Sherwood Mill Pond by day … (Photo/Gregg Jacobs)
… and late afternoon … (Photo/Jim Hood)
,,, with a special view of Hummock Island (Photo/Jim Hood)
Sherwood Mill Pond by day … (Photo/Gregg Jacobs)
… and late afternoon … (Photo/Jim Hood)
,,, with a special view of Hummock Island (Photo/Jim Hood)
Fall foliage in fog — from the Riverside Avenue Saugatuck River walkway (Photo/Nicole Ryan)
Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Dan Dodderidge)
Whenever someone asks about “hidden Westport gems” — and for some reason, they do — my go-to answer is: Sherwood Mill Pond and Compo Cove.
While perhaps not “hidden” — millions of people see the Pond from I-95 and the train — the pedestrian pathway out there sort of is.
You have to park at Old Mill, and walk there. Or ride your bike and then jump off the bridge, as thousands of kids have done for a century.
Along the way, there are 2 tidal gates. They’re the kind of high-tech successors to previous gates. They perform important environmental functions, helping the Mill Pond stay healthy and clean.
Millions of oysters, and countless crabs, harvested from the water attests to their efficiency.
Plenty of readers love that path, and quickly recognized the tidal gates — last week’s Photo Challenge. (Click here to see.)
Congratulations to Brooks Sumberg, Andrew Colabella, Diane Silfen, Molly Alger, Matt Murray, Jalna Jaeger, Beth Berkowitz, Michelle Scher Saunders and Suki Nolte.
Here’s another water-themed Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.
(Here’s another challenge: Please support “06880.” Just click here, to make a tax-deductible contribution to your hyperlocal blog. Thank you!)
Westport has been the setting for many films.
But forget “The Gray Flannel Suit,” “The Swimmer” and “The Stepford Wives.”
My favorite is “Below Surface.”
The 20-minute documentary focuses on an unlikely subject: the Westport Weston Family YMCA’s AquaFit program.
Yet thanks to Patty Kondub — the energetic, creative and much-loved instructor who is the heart and soul of both the program and the film — the camaraderie, joy and, yes, life-saving experience that is AquaFit come vividly to life.
Dick Rauh — 96 years young — describes what the class has done for him. So do others, of many ages and from 4 continents. Patty melds them all into a young-feeling, tight-knit group that fulfills the Y’s dual mission of promoting healthy living and creating community.
AquaFit helped Patty herself through a dark time of her life, which she describes movingly.
But “Below Surface” is bright and alive — just like those morning classes. The cinematography makes it shine.
The film has been screened at festivals around the country, and won the “Next Great Filmmaker Award” at the Berkshires International Film Festival. It will be shown October 19 (noon, New Haven Public Library) at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival.
Now through October 1, you can watch it for free, thanks to the virtual World Peace Film Festival. Just click here.
It will be the most uplifting 19 minutes of your week.
(For the “06880” back story on “Below Surface,” click here.)
The start of tomorrow’s Long Lots School Building Committee meeting has been changed.
The new time is 6 p.m. (it was originally 6:30). That’s Thursday, September 28, in Town Hall Room 201/201A.
It’s a 6 p.m. start tomorrow for the Long Lots School Building Committee.
Conservation Director Colin Kelly has responded to complaints about crabbing at Sherwood Mill Pond. He says:
“The Westport Conservation Department reminds Westport residents that the act of crabbing is allowed and is covered by Connecticut Department of Engergy and Environmental Protection fishing regulations.
“People have the legal right to access state waters and fish for Blue Crab. The taking of Blue Crab requires no license, and there is no daily limit during the open season from May1 – November 30. The Conservation Office does not regulate the taking of crabs from the pond. The Sherwood Mill Pond Advisory Committee and the Shellfish Commission do not have authority to restrict the crabbing either.
“To clarify, this does not mean the Town has ignored the public requests for checking the crabbing. In fact, the Westport Police Department have conducted more than 50 patrols of Sherwood Mill Pond this summer. They have interacted with the individuals who are crabbing, they have actively provided education, and they have checked the catches to ensure proper measurements are being followed.
