Tag Archives: New Creek Road

Roundup: Lanternfly, Dead Tree,, Orchestrating Change …

Chuck Greenlee, acting Y’s Men Gardening chair, writes:

“Wednesday afternoon at the very popular Westport Community Garden, our our Ys Men Gardening group noticed an unusual flying insect. JP Montillier got an eerily good photo.

“It was our newest American insect invasive scourge: the lanternfly.”

Click here for more information on lanternflies.

Lanternfly (Photo/JP Montillier)

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Speaking of the less-wonderful side of nature:

Dave Wilson sent a photo of a dead tree on New Creek Road, near the Greens Farms Station and Beachside Avenue.

(Photo/Dave Wilson)

It’s dangerous. Dave says that a few requests have been made over the years to remove it.

He thinks it may have been tagged this week.

Fingers crossed …

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Nômade — the new restaurant replacing Tavern on Main — has had a few previews, before opening officially next week.

The previously dark interior has been reimagined, much more brightly. (The fireplace remains — but it’s now white). The patio is filled with tables, and a large bar. Wicker baskets hang from the ceiling.

The eclectic menu ranges from burgers and steaks to octopus, clams and ravioli.

The Nomade patio, overlooking Main Street. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Tickets are going fast for tonight’s (Friday) Levitt Pavilion show — the inaugural one, launching Hiss Golden Messenger and Aiofe O’Donovan’s “Turn Tail in the Milky Way” tour. (Next stops: Chautauqua, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.)

And kids’ tickets (12 and under) are free.

Both bands are part of the Levitt’s “Stars on Tour” event.

The show starts at 7 p.m. tonight. Doors open at 6; the Walrus Alley food truck will be there. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Tonight’s “Stars on Tour” folk double-header follows the free one last night. Intergenerational greatness was on stage, as Clueless (with School of Rock stars Ethan Walmark, Anais Preller, Jake Greenwald; Zach Rogers, Francesco Perrouna and Witt Lindau teamed up with perennial favorite the Mill River Band.

Dancing to the Mill River Band last night at the Levitt Pavilion, under a super moon.

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Yesterday was the first of the 3-day Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition.

The international event includes master classes by finalists at the Westport Public Library, and performances at MoCA Westport.

Today’s (Friday) events include a lecture by educator and musician Clipper Erickson, plus more master classes at the Library, and performances at MoCA. The competition concludes with an awards ceremony at MoCA on Saturday, (August 13).

Click here for tickets for all events, both in-person and virtual, and more information.

Heida Hermanns finalist Artem Kuznetsov leads a master class at the Westport Library. (Photo/Feria Sewell)

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Speaking of music: Me2/Orchestra is the only one in the world created by and for people living with mental illness. R

It was created by Ronald Braunstein. On a trajectory to becoming a leading conductor, he made his diagnosis of bipolar disorder public and was shunned by the classical music community.

He vowed to erase the mental health stigma. one concert at a time. The film “Orchestrating Change” follows Braunstein and several musicians for 2 years, capturing their setbacks and accomplishments.

The film ends in triumph for Braunstein, who thought he might never conduct again — and for the musicians and audience, whose perspective on mental illness is forever changed.

The Westport Library will show “Orchestrating Change” on September 13 (7 p.m.). Executive producers/directors Margie Friedman and Barbara Multer-Wellin, and several people featured in the film, will be on hand for a talkback after the screening. Click here for more details. 

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The Staples High School football program was inspired yesterday by a visit from a combat wounded Army veteran, Intelligence Sergeant Quincy Lopez.

He cheered on the athletes, as they did a Marine Corps “Murph workout.” It’s a fundraiser for both Westport football and Catch a Lift, the program that helps wounded vets.

Sgt. Lopez spoke of being part of something “bigger than yourself.” He added:

“You are as strong as your strongest link, and as weak as your weakest link. If you guide your decisions by what makes the team better, that in turn makes you better.

“We will soon approach another anniversary of 9/11. The darkest of hours and ultimate tragedy was followed by the greatest period of camaraderie and unity.  Incredible gains can happen when everybody works together.  Keep this in mind as you persevere for whatever you do and aim to achieve.”

Staples football players listen intently. (Photo courtesy of Adam Vengrow)

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Colorful seacoast mushrooms at the Westport Farmers’ Market make today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo particularly colorful.

(Photo/Mike Hibbard)

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And finally … on this day in 1966, John Lennon apologized for saying that “the Beatles are more popular than Jesus.”

Question Box: Answers #1

Last week, I introduced the “06880” Question Box.

It’s a chance to ask anything you’ve wondered about (with a Westport angle, of course). Questions can be current or historical, concrete or abstract, deep or shallow.

I’ll attempt to answer them. If I don’t have the answer, I’m sure other “06880” readers will.

You responded quickly. Here’s the first set of questions. And — where appropriate — the answers.

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Who is Grace Salmon, and why is there a park named for her? (Arlene Yolles)

According to Woody Klein’s history of Westport, Grace King Salmon was a founding member of the Westport Woman’s Club.

The wife of Frederick Salmon — Connecticut state comptroller, and president of Westport Bank & Trust — she died in 1939. She left a trust in her own name to benefit the town.

Virginia Sherwood, Westport Garden Club chairman, applied for grants from the trust and other agenciees to design a park on 3 acres of Saugatuck River landfill across the river from where the Salmons lived (now the Assumption Church rectory).

