Tag Archives: Sorelle Gallery

Roundup: LobsterFest, Long Lots, Parker Harding …

Today’s Westport Rotary Club LobsterFest is on, “rain or shine.”

And it will be rain.

Despite the forecast, Rotarians and others were busy yesterday, preparing Compo Beach for the large crowd (still) expected this afternoon.

Among the volunteers: members of the Staples Service League of Boys (SLOBs), Builders Beyond Borders, M&T Bank and the National Charity League.

A few of the many volunteers setting up LobsterFest yesterday. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


The Long Lots School Building Committee holds a special meeting this Tuesday September 26, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall Room 201/201A ).

The agenda includes 15 minutes of public comment and/or questions regarding the feasibility study project, followed by a work session with the design team for project status updates, review and discussion. The public can  attend the work session, but not participate.

The Long Lots School Building Committee will continue to discuss plans at its Tuesday meeting.


Another meeting of note: The Joint Committee of the Historic District Commission and Architectural Review Board will hold a public Zoom meeting on October 3 (7 p.m.). to review and comment on the proposed redevelopment of Parker Harding Plaza.

The notice says, “Comments offered at the meeting will be considered in anticipation of further zoning review and approvals.”

Click here for the Zoom link. Click here for all relevant materials.

One element of the planned redevelopment of Parker Harding Plaza.


Club 203’s first event of the season Wednesday night kicked off the second year for Westport’s club for adults with disabilities.

Attendees gathered at Toquet Hall. They watched Sharuna Mahesh’s video, recapping highlights of last year — a great way to reconnect after the summer.

Then came rousing karaoke run by PJ Pitcher, and an art project hosted by MoCA Westport. I

Next up: a “Halloween Bingo and BBQ” at the Senior Center. Click here for more information.

Club 203 karaoke at Toquet Hall.


Nile Rodgers did not have to travel far for last night’s gig at Forest Hills Stadium.

Ed Paul reports: “He played an absolute top shelf, kick-ass show.

“He and his group Chic covered not only their songs but a lot of the others from famous artists that Nile has collaborated with.

“He was very engaging with the audience, and commented that he has beaten cancer twice and while he’s currently cancer-free, he’s still old AF!”

Nile Rodgers at Forest Hills Stadium. (Photo/Ed Paul)


Meanwhile, in the other direction, Old Dominion ripped it up at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

The multi-award-winning Nashville-based band is fronted by guitarist/vocalist Brad Tursi. Westporters know him as a 1997 graduate of Staples High School — and a former soccer star for the state finalist Wreckers.

Brad Tursi (left) with Old Dominion at Mohegan Sun. (Photo/Tom Scarice)


Here’s a truly cool event: Small Car Company’s annual Air-Cooled Charity Car Show on October 8 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Veterans Green; free, and family-friendly).

It’s a benefit to raise funds and awareness for 2 non-profits: Northeast Community Cycles (which provides bikes free of charge to underprivileged children) and the Bikeport Co-Op (a program where youth earn bikes by attending bike safety and maintenance courses, and performing volunteer hours with local organizations). 

The show features dozens of vintage Porsches, Volkswagens, Corvairs and other rare and special air-cooled cars and motorcycles from around the tri-state area.

In conjunction with the classic car show, Small Car Company  has partnered with Westport’s Total Training & Endurance for a bike tour, starting and finishing at Veterans Green. The $40 per rider cost includes a post-ride meal. Funds benefit Northeast Community Cycles and Bikeport Co-Op.

Small Car Company does other good work too — for example, hosting students who attend skilled trade auto-technology schools in a “Mentors & Motors” program during the show.

Students meet and learn from experienced mentors from many sectors of the automotive industry, including historic restoration, modern production automotive repair, sales, design, and photography.

Click here for more details.


The Gridiron Club has announced its 2023 inductees for the Staples High School Wall of Fame.

Congratulations to former players DJ Stefkovich (2006), Brian Levine (’06), Josh Kozel (’08), Matt Kelly (’09), Rob Gau (’11), James Frusciante (’13), Joey Zelkowitz (’13), Declan O’Keefe, plus Staples assistant principal James Farnen and Westport PAL football president and former PAL coach Carmen Roda.

Congratulations to all! The ceremony takes place November 3, at halftime of the Wreckers’ game against Trumbull.


Speaking of sports: The 10th annual Westport Police Benevolent Association Golf Tournament is October 23, at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull.

It’s a scramble format. Funds raised go to college scholarships for PBA members, as well as 2 to Staples High seniors who will pursue degrees in law enforcement.

The day includes raffles, and prizes for longest drive, closest to pin, closest to line, and the winning foursome.

Checks ($250 for one participant, $1,000 for a foursome) can be sent to Westport PBA Scholarship Fund, 50 Jesup Road, Westport, CT 06880. Questions? Call 203-803-0215, or email jlauria@westportct.gov.


Eleven Staples High School seniors have qualified as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Congratulations to Emerson Briggs, Leigh Foran, Dania Hemdan, Peter Loranger, Ellen Ou, Surya Rao, Jameson Russell, Ella Tobben, Elizabeth Turner, Darren T Weng and Gabriel Weng.

Fewer than 1 percent of the over 1.5 million students who took the PSAT/NMSQT qualifying exam will compete for 7,140 National Merit scholarships, worth more than $28 million.

National Merit semifinalists (from left): Leigh Foran, Emerson Briggs, Elizabeth Turner, Peter Loranger, Dania Hemdan,  Jameson Russell, Surya Rao, Darren Weng, Gabriel Weng, Ellen Ou. Missing: Ella Tobben.


Controversy continues to dog Dave McCormick.

On Thursday, the former Bridgewater CEO announced his candidacy for the Pennsylvania US Senate seat held by Democrat Bob Casey.

The Republican — born and raised near Pittsburgh — laid out his bona fides as a “7th-generation Pennsylvanian.”

But he also maintains a home on Beachside Avenue. And, critics say, that’s where he spends most of his time.

On Monday, as he sought the endorse of Doug Mastriano — the losing gubernatorial nominee last fall, who had considered a Senate run himself — flight records show that a plane co-owned by McCormick flew from Bridgeport to Harrisburg at 8:28 a.m. It returned to Connecticut that afternoon.

Click here for the Politico story. (Hat tip: Allan Siegert)

David McCormick


Sorelle Gallery’s next exhibition, “A Million Possibilities,” features new works by Connecticut artist Sofie Swann. It opens Friday (September 29), with a reception no Saturday (September 30, 3 to 5 p.m.).

Born in Iran, Swann’s abstract paintings are centered around her emotional response to experiences and memories, particularly her struggle to find a place to call home after being forced to leave Iran and immigrate to the US. For more information, click here.

Artwork by Sofie Swann.


Jay Babina earned “06880” fame as the founder/curator/mastermind of the great, creative and very wide-ranging Westport Tech Museum.

Today he returns as a contributing photographer for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Is there anything this teenager can’t do?!

