Tag Archives: Rindy Higgins

Roundup: Thanks To First Responders; Earth Day Clean-ups …

On Thursday I posted a video that included a driver heading south on North Avenue, blasting right through the stop sign at Cross Highway.

That evening — just a few hours later — someone did it again.

This time, there was someone else at the intersection.

Amy Lowey Horowitz writes:

“Around 6 p.m.,  I was driving east on Cross Highway. A driver coming south on North Avenue ran the stop sign at high speed, and hit the front of my car. My vehicle turned 90 degrees, ending up also facing south on North Avenue.

“The other driver pulled off, and left.

“I called the police. In what seemed like an instant firefighters, police and ambulance were there, showing me so much kindness and concern.

“I was seriously shaken up, shocked, confused and not even able to answer all their questions. The accident happened so fast.

“I hope to use ‘06880’ to thank all the people who showed up and helped me navigate those first few moments. I was too shocked to learn names. I want to thank all the first responders who showed up, and did more than just their jobs last night.

“I’m fine this morning, grateful for that, as well as the care and treatment that I received.

” also hope that someone witnessed the accident is willing to share what they saw. There were plenty of people driving past right after impact. It is likely that someone may have seen the other car go through the intersection right before he hit me.”

Any witnesses should call the Westport Police: 203-341-6000.


It was a big Earth Day celebration yesterday downtown. The Westport Downtown Association partnered with Staples’ Service League of Boys (SLOBs) to hit the streets for a cleanup.

They started at Parker Harding Plaza, then headed down Main Street to Church Lane and Elm Street, with a side visit to the Baldwin parking lot.

It’s all bagged up. Downtown looks fresh, nice, and ready for spring.

SLOBs and friends clean up downtown. (Photo/Lee Shufro)


SLOBs were also at work at the Long Lots preserve.

Director Lou Weinberg reports: “They killed it.”

For more information on this great project next to the Westport Community Gardens, click here.

SLOBs at the Long Lots preserve (from left): Charles Hallett, Cormac Mulvey, Zach Beebe, Dylan Hoke. (Photo/Mike Beebe)


AND … this was the scene at the very trash-filled Elaine Road site. A large crew picked up plenty of garbage, from the boat launch underneath I-95 all the way to Compo Road South.

RTM member Andrew Colabella helped organize the effort, which included 2nd Selectwoman Andrea Moore, town employees and SLOBs.

Looks like they even found an old highway sign among the mess.

(Photo courtesy Town of Westport)


The Democratic Women of Westport also celebrated Earth Day yesterday, at athletic fields around town.

Informational tables at “Sustainability on the Sidelines” offered info on small steps families can take to reduce their sports footprint (For xample: carpooling, no idling, and participating in a uniform exchange).

They also gave away Gatorade powders to encourage reusable bottles instead of single use plastic.

Owen Hill had a table too, at the Democratic Women of Westport’s “Sustainability on the Sidelines” Earth Day event.


Individuals were out in force too.

Below: Rindy Higgins, cleaning up Canal Beach in her Saugatuck Shores neighborhood.


On Friday Jamie Walsh — chair of the Westport Shellfish Commission and his wife Grayson Braun joined former chair Heather Williams and her husband Colin Walklet.

For several hours, they did their biannual cleanup around Hendrick’s Point — the beautiful spot next to the Longshore golf driving range.

Jamie says: “Among the wide array of beer, soda bottles and cans; remnants of food packaging; bits of styrofoam and over 200 golf balls that cleared the netting that was recently repaired, the most concerning litter was the many bundles of fishing line randomly discarded in the brush.

“I’ve been part of the cleanup for a number of years, but this was the worst. We hauled out 6 large trash bags full of garbage, and enough fishing line to fill half a bag. Most of it had to be cut out of the brush.

“Improper disposal of fishing line creates a huge problem. Birds and small animals get hung up in it. Fishing line disposed on the shoreline can float off and take up to 600 years to decompose, but it generally degrades into micro-plastics that are toxic and dangerous to all marine life. Ultimately, this winds up in the food chain.

“It is our collective responsibility to be stewards of the land and waters, and dispose of all garbage and plastic items such as fishing line responsibly. I urge people to help by picking up stray fishing line they see at the water’s edge. Help us to keep our precious shorelines as pristine as possible.

“We have that responsibility to our natural resources — not just on Earth Day, but every day.”

Clearing fishing lines from the Hendrick’s Point brush.


In non-Earth Day news, Challenger baseball — the Westport Little League program for youngsters with disabilities — celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday.

24 players and 16 buddies — plus a cake — marked the memorable occasion.

Challenger players and buddies get ready to play ball.



MoCA Westport was packed Friday night for a performance by jazz saxophonist Eddie Barbash. He’s a founding member of the house band for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” The concert was part of the “Rainbow in the Dark” exhibition.

