Tag Archives: rainbow crosswalk

Roundup: Rainbow Crosswalk, WFM Grow-a-Row; DTC Candidates …

Pride Month is just a few hours old.

But already, Westport has a rainbow crosswalk.

Dr. Nikki Gorman (right) and Danielle Dobin, hard at work. Gorman and Galia Gichon are the crosswalk’s sponsors.

A hardy crew of 11 — including Selectwomen Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore;  crosswalk sponsor Dr. Nikki Gorman; Public Works Department director Pete Ratkiewich; RTM members Harris Falk and Sal Liccione; Planning & Zoning commission chair Danielle Dobin; Westport Pride founder Brian McGunagle, and members Nicole Klein, Bethany Eppner and Geoff Gaspar — gathered at the Jesup Road/Taylor Place intersection at 5 a.m. today, to install the crosswalk.

Putting down the crosswalk, as the sun rose.

The selectwomen unanimously approved the installation, for the month of June. If it holds up under traffic, it will become permanent.

Ta da!


Every Thursday is special at the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Starting next week, things will get even more so.

On June 9, the Market’s partnership with Grow-a-Row Westport begins again. The organization helps market goers fight food insecurity in the area, by donating wholesome, home grown produce.

Home gardeners drop off their fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs at the Grow-a-Row Westport collection cooler, by the WFM information booth. Volunteers from Food Rescue US – Fairfield County bring the fresh produce to Fairfield County agencies serving food-insecure residents.

Last year, donated produce was shared among Westport Housing Authority’s 221 households, including seniors and children. It’s considered a luxury by many recipients.

The Westport Farmers’ Market takes place at the Imperial Avenue parking lot every Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through November.

Westporter Cornelia Olsen donated a huge rutabaga last year.


The Democratic Town Committee’s slate of suggested candidates for November’s local elections has many familiar names.

But one of those names is in an unfamiliar slot.

The Nominations Committee has recommended these candidates to run for re-election: Lee Goldstein and Neil Phlllips (Board of Education); Paul Lebowitz (Planning & Zoning Commission); Jim Ezzes (Zoning Board of Appeals), and Nancy Dupier (Board of Finance).

The one surprise: Danielle Dobin, Planning & Zoning chair, was recommended to run for the Board of Finance.

Dobin — who has served on the P&Z since 2017 — is in the middle of her 2nd 4-year term. An attorney, she has a background in land use, real estate, acquisitions and business development.

The DTC will vote formally on the recommendations on July 18.


Last weekend, 150 artists from around the country came to town, for the 50th annual Fine Arts Festival.

Soon, hundreds of local students will display their own works. They’re the Fine Arts Festival artists of the future.

The Westport Public Schools’ visual arts exhibition — SPARK — is on view June 8-11 at MoCA Westport. Works of students from pre-K through 12th grade will be on display.

New at SPARK this year is a special exhibit by Westport professional artist Mark Yurkiw: “Help Build the Bridge: Westport-France-Ukraine.” Constructed by Yurkiw, and adorned with art from students, the goal is to extend messages of good will to children in Westport’s sister cities.

A reception is set for June 11 (2 to 4 p.m.).

Artwork by Staples High School student Sophia Kuhner.


Speaking of MoCA:

Connecticut Magazine’s June issue is out. It’s a guide to the state’s “hidden gem” museums.

MoCA is (of course) one of the 42 that are featured.

But it’s the only one on the cover:

Click here to view the entire issue.


Sherwood Island State Park celebrates Trails Day this weekend with 4 great (and free) events.

Kayak paddle (Saturday, June 3; 9:30 a.m.; arrive by 9:15, east end of East Beach parking lot). Bring your own kayak, canoe or other paddlecraft, plus a pump/bailer; life vest and whistle or horn are required. Bring waterproof binoculars for spotting birds, and/or a waterproof camera. It’s a long carry over the beach, so bring a kayak cart with wide wheels for sand if you have one.

Butterfly walk (Saturday, June 3; 2 p.m., Nature Center). Michele Sorensen leads an exploration of the gardens and natural areas of caterpillars, skippers, moths and butterflies. Bring binoculars, and a camera. Children are welcome (ages 4 and up).

