Soundview sunset … (Photo/Peter Tucker)
… and not far away (Photo/Laurie Sorensen)
Soundview sunset … (Photo/Peter Tucker)
… and not far away (Photo/Laurie Sorensen)
Lola by moonlight, on Soundview Drive (Photo/Sunil Hirani)
Should Soundview Drive be closed to vehicles more than once each summer?
An overwhelming number of Westporters say: Yes!
“06880” asked that question last week. The survey was sparked by the cool, leisurely, festival-like vibe that happens every year just before the fireworks. The cars and motorcycles are gone; instead, Westporters of all ages stroll, chat, meet and mingle.
So, we wondered, why not do it regularly (or semi-regularly)? And add music, perhaps a juggler or face painter or caricature artist, and maybe food trucks?
252 readers responded. 85.7% were in favor of closing the beach “for certain designated Saturdays or Sundays.” 14.3% were opposed.
Answers came from all over town. The survey did not differentiate between readers who lived near the beach — and would be most affected — and those who did not.
Those who answered “yes” were asked. “How often?”
“Occasionally (3-4 times a summer) led with 36.7%, followed by “A few (1-2 times),” 24.5%; “Every weekend in summer” (20%); “A lot (5-8)” at 12.7%, and “Not in favor” (6.1%).
Readers who were opposed to the idea were asked “why not?” They could write in their own reason.
The most frequent answer (25%) was “too much disruption and traffic.” Three respondents each said “Don’t like food trucks” and “Don’t like music on the beach.”
Other reasons (1 each) included:
The most popular name suggested (63.5%) was “Soundview Summer.”
With so many people in favor — but with very valid opposition — the next steps are:
If you’re interested in being part of this group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peacefully, of course.
The view from a Soundview Drive home, on fireworks day. Odds are without pyrotechnics, crowds would be smaller. (Photo/Dan Woog)
A software glitch deleted all emails sent to me yesterday (Friday), between 1 and 5 p.m. If you emailed me then for any reason, please send it along: email@example.com. Thank you!
Last Sunday’s LymanAID event was a thank-you to Westporters. This winter, hundreds of residents donated $252,000 to our sister city in Ukraine. The money paid for building materials, generators, communications equipment, police and trash vehicles, bulletproof vests, meals and more for the town.
In addition to food, music and kids’ activities, LymanAID also featured opportunities to continue support our sister city.
Attendees did just that. Over $43,000 was raised. That brings Westport’s contributions to Lyman to nearly $300,000.
The funds — and the equipment and material delivered by Ukraine Aid International — is greatly appreciated. 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Police Chief Foti Koskinas visited Lyman this spring, and were thanked continually by residents and officials for Westport’s help.
(Donations are still welcome — and crucial. Click here to help. Under “Designation,” click the dropdown menu and select “Westport — Lyman Sister City.”)
Lyman Mayor Aleksander Zhuravlov spoke by video to LymanAID attendees on Sunday — just hours after his town was attacked by Russian artillery. Seven civilians were killed.
Are you in favor of closing Soundview Drive to vehicles one or more times during the summer, for strolling, music, food, face painting — a street party, in other words?
Or do you think that’s a terrible idea?
Either way: “06880” wants your opinions.
Two days remain for our survey. It’s quick, easy — and important.
ll Westporters are encouraged to take the (anonymous) survey. One question asks where you live. Residents of the beach area are especially encouraged to respond.
Please click here to respond, before 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
Soundview Avenue (without vehicles) is a place to see, and be seen. But right now it’s only on Fireworks Day. (Photo/Diane Yormark)
Westport Police made 5 custodial arrests between July 5 and 12.
Shoplifting at Ulta Beauty led to charges of organized retail theft, larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny against one woman.
A man who damaged 6 vehicles at the Saugatuck train station — including broken windshield wipers and side mirrors — was charged with criminal mischief.
A traffic stop initiated after an officer observed a vehicle without a license plate resulted in charges of operating an unregistered motor vehicle, improper use of markers, violation of readable plates, operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance, operating a motor vehicle without a license, and resisting arrest/interfering with an officer.
After officers disabled a stolen vehicle with drop sticks, one of four youths was found to have brass knuckles. He was arrested for illegal possession of a weapon.
An arrest was made for disorderly conduct, following an investigation of a domestic violence incident.
The following citations were also issued:
Traveling unreasonably fast: 4 citations
A few years ago, Earthplace lost its longtime supplier of donated raptor food.
Now every year, they need to raise $24,000 to feed Artemis, Chatty, Marble and their friends who found a home there.
Several generous donors recently pledged to match up to $10,000. So between now and July 31, tax-deductible gifts are doubled.
Reaching that goal would feed all their raptors, for a year. Click here to donate.
Speaking of birds: The other day, Johanna Keyser Rossi was walking behind the police station.
She heard a bird. Looking up, she spotted a fake owl on the top of a pole, with a nest next to it. “It didn’t seem to scare off this black bird,” she says.
The fake owl is in the center of the photo. The real bird is at top. (Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)
“There must be a story behind this fake owl,” she adds. “Maybe it discourages the osprey from nesting?”
Got an answer (or an idea)? Click “Comments” below.
Speaking of wildlife: Westport has plenty of deer. It’s far better to see them here — as a “Westport … Naturally” feature — than eating your bushes or leaping out into the road.
Here is a fawn that recently claimed Jerry Kuyper’s yard as its own:
And finally … today is the birthday of Woody Guthrie. He was born in 1912, and died just 55 years later, from Huntington’s disease. But in between he redefined American music, both artistically and politically.
In 1954, he wrote “Old Man Trump.” It describes the racist housing practices of his landlord, Fred Trump — Donald’s father.
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
He stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his Beach Haven family project.
Guthrie never recorded the song. But, according to Wikipedia, in January 2016 Will Kaufman, a Guthrie scholar and professor of American literature and culture, found the handwritten lyrics at the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa.
(This land is your land. And this blog is your blog. But it needs your support! Please click here to donate. Thank you!)
Every year, thousands of residents enjoy Westport’s best street party: the stroll up and down Soundview Drive, during the (pre)-4th of July fireworks.
With the road closed to vehicles, it’s a festive, relaxing time. Friends chat; neighbors meet. Music plays; kids romp. It’s a true community event.
And every year, the day after, I suggest closing Soundview to vehicles on more than just the Fireworks Day.
Why not, I wonder, do it on a couple of Sundays every summer? We could enjoy bands, buskers, jugglers, face painting, food … all without cars.
In 2022, this marching band strutted on Soundview.
Every year: crickets.
Except this one. Maya Hirani — who moved to Soundview last year, and lives smack in the middle of the beach exit road — listened to my idea.
She liked it.
And she wondered whether others do too.
So Maya created a survey. It’s quick, but comprehensive.
The goal is to gauge public support for closing Soundview Avenue for one or more days in the summer.
All Westporters are encouraged to take the (anonymous) survey. One question asks where you live. Residents of the beach area are especially encouraged to respond.
Click here for the survey. See you (perhaps) at Soundview!
1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, 2nd Selectwoman Andrea Moore and former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe strolled down Soundview Drive last year. (Photos/Dan Woog)
Today’s storm clouds at Compo Beach …
… and a bit of sun …
and last night’s full moon (Photo/Sunil Hirani)
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.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.
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.
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!)
With just over 7 hours to go before the June 29th fireworks, Compo Beach is jam-packed with beach chairs, picnic tables and tents (and very few people manning or womanning them).
But that’s not what this post is about.
Here are a few photos to show what else is happening, down at the shore.
Compo Beach lifeguards, midway through a long day. (Photo/Jonathan Alloy)
Camp Compo kids and counselors play in the Sound, in the shadow of the fireworks barge. (Photo/Jonathan Alloy)
Human beings aren’t the only ones enjoying the Soundview Avenue scene. (Photo/Tammy Barry)
Okay, I lied. One more photo of the stakeout. This is at 10:30 a.m. (Photo/Brian Schiller)
Hillspoint Road at Soundview Drive (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)