Tag Archives: rugby

Roundup: Bill Clinton, LobsterFest, Rugby …

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Last month, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship.

This weekend, the trophy came to Westport.

Billionaire owner Marc Lasry — he also dabbles in hedge funds — hosted a party at his Greens Farms home.

Former Fox News, NBC Sports and CNN TV personality — a fellow Westporter — was there.

From right: Dave Briggs, Marc Lasry and Briggs’ son Will pose with the NBA trophy.

So was a non-Westporter, from just over the New York border in Chappaqua.

Former President Bill Clinton is a longtime friend of Lasry’s. And — presumably — the Milwaukee Bucks.

Former President Bill Clinton and Dave Briggs, at Marc Lasry’s Westport home.

PS: Other big names in attendance: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, players Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton, head coach Mike Budenholzer, and CNBC’s Scott Wapner.

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Westport civic organizations sponsor many good fundraisers. A lot of them are fun.

But for money raised and good times, it’s hard to beat Westport Rotary‘s LobsterFest.

The early fall feast-and-more returns to Compo Beach for its 10th year on Saturday, September 18 (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), following last year’s COVID cancellation.

LobsterFest is a townwide event. Food and entertainment from the Hot Rubber Monkey Band bring old friends together. It’s a great chance to meet (and welcome) newcomers too.

Children’s activities include a magician, glitter tattoos and face painting.

In past years, LobsterFest volunteers served 2,400 lobsters, 300 steaks and 1,600 ears of corn, and countless raw oysters.

In addition to the usual waterside dining option, there’s a new drive-through option for anyone wishing to eat their delicious Maine lobsters (and/or large steaks) at home, or at a less crowded part of the beach.

Funds support dozens of Rotary grants to local non-profits like Mercy Learning and Child Guidance of Mid-Fairfield County, plus humanitarian projects worldwide.

It’s a great value: $70 per person for 2 large lobsters or a 14-ounce New York strip steak — and corn, cole slaw, bread and butter, potato salad, Peppermint Patties, and all the beer or wine you can drink.

Tickets are available only in advance, online at www.westportrotary.org and directly from Westport Rotary Club members.

In 2016, not much remained of the 3,000 lobsters.

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For one day yesterday, Westport was the center of the rugby universe.

A special pre-draft event drew Major League Rugby scouts, coaches and star players, including Ben Foden to Staples High School’s Paul Lane Field. 

There was physical testing, professional coaching, laser timing and live scrimmaging. It was just like the NFL Combine, without the NFL Network cameras.

It was broadcast on the Rugby Network, however. And TV personality/ Westporter Dave Briggs was there. (It was not the biggest event of his weekend, though. See story above.)

He reports: “I was blown away by the strength (29 reps x 225 pounds), speed and toughness of these dudes. If I wasn’t so damn old and broken, I’d love to try.”

Click below for his interview with international star Ben Foden, and more.

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Everyone loves the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Here’s your chance to put your (well, someone else’s) money where your (well-satisfied) mouth is.

The WFM has made it to the final round of the American Farmland Trust’s 13th annual contest, ranking the best farmers’ markets in the country. The winner gets $2,500; 2nd and 3rd prizes are $1,500 and $1,000.

Click here to vote. The deadline is September 19.

And don’t forget to visit the Westport Farmers’ Market, every Thursday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Imperial Avenue parking lot) through November.

The Westport Farmers’ Market appeals to all ages. Let’s make it #1 in the country! (Photo/Margaret Kraus)

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From rugby to rockin’ the Levitt. Chicago native Isaiah Sharkey brought his gospel, jazz, R&B, blues, rock and funk music to the riverside pavilion last night.

A Grammy winner, he’s recorded and toured with John Mayer, Patti LaBelle, Paul Simon, Keith Urban, Boyz II Men, the Winans and many others.

Isaiah Sharkey

It did not take long for the crowd to dance.

