Tag Archives: MoCA Westport

Roundup: Wreaths, Annie, “Light A Fire” …

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Every year, the Westport Garden Club creates wreaths for 18 town properties.

Members gather natural elements from their own gardens to create unique designs that they display on town buildings and non-profit organizations, from the ABC House and Gillespie Center to Earthplace.

One recipients — the Westport Museum for History & Culture — houses club archives dating back to 1924. It’s also the site of an Outdoor Winter Market tomorrow (Saturday, December 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), where 25 original wreaths will be on sale to the public. Proceeds will help continue their projects around town.

Westport Garden Club members, with their gorgeous wreaths.

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The sun is not out very long these days. But it comes out this weekend for Bedford Middle School’s production of “Annie.”

The show opens tonight (Friday, December 3, 7:30 p.m.), then continues tomorrow (Saturday, December 4, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.) and Sunday (December 5, 2 p.m.).

The school’s first stage production since COVID will draw raves. For tickets, click here.

Plenty of action in “Annie.” (Photo/January Stewart)

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Moffly Media’s annual “Light a Fire” celebration of local heroes is always inspiring. The event honors Fairfield County residents who go above and beyond, to make a difference in the lives of others.

Last night’s honorees included Matt Jordan. The Staples High School senior works tirelessly on behalf of Kids in Crisis, helping other teens whose lives are less fortunate than his own.

The livestreamed ceremony was hosted by Weston actor and animal rights activist Jim Naughton. Click below to see. (Matt’s presentation begins at 29:22.)

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On stage last night at the Westport Library: noted restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson.

He was interviewed by CBS News justice and security correspondent (and 1988 Staples High School graduate) Jeff Pegues. It was part of the library’s compelling Trefz Newsmakers conversation.

The only thing missing: some of the chef’s creations.

Jeff Pegues (left) and Marcus Samuelsson. (Photo/Matt Murray)

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In this season of joy and good cheer, MoCA Westport took time last night to acknowledge serious issues: human right violations.

The panel discussion was part of programming for the museum’s “When Caged Birds Sing” exhibition.

(Photo/Leslie LaSala)

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Among next week’s highlights at the Westport Library:

Cartoonist Roz Chast and artist Karla Knight chat — and answer audience questions — in conjunction with Knight’s first solo museum exhibition (Tusday, December 7, 7 p.m.). Click here for both in-person and livestream tickets.

A reception for Leonard Everett Fisher’s exhibit, “A Life of Art,” is set for Thursday (December 9, 7 p.m.). He’ll speak about his work. The public is invited.

Leonard Everett Fisher

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Across Jesup Green from the library: Photographer Fruma Markowitz is this month’s featured artist at the Westport Book Shop.

She shows part of “Sara’s Trousseau,” an installation of 9 Cyanotype prints and collages of teacups she inherited from her mother, and crocheted and embroidered linens found at flea markets and tag sales.

Markowitz is a member of the Artists Collective of Westport. Her work is on display at the back of the used book shop, on Jesup Road.

Fruma Markowitz, and her photos.

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This shoe sure gets around. It’s been spotted — and photographed — at the Compo beach boardwalk, playground and concession stand. Now it’s made its way to the most iconic spot of all.

What’s next? Stay tuned!

(Photo/Jean Stevens)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” shot is a very serene one, of a favorite sight: Sherwood Mill Pond.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … to honor Matt Jordan and his “Light a Fire” award (above):

 

Roundup: Dodge-a-Cop, Tree Lighting, Uber Discount …

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Police officers and Staples High School students battled last night. For 2 hours in the fieldhouse, they hurled objects at each other.

It’s all good.

The event was Dodge-a-Cop. The annual dodgeball tournament is a fundraiser for Toys for Tots — and a great way to get police and teenagers working together. Each student team included at least one officer.

Dodge-a-Cop was organized by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group.

There were no arrests.

Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (2nd from right) and RTM member Andrew Colabella (far right) joined in the fun. (Photo courtesy of Westport Police Department)

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Dueling tree lighting ceremonies!

Both the town of Westport, and Wakeman Town Farm, will do the honors on Friday, December 3.

The Town Hall event begins at 5 p.m. The Staples High School Orphenians will sing.

The WTF lighting starts at 4:30, and features music, cocoa, cookies and a bonfire.

If there are any other tree lightings that day, please let us know.

The Town Hall tree, in 2018. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Speaking of the holiday season: What a time for parties, celebrations and fun!

Not time for drinking and driving afterward, though.

Smart imbibers know that one way to avoid arrest — or worse — is to call Uber. Now — thanks to the Connecticut Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety — you can get a $10 discount off that potentially life-saving ride.

And it’s available every day from now through January 14, between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. The discount code is: SaveTheNightCT.

Put that code in your phone now. It may be harder to find when you need it the most.

This program comes thanks to a grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association, in partnership with Uber. Connecticut is one of only 5 states to receive the funds.

For more information, click here.

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Anaiza Morales moved to Westport only 2 months ago, from New Jersey. But it didn’t take her long to get involved in her Westfair neighborhood.

Impressed by how much fun everyone had on Halloween, last Sunday she organized a chili crawl/cook-off.

