Tag Archives: Sherwood Mill Pond

Roundup: Shiloh Verrico, Vinny Penna, Parking And Driving …

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This weekend’s Italian American Police Society’s Car Show was special.

And not because over 300 classic, modified, foreign and racing cars competed for trophies. Or because their owners and friends feasted on barbecue, shared $5,000 in raffle prizes, and enjoyed perfect summer weather.

There was also a tribute to Vincent Penna Jr. The former Westport Police Department deputy chief died a week before Christmas, of a heart attack. He was 51 years old.

Westport Police detectives Sereniti Taranto and Sharon Russo, with officers from nearby towns, raised over $10,000 for the Vincent Penna Jr. Scholarship Fund.

Penna’s family — including his wife Denise, and sons Vincent and Nicholas — picked the most prestigious award at the car show: a 1932 yellow Ford coupe, just like John Milner’s from “American Graffiti.”

The car show connection continues. Among his many activities, Penna served with the Westport Police Benevolent Association. They’ve got their own car show this Saturday (August 21, 4 to 8 p.m., Saugatuck train station). (Hat tip: Andrew Colabella)

The Penna family, at yesterday’s Norwalk car show. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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Among the highlights of the weekend’s final Shopping Day of the summer: The voice of Shiloh Verrico

The 11-year-old actor/singer from New Jersey — a co-star on Netflix’s “Country Comfort” with recent Staples High School graduate Jamie Mann, who also performed — wowed the crowd,

“She literally stopped everyone in their tracks,” says Julie Van Norden. “You could have heard a pin drop when she sang ‘Sound of Silence.’ I’ve never heard such a voice in one so young, at least not in person!”

Shiloh is  a student at 1983 Staples grad Cynthia Gibb’s Triple Threat Academy, for young actors, singers and dancers.

When she hits it big — well, bigger — you can say you heard her here first.

Shiloh Verrico

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One other great moment from the weekend: Dan Levinson’s Palomar Jazz Band, at the Levitt Pavilion.

Another large crowd filled the lawn, as the sun set and music played. After COVID forced a dark summer in 2020, this year’s 60 evenings of free music have been a welcome relief.

Dan Levinson’s Palomar Jazz Band …

… and their fans. (Photos/JC Martin)

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Kids watch their parents. They mimic them — the good, and the bad.

Want evidence that the next generation will grow up to be entitled drivers and parkers, just like their elders? Just look at this photo yesterday, from Church Lane:

(Photo/John McCarthy)

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On a more serious note, kids do watch how their parents drive.

For the past few days, parents dropping off and picking up their children at Wakeman Fields have been driving very, very fast.

The newly paved road linking Cross Highway and the Bedford Middle School parking lot has turned into a Grand Prix straightaway.

With the addition of curbs on both sides, it’s narrower than ever. It’s even tougher now to back up and turn around. Traffic roars by in both directions, while kids cross without looking.

Be careful. Slow down. Please show your children — and all the others — how to drive safely.

The Cross Highway entrance to Wakeman Fields. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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What an end to a great weekend! If anyone wonders why we love Westport, just show them last night’s sunset over Sherwood Mill Pond:

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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Sure, it’s been a hot few days. Time for cool off — “Westport … Naturally” style.

(Photo/Varyk Kutnick)

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And finally … back in 1969, today marked the last day of Woodstock.

There were some legendary performances. Also some really, really atrocious ones.

How to pick what to feature today?

How about some artists who — before or after going down to Yasgur’s farm — performed in Westport.

Richie Havens was in Westport several times. The first was when he took the Staples High School stage as a stand-in for the Blues Project, who were stuck in a New York recording studio.

He was flexible at Woodstock too, improvising “Freedom” on the spot after playing every song he knew, while most of the other first-day acts were stuck in a massive traffic jam.

Sly & the Family Stone played at least twice in Westport — once at Staples, once at Longshore. This is one of the enduring images from Woodstock:

Arlo Guthrie played at the Westport Country Playhouse:

And how about these Woodstock performers who — at some point in their lives — lived (or, in once case still live) in Westport?

