Tag Archives: Soundview Drive

Pics Of The Day #1575

The scene at Soundview Drive … 

… and Winslow Park (Photos/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Housing Rally, Yappy Hour, River Dredging …

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The Town of Westport, Westport Housing Authority and Homes With Hope issue this statement:

Tomorrow (Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 2 p.m., Jesup Green) we invite residents to join legislators, local providers and advocates in a call-to-action rally to address Fairfield County’s growing housing crisis, in the aftermath of and ongoing concerns related to the pandemic.

The goal of the rally is to raise public awareness of the housing crisis and remind State legislators of the urgency to act. We encourage the public to attend as a personal action to combat homelessness. Public participation sends a message to legislators that the community supports the allocation of resources to Fairfield County’s most vulnerable residents.

Housing insecurity affects thousands of Fairfield County families and individuals seeking permanent housing every day. Affordability has become the most significant barrier for moderate and lower-income households to maintain stable housing in Fairfield County. The pandemic has increased the demand for affordable housing, resulting in a lack of available inventory, and dramatically increased rents, leaving many residents without access to safe housing options.

Rally attendees will hear from a range of funders, advocates, and community providers who offer direct services to friends and neighbors experiencing housing insecurity. Research shows that the most effective strategy for solving homelessness is the Housing First approach, connecting households to stable and affordable housing through a combination of supportive services and financial assistance.

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Dredging the Saugatuck River has been a complex (and expensive) topic.

It’s still a long way from happening. But earlier this month, Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal ensured funding for several Connecticut projects in the Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Development Appropriations  Bill. Included is $2.81 for Saugatuck River dredging.

The funding can help “kick start” projects that are stalled, Murphy said. (Hat tip: Robbie Guimond)

Dredging could enable more river traffic at places like Rive Bistro restaurant. 

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MoCA Westport went to the dogs last Thursday.

It was “Yappy Hour.” Canines enjoyed dog-friendly Pupsicles, while owners sipped custom cocktails from Bar MoCA.

Guests also had complimentary access to the museum’s summer exhibitions — and could ask questions of a dog trainer, provided by Pet Choice.

PAWS brought along an adoptable dog, and took home food donations from attendees.

The next Yappy Hour is Thursday, September 2. Before then, a regular (dog-free) Happy Hour happens every Thursday, at Bar MoCA. Happy and Yappy Hours are all 5 to 7 p.m.

Yappy Hour at MoCA.

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The Westport Downtown Association hosts its 3rd (and final) Summer Outdoor Shopping Days this Saturday (August 14), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

This isn’t the traditional “sidewalk sale.” But word on the (Main) Street is that some stores will offer great deals anyway.

Main and Elm Streets will be closed. There will be a food truck, bar and live music all day long.

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The end of an era: 29 Soundview Drive is on the market.

The home — in the same family for years — was owned by Paul Lane. The former Staples High School coach died in June, just days before the football field there was named in his honor.

Generations of Westporters strolling along the beach remember “Coach” sitting on his patio, greeting former athletes, longtime Westporters, and strangers.

This summer, the house was empty. Here’s wishing the new owners as much joy as Paul and his family enjoyed there.

And as full and healthy lives as he lived.

29 Soundview Drive

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Westport Book Shop‘s 1st-ever Back-to-School Story Time features a first-ever reading.

Westport author/illustrator Sivan Hong — whose “Super Fun Day” book series focus on neuro-diverse children who overcome challenges with perseverance and bravery — will read her new book — “Emily D. and the Fearful First Day” outside the popular used book shop, on Jesup Green. She’ll read others, too.

The event is this Saturday (August 14, 11 a.m. Kids and parents should bring a blanket or beach chair. Snacks are courtesy of The Porch @ Christie’s, and Sweet P Bakery.

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David Ader submits today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo. He writes:

“Peekaboo! A curious baby raccoon watched me, Pippa and our dog as we walked past the nursery. I assume the mother was out finding a meal.”

(Photo/David Ader)

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And finally … Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, a saxophonist and founding member of Kool & the Gang, died Saturday in New Jersey. He was 70. (Click here for full obituary.) 

Time to “celebrate” a life well lived!

Roundup: Patsie Bonardi, Keith Haring, Broadway …

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It took a while for this news to make it here. But it was worth waiting for.

After a long and legendary teaching career in Westport, beloved elementary school icon Patsie Bonardi returned to her hometown of Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

For her 90th birthday in June, the town gathered along Main Street. They celebrated her with a surprise “reverse parade.” Residents gathered outside the theater, post office and library, holding signs and cheering as she rode by in her convertible — with a police and fire truck escort.

Elementary school students held handmade signs.

