A note about Comments:
Yesterday, a commenter calling himself “Ed Doucette” posted a swipe at the woman who had nominated dog owners as “06880”‘s Unsung Heroes of the Week.
I asked him how many Unsung Heroes he had nominated. Remember the old ’60s saying? “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
Turns out, he used an alias.
That makes him even more of a jerk. Coming on the heels of my discovery of a couple of other aliases — some plausible-sounding like “Will Leach,” others clearly fake — I feel like a jerk, too.
I trust “06880” readers. I do not require verification to post comments. I only ask that people use full, real names.
I spend a ton of time on all aspects of “06880.” Monitoring comments for civility and accuracy is one of them. Monitoring them for honesty should not be part of the deal.
I’ve asked before: Please be nice. Please don’t abuse the Comments section. If you have something to say, have the guts to say it publicly, under your real name.
That shouldn’t be too much to ask. Obviously though it is, because I just did.
The New York Times’ “Morning” newsletter just published their most memorable photos of the year.
The very first one was taken by 1991 Staples High School graduate — and Pulitzer Prize/MacArthur “genius grant” award winner — Lynsey Addario.
The caption says:
“Millions of people fled Ukraine in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion, seeking refuge in other countries. Desperate families shoved their way onto a train leaving the capital, Kyiv, in early March.”
Click here for more of the Times’ top images. (Hat tip: Susan Leone)
Meanwhile, the Times’ other photo feature — the more extended “Year in Pictures” — includes more than half a dozen images from Addario and Tyler Hicks, her colleague who is also a Pulitzer winner and Staples grad (Class of 1988).
The first in the chronological list is from January 19. It’s a shot by Hicks of a Ukrainian soldier at a frontline position. “The world watched nervously as Western countries warned that Russia was preparing to attack Ukraine at any moment,” the caption says.
There was also this harrowing photo of a dead Russian soldier near Kharkiv, as Ukrainian troops defender their land in the first days of the invasion.
“The Year in Pictures” includes this explanatory quote from Hicks:
There was no way to know if you would run into Russian soldiers. I decided to get out of the car and walk to make sure we weren’t going to drive up to any surprises. There was snow on the ground and I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, but I eventually came upon several Russian soldiers who had been killed. I took the photos as quickly as I could because the area where I was working was exposed, and then I got back to cover.
There’s also this iconic shot by Addario, immediately after Russian mortar fire killed a family trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv. The photo drew worldwide attention to the horrors of Russia’s invasion:
I was photographing along a civilian evacuation route and was in the actual attack. The shell landed between us. The woman and her two children and the church volunteer were killed. I was just lucky the blast went the other direction and not toward me.
Click here and scroll down, for many more photos by Hicks and Addario (and others). (Hat tip: Evan Stein)
Speaking of Ukraine: It’s now a few days after Christmas. But the good feelings from Westport’s holiday gift to our sister city of Lyman, Ukraine still linger.
Click below for a brief video — just posted to YouTube’s “Sister Cities Westport Lyman Marigny” channel:
The total amount raised now by our town (and friends and relatives of Westporters) is $209,300. We are closing in on our goal of $250,000.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to Lyman through Ukraine Aid International. Please click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other tax-deductible donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo). You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here).
Crime took a holiday last week.
Westport Police report no custodial arrests between December 21 and 28. With the cold weather, traffic was light too. These were the only citations issued:
- Traveling unreasonably fast: 2
- Following too closely: 2
- Speeding: 1
- Evading responsibility: 1
- Traveling too fast for conditions: 1
- Failure to drive in proper lane: 1
- Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
- Failure to carry certificate of registration/insurance: 1
- Failure to obey control signal: 1
- Violation of any traffic commission regulation: 1.
The end of the year is the perfect time for Westport Town Farm to announce programs for the new year.
“Parent and Me” returns, from January through March. Classes include outdoor time for feeding animals, followed by age-appropriate crafts, games or stories inside the Farmhouse.
Families transitioning out of “Parent and Me” enjoy “Toddler Sprouts” (ages 3-5, Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m.).
A new program — “Tiny Farmers Playdate” — begins in January (Wednesdays, 9 a.m.). Taking place in the Farmhouse, it’s geared toward ages of 0 -18 months.
A new “Rugged Bear Wilderness Club” runs after school. Youngsters ages 11-14 will develop outdoors skills like fire-making, orienteering, using basic hand tools, simple first aid, pitching a tent and being challenged in nature. The club begins February 9.
Spots are also available in the “Fantastic Farmhands” elementary school program.
WTF also runs an MLK Jr. Vacation Day Camp on January 16.
Click here for more information, or email education.wakemantownfarm.org.
The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Westport Fairfield County Group will “Skate Through New Zealand.”
That’s the topic of their January 10 meeting (Saugatuck Congregational Church; appetizers, wine, dinner at 6:15 p.m.; presentation 7:30 p.m.; members $10, non-members $15).
Speaker Geoffrey Saunders has been skateboarding since he was 10. He lived in New Zealand for a year as an exchange student, and has returned 4 times. He skateboarded 400 miles through North Island, raising funds for Wildlife in Crisis, and will discuss his many adventures.
Reservations not required, but please RSVP: email@example.com.
Several “06880” readers sent photos of last night’s crazy cloud, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.
This Compo Beach view was the most colorful:
And finally … in honor of Geoffrey Saunders’ talk next month to the Appalachian Mountain Club (story above):
(If you’re a skater — or a commenter — or anyone else who reads “06880,” please consider a year-end contribution. Just click here — and thank you!)