Anaiza met new neighbors, and their college-age kids and mothers in for the holiday weekend. They shared food and stories, while walking around the neighborhood (in perfect weather).

It was a blast. And people who did not have a chili recipe brought dessert.

The competition was close. Only .6 of a point separated the top cooks (as calculated by a young engineer). The winner: Wendy, with Brazilian feijoada.

Enjoying the chili (and warm weather) in the Westfair neighborhood.

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MoCA Westport’s current exhibition – “When Caged Birds Sing” — features 8 life-size sculptures by the late Westport artist Ann Weiner. They represent women’s rights activists who survived abuse because of their gender, yet still advocate for the rights of others at risk.

In conjunction with this important exhibit, MoCA hosts 3 human rights experts for a panel discussion at 6 p.m. on December 2:

  • Claudia King, from Connecticut’s Human Anti-trafficking Response Team
  • Cadence Pentheny, coordinator, community and corporate learning, LGBTQ+ Training Institute, Triangle Community Center
  • Jamie Rubin, Southwest regional manager, Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required (click here). Attendees who arrive early can grab a beverage at Bar MoCA. Guests can stay after the event to watch a documentary associated with the exhibition.

Part of MoCA’s “Caged Bird” exhibition.

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A memorial service for Julie Belaga — the former state representative, regional EPA administrator and Export-Import Bank director who died Friday — is set for December 19 (10 a.m., Westport Library). All of Julie’s friends and admirers are welcome.

Julie Belaga

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Two days ago, our Roundup featured 2 intriguing photos. Both showed a fancy women’s shoe, abandoned at Compo Beach. In one shot, it lay on the ground; in the other, it was perched on a railing.

That shoe sure gets around. Here’s a third image:

(Photo/Indrani Basu)

It sure gets around. If you see it on the cannons — or anywhere else — let us know.

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“Westport … Naturally” celebrates Turkey Day with, of course …

Dogwood Lane buck. (Photo/Eric Roth)

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And finally … 5o years ago today, hijacker DB Cooper parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane over the Pacific Northwest, with $200,000 in ransom money. He has never been found.

Click here for full details. Click below for DB Cooper’s song.

Roundup: Ann Weiner, Blood Drive, Cookbooks, …

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Ann Sharon Weiner died peacefully earlier this month, at 81. She lost a long, courageous battle with pancreatic cancer at her Westport home, with her family by her side. She was a noted artist and, with her late husband Sidney, sponsors of A Better Chance of Westport’s Glendarcy House on North Avenue.

Ann and Sidney’s 50-year marriage was considered the “paragon of devotion” by family and friends.

A New York City native, Ann earned undergraduate and graduate studies in fine arts at Queens College. She pursued careers as a high school art teacher, and the designer/art director for Sportswear by Pronto and Ann W. She received several fashion industry awards before devoting herself full time to a career as an exhibiting artist.

Ann’s most recent exhibit, “When Caged Birds Sing,” reflects her passion as a women’s advocate. It opened in 2017 at Brown University and is now a permanent exhibit at MoCA Westport.

Ann received the Silvermine Living Art Award for her impact on the art community.

Ann was also a philanthropist. In addition to sponsoring A Better Chance’s Glendarcy House with her husband, she worked tirelessly with Amnesty International,

Ann was predeceased by her husband Sidney and their 2 adult children, Darcy and Glenn. She is survived by her children Gregory and Devin Weiner of Norwalk; her long-time loving friend Paul Burger, niece Stacy Waldman Bass and nephew David Waldman, both of Westport ; nephews Jay and Todd Myers, and countless friends whose lives she touched.

A service is set for Thursday (November 18, 11 a.m.,  MoCA). In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to in memory of Sid and Ann Weiner to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research (lustgarten.org) or the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Ann Weiner, with one element of “When Caged Birds Sing.”

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American Red Cross is experiencing a blood emergency. To help, Joseph J. Clinton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 399 hosts a blood drive. It’s set for Wednesday (November 17, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 465 Riverside Avenue).

For an appointment, click here (use sponsor code VFWWestport), or call 800-733-2767.

Donors who give blood by November 23 will receive a $10 Amazon gift card via email.

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Sparked by last week’s “06880” story on Allium — the new dining experience on Railroad Place — Lori Levine van Arsdale stopped by.

She loved it. She also spotted this at the entrance:

“I love that the chef has Post-It Notes sticking out of the cookbooks,” Lori says.

“Such a refreshing change from the normal cookbooks, which are usually only displayed for sale. It made me feel like I was in someone’s home.”

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John Kantor spotted — and took — today’s “Westport … Naturally” image at Sherwood Mill Pond.

The bald eagle was camera shy, and flew off. John — and many others — hope he returns.

(Photo/John Kantor)

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And finally … on this day in 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman began his famous March to the Sea.

Between today — when he captured Atlanta — and December 21, when he took over the port of Savannah — he and his Union troops destroyed military targets, industry, infrastructure, and civilian property, and disrupted the Confederacy’s ransportation networks. It was a major turning point in the war.

