Tag Archives: New York Times

Roundup: Comments, Ukraine, Cops …

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.

“06880” welcomes your comments. Please have the courtesy — and guts — to use your real name.


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.

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

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.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)

“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:

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

Addario explains:

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.

Required by law


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: easasso7@icloud.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:

(Photo/JD Dworkow)


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!)

Remembering Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy — the 1973 Staples High School graduate and former Staples Players star whose voice was the definitive Batman — died yesterday. He was 66 years old, and had battled cancer.

Conroy was Batman’s voice on the animated television series from 1992 to ’96. He continued with the character through 15 films, 400 TV episodes and 2 dozen video games.

“Kevin brought a light with him everywhere, whether in the recording booth giving it his all or feeding first-responders during 9/11 or making sure every fan who ever waited for him had a moment with their Batman,” said Paul Dini, producer of the animated show. ”A hero in every sense of the word.”

AP says:

Conroy) attended Juilliard and roomed with Robin Williams. After graduating, he toured with John Houseman’s acting group, the Acting Company. He performed in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Public Theater and in “Eastern Standard” on Broadway. At the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California, he performed in “Hamlet.”

The 1980s production of “Eastern Standard,” in which Conroy played a TV producer secretly living with AIDS, had particular meaning to him. Conroy, who was gay, said at the time he was regularly attending funerals for friends who died of AIDS. He poured out his anguish nightly on stage.

In 1980, Conroy moved to Los Angeles, began acting in soap operas and booked appearances on TV series including “Cheers,” “Tour of Duty” and “Murphy Brown.” In 1991, when casting director Andrea Romano was scouting her lead actor for “Batman: The Animated Series,” she went through hundreds of auditions before Conroy came in. He was there on a friend’s recommendation — and cast immediately.

Click here for the full AP obituary.

Kevin Conroy, in 2019.

In 2016 — when the New York Times profiled Conroy — “06880” posted this story:

In the eight-decade history of Batman, no one played the Dark Knight more.

For over 20 years, the 1973 Staples High School graduate has lent his “deeply charming, yet virile voice” to 9 Batman TV series, 12 animated movies and 7 video games. No other actor has played Batman for so long, or been as closely identified with him.

Today, the New York Times finally took notice.

Kevin Conroy (Photo/Ben Esner for NY Times)

Kevin Conroy (Photo/Ben Esner for NY Times)

The Arts section features a full-length story on Conroy — who, it should be noted, is hardly a 1-trick Batman. The Juilliard alum also toured nationally with “Deathtrap,” appeared on the soap opera “Another World,” played Laertes in the New York Shakespeare Festival, acted on Broadway, and was a regular on “Ohara” and “Tour of Duty.”

But it’s as Batman he’s best known, and that’s the Times hook. Jeff Muskus writes:

He has logged the most screen time of anyone in the comic-book vigilante’s 77-year history — without ever showing his face onscreen for the role. Still, his voice, deep and resonant, has defined the character for fans who grew up with his shows, and again for those devouring his three Arkham video games.

“It’s so much fun as an actor to sink your teeth into,” Mr. Conroy, 60, said over lunch in New York’s theater district. “Calling it animation doesn’t do it justice. It’s more like mythology.”

The story notes that “school plays” — aka Staples Players — provided Conroy with a home, away from his dysfunctional family (he lived some of the time with friends).

Muskus concludes:

Unlike Batman, Mr. Conroy has managed to resolve much of his childhood trauma. First, he sought a modicum of financial stability….He saved during his stage and Los Angeles days, flipping houses on both coasts, and supported and made peace with his parents in their final years. “I was able to speak for my father at his funeral and sing for my mother at hers,” he said.

Mr. Conroy said he’s grateful for his long-running second act. “I’ve been really fortunate to have gotten Batman, because he’s a character that’s just evolved,” he said. “It’s just been a character where you can ride that wave for 24 years. Keeping him alive, keeping him from getting just dark and boring and broody, is the challenge.”

Click here to read the full New York Times story. Click here for the Times’ selection of Conroy’s standout Batman performances.

Roundup: Ukraine, March Madness, History Bowl …


Lynsey Addario’s photo of a family killed on the street in Ukraine horrified the world.