Nature walk (Saturday, June 3; 2 p.m., Nature Center). Walk the beach;  discover habitats, inhabitants and special features like the 9/11 Memorial, model airport, wetlands and pine forest).

Horseshoe crab walk (Sunday, June 4; 11 a.m., Nature Center). Be prepared to wade in shallow water. Learn about crabs’ distinctive biology, life cycle, medical uses and conservation needs. 

Archaeology walk (Sunday, June 4; 1 p.m., Nature Center). Archaeologists Dawn Brown and Ernie Wiegand will highlight points of interest, terrain, and examine traces of past inhabitants of Sherwood Island, from 1000 BC to the 1940s, including Native American, early settlers and onion farmers. Artifacts, maps, old photos and recent recoveries will be used.

Click here for more information all all events.


Among Westport’s many hidden gems, Blau House & Gardens may be the most unknown of all.

Located at the end of Bayberry Ridge — a narrow, rutted road off Bayberry — the house was designed by theatrical stage set designer Ralph Alswang. It’s set between towering great oaks.

The grand gardens — by advertising executive Barry Blau — were created in response to the house. They incorporate native plants interspersed with a blend of exotics. They must be seen to be believed.

On June 11, you’ll get your chance.

“The Last Lallapaloosa” includes a host of activities.

Planting ceremony: Native rosebud trees; 9 a.m.; free (maximum 40 people)

Tour of Blau Gardens: 10 a.m.; $20 per person (maximum 36 people)

Book reading and signing of “Pinkalicious: Fairy House” by author/ illustrator Victoria Kann: 11 a.m.; $15 per child (maximum 25 children). Each child received 2 Pinkalicious books; other activities include coloring, plant a bean to take home and watch grow; find the fairy houses in the garden.

Gentle yoga with Millie: 1 p.m.; $20 per person (maximum 20 people)

Book reading and signing of “The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea” by author/illustrator Guy Billout: 2:30 p.m.; $20 per child (maximum 20 children). Also: find a frog along the stream; plant a bean to take home and watch grow.

Tour of Blau Gardens: 4:30 p.m.; $20 per person (maximum 36 people)

Garden reception: 6 to 8 p.m.; $75 per person (maximum 50 people). Help create a Blau House & Garden future.

Click here to register (deadline: June 5), and for information on payment and shuttle transportation from Coleytown Elementary School.

A small part of Blau Gardens.


Did you hear the one about the dozen comedians who are taking the stage to raise money for writers?

Not the striking TV writers in LA. This event — “Lit & Wit” — is for the Westport Writers’ Workshop outreach program. It provides free writing instruction to underserved populations and communities.

The event is June 7 (7 p.m., Saugatuck Rowing Club; $50 per ticket).

Click here for tickets. And enjoy Jerry Kuyper’s very witty lit-minded logo below.


Longtime Westporter Marty Resnick casts off this week, on a month-long sailing voyage to Portsmouth, England. His crew mates are Roger Townsend and Gareth Thomas.

Fair winds!

Marty Resnick (left) and crew. (Photo and hat tip/Tom Roth)


Wendy Levy loves Burying Hill Beach.

She often finds a fresh way at looking at the water, sand, pier, marshes, tidal pools — and of course, the “burying hill” at the Greens Farms oasis.

Her photos often find their way to our “Westport … Naturally” feature. Here iis today’s image:

(Photo/Wendy Levy)


And finally … today is June 1.

That means one thing:

(Celebrate June with a donation to “06880.” Please click here — and thank you!)

Roundup: STEM Journal, Rainbow Crosswalk, Pop-up Art …

STEM Journal features an intriguing and diverse array of science-related articles. Topics include the space station, Alzheimer’s, impulsivity, molecular medicine, Conway’s Game of Life, neuromodulation and gene therapy, spina bifida, the philosophical and psychological impacts of music in America, the water crisis and forever chemicals.

Impressive stuff.

Even more impressive: It’s the Staples STEM Journal.