Roundup: Christmas Music, Veterans Day, Pints For Players …

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Yesterday was November 9. Christmas is December 25. That’s 45 days away.

Which means 45 days of Christmas carols. Because I heard my first one of the season yesterday, at Fresh Market.

Guys … it’s not even Veterans Day yet!

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Speaking of Veterans Day: It’s tomorrow.

Joseph J. Clinton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 399 hosts Westport’s Veterans ceremony in their Riverside Avenue parking lot.

The Westport Community Band plays patriotic music at 10:30 a.m., honoring all those who have served in the US military.

The 11 a.m. program includes posting the colors, remarks from State Senator Tony Hwang and 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, an address by Staples High School senior Pierre Briand, and a firing salute by the Westport Police Department.

A special tribute honors World War II and Korean War veterans for their service. The public is invited to the outdoor event.

VFW on Riverside Avenue: site of tomorrow’s Veterans Day ceremony.

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A few spots remain for this Saturday’s free mattress and box spring recycling program (November 13 at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.). The project is sponsored by Sustainable Westport.

The project is run through the Mattress Recycling Council’s Connecticut Bye Bye Mattress program.

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Staples Players’ “Grease” is a hot ticket. And Cold Fusion is adding to the heat.

Owners (and Players superfans) Kelly and Eric Emmert have created a special “Pints for Players” promotion.

They renamed 3 flavors, to honor the show. Through closing night (November 20), customers can purchase pints of Pink Lady (strawberry stracciatella), Burger Boys (blood orange sorbet) and Ode to Olivia Newton-John (peanut butter Xanadu).

For more information on “Grease,” click here.

Rydell High cheerleaders enjoy some Cold Fusion gelato.

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Speaking of high school: MoCA Westport has put out a call for submissions from artists in grades 9-12. They’ll be part of an exhibition focusing on the theme of identity, to run concurrently with a show featuring works from the Westport Permanent Art Collections in January.

MoCA officials were impressed with the diversity and talent of last year’s submissions. This year, they hope to surpass those nearly 200 entries. Teachers from across Connecticut and New York played a huge role in bringing that exhibition to fruition. They’re engaged again this year.

The submission deadline is December 19. For details, click here.

A student work from last year’s “Hindsight is 2020” show.

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Jillian Elder — the creative force behind the “Finding Westport” information and merchandise site — checks in with more swag.

Her “Westport Love & Life” collection of t-shirts, mugs, blankets, tote bags and more includes our beloved Minute Man, in various forms of the words “Love” and “Life.” Click here to see the wide variety of products.

And Jillian hopes to post a list of Etsy shops based in Westport, for holiday readers. If you’ve got — or know of — one, email jillian@findingfairfieldcounty.com.

The Minute Man on a “Love & Life” hoodie.

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Time to network!

Local business professionals are invited to a “Virtual Visitors Day” on Thursday, November 18 (7:30 to 9 a.m. Zoom). The event is sponsored by Westport’s Business Networking International chapter.

BNI meetings are open to only one business per category.

They’re on the lookout for new members. People working in hospitality — event planners, florists, caterers, bakers, DJs and bands, liquor stores, limousine services and gift novelty shop owners — are particularly welcome

Other open categories include home inspectors, veterinary services, dentists, dermatologists, commercial sign companies, martial artists, trade schools, physical therapists, orthopedists, delicatessen owners and tutors.

Email curtis@health-directions.com or billhall747@gmail.com to sign up for the Virtual Vistors Day.

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The Westport Police Department and TEAM Westport are sponsoring a Thanksgiving food drive this Saturday (November 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). All donations support Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center and food pantry, and Westports Human Services Department.

Westport Police officers and volunteers will collect non-perishable food items and cash. Suggested items include canned meats, tuna, salmon, Spam, canned cranberries, boxed stuffing, canned yams, canned corn, canned gravy, pasta, and sauces, chili, hot and cold cereal, canned fruit, canned and dry soups, peanut butter, jelly, mac and cheese, rice, granola bars, pancake mix, syrup and mayonnaise.

Earlier this year, after another drive, Westport Police and Homes with Hope volunteers delivered food to the Gillespie Center, across from police headquarters.

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Lauri Weiser calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” image “The Last Rose of Summer.”

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … as noted above, yesterday was waaaaaay too early for Christmas music.

Two can plan that game. Take this, Fresh Market!

 

 

 

Roundup: Girls Soccer, Pumpkins, ALS …

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Congratulations to the Staples High School girls soccer team!

The #4 Wreckers battled #1 St. Joseph to a 0-0 draw in the FCIAC semifinals last night — then prevailed on penalty kicks, to advance to the league championship. It’s tomorrow night (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) Thursday (November 4, 7 p.m.)  at Fairfield Warde High School.

Coco Crombie, Gaby Gonzalez and Gabriela de Brito each made their tension-filled, game-ending shots. McKenzie Didio saved 3 shots in goal, to propel the Westporters to the title match.

Coach Barry Beattie’s team hopes to make it 2 championships in a row. They beat St. Joseph in 2019. There was no match last year, due to COVID.

Good luck too to the Staples field hockey team. Seeded #3, they face #2 Darien tonight at 7:30., at Brien McMahon High School.

