Tag Archives: Scout Troop 39

Roundup: Christmas Trees, Space Station, Christine Ohlman …

Yesterday was pickup day for Scout Troops 39 and 139.

They spent hours going all over town, hauling Christmas trees into trucks (in return for $20 donations — a bargain for sure).

The trees will be mulched into wood chips, and donated to the town.

First though, they were unloaded at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Here’s what it looked like:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

But you really had to be there, to enjoy the scent!

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Did you know that the International Space Station was nearly lost, due to computer failures?

Dr. Bob Dempsey knows.

The former NASA flight director for the ISS visits — virtually — the Westport Astronomical Society on January 17 (8 p.m.).

As the guest on their free monthly webinar, he’ll describe the 2001 events that led to the loss of all command and control computers. It was the flight control team’s “Apollo 13” moment, as they identified problems and mounted a never-before-attempted recovery.

Click here for the Zoom link. Click here for the YouTube link.

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The Westport Library rocked last night.

Christine Ohlman — the platinum blonde “Beehive Queen,” and longtime “Saturday Night Live” — joined Rebel Montez in the Trefz Forum, for a Winter Dance Party.

A packed house enjoyed another typical night, at what is fast becoming Westport’s favorite musical venue.

Christine Ohlman, Rebel Montez and the band, last night at the Westport Library.

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Speaking of entertainment: Buffalo Rose brings their modern folk/Americana music to Voices Café at Westport’s Unitarian Church on January 21 (8 p.m.).

The Pittsburgh-based 6-piece group is known for powerful vocal harmonies, strong playing and an original vision. They drew raves from their Levitt Pavilion performance in 2021.

There’s café-style tables (reservations from groups of 4 or more) or individual seats. Guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages and snacks. 

General admission is $25 per person. The event is livestreamed too (free).

A portion of the proceeds benefit the battle against food insecurity, through the Bridgeport Center for Food Equity and Economic Development (FEED). 

Click here for tickets and more information.

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Longtime Westporter Shirley Appy — an actor and pioneer in the early days of live television — died peacefully on Friday, at 95.

Since 2009 she was a resident of Applewood, an independent living retirement community in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she welcomed countless visitors, family, and friends.

Appy was born Shirley Joy Krehbiel in Colfax, Washington in 1927. After graduating from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon she received a full scholarship from the School of Drama at the University of Washington, where she gave more than 600 performances. In 1949 she married Gerard Appy, also a drama major at Washington.

After a brief stint running a new radio station in Colby, Kansas, the couple moved to Atlanta, Georgia to open The Penthouse Theatre, located on the top floor of the Ansley Hotel. It was modeled on the Penthouse Theatre at the University of Washington — the first theatre-in-the-round in the United States.

The Atlanta theater flourished for 3 years. Appy, under the stage name Shirley Krayble, appeared in many plays, alongside well-known actors such as Joan Blondell, Mike Todd and Zero Mostel.

In 1951 Appy turned to television. For several years she hosted 2 daily live shows: “The Little People,” where she interacted with pre-schoolers, and “Shopping Atlanta,” a consumer advice show.

Appy ended her television career to be a full-time mother to her 2 children. In 1964 the family moved to Westport, where she turned her attention to a wide variety of creative pursuits.

A gifted artist, craftsperson and gardener, she produced award-winning works in stained glass, decoupage and watercolors.

In 1981 Appy and her husband moved back to the Northwest, where he became the director of Oregon Public Broadcasting. For Shirley, it was a return to her childhood hometown.

She is survived by her children, Karen (Stephen) Baumann and Christian (Katherine) Appy, 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

Shirley Appy

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Today’s very serene “Westport … Naturally” Compo Beach scene was snapped by Sunil Hirani:

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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And finally … in honor of Dr. Bob Dempsey’s upcoming webinar with the Westport Astronomical Society:

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Roundup: Christmas Tree Pick-ups, Dawn Swim, Playground Fun …

If it’s New Year’s, it’s time to … get rid of the Christmas tree.

It can be disposed of online — well, the registration is done that way, anyway. Scout Troops 39 and 139 will happily pick up yours. Click here for the form. 

You’ll get a confirmation email. Then, this Saturday (January 7 — by 6:30 a.m.), put your tree by your mailbox.

There’s a suggestion donation of $20 per tree. Tape an envelope with cash or check (payable to “Boy Scout Troop 39”) to your front door.

NOTE: All Christmas trees are mulched into wood chips, and donated to the town. So no wreaths or garlands (the wires ruin the machinery).

Boy Scout Troop 39 to the rescue!

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Like many Westporters, you probably spent yesterday’s dawn in bed.

Maybe you were arriving home from a late party, eager to crash (metaphorically, of course).

If you were one guy though, you went for an early morning, greet-the-new-year swim at Compo Beach.

(Photo courtesy of John Karrel)

Fortunately, the weather was nice.

For January 1, anyway.

PS: Let’s see if he can keep this up for the next 364 days.

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The sun was high a few hours later. The temperature climbed to the mid-50s.

And the Compo Beach playground looked (almost) like a mid-summer day.

(Photo/Karen Como)

Can the rest of the year continue on such an upbeat note?

Fingers crossed …

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Also seen at Compo Beach: this message to “rock” (ho ho) 2023.

It’s the handiwork of Ross and Wendy McKeon. And the “rock” part can be taken literally: They’re the parents of 2000 Staples High School graduate Drew McKeon. Among his many talents, he’s the longtime drummer in fellow Westporter Michael Bolton’s band.

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Yesterday’s Roundup included a photo of a utility pole on Hillandale Road. An “06880” reader explained why it’s hard to get broken ones fixed, or obsolete wires or cables removed.

The example shown was hardly the worst. Michael Lonsdale noticed more, on the short stretch of Kings Highway North between Main and Canal Streets.

(Photos/Michael Lonsdale)

It will not be easy to address the issue. Each pole has multiple “owners” — Eversource, Altice and Frontier, for example.

Low hanging wires and excess poles are low priorities. They’re prime candidates for buck-passing.

But the lower the wires droop, and the more old poles tilt and rot, the more dangerous they are.

When they come down in a storm, excess poles and obsolete cables make clean-up that much harder.

Our electric and telecom companies have lots to do. Removing unsightly — even dangerous — wires and poles are not at the top of their lists.

And unlike weeds or brush, this is not something we can take in our own hands.

Thoughts? Click “Comments” below. Please be constructive, not nasty. And be sure to use your full, real name.

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Photographer Lauri Weiser calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo “my holiday friend.”

Check out her friend’s claws!

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … on this day in 1788, Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the Constitution.

The next? Connecticut.

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