Next up on the Music at MoCA schedule: This Friday (April 28, 7 p.m.): The Cuatro Puntos Ensemble, pianist Irena Portenko, violinist Kristen Young and musicians from Norwalk Youth Symphony present chamber music for strings by contemporary composers living in Ukraine, including newly commissioned pieces from Odessa and Kyiv. Click here for more details.

Eddie Barbash at MoCA. (Photo/Kristen Young)


A Saugatuck resident writes:

“I’m concerned about an older man who rides his bike at twilight or early dark near the Saugatuck/Norwalk line.

“He rides erratically, crossing the road from one side to the other, stopping occasionally. He wears a drab raincoat and is nearly invisible in the low light. His bicycle has no reflective devices.

“Late commuters speed home along Saugatuck Avenue, and I fear for this fellow’s life.

“I hesitate to notify the police since the bicycle may be his only transportation. I want to warn readers to be careful in this area.”

Be careful out there!


Wendy Crowther recently had a close encounter with nature. The result is today’s captivating “Westport … Naturally” photo.

She writes: “A pair of barred owls hung out in the evergreen trees around my yard today. They have a classic-sounding hoot often described as if they’re asking, ‘Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all?’

“As dusk neared, this one flew onto the peak of my garage, waiting patiently for something delicious to scurry by below. It was the perfect pose for a photo. He/she eventually flew off without dinner.”

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)


And finally … today is the birthday of the amazing Roy Orbison. He died far too young of heart failure in 1988. He was just 52.

The man Elvis Presley called “the greatest singer in the world” had a 4-octave range, earning him the nickname “the Caruso of Rock.”

In fact, music scholars say, Orbison and Enrico Caruso were the only 20th century tenors capable of hitting E over high C.

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. We’re also a non-profit, so contributions are tax-deductible. Please click here to help. Thank you!)

Snow Day: Noon Scenes

As the snow continued throughout the morning, alert “06880” readers sent in photos from around town. Here are a few:

Without entitled parking -- at least, none we can see -- the Starbucks near the diner looks positively serene. (Photo/Diane Lowman)

Without entitled parking — at least, none we can see — the Starbucks near the diner looks positively serene. (Photo/Diane Lowman)

Whenever the Minute Man is decorated with a Santa cap or Easter bunny ears, a few folks complain. Today, Mother Nature decorated Westport's favorite figure. Enjoy! (Photo/Anne Hardy)

Whenever the Minute Man is decorated with a Santa cap or Easter bunny ears, a few folks complain. Today, Mother Nature decorated Westport’s favorite figure. Enjoy! (Photo/Anne Hardy)

Staples junior Eliza Goldberg snapped this shot of her dog Gracie.

Staples junior Eliza Goldberg snapped this shot of her dog Gracie.

Rindy Higgins lives on Saugatuck Shores. This morning she saw this sight. Because he's reddish-gray, black behind the ears with a white chest and long tail that stuck out straight when he scooted off, she's pretty sure he's a fox -- not a coyote.

Rindy Higgins lives on Saugatuck Shores. This morning she saw this sight. Because he’s reddish-gray, black behind the ears with a white chest and long tail that stuck out straight when he scooted off, she’s pretty sure he’s a fox — not a coyote.

A meadow view, on Meadow View. (Photo/Krystof Bondar)

The view on Meadow View. (Photo/Krystof Bondar)

A River Runs Through Town Hall

For a while now, a series of intriguing photos and posters has greeted visitors to the 2nd floor of Town Hall.

On Thursday afternoon, the exhibit — called “A River Runs Through It” — was officially dedicated. It’s now a permanent installation.

One of the very informative and educational panels in the exhibit.

One of the very informative and educational panels in the exhibit.

Curator Rindy Higgins gave an informative talk, filled with questions. She asked:

  • Do you live in a watershed?
  • One of the main cargoes carried on our Saugatuck River was an essential agricultural product that our ancestors used – and that most of us still use every day for cooking. What’s often the first thing in your skillet after the oil?
  • As we age, some of us change our shape. Our old river has had a long life, and it too has changed shape. How and where has it changed?
  • Do you know that we also have a garden under the river?
  • So what can we do to keep the Saugatuck River clean? We’ve all seen garbage washing down into a storm drain. We fertilize our lawns. How do our activities on our own properties affect the river?

The answers — including information about oysters (the answer to that garden question) — can be found in the exhibit.

She also asked whether anyone knew that the US Navy named an oiler in honor of the Saugatuck River.

“Despite the irony of an oiler,” Higgins said, “we want to keep our river clean — now and for future generations.”

In honor of its proud heritage — and the goal of preserving river quality — she gave a Navy cap, emblazoned “USS Saugatuck,” to “the commanding officer of the town of Westport”: 1st Selectman Jim Marpe.

Rindy Higgins salutes First Selectman Jim Marpe. He's wearing a "USS Saugatuck" cap, which she presented to him.