The Staples High School girls soccer team, at last month’s the Push Against Cancer …

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Halloween’s over. You’re rationing your kid’s candy, and cleaning the cobwebs (literally) from your yard. But what to do about that rotting pumpkin?

Bring it to the Westport Farmers’ Market on November 11 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Their 3rd annual Great Pumpkin Toss is a free, fun composting event.

Action Waste Solutions will accept all pumpkins (and gourds!) in their natural state at the market. Squishy, rotted pumpkins are welcome. If they’re decorated or painted, they unfortunately can’t be composted.

In addition to creating compost, pumpkins provide food for livestock. Ox Hollow Farm will fill their truck with pumpkins for their cows.

PS: You can also sign up for Action Waste Solution’s residential recycling collection service, and get your first month of service free.

Last year’s event diverted one ton of pumpkins from landfill. Let’s beat that this year!

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One of Westport’s most important holiday events — the annual Giving Program — is underway.

Aimed at friends and neighbors facing financial hardship, it’s funded entirely by community donations. Each year, over 100 Westport families with school-aged children benefit.

COVID — with unemployment, underemployment, food insecurity and stress — has increased the need.

During the pandemic, Westport’s Department of Human Services has pivoted from accepting toys and clothes. The emphasis now is on gift cards, checks and cash. Safety is one factor; so is the chance for parents to personalize their children’s gifts, while participating in the holiday season.

Individuals and organizations can click here to help; choose “Family to Family,” then “Holiday Giving Program.” Checks can be mailed to Westport Department of Human Services c/o Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.  Donations may also be dropped off at Town Hall by appointment.

Westport residents facing financial difficulties can call Human Services at 203-341-1050 or email humansrv@westportct.gov for confidential assistance.

Click here for more information. Questions about the program? Email adaugelli@westportct.gov or call 203-341-1183. 

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As he battled ALS, Jonathan Greenfield was thinking of others. The well-known Westporter created Breathe4ALS, The goal was to improve the lives of people living with ALS by educating them about the Wim Hof breathing technique, and its ability to provide more energy, less stress and a heightened immune response — and to fundraise for ALS research.

Jonathan died in June, but his work continues. This Sunday (November 7,  11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) the non-profit he founded with his wife Iris holds its first Jonathan Greenfield Memorial Wim Hof fundamentals workshops. It’s called “Breathe Westport. Breathe!” Jonathan created Breathe 4 ALS with a dual mission:  to improve the lives of people living with ALS and to raise money for ALS research.

The event will be held at the Greenfields’ home, and livestreamed. Tickets are $200 and $45, respective. All proceeds benefit Breathe4ALS. Click here to register, and for more information. Click here for a video on the Wim Hof technique.

Not long after his diagnoses, Jonathan Greenfield hiked in Spain with Wim Hof (left).

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Political season means political signs. You see them everywhere: traffic islands. Front lawns. Today, of course, at polling places.

They tout candidates for local offices. Except this one, spotted earlier today on South Compo.

The Tiger King is not on the ballot. Besides, the 2020 presidential election is over. Joe Biden won.*

(Photo/Matt Murray)

*Really.

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The Mercedes station wagon parked since summer front of Town Hall still remains there.

It’s not the only perhaps abandoned vehicle.

Chris Grimm says a Holiday Rambler travel trailer has sat in the Sherwood Island Connector I-95 commuter lot for at least a couple of weeks. 

The door is wide open. He describes it as “ever so slightly furnished crack den chic. The only decoration is a Junie B. Jones bumper sticker on the inside of the front window. Looks like a metaphor for lost youth if there ever was one!”

Holiday Rambler in the I-95 lot. (Photo/Chris Grimm)

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MoCA Westport’s auction is online, and open. More than 50 items — including original art, unique experiences, and products from small Westport businesses — are available for bid.

Click here to participate. The auction closes November 15.

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Thoreau never gets old

To prove it, Westporter Andrew Blauner has compiled essays from 27 leading writers. Their original pieces explore how the 19th century philosopher/poet/ environmentalist/abolitionist influenced them.

Next Monday (November 8, 7 p.m.), he (Blauner, not Thoreau, Zoom) will talk about his new book, what he’s learned, and why we still need Thoreau in our lives. Click here to register, and purchase the book.

Henry David Thoreau

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The Westport Astronomical Society’s lecture series is one of our town’s unheralded gems. (The WAS calls itself, after all, “The Best Space in Connecticut.”)

Next up: the Hubble Telescope, and “A Brief Moment in Time.” It’s November 16 (8 p.m.). Click here to view.

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There are plenty of places to admire fall foliage. One of my favorites is at the entrance to Staples High School, just off North Avenue.

Dayle Brownstein loves it too. Here’s her photo — a perfect “Westport … Naturally” image, on this Election Day when there’s no school.

(Photo/Dayle Brownstein)

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And finally … today is Election Day. Leonard Cohen nails it. Sure, he was Canadian, but you get the idea.

 

Roundup: Burglary, Diwali, Dermaplaning …

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The Westport Police Department press release was straightforward:

70-year-old Robert Milton of Bridgeport was arrested for burglary and larceny. He’s charged with stealing a bicycle and jewelry from a Westport home. Bond was set at $10,000.

