Tag Archives: ospreys

Roundup: Patsie Bonardi, Keith Haring, Broadway …

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It took a while for this news to make it here. But it was worth waiting for.

After a long and legendary teaching career in Westport, beloved elementary school icon Patsie Bonardi returned to her hometown of Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

For her 90th birthday in June, the town gathered along Main Street. They celebrated her with a surprise “reverse parade.” Residents gathered outside the theater, post office and library, holding signs and cheering as she rode by in her convertible — with a police and fire truck escort.

Elementary school students held handmade signs.

Bonardi was a longtime supporter of the Colonial Theater, and served as a library trustee and Home Health Care Board member. As part of her birthday celebration, residents raised $1,300 in her name for the theater.

(Click here for the full story, from the Littleton Courier. Hat tips: John and Carol Waxman)

Patsie Bonardi, during her parade. (Photo/Angel Larcom)

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The “Piece by Piece” artwork was unveiled Friday at the Westport Library. Sixty local artists each contributed a panel — not knowing how it would fit into the “big picture.” They had no idea what the finished piece was.

Turns out to be a work by Keith Haring.

The final work impressed the Westport Library crowd. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

Individual panels were on sale, with proceeds split between the Library and the artist of that particular panel.

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Adam Bremen was born with cerebral palsy. He’s used an electric wheelchair all his life.

In 2017, he decided to become more physically fit. Thanks to water aerobics and the Keto diet, he lost 45 pounds. His next step was to create a good-tasting Keto-based snack bar. He called it Keto Krisp.

This past weekend — after quarantining for 16 months — Adam traveled from California to Westport. He visited his sister Erin, who lives here.

Adam had never kayaked before. But the crew at Westport Paddle Club took care of him. He and his family had a fantastic time.

He’s thanking them by sending a package of Keto Krispy bars. And he’ll wear his WPC t-shirt proudly.

Adam Bremen and Westport Paddle Club owner Robbie Guimond (front), with Adam’s family and WPC staff members.

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Sure, the Levitt Pavilion offers 50 nights of free summer entertainment.

But here’s a different kind of free show, at a very different site.

Karen Elizaga lives on Soundview Drive, between Norwalk and Westport Avenues. This Friday (July 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.), she’s hosting a group of Broadway stars.

Devin Ilaw (“Miss Saigon,” “Les Miserables”), Sarah Beth Pfeifer (“Lightning Thief”), Staples High School graduate Mia Gentile (“Kinky Boots”) and others will sing in her front yard. Everyone is welcome to gather on the beach, and listen.

The goal is to raise awareness — and funds, if you’d like to lend support — of Broadway for Arts Education. The non-profit provides arts education to underserved youth in New York, Haiti and India.

It should be a great event. And even though there’s no ticket, feel “free” to donate to this important group.

Free concert on Soundview.

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From horseback riders to model plane flyers, there’s always something going on at Sherwood Island State Park.

But yesterday might have been a first: an in-the-water wedding.

Patricia Auber was attracted by the singing and tambourine playing. She wanted to keep a respectful distance, so there are no details about the bridge and groom. Still, she did capture this wonderful photo:

A minister leads the ceremony, in Long Island Sound. (Photo/Patricia Auber)

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Noted Westport photographer Tom Kretsch, and Shapleigh Smith of Stowe, Vermont have been friends for 65 years.

The Newtown natives parted ways after high school. But they reunited in Stowe, where Shap lives and Tom bought a timeshare. at the Trapp Family Lodge.

Last winter they spent time photographing the back roads of the Northeast Kingdom. Now they’re showing their work, back in their hometown of Newtown.

This Thursday (July 15, 5:30 to 7 p.m.) is the opening of “Down on Vermont Country Road: Old Friends and New Visions” at the Cyrenius Booth Library on Main Street.  The show runs through Labor Day.

One of Tom Kretsch’s Vermont photos.

Staples High School boys soccer tri-captain Bruno Guiduli knows the important of giving back.

During the past year he’s raised over $2,300 for TOPSoccer. The non-profit helps special needs youngsters play the sport Bruno loves.

This Saturday (July 17, 8 a.m. to noon), he invites everyone to Wakeman Field. He’ll set up a special goal he built with his father, Barry. All are welcome to test their skills, while learning about TOPSoccer. Donations will be gratefully accepted.

Bruno Guiduli, with the TOPSoccer goal he invites everyone to shoot at.