“06880” has reported on the reaction, and the back story. Yesterday, Lynsey — a 1991 Staples High School graduate — described it herself, on the New York Times’ “The Daily” podcast. Click here to listen to her fascinating, important words. (Hat tips: Tommy Greenwald, Lee Feldman, Susan Woog Wagner)

Ukrainian soldiers do what they can, moments after a mortar attack on civilians on the streets of Irpin, near Kyiv. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)


Speaking of Ukraine: Irene Braziler is a native of that country. She’s spent the last 17 years in Westport; her sons Jake and Sam are in school here.

Last Thursday, Irene left for Romania. She met longtime Ukrainian friends at the border, where she’s helped them with cars and accommodations as they make their way to safety.

A video shared by Irene’s Westport friend Kelly Haazen shows the women — after being attacked, leaving their husbands behind, heading to an unknown destination with no idea how long they’d be there — beaming with joy at the sight of their old friend Irene.

Irene has started a GoFundMe drive to provide support to hospitals in Ukraine, civilians like her friends, and many others in desperate need. Every dollar donated will directly impact refugees and medical aid efforts, through DirectRelief.org.

Click here for Irene’s GoFundMe page.

Irene Braziler and her Ukrainian friend embrace at the border.


Dave Briggs has been bitten by March Madness.

The media personality hosts a streaming show for Turner Sports during the first 2 rounds of the hoops classic.

“Fast Break” features Briggs, Kentucky legend Tony Delk, Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner, and former Northwestern player/sports betting expert Tim Doyle. There’s action from every game, analysis, and player and social media reaction.

Click here for the website; click here for the March Madness app.

Dave Briggs was formerly with CNN.


Sure, Ken Jennings and Amy Schneider won over $1 million on “Jeopardy!” But could they do what Aalok Bhattacharya, Oliver Clachko and Thomas Sargent have done?

The Staples students — a junior and 2 seniors, respectively — took first place in last month’s regional History Bowl competition on Long Island.

They don’t just have to answer obscure questions (or, in “Jeopardy!”-speak, provide questions to answers). The History Bowl — run by former “Jeopardy!” champ David Madden — is buzzer-based. But there are toss-up questions, a lightning round, and besides, these are just high school students.

But — unlike Sam Cooke — Aalok, Oliver and Thomas know a lot about history. And not just our own. They know Roman history, European history, the history of philosophy — you name it, they know it.

And they practice it after school, with faculty advisor (and chemistry teacher) Dominick Messina. They work on questions and answers — and on being first to buzz the buzzer.

Staples’ win vaults them into the national competition, April 23-24 in Washington. They hope to raise $675 to help with the registration fee and travel expenses. History-minded Westporters — or anyone else — who can help sponsor them should email aalok.bhattacharya1@gmail.com.

History Bowl champs (from left): Thomas Sargent, Aalok Bhattacharya, Oliver Clachko.


The last couple weeks of “Kids Are Talking” — the online show hosted by local therapist Dr. Don Cohen — have been interesting.

In a partnership with Turning Point CT, an organization for young people in recovery from mental health and substance use issues, Mental Health Stigma took a close look at breaking stigmas. A subsequent Mental Health in the Mirror episode addressed eating disorders.

College Application Stress was created in partnership with Fairfield CARES. The discussion included advice from high school seniors on how to handle the admissions process, and gave a heads up to juniors about what’s ahead.

Last week’s Athletes and Mental Health discussed the physical and mental stresses of performing during COVID and beyond.

Tomorrow’s show centers on the War in Ukraine, with teens who have family and friends in that troubled region. State Senator Will Haskell is the guest ono March 31.


There’s a “BIG” event here March 31.

“BIG” — the acronym stands for “Believe, Inspire, Grow” — debuts in Westport at the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s Boathouse Restaurant, at noon.

BIG is a global woman’s empowerment community offering inspiration, community, and tools to move personal and professional lives forward. Members build relationships in a dynamic, supportive entrepreneurial community.

Melissa Bernstein — co-founder of toy company Melissa & Doug, and the mental health multi-media platform LifeLines — is the featured speaker.

All local women are invited. Click here to register. To learn more about BIG, email bigconnecticutregion@gmail.com.

Melissa Bernstein


Another longtime, much-loved, and COVID-affected event is back — at a new but important location.

CLASP Homes’ “Taste of Westport” fundraiser is set for June 15, at the newly renovated Inn at Longshore. As always, it’s a great (and tasty) evening filled with food and drinks from your local restaurants, music, and a silent auction. Mark your calendars; details to follow.


Westport resident — and internationally acclaimed photographer — Larry Silver has the lens pointed directly at him this month.

Fairfield University Art Museum presents 13 Ways of Looking at Landscape: Larry Silver’s Connecticut Photographs. The solo exhibition includes more than 80 works, and is on view from March 25 through June 18.

The exhibition brings together over 40 years of Silver’s work, made of and in this state. It opens with a lecture by guest curator Leslie K. Brown on March 24. For more information, click here.

“Sitting at Water’s Edge, Sherwood Island State Park, Westpor, 2014/2022,” archival inkjet print. Courtesy of Larry Silver and Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York.


Here’s a “Westport … Naturally” scene you don’t see every day: a red fox, sunning itself in Greens Farms. Elena Nasereddin captured this image on Monday.

(Photo/Elena Nasereddin)


And finally … in honor of Staples High School’s History Bowl team, which heads to the national competition next month (see story above):

Lynsey Addario Reports: Russians Attack Civilians

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took an even more horrific turn today.

Lynsey Addario — the 1991 Staples High School Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer — reports with words and images that “a Russian force advancing on Kyiv fired mortar shells … at a battered bridge used by evacuees fleeing the fighting.”

The attack sent “panicked civilians running, kicking up a cloud of dust and leaving three members of a family dead on the pavement.”

Addario’s photo showed that haunting scene.

Ukrainian soldiers trying to save the father of a family of 4 — the only one at that moment who still had a pulse — moments after being hit by a mortar while trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv, today. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

Addario’s report continued:

Crowds of hundreds have clustered around the damaged bridge over the Irpin River since Saturday. Ukrainian forces had blown up the bridge earlier to slow the Russian advance. Only a dozen or so Ukrainian soldiers were in the immediate area of the bridge on Sunday, not fighting but helping carry civilians’ luggage and children.

To cross a hundred yards or so of exposed street on the side of the bridge closer to Kyiv, people seeking to flee to the capital formed small groups and made a run for it together. Soldiers ran out, picked up children or luggage, and ran for cover behind a cinder block wall.

The mortar shells fell first 100 or so yards from the bridge, then shifted in a series of thunderous blasts into a section of street where people were fleeing.

Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Ernest Lorimer)

Roundup: Ukraine, Cavalry, Law & Order …


Ukraine update:

Ken Bernhard’s friend and colleague from that embattled nation sent him this report yesterday:

Ken, this is all so violent and surreal. At the moment it is hard to get thoughts together.

Kiev is in big danger. But heavy fighting is all over eastern part. A group of enemy armored vehicles is somewhere close to (where we are in) Berdyansk now. Moving in the direction of Mariupol to block it from 2 sides. I am personally disappointed  about Western sanctions and their little impact on Putin. They can not even agree on cutting Russia from SWIFT.

Also yesterday, more of Staples High School Class of 1988 graduate Tyler Hicks were published by the New York Times. 

This was the most harrowing. It shows a Russian soldier lying dead, next to a Russian vehicle in Kharkiv, Ukraine:

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)

Meanwhile, Staples 1991 graduate Lynsey Addario took this photo, showing destruction at an apartment building after Russian bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine:

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

(Hat tips: Tommy Greenwald, John Nathan, John Hartwell and Beth Cody)


Installation of beams at the Cavalry Road Bridge replacement project, between Crooked Mile and Rebel Roads, will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. this coming Wednesday through Friday (March 2-4).

The contractor will use local roads to access the site to deliver the oversized crane and bridge beams, resulting in additional detours and possible delays in the area, including Red Coat Road and Hermit Lane.

Cavalry Road bridge (Photo courtesy of Weston Today)


Fred Cantor doesn’t miss a Westport reference — or a chance to tie loose ends together. The longtime Westport report:

“Near the beginning of Thursday’s return of the flagship franchise, ‘Law & Order,’ a suspect told police his alibi: ‘I was at home in Westport.’”

“Where did that line come from? Possibly the show’s executive producer, Peter Jankowski, who is also president of Dick Wolf Entertainment, and who grew up in Westport. Dick co-wrote the show.

“In the same show Sam Waterston, seen in the recent documentary ‘Gatsby in Connecticut’ — he was filmed inside the South Compo cottage the Fitzgeralds spent the summer in back in 1920 — returned to his role as the Manhattan DA.”

Sam Waterston, Manhattan DA.


Westport piano teacher Nadine Cherna has been selected for a Steinway Top Teacher Award. She was cited for “care and commitment.”

Steinway & Sons president Gavin English added, “The young people who develop their craft under your guiding hand will be the artists who fill our future with music.” (Hat tip: Roger Kaufman)

A Steinway piano.


Here’s a first for “Westport … Naturally”: mushrooms. Claudia Sherwood Servidio spotted these great ones at the indoor Westport Farmers’ Market:

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)


And finally … Sandy Nelson, who had improbable hit records as a drummer, died earlier this month in Las Vegas. He was 83, and had suffered a stroke in 2017. Click here for a full obituary.

Waiting Anxiously: Lynsey Addario And Tyler Hicks’ Loved Ones

As the news from Ukraine grows increasingly dire, the world relies on journalists and photographers to report what is happening.

Two of the best photojournalists are the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winners Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks. Both are — incredibly — Staples High School graduates, just 3 classes apart (1991 and ’88).

They’ve reported from the globe’s most dangerous spots: Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and many more. This may be their most treacherous assignment yet.

Both are there because they want to be. But that does not make things any easier for their relatives here in Westport.

“It’s very tough,” admits Camille Addario, Lynsey’s mother. “To think that this fearless little girl has been all over the world, documenting tragedies.

“‘It’s what I do. Anything can happen anywhere,’ she always says. So I can only pray and support her, and hope that she gets home safely to her husband and 2 boys, and everyone who cares for her. The last thing she needs is guilt from her mother and sisters.”

Lauren, Lynsey, Lisa and Lesley Addario.

Lynsey FaceTimed Camille on Wednesday. She said the Times had put her up in a safe hotel.

However, Camille says, yesterday she moved to a more perilous spot.

“That’s Lynsey,” her mother says. “She’s right there.”

Camille does not watch much coverage of the conflict. Instead, she says, “I hope and pray that my mother is looking down, and has her hand on Lynsey’s shoulder. She’s always been her protector.”

Lynsey’s grandmother Louise Bonito died in November 2020 — at 107.

Louise “Nonnie” Bonito, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Camille is in the front row, second from left.

Camille calls herself “blessed” by the support of family and friends. She has received many calls and texts. She thanks everyone for thinking of her and Lynsey.

And, she says, “like everyone, we’re just waiting for this awful thing to end.”

Waiting for trains out of the city at the main station in Kramatorsk yesterday. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

Not far from Camille’s home, artist Darcy Hicks worries too. Her brother is Tyler Hicks.

“My mother, being an artist, brought me and her brother up with imagery. What you see in front of you, and how it makes you feel — that’s just true.

“So I think he and I both found ways — very different ways. — to express ourselves through imagery.

Tyler Hicks

“People are surprised when I tell them that Tyler is really not at all political, partly because he’s my brother [Darcy is active in progressive politics] and partly because he’s always covering warfare, which is of course politics.

“But he truly goes in with no preconceptions about the story he’s going to tell. He can’t go in looking for some piece of evidence that proves his point, ignoring the stuff that challenges his ideals.

“He just looks through the lens and shows us what is really going on. Imagine if we could all communicate that way. Seeing the gray, instead of finding a corner and an enemy.

“I’m very proud of him. But I will wring his neck when he gets out of there. Today, the world feels very unsustainable.”

In 2015, Camille Addario was interviewed by Time magazine about being the mother of a “war photographer.” Click here to read.)

Families boarding evacuation trains in Kramatorsk yesterday evening, bound for Kyiv and Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

Roundup: Lynsey Addario, EMT Classes …


As Russian troops advance into Ukraine, Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks — both Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographers, and both Staples High School graduates (1991 and ’88, respectively) are there, shooting important images and reporting too.

Today, Addario joined the paper’s podcast, “The Daily.” She’s on near the beginning. Click here to listen. (Hat tip: John Hartwell)

Ukraine president Volodomyr Zelensky (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)


Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services always needs help. Here’s your chance.

EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) classes begin March 16. They run through June 30.

They’re thorough. They’re intense. They’re also very important.

Click here for details. And thanks to all who enroll.


“Westport … Naturally” can never get enough dog-at-the-beach photos. At least until April 1, when the 6-month pooch ban begins. Here’s Axel, yesterday:

(Photo/Zvi Cole)


And finally … today is the 290th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. It’s also (coincidentally? probably not) the 131st anniversary of the day the state of Washington joined the union.

There aren’t a lot of songs about the Father of Our Country. Or about the Evergreen State. So these will have to do:

Roundup: Anita Hill, Serena & Lily, Landscape Design …


Today’s “balloon test” — designed to show what a 124-foot cell tower proposed for 92 Greens Farms Road — has been canceled. No further information is available.

Today’s event at 92 Greens Farms Road is off. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)


Lynn Grossman has a full-time job, as senior vice president, wealth management for Raymond James Financial in Westport.

But she spends nearly all the rest of her time giving back to those less fortunate.

A Westporter since 1985, she runs a non-profit in Queens. She also serves on Fairfield County’s Community Foundation professional advisor council.

The umbrella organization supports many good projects. Lynn is especially excited about the Fund for Women and Girls. Over the past 20 years, they’ve given out $8 million, impacting tens of thousands of females.

She is really excited about April 22 (12 noon, Greenwich Hyatt and virtual). This year’s guest speaker is Anita Hill.

The Brandeis University professor of law, public policy and women’s studies is the recipient of a 2019 PEN Courage Award. Her new book is Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence. In her  autobiography Speaking Truth to Power, Hill shared her story of testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about sexual harassment during her career.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Anita Hill


A $73 million settlement last week for families of 9 Sandy Hook victims shook 2 worlds last week: the legal one, and the gun manufacturing industry.

It also brought national attention to Josh Koskoff, the Westport attorney who led the long effort.

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a long feature, headlined “How They Did It: Sandy Hook Families Gain Long-Awaited Legal Wins.” The piece explores Koskoff’s strategy, and its implications for similar lawsuits going forward. Click here for the full story.

Josh Koskoff, in his office. (Photo/Monica Jorge for the New York Times)


A broken sprinkler caused water damage at Serena & Lily. The Elm Street lifestyle store is closed today. They hope to open later this week. (Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

Serena & Lily


Mark March 13. Turn your clocks ahead — and at noon (EDT) enjoy an Aspetuck land Trust Sunday “Brunch and Learn” lecture with landscape designer/author/photographer Rick Darke.

He’ll discuss the vital roles native plants play in beautiful, ecologically sound, and broadly functional residential landscape design.

It’s free for members, $18 for non-members. Click here for details, and to register.

Rick Darke


It’s mid late February. Time for some “Westport … Naturally” color!

(Photo/Judith Katz)


And finally … happy 64th birthday to singer/songwriter, multi-Grammy-winning — and Brown University graduate — Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Tyler Hicks: In Ukraine

When trouble erupts somewhere in the world, people flee for safety, or desperately hope to.

Tyler Hicks picks up his camera, boards a plane, and heads right there.

The 1988 Staples High School graduate has earned international renown — and many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize — with his photos from war zones, catastrophes and natural disasters. He has reported on the beauty, the people and the tragedies of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Kenya and dozens of other spots around the globe.

Now Hicks is in Ukraine. As Russian tanks, armor and military threaten the nation, Hicks has trained his eye on the landscape and human beings behind the story.

These are from a town incongruously named “New York.” Close to the Russian front lines, it is home now to mostly older people — and a highly toxic chemical plant.

Hicks also visited Svitlodarsk in eastern Ukraine, where disputes have raged for years.

(All photos by Tyler Hicks, courtesy of The New York Times)

It’s a long way from the Westport of Tyler Hicks’ youth, to the threatened streets, woods and railroad tracks of Ukraine.

It’s easy to ignore the lives of the men, women and children there. Tyler Hicks’ photos make sure we don’t.

(Hat tip: John Karrel)



Koskoff Helps Settle Landmark Sandy Hook Suit

Nine families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacred have reached an agreement with the maker of the assault weapon.

The $73 million settlement seems to be the largest of its kind ever between a gun manufacturer and relatives of a mass shooting, the New York Times says.

The paper adds: “It also represents a significant setback to the firearm industry because the lawsuit, by employing a novel strategy, pierced the vast shield enshrined in federal law protecting gun companies from litigation.”

Josh Koskoff

The lead lawyer for the victims’ families — 5 children and 4 adults — is Josh Koskoff. The 1984 Staples High School graduate — and still a Westport resident — practices with Bridgeport-based Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder.

The Times explains:

The families contended that Remington, the gun maker, violated state consumer law by promoting the weapon in a way that appealed to so-called couch commandoes and troubled young men like the gunman who stormed into the elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012, killing 20 first graders and six adults in a spray of gunfire.

Koskoff said: “These 9 families have shared a single goal from the very beginning: to do whatever they could to help prevent the next Sandy Hook. It is hard to imagine an outcome that better accomplishes that goal.”

(Click here for the full New York Times article. In 2014, Koskoff appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to discuss the lawsuit he’d just filed. Click here for that story.)