Rindy Higgins salutes First Selectman Jim Marpe. He’s wearing a “USS Saugatuck” cap, which she presented to him.



Saugatuck River Winds Up In Town Hall

Most people go to Town Hall for one reason: to do their business. They pay their taxes, pick up a clamming permit, complain about their neighbor’s swing set.

Now there’s another reason to go. And linger.

Clarinda “Rindy” Higgins has just created — from scratch, and virtually alone — a fascinating poster series about the Saugatuck River. Hanging on the 2nd floor (front entrance level), just to the right when you walk in, it’s educational, entertaining and eye-opening.

The 2nd floor exhibit in Town Hall.

The 2nd floor exhibit in Town Hall.

Rindy — a longtime environmental educator  — provides Town Hall visitors with a comprehensive history, and behind-the-scenes (okay, “below the surface”) look at this important artery which, since the time of the earliest settlers, has shaped how our town looks, feels and acts.

As the exhibit points out, the Saugatuck River is such a vital part of Westport that we sometimes ignore it.

Rindy’s posters — which (despite her protests that “I’m no Miggs Burroughs” and “I have limited computer skills”) she designed and printed herself, each one taking 30 hours — highlight its significance. Along with the river’s history, beauty and fragility.

Rindy - 2An introductory panel describes the Saugatuck’s name (“pouring out” of the “tidal river,” from the Paugussett tribe), and notes that it “meanders 23 miles from its headwaters in Danbury.”

Westporters cross the river several times a day, without really looking or thinking about it. The next poster notes the importance of our bridges; they unite the 2 sides of 1 town. Back in the days of ferries, the Saugatuck divided 2 towns.

Panels 3 and 4 — “Bustling Maritime Trade” and “Industry” — show the enormous  impact of wharves, vessels, onions and riverside factories.

The next poster shows the USS Saugatuck — a Navy ship named after the river. I’ve lived here my entire life, but this one’s news to me.

The USS Saugatuck

The USS Saugatuck

“Changing Riverscape” details the effects man and nature have on the water. Whether we fill in the river to create a parking lot behind Main Street, or the tides work their magic, the Saugatuck changes as constantly as any living thing.

Rindy - 5“River Quality = Quality of Life” reminds us that “how we choose to use the land and the water affects not only Saugatuck River and Long Island Sound but also our own properties, livelihoods and quality of life.” Our river is part of a watershed stretching all the way to Quebec, as a we’re-all-in-this-together map vividly shows.

The penultimate panel says “Each of Us Can Make a Difference.” Calling each property a “micro-watershed,” Rindy offers suggestions for making sure that river and coastal water quality begin at home. From our kitchens, bathrooms, laundry and garage to our basements, gutters, driveways and gardens, everything we do can ensure the health of the Saugatuck River (and thus Long Island Sound) for decades to come.

Or it can help destroy it.

This Saugatuck River exhibition was Rindy’s labor of love. Gault Energy, Jim Marpe and Eileen Flug gave donations, but she paid for everything else out of pocket. She even bought the frames (from Walmart.)

Rindy’s posters are well worth a trip to Town Hall.

And as you leave — catching a glimpse of the Saugatuck River in the distance — you realize you will never again think of it in the same way.

Rindy - 3

That Sunken Vessel: A 2nd Opinion

Rindy Higgins read this morning’s post about the sunken vessel — visible at low tide just south of the Bridge Street bridge — and has a different story than Jean Paul Vellotti’s. She said:

According to G.P. Jennings’ Greens Farms, Connecticut and E.C. Birge’s Westport Connecticut, this is the remains of the Henry C. Remsen.  Her namesake was a well-known New Jersey coastal merchant who lost his life at sea, long before the ship was built in 1851 in Red Bank, New Jersey.

The American Lloyd’s Register of American and Foreign Shipping and the Connecticut Ship Database say the Remsen was registered in the name of Ebenezer Allen by 1868. The 2-masted schooner was 85 feet long, with a draft of 6 feet 2 inches.

The barely visible sunken vessel.

The barely visible sunken vessel.

Jennings wrote:

Captain Ebenezer Allen ran the schooner Remsen between Southport and New York in the market trade starting about 1883.  This old schooner finally was allowed to rot on the mudflats just below the Saugatuck carriage-bridge: its hulk can still be outlined in the mud at low tide.

Cargos included: onions, bound for the West Indies, and spices carried on the return, plus industrial garnets, mined in New Haven, bound for the Old Mill here. The Mill ground the garnets to sand, then shipped them out to be made into sandpaper.

After Ebenezer died, his brother, William H. Allen, took over at the helm.

Birge added: “She was finally grounded in the cove between the two bridges  at Saugatuck where she was ultimately broken up. At low water the imprint of her frame is still visible.”

Many of its wood beams were salvaged to build Allen’s Clam House — the restaurant, now demolished, on the edge of Sherwood Mill Pond.