It took several years to solve the site’s environmental problems. But the Garden Club developed Connecticut’s first park built on a former landfill, and won an award for its efforts.

Today, Grace K. Salmon Park is one of Westport’s hidden-in-plain-site treasures. It’s on Imperial Avenue near Baker Avenue — a few yards from the Westport Woman’s Club, which its namesake helped found.

The scene from Grace Salmon Park across the Saugatuck River, near where the Salmon family once lived. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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When did the junior high system start in Westport? (Joyce Barnhart)

From its opening in 1884, and for the next 42 years, Staples High School included 7th through 9th graders.

In 1926, construction of a new “Bedford Junior High School” — aided, in large part, by a $145,000 gift from E.T. Bedford — was nearly complete. Situated across a field from the original Staples High School on Riverside (where the auditorium of what is now Saugatuck Elementary School now sits), the building (now Kings Highway Elementary) included an “unusually good” gymnasium, auditorium and stage — all of which would be shared by the high school.

The 18-acre plot between the schools was planned as a well-equipped “playground” (athletic fields) for students and adults.

So 1926 was when the first junior high — for 7th, 8th and 9th graders — opened in Westport. Long Lots followed in the early 1950s, Coleytown in 1965.

Kings HIghway Elementary School was originally Bedford Junior High. Fields separated it from the first Staples High. Look closely, and you can still see “Bedford” above the front door.

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Who is “Bob”? This sign (below) has hung for years on the south side of New Creek Road, opposite Maple Lane, near the Greens Farms train station. (Bill Ryan)

(Photo/Bill Ryan)

Damned if I know. This question has been posed at least once on “06880,” to no avail. If any readers know who “Bob” is — and/or who put his sign high in that tree — click “Comments” below.

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What’s the story with the Mercedes station wagon that’s been parked in the same spot for months on Myrtle Avenue, in front of Town Hall? (See photo below.)

The tracks around it from the street sweeper are clear evidence it has not moved. It’s covered in dust, still containing someone’s belongings. No tickets on the windshield, or other signs of official notice, just yards from Town Hall. (Michael Moore)

(Photo/Michael Moore)

Believe it or not, I’ve never noticed it — and I drive past Town Hall every day.

But hey, “06880” readers: If you’ve lost your Mercedes-Benz, we know where it is.

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If Westport is located on the eastern side of Long Island Sound, why is it not named Eastport? (Ray Broady)

Well, first of all, Westport is north, south, east and west of a lot of things.

How we got our name in 1835 — when our town was officially incorporated, carved out of the towns of Norwalk, Wilton, Weston and Fairfield — has been a matter of dispute for nearly 200 years.

One theory is that it is a port west of Fairfield (our original European settlers came to what is now Greens Farms, from Fairfield).

Another theory is that because the new town was not named Saugatuck — a state representative claimed it sounded too much like “succotash” — the name “Westport” paid homage to that neighborhood, which was a port on the west side of the Saugatuck River.

Robert Lambdin’s Saugatuck mural. The “port” was on the West bank of the Saugatuck River.

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Why are Westport sidewalks not maintained, not ADA compliant, and not cleared of snow on a timely basis? Why are there no continuous sidewalks on Post Road? Why can’t I walk from Sylvan to Whole Foods? (Monica Buesser)

I asked Public Works director Peter Ratkiewich. He says:

“ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps with detectable warning pads are only required at roadways, not at driveways. The reason you see some sidewalks without ADA ramps at roadways, or with ramps that appear to be non-compliant with the current ADA regs, is that they may have not been replaced recently, and may have been constructed incorrectly, constructed to an earlier ADA standard, or constructed before the ADA regulations were made stricter. As we reconstruct sidewalks around town, we are correcting that situation by installing appropriate ramps where the ADA regs dictate.

“Currently residential properties are cleared of ice and snow by the town. There is no requirement for residential zoned properties to clear their sidewalks.  Commercial use properties are required to clear ice and snow from the front of their establishments within 24 hours.

“Having said that, with approximately 23 miles of residential sidewalks, it often takes us multiple days to clear all the sidewalks after a big storm, and if we have back to back storms we prioritize the roads first, then the parking lots, then the sidewalks. We appreciate residents helping us out any way they can during the winter, by clearing the walk in front of their property.”

A new sidewalk was on North Avenue last year. It’s now ADA-compliant. (Photo/Michael Fleming)

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When will the 1-lane bridge on Bayberry Lane/White Birch Road go back to 2 lanes?

Another one for Public Works director Ratkiewich. He says:

“The Bayberry Lane bridge over the Aspetuck River is tied up in federal permitting right now with the Army Corps of Engineers. We hoped to go to construction this year, but due to the Army Corps’ backlog it appears we will bid this winter. and start construction in the spring of 2022.”

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When did the Westport Fire Department move its headquarters from Church Lane, next to the old YMCA (now Bedford Square) to the current Post Road site? (Dorrie Thomas)

1982, says Chief Robert Yost.

I did not ask — but probably should have — if that was the same time they discontinued their Saturday noontime horn test. It could be heard all over town. Nor do I know when the Department stopped alerting volunteer firefighters to the location of a blaze by horns. The short/long codes could be found on the inside of telephone directories. Remember them?

Former Fire Department headquarters, on Church Lane. The YMCA is on the left.

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Is water safe to drink from the tap? (Michelle Harmon)

I guess so. If it isn’t, I’m sure we would have heard about it by now.

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The “Question Box” is open for more questions. Just email dwoog@optonline.net!