Joe Cocker rented here — and auditioned musicians for his “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” tour at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Johnny Winter lived here around the same time. He’d hold court — and play — at Players’ Tavern, next to the Playhouse (most recently, Positano restaurant).

And — though Bert Sommer never made it into the “Woodstock” movie — he performed at Woodstock too. He was accompanied by Ira Stone — now a longtime Westporter.

Pics Of The Day #1568

National Hall, from the Saugatuck River west bank promenade … (Photo/Susan Leone)

…. plus this bonus photo of tonight’s Compo Beach sunset, submitted moments ago … (Photo/Carlos Garcia)

… and over Owenoke … (Photo/Jonathan Prager)

… ditto, Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Matt Murray)

Roundup: (No) Traffic, (No) Jumping, (No) Runs …

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Southbound I-95 traffic yesterday evening was bumper to bumper. That’s not exactly stop-the-presses news.

But this is.

Janine Scotti reports that there was no residual backup on any side roads. Greens Farms and Bridge Street, on through Saugatuck: Clean as a whistle.

Nothing unusual on the Post Road either.

She wonders if Waze has updated its algorithm to help us. I wonder if maybe Waze was down.

Fingers crossed for something similar during the next tie-up. Which will probably be a few minutes from now.

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Just a year after SIR Development purchased Roger’s Septic Tanks — and less than a year after the 73-year-old facility was demolished — a new rental complex is open for leasing.

“1480 Post” — on US1, near Maple Avenue South — is the latest project from SIR president Robert Haroun. A trustee of both the Westport Library and Westport Weston YMCA, he’s been involved in building projects at both places.

The 32-unit complex includes 25 market rate units, and 7 designated as “affordable housing.” Haroun says the 1- and 2-bedroom condo-style apartments will attract residents who want to downsize but remain in Westport. Pets are welcome.

The first open house for the leasing office is next Sunday (August 1), from 1 to 3 p.m. Occupancy is available September 1. Click here for details.

1480 Post

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Congratulations (again!) to Westport’s 10U Little League All-Star team.

They won the sectional tournament yesterday in Trumbull, beating North Haven 10-0. The state tournament begins Thursday.

Sectional champs!

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First the Sherwood Mill Pond sign on the way to Compo Cove said “No jumping.”

Then some jokes altered it to read “Jump.”

Now it just says — well, um …

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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“Westport … Naturally” highlights 2 little guys who were not pleased with yesterday morning’s rain.

Still, they found a perfect spot to wait it out, in a Greens Farms garden.

(Photo/Kathleen O’Keefe)

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And finally … today is a musical birthday bonanza. Darlene Love turns 80. Mick Jagger is 78. Bobby Hebb, Dobie Gray and Brenton Wood were all born on July 26 too.

Rather than single any one entertainer out, I’ll honor another anniversary. On this date in 1775, the office that later became the US Post Office was established by the Second Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin was named our first Postmaster General.

PS: Alex Chilton was just 16 years old when he sang lead on this #1 hit. He and the rest of the Box Tops did not even pretend they were faking it on this show.

Pic Of The Day #1553

Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Mark Ritter)

Roundup: Fireworks, Mill Pond Jumping, River Cleanup …

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Jennifer Rago McCarthy grew up with Westport traditions. Like the Yankee Doodle Fair. And the 4th of July fireworks.

In 2020, COVID knocked out the June fair. To be safe, the Westport Woman’s Club moved this year’s event to September.

For the second straight summer, the fireworks wee canceled.

Which got Jennifer — a 1985 Staples High School graduate — thinking: Why not have the fireworks on Labor Day weekend?

Why not indeed?!

Jennifer asked me to post her idea. If enough people are interested, it may be worth pursuing.

So, “06880” readers: What do you think? If you’re down with fireworks on Labor Day weekend, click “Comments” below.

And if you think that’s a bad idea, click “Comments” too — and tell us why.

Labor Day, 2021?(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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“The show must go on” is a time-honored tradition. On Friday night, Drew Angus honored it well.

The Staples High School graduate, recording artist and all-around good guy was booked for the Levitt Pavilion. Right before showtime, a hard rain fell.

But Drew — standing behind his band’s covered instruments — gave a fantastic performance.

Most of the crowd was far in back, under the overhang. A few hardy folks sat on the grass. But it didn’t take long for many to get up and dance. It was an amazing scene. (It didn’t hurt that one of his numbers was “Singin’ in the Rain.”)

Carleigh Welsh announced that Drew will be booked for another performance this summer. Hopefully he knows “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine.” (Hat tip: Laura Schwartz)

Drew Angus, singing in the rain. (Photo/Laura Schwartz)

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For decades, kids jumped off the Sherwood Mill Pond bridge.

When the water got grotty, they stopped.

The pond is back in great shape. Several years ago, the jumpers returned.

Last summer, some of them were loud and rude. They ruined it for everyone. Residents complained. Parks & Rec put up a “Danger/No Jumping or Diving” sign, complete with little red-slash pictographs.

Yesterday, Ann Becker Moore, Pam Washburn and Karen Como spotted a new sign. It says simply: “Jump.”

(Photo/Karen Como)

WTF?!

If anyone knows what’s going on, click “Comments” below.

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This was 90 Morningside Drive South, when it was on the market.

It was bought last July for $2.64 million, by Mattera Construction. Here’s how it looked yesterday:

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Every other Saturday morning, Longshore Sailing School hosts a Saugatuck River cleanup.

Despite yesterday’s weather, 40 single and double kayaks headed out. Each came bag with incredible amounts of trash.

Paul Danielewicz and Mark Jaffe collected the most. They don’t win anything. But everyone who loves the Saugatuck River is grateful.

The next cleanup is July 17 (9:30 to 11 a.m.). Anyone interested should meet at Longshore Sailing School, behind the pool.

Paul Danielewicz and Mark Jaffe.

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Last night, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Eastern Conference finals. They advance to the championship for the first time since 1974 (when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the starting center).

The Westport connection? The Bucks are co-owned by Westport hedge fund manager Marc Lasry. PS: They were named the Bucks long before the billionaire bought them. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

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Conversion of the former Armstrong Rubber Company headquarters in New Haven — the concrete box on the left as you head north, next to Ikea and just before the I-91 merge — into what may be the most energy-efficient hotel in the country has “Westport” all over it.

Hotel Marcel’s developer and architect is Westport-based Bruce Becker. He’s building it to meet net-zero energy standards. It will generate as much energy as it uses. All electricity is produced on site, and it’s the first passive house-certified hotel in the US. 

Saugatuck’s LANDTECH is the project’s site/civil engineer.

It’s a great project. To learn more, click on the video below. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)

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The weather hasn’t been great this 4th of July weekend. But Jolantha of Kellogg Hill proves you can put lipstick on this pig.

Or at least decorate her for the holiday.

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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“Naturally … Westport” ventures today to Bermuda Road, on Saugatuck Shores:

(Photo/Diane Yormark)

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And finally … happy birthday, America. We’ve made it through 245 years. Here’s to the next 245!

Iconic Compo Cove Homes For Sale

One of Westport’s most beloved — and most photographed, and most painted — properties is on the market.

The gray house on Compo Cove — the first one we see from Old Mill Beach and Hillspoint Road, gazing toward the Nantucket-like, no-cars-allowed enclave east of Sherwood Mill Pond — has just been listed.

44 Compo Cove (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

It’s a historic gem. Built in 1917, the “Coleburn house” has withstood more than a century of storms with its original framing and fireplace still intact. The first floor has never been flooded.

44 Compo Cove (right). The “pirate shack” cottage at #42 (left) is also part of the sale.

The kitchen and bathrooms have been modernized, but the interior is true to its original construction. 

One of 4 bedrooms at 44 Compo Cove.

#44 is the oldest of the 19 homes on the Cove, a peninsula accessible only by footbridge from Old Mill (or in an emergency, through the west end of Sherwood Island State Park). The Mill Cove is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation CT calls 44 Compo Cove one of the “most typical and best preserved” bungalows in the state.

#44 is a classic beach house: 4 bedrooms, wooden interior, wraparound porch, and 125 feet of private sand.

The wide porch at #44.

The cottage next door, built in 2008 by Michael Greenberg at #42, is part of the sale. With a huge deck, it too offers stunning views in all directions.