“The officers have used Infrared cameras to confirm that individuals were taking crabs and that any clams they have seen were dumped. They have worked individually and in conjunction with CT DEEP Encon Police. Officers have been proactive in responding to calls and will continue to provide our Town with this response.
“We want to inform the public that over 70 parking tickets have been issued along Hillspoint Road and the Old Mill parking lot in the last few weeks. One night alone had over 30 parking tickets issued. The Police Department will continue their oversight, including adding additional tactics in the future, to ensure that the laws are followed.”
Crabbing at Sherwood Mill Pond.
For several years, Saugatuck Rowing Club has commemorated loved ones lost to breast cancer — and raised funds for survivors — by turning the Saugatuck River pink.
Names are read aloud, and rose petals scattered into the Saugatuck River. They’re then swept out to sea.
This year’s “River of Roses” charity soirée is set for Sunday (October 1, 1 to 4 p.m.; ceremony at 3).
The $75 ticket includes (of course) rosé cocktails, raw bar, charcuterie, lobster and pumpkin bisque, clam chowder, apple crisp, Donut Crazy and a cash bar, plus live music by Fake ID.
Proceeds support SurviveOAR, the empowering, supportive community that provides mental, physical and emotional healing to women with breast cancer after traditional treatment ends.
Six members will be compete in Head of the Charles race next month.
Click here for tickets, or to buy roses ($25 each). Click below, for highlights of the 2019 event.
Parents of children with special needs have plenty to think about.
Westporter Kimberly Greenberg — a Morgan Stanley vice president — leads a free breakfast seminar for parents and caregivers, called “Protecting the Future for Your Child With Special Needs.”
Financial experts will share first-hand experiences on October 3 (9:30 a.m., STAR, 182 Wolfpit Avenue, Norwalk_. Tours of the renovated STAR center, including the new assistive technology lab and lending library, are also available.
To reserve a spot, or for more information, email email@example.com.
This event has flown under the radar. But it’s an important one.
Tomorrow (Thursday, September 28, 10 a.m., Westport Library), Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, state Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Ronald Welch and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker will recognize the service of Westport veterans who served during the Vietnam War era.
There will be a color guard, national anthem, and more.
Staples High School graduate Tim Barmmer was killed in Vietnam. He is memorialized at Veterans Green, across from Town Hall.
Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service’s Jenna Baumblatt has been named Connecticut’s 2023 EMS Youth Corps Member of the Year.
The 18-year-old joined WVEMS as an Emergency Medical Responder 4 years ago, and is now an Emergency Medical Technician. She also serves on the WVEMS board of directors.
EMS runs deep in her family. Her dad Rick is a WVEMS staff paramedic; her mom Lynn is a paramedic at Norwalk Hospital EMS, and her brother James is an EMT in Bridgeport.
WVEMS president Michael Burns calls Jenna “an amazing person and caregiver who maintains multiple jobs, in addition to her volunteer service. She is an amazing asset!”
Pam Rouleau is running a fundraiser with Nuvance Health for the Integrative Medicine Department at the Smilow Breast Cancer Center.
She photographed 13 people who have battled cancer — or still are — and depicted them along with their stories of survivorship.
Several members of the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s “SurviveOARS” team are included. Rouleau is a Survive-OARS rower too.
A reception is set for October 3, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the State Capitol in Hartford. It will then be on view through October 30. Click here for details.
Kimberly Wilson, Westport resident and Saugatuck SurviveOARS member.
Grammy Award-winning pianist Dave Kikoski headlines tomorrow’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, September 28, shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.; VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399).
Kikoski is known for his adept post-bop style and spontaneous swinging play. He has worked with artists like Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, Ron Carter, Al Foster, Bob Berg, Michael and Randy Brecker, Chris Potter and others.
He’ll be joined by bassist Yuriy Galkin, drummer Vinnie Sperazza and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall. Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.
Enjoy a trivia night — virtually, and for a great cause.
Tomorrow (Thursday, September 28, 7 p.m.), Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County hosts “Quiz for a Cause.” All proceeds support arts education for children, primarily those with special needs.
First prize is 2 round trip airline tickets, from Avelo Airlines. Second prize is a gift from Westporter Christian Siriano’s The Collective West. Third prize is 5 private music lessons at Neighborhood Studios.
Participants are asked for a minimum donation of $45. Click here to register, and for more information.
Maintenance and upkeep of Baron’s South has gone to the birds.
So it’s not surprising that a flock of turkeys has taken over Golden Shadows, the “mansion” once occupied by Baron Walter Langen von Langendorff and his wife.
Morley Boyd spotted them, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.
And finally … today is the 120th anniversary of “the wreck of the old 97.” The mail train crash was not the worst rail disaster ever — though 11 people died, and 7 more were injured — but it lives on, thanks to folks like Johnny Cash.
(“06880” loves delivering news like today’s lead story, about Patty Kondub’s AquaFit movie. If you love the news “06880” delivers, please click here to support local journalism. Thank you!)
Sherwood Mill Pond and Hummock Island (Photo/JD Dworkow)
The correct day, but incorrect date, was posted yesterday for former superintendent of schools Dr. Elliott Landon’s funeral.
It is tomorrow: Monday, September 4, 10 a.m., at Temple Israel.
Dr. Elliott Landon
Today’s grand opening of the Daniel E. Offutt III Education Center at Weston’s Lachat Town Farm will be special.
The morning includes tours of the new facility and a pancake breakfast (from now until noon), plus hayrides, pony rides, a blacksmith demonstration live music, children’s book reading, and visits with the farm’s goats and bunnies.
The $4 million center includes a large gathering spce with stone fireplace, art studio, classroom — and Brian’s Kitchen, a demonstration space honoring Brian Gordon.
At Staples High School, Brian was president of his Class of 1987, and a basketball star. He went on to become president of his ’91 class at the University of Pennsylvania too.
When he, his wife Kristy and daughters Molly and Drew moved to Weston, he became active there too. As 2nd Selectman Brian vigorously supported Lachat Town Farm. He particularly enjoyed Music at the Meadow, and other special events, with his family.
Cooking was one of Brian’s passions. He delighted his family and friends with culinary treats. He rarely used a recipe, believing that cooking was an expression of love and caring, and should be joyful and creative.
Brian’s Kitchen will continue his legacy of good food, good times and good fun. Click here to read more about Brian’s life, and his contributions to Weston.
Brian Gordon, at work.
Right now, there are 4 Hungry Pots in the world: Danbury, Wethersfield, Manchester, and Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Soon, there will be a fifth.
A sign at the former Panera Bread — across from Shake Shack — announced its arrival.
It’s an “all you can eat Korean BBQ and Hot Pot.”
The website says: “We offer different variety of fresh quality meats seafood and vegetable to provide our guests with an enjoyable dining experience and authentic atmosphere. Customer service is our top priority when it comes to our customers. It is a perfect place for family gatherings, birthday parties and other events. We are passionate to bring a new unique dining experience for our new customer.
“The owner and all staff in Hungry Pot will greet you with the warmest welcome, whether you are a habitual patron or come for the first time. We have made painstaking efforts to create the tidiest and cleanest dining place, and guarantee you with friendly and timely service. All of your demands and feelings will be cared in our restaurant.
“We pick ingredients carefully and use only the freshest and natural ones to prepare every dish.”
No date has been set for opening.
(Photo and hat tip/Dan Vener)
Holes have been dug, and stakes posted along the path from Old Mill to Compo Cove.
Are new trees next for Sherwood Mill Pond? Stay tuned …
Frank Rosen headed to Lime Rock Park yesterday, and spotted 3 fellow Westporters.
He was spectating. But they were all racing.
One of the trio was a (relatively rare) female driver, Lexy Barlow (below). She’s a 2018 Staples High School graduate.
The others were Joe Fuller (below) …
… and Josh Lewis (silver #812, below):
It’s great that Westport was well represented at Lime Rock. Our 3 drivers are following in the footsteps — er, slipstream — of our town’s most famous race car driver of all time.
