to reopen the district.

Shown below on the Town Hall steps are (from left) Michael Rizzo, assistant superintendent of pupil personnel services; John Bayers, director of human resources and general administration; Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning.

(Photo/Kelle Ruden)


Melissa Newman has not yet decided “weather” or not she’ll be on Main Street at Elm at 12:30 p.m. today, distributing her Paul Newman “register and vote” poster. That depends on the skies.

But she’ll be there for sure on Saturday, September 12. In the meantime, here’s another look at what she’s handing out:


And finally … just look at the sky outside:

Paul Newman Says: Research. Register. Vote!

During his 50-plus years in Westport, Paul Newman was everywhere in town.

We saw him in supermarkets, shops and restaurants. He picked up hitchhikers. When I played summer soccer, his helicopter landed on the Coleytown Junior High School field (we scattered first). “Hi boys!” he said as he hopped out — wearing shorts, carrying a briefcase — and walked around the corner to his home.

Paul Newman, in a photo project promoting community involvement. (Photo by Robert Satter)

The actor/philanthropist/race car driver/all-around great guy died in 2008. But this Saturday, he returns to Main Street.

Once again, he’ll do something great — for his town and his country.

Newman’s daughter Melissa is a giver in her own right. For 20 yeas, she volunteered at a woman’s prison.

She was casual friends with a social worker there. For 2 years, he said he had a present for her. Finally — a decade or so ago — he handed her the gift.

It was a framed poster of her father. Looking straight at the camera — and pointing sternly — the young actor urged all “Young Citizens for Johnson” to register to vote.

Melissa had never seen that poster. “It was one of the best presents I ever got,” she says. She hung it on her kitchen wall. It’s been there ever since.

Melissa always wanted to share the poster’s message — register and vote! — with a broader audience. Now she’s got her chance.

In these polarized times, she wants the poster to be non-partisan. Besides, LBJ is no longer on the ballot.

So Melissa enlisted her friend Miggs Burroughs to help. The talented graphic designer changed the message to “Research. Register. Vote.”

Last weekend, Melissa handed out copies of the poster on Main Street, near Brooks Corner. She’ll be there this Saturday (August 29) too, at 12;30 p.m. — complete with mask and hand sanitizer.

“I’m literally a poster child for voting,” she laughs.

She hopes everyone — whatever their political affiliation — will pick up a flyer, reminding themselves to register and vote.

And why not? It’s one more Paul Newman/Westport story to add to our list.

Melissa Newman last weekend, with her poster on Main Street near Elm.