(Photos/JC Martin)

This week’s Levitt lineup:

  • Tonight (Sunday, August 8): Mimi & the Podd Brothers
  • Tuesday, August 10: Tony Trischka, Banjo Master
  • Wednesday, August 11: Elena Moon Park & Friends
  • Thursday, August 12: The Sweet Remains
  • Friday, August 13: Baskin & Batteau, and Jesse Terry
  • Saturday, August 14: The Simple Radicals
  • Sunday, August 15: Dan Levinson’s Palomar Jazz Band

Click here for times and (free) tickets.

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From tomorrow (Monday, August 9) through Sunday, August 15, the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force is collecting back-to-school supplies. They’ll go to residents of the 2 Domestic Violence Crisis Center safe houses in the area.

Items needed include new and unused backpacks and lunch boxes, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, crayons, graphing calculators, and diapers.

Donations can be left in the collection bin in the lobby of the Westport Police station, 50 Jesup Road.

For information on Westport Domestic Violence Task Force initiatives, click here.

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Work continues on what is rumored to be an Amazon Go store. That’s the new grab-and-go technology. There are no checkout lines; you pay via an app.

The old Barnes & Noble — and Marshalls shoe store next door — has been gutted.

Meanwhile, the adjacent former Mobil Self-Serve has finally been leveled.

(Photos/Dan Woog)

On Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen were slated to vote on a temporary exit from the construction site, onto Morningside Drive South. Neighbors objected, citing safety issues with nearby Greens Farms Elementary School. The item has been withdrawn from the agenda.

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Local to Market continues to offer fresh, locally grown produce on Saturdays, on its patio at the former Talbots by the Main Street entrance to Parker Harding Plaza.

Shoppers enjoyed these selections yesterday:

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Time again for “Westport … Naturally” to feature a deer.

Hey — we’ve got plenty of deer. Not to mention, deer photos.

(Photo/Karen Weingarten)

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And finally … today is August 8. You know: 8/8. So of course this is our song of the day.

PS: It’s one of many that have been called “the first rock ‘n’ roll record ever.” I’m not going to wade into that swamp.

Roundup: RTM, WTF, Catch A Lift …

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All 36 Representative Town Meeting seats will be contested in November’s election. Four members from each of Westport’s 9 districts vote on town appropriations, and give final approval to the budget; approve town ordinances; make recommendations regarding ordinances, and review certain decisions of town boards and commissions.

So far, all members in districts 2 (Jay Keenan, Lou Mall, Christine Meiers Schataz, Harris Falk), 3 (Mark Friedman, Arline Gertzoff, Jimmy Izzo, Ross Burkahrdt) and 6 (Jessica Bram, Seth Braunstein, Cathy Talmadge and Candace Banks) have submitted letters of intent to run again.

So have 3 members in districts 1 (Chris Tait, Matthew Mandell, Kristin Mott Purcell), 4 (Andrew Colabella, Noah Hammond, Jeffrey Weiser), 5 (Peter Gold, Dick Lowenstein, Karen Kramer), 7 (Brandi Briggs, Lauren Karpf, Jack Klinge) and 8 (Wendy Batteau, Lisa Newman, Stephen Shackelford). In District 9,Sal Liccione and Kristin Schneeman are running again.

Six candidates have requested petitions, and are collecting signatures. They are in districts 1 (Richard Jaffe, Abby Tolan, Carolanne Curry), 5 (Claudia Shaum) and 9 (Nancy Kail, Marla Cowden).

Petitions are due September 14. Click here for a petition. Click here for a map of all 9 districts.

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Westport has a special relationship with Catch-a-Lift. Our town has gone all in, supporting the national non-profit that helps post-9/11 combat-wounded veterans recover and rehabilitate, physically and mentally, through physical fitness, motivation and support.

COVID canceled last year’s event. It returns this year, stronger (naturally) than ever.

Appropriately, it begins on Saturday, September 11 with a community workout, with Catch-a-Lift veterans (Westport Police Station, 1 p.m.). Sunday, September 12 features a family bike ride, in Ridgefield.

The action shifts to Birchwood Country Club on Monday, September 13. There’s a 9-hole golf tournament (2 p.m.); a tennis point play event (3 p.m.), and the highlight: from 5 to 7:30 p.m., a chance to meet amazing veterans; enjoy music, food and drinks, and hear inspiring stories.

Click here for details and information, including how to help with auction items, sponsor a golf hole and more. 

Catch a Lift veterans — shown at Birchwood Country Club in 2018 — are inspirational role models.

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Wakeman Town Farm calls raising milkweeds and monarchs “the hobby that gives back.”

Next Monday (August 9, 7 p.m., in person), they’re offering a back-by-popular-demand lecture on the subject.

According to WTF, “monarchs, the once plentiful beauties of yard and field, have suffered habitat loss so great that their numbers have dwindled to 10% of their peak population. They are called the ‘poster child’ for pollinator habitat protection, owing to their beauty and the remarkable feat of their annual migration to Mexico and back.

“Protecting monarchs leads to a wider awareness of the fragility of insect populations, the steady assault on their numbers through the indiscriminate use of pesticides, and the vital role that diverse native species play in keeping our planet healthy.”

Alice Ely — “mother of monarchs, University of Connecticut advanced master gardener, master composter, garden coach and Pollinator Pathway member and creator of public and private monarch way stations in Fairfield County (including Wakeman Town Farm) — is the speaker.

Click here to register.

Monarch butterfly at Compo Beach (Photo/Jamie Walsh)

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Congratulations to Westport Little League’s 10U team: Connecticut’s new state champions!

They won the crown last night in Stamford, 11-0 against East Lyme. The game ended after 4 innings, thanks to the “mercy” (aka “murder”) rule that ends lopsided contests.

Here’s wishing the squad good luck 2 years from now, when as 12Us they hope to emulate  the 2013 team’s run to the Little League World Series finals.

Bottom row (from left): Luke Moneyhon, Chris Lambert, Wes Walters, Chase Landgraf. Middle row: Brody Chlupsa, Nolan Walters, Dylan Burdeshaw, Miles Delorier, Noah Smith, Grant Theisinger, Justin Goldshore, Jack McGrath. Top Row, coach Marc Theisinger, coach Dave Smith, manager Justin Walters. Missing: Henry Ellis.

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Speaking of sports: This Saturday, Westport becomes the center of the American rugby world.

Players get a chance to showcase their talents in front of Major League Rugby scouts, coaches and star players like Ben Foden. The event at Staples High School’s Paul Lane Field (August 7) takes place 2 weeks before the MLR draft.

It begins at 9 a.m. with physical testing, and continues with professional positional coaching, laser timing technology and live scrimmaging. “Scouts from multiple national rugby teams” will be in attendance, organizers promise.

The event is free, and open to the public. It will also be broadcast on The Rugby Network. For more information, click here.

English rugby star Ben Foden will be at Staples High School on Saturday.

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Speaking still of sports: Congratulations to Shira Parower!

She was on the winning North side, which beat the South 16-8 in the All-America Lacrosse Game at Johns Hopkins University.

Shira — a June graduate of Staples High School, who will play at James Madison University next season — had 2 goals  and 3 assists.

She told the Baltimore Sun: “I just felt like since the first whistle we came out with a lot of fire and we just wanted to win this game. We were finishing our shots and kept them going through the whole game.”

(Click here for the full story. Hat tip: Don Kubie)

Shira Parower

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Joanie Landau is August’s featured artist, at the Westport Book Shop. She’s exhibiting her digital collagraphs. They combine photographic elements with graphic design techniques.

Joanie — a member of the Artists Collective of Westport — has exhibited in shows across the country, and won awards.

The art exhibit is open during Book Shop hours

Joanie Landau’s work, at the Westport Book Shop.

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Recent “Westport … Naturally” photos have featured deer, butterflies and flowers.

But Westport is nothing without dogs. Here are Noah — the 3-legged wonder dog who has way outlived his osteosarcoma diagnosis and amputation from January 2020) and Logan, on an early morning walk at Wakeman Field

(Photo/Marc Katz)

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And finally … happy birthday to Tony Bennett. He’s 95 years young today!