Led by editor-in-chief Will Boberski, layout editor Sam Zwick-Lavinsky and faculty advisor Amy Parent, the publication is completely researched and written by students.

The spring issue is online. Click here to see the remarkable scope and breadth of these teenagers’ work.

But the Staples STEM Journal does not stop there.

They recently hosted a series of presentations by scientific researchers throughout the state. Topics ranged from deer population management to quantum physics and genomic sequencing.

They’re always looking for interesting contacts. So, “06880” readers: If you work in STEM and want to speak with the Journal students this fall, email Will  (wb1003566@students.westportps.org) or Amy at (aparent@westportps.org).


Speaking of Staples: Students Ryan Sunjka, Jack Schwartz, Jackson Tracey and Lucy Barney are members of the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital junior board.

Last week, they organized a fundraising competition at Row House. Teams of 3 vied to row the farthest on erg machines, in 30 minutes. The goal was $10,000.

The teens blew past that mark. They raised $15,000 for Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

They thank all who helped. And “06880” thanks Ryan, Jack, Jackson and Lucy, for all they do to help others.

From left: Jackson Tracey, Jack Schwartz, Elijah de Brito (competitor), Ryan Sunjka, Henry Hoeffner (behind Ryan; Weston High School and board member); Blake O’Looney (Pierrepont School and board member); Lucy Barney.


Westport Police report 1 custodial arrest between May 17 and 24. A man was charged with disorderly conduct, violation of a standing criminal protective order, and threatening (2nd degree), following a domestic violence incident.

Police also gave the following citations:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 13 citations
  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 11
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 3
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 2
  • Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 2
  • Failure to obey stop sign: 1
  • Improper turn: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without tint inspection: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 1
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 1
  • Improper use of markers: 1
  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 1
  • Failure to register commercial vehicle: 1.

Each window in Connecticut that has tint applied (other than factory- tinted) must have a certification label in the lower left corner. Who knew?


Westport’s downtown is about to get a bit more colorful.

The Board of Selectwomen voted 3-0 yesterday to approve a rainbow crosswalk at Taylor Place and Jesup Road, by Green & Tonic. Avisual celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month, it will be installed adjacent to Jesup Green, where Westport’s Pride celebration takes place June 4 (1 to 3 p.m.).

The design will incorporate the colors of the Pride flag. It’s planned to be in place all month. Public Works director Pete Ratkiewich will review it after the first week, to ensure the materials are holding up.

At the Board of Selectwomen meeting yesterday, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker expressed hope that the rainbow crosswalk could become permanent, as part of the refurbishment of downtown.

Westport joins a host of North American cities and towns with rainbow crosswalks, including Ames, Iowa; Athens, Georgia; Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Bozeman, Montana; Colorado Springs; Covington, Kentuckyl Cupertino, California; Dallas; Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Juneau, Alaska; Key West, Florida; Lethbridge, Alberta; Long Beach, California; Memphis; Miami Beach; Minneapolis; Newport, Rhode Island; Ottawa; Philadelphia; Plymouth, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Provincetown, Massachusetts; Salmon Arm, British Columbia; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Vancouver; Swift Current, Saskatchewan; West Hollywood, California; Westfield, New Jersey; Windsor, Ontario and Woburn, Massachusetts.

Rainbow crosswalk in Kennebunkport, Maine.


They’re b-a-a-a-c-k!

Five lifeguard chairs have been moved from winter storage to the Compo Beach sand.

Lifeguard service begins Memorial Day (Monday, May 29), and continues through Labor Day. A guard will be at Burying Hill Beach too.

One more sign that — the still-60s temperatures notwithstanding — summer is almost here.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


The Art Collective of Westport’s pop-up shows are always fun.

At the next one — in addition to food, wine, and great conversation with the 11 artists — you can also win an original painting by Kat Evans (value: $900).

Just leave your name and email at the opening reception (June 6, 6 to 8 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse barn), or from June 7-10 (6 to 10 p.m.). There is also an artists’ talk Sunday, June 10 at 4:30.

Besides Evans, artists participating in the show are Sue Benton, Zvi Goldman, MaryEllen Hendricks, Judy Katz, Niki Ketchman, Michael Ledner, Jane Lubin, Katherine Ross, Greg Ziebell and Florence Zolan.


Update on the l-o-o-o-n-g odyssey of the Bayberry Lane bridge project.

Yesterday, Westport Department of Public Works engineer Keith Wilberg sent this email to “Bayberry Lane Bridge residents”:

“The contractor installing the guide rail has hit ledge when installing a few of the posts. We need approvals from the sttate Department of Transportation to revise the installation procedure of the few posts, as they are paying the bulk of the construction costs.

“I find this infuriating, as I have been promising you that the bridge and road will be opening up as of April. Needless to say, I am not happy with the contractor.

“In the meantime the contractor, having little work to do to complete the project, has not scheduled or sent any workers to the site, as there is little (short of the guiderail) left to do. So you are correct that there has been no activity on site for far too many days.

“The town has proposed a solution to the contractor whereby they will install concrete jersey barriers behind the guiderail in the areas where they are having problems with the posts, thus enabling us to open the road to traffic by Friday afternoon. They have agreed to this.

There will be some small amount of incidental clean up to do, but in short, this should get the road open by Friday and finalize the project.

“I appreciate your patience with all of this, and please know that no one wants this bridge open more than I do.”

Bayberry Lane bridge, last November. (Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)


Four days after the fun-filled Day of Champions, donations for Experience Camps continue to roll in.

The tally raised so far is over $244,000. That will fund summer camp for over 1,200 youngsters, who have lost a parent or sibling.

Congratulations to the QBack Kings. They led all 20 teams in fundraising, with a whopping total of $39,510!

Seen Sunday, at the Day of Champions.


Run — don’t walk — to Weston’s 29th annual Memorial Day Weekend 5K.

Sponsored by the Weston High School PTO, it’s the only USATF-certified road race course in the town.

Runners of every category are joined by joggers, walkers and baby strollers. There are trophies, a Kids’ Fun Run, obstacle course, food truck and more.

Click here to register, and for more information.


Longtime Westport resident Janice Dean died yesterday. She was 88.

She and her husband Evan Dean moved from Alton, Illinois to Rochester, New York, and then Westport while raising 8 children.

At age 46, Janice decided to pursue higher education at Sacred Heart University. She earned a bachelor of science in business administration, graduating magna cum laude in 1983.

She obtained her real estate license, and managed Scott Associates in Darien for many years. She proudly led them in the transition to computerization.

In retirement, Janice and Evan traveled extensively, frequented New York City, and played golf and bridge. Janice achieved Bronze Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League in 2016.

At 85 Janice took up chess. She displayed her competitive spirit by effortlessly defeating her children and grandchildren.

Janice Dean was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Evan, and her daughter Jennifer Dean Burke. She is survived by her childrenMark (Jaime), Christopher (Carline), Jayne (Gaetano Albani), Eric, Mary Ann (Mark Lindwall), David and Thomas (Andrea), 19 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday (May 26, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery on Greens Farms Road. Click here to leave condolences.

Janice Dean


This bicycle isn’t going anywhere, from its spot on Sylvan Road South.

But it — and its flowers — caught the eye of Anne Bernier. It’s a well-composed, colorful, and very intriguing “Westport … Naturally” shot.

(Photo/Anne Bernier)


And finally … Tina Turner died yesterday, at her home in Switzerland. She was 83, and had suffered from complications of a stroke and kidney disease.

But in her prime, she was amazing. The New York Times — not a source for hyperbole — called her “the earthshaking soul singer whose rasping vocals, sexual magnetism and explosive energy made her an unforgettable live performer and one of the most successful recording artists of all time.” (Click here for a full obituary.)

That was all on display one spring weekend, when I saw her at Brown University. She was still with Ike (she left her abusive, cocaine-addicted husband in 1976 with, the Times says,”36 cents and a Mobil gasoline card in her pocket”). I have never forgotten that night.

(It’s hard to keep up with everything in town. But “06880” tries. If you like what we do, please support us with a contribution. Click here — and thank you!)