The “pirate shack” cottage at 42 Compo Cove is part of the sale.

The price for both properties, on 1.96 acres, is $7.9 million. The seller hopes for a preservation-minded buyer.

44 Compo Cove, in winter (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

But #44 and 42 are not the only properties for sale on Compo Cove.

Next door, #48 is on the market too.

It’s a .41-acre lot, available as land only for $2.8 million, or — for $7 million — as a new home designed by Michael Greenberg.

Aerial view of Compo Cove. #44 is at right; #42 is in the center (white). Also for sale, in another transaction: #48 (the now empty lot just above #42, on the water).

Compo Cove is timeless. Its footpath dates back more than a century. Wildlife has been there far longer.

It’s also ever-changing. Each season — every day, really — brings new views.

Every Westporter — whether they’ve visited the Cove, or admired it from afar — feels attached to that small spit of land. We’re all invested in who next will actually invest in those properties.

Pics Of The Day #1487

Sherwood Mill Pond dawn …

… and nearby homes (Photos/Michael Tomashefsky)

Sherwood Mill Pond And Island: The Hidden Culverts

Generations of Westporters know John Kantor from his decades owning and running Longshore Sailing School.

But he’s comfortable near any body of water. He lives on Grove Point Road, bordering Sherwood Mill Pond. John writes:

Whenever there is a big coastal flood due to a hurricane, tropical storm or nor’easter, Grove Point residents talk about shutting the flood gates at Old Mill to keep the seawater out of our neighborhood. They believe that it is where floodwaters come from.

It is not entirely true.

The Mill Pond is not a closed system whose seawater level is controlled exclusively by the tide gates at Old Mill.

Did you know that you could paddle a canoe or kayak, non-stop from Grove Point to Greens Farms Academy?  And, under certain conditions, even to the Greens Farms post office?

Sherwood Mill Pond, Sherwood Island State Park and environs. Grove Point is at left, off Hillspoint Road. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

You can. You just need to pass through 3 culverts. But watch your head. Some have low clearance.

And if you turn to starboard in the marsh channel at Burying Hill Beach, you could paddle straight into Long Island Sound. It is an independent seawater connection to the Mill Pond – a Mill Pond back door.

You can kayak all the way from Sherwood Mill Pond to Burying Hill Beach (shown above).

To prove it, the other day I took a walkabout.

I went to the Sherwood Island State Park “Mission Control” office on the Connector, and got permission to slog around in the wetlands. I wanted to see the culvert that I knew existed, which connects the Mill Pond to the wetlands north of the state park. I wanted photos to bring back as proof.

I took many shots from every possible angle, from the pond on our side all the way to the New Creek wetlands alongside Greens Farms Academy.

The culvert from Sherwood Mill Pond to Sherwood Island State Park …

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officers assured me that the tidal flow, ebb and flood, to and from the pond, goes both ways in the culvert on a daily basis.

The cast concrete box culvert is sizable. Actually there are 2, separated by a common concrete wall. Each is wide enough for two canoes to pass through side by side.

… and the view from the park, looking west to the Mill Pond.

The culverts have no control gates. Water passes through freely on all tides. Tidal surge seawater can enter the pond through them in substantial volume regardless of whether or not the gates at Old Mill are open or shut.

Sherwood Island really is an island. It is surrounded by water on all sides. It just doesn’t appear that way. because the big double culverts are hidden from view beneath the Sherwood Island Connector. You drive over them whenever you enter the State Park.

New Creek culverts by Beachside Avenue, further east. (Photos/John Kantor)

Fun Fact: There is a significant delay in the tide change in the Sherwood marsh system, relative to the Sound. I witnessed a rising tide level on the state park beach side of the Burying Hill breakwater, while the ebbing current was still flowing (at a good clip) out of the Sherwood wetlands on the other side of the breakwater — just a few feet apart!

Pic Of The Day #1456

Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Zvi Cole)

Roundup: Vaccines, Zoning, Schlaet’s Point, Ospreys …

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Not every “06880” reader lives in Westport. Sarathi Roy notes: “New York or New Jersey residents can book COVID vaccine appointments in their home state or in Connecticut.”

Here is New York state information:

A few days ago, “06880” posted a comprehensive list of Connecticut vaccine options, thanks to Sarathi’s HR department. Click here for information on CVS, Walgreens, Yale New Haven Health, Stamford Health and VAMS sign-ups.

In addition to that list, Sarathi adds:

  • Check your town’s website for information and clinics available only to residents. You may be able to register in advance or receive a call for available appointments or excess doses.
  • Connecticut’s  Vaccine Assist Line (877-918-2224) operates 7 days a week, from 8am-8pm. Agents can schedule appointments at state-run clinics. If you call early and are given the chance to leave a message, you should. They accept a certain number of messages each day, then call those people back throughout the day to assist in booking appointments. Once the maximum number of calls for the day has been reached the message option is turned off.
  • You can now search additional locations, including supermarkets and local pharmacies. A great tool to see who is administering the vaccine in your area is Vaccinefinder.org. Search a zip code, make note of the providers nearby, then search for booking websites.
  • Here are a few of the more common ones:
    Rite Aid

ShopRite

Big Y

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Did you miss last night’s webinar on the many housing bills making their way through the state’s General Assembly, and their possible impact on Westport?

Planning and Zoning chair Danielle Dobin gave a comprehensive overview. Our 4 local legislators — Senators Will Haskell and Tony Hwang, and Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Stephanie Thomas — tackled the pros and cons. Viewers asked questions. It was a wide-ranging, engaging 80 minutes. (And I would say that even if I had not served as moderator.)

It’s now available to watch — or re-watch — at your leisure. Click here for the link.

Everything you wanted to know about zoning — including sewers — and more.

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One of the few positive parts of the pandemic: Many more Westporters have had time to walk.

Because we practice social distancing, we’re not always on the sidewalk. And — as Tammy Barry’s photo of Hillspoint Road at Schlaet’s Point shows — the result is some barren patches where grass once grew.

I’m sure saltwater flooding had something to do with t too.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

Here’s hoping the town can find some resources to bring this beautiful stretch of waterfront back to what it once was.

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CNN anchor (and Westport resident) Alisyn Camerota’s last day on “New Day” is today. The show was filled with many nice tributes. Yesterday, co-host John Berman started things off (click here to see).

Alisyn is not going very far — just a few hours later. She’ll anchor CNN’s weekday coverage with Victor Blackwell.

Congratulations, Alisyn, on your new gig — and the chance to sleep in a little longer. (Hat tip: Seth Schachter)

Alisyn Camerota

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Today’s osprey report comes courtesy of Chris Swan.

He wants Westporters to know that there are 3 platforms near Sherwood Island State Park.

One is in the saltmarsh behind the Nature Center, midway to the last house off Beachside Common.

The second is in the saltmarsh on the eastern shore of Sherwood Mill Pond, several hundred feet above the Compo Cove homes. It’s visible from the path on Sherwood Island’s western edge, above the fire gate to Compo Cove.

Both platforms are occupied by returning osprey pairs.

A 3rd location can be seen from the saltmarsh shore of the northeastern corner of the Mill Pond, looking west. This was erected last fall. No osprey pair has yet staked their claim.

A 4th platform is at the entrance to Burying Hill Beach, in the marsh across New Creek. Chris has watched it for 10 years, but has never seen it occupied.

He thinks it’s too low. He believes old utility poles make the best platforms — citing the ones at Fresh Market, Longshore’s E,R. Strait Marina, and Gray’s Creek.

Chris should know: He spent his professional career with Eversource.

The newest osprey platform in Sherwood Island Mill Pond. A house on Grove Point is visible behind it. (Photo/Chris Swan)

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Congressman Jim Himes holds a Facebook Live session today (Wednesday, April 7) at 3 p.m. He’ll discuss how constituents can benefit from the American Rescue Plan. Click here to watch live. To watch later, click here.

Congressman Jim Himes

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And finally … on this day in 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first African-American depicted on a US postage stamp.

In November 1944, Booker T. Jones Jr. was born in Memphis. He was named after his father, Booker T. Jones Sr., a high school science teacher — who himself was named in honor of Booker T. Washington, the educator.