(Photo/Jay Babina)


And finally … in honor of the debate over whether Dave McCormick really lives in Pennsylvania or Westport:

(Wherever you live, you know “06880” is your “home” for local journalism. Please support our work, by clicking here. Thank you!)



Roundup: Car Thefts, Police Reports, Cardiac Screening …

Andrew Colabella reports:

“Yesterday at 2:10 a.m., 2 vehicles were stolen out of a driveway in the Compo Beach/Hillspoint area. Keys were left in both cars.

“The thieves were flanked by another vehicle following, traveling at a high rate of speed circling the cul-de-sac multiple times trying to get out, waking up neighbors.

“At 3:42 a.m. they were seen on camera entering another driveway, looking into vehicles for any valuables.

“One car has been recovered.

“They’re known to be between the ages of 14-26, from the Waterbury/Torrington and New Haven areas, and carrying illegally obtained pistols.

“Reminder: Remove valuables from your vehicle at night, so they are not in plain sight. Lock your vehicles, whether in the driveway, garage or carport, at all times.

“Keep key fobs far from your vehicle, as they might be able to start it within only a short range of distance.

“If you see anything suspicious, call 911 or 203-341-6000.”

Car thieves in Westport don’t have to break in, or jimmy locks. By leaving doors unlocked, with keys in the ignition, we make things easy for them.


Speaking of police: Westport officers made 3 custodial arrests between September 6 and 13.

After a hit-and-run accident on Post Road East at Turkey Hill, an officer spotted the driver northbound on I-95. The driver was stopped at Exit 25, and charged with evading responsibility; operating an unregistered motor vehicle; driving with a suspended license; failure to register a motor vehicle; failure to drive right, and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

Following a complaint about a check that was stolen, altered and deposited, a man was charged with larceny, criminal attempt at larceny, and forgery.

After a traffic stop for going straight in the “left turn only” lane on Post Road West at Riverside Avenue, a man was charged with 2 counts of failure to appear, based on active re-arrest warrants in Bridgeport and Fairfield.

Westport Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations 11 citations
  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 5
  • Failure to obey traffic control signals 2
  • Failure to renew registration: 2
  • Traveling too fast for conditions: `
  • Unsafe passing: 1
  • Failure to comply with passing on the right side rules: 1
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 1
  • Failure to register a commercial vehicle: 1

An extreme case of unsafe passing.


Speaking still of police: They may soon be called to the corner of Post Road West and Riverside Avenue (see above) — not for failure to turn properly, but for this accident that is waiting to happen:

(Photo/Ken Warren)

Ken Warren — who took the photo — says, “I can loan them a level if they need it.”

They do.


The Westport Public Schools will offer free, confidential cardiac screening for students.

The voluntary event 14-point screener and EKG screen can identify risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest.

In A Heartbeat — a Connecticut nonprofit — will provide the screenings October 4 (3 to 7:30 p.m., Staples High School cafeteria). Parents will receive EKG results within 2 weeks. Click here to register.

Volunteers are needed for medical and non-medical duties. Email mike@inaheartbeat.org to help.


“06880” shies away from “rankings” stories.

They’re clickbait, and often based on arbitrary criteria. Besides, if (for example) our school system is #1 one year, and #2 the next, people push the panic button and wonder what the hell is wrong.

So I was about to delete the “World Atlas” rankings of “13 Small Towns in CT That Were Ranked Among US Favorites.”

But then I read the writeup. It’s bizarrely interesting. “World Atlas” writes:

There are many waterfront towns in Connecticut — and then there is Westport. This Connecticut treasure boasts the most ocean waterfront in Connecticut. So if you are looking for a blue-space gem, complete with refreshing breezes and beaches, look no further.

And it is not just about the oceanfront area. Westport also boasts the largest riverfront in the state. Aside from the serene waterfront vistas that define Westport and its sand-fringed beaches, Westport, unknown to many, is a bibliophile’s dream destination. It plays host to the Westport Library, for instance, the only 5-star library in the state.

Aside from this idyllic, one-of-a-kind community gem, you will love to spend an afternoon (or an evening) strolling through Westport’s Library Riverwalk and Garden, a stunning walkway that runs along the scenic Saugatuck River.

Here’s the photo that ran with the story. (Hat tip: Richard Stein)

(Photo courtesy of Miro Vrlik Photography)


The first event of the second season for Club 203 — Westport’s social group for adults with disabilities — is next Wednesday (September 20, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Toquet Hall).

Called “Reconnect, Renew & Karaoke Too,” it’s a chance to meet old friends, make new ones, and sing along.

Snacks are available ($1 to $3). The Westport Book Shop provides popcorn for all. (Parents can head over to the Book Shop for a “sip and chat” with artist Maj Kalfus). Click here to register.


One of the fall’s best events is Push Against Cancer.

It’s also one of the most strenuous.

And most worthwhile.

The 14th annual PAC takes place Sunday, October 15 at Staples High School’s Jinny Parker Field.

The all-fitness-level/all-ages event begins at 9 a.m. There are 2 registration types. A 40-minute family-friendly pushup event challenges individuals or groups to do as many push-ups as possible in 40 minutes. The contenders division is a competitive 1-hour pushup contest. Championship belts go to the male and female who complete the most pushups in an hour.

All proceeds benefit children with serious illnesses and their family members through The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Click here to register or donate, and for more information.

A small part of the Push Against Cancer.


Sorelle Gallery’s new exhibit showcases Connecticut artist Carol Young.

Her work explores America’s rural and coastal landscape, in energetic, vibrant and nostalgic ways.

Her paintings are on view from tomorrow (September 15) through the 24th. Carol Young’s original paintings will be on view through Sunday, September 24th. Click here for more information. Works by Carol Young


Totney Benson spotted this the other day:

(Photo/Totney Benson)

She writes: “A young man assembled these horseshoe crab carcasses today on the beach near the eastern end of Compo Beach. It’s molting season!”

And to the young carcass assembler: Smile! Your carcasses are today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.


And finally … Larry Chance, the leader of the classic doo-wop group the Earls — died last week in Florida. He was 82, and suffered from lung cancer. Click here for a full obituary.

(Remember: “06880” relies on reader’s contributions! Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)


Roundup: Downtown Parking, Remarkable Theater, Alcohol Sales …

Free parking is still available throughout downtown.

But — like before the pandemic — there will soon be some limits.

Yesterday, the Board of Selectwomen voted to bring back the pre-COVID regulations. With a tweak or two.

All “timed” town lots will now be 3 hours long, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The previous restrictions were 1 and 2 hours, depending on location.

553 public spots downtown will be limited to 3 hours. Another 800 or so remain unlimited.

Approximately 700 more spaces are in private parking lots.

The vote was 2-1. Selectwomen Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore favored the 3-hour plan, with Candice Savin opposed.

The new rules are effective September 1.

“Open parking” will remain in some areas of downtown — but not all.



The Board of Selectwomen yesterday agreed to a request from the Remarkable Theater to use the Imperial Avenue parking lot from August 28 through November 3.