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This weekend’s Fresh Market osprey update, from Carolyn Doan:

“I can’t believe how big they’ve gotten. I was there for breakfast. Dad brought a fish, right on time. He called from a tree to wake everyone up, and went over to the nest once all 3 were ready to eat. Two of the siblings are very affectionate with one another, which was wonderful to watch.

“They were stretching their wings a lot, so fledging is imminent.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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Speaking of young birds: Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a pair of gorgeous baby robins. Cutest image ever?

(Photo/Jacqueline Byrne)

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Kendall Gardiner spotted this on Facebook:

A man in France takes care of the grave of an American soldier, killed on D-Day in Normandy, age 29. He’d like to contact any relatives he can find.

The soldier’s name was Sgt. Glenn Everett “Tex” Moats. He lived in Fairfield. If any “06880” readers remember the family, click here to respond. (Hat tip: Kendall Gardiner)

Sgt. Glenn Everett “Tex” Moats

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Nadine Cherna is proud of all her piano students. But she’s particularly proud of Eric Gordonos. The 13-year-old plays everything she asks, everything he can find — and then composes his own pieces. Here is an excerpt:

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And finally … speaking of talented young pianists, today would have been Van Cliburn’s 87th birthday. He rocketed too fame in 1958, when — just 23 years old — he won the 1st International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, at the height of the Cold War.

Cliburn died in 2013, at 78.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roundup: Bolts, Ospreys

Uest

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Yesterday, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice addressed the easing of COVID restrictions in Connecticut. He said:

Both the CDC and state Department of Public Health have maintained their recommendation for masks inside the school building for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff for the remainder of the current school year.  However, with our low community transmission rates in both the town and our schools, as well as an increasing number of vaccinated staff and students, masks will no longer be required for students when outdoors for both recess and PE.

The State Department of Education announced that there will be no remote learning requirement for the upcoming school year (2021-2022). The Westport Public Schools will not offe remote learning as a permanent instructional option for next school year, unless otherwise mandated by the CSDE. The remote learning option, like a number of other approaches and investments, has been critical to our remarkable success this year. Although students have experienced success in this pandemic year, if anything else, this year clearly proved that there is no replacement for in-person learning. We look forward to welcoming all students in-person for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

As the end of year events begin to pick up, I ask that we all do our part to continue to thank our faculty, and all of our support staff across the system, for their extraordinary work this year. There was no playbook. We approached the year in 4-6 week increments. Yet as we look back, we carefully navigated a generational pandemic to serve our students and while earnestly attending to their social, emotional, and academic needs. A great deal will be written about this era. I, for one, will remember the people and the acts of kindness, commitment, and professionalism that carried us towards an increasingly brighter light at the end of this tunnel.

No more masks at recess!

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The town of Westport has leased 2 new Chevy Bolts for staff field work. They’ll be used for municipal inspections by the Public Works Engineering Division and the Assessor’s Office.

A cost benefit analysis has proven that these vehicles are both environmentally friendly, and cost effective.

The choice of Chevy Bolts was based on their overall low price, good reputation, and compact size. The cars also have a low maintenance cost and a longer expected service life than competitors. Both vehicles are at the standard option level.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says, “We are very proud of Westport’s advancement in electric vehicle usage and municipal charging stations. Investments such as the Police Department’s purchase of a Model 3 Tesla are proving to be beneficial, and we expect the same for the municipal fleet. These Bolts help move Westport closer toward meeting sustainability goals.”

From left: Assessor Paul Friia, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, Dawn Henry of Sustainable Westport, Finance director Gary Conrad, Public Works director Peter Ratkiewich with the new Chevy Bolts.

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Several readers have not seen the Fresh Market ospreys for awhile. I asked “06880”‘s resident expert, Carolyn Doan, for an update She says:

“The osprey are incubating right now. so they are very difficult to see in a nest that is high up.

“Usually the female does most of the sitting while the male brings back food. He does take over for her from time to time to give her a much needed stretch or break. She is the one with a more speckled chest. His chest is more white (in case you wanted to try and discern between the two if you notice one in a tree).

“If not fishing, the one taking a break is usually in a nearby tree. In this case there is a big pine tree to the right of the Fresh Market nest. You can usually see one of the pair there. Or look across the street behind Dunkin Donuts. At the top of a bare tree behind the building you will see a large bird. (Usually the male. He loves this spot for some reason.”)

“The babies are due at the end of the month!”

A recent osprey photo. (Carolyn Doan)

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Surprise! Beechwood Arts — the innovative, immersive series — opens its grounds tomorrow (Sunday, May 23, 52 Weston Road), from noon to 5 p.m.

The copper beech and other trees and flowers are blooming. And, founders Frederic Chiu and Jeanine Esposito say, they miss their Sunday afternoons with their friends.

“Stop in to say hello, have a lemonade, walk the grounds, bring your own picnic,” they say.

“The main house will not be open. But it’s likely you’ll hear Frederic practicing for his Classical Smackdown II (Thursday, May 27, 7 p.m.)

“Our 5-star rated carriage house and studio summer retreat will be open, so you can take a peek while you’re here.” Both will be listed for summer rent on AirBnB June 1.

The Beechwood grounds.

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Yesterday’s mention of the anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic prompted this email from alert — and history-minded — reader Matt Murray:

“My grandmother was a friend of the engine builder/designer Charlie Lawrence (2nd autograph from left in photo below).

The day before the flight, Mr. Lawrence asked my grandmother, ‘Do you want to see this fellow take off at 5 a.m. to fly solo across the Atlantic?’

“She replied, ‘Charlie, you’re drunk.’ She did not go. But because she was fluent in French, he asked her to write Lindergh’s letter of introduction for when he landed. As a thank you, she received this picture of Lindbergh and Lawrence and their signatures, taken just before he took off.”

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Yesterday’s “06880” also brought mention of Margot Liotta. The 2019 Staples High School graduate was one of 4 recipients of a Drew Friedman Community Arts Center Foundation scholarship.

Turns out she’s as artist in more ways than one.

In addition to the photograph that helped win her a grant, she’s a bass guitarist, singer and songwriter. She’s transferrin to Berklee College of Music — and has just released her first song, “Aries.”

Her boyfriend and former Staples classmate, Zach Rogers, produced it, and plays guitar. He’s transferring to Brown University.

Margot and Zach have played together for several years. They’ve done gigs at Wakeman Town Farm — and will play there again this summer.

A third ’19 grad, Kevin Ludy, did the artwork and promotion. He’s studying music management at Syracuse University.

Click here for various ways to hear (and purchase) “Aries.”

Margot Liotta and Zach Rogers, at Wakeman Town Farm. (Photo/Jarret Liotta)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is yet another view of a Canada goose, and her goslings. They look so cute when they’re young.

(Photo/Tom Lowrie)

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And finally … on this day in 1762, Trevi Fountain was officially completed and inaugurated in Rome.

Roundup: Masks, Gatsby Day, Ospreys …

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Yesterday’s announcement by the Centers for Disease Control that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most situations — including indoors — will be effective next Wednesday (May 19) in Connecticut, Governor Lamont said yesterday.

That’s the date other restrictions will be lifted too.

Connecticut residents can’t abandon their masks just yet. Wait until May 19! (Photo collage/Miggs Burroughs)

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Happy Gatsby Day!

A few years ago, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe declared May 14 “Gatsby Day” in Westport.

That’s the date — 101 years ago today — that F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald signed their lease for the house at what is now 244 South Compo Road.

Marpe said that Gatsby Day should be celebrated in perpetuity. COVID has prevented celebrations last year — the centennial! — and this. But historian Deej Webb (who literally wrote the book on “Gatsby in Connecticut”) wants to make sure that Westport remembers the day.

It’s interesting to note that the Roaring ’20s — the decade associated so closely with the legendary author and his wife — were a direct result of the influenza pandemic of 1918-19.

Will a similar decade follow COVID? And if so, will the direct result of the Roaring ’20s — the Great Depression — ensue too?

FUN FITZGERALD FACT: Deej Webb says that the iconic shot of F. Scott and Zelda in front of their Westport house was not, as is often assumed, photoshopped. It’s legit:

We know the Westport Country Playhouse is a town jewel.

So does the National Endowment for the Arts. They just awarded the Playhouse a $10,000 Arts Projects grant. It supports “Ain’t Misbehavin,” the musical planned for 2022.

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Nico Eisenberger writes: “I just witnessed an unbelievable spectacle. Three bald eagles went up against 3 ospreys in a full-on battle for the skies … all right above the new osprey nest on the way to Burying Hill.

“They screeched, swerved, swooped, dove, teamed, ganged, isolated, regrouped and went at it again and again. My measly iPhone photo [below] doesn’t do it justice. It was jaw-dropping.

“I caught a hint of this growing local rivalry a few times over the past few days, but nothing like the epic battle now.

“I am sure there will be more. Fingers crossed for all involved, especially our new nesting pair. So far, it seems they have been able to defend themselves nicely.”

Nico copied Patrick Comins, executive director of the Connecticut Audubon Society. He replied:

“This is something we will see more and more of, especially with the overlapping hunting territories of the nesting eagle pair and many ospreys. Bald eagles regularly harass osprey, steal their prey, and occasionally kill or injure ospreys in the process.

“But both species treat each other with some degree of respect, because each can cause damage to the other.”

(Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

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Now there are 3.

Easton has joined the Westport Weston Health District.

Which means it needs a new name. Suggestions (beyond “Westport Weston Easton Health District,” I guess) are welcome. Email publichealth@wwhd.org.

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The only thing better than al fresco dining may be doing it with the best local bounty. Oh, yeah … with chef Alison Milwe Grace in charge.

The popular caterer works her magic at Wakeman Town Farm on June 12 (6 to 9 p.m.). The menu for the WTF fundraiser (for educational programs) includes chilled spring pea and basil soup, spring vegetables, spring lamb chops with mint chimichurri or herb-dusted salmon over asparagus, with lemon-thyme berry trifles. BYOB adult beverages.

Guests can stroll the grounds and gardens, visit the animals, and enjoy acoustic music.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Alison Milwe Grace, at Wakeman Town Farm.

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And finally … there was no Billboard Hot 100 on May 14, 1920 (the day, noted above, that F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald signed their Westport lease). It started August 4, 1958.

However, there are records kept of the top records of 1920. The most popular song that year was Al Jolson’s “Swanee.” “How I love ya, how I love ya …”

The rest of the top songs include a few folks I’ve heard of (Paul Whiteman, Eddie Cantor, Jascha Heifetz, Sergei Rachmaninoff). But 2 titles caught my eye, for different reasons.

There was this topical tune, “Prohibition Blues” …

… and this one: “My Little Bimbo Down on the Bamboo Isle.” It would never fly today, 101 years later:

Roundup: Friday – P&Z, CBD, Kelp …

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Last night, the Planning & Zoning Commission approved new regulations regarding accessory apartments (units in a principal dwelling) and “accessory dwelling units” (those in attached structures).

As “06880” reported earlier this month, the new rules will open up our housing stock. They could add a small number of affordable housing units, and provide added income for residents going through life changes — the loss of a job, say, or divorce, or those whose children have moved away and who want to move into a smaller place on their own property, while renting out their larger home.

Also last night, Neil Cohn moved from alternate to full member of the P&Z, He replaces Greg Rutstein, who resigned Wednesday due to increased business responsibilities in a new job. Both are Democrats.

Rutstein praised chair Danielle Dobin, his fellow commissioners and Planning & Zoning Department head Mary Young. Noting that the board faces many important decisions, he said, “I want to make sure that I allow others who have the time to carefully consider these issues to serve the town that I love so dearly.”  

Dobin said, “In 3 short years, Greg has had a meaningful impact on Westport. He worked tirelessly to make the P&Z more efficient — cutting through red tape, and saving residents and businesses time and fees. His insightful questions, positive energy and good humor will be deeply missed by all of us.

“We warmly welcome Neil Cohn, one of our longstanding alternate commissioners in Greg’s place. Through his work chairing the Economic Growth Subcommittee, which he founded, Neil is playing an integral part in ensuring P&Z regulations promote a vibrant Westport.”

Neil Cohn

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Westport men and women can shop for CBD at 2 downtown stores literally around the corner from each other.

But what about man’s best friend?

We got that too.

Local resident Joseph Sequenzia just launched an all-natural hemp-derived  CBD dog treat. YUP PUP is part of a growing interest in pet wellness. The CEO says that dogs experience anxiety relief from CBD — a chemical compound in cannabis — along with health benefits like joint pain, digestion and healthy coats.

His mission is to “treat our pets to the same health and happiness they treat us to,” Sequenzia says. YUP PUP comes in Tasty Bacon Treats, Peanut Butter Bites and Savory Salmon Snacks. For more information, click here.

Joseph Sequenzia and his family — including dogs Wally and Otto.

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Yesterday was Earth Day. But New England Kelp Harvest Week runs all the way through Sunday.

Local restaurants and shops from Greenwich to Westerly, Rhode Island are participating in the first-ever event celebrating our region’s most sustainable crop: sugar kelp.

Kelp requires no fertilizers or fresh water to grow, and absorbs carbon trapped in the sea. Westporters can support local farms and restaurants, and fight climate change — all in one meal.

Food and beverages featuring kelp are available at The Whelk, Kawa Ni, OKO, Don Memo and The Cottage. To experiment in your own kitchen, buy local dried kelp at Fjord Fish Market.

The festival’s Instagram account offers food and beverage ideas, and information about kelp. Click here for a list of all participating restaurants, breweries, cafes and shops. Click here for links to virtual events. (Hat tip: Craig D.B. Patton)

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Ospreys love Westport. But for years, the platform to the right of the Burying Hill Beach entrance road has been vacant. It’s been speculated that it is too low for ospreys’ tastes.

But at least one pair thinks it’s fine. The platform in the New Creek saltmarsh was busy yesterday, with new occupants building their nest.

Perhaps — like other newcomers to town — they realized that in a tight real estate market, sometimes you have to grab whatever property is available.

(Photo/Chris Swan)

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For decades, Walter and Naiad Einsel painted in their Victorian farmhouse, across from Greens Farms Elementary School. Two of Westport’s most noted artists, they documented their nearly 5-decade romance with clever “Art from the Heart” valentines.

Long ago, in 1947 — 6 years before they married – Walter painted Naiad’s portrait.

Bob and Karen Weingarten bought the painting in 2016. It hung in their Greens Farms home. Now they’ve donated it to the Westport Public Art Collections.

WestPAC works hang all over town. Perhaps this one is destined for Greens Farms El.

Naiad Einsel, painted by Walter Einsel (1947)

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Westport resident Anne Boberski recently completed a video project for the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Available online, “See, Think, Wonder: Bridgeport” includes four 25-minute video episodes and a printable Teacher Toolkit. It’s designed to support curriculum in grades 5-8. Students examine maps, seals, artifacts and architecture, meet community leaders, and learn that history is local.

The art museum is on the Housatonic Community College campus. But anyone can click here to see “See, Think, Wonder: Bridgeport.”

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And finally …  today in 1985, Coca-Cola changed its formula. The reaction to New Coke was swift, strong, and overwhelmingly negative. The original formula returned less than 3 months later.

 

 

Roundup: Real Estate, Rabbis’ Honors, Raptors …

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Westport’s real estate market roars along.

Roe Colletti reports there were 115 house closings in the first quarter of 2021, a 47% increase from 2020 — and the highest number of houses sold in that quarter since at least 2000.

The average closing price rose 33% to $1.84 million, the quarter’s highest since 2000. Homes sold on average for 99.7% of the list price.

There were 87 houses pending (signed contracts) on March 31, up 81% from last year. The average list price of those homes was $2.2 million.

Housing inventory on March 31 was 135  — down 47.3% from the previous March 31, when there were 256 houses on the market. (Hat tip: Chuck Greenlee)

This 12-bedroom, 15 1/2-bathroom estate, set on 7 1/2 acres, is listed for $20 million. (Photo courtesy of KMS Partners @ Compass)

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This year’s New York Board of Rabbis’ Humanitarian Awards will honor first responders and essential workers.

Dr. Anthony Fauci will be feted. So will the Greater New York Hospital Association.

And … Westport’s own Avi Kaner.

The co-owner of Morton Williams Supermarkets (and former Board of Finance chair and 2nd selectman) will be cited for the work his family-owned business did during the pandemic.

Morton Williams stores never closed. Employees kept working; senior executives ensured that the supply chain continued.

The company became a lifeline to New York. They worked with the CDC to adjust trucking regulations so that truckers would be comfortable making deliveries. They were among the first in the nation to set aside special hours for seniors and immunocompromised customers; they lobbied aggressively for mask use, and ensured that supermarket workers were included in phase 1B of the state’s vaccinations.

There’s one more Westport connection to the May 10 event: Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn of The Conservative Synagogue is president of the New York Board of Rabbis.

Avi Kaner in a Bronx Morton Williams store. (Photo/Danny Ghitis for the New York Times)

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Business Networking International does exactly what its name says.

But there’s a twist: Only one person per profession is allowed to join a chapter. For example, there is one CPA, one architect, one insurance agent.

BNI’s Westport chapter is strong and active. They’ve got 48 members. Last year, they conducted nearly $2 million in business.

There are openings now in a few categories: interior designer, home inspector, developer, heating and air conditioning contractor, fitness club or personal trainer, chef, and attorneys who practice estate and elder law.

Weekly BNI meetings are now held over Zoom. They’ll transition to a hybrid or in-person format this summer or fall. Click here for information, or email info@salonpaulmichael.com.

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Today’s osprey update:

Carolyn Doan reports that the Fresh Market ospreys had a busy week rebuilding and freshening up their nest.

Sometimes when they’re not at home, Carolyn and her son head over to Gray’s Creek. Those birds are usually eating. “The male’s chest is more white, while the female has tan markings,” she says. She took this photo of one finishing a fish.

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

Meanwhile, a group of Y’s Men strolled past this osprey at Longshore:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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Five Wreckers are Staples High School’s Students of the Month.

Senior Henrik Hovstadius, junior Bruno Guiduli, sophomores Leo Fielding and Ari Lerner, and freshman Domenic Petrosinelli were nominated by their teachers.

Principal Stafford Thomas called the honorees “the glue of the Staples community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students who keep the high school together, making it the special place that is.

Staples High School students of the month (from left): Henrik Hovstadius, Domenic Petrosinelli and Ari Lerner. Missing: Bruno Guiduli and Leo Fielding.

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The 2021 Music at MoCA Concert Series features a diverse range of jazz, pop and classical outdoor concerts, from April through October. Highlights include performers from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Spotlight series.

Multi-instrumentalist and soulful pop artist Matt Nakoa opens the series on Friday, April 30 (7 p.m). Click here for the full schedule, and tickets.

Season passes are available for all 13 concerts, along with jazz, pop or classical packages and individual concert tickets. MoCA members receive discounts. Food and drinks are available at each event.

Matt Nakoa

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And finally … so who is Matt Nakoa (the first MoCA concert performer this year — see above). Watch below:

 

Roundup: Vaccines, Zoning, Schlaet’s Point, Ospreys …

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Not every “06880” reader lives in Westport. Sarathi Roy notes: “New York or New Jersey residents can book COVID vaccine appointments in their home state or in Connecticut.”

Here is New York state information:

A few days ago, “06880” posted a comprehensive list of Connecticut vaccine options, thanks to Sarathi’s HR department. Click here for information on CVS, Walgreens, Yale New Haven Health, Stamford Health and VAMS sign-ups.

In addition to that list, Sarathi adds:

  • Check your town’s website for information and clinics available only to residents. You may be able to register in advance or receive a call for available appointments or excess doses.
  • Connecticut’s  Vaccine Assist Line (877-918-2224) operates 7 days a week, from 8am-8pm. Agents can schedule appointments at state-run clinics. If you call early and are given the chance to leave a message, you should. They accept a certain number of messages each day, then call those people back throughout the day to assist in booking appointments. Once the maximum number of calls for the day has been reached the message option is turned off.
  • You can now search additional locations, including supermarkets and local pharmacies. A great tool to see who is administering the vaccine in your area is Vaccinefinder.org. Search a zip code, make note of the providers nearby, then search for booking websites.
  • Here are a few of the more common ones:
    Rite Aid

ShopRite

Big Y

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Did you miss last night’s webinar on the many housing bills making their way through the state’s General Assembly, and their possible impact on Westport?

Planning and Zoning chair Danielle Dobin gave a comprehensive overview. Our 4 local legislators — Senators Will Haskell and Tony Hwang, and Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Stephanie Thomas — tackled the pros and cons. Viewers asked questions. It was a wide-ranging, engaging 80 minutes. (And I would say that even if I had not served as moderator.)

It’s now available to watch — or re-watch — at your leisure. Click here for the link.

Everything you wanted to know about zoning — including sewers — and more.

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One of the few positive parts of the pandemic: Many more Westporters have had time to walk.

Because we practice social distancing, we’re not always on the sidewalk. And — as Tammy Barry’s photo of Hillspoint Road at Schlaet’s Point shows — the result is some barren patches where grass once grew.

I’m sure saltwater flooding had something to do with t too.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

Here’s hoping the town can find some resources to bring this beautiful stretch of waterfront back to what it once was.

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CNN anchor (and Westport resident) Alisyn Camerota’s last day on “New Day” is today. The show was filled with many nice tributes. Yesterday, co-host John Berman started things off (click here to see).

Alisyn is not going very far — just a few hours later. She’ll anchor CNN’s weekday coverage with Victor Blackwell.

Congratulations, Alisyn, on your new gig — and the chance to sleep in a little longer. (Hat tip: Seth Schachter)

Alisyn Camerota

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Today’s osprey report comes courtesy of Chris Swan.

He wants Westporters to know that there are 3 platforms near Sherwood Island State Park.

One is in the saltmarsh behind the Nature Center, midway to the last house off Beachside Common.

The second is in the saltmarsh on the eastern shore of Sherwood Mill Pond, several hundred feet above the Compo Cove homes. It’s visible from the path on Sherwood Island’s western edge, above the fire gate to Compo Cove.

Both platforms are occupied by returning osprey pairs.

A 3rd location can be seen from the saltmarsh shore of the northeastern corner of the Mill Pond, looking west. This was erected last fall. No osprey pair has yet staked their claim.

A 4th platform is at the entrance to Burying Hill Beach, in the marsh across New Creek. Chris has watched it for 10 years, but has never seen it occupied.

He thinks it’s too low. He believes old utility poles make the best platforms — citing the ones at Fresh Market, Longshore’s E,R. Strait Marina, and Gray’s Creek.

Chris should know: He spent his professional career with Eversource.

The newest osprey platform in Sherwood Island Mill Pond. A house on Grove Point is visible behind it. (Photo/Chris Swan)

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Congressman Jim Himes holds a Facebook Live session today (Wednesday, April 7) at 3 p.m. He’ll discuss how constituents can benefit from the American Rescue Plan. Click here to watch live. To watch later, click here.

Congressman Jim Himes

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And finally … on this day in 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first African-American depicted on a US postage stamp.

In November 1944, Booker T. Jones Jr. was born in Memphis. He was named after his father, Booker T. Jones Sr., a high school science teacher — who himself was named in honor of Booker T. Washington, the educator.

 

Roundup: Sunrise Service, Town Farm, Ospreys …

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Last year’s Easter Sunrise Service at Compo Beach was canceled by COVID.

This morning, it was once again on. The return was welcomed by Westporters — and the Easter Bunny.

(Photo/Rick Benson)

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Wakeman Town Farm’s partnership with Homefront Farmers continues to bear fruit.

If you buy a gift card through @payitfwrd.co to start or maintain a home garden, all proceeds go to WTF’s educational program that teaches youngsters how to grow their own food.

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other holidays are around the corner. The gift of a home garden will definitely reap benefits. Click here for more information.


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Speaking of nature: Here’s an osprey update from the indefatigable Carolyn Doan.

“Our lovely osprey couple has been making their nest near Fresh Mart a little more comfortable. They’ve resorted to using what looks like a knit hat or glove. The female has taken matters into her own talons, and is getting sticks herself.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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During the pandemic, families have spent more time than ever. For some, it’s a wonderful way to reconnect. For others, it’s caused tension.

Dr. Bob Selverstone — a much-admired Westport psychologist in private practice for over 40 years, former Staples High School educator and counselor, and noted TV and radio guest — recently taped a session for the Westport Library.

It’s called “Making Marriage Even Better.” He should know: Bob and his high school sweetheart, Harriett, have been married for nearly 60 years!

Click below to listen and learn.

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Congratulations, Westport Water Rat 13/14 girls relay team. On Friday they broke the state record in the 200 freestyle relay. They blazed to a 1:36.73 finish. Well done, girls!

New state record holders (from left): Kate Murray, Ella Gussen, Ayaan Olasewere and Annam Olsawawere. Coach (not pictured) is Ellen Johnston.

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And finally … Happy Easter!

Roundup: Longshore Inn, Outdoor Dining, Ospreys …

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The new operators of the Longshore Inn have big plans.

This afternoon (Wednesday, March 31, 5:30 p.m.), Charles Mallory — CEO of Greenwich Hospitality Group, which runs the very successful Delamar Hotels — joins Dave Briggs on Instagram Live to reveal what’s ahead.

Listen — and respond in real time — via @WestportMagazine. You can send questions on Instagram ahead of time too: @DaveBriggsTV.

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The Westport Transit District recently replaced its previous fixed route system with Wheels2U Westport service, an on-demand, door-to-train station group shuttle service.

As part of the changeover, posters advertising the 50-year-old fixed route service at the Saugatuck train station were replaced with new ones highlighting the advantages of Wheels2U.

The Westport Transit District donated one of those now-historic fixed route posters to the Westport Museum for History & Culture yesterday. for its collection.

With Metro-North ridership beginning to pick up again, Wheels2U provides a convenient, reliable, and inexpensive way to get to and from the Westport and Greens Farms train stations. It serves a larger portion of Westport and meets more trains than the prior fixed route service.

Riders can order a ride using the Wheels2U phone app, be picked up at their door and then dropped off at the station platform at any time between 5:45 and 9:45  a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m. Reverse commuters can take the shuttle from the train station to their jobs almost anywhere in Westport for less than other alternatives.

Future plans for the WTD include getting more employees to their jobs, shoppers to stores, and seniors to the Senior Center.

For Wheels2U Westport’s service area, fares and other information, click here.  For information about Westport Transit’s door-to-door services for the elderly and people with a disability, click here.

Westport Transit District director Peter Gold presents Westport Museum of History & Culture collections director Nicole Carpenter with a now-historic Westport Transit District poster.

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Yesterday, the State Senate unanimously approved legislation to extend outdoor dining in Connecticut through March 31, 2022.

Local zoning or planning officials still have the final power to permit or expand outdoor dining. The law minimizes paperwork like site surveys or traffic studies, in order to expedite the process.

Earlier this month, Westport’s Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to extend outdoor dining here until further notice.

Outdoor dining on Church Lane last year.

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The ospreys are back — and not just at Fresh Market.

Chris Swan spotted one pair of the magnificent raptors at the nesting platform on Sherwood Mill Pond. He saw another on the saltmarsh at the end of Beachside Common, behind the Nature Center at Sherwood Island State Park. Welcome home to those two happy couples!

A Fresh Market — not Sherwood Island — osprey. (Photo.Carolyn Doan)

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Patagonia is holding a food drive for Homes with Hope. Bring non-perishable goods like canned chicken, tuna, salmon and soup, mayonnaise, peanut butter and jelly, cereal and pasta source to the downtown store.

They also sell “Patagonia Provisions” — items that can be bought, then given away. (Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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Taylor Whiteside (Whitey) Bailey, a Wesport native and member of a prominent Westport family, died March 18 in Escondido, California of natural causes. He was 88 years old.

He was the 5th child of Franklin and Mary Alice Bailey. His mother was well known here as the assistant to Miss Irene Comer at her dancing school, held in the second floor ballroom of the Westport YMCA. His father was the stepson of Arthur Dare Whiteside, a founder and president of Dun & Bradstreet, and one of the early developers of the Sylvan Road and Nash’s Pond areas of Westport.

Bailey’s brother and sisters included Mary Bailey Beck, Ann Bailey Hall, Franklin Bailey, Jr. and Dare Bailey Wells, all deceased. Joan Whiteside was his step-sister.

Bailey attended Bedford Elementary School and Bedford Junior High School, and was a 1950 graduate of Staples High School. He was a competitive swimmer at Longshore Country Club and a lifeguard at Compo Beach.

He joined the U.S. Marines after high school, and served overseas from 1950-53 during the Korean War. While stationed with the Marines at Camp Pendleton, he was chosen to be the jeep driver in the movie “Retreat, Hell.”

Bailey and his first wife, Allison Norris Bailey, moved to California from Westport in the late 1950s. The former sales manager of Pace Arrow motor home company, he spent the last 25 years of his life in Fallbrook, California.

Allison Norris Bailey and Mr. Bailey’s second wife, Jan Bailey, are deceased.
He is survived by twin sons Kim W. Bailey and Timothy Norris Bailey, both of Westport; Will Mason Bailey of Maui, and 3 grandchildren.

Taylor Whiteside Bailey

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Sure, you can have all the apps and video games you want. But there’s nothing like flying a good old-fashioned kite.

The good news: Tomorrow will be windy. The bad news: It may rain.

Amy Schneider spotted this colorful kite yesterday, at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … happy 336th birthday, to Johann Sebastian Bach!

Weekend Osprey Report

Today was a washout, weather-wise.

But yesterday was gorgeous. Carolyn Doan did what she often does, in early spring: She checked out our ospreys, at their nest near Fresh Market. Her report will brighten your day.

“Both were sunning themselves in their favorite pine tree. They seemed very relaxed.

“A small group of fans beneath welcomed them back north. The male has tried mating, but the female pushed him away. My guess is the female wants to rest after her big trip. He’ll have to work harder to impress her by bringing food and home improvement sticks.”

(Photos/Carolyn Doan)

Welcome Back, Osprey!

Our long, dark winter is finally over.

The air was wonderfully warm today. Temperatures topped 70.

There’s a bounce in people’s steps, and smiles on their faces — particularly those who are vaccinated against COVID.

Staples High School has returned to full in-person learning. For the first time in a year, the building bustles with a familiar hum.

And — in the surest sign yet that the world continues to spin wonderfully — the ospreys are back. Well, at least one.

Wendy Crowther spotted Westport’s favorite raptor yesterday, sprucing up the Fresh Market net.

She went back today, and snapped this photo.

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)

Welcome home!