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Tag Archives: Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge
The Texas Legislature’s vote banning nearly all forms of abortion unleashed protests across the country.
There were several in Westport last month. This afternoon they continued at the town’s favored political meeting place: the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown.
Over 100 people gathered on the Ruth Steinkraus Bridge this morning.
Today’s event at the town’s favorite political protest gathering spot — organized in just 24 hours — rallied opponents of Texas’ abortion bill. In effect since Wednesday, the most restrictive regulation in the country bans abortions once cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo — about 6 weeks after pregnancy begins.
The law makes no exception for rape or incest. It also leaves enforcement up to private citizens. They can sue Texas abortion providers who violate the law, and anyone who “aids or abets” a woman getting the procedure — including, for example, an Uber driver who takes a woman to a clinic.
About 2/3 of the protestors were women and girls. But there were plenty of men and boys too.
The colorful balloons that turned the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge lights into rainbow decorations during Pride month may have been vandalized.
This morning Brian McGunagle — founder of Westport Pride — noticed that most of the lights on the south side were missing balloons. Several lights were damaged too.
Lights on the north side of the bridge were intact.
He contacted Westport Police, who are investigating.
McGunagle says, “Hate has no home in Westport, and Westport Pride will continue to pursue its mission of radical welcome in our community despite any acts of vandalism.”
The Westport Downtown Association promised to replace the balloons today — and every time going forward, if necessary.
The potential bias crime comes less than a week after Westport Pride held its first rally on Jesup Green, just around the corner from the bridge.
The past few days have brought numerous reports of a bear wandering in northern Westport. It is behaving normally — and non-aggressively.
The Westport Police Department says:
“Black bears are becoming increasingly common in Connecticut. To safely co-exist, residents are reminded to take precautions to prevent negative encounters.
“Bears have an incredible sense of smell. To prevent luring them towards your property, secure your garbage in sturdy covered containers in a garage or outbuilding. Residents who compost should do so responsibly. Do not throw meat scraps or greasy, oily, or sweet materials in your compost pile. These will attract bears and other animals.
“Clean barbecues and grills after each use, refrain from leaving pet food outdoors, and remove bird feeders from your property for the summer. Keep your eye on pets and small children playing outside.
“While it can be frightening to see a bear on or around your property, it is important to know that they are very timid animals. They try to avoid human contact.
“If sighted, use caution, and do not approach the bear. The mere presence of a bear does not necessitate its removal. If left alone and given an avenue for escape, the bear will usually wander back into more secluded areas. Sightings can be reported to Westport Animal Control at 203-341-5076, or reported to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (click here).”
After a year’s hiatus, beach sticker sales to non-residents is back.
Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department began sales yesterday. The cost is $775 (plus tax). Click here, then follow the “Membership” links.
Back too are Staples Players. Their laugh-out-loud funny, wide-ranging, clever and very welcome spring production — “Words Words Words … and Music” drew raves when the high school troupe returned to stage last month.
Now it’s available — this weekend only — as a video stream. Starting at noon on Saturday (June 5) through midnight Monday (June 7), you can watch the show as many times as you like. It’s a great offer for out-of-towners, and anyone who missed the show (or wants to see it again). Click here for tickets.
How “back” is Westport?
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce announces the return of 2 favorite events. Both were knocked out last year by COVID.
Slice of Saugatuck returns Saturday, September 11. It’s an afternoon of food, entertainment, food, games, food, fun and food. It takes place in the pizza-shaped “slice” of Saugatuck that is home to so many restaurants, and is so easily walkable.
The Dog Festival returns Sunday, October 10. Winslow Park — always a haven for canines and their masters — really goes to the dogs. It’s filled with vendors, K-9 demonstrations, obstacle courses, contests and much more.
To learn more about both events, click here.
Also back after a year away: The Y’s Men’s Tuesday evening gathering at Compo Beach. Non-men are, as usual, always welcome.
And back too is the Longshore pool. Michael Catarevas reports: “After rainouts Saturday and Sunday, and no one showing up on Memorial Day, I was delighted to be first in the water this season — especially after it was closed all last year. I had three pools to myself Tuesday afternoon, though I only used the big one. The water was very cold, but great!”
Yet another post-pandemic sign: Starting Monday (June 7), the Board of Education will return to in-person meetings. Everyone must wear a mask, and maintain 3 feet of social distancing. Meetings will still be livestreamed on the town website and Cablevision Channel 78.
Today (Wednesday, June 2) is the 1st-ever Lou Gehrig Day across Major League Baseball.
Chuck Haberstroh co-chairs the group that lobbied for the day. It will be featuresd on all media platforms.
A large group of Westporters will be at Yankee Stadium, honoring Chuck’s mom Patty Haberstroh, an inspiration to her family and the entire town.
Click here for an interview with Chuck and Sweeny Murti, WFAN’s longtime Yankees beat reporter. Chuck starts around the 15-minute mark.
Speaking of baseball: 50 years to the day after Staples High School beat Norwalk 4-2 in a state tournament game, Class of ’71 teammates Nils Nilsen and Steve McCoy returned to the Wrecker diamond.
They were in the stands to watch the ’21 team open its own state tournament. Unfortunately Staples fell, 9-4 to New Canaan.
Half a century ago, Nilsen halted a Bear rally with 1-hit relief pitching. McCoy had 2 hits, including a game-winning double.
Nilsen went on to pitch at Harvard University. McCoy became a soccer captain, and the 3rd-leading career goal scorer at Duke.
MoCA Westport’s “Yappy Hour” — yes, for dogs — has been postponed. It was set for tomorrow (June 3); the new date is Thursday, June 10.
The event includes custom drinks (for owners), and a chance for pets to meet others, sit for a free portrait, and romp outdoors. It’s free — but all dogs must be leashed. (MoCA encourages donations of unopened food or treats to support local rescue organizations. For more information, click here.