This marks the 4th year for the popular Imperial Avenue pop-up drive-in. The “curtain rose” for the first 3 — beginning with the socially distanced season of 2020 — in late spring.

A schedule will be announced soon. Meanwhile, representatives of any organization interested in sponsoring a movie should contact Doug Tirola: doug@4throwfilms.com.


The July real estate report is out.

After years of COVID-fueled frothy growth, trends appear to be leveling, according to Judy Michaelis.

Some July 2023 statistics, with July 2022 (in parentheses) for comparison:

  • New listings: 40 (48)
  • Number of properties for sale: 97 (124)
  • Number of properties sold: 53 (48)
  • Average days on market: 61 (55)
  • Average list price: $3,023,148 ($2,752,077)
  • Median list price: $2,450,000 (2,137,500)
  • Sales price/list price ratio: 103.8% (105.4%)
  • Average sales price per square foot: $574 ($726)

Click here for a full report. (Hat tip: Judy Michaelis)

The most expensive property for sale in Westport right now is this 9-bedroom, 8 1/2-bathroom, 10,959-square foot home on 3 acres, at 50 Sylvan Road North. It is listed for $3.9 million.


Westport Police made 3 custodial arrests between August 9 and 16.

A man at the International Wine Shop was charged with illegal sale of alcohol to a minor after 2 18-year-olds were seen leaving the store after making a purchase. He confirmed he had not checked identification of the buyer.

An investigation into the theft of a motor vehicle and credit cards led to charges of larceny, payment card theft, illegal transfer, fraud, forgery, illegal use of a payment card and identity theft.

A woman was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear.

Westport Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 5 citations
  • Failure to obey traffic control signal: 3
  • Failure to renew registration: 2
  • Distracted driving: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 1
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1

Off-limits to anyone under 21.


Speaking of police: Around 4:44 p.m. on August 7, Awesome Toys reported the theft of a “Traxxas” truck and art supplies.

Captured on film, the suspect appears to be 6-2, 220 pounds.

Four days later, on August 11, the same man returned. He filled 2 large bags with items, and left without paying.

Suspect in Awesome Toys theft.

Westport Police ask for help identifying the suspect.  Email swongwon@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-6080.


Two Connecticut residents died after contracting infections from a flesh-eating bacteria that can be caused by eating raw oysters or swimming in saltwater, the New York Times reports. A third person survived.

“Infections from the bacteria, called Vibrio vulnificus, are rare but extremely dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five people who become infected die. Many survivors lose limbs to amputations, according to the C.D.C.”

People with open wounds should avoid swimming in warm seawater. Those with compromised immune systems should be careful eating or handling raw seafood.

Vibriosis is caused by a bacteria found in salt water, during warm weather. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and chills, slong with ear infections, sepsis and life-threatening wound infections.

Two of the state victims had open cuts, in Long Island Sound. A third became sick after eating raw oysters, though not at a restaurant here. Their towns were not identified.

As ocean temperatures rise, infections may spread.

The Times notes,”Connecticut has seen a few cases in recent years. One person died of a Vibrio vulnificus infection in the state in 2019. In 2020, five cases were reported; all recovered. The people who became infected had open wounds and were exposed to salt or brackish water.”

Inspectors have never detected the infection in Connecticut’s commercial oysters. Click here for the full story.


Speaking of the Times: Its “Ethicist” column often tackles thorny issues.

Yesterday’s will resonate with many Westporters. A reader wrote:

I live on Cape Cod, and I have recently noticed something of a current trend in which beachgoers claim valuable (and sometimes scarce) real estate by arriving several hours early to set up chairs, blankets and umbrellas before leaving to return (in some cases several hours later) to eventually move into their pre-claimed territory.

I always thought that you had to be on hand to occupy some piece of public space. Does an empty chair or blanket constitute actual occupancy? Do such phantom claims have any merit? Would someone have the right to ignore such maneuvers by removing these chairs or blankets? If so, what should be the response to the claimant who might return to find their items no longer claiming possession? 

“The Ethicist” replied:

The aim of such public space is to allow as many people as possible to make the proper use of it. That aim is undermined by absentee claims that prevent others from enjoying a spot on the beach for extended periods. It’s fine to leave evidence of occupancy if you’re just going off to get an ice cream, say, or to visit a restroom. If you do this, though, it might be wise to leave an explanatory note. (“10:15, buying a snack, back by 10:45.”) That’s within the spirit of the social convention. But your beach-blanket buccaneers are abusing this convention and effectively privatizing what should be public.

At the same time, moving other people’s things isn’t to be done lightly. You’ll certainly want to be sure that their owners haven’t just stepped away for an acceptable interval. The social conventions about claiming areas in these public settings are not, of course, precise. Half an hour or so strikes me as a good marker in most such circumstances, but take a poll among people you know. If the beach-spot hogs return while you’re around, you can show them where their possessions are and tell them that you waited for a while and assumed they were not returning. (Should you ever mistakenly displace a bathroom-breaker, you should apologize and immediately cede the spot.)

It’s best when these issues can be settled through social, rather than statutory, means. Certain beach towns in Spain, I’ll note, punish such infractions with stiff fines on beach-spot hogs; the Italian Coast Guard has even seized unattended towels, umbrellas and chairs, holding them until their owners pay a penalty. Let’s hope that at your beach, norms and social sanctions will eventually suffice to discourage these parasol-planting land-grabbers.

Remember that the next time you’re heading to the fireworks.

Or — on any day — thinking of reserving one of those South Beach picnic tables that say (quite clearly) “Tables May Not Be Reserved.” (Hat tip: Jay Petrow)

Reserving early spots for the fireworks, 2018. The arms race has grown substantially since then. (Photo/Doris Ghitelman)


Tomorrow (Friday, August 18) is the opening for Sorelle Gallery’s “On View” exhibition, with abstract artist Deborah T. Colter.

The Martha’s Vineyard-based artist layers found materials, handmade paper, paint, and other media to create abstract collages.

The show is open Tuesday through Saturday (10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays noon to 4 p.m.). Click here for more information.

Deborah T. Colter’s “On View,” at Sorelle Gallery.


Westporters love the ornamental plantings at Grace Salmon Park.

It’s also now home to this zucchini. Perhaps it wandered over from the Farmers’ Market, next door on Imperial Avenue?

However it got there, it’s a great image for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Peggy O’Halloran)


And finally … today marked the penultimate day for the 1969 Woodstock festival.

Were you there? If so, click “Comments” below to share memories!

Meanwhile, enjoy 3 of the most famous performances from this day, 54 years ago:

(You may have missed Woodstock. But you don’t have to miss a chance to support “06880.” Please click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Cannabis, Lynsey Addario, Y Selfies …

Grow your own.

Starting today, Connecticut residents 21 and older can grow marijuana at home. Plants should be kept indoors, away from children and pets and not visible to the public.

There are limits: 3 mature and 3 immature plants, and no more than 12 plants per household.

Connecticut legalized adult-use cannabis in July 2021. Recreational sales began in January. For a full CT Mirror story, click here.