A guy named Paul Newman.
The Japan Society of Fairfield County invites everyone to a Fall Festival next Sunday, (September 10, 1 to 4 p.m., Jesup Green).
The family-friendly event includes taiko drum performances, live plays of Japanese folk tales, martial arts demonstrations and traditional dancing.
Click here for more information.
The Westport Book Shop’s featured artist this month is Maj Kalfus.
She’ll exhibit several digital compositions. Her paintings and drawings are influenced by an extensive career in the fashion industry. All work on display is available for purchase.
Maj teaches art in Westport and Weston, as well as the Silvermine Arts Center. She is a member of The Artists Collective of Westport.
Maj Kalfus, with her exhibited work.
Nature photographer and Westport Community Gardens director Lou Weinberg contributes today’s great “Westport … Naturally image.”
He adds this context:
“Dragonflies love to be photographed. This one cracked a broad smile for me.
“Dragonflies are a great control on the mosquito population. A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day.
“The Westport Community Gardens and Long Lots Preserve provide great habitat and food for these critters. They are part of the incredible biodiversity supported by our model of suburban open-space environmental rehabilitation.”
And finally … Jimmy Buffett died Friday. He was 76.
The New York Times calls him a “singer, songwriter, author, sailor and entrepreneur whose roguish brand of island escapism on hits like ‘Margaritaville and ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ made him something of a latter-day folk hero, especially among his devoted following of so-called Parrot Heads.”
Click here for a full obituary. Meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites. Jimmy Buffett always made me smile.
(Today, “06880” is “where Westport meets Margaritaville.” If you enjoy our musical tribute — or any of our other daily selections, or anything else on this blog — please consider a contribution. Just click here. Thank you!)
Sherwood Mill Pond clouds (Photo/Matt Murray)
Sherwood Mill Pond sunrise (Photo/Sunil Hirani)
Jamie Walsh is chair of Westport’s Shellfish Commission.
He’s concerned about the crabbing and other activities in Sherwood Mill Pond — which, since “06880” first reported on it last month, has become even more intensive. He writes:
On Friday night Barry Lytton, vice chair of the Westport Shellfish Commission and Jonathan Goldstein, owner and operator of Sherwood Island Oysters, discovered 40 to 50 individuals in the Mill Pond both crabbing and poaching large quantities of shellfish.
I also passed by, and was taken aback by the density of individuals with nets and buckets. These are restricted beds, leased for commercial shell fishing only as of right to Sherwood Island Oysters.
Barry was there for several hours. He says, “about 40 were strictly crabbing, but 10 or so were clamming and doing plenty of it. I saw 2 groups with about 200 to 400 clams each. I tried to tell them they could get sick, and called both the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and police, with no response. DEEP dispatch said they’d send somebody, but hadn’t for 2 hours.”
One bucket of clams — among money — at Sherwood Mill Pond Friday night. (Photo/Barry Lytton)
Aside from the light pollution and disruption to the neighbors who live around the pond, shellfish resources are being poached illegally.
It seems difficult for our police to enforce, as this activity occurs at night, they are not always familiar with the regulations, and many times a language barrier exists.
DEEP conservation officers are spread very thin, and do not have the budget for enforcement.
Sherwood Mill Pond crabbers and clammers, July 2023.
We have discussed this issue recently with Colin Kelly, Westport director of conservation. He is looking into enforcement options available to us. We need to protect our resources, and this area is strictly prohibited.
Westport has wonderful open recreational shellfishing beds located in the triangle off Cockenoe. Those areas are not restricted.
Allowing this illegal activity to continue only encourages permissive illegal behavior. This is something our commission plans to address immediately.
Click below for a video of Friday night’s activity. It was filmed by Barry Lytton; the voice is Jonathan Goldstein’s, owner of Sherwood Island Oysters.
(“06880” reports often on the environment — including our beaches and Sherwood Mill Pond. Please click here to help us continue our work. Thank you!)