Tag Archives: Paul Podolsky

Roundup: Trash Truck, Tyler Hicks, Tree Trunk …

Westporters seldom think about trash trucks.

They come. Our trash goes. They come again, a few days later. Occasionally we write a check, to keep them coming.

Lyman — our new sister city in Ukraine — has not seen a trash truck in months.

Soon — with the help of Westport — they will.

When the Russians fled this fall, after several months of occupation, they stole all of the town’s trash trucks.

Debris from their missile attacks is piled everywhere. So is the garbage that accumulates as citizens live their daily lives.

Without trucks, there is no way to remove any of it.

For the past several days, Westport has been raising funds for Lyman (pronounced Lee-MON). We just passed $200,000, heading toward our $250,000 goal.

The other day, Brian Mayer — the Westporter who co-founded Ukraine Aid International — learned of a truck in Gdansk, Poland. It will cost about 5,000 euros to transport it to Lyman. Volunteers are already lined up to move it.

When it arrives in Lyman, residents will be ecstatic. Volunteers there are ready to start removing many tons of trash — and avoid an environmental catastrophe.

Brian is working too with construction wholesalers in Ukraine. They’re getting ready to move material from Kharkiv to Lyman, where more volunteers are eager to begin shoring up apartment buildings that are close to collapse.

Westport’s support for our sister city has been immediate. But the need is ongoing.

To help, click here for a credit card “Donate” button. Click “I want to support”; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” You can also scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.) Or you can donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

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One more cosmic connection between Westport and our sister city:

Yesterday’s New York Times included more harrowing photos from Ukraine, by 1988 Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Tylerl Hicks.

Among them: an image showing Ukrainian troops crammed into an armored vehicle, plowing through mud in dusty skies on their way to the front lines.

The dateline: Lyman. (Hat tip: Steve Taranko)

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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As noted last week on “06880,” black plastic cannot be recycled.

It can, however, be repurposed to serve food to people in need.

For the second straight week, Sustainable Westport is partnering with Food Rescue CT and the Westport Farmers’ Market to collect black plastic takeout containers.

Washed, clean, black plastic takeout food containers (with lids!) can be brought to tomorrow’s Farmers’ Market at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center (7 Sylvan Lane; Thursday, December 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

The containers will be used by Fridgeport Outdoor Food Pantry to repackage large trays of donated prepared foods into smaller portions for distribution to Bridgeporters facing food insecurity.

 

Westport resident Ria Nova (right) donated black plastic containers to Sustainable Westport co-director Johanna Martell at last week’s Westport Farmers’ Market.

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How strong were last Friday’s winds?

Strong enough to topple this tree, on the border between Winslow Park and the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

Just be thankful it didn’t fall in the other direction.

And that we didn’t get whacked like Buffalo did.

On the other hand, there’s this: Perhaps the trunk can be delivered to Long Lots Preserve.

As noted in yesterday’s Roundup, decomposing tree trunks promote the growth of bug populations. They in turn supply local and migrating bird populations with an important source of food, especially in the spring when they feed their young.

For more details on the Preserve and its need for dead tree trunks, email longlotspreserve@gmail.com.

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Westporter Paul Podolsky has published a new thriller: “Master, Minion.”

Fellow Westporter Mike Hayes — former commander of Seal Team Two and author of “Never Enough” — calls it “a gripping portrayal of the people and machinery behind financial warfare. Paul is a true storyteller who knows Russia and China firsthand. He takes the readers on a thrilling journey only an insider can provide.”

The book draws in part on his expertise in Russia. He recently wrote about that, for the Wall Street Journal.

Click here for more information on Podolsky’s new book.

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Yesterday’s clouds caught the eyes of many “Westport … Naturally” photographers.

This shot near the Norwalk border was one of the most intriguing:

(Photo/Rowene Weems Photography)

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And finally … thinking of the photo above:

(Scrambling for a tax deduction, as the year draws to an end? Please consider “06880” — we’re a non-profit! Click here for details. And thank you!)

 

Roundup: Rotary; Reactive Attachment Disorder; Rocks; More


A little pandemic can’t keep Westport’s Sunrise Rotary club down.

Every April, they do a volunteer clean-up in town. The lockdown postponed this year’s event. But yesterday the members were out in force, ridding the I-95 Exit 17 parking lot of trash.

It was just like old times. Except for the masks.


Westporters have been intrigued by a Ford Escort at the train station.

During the pandemic it sat for weeks in the same spot. Last week it finally vanished. Some folks were pleased because it seemed the driver was okay; others wondered if the car had been towed, because the driver was not okay.

Well, the Ford is back. But now I’ve got another question:

There are hundreds of empty spots in the lot. Why does he (or she) choose such a random place to park?

(Photo/Curtis Lueker)


Bridgewater got Paul Podolsky to Westport. The 1991 Brown University grad  liked the town so much, he moved here.

Five weeks ago — after more than 20 years with the firm — he retired. His goal is to write full time. Judging by his memoir — released today — he’s got another great career.

Raising a Thief is the powerful, insightful and searingly truthful story of the orphan girl Podolsky and his wife adopted from Russia. They imagined she’d blend in well with their son, and enjoy all the wonders of Westport.

But she suffered from Reactive Attachment Disorder — a condition in which a child who has suffered physical or emotional neglect or abuse cannot form a healthy emotional bond with new parents.

Sonya lies and steals. She has an eating disorder, and tries to jump out of a window.

It’s a difficult story to read. It must have been even harder to live through — and then write.

Yet, Podolsky notes, Bridgewater helped. “The culture is all about radical honesty. I was accustomed to that.”

Founder Ray Dallio says of the book: “I am passionage about understanding how people think, and why … This book offers an invaluable picture about how the earliest childhood experiences shape thinking. I recommend it for all parents.”

Podolsky’s wife became a therapist, and now treats struggling families. They — and anyone with an interest in the human condition — will appreciated Raising a Thief. 

As for Podolsky, his next book is fiction. It’s based on his work in international finance, specifically China and Russia.

For more information and to buy Raising a Thief, click here.

Paul Podolsky


They’re the gifts that keep on giving.

From the earliest days of the coronavirus, stones bearing uplifting messages have been spotted around town.

They’re at Grace Salmon Park. Outisde the police station. On Burying Hill Beach.

Yesterday, Lauri Weiser spotted this particularly pretty one. Rock on, Westport!


And finally … summer arrived yesterday. Of the squintillion summer songs, this Gershwin tune — and this Billy Stewart version — stands at the top.