A crew of volunteers — including Danielle Dobin, Michael Cammeyer, Emma Rojas, Sarah Manning, Luc Lafonta and Shawn Kapitan turned out yesterday to change the lights on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen bridge.
They now shine in the colors of the rainbow, to celebrate Pride Month. Enjoy them throughout June!
One of the 3 American oystercatcher chicks at Compo Beach has died, Carolyn Doan reports.
She adds: “My son James is a huge fan of the piping plovers, so we visit the area regularly. The Audubon Society has talked with the town because of drones being flown overhead. Oystercatchers attack them frantically to distract them from the nest, thinking they are predators.”
So, Westporters: Give all these birds space. They were there long before us!
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” takes us to the Lansdowne garden of Lauri Weiser. What a spring we’ve had!
Before we close the book on the 2021 Memorial Day parade, here’s one final shot. It’s a unique drone perspective from Joel Triesman, as marchers turn onto the Post Road and cross the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge:
And finally … the lyrics and art are cringe-worthy. But in honor of the bear that is doing who knows what in our woods:
Westport is getting ready for Easter weekend.
A Sunday sunrise service is set for 6 a.m. at Compo Beach, between the cannons and the pavilion. It’s co-hosted by 4 churches: Saugatuck, Greens Farms and Norfield Congregational, and United Methodist. All participants are asked to please wear masks!
Also on Sunday, Saugatuck Congregational will hold a “drive-in” worship in the parking lot, at 10 a.m. The service — featuring live music, drama and Easter reflection — will be broadcast to car radios. Sit in the comfort of your car, or bring a beach chair and “tailgate.” The service will also be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. Click here for details.
And tomorrow (Good Friday, 11:30 a.m., Branson Hall), Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will screen the choral piece “The Last 7 Words of the Unarmed.” It will be followed at noon by an intergenerational neighborhood walk. Following a liturgy of Stations of the Cross, it will focus on racial justice and reconciliation. Participants will make a small loop around downtown Westport, stopping at various locations to pray and reflect.
It’s April — and that means National Distracted Driving Month.
The Westport Police Department is joining with the Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office in a month-long “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign.
So put down your phone — this month, and every month. The first offense will cost you $150. Then it’s $300 the second time. And $500 for the third and subsequent violations.
But if it gets to that point, you shouldn’t be driving at all.
The daffodils all along Prospect Road are blooming beautifully.
And if you know someone who has been bullied — or helped prevent bullying — they’re yours for the taking.
Melissa Ceriale — the owner, with her husband John, of an 8-acre oasis midway down the street — invites anyone who knows people in the categories above to clip a bouquet, and give it to them.
NOTE: Please take them only from the roadway in front of #11, 13, 21 and 25 Prospect Road — and not from the gardens themselves!
In other nature news: Last night, a huge dead tree on the big hill at the south end of Winslow Park, not far from the North Compo parking lot, came crashing down — smack across the walking path.
Bob Cooper says: “I’ve had my eye on it for a couple years, but this was sooner than I expected. It appears the lower end was rotting inside.”
The Westport Youth Commission is one of our town’s great, under-the-radar groups.
Thirty members — 15 students, 15 adults, all appointed by the 1st selectman — meet monthly. They talk about teen needs, plan projects and programs, and (this is huge) provide high schoolers with a great experience in leadership.
Of course, every year members graduate. So the YAC is looking for students now in grades 8-11 (and adult members) to serve for the 2021-’22 school year. Freshmen join a special committee, before joining the board officially as sophomoes.
The appointment process includes an application, and at least one letter of recommendation. The deadline is May 14. Click here for the application. For more information, call 203-341-1155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge is the scene for just about everything. Political protests, Memorial Day parades, fishing — you name it, it’s happened there.
Though this scene Tuesday evening was probably a first:
Aquarion has announced its 2021 mandatory sprinkler irrigation schedule.
They say: “The schedule helps conserve water supplies by reducing overwatering of lawns and gardens through a maximum 2 days per week schedule. The purpose is to ensure that local water supplies remain sufficient for critical needs such as human consumption and fire protection.
“Lawns and gardens can thrive on reduced watering. By encouraging roots to grow deeper into the soil, they’re able to absorb more moisture and nutrients, even during dry spells. Customers may continue using drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand-held watering at any time.”
The schedule begins today, and is based on the last digit of your street address.
If your address ends in an even number, or you have no numbered address, you can water only on Sundays and Wednesdays, from 12:01 a.m. to 10 a.m., or 6 p.m. to midnight.
If your address ends in an odd, number, you can water only on Saturdays and Tuesdays, same times as above.
For more information, click here. NOTE: Some residents may qualify for a variance. For example, if you’ve installed new plantings or sod in the spring, you arw allowed to water more frequently to help get plants established.
MoCA Westport’s new exhibit, “Smash,” is dedicated exclusively to the videos of
It opens to the public tomorrow (Friday, April 2). Reservations are available through the website, On Free Fridays, reservations are not required, and admission is free. Click below for a sneak peek:
The Westport Library’s Verso Studios are certainly versatile.
Starting April 12 (7 p.m.), it’s the focus of a Video Production hybrid course. The instructor is the Library’s own Emmy Award winner, David Bibbey.
The first 4 sessions are virtual. The final 2 are in-person. Participants will learn how to use professional video and audio recording equipment, lighting, and live switching/recording/streaming equipment. Participants can also serve as live crew for video shoots.
The cost is $150. To register, click here.
With all the talk about vehicular traffic on a renovated or rebuilt William F. Cribari Bridge, no one has thought about what would happen if a super tanker got caught nearby.
Evan Stein has it figured out:
And finally … today is April 1.