Quietly — but powerfully — Westport has become a beehive of sustainability.
Between composting, our Net Zero 2050 commitment, the Home Energy Challenge, our embrace of electric vehicles, and organizations like Sustainable Westport, Wakeman Town Farm and Earthplace, many residents, businesses and groups are trying to do what we can to save our planet.
It’s not always easy. many areas need improvement. But awareness of the urgent need to act — and concrete steps to do so — seem high.
One small but important step took place Thursday night. Social media/ networking whiz Kami Evans gathered a group at Wakeman Town Farm. All have a product or concept in the sustainable space. Each spoke briefly about what they do, including what’s going well, and what they need.
Connections were made. Conversations were sparked. Community was formed.
There were established businesses like Savannah Bee, whose products and educational programs raise awareness of bees’ crucial role in our ecosystem, and BD Provisions, which sells healthy food in bulk (and sustainable containers).
Savannah Bee manager Julie Cook talked about her company’s mission — and the importance of bees on our planet.
Westport entrepreneurs described their inventions, like Lustir‘s carbon fiber straws, and those they sold, like SKP hair and body care.
Service providers spoke too: Curbside Compost, which picks up your food scraps and drops off a clean pail, and Staples High School graduate Rachel Precious, whose Precious Oysters offers “tide to table” shucking services.
The Eco Dude shared his vision of a space that will include non-plastic retail products, an artisan cooperative, all-compostable coffee shop, and workshops. (He’s still in the funding phase.)
Organic Krush catered, providing delicious, healthy, and pesticide-, GMO- and hormone-free food.
It would have been compostable, of course. Except it was too good. Not a scrap was left at the end.
Just in time for the new (shopping) year: the Westport Downtown Merchants Association updated their “Merchants” page.
Dozens of downtown stores and restaurants now have a photo of the exterior, a short description, and links to their websites — all searchable, of course. Click here to see.
Savannah Bee and other Church Lane merchants are featured on the Westport Downtown Merchants Association website.
For a Covid-time project, the Gerards of Westport decided to teach their 11- and 8-year-old children to build a song.
They chose “Let It Be.” It’s a great tune for times of trouble — or any time.
The Gerards then filmed the process, at various sites in Westport. Take a peek:
And finally … Phyllis McGuire, the last surviving member of the McGuire Sisters, died this week in Las Vegas. She was 89.
The trio “bewitched teenage America in the 1950s with chart-topping renditions of ‘Sincerely’ and ‘Sugartime,’ in a sweet, innocent harmony that went with car fins, charm bracelets and duck-tail haircuts,” the New York Times said.
It added, “The McGuire Sisters were one of the many white groups that covered 1950s R&B hits, many by Black artists, in what critics called blander versions though better-selling ones.”
Starting this Thursday (July 9), the Westport Farmers’ Market is open for regular shopping.
The decision — made “after careful consideration and due diligence through state and local officials” — means that every week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Imperial Avenue lot will be will fill once again with “your beloved farmers, bakers, cheese mongers and more.”
A number of adaptations will ensure safety for customers and vendors. Masks must be worn at all times. There is single-direction traffic while shopping (one way in, one way out). There will be hand sanitizer stations, social distancing and “lots of fresh air.”
Just like old times, musicians will play.
Executive director Lori Cochran realizes that not everyone will come. So pre-order, touch-free, selected-time-slot pickups continue.
“We realize that healthy food is one of the best ways to heal your body and keep your immune system strong,” Lori says. “Our immune-compromised shoppers need safe access to our product. We are committed to bringing it to them while allowing others to participate in the day-of model.”
A select number of slots are available for Thursday pickups, from 9 to 10 a.m. For details, click here.
With the goal of opening dialogue and expanding awareness of the realities of racial challenges, the Westport Weston Family YMCA is sponsoring an intriguing conversation.
The guest is Trevor Freeland. A member of the first all-Black team to reach the top ranks of American youth swimming (chronicled in the 2007 movie “Pride”), he went on to a stellar career at the University of Virginia. As the first Black swimmer to compete in the ACC, he helped the Cavaliers win the 1st of 16 league titles.
One of the few Black executives to run a major Wall Street trading desk, he has committed his life to challenging and breaking down barriers. He attributes his success to the work ethic and life skills he learned in the pool.
The event is this Saturday (July 11, Camp Mahackeno outdoor amphitheater). There are 2 sessions: 9: 15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. A limited number of spots are open to Y members who are not non-Water Rat swimmers, and their families; Y members can click here to register.
Doug Fierro spotted this yesterday, in a dumpster behind Compo Shopping Center.
“Another victim of COVID,” he writes. “A sad day for Westport.”
The funds will purchase farm-to-table meals for homeless shelter residents, from caterer Alison Milwe-Grace. The donation is particularly important now, because Gillespie’s regular volunteers are unable to help personally. (Sunrise Rotary members are some of those regulars: they serve meals on the first Saturday of every month.)
Savannah Bee has added items to its curbside delivery.
Along with their line of immune boosters (saw palmetto and local new England honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and healing anti-bacterial propolis spray), they now offer an elderberry elixir hand-crafted in Atlanta with their famed honey. It’s filled with adaptogenic jerbs and immune-boosting botanicals.
Click here, then call Julie (203-856-5149) or email email@example.com.
Yesterday, a reader reported that Panera Bread’s “customer care” team told her the Westport location would reopen today.
A reader who drove by there today reports, “they remain quite closed. The sign in their window still says ‘Location Temporarily Closed.” The location does not pop up on their website when you search 06880 either.”
If anyone knows what’s cooking, let us know!
The Panera Bread near the Southport line.
And finally … I have no idea who comes up with these things, but supposedly on this date in 1550, chocolate was “thought to have been introduced to Europe.” Today also marks a year and a day since the tribute concert to Westport’s favorite blues/rocker, Charlie Karp.
To celebrate, here’s a link to Charlie Karp’s 1973 album, named after his band at the time: White Chocolate.
Posted onMay 19, 2020|Comments Off on COVID Roundup: Retail Reopening; World Bee Day; College Admissions; More
Tomorrow is a red-letter retail day. Natalie Toraty — owner of Noya Fine Jewelry on Riverside Avenue — writes:
“Tomorrow morning, many small privately-owned businesses will reopen their doors. We all do it with great relief, and heavy heart since the unknown is greater than the known. Some of us won’t survive this crisis. The next few weeks will determine if we can keep going.
“Most of the stores reopening throughout Westport are privately owned local businesses. Hopefully that will bring people out, and might fill the gap we all have of interactions, conversations, shopping and going out.
“Now more than ever, supporting small local businesses is crucial — for the town, for the businesses, and for everyone’s real estate investment.
“We can all shop international brands all over. But what our local boutiques offer is different: a different experience, unique service and personal taste. We cater to the local shopper, our customers. We all have a niche.
“We all have guidelines, and we must comply. Our shoppers need to follow guidelines as well (wearing masks, social distancing, etc.). Many of us have stricter rules than were asked for. Please support us!
Among the many Westport businesses reopening tomorrow (Wednesday, May 20): Savannah Bee.
The popular Bedford Square shop will open Monday through Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and Sunday (12 to 6 p.m).
Curbside pickup is available for those who want it. Just call 203-557-6878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Through Bee Day, Savannah Bee will provide:
Honeybee information packets and “Adopt-a-Bee” through their “Bee Cause” charity (over 600 free, educational observation beehives throughout the US and Canada).
Info on Westport’s Pollinator Pathway information, and emblems.
Free honey straws, temporary tattoos, and fun activity packets for youngsters to learn everything they can do to save bees.
Families can learn about healthy and safe ways to treat lawns and gardens without pesticides.
“We want to stay open in Westport,” says store manager Julie Cook. “We truly appreciate all the support you continue to provide us over the past 3 years. Westport needs Savannah Bee and we need you.”
She signs it, “All my bee-est.”
No one knows what college will look like going forward. But a group of experts has some ideas.
They’ll share them next Tuesday (May 26, 7 to 8:30 p.m.).
Steinbrecher & Partners — the Main Street educational consultants — present a live webinar. Topics include the college admissions process going forward, the relevance and future of testing, and college expectations for the Class of 2021 and beyond.
Panelists include admissions deans and directors at Boston University, Union College and Rhodes College, and the founder and CEO of Carnegie Prep. Moderator Richard Avitabile of Steinbrecher, who for over a decade oversaw admissions for 7 New York University schools.
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