Lynsey Addario is featured in tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine.

The Staples High School Class of 1991 graduate/Pulitzer Prize- and MacArthur Fellow winner photographed, videoed and wrote the text for “A Boy’s Life on the Front Lines.”

It’s a tragically inspiring and moving account of an 11-year-old Ukrainian, navigating a childhood transformed by war.

But you don’t have to wait until tomorrow. Click here for the raw reality of one young life, in a brutal war that rages still. (Hat tips: John Hartwell and Roberta Wise)

Life amid the rubble. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)


Miggs Burroughs has been a Westport Weston Family YMCA member for decades.

He hasn’t been around as long as the Y itself. But the award-winning artist is helping the community organization celebrate its 100-year anniversary, with a fun, engaging “This is My Y” selfie project.

To take part, take a selfie (or have someone snap a photo of you) while you are in or around the Y — a spot where you would say, ‘This is my Y.” Shooting hoops, pumping iron, doing Pilates, swimming — it’s all good.

Then email it to 100years@westporty.org. The deadline is August 4.

NOTE: Please send high-quality images(largest/actual size). And please don’t include other people’s faces in your photo.

Not a selfie — but a celebration of one of the Y’s many activities.


Another important institution — the Westport Country Playhouse — hosts “Summer Thrillers: A Mystery Author Discussion” — as part of its second summer production, “Dial M for Murder.”

Mystery authors Christin Brecher, Edwin Hill and Andrea Penrose will discuss the mysteries of mystery writing on July 9 (2 p.m., WCP barn; free with reservation — click here).

There’s time for an audience Q-and-A. Books will be on sale, with authors available for signing.

“Dial M for Murder” — the classic suspense thriller about a devious husband, his wealthy wife and her lover — runs July 11 through 29. Click here for more information, and tickets.


The new sculpture on Soundview Drive has drawn interest — and praise — from the many folks who stroll the beach exit road.

It was moved earlier this week’s from the owner’s previous home, in Greenwich. Here’s a nighttime view:


Speaking of Soundview Drive:

Every year at the fireworks, thousands of Westporters have fun walking and biking up and down the beach exit road.

Closed to traffic, with parties up and down (and in the middle of) the street, it’s a bit like Venice Beach in California (Westport-style).

Every year, I wonder — right here on “06880” — why we can’t do this more often. Wouldn’t it be great, I ask, if on 2 or 3 Sundays every year, Soundview is closed to vehicles? Bands could play. Jugglers could juggle; face painters could face paint. Everyone would have a blast.

Every year, people say “What a cool idea!”

And every year, there’s no follow up.

So, here’s my challenge: If you’d like to explore the idea of closing Soundview Drive to traffic a couple of times each summer, click “Comments” below. Or email 06880blog@gmail.com.

Hopefully, other Westporters think this is a “sound” idea.

Strolling along Soundview Drive. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The other day, Richard Hyman spotted several Mylar balloons near the Sherwood Island State Park shore.

“They bring short-term joy, but long-term pain: to animals that mistakenly eat them and die.” he says.

To learn more, he offers this link to a non-profit group, Balloons Blow.

A danger to nature. (Photo/Richard Hyman)


Sorelle Gallery’s next exhibition, “Kaleidoscope,” features new artwork by Connecticut artists Kelly Rossetti and Alina B. It opens Thursday (July 7), with a reception the next day (Friday, July 8, 3 to 5 p.m.).

Click here for more information.

Two works in Sorelle Gallery’s upcoming “Kaleidoscope” exhibition.


Robert Perliss died Wednesday. He was 96.

The Brooklyn Polytech graduate spent a long career in space exploration, most notably as a senior engineer on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope under Perkin-Elmer. He was honored by the Goddard Space Flight Center for his contributions to the success of the HST.

He also served as an engineer on the KH-9 Hexagonal and inception of the Kitt Peak Observatory, one of the largest solar telescopes in the world.

Bob was a long-time member of Temple Israel, and an active contributor to libraries in Westport and Norwalk. He donated extensive documents on the Hubble program.

Bob was good friends with New York comic writers Jerry Marcus, Orlando Busino, Dana Fradon and more. He was very proud of the superheroes created by family members Martin Goodman and Stan Lee.

Bob is survived by wife, Ruth-Anne; children Steve (Jolie Chan), Leora Freedman (Eric); stepdaughters Jody Melissa and Lorraine Ring, and grandchildren Nessiya, Molly-Anne, Ila, Claire, and Alec.

Bob Perliss


Westport has plenty of great breakfast spots.

This osprey headed home the other day, past the library, after picking up a meal for the family. It didn’t stop — but Ellen Patafio captured the “Westport … Naturally” image well.

(Photo/Ellen Patafio)


And finally … as Connecticut residents are now able to legally grow marijuana at home:

(After you finish planting your own cannabis [see story above], please consider a contribution to “06880.” Just click here — and thank you!)

Roundup: Metro-North, Super-Duper Weenies, All-Terrain Wheelchair …

The Connecticut Legislature could cut up to $40 million from the $267 million the state pays to fund Metro-North’s New Haven line.

That would slice the number of daily trains from 309 to 260. Both peak and off-peak service would be affected.

Click here for the full New York Daily News story. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)


Club 203 had a super-duper time last night.


The Super Duper Weenie Truck) fed over 100 attendees, at Longshore’s Evan Harding Point picnic area.

The group — part of Westport’s social organizations for adults with disabilities — enjoying dancing, dining, dessert, yard games, art with MOCA, and relaxing, all with great views of Long Island Sound.

Organizers give a shoutout too to their “super-duper volunteers.”

Club 203’s next event is June 15 (6:30 to 8 p.m.), at the Westport Library. Click here for details.

Club 203 fun at Longshore. (Photo/Jacqueline Lobdell)


Wakeman Town Farm is a fantastic resource for people of all ages and interests.

Now, it’s accessible to those with mobility issues.

The Westport Garden Club recently donated funds for a Fold & Go all-terrain electric wheelchair. It’s been delivered, just in time for the spring/summer season.

People with limited mobility, or their friends or relatives, should email  education@wakemantownfarm.org before a visit. The Farm’s dducation coordinator will have the wheelchair waiting.

From left: Kelle Ruden, Joan Andrews and Ginger Donaher, with the all-terrain wheelchair at Wakeman Town Farm.


Visitors to yesterday’s Westport Farmers’ Market enjoyed great weather; the usual wide variety of food, herbs and more — and a “Ducks in Buckets” game.

The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club was there, promoting their annual Great Duck Race.

$10,000.00 in prize money will be given away; the grand prize winner gets $5,000 of it. All proceeds go to charities.

The annual fundraiser is Saturday, June 24 at Jesup Green. Attendance is free. Tickets to compete are available online; at the Farmers’ Market next Thursday (July 1); from any club member, and the day of the race.  

Pitching in for the Great Duck Race, at the Farmers’ Market.


Climate change and racial justice are key issues.

And they’re related. Environmental impacts cross borders. They affect every group of citizens.

On June 1 (7 p.m., Westport Library), Roosevelt Institute director of climate policy Rhiana Gunn-Wright will explore the connections between environmental justice and racial justice. Her talk is called “Just Transitions to Regional Sustainability.”

The event is part of a Saugatuck Congregational Church initiative to “embrace our coastal community” and is a partnership with the Library, TEAM Westport, and Sustainable Westport. Click here for more information.

Rhiana Gunn-Wright


“06880” usually bird dogs new businesses.

But we missed the arrival recently of Birddogs.

The mens’ shorts/pants/polo shirts shop is open in Brooks Corner. It’s their 3rd brick-and-mortar store. The others are in New York City and Short Hills, New Jersey.

Click here for their minimalist website. Or check them out for yourself.

(Photo and hat tip/Stacey Henske)


Coming soon at the Westport Country Playhouse:

A reading of the comedy “Quick Service” as part of the New Works series (June 5, 7 p.m.; meet the playwright and director afterward). All tickets are $25. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

A “Script in Hand” play reading of Agatha Christie’s “The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd” (June 12, 7 p.m.). All tickets are $25. Click here to purchase, and for more information.


A longtime tradition continued this morning.

A group of dads gathered at 5:30 a.m. to install a water slide for Kings Highway Elementary School’s field day.

At 100 feet long and 50 feet wide, that’s no easy task.

Even harder, no doubt, will be wrestling it — big and wet — back into its original packaging.

Great weather for a water slide!


Sorelle Gallery on Church Lane showcases Daniel Pollera and Michele Poirier-Mozzone, from June 2 through 24.

He focuses on land and seascapes, while she paints soft, fragmented figures from underwater vantage points. Both explore themes of water and light, and the relationship between them.

Click here for more information.

Artwork by Daniel Pollera


Speaking of art: Around the corner from Sorelle, in Sconset Square, Vanessa Lewis’ recently relocated her Penfield Collective “retail concept” (I’m assuming that means “store”) from Fairfield.

Now there’s a new addition, right outside.

Donna Forma’s sculpture has been installed at the door. Made of laminated walnut, it has been treated to become weather resistant.

The new artwork is all in the family. Lewis is Forma’s daughter.

Donna Forma’s sculpture.


Summer is near. Which means more and more beachgoers will see sights like this — today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)

Horseshoe crabs are fascinating creatures. Scary, ugly, primordial, they send a strong message: “Stay away. This is our beach. We were here first.”

We walk warily past them.

Unless you’re a kid. In which case you pick them up, with a combination of courage and awe.


And finally … Rolf Harris, the Australian singer whose “Tie Me Kangaroo  Down, Sport” was a huge novelty hit, but whose long career on British television ended when he was convicted of sexually abusing teenage girls — died earlier this month in England. He was 93.

Click here for a full obituary.

(Celebrate Memorial Day weekend the traditional way: with a contribution to “06880.” Please click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Suzanne Sherman Propp, Post-High School Plans, Teens Work …

Suzanne Sherman Propp came to her current gig — a very popular Greens Farms Elementary School music teacher — after a long career as a performer. (She learned her craft growing up in Westport, and as a Staples High School student.)

Suzanne Sheridan is a longtime resident, and well-known musician too. She recently started the “First Folk Sunday” series at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399.

People sometimes confuse the 2 Suzannes.

A week from tomorrow — May 7, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. — Suzanne Sherman Propp headlines Suzanne Sheridan’s First Folk Sunday.

She’ll be joined by Bob Cooper. Her husband, Peter Propp, will bring his mandolin for a few tunes.

There’s brunch, and a cash bar (including mimosas and make-your-own Bloody Marys). The cover is $10; click here for tickets.

Suzanne Sherman Propp and Peter Propp.


Staples High School’s counseling department does a great job helping seniors get into college.

But they’re just as focused on supporting students considering paths other than traditional 4-year degrees.

“Finding Your Path: Exploring Post-High School Options” (May 9, 6:30 p.m., Westport Library) features representatives from the military, community college, vocational school, and gap and postgraduate programs.

Local graduates who pursued those paths will be there too, to talk about their experiences and answer quesitons.

Students of all ages, and their families, are invited.

2011 Staples graduate Asia Bravo joined the military — and was accepted into its new Space Force program. She is shown here with B. Chance Saltzman, director of space operations.


Middle and high school students looking to make money through outdoor yard work this spring and summer can join Westport’s Department of Human Services “We Do Walkways” program.

It’s a great way to connect teenagers with senior citizens. The suggested minimum is $15 an hour; chores are limited to outside.

Students must complete an enrollment form and receive parental permission to participate. Contact Westport’s Department of Human Services at 203-341-1050 or email humansrv@westportct.gov with questions.

Seniors can join the “We Do Walkway” list by calling Human Services at 203-341-1050 or emailing humansrv@westportct.gov.

Teenagers: lend a hand!


Author, author!

This Thursday (May 4, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.), the Westport Senior Center hosts a “Meet the Authors” event.

More than a dozen local authors will discuss their books, in an informal questions. They’ll sell and sign them too. Light refreshments will be served.

Scheduled to appear: Winston Allen, Jill Amadio, Ronald Blumenfeld, Prill Boyle, Elaine Breakstone, Don Harrison, Scott Kuhner, Deborah Levinson, Diane Lowman, Allia Zobel Nolan, Penny Pearlman, Mark Perlman, Deborah Quinn, Lynn Ellen Russo, Patricia Sabena, Sue Stewart, Elizabeth Thomas Jean Marie Wiesen.

Prill Boyle is among the many excellent authors at the Senior Center. (Photo/Suzanne Sheridan)


Harbor Watch needs a new boat.

The Earthplace-based organization — which for decades has monitored and restored local waterways — must get a new vessel, for research and education programs. It is imperative to maintain their biological and chemical data.

Tickets are on sale for their “Cocktails & Clams” fundraiser (June 10, 5 to 7 p.m.). The Copps Island Oysters location in Norwalk offers an unlimited and very fresh raw bar, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, live jazz, silent auction — and spectacular views of Long Island Sound.

Tickets are $200 each; click here. Sponsorships are available too; click here. To donate for the new boat, click here.


Reminder: The launch party for “Pick of the Pics” — the “06880” book highlighting over 100 of our blog’s best Pics of the Day — is tomorrow (sunday, April 30, 2 to 4 p.m., Savvy + Grace, 146 Main Street).

Books will be available for purchase at a special price of $20 (regular Amazon price: $24.95).

I’ll sign copies; so will Lyah Muktavaram, my “06880” intern who did 99% of the work on it.

Photographers featured in the book can pick up a free book at the launch party too.

Can’t make it? Click here to order!


Speaking of books:

After a great run in Saugatuck, Fairfield County Story Lab is moving.

On Monday, the popular workplace for writers leaves its 21 Charles Street top-floor space for 95 Mill Plain Road, in the Fairfield Arts District.

They have to give up their prime Saugatuck spot for an equally great site a few miles east. They’ll still be near plenty of restaurants, right near a train station and I-95.

Fairfield County Story Lab offers a free work day for writers and creatives (and a free week for former members). Call 203-374-8343 for more details.


Yesterday’s weather was forgettable.

But one couple will always remember it.

They got married — in the wind and intermittent rain — by the Compo Beach cannons.

Congratulations to the new bridge and groom — whoever you are!

(Photo/Gara Morse)


The Westport Weston Family YMCA’s 100th anniversary celebration continues, with a yoga fundraiser May 11 (10 to 11 a.m.).

100 participants in a “Breath, Body & Balance” class at the Mahackeno Outdoor Center will be led by Greg Barringer.

There’s a $100 registration fee/donation per person. Funds go to the Y’s Financial Assistance Program, serving under-resourced families and those in need.

Participants get a high-quality 100-year anniversary yoga mat, and a flower from Blossom +Stem. Click here to register.


Members of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston, and spouses, toured Stamford’s 400,000-square foot world headquarters of NBC Sports this week.

It was an eye-opening, behind-the-scenes look at all that goes into a telecast that most of us take for granted.

Tour guide Terri Leopold shows off the NBC Sports facility. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Sorelle Gallery’s new exhibition, “Connected Layers,” features abstract artists Julia Contacessi and Teodora Guererra.

It opens Friday (May 5, 19 Church Lane), with a reception set for Saturday (May 6, 3 to 6 p.m.). Click here for more information.

Julia Contacessi


Westporters know Ed Gerber for his preservation work around town.

He’s also a trustee of Historic New England. In that role, he’s sponsoring a “Connecticut Preservation at Work” speaker series.

The free event kicks off June 2 (2 p.m., Metro Art Studios, 345 Railroad Avenue, Bridgeport) with speeches by the co-owners and developers of historic Crown Corset Factory, Bridgeport’s director of business development and more. For more information, click here.

Ed Gerber


It will rain all day today. And tomorrow.

So here’s a “Westport … Naturally” photo — taken a couple of days ago — to remind us all that the weather here has been pretty good this spring.

And remember: April showers bring May flowers.

The calendar guarantees that April showers end tomorrow night.

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)


And finally … April 29 is Eeyore’s birthday. He’s 40 today — and every day.

What a life!

(Our “06880” Roundup tells you what’s going on in Westport — today, and every day. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: ABC, Easter Eggs, Yankees …

Last night’s A Better Chance of Westport “Dream Event” was everything a fundraising gala should be.

The venue was exciting (Pinstripes at the SoNo Collection). There was plenty of food, but no sit-down dinner, so there everyone mingled. Silent auction items were fresh, and fun.

Best of all: The speeches were few, but deeply meaningful. Several alumni of the program — which brings students of color from underserved schools to Westport, where they attend Staples High School and give back to the community as much as they get — returned for the 20th annual event.

ABC grads live all across the country now. They’re establishing (or in the middle of!) their own careers, starting their own families.

But nearly a dozen of them spent yesterday at Glendarcy House, speaking with and mentoring the current scholars (who also were guests at the gala).

Three — Savion Agard (Staples Class of 2007, Cornell University ’11), Luis Cruz (SHS ’15, Boston College ’19) and Adrian Belvitt (SHS ’16, Colgate University ’20) — spoke passionately about the generosity of Westporters, and the impact the program made on them.

Yet it was clear from the night that A Better Chance makes at least a strong impact on our community.

To learn more about ABC (and donate), click here.

A Better Chance of Westport alumni, at last night’s Dream Event fundraiser. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Yesterday’s United Methodist Church Easter Egg hunt was so much fun, they’re doing it again — today (Sunday, 2 p.m., 49 Weston Road).

Everyone is invited to “Rabbit Hill.” (Yes, that’s the legit name. The previous owner of the property was Robert Lawson — author/illustrator of the beloved children’s series.)

Yesterday’s United Methodist Church Easter Egg hunt.


The New York Yankees are winners, on and off the field.

They’ve arranged for a portion of ticket sales from their June games against the Texas Rangers to benefit Pink Aid.

For more than a decade, the organization has provided support, resources and emergency financial assistance to underserved breast cancer patients and their families. Pink Aid has helped more than 20,000 patients throughout Connecticut and 38 other states.

The games are June 23 (7:05 p.m.), 24 (4:05 p.m.) and 25 (1:35 p.m.). Tickets include 1 hot dog, a drink and baseball cap. Click here to reserve a seat.


Steve Lillywhite —  whose record producing credits include the Rolling Stones, U2, the Dave Matthew Band, Phish, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, the Psychedelic Furs, XTC, Morrissey, the Pogues, Guster, the Killers and more — regaled a large VersoFest crowd yesterday with tales from his long career.

The conversation — with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club founder Chris Frantz — was one of the highlights of Day 3 of the music-and-media Westport Library event.

Among Lillywhite’s remarks: Our Weston neighbor Keith Richards is one of the “most bohemian people” he know. The Rolling Stone guitarist may wake up at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. “It doesn’t matter. He’s good with that.”

Steve Lillywhite, Chris Frantz, and some of the record producer’s work, at the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum. (Photo and hat tip/Dinkin Fotografix)

In the evening Frantz interviewed Richard Butler, lead singer of the Psychedelic Furs (and now an accomplished artist).

That session also served as this year’s Malloy Lecture on the Arts.

Richard Butler and Chris Frantz (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

Also at VersoFest yesterday: A workshop on the Grateful Dead’s 1974 wall of sound, with a 1/20th-to-scale working version. The model was led by its creator, former Weston resident Anthony Coscia.

Attendees made their own speakers, after learning about the evolution of sound and the need for better amplification for larger and larger venues in the 1960s.

The Wall of Sound, and workshop participants. (Photo and hat tip/Matthew Mandell)

VersoFest concludes today (Sunday), with a record fair and panel, workshops on audio and hip hop, an Alice Cooper documentary and artifacts exhibit, the Wall of Sound scale model, and more. Click here for a full schedule.


Easter and Passover are almost here, so let’s think about … Mother’s Day!

It’s May 14. And Wakeman Town Farm offers handmade bouquets (not, they emphasize, “supermarket flowers.”

Each spring bouquet comes in a Mason jar tied with gray leather criss-cross cord, designed by Sarah Shaw Floral Design exclusively for WTF.

Orders will be taken through May 3. Pickup is Saturday, May 6, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Farm

A portion of the proceeds supports Wakeman Town Farm programs. Click here to order.

Say it with flowers.


The Democratic Women of Westport’s Souper Luncheon is a decades-long tradition.

On Friday, they celebrated with a twist. Pippa Adler and Dawn Sullivan —  who coordinate Sustainable Westport’s Zero Food Waste Challenge — helped them create a planet-friendly event.

The pair told the DWW to avoid plastic water bottles and plastic wrap (use pitchers, real glasses and aluminum foil). No disposable plates — just old-fashioned glass or ceramic ones.

Paper napkins were okay if they were compostable — and the compost bag should be nearby, for any (minimal) food waste.

DWW ordered branded refillable mugs made partly out of wheat straw (a wheat byproduct that typically gets treated as waste). Guests were encouraged to use them as part of Sustainable Westport’s “Refill Not Landfill” program at local coffee shops.

There were even reusable magnetic name tags.

This year’s guest was Secretary of the State (and Norwalk resident) Stephanie Thomas. She discussed her first few months in office, encouraged advocacy for important issues — plugged green businesses.

Democratic Women of Westport members Sherry Gordon, Candice Savin and Lee Goldstein, with magnetic name tags.


Longtime Westporter Rita Leyden died last month, at 85.

private family ceremony on Compo Beach to honor Tom and Rita Leyden, their four granddaughters walked across Soundview Drive toward Fairfield Avenue in a familiar style.

On Thursday, family members gathered at Compo Beach to honor her and her late husband Tom.

Afterwards, their 4 granddaughters walked across Soundview Drive, toward the Leydens’ Fairfield Avenue home of nearly 55 years, in familiar fashion.

(From left): Abby Paul, Dahlia Leyden, Megan Paul, Livy Leyden.


André DeShields — a Tony Award winner for “Hadestown”– highlights a Westport Country Playhouse Sunday Symposium, following the April 16 matinee of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” He’ll discuss the significance and history of the Tony Award-winning show.

DeShields was an original Broadway cast member of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” He also performed on its 1982 television broadcast and won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement.

The Symposium is free, and open to the public (click here to register). It will begin around 5 p.m. Performance tickets are not needed to attend.


For years, TAP Strength has been many things to (and for) many people.

The downtown center offers personal training, soft tissue therapy, injury prevention, injury recovery, circuit training, performance coaching, mobility and stretching. They also just hosted CPR classes for Westport EMS.

Now they’ve added yoga and sound bath classes.

The schedule includes a Wednesday night yoga class beginning April 12 (6 to 7 p.m.), and regular sound bath meditations..

To sign up for classes, performance coaching and therapy, or for more information, click here.

Questions? Email Nancy@tapstrength.com, or call 203-292-9353.


Sorelle Gallery’s new exhibit, On View, opens Friday (April 7).

Three artists are featured: Linda Bigness, Tony Iadicicco and Nealy Hauschildt.

Their works ranges from Bigness’ floral encaustic paintings using beeswax, damar resin, and pigment, to Iadicicco’s work with thin layers of oil paint, and Hauschildt’s watercolor paper.

The show runs through April 29. Click here for more information.

Sorelle Gallery show.


Jazz comes to MoCA Westport on April 21 (7 p.m.).

Sax player Eddie Barbash brings his unique sound — and string quartet — for the evening.

Tickets are $40; $25 for students and seniors. MoCA members receive a 15% discount. Click here to reserve.

Eddie Barbash


Now that dogs are banned from the beach, dinosaurs may take over.

This one was spotted yesterday, at Compo. It’s the first one we’ve featured on “Westport … Naturally.”

Hey … once upon a time, they roamed the earth.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)


And finally … Keith Reid — the lyricist of “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” and many other deep and dramatic songs by Procol Harum — last week in London. He was 76, and had battled cancer.


Roundup: Ukraine, Sound Barriers, Trash …

Save the date: Sunday, July 9.

The Ukrainian American Club of Southport — adjacent to the I-95 northbound entrance ramp — is the site of a “thank you” party for Westport’s help with our new sister city of Lyman, Ukraine.

In 3 weeks, we raised $252,000. Funds have paid for building materials, communication equipment, trash and police trucks, meals, holiday gifts and more.

The July 9 event will be a day of music, food and fellowship. There will be plenty of opportunities to donate too — the need in Lyman is ongoing — but all are welcome.

More details coming soon.

Slava Ukraini!


The New York Times marked today’s 1-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine with a retrospective of photos — and the memories of the men and women who took them.

Two Staples High School graduates — both Pulitzer Prize winners — are included.

Lynsey Addario (Staples ’91) stunned the world with this photo, in March:

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for New York Times)

She says:

In war, anything can change in a moment. Leading up to this photograph, mothers were running with their children from the Irpin bridge across my viewfinder toward the relative safety of Kyiv. Mortar rounds were coming in, urgency was in everyone’s step. Pink and blue puffy coats passed with rolling luggage. Surely the Russians wouldn’t target a civilian evacuation route?

But each round came a little closer, bracketing onto desperate people fleeing for their lives. And then I saw a flash, heard the crash and felt the impact from a wave of air being compressed in an explosion that smashed into our bodies as we dived for cover.

The aftermath will stay with me forever. When we stood up, my neck was sprayed with gravel. I asked my colleague Andriy if I was bleeding. “No,” he said. It was dusty and chaotic. We couldn’t see across to the other side of the street, so we didn’t know that a mother, her two children and a church volunteer had been killed. Somehow, we had been spared.

Tyler Hicks (Staples ’88) took this image in November:

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

He writes:

Bakhmut, in the eastern Donbas region, began last year as the home of about 70,000 people. Over the year of war, I’ve watched the fighting chew this city apart, as both sides have thrown masses of troops and weaponry into desperate attempts to control it.

In the earlier months it was always tense, but there were still civilians on the streets; Ukrainians, particularly in the east, have learned to live in the shadow of war. On this visit, it had reached a clear turning point in its militarization.

This armored vehicle passed me as I was leaving a military hospital, and the faces of the soldiers seemed to represent what has taken shape in the city’s shell: a relentless determination to fight.

Click here for all the Times photos, and photographers’ comments.


Want to sound off on sound barriers?

This Monday, (February 27, 11 a.m.), the Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee holds a public hearing on Bill #6745. The proposed legislation addresses a statewide plan for the installation of sound barriers. (Click here for the full bill.)

To register to speak about the proposal, click click here. To submit written testimony about it, click here. To watch the hearing, click here(Hat tip: State Senator Tony Hwang)

Sound barrier under construction on I-95 in Darien.


Last week’s trash pick-up at Westport Animal Control was successful.

But there’s still more to do be done on Elaine Road (Compo Road South, between I-95 and the train tracks).

Elaine Road serves as the entrance to the water sewage treatment plant, and public access for boat and kayak launches, along with Animal Control. It attracts plenty of I-95 trash too, from vehicles and their irresponsible drivers and passengers.

All volunteers are welcome on March 5 (11 a.m.). Bring garbage bags, and dress appropriately.

Questions? Email acolabellartm4@gmail.com.

Elaine Road.


Speaking of pitching in: Yesterday was Police Chief Foti Koskinas’ birthday.

Westport’s top cop leads a department of 64 uniformed officers. In his spare time, he pitches in wherever he can around town.

Here’s a typical shot: Police Chief Koskinas helping clean garbage from the I-95 hill, in Saugatuck. It was Sunday — his day off. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)


The Y’s Women had a 2-fer yesterday. They enjoyed a pair of Westport treasures: the Westport Public Art Collections and MoCA.

The women enjoyed a private tour of the museum’s current exhibition, “Paul Camacho: El Ritmo y La Unidad” (which closes Sunday). Camacho was active in Westport’s art life in the 1960s and ’70s.

MoCA also shows 20 other abstractionists, including Alexander Calder and Robert Motherwell. All are from WestPAC’s holdings of more than 1,800 works.

Because most of their art is in schools and town buildings — not always available to the public — the Y’s Women were thrilled to see so many outstanding works. (Hat tip: Jilda Manikas)

Y’s Women at MoCA. (Photo/Leslie LaSala)


Also yesterday: Dr. Winston Allen drew a large crowd to the Westport Museum for History & Culture.

The longtime Westport resident spoke about — and signed — his new book,  “I Pried Open Wall Street in 1962.”

Dr. Winston Allen, last night at the Westport Museum for History & Culture. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Sorelle Gallery’s first “On View” feature of the year opens March 3. Artists Ned Martin and Pete Sack will be showcased on the main wall of the Church Lane gallery, through March 25.

Both artists create abstracted work with an emphasis on color and geometric design elements.

To learn more about the artists and the show, click here.

Hanging the Sorelle Gallery show.


Speaking of art: George Billis Gallery may have moved to Fairfield (1700 Post Road). B

But the upcoming spring show is true to its Westport roots.

Local resident Dala Najarian is one of the 8 featured artists — and it was curated by fellow Westporter Amy Zoller.

Najarian works in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylics, mixed media and oils. A passionate photographer, her Shadow Series merges the realistic quality of a photo with the abstract translation of a scene, to depict a dreamlike painting.

The opening is March 2 (5 to 8 p.m.). It runs through April 16.

“Jewel Shadows” — oil on canvas (Dale Najarian)


It may not have been a long, brutal winter. (Sorry, Buffalo and Minnesota.)

But, like clockwork, we’re headed toward that ugliest time of the year: the not-quite-end-of-winter-but-not-yet-start-of-spring.

Still, there’s a certain kind of stark beauty to the season. Frank Sisson captured this “Westport … Naturally” scene at Winslow Park:

(Photo/Frank Sisson)


And finally … today is both Rupert Holmes’ 76th birthday, and World Bartender Day. So of course:

(If you like pina coladas — drink up! If you like “06880” — please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

Roundup: I-95, Bistro du Soleil, Grease …

Work has begun at Riverside Avenue, by I-95 Exit 17.

State crews are removing trees and flattening the cloverleafs inside the off-ramps. It’s preparation for building a temporary new bridge, for use during the reconstruction project, one side at a time. (Hat tip: Whit Cooper)

(Photos/Whit Cooper)


Meanwhile around the corner in Saugatuck, Bistro du Soleil has closed.

The good news: The popular Mediterranean-with-French-flair restaurant on Riverside Avenue between Tutti’s and the train station, is moving to a larger space in Greenwich.

The website says: “We’ve enjoyed such lovely memories in Westport and are overwhelmed with all the love and continued support we’re receiving. We are so happy and cheerful for the opportunity to renovate another costume bistro, wine bar and gallery! We can’t wait to see you all in 2023!”

They’ll still offer gourmet catering from their commercial kitchen in Norwalk. Owners still offer pressed margaritas and tacos at their revered Rincón Taqueria in Norwalk. They still offer their “farmers market to go” portal, with pick-up and delivery. And they’re still at the New Canaan Farmers’ Market every Saturday.

Bon appétit!



The Remarkable Theater honors Olivia Newton-John — the singer/actress who died last month — with a return showing of “Grease.”

It’s tomorrow (Sunday, September 4). Doors open at 6:15 p.m.; the film starts at 7:15.

Coming off their most successful summer, and in honor of the Labor Day holiday, tickets are $30 per car. The usual price is $50. Click here for tickets.


Sorelle Gallery’s next feature showcases the work of 10 artists and photographers who joined them this year. “The Class of 2022” features a wide range of styles, sizes and media.

The feature opens on next Saturday (September 10), and remain on view through September 25. Click here for more information.

A scene from Sorelle Gallery.


Congratulations, Dr. Eileen Hunt!

She’s just been elected president of the American Guild of Organists. She’s only the 4th female head of the 15,000-member global association of organists and choral directors, in its 126-year history.

Westporters know Hunt from her 30 years as minister of music at Green’s Farms Congregational Church, along with her work as a piano and organ teacher.

She and her husband, Mark English, now live in Salem, Massachusetts. But they keep in contact with many Westport friends. Eileen and her husband, Mark English, currently reside in Salem, MA but keep many Westport contacts. Dr Hunt is the fourth female president in the 126 year history of AGO, a tremendous honor.

Dr. Eileen Hunt


Today’s delicious “Westport … Naturally” comes from Tracy Porosoff:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


And finally … Mable John died recently in Los Angeles. She was 91.

Among her accomplishments: She was one of the first women signed by Motown. She was also an early artist at Stax Records. And she was a longtime backup singer for Ray Charles. Click here for her full, fascinating obituary. (Hat tip: Michael Taylor)

(“06880” is fully reader-supported. Please click here to help.)

Roundup: Beach Ratings, STG Jellybeans, Downtown Art …

Save the Sound has just released grades for more than 200 Connecticut, Long Island and New York state beaches.

Local and regional health departments collect fecal indicator bacteria samples during the swimming months. High counts of fecal indicator bacteria and related pathogens can make people sick, and can be associated with untreated sewage or polluted storm water entering the waters at or near a beach.

Rain often brings polluted storm water to Long Island Sound beaches. Precipitation in the area from May to August 2021 — the period covered by the ratings — were the highest recorded since 2003, when the project began.

And the results:

  • Burying Hill Beach: A+
  • Sherwood Island State Park: A
  • Compo Beach: B+
  • Old Mill: “Not found.”

Click here for the full report.


Next week, Staples Tuition Grants will hand out $400,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors and current college students.

That’s a lot of money. It’s the result of a lot of donations and fundraising.

One of those efforts is this weekend, during the Westport Fine Arts Festival. STG has a booth on Main Street, by J. Crew. For $10, you can guess the number of blue and white (naturally) jellybeans in the jar.

The jar will then appear at the Memorial Day parade, and will be at Summer Shopping Day in front of Manna Toast on June 18.

Winners get part of the prize, and gift certificates to local restaurants. The bulk of the money helps fund STG grants. The contest ends June 22.

How many jellybeans? Start counting!


As noted above, this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), downtown will hum with the 49th annual Westport Fine Arts Festival.

The weekend after that (Saturday, June 4, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.), the Sorelle Gallery on Church Lane hosts artists Julia Contacessi and Michele Poirier-Mozzone for their new “Light Affects” show, with an opening reception.

Click here to learn more.

Julia Contacessi and Michele Poirier-Mozzone. 


Irises are in season. And this beauty in a roadside Owenoke garden is perfect for a “Westport … Naturally” close-up.

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)


Despite the heaviest summer rain since Save the Sound started its beach rating system, Westport’s waters got pretty good grades (see story above).