Bonardi was a longtime supporter of the Colonial Theater, and served as a library trustee and Home Health Care Board member. As part of her birthday celebration, residents raised $1,300 in her name for the theater.

(Click here for the full story, from the Littleton Courier. Hat tips: John and Carol Waxman)

Patsie Bonardi, during her parade. (Photo/Angel Larcom)

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The “Piece by Piece” artwork was unveiled Friday at the Westport Library. Sixty local artists each contributed a panel — not knowing how it would fit into the “big picture.” They had no idea what the finished piece was.

Turns out to be a work by Keith Haring.

The final work impressed the Westport Library crowd. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

Individual panels were on sale, with proceeds split between the Library and the artist of that particular panel.

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Adam Bremen was born with cerebral palsy. He’s used an electric wheelchair all his life.

In 2017, he decided to become more physically fit. Thanks to water aerobics and the Keto diet, he lost 45 pounds. His next step was to create a good-tasting Keto-based snack bar. He called it Keto Krisp.

This past weekend — after quarantining for 16 months — Adam traveled from California to Westport. He visited his sister Erin, who lives here.

Adam had never kayaked before. But the crew at Westport Paddle Club took care of him. He and his family had a fantastic time.

He’s thanking them by sending a package of Keto Krispy bars. And he’ll wear his WPC t-shirt proudly.

Adam Bremen and Westport Paddle Club owner Robbie Guimond (front), with Adam’s family and WPC staff members.

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Sure, the Levitt Pavilion offers 50 nights of free summer entertainment.

But here’s a different kind of free show, at a very different site.

Karen Elizaga lives on Soundview Drive, between Norwalk and Westport Avenues. This Friday (July 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.), she’s hosting a group of Broadway stars.

Devin Ilaw (“Miss Saigon,” “Les Miserables”), Sarah Beth Pfeifer (“Lightning Thief”), Staples High School graduate Mia Gentile (“Kinky Boots”) and others will sing in her front yard. Everyone is welcome to gather on the beach, and listen.

The goal is to raise awareness — and funds, if you’d like to lend support — of Broadway for Arts Education. The non-profit provides arts education to underserved youth in New York, Haiti and India.

It should be a great event. And even though there’s no ticket, feel “free” to donate to this important group.

Free concert on Soundview.

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From horseback riders to model plane flyers, there’s always something going on at Sherwood Island State Park.

But yesterday might have been a first: an in-the-water wedding.

Patricia Auber was attracted by the singing and tambourine playing. She wanted to keep a respectful distance, so there are no details about the bridge and groom. Still, she did capture this wonderful photo:

A minister leads the ceremony, in Long Island Sound. (Photo/Patricia Auber)

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Noted Westport photographer Tom Kretsch, and Shapleigh Smith of Stowe, Vermont have been friends for 65 years.

The Newtown natives parted ways after high school. But they reunited in Stowe, where Shap lives and Tom bought a timeshare. at the Trapp Family Lodge.

Last winter they spent time photographing the back roads of the Northeast Kingdom. Now they’re showing their work, back in their hometown of Newtown.

This Thursday (July 15, 5:30 to 7 p.m.) is the opening of “Down on Vermont Country Road: Old Friends and New Visions” at the Cyrenius Booth Library on Main Street.  The show runs through Labor Day.

One of Tom Kretsch’s Vermont photos.

Staples High School boys soccer tri-captain Bruno Guiduli knows the important of giving back.

During the past year he’s raised over $2,300 for TOPSoccer. The non-profit helps special needs youngsters play the sport Bruno loves.

This Saturday (July 17, 8 a.m. to noon), he invites everyone to Wakeman Field. He’ll set up a special goal he built with his father, Barry. All are welcome to test their skills, while learning about TOPSoccer. Donations will be gratefully accepted.

Bruno Guiduli, with the TOPSoccer goal he invites everyone to shoot at.

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This weekend’s Fresh Market osprey update, from Carolyn Doan:

“I can’t believe how big they’ve gotten. I was there for breakfast. Dad brought a fish, right on time. He called from a tree to wake everyone up, and went over to the nest once all 3 were ready to eat. Two of the siblings are very affectionate with one another, which was wonderful to watch.

“They were stretching their wings a lot, so fledging is imminent.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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Speaking of young birds: Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a pair of gorgeous baby robins. Cutest image ever?

(Photo/Jacqueline Byrne)

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Kendall Gardiner spotted this on Facebook:

A man in France takes care of the grave of an American soldier, killed on D-Day in Normandy, age 29. He’d like to contact any relatives he can find.