Why would an elderly man do that? As usual, there is a story behind the story.

“06880” reader John Kelly sent a link to a Connecticut Post story from 2012, about help for homeless people in Bridgeport. The first photo shows Robert Milton staying warm with a cup of coffee.

There must have been many factors that sent Robert Milton to the streets. Much no doubt happened to him in the past 9 years too.

I don’t know the full story. None of us do. But whenever we read the police report of an arrest — any arrest — we should realize that there is probably a human story behind it.

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Diwali is a major Hindu festival. It represents the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and wisdom over ignorance. It is a festival of new beginnings, an auspicious day.

Like Christmas, it includes brightly lit homes, great food and many presents.

The Hindu community invites all Westporters to join the Diwali festivities on November 5 at MoCA Westport (19 Newtown Turnpike, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.).

All activities will be held outside (weather permitting). For questions or more information, email aapiwestport@gmail.com.

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Speaking of holidays: Bridgewater Chocolate is leasing a seasonal pop-up retail space in Bedford Square.  The Bridgewater Chocolate Box Shop will feature high-end assortments, with hinged boxes and bows. The store opens the day after Thanksgiving, and will be open weekends only through the holiday season.

PS: I asked the obvious question. There is no connection between Westport’s 2 Bridgewaters: the chocolatier, and the world’s largest hedge fund.

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Glowbar is a skin care service on Elm Street (and Tribeca and the Upper East Side). Treatments include chemical peels and extractions.

In Connecticut, however, Connecticut legislation prohibits estheticians from performing dermaplaning (“exfoliation using a 10-gauge scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dulling dead skin cells, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion” — nice!) The practice is allowed in New York.

Glowbar asks for an addendum to the Connecticut Esthetician Scope of Practice, to allow licensed estheticians — who required over 600 hours of training — to dermaplane. Click here for the full petition.

Dermaplaning

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What is fire cider? Why is everyone drinking it?

Wakeman Town Farm knows. In a hands-on workshop (Wednesday, November 3, 6:30 p.m.), they’ll share the health benefits of this immune-boosting tonic. Then everyone can chop together — and leave with a quart of their own homemade fire cider.

The cost is $75. Click here for tickets.

Fire cider

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On Sunday, members of the Saugatuck Rowing Club junior program headed to the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. Nearly every boat finished in the top third.

The women’s U17 4+ boat (Mia Kirkorsky, Alexandra Cowan, Kelly Kennedy, Rosie Lundberg and Victoria Bazarko snagged first. Both the men’s and women’s eights placed 4th in their events, with over 80 entries in each.

The men were George Bentley, Victor DiPasquale, Gabriel Marous, Felipe Artia, George Karacsonyi, Adam Pushner, Jack Kiely, Gavin Marshall and Finn Kiely. The women’s eight included Kira Obsitnik, Janna Moore, Hannah Clemens, Jane Leahy, Lecia Sun, Olivia Hankey, Lauren Eve Schramm, Claudia Chadwick and Mia Seibert.

Next up: the final race of the season, in Philadelphia.

Women’s U17 4+ champions (from left): Alexandra Cowan, Kelly Kennedy, Mia Kirkorsky, Rosie Lundberg, Victoria Bazarko. (Photo/Leslie Eisen)

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Speaking of youth: Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from our youngest photographer ever.

Bedford Middle School 6th grader Caitlin Hand snapped this photo the other day, after dinner by the Saugatuck River at Arezzo. Keep the great photos coming, Caitlin!

(Photo/Caitlin Hand)

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And finally … on this day in 1682, Philadelphia was founded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

Roundup: UN, Paul Lane Field, Mushrooms …

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The UN is 76 years young.

To mark the occasion, Westport’s International Hospitality Committee and the UN Association of Southwestern Connecticut are hosting a ceremony on the Town Hall front steps. It’s set for next Monday (October 25, 3:30 p.m.).

UNASWCT president and International Hospitality Committee member Bill Hass will read a message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Aye Aye Thant — a Westport resident, and daughter of former UN Secretary-General U Thant — is the guest speaker.

Flags of UN countries will fly on the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Bridge.

For more information, call Bill Hass (203-454-7685).

Happy UN Day! (Photo/Jeff Simon)

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Paul Lane Field — the new name for Staples High School’s football stadium — will be dedicated officially on Friday, November 12.

A host of former players will be on hand, including Matt MacVane, Bill During, John Bolger, Buzz Leavitt and Lance Lonergan, as well as relatives of the longtime Wrecker coach. Festivities include a tailgate in the north parking lot before the 7 p.m. kickoff against Ridgefield High, and a halftime ceremony.

The original date for the dedication was this Friday (October 22). Instead, that’s Homecoming.

There’s plenty of action in what’s known — now and forever — as Paul Lane Field.

Paul Lane (center) flanked by his sons Peter (left) and Skip. Both played for him.

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It was a tough call. But MoCA Westport canceled this fall’s in-person fundraiser due to COVID concerns.

Of course, like any museum they still need support. They’ve pivoted to an online auction., to help with exhibitions and music, community events and outreach to the underserved.

The auction features over 50 items, including original artwork (like art by Devon Troy Strother and a Joel Sternfeld photo from the 1980s), one-of-a kind experiences (an NBA VIP draft experience), and curated products from local businesses (Stephen Kempson London, Stacy Bass Photography, JL Rocks, Pure Barre and Imperial Dental Associates, among others).

The auction begins November 1, and ends November 15. To pre-register, click here. For more information, click here.

MoCA Westport’s Newtown Avenue building is unique. Its online auction is special too.

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Speaking of artistry: The Flower Basket is more than just fantastic floral arrangements.

This Sunday (October 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 995 Post Road East), the wonderful shop near Stiles Market hosts an exhibit of abstract and contemporary art by Romeo. Flower and art lovers are invited.

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TAP is dedicated toward fitness and preventive care in all forms.

Including mushrooms.

On Tuesday (October 26, 7 p.m., 180 Post Road East) they host author Adam Fiore. He’s the author of a recent Newsweek cover story on clinical trials using psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” to treat depression. He’ll talk about neuroscience, research and stories shared by patients.

To register and for more information, email Nancy@tapstrength.com.

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Wasps — or at least, a paper wasp nest — makes an initial appearance in our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Patricia Carey spotted it. She writes: “I think it’s really pretty (especially since there was no wasp activity!).”

(Photo/Patricia Carey)

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And finally … in honor of TAP Strength Lab’s upcoming event (see above):

 

Roundup: UN, Paul Lane Field, Mushrooms …

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The UN is 76 years young.

To mark the occasion, Westport’s International Hospitality Committee and the UN Association of Southwestern Connecticut are hosting a ceremony on the Town Hall front steps. It’s set for next Monday (October 25, 3:30 p.m.).

UNASWCT president and International Hospitality Committee member Bill Hass will read a message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Aye Aye Thant — a Westport resident, and daughter of former UN Secretary-General U Thant — is the guest speaker.

Flags of UN countries will fly on the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Bridge.

For more information, call Bill Hass (203-454-7685).

Happy UN Day! (Photo/Jeff Simon)

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Paul Lane Field — the new name for Staples High School’s football stadium — will be dedicated officially on Friday, November 12.

A host of former players will be on hand, including Matt MacVane, Bill During, John Bolger, Buzz Leavitt and Lance Lonergan, as well as relatives of the longtime Wrecker coach. Festivities include a tailgate in the north parking lot before the 7 p.m. kickoff against Ridgefield High, and a halftime ceremony.

The original date for the dedication was this Friday (October 22). Instead, that’s Homecoming.

There’s plenty of action in what’s known — now and forever — as Paul Lane Field.

Paul Lane (center) flanked by his sons Peter (left) and Skip. Both played for him.

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It was a tough call. But MoCA Westport canceled this fall’s in-person fundraiser due to COVID concerns.

Of course, like any museum they still need support. They’ve pivoted to an online auction., to help with exhibitions and music, community events and outreach to the underserved.

The auction features over 50 items, including original artwork (like art by Devon Troy Strother and a Joel Sternfeld photo from the 1980s), one-of-a kind experiences (an NBA VIP draft experience), and curated products from local businesses (Stephen Kempson London, Stacy Bass Photography, JL Rocks, Pure Barre and Imperial Dental Associates, among others).

The auction begins November 1, and ends November 15. To pre-register, click here. For more information, click here.

MoCA Westport’s Newtown Avenue building is unique. Its online auction is special too.

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Speaking of artistry: The Flower Basket is more than just fantastic floral arrangements.

This Sunday (October 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 995 Post Road East), the wonderful shop near Stiles Market hosts an exhibit of abstract and contemporary art by Romeo. Flower and art lovers are invited.

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TAP is dedicated toward fitness and preventive care in all forms.

Including mushrooms.

On Tuesday (October 26, 7 p.m., 180 Post Road East) they host author Adam Piore. He’s the author of a recent Newsweek cover story on clinical trials using psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” to treat depression. He’ll talk about neuroscience, research and stories shared by patients.

To register and for more information, email Nancy@tapstrength.com.

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Wasps — or at least, a paper wasp nest — makes an initial appearance in our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Patricia Carey spotted it. She writes: “I think it’s really pretty (especially since there was no wasp activity!).”

(Photo/Patricia Carey)

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And finally … in honor of TAP Strength Lab’s upcoming event (see above):

 

 

Roundup: Staples #1, Tyler Hicks, Young Authors, MoCA Show …

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“06880” does not post most “ranking” stories (Best Beach Towns in America, etc.). The criteria are random, the headlines are often clickbait, and — particularly with education — if, say, our school district is #1 one year and #2 the next, Westporters demand to know “What happened?!”

So this story is not about Niche’s ranking of Staples as the #1 school in Connecticut — for the 3rd year in a row.

Instead, it’s about the Channel 8 news report about that honor. Click here to learn more, from (very proud) principal Stafford Thomas.

Screenshot of Staples principal Stafford Thomas, on Channel 8’s “What’s Right With our Schools” feature.

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As the US withdraws from Afghanistan, the New York Times looks back on Tyler Hicks’ 2 decades of chronicling life and death in that faraway land.

The 1988 Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer arrived there soon after the October 7, 2001 invasion — 20 years ago today. One of the first sights he saw was the execution of a Taliban fighter.

His most recent assignment, in July, was near Bagram Air Base — the same spot he saw that harrowing first scene.

Click here for today’s Times retrospective of Hicks’ haunting photos. (Hat tip: Gil Ghitelman)

In 2001, Northern Alliance fighters dragged a wounded Taliban fighter out of a ditch. They shot him dead. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

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When COVID put the kibosh on after-school activities, Jordan Razza created her own.

She arranged classes for her daughters Daisy and Ainsley, and 2 other Westport youngsters, with children’s book author Jacky LaMenzo.

She lives in Massachusetts, but no matter. This was COVID; classes were held via Zoom, on Tuesday evenings.

This was more than just “how-to.” LaMenzo emphasized “do it!”

Brainstorming ideas was key. Daisy — now a 7th grader at Coleytown Middle School — wanted to write about LGBTQ people.

Ainsley — a Coleytown Elementary 5th grader — loves alligators, crocodiles and frogs. She focused on an alligator who makes friends.

Both girls honed in on the theme of acceptance. Now, both are now published authors.

Daisy’s book is “My Colors.” It’s illustrated with her own digital art.

Ainsley wrote “Outcast.” Her drawings are freehand.

The books are available on Amazon. Part of the proceeds go to a literary charity.

The girls are interested in many things. Daisy does gymnastics, the school play and swimming. She’s also in CMS’ Pride Club. Ainsley enjoys synchronized swimming and art. Both continue to write.

The Razzas may not be Westport’s newest authors. But they definitely are our youngest!

(Click here for more information on Daisy’s book. Click here for Ainsley’s.)

The Razza sisters’ books.

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“When Caged Birds Sing” — a teaching exhibition created by Westport artist Ann Weiner — opens to the public on October 29. An opening reception is October 28 (6 to 8 p.m.).

The exhibit features 8 life-size sculptures representing women’s rights activists who suffered and survived abuse because of their gender, yet continue to advocate for the rights of others at risk.

Weiner’s work shines a spotlight on sex trafficking, kidnapping, transphobia, female genital mutilation, honor killings, domestic abuse, the conversion of kidnapped girls into sex slaves and killers by rebel armies, merciless Taliban law and transphobia.

Visitors are invited to write stories, experiences or feelings on pieces of paper that will then be folded into the origami shape of a bird and placed in a bird cage, for release later. A 45-minute documentary about the women featured in the exhibition will also be shown.

For more information, click here.

Part of MoCA’s “Caged Bird” exhibition.

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The Tailored Home is known for its custom furniture, window treatments, accessories, reupholstery, refinishing and design services. It’s a great place, and it knows its Fairfield County clientele.

But last night the Sconset Square store sponsored a funk band. It was something different, for sure.

(Photo/Paul Delano)

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For 10 years, Voices Cafe at the Westport Unitarian Church has featured great folk music. Peter Yarrow, Paul Winter and Suzanne Sheridan have performed there; Brother Sun chose it their final concert. Many events support social justice causes.

Voices Cafe begins its 2nd decade on Sunday, October 24 (7:30 p.m.). with double bill: Newtown-born Sawyer Fredericks (winner of The Voice’s season 8) and The Accidentals, a powerful female-led indie rock and punk folk band.

The concert will be both in-person at the church, and livestreamed. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Sawyer Fredericks

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Sorelle Gallery’s final exhibition of 2021 features abstract artist Ned Martin. Beginning Saturday (October 9). Light refreshments will be served in the Bedford Square spce.

Martin’s work includes birds, female portraiture, natural forest-scapes, and pure abstraction.

“Fragmented in Time” (Ned Martin)

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James Goodenough died peacefully at his Westport home on September 29, surrounded by Gloria, his wife of 73 years, and his 4 children. He was 95 years old.

He was born in New Haven to Dr. Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough, a professor at Yale University, and Helen Miriam Lewis. Jim  graduated from Yale University.

In 1954 Jim and Gloria moved to Westport. He worked at a specialized business magazine company, Cleworth Publishing, rising to publisher of several magazines, then vice president and treasurer.

Jim was a man of consummate integrity, wisdom and humbleness. He is survived by his wife Gloria; children Sandra, Janice, Andrew and Elizabeth; 6 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and his brother John B. Goodenough, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year for his work on the lithium ion battery.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 17 (2 p.m., Saugatuck Congregational Church). Memorial donations are suggested to Saugatuck Church or Westminster School in Simsbury.

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In our never-ending quest to feature every living thing possible, “Westport … Naturally” today turns to termites.

Susan Garment writes: “I came across this swarm of termites in a tree on my yard. I called several exterminators and sent them this picture. They  became extremely excited, because they had never seen anything like it. They wanted to send the picture to the Connecticut Department of Entomology.

“We removed the tree. Fortunately,  none of the termites migrated to my house.”

(Photo/Susan Garment)

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And finally … the next MoCA exhibition — “When Caged Birds Sing” (see above) — reminded me of this seriously underrated Beatles song. Sure, there’s no connection between the tune and the Maya Angelou-inspired museum title, other than the bird theme. But I love this track:

Roundup: Pushups, Steffi Friedman, Roses …

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There was a lot going on this beautiful weekend.

A beautiful sight was Staples High School’s Jinny Parker Field, where hundreds of Westporters of all ages banged out pushups for a great cause.

The 12th annual Push Against Cancer is a fundraiser for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp — the wonderful respite for kids battling life-threatening diseases. It was developed by Westport’s beloved Paul Newman.

Participants solicited pledges, in return for pushups. The top 2 teams were Staples girls soccer ($24,178) and Staples boys soccer ($23.311).

It costs $2,500 to send one youngster to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for a week. Those 2 soccer programs alone will send 18 children there.

Add in the $140,000-plus raised by everyone else, and that’s nearly 80 boys and girls. Well done, Westport!

The Staples High School girls soccer team at the Push Against Cancer … (Photo/Charlotte Strandell)

… and the boys.

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On Saturday, friends and family of Steffi Friedman honored the Westport artist who died 2 years ago at 94, and dedicated a new work.

Her bronze “Pas de Deux” (2002) is now part of the Westport Public Art Collections. Installed for years on her Yankee Hill Road lawn, it now sits proudly in the Staples High School courtyard. The work was donated by her family, in gratitude of Westport’s cultural legacy, and Staples’ commitment to the arts.

The event was organized by Steffi’s daughter Margie — a 1972 Staples graduate — and town arts curator Kathie Bennewitz.

Performances include poetry from town poet laureate Diane Meyer Lowman, and dance by Staples alum Grace Bergonzi.

Friends and family admire Steffi Friedman’s sculpture. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

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The River of Roses is one of Westport’s best fundraisers.

It’s probably the most colorful too.

The Survive-OAR program provides mental, physical and emotional healing after traditional treatment ends. It’s an empowering, supportive community for women to heal.

During next Sunday’s celebration (October 10, 4 p.m.) — honoring the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s Survive-OARS crew, plus anyone who has battling breast cancer (or is now) — names are read aloud, as rose petals are scattered into the Saugatuck River at high tide. They’re then swept out to sea.

Survive-OAR’s Kimberly Wilson will sing. There’s live music by Fake ID, plus Copp’s Island Oysters, a raw bar from Pagano’s Seafood, drinks, Chef Jason’s clam chowder and lobster bisque, and Donut Crazy treats.

Click here for tickets, donations, positivity bracelets and more. Questions? Email president and head coach Diana Kuen: diana@survive-OARS.org.

PS: Throughout October, new members can buy a one-month membership to the Saugatuck Rowing Club. 100% of the dues goes toward Survive-OARS.

Strewing rose petals, in 2019.

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Yesterday’s Roundup gave an incorrect date for Westport Pride’s Zoom presentation: “When did you know?” (As in: When did you know you were LGBT?).

It’s tomorrow (Tuesday, October 5, 7 p.m.). Panelists include

  • John Dodig, former Staples High School principal
  • Zac Mathias, Weston High School senior and media influencer
  • Samantha Webster, Staples High graduate and former Staples Player
  • Luke Foreman, Staples grad and varsity tennis captain
  • Jen DeLoyd and Bethany Eppner, Westport parents
  • Kayla Iannetta, Staples teacher and founder of the Westport Public Schools’ Pride Coalition
  • Brian McGunagle, Westport parent and founder of Westport Pride.

Click here for the Zoom link.

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Westporter Lisa Seidenberg had a letter published in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review.

It was a response to a review by Simon Winchester that mentioned the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair, and how General Motors drove many Americans into debt with the purchase of automobiles. That was a huge expense, in the post-Depression years.

Seidenberg knows the subject well. Her 2010 documentary on the Fair — “I Have Seen the Future” — premiered in Westport, before screenings at film festivals nationwide. It included commentary by the late Westport futurist Watts Wacker.

General Motors’ Futurama, at the 1939 World’s Fair.

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MoCA Westport has announced its fall music series. It includes:

  • Marielle Kraft (pop): Friday, October 8
  • The Figgs (rock): Friday, October 15
  • Priscilla Navarro (classical): Saturday, November 20
  • The Mark O’Connor Duo (violin/fiddle/bluegrass): Thursday, December 9.

Shows begin at 7 p.m. Click here for details and tickets.

The Figgs

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Congratulations to the Longshore Ladies 9 Holers. Their annual charity golf event at Longshore raised an enormous amount of food donations for the Westport Woman’s Club food closet, plus $1,175 in cash.

Longshore ladies who golf — and raise money for good causes. From left: M.J. Fusaro, Eileen Hart, Mandy Germishuys, Julie Gray.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is sweet!

Here’s a honeybee enjoying a dahlia:

(Photo/Nancy Diamond)

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And finally … I had never heard of the Figgs — the band that’s headlining at MoCA Westport next week.

Then again, there are lots of bands I’ve never heard of.

Now here they are: