Tag Archives: “Pick of the Pics”

Roundup: Wynston Browne, Traffic, Hook’d …

If you want an inspiring way to start the week, keep reading.

Then click the video below.

“06880” has highlighted the story of Wynston Browne. For 14 of his 15 years, the non-speaking, autistic Staples High School sophomore was thought by everyone — educators, doctors, even family members — as having a profound intellectual disability. It was believed he could barely learn or communicate.

That was far from the truth. He had learned on his own, all his life.

Two years ago, Wynston began communicating through a spelling device. His vast knowledge and intelligence were unlocked.

The weekend before last, at a Circle of Friends ceremony — where local teens were honored for their work with people with disabilities — Wynston shared insights into his journey.

And into his future, as a neuroscientist and advocate for people with autism and other disabilities.

It was a remarkable afternoon. His standing ovations were well-earned.

Thank you, Wynston, for inspiring us all!

PS: To learn more about the remarkable first generation of “spellers” that Wynston is part of, click here.


Alert — and frustrated — “06880” reader Ray Broady writes:

This issue gets worse by the day.

My evening commute back to Westport takes me off I-95 at exit 17 daily, usually between 4:30 and 6 p.m. This route is getting so bad, it sometimes adds 45 minutes to my time.

Friday evening, it took an extra half hour just to exit I-95 and sit in traffic through Saugatuck, to the right turn at the Cribari Bridge.

One issue is that Westport stations a police officer across from the bridge to help keep the intersection moving. This really helps, but this person is nor in place until 5:30 or 6 p.m. I have called the police, and requested the lieutenant in charge of traffic and safety issues to try to have that person on duty from 4:30 to 6:30,  when the problem is at its worst.

This problem is amplified when Waze reroutes thousands of I-95 commuters onto Bridge Street and Greens Farms Road.

I realize that this section of streets is a state route (136), and possibly only the state Transportation Department and engineers can affect changes. But there must be something Westport can do to improve this horrible situation.

I have not heard of any change on the Cribari Bridge status, so I don’t know what is happening there. It may even worsen this, for so many Westporters.

I am more than willing to donate some of my time and energy to address this disaster. But I need help from others to make this a Westport priority. How can we get this ball rolling?

I feel we should get a group of volunteers together, to start a positive effort to work on interfacing with town, state, police and the impacted Saugatuck community to help find a permanent solution, and not a bucket list future dream.

Charles Street traffic. (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


A steady crowd braved yesterday’s rain, for a book signing at Savvy + Grace.

Spoiler alert: It was mine.

Thanks to all who came to pick up “Pick of the Pics”: the best-of-“06880” photos compilation.

Lyah Muktavaram — my Staples High intern last spring, who did all the hard work on the book — and I had a great time greeting the 100 or so folks at Main Street’s favorite gift-and-more store.

Couldn’t make it? Click here to order!

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Ted Horowitz — whose photos are in the book — joined Lyah Muktavaram and Dan Woog at the Savvy + Grace launch party. (Photo/JC Martin)


Sure, Hook’d opened 2 weeks after their contract said they would.

But hey — the retro video games are free!

(Photo and hat tip/Johanna Rossi)


“Westport … Naturally” starts the week with this gorgeous photo from Imperial Avenue.

Scenes like this are as fleeting as they are welcome. Enjoy them while you can!

(Photo/Fred Cantor)


And finally … hard to believe, but I missed Willie Nelson’s birthday.

It was Saturday.

So: Happy birthday, to one of my favorite all-time musicians. One of the highlights of my life was being up front at his Levitt Pavilion performance a decade or so ago.

It’s also hard to believe he is 90 years young.

Here’s to another 90 great ones. Don’t bet against him.

Unbelievably, it’s his 88th. He will outlive us all.

(Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be people who don’t support the blog they read. Please click here to contribute to “06880.” Thank you!)

Roundup: Wilton Road, Weston History, “06880” Book Launch …

The latest Westport clear-cutting project took some Westporters by surprise,

In fact, it’s part of an 8-30g project approved before the moratorium took effect.

122 Wilton Road — the 1.16-acre parcel bordered by Wilton Road, Kings Highway North, the Saugatuck River and Taylortown Salt Marsh — will be the site of a 3-story, 19-unit,  20,078-square foot apartment complex..

In 2018, the state Appellate Court denied a plan by Garden Homes of Stamford to build a 7-story, 48-unit apartment complex.

The developer returned with the smaller, 19-unit proposal, which included an 8-30g component.

Again the P&Z rejected the request. The scale was still too big; there were still traffic and fire safety issues.

But Garden Homes appealed, and a court overruled the P&Z. According to 8-30g, affordability trumps traffic and safety concerns.

COVID pushed back the schedule. But eventually the Conservation Department, Water Pollution Control Facility and Building Department issued permits.

This was the scene Monday:

And yesterday:

(Photo/Chris Tait)


Bill “Mr. Memorial Day Parade” Vornkahl notes that many organizations have not yet replied to invitations to participate in the Memorial Day parade.

So, organizations: If you want to be in Westport’s best parade of the year, contact Jamie Boone at the Westport Parks & Recreation Department: jboone@westportct.gov; 203-341-5091.

Don’t be left out of the Memorial Day parade!  (Photo/Jodi Harris)


MoCA’s Spring Thursday evening “Cocktails and Conversation” series has begun. It features compelling speakers, within the context of MoCA’s current exhibition.

The current show — “Rainbow in the Dark,” with works by German contemporary artist Anselm Reyle — runs through May 28.

“Cocktails and Conversation” includes:

April 27 (6 p.m.), “Creativity and Climate Action”: 4 Bridgeport artists show (and offer for sale) the projects they’ve created.

May 4 (5 p.m.), “The Wellness of Style” with Gayle Perry, exploring “the noise that our clothes and spaces create for us, with 15-minute style sessions.

May 11 (6 p.m.), Iraqi multi-instrumentalist Ameen Mokdad.

May 18 (6 p.m.), Conversation with “Rainbow in the Dark” curator Emann Odufu, followed by a concert by rock band Darling.

May 25 (6 p.m.), Barbara Sallick of Waterworks and Shari Lebowitz of Bespoke Designs on female entrepreneurship, home design trends, and the blending of function and style.

Most events are free for MoCA members, $10 for non-members. For more information click here, or call 203-222-7070.

Emann Odufu


Time for a church barn dance!

‘The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport sponsors its 4th one on Saturday, April 29 (5 to 9 p.m.). Billy Fischer is the caller, accompanied by Wry Bred.

All ages are invited. There’s pizza and cake too. Donations ($5 per person, $15 per family) are requested. Questions? Call 203-227-7205, ext. 10. Swing your partner ’round!


Speaking of concerts: The Weston History & Culture Center’s outdoor summer concert series “Music at the Barn” returns for its 8th season. Concerts are set for June 4 and June 25, July 9 and July 23, and September 10.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for food, history, crafts and fun. Music starts at 5:30 p.m., and ends at 7.

The bands are from throughout Fairfield County. Kids will enjoy the crafting table, historic games and a walk through the sculpture garden. Adults can explore history with tours of the Coley House and “Penned, Painted & Sculpted: Weston Artists 1900 – 1965” exhibit.

Music at the Weston Historical Society.


Reminder: The launch party for “Pick of the Pics” — the “06880” book highlighting over 100 of our blog’s best Pics of the Day — is this Sunday (April 30, 2 to 4 p.m., Savvy + Grace, 146 Main Street).

Books will be available for purchase at a special price of $20 (regular Amazon price: $24.95).

I’ll sign copies; so will Lyah Muktavaram, my “06880” intern who did 99% of the work on it.

Photographers featured in the book can pick up a free book at the launch party too.

Can’t wait? Click here to order!


Totally random, but interesting:

Alert reader Jim McKay writes: “In 1982, when the Saugatuck train station rain shelters were installed, the Ukrainian flag colors were used. Long before Ukrainian independence.”

(Photo/Jim McKay)


Last week, Amy Schneider captured — on camera, that is — today’s “Westport … Naturally feature: a snowy egret, perched over the Saugatuck River.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)


And fiinally ,,, Harry Belafonte, whose life was defined as much by his work on civil rights as by his popularizing of calypso music in the pop realm, died yesterday in New York of congestive heart failure. He was 96.

Belafonte attended fundraisers here, during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Click here for a full obituary of this remarkable man.

(If you enjoy our daily Roundups, please support “06880.” Just click here — and thank you!)

Roundup: Marijuana, Senior Living, The Universe …

The Planning & Zoning Commission will discuss 2 interesting pre-applications at its April 24 remote meeting (7 p.m.; click here for the link).

The first is a request by Bluepoint Wellness to discuss converting their medical marijuana dispensary in the BevMax/Julian’s plaza into a “hybrid cannabis retailer.”

That’s a heavy lift. Text amendment #799, adopted in September 2021, prohibits “cannabis establishments” — except for medical marijuana facilities — throughout town.

The second request, submitted by Richard Anderson on behalf of Home Living LLC, is a discussion on a potential text amendment: “how to change the use from a single-family residence into a home for seniors offering in-home services for up to 12 unrelated residents in need of memory care.”

The request for pre-application review says: “Although senior living residences exist in Westport, this is a unique, creative and beneficial project for seniors living in Westport.

“The current senior living options in Westport consist of very large, corporate and institutional-like facilities serving 100 or more senior residents. The subject project will provide real home living and senior services in an intimate and comfortable home setting.”

No further details on the project were submitted.

The waiting area and service desk, at Bluepoint Wellness.


Reminder: The launch party for “Pick of the Pics” — the “06880” book highlighting over 100 of our blog’s best Pics of the Day — is Sunday, April 30 (2 to 4 p.m., Savvy + Grace, 146 Main Street).

Books will be available for purchase at a special price of $20 (regular Amazon price: $24.95).

I’ll sign copies; so will Lyah Muktavaram, my “06880” intern who did 99% of the work on it.

Photographers featured in the book can pick up a free book at the launch party too.

Can’t wait? Click here to order!


Looking for the universe’s missing mass?

Dr. Regina Caputo — a NASA particles researcher — can help you find it. Or at least explain what’s not there.

She’s the next featured speaker at the Westport Astronomical Society’s free online lecture series. Her “Dark Matters: The Search for the University’s Missing Mass” webinar is this Tuesday (April 18, 8 p.m.).

 Click here for the Zoom link; click here for the YouTube link.

Dr. Regina Caputo


Sign-ups end soon for the Joggers’ Club’s great Kids Running Camp, for just $125. Spots are filling up fast.

Boys and girls ages kindergarten through 8th grade learn the basics of running from local champions — and they do it with friends, having fun every step of the way.

Youngsters are divided into age groups. Workouts encourage teamwork and self-motivation.

Also included: track meets, ice cream trucks, free running gear and more.

The Running Skills program runs (ho ho) Sundays (April 23 to June 11), from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at the Staples High School track.

The Speedwork program (middle schoolers only) is Thursdays (April 27 to June 8), from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Staples.

For more information, email TheJoggersClub@gmail.com


A new exhibition at Betty Cunningham Gallery in New York includes works by Stanley Lewis.

He lives in Massachusetts. But the work chosen by ArtDaily to illustrate his work is this: of Westport’s Winslow Park. The oil on canvas was painted between 2010 and 2014.

Click here for more information. (Hat tip: Robin Jaffee Frank)

“Winslow Park, Westport” (Stanley Lewis)


Coincidentally, there was an artist at work yesterday too, at Winslow Park.

Based on a Google Images search — and the style of painting — this could very well be Stanley Lewis, back for another canvas.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


On the Saugatuck River walkway off Parker Harding Plaza, Johanna Keyser Rossi spotted 2 swan eggs.

The next time she looked, there were 7. They’re the stars of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

The most she’s seen before was 4.

“I hope the eggs hatch this time,” she writes.

We all do. And to help make it happen: Stay away! Give this mom some space, and peace.

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … it’s April 15.

In honor of all those who pay their taxes:

(Got a few pennies left over? Looking for something tax-deductible? “06880” is a non-profit — and we rely on reader support. Please click here to contribute. And thank you!)

Roundup: Lyman Seeds, Launch Party, Lumi …

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second year, one crucial casualty looms: agriculture.

Continued fighting severely curtailed planting this spring. The fear was felt everywhere, from large commercial farmers to individuals whose home gardens provide increasingly scarce food.

In Lyman, those worries are over.

Thanks to Westporters’ donations, 2,000 residents of our sister city have received seeds. They were delivered by Ukraine Aid International — our partners on the ground, founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer — just in time for spring planting.

Onions, tomatoes and much more will soon grow, in back yards throughout the beleaguered town. Click below for a video of the seed distribution; click here to contribute to our continuing drive to help our friends, in as many ways as we can. (Click on the “Designation” drop-down menu; then select “Westport-Lyman.”)


“Pick of the Pics” — the “06880” book highlighting over 100 of our blog’s best Pics of the Day — was published a couple of months ago.

Now it’s time for the launch party.

The event is Sunday, April 30 (2 to 4 p.m., Savvy + Grace, 146 Main Street). Books will be available for purchase at a special price of $20 (regular Amazon price: $24.95).

I’ll be there signing copies; so will Lyah Muktavaram, my “06880” intern who did 99% of the work on it.

Photographers featured in the book can pick up a free book at the launch party too.


The newest “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast continues with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker’s conversation with Human Services director Elaine Daignault.

They talk about juvenile services and program, the Prevention Coalition for Substance Abuse, and Westport Together.

Click below to listen to the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston podcadst:


Videos of a woman carrying her 52-pound Samoyed dog in her backpack has gone viral.

Over a million viewers have seen one version.


Replying to @mjaucrame Big dawg. Big backpack 🎒 #fyp #dog #puppy #samoyed #nyc #funnydog

♬ Collide (more sped up) – Justine Skye

She does it because “dogs have to be in bags” on New York subways.

A People Magazine story called the woman — Jackie Hornung — a “New York City native.”


Jackie grew up in Westport. She graduated from Staples High School in 2016.

In fact, she’s a 3rd-generation Westporter.

Some People! (Hat tip: Johnny Donovan)


Westport favorite Melissa Newman — one of our own — headlines this week’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, April 6; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner from 7 p.m.; $15 cover; reservations strongly suggested: JazzatthePost@gmail.com).

Joining Melissa: guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Bobby Leonard.

Melissa Newman


Several members of the Diverse Westport Facebook group attended a dance-a-thon on the Anna & Raven Show. Several dance schools performed BollyX.

The event raised funds for the Tiny Miracles Foundation. As a mother who had a premature baby, Westporter Ifeseyi Gayle can relate.

Also at the event: Kumuda Kumar, Rose Mlay Gardner. Kristen McDonald. Carrie Guttman, Patty Mantilla, Qing Huang, Lucy Rivera, Jenny Stork and Wanda Arias.


A woman who works at the 55 Greens Farms Road office complex watched sadly yesterday, as Westport police recovered the body of 62-year-old Errol Whyte from a pond on the property.

As she left for home that afternoon, she took a picture of the once-again-peaceful pond. She was heartened, she told “06880,” that “maybe Errol can now rest in peace.”


Jonathan Prager spotted — and snapped — today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo on Owenoke.

It’s one of the first. But many more will join it, in “daffodil days” to come, all over town.

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)


And finally … there is still plenty of uncertainty and fear in Lyman. Russian forces are near, and continue to bombard our sister city.

But the recent distribution of seeds to 2,000 residents (story above) — thanks to funds provided by Westporters — has brought some light into their lives.

Here’s 3 more minutes of beauty and hope:

(“06880” is indeed where Westport meets the world. Please click here to support your hyper-local, global-minded blog. Thank you!)