The soldier’s name was Sgt. Glenn Everett “Tex” Moats. He lived in Fairfield. If any “06880” readers remember the family, click here to respond. (Hat tip: Kendall Gardiner)

Sgt. Glenn Everett “Tex” Moats

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Nadine Cherna is proud of all her piano students. But she’s particularly proud of Eric Gordonos. The 13-year-old plays everything she asks, everything he can find — and then composes his own pieces. Here is an excerpt:

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And finally … speaking of talented young pianists, today would have been Van Cliburn’s 87th birthday. He rocketed too fame in 1958, when — just 23 years old — he won the 1st International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, at the height of the Cold War.

Cliburn died in 2013, at 78.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scenes From A Storm

Rain from Hurricane Elsa pounded Westport from the early morning hours until a few minutes ago.

The storm seems to have moved on — though lingering rain is still possible.

Meanwhile, here are some images from a wild morning:

A tree fell on a power line at South Compo and East Ferry Lane, sparking this fire. (Photo/Matthew Mandell)

Westport police officers were out in force, helping stranded motorists.

Myrtle Avenue floods frequently. This time it was particularly bad. (Photo/Frank Rosen)

Another view of Myrtle Avenue downtown. (Photo/Beth Goldstein)

Norwalk Avenue by Compo Beach was under water too. (Photo/Maureen Aron)

Help was ready. These trucks were part of the staging area at the train station. (Photo.Steve Mochel)

Roundup: Levitt, Lemonade Stand …

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Here’s a less-than-alluring Main Street view: the old Banana Republic. Hopefully a new store will soon replace this inelegant sight.

(Photo/Ken Yormark)

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Binky Griptite filled the Levitt Pavilion last night. It was just like old times (except for the pods outlined on the grass).

The WFUV “Boogie Down” host — who has played with Janet Jackson and Amy Winehouse, and backed Sharon Jones with the Dap-Kings — brought his funk and soul to the lawn.

It’s the start of a near-normal summer. On the Levitt bill this week:

  • Tuesday, June 29: The Suzanne Sheridan Band
  • Wednesday, June 30: Joanne Leeds/Children’s Series launch
  • Friday, July 2: The Drew Angus Band.

Click here for details, and to order (free) tickets.

Binky Griptite (Photo/Dan Woog)

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It’s one thing to set up a lemonade stand.

It’s another to add fresh mint.

This young entrepreneur did a booming business yesterday, in the heat along Soundview Drive.

(Photo/Gara Morse)

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Wendy Levy spotted these “Westport … Naturally” poppies somewhere between Burying Hill Beach and Southport.

(Photo/Wendy Levy)

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And finally … on this day in 1855, the Sigma Chi fraternity was founded.

Roundup: Memorial Day Parade, Yankee Doodle Fair, Waterspout …

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In one more sign of approaching normalcy, the town is moving forward with plans for an actual Memorial Day parade.

This year’s theme for the float contest is “Honoring Women Veterans.” Certificates will be awarded for Best Development of Theme, Best Youth Organization Float, Most Creative, Best Community Organization, Most Colorful, and the Best Overall Float.

If past form holds true, the Y’s Men will win the Overall award. They’ve won it nearly every year for the past 20 or so.

And the only reason the Y’s Men did not win in 2020, 2017 or 2016 was because there were no parades. (COVID last year; rain those other 2.)

Weather and COVID permitting, this year’s event begins at 9 a.m. on May 31, at Saugatuck Elementary School. Veterans — and thousands of others — will march north on Riverside Avenue, trn right on Post Road East, then continue to Myrtle Avenue.

 

The Y’s Men’s float won, as usual, in 2012. This one honored Korean War veterans — complete with freezing mist.

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The Memorial Day parade is not the only tradition that’s returning.

The Westport Woman’s Club’s Yankee Doodle Fair returns this year — but not in its century-old mid-June, end-of-school, welcome-summer slot.

Yesterday, the Board of Selectmen approved the event for September 23 through the 26th.

So it will be a start-of-school, welcome-fall fair.

But it’s still at the Woman’s Club site on Imperial Avenue.

Even after 100 years, little changes.

The 2017 Yankee Doodle Fair (Drone photo/Ryan Collins)

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Yesterday was spring-like — warm and mostly sunny. Guy Sherman wanted to  photograph a few interesting clouds over Saugatuck Shores.

He got a bonus: this rare and remarkable waterspout:

(Photo/Guy Sherman)

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A month ago, the old wood-shingled house at 19 Soundview Drive bore a demolition sign.

Then it was gone.

Now the home — one of the oldest, as-yet-unrenovated along the Compo exit road– has been painted and spiffed up. It looks eager to greet renters and beachgoers.

And ready to last another 100 years.

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The Learning Community Day School celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 28th.

The institution — housed for many years on Hillspoint Road — is not just patting themselves on the back. They’re raising money for kindergarten scholarships, with their first-ever golf outing.

It’s set for Monday, April 26 at Longshore. Check-in and breakfast are 9 a.m.; tee times start at 10 a.m. You can play 9 or 18 holes.

The cost is $250 per player, $900 for a foursome. You can form your own twosome or foursome, or be paired up.

Popup Bagels and Manny’s Ultimate Bloody Mary Mix are sponsoring food and drinks. Of course, there are prizes and giveaways.

For more information, email learning_community@yahoo.com or call 203-227-8394.

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Longtime Westport resident Judith Portner Sappern died peacefully on Saturday. She was 88 years old.

The Rumson, New Jersey native was an adventurer who, after serving as managing editor of her high school newspaper, took the unusual step at the time to go out of state for college. A

t the University of Connecticut she served as president of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, made lifelong friends and fell in love with Donald Sappern. Married shortly after graduation, they started a telephone answering service in Norwalk.  As Don’s career progressed and he became a successful insurance executive, Judy managed office operations and bookkeeping.

Judy Sappern

As the couple’s children grew, Judy helped with their studies and supported every interest, from the choir room and pool to the baseball diamond and the rock band that practiced in the basement. She fed generations of Staples High School students who used their nearby house on Wedgewood Lane as a home base throughout the day.

Judy pursued a master’s degree in social work, and volunteered at Norwalk Hospital. She loved helping others work through tough times, and passed that empathy on to her children. When not at the hospital or office, Judy worked on needlepoint, and played golf or bridge with friends. She also became a personal computer enthusiast and fanatical supporter of UConn basketball.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Donald, and her older sister Joyce Cooper. Judy is survived by her children, Laurie Sappern Gaugler  (Dean), and Matthew (Rianne), both of Fairfield, and Adam (Margot)of Bethel, Vermont. Judy enjoyed frequent visits and calls with her 7 grandchildren: Billy, Chloe, Brian, Geoffrey, Rachel, Carly and Tobey. She is also survived by her beloved sister-in-law, Pietrina Sappern of Milford.

A memorial service will be held when travel and gathering is less limited. Memorial contributions in Judy’s memory can be made to the IGA Nephropathy Foundation, PO Box 1322, Wall, New Jersey 07727.

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And finally … sure, the IRS has extended this year’s filing deadline to May 17. But April 15 will always be, um, special.

 

Pic Of The Day #1431

Soundview Drive (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Mahackeno, Teardowns, Flowers …

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The Westport Weston Family YMCA’s Mahackeno Outdoor Center opens for members this weekend. Activities include 2 playgrounds, a large sports field, basketball court, dodgeball pit, walking trails, pavilions and (from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday), giant slides.

Coming soon: sports programs (registration begins April 3), canoeing, archery, pool and splash pad (after May 1), bouldering wall, fishing, outdoor group fitness classes and more.

Click here for more information.

Two Mahackeno slides are a huge hit.

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A great local non-profit needs someone to finish a WordPress website redesign and upgrade.

The person in charge has had to stop for personal reasons, but can explain intent, purpose and what needs to be done. The project is 90% complete, and pays “a bit.”

Interested? Email encliff@gmail.com.

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Circolo Italiano — Staples’ Italian Club — has a unique way to raise funds for Centro La Tenda, a community center in Napoli that helps at-risk youth.

This is no pizza sale. Next Wednesday (March 17, 1 p.m.), they host an interactive, virtual (and worldwide — play from anywhere) trivia competition.

The cost is $3 per player, with up to 5 players per team. Venmo @StellaCorenthal, with the name of your team and all members. There are prizes for winners.  A Zoom link will be sent.

Questions? Email bg1002540@students.westportps.org.

BONUS TRIVIA FACT: The word “trivia: comes from the Latin “trivialis,” meaning “found everywhere, commonplace.”

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19 Soundview Drive is one of the oldest original — aka “un-renovated” — homes on the beach exit road. A “Demolition” sign hangs prominently by the front porch.

But right next to the sign, a workman was busy yesterday painting the brown shingles white.

Gotta look good for that wrecking ball, right?

(Photo/Karen Como)

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Meanwhile, teardown season is in full “swing.” This was the scene around the corner yesterday, at 320 Compo Road South, just east of Bradley Street:

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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Also in season: Spring!

Here’s Whitney Street yesterday:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Don’t forget: Turn your clocks ahead Saturday night. Losing an hour of sleep for more of these scenes will be worth it!

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And finally … Happy 75th birthday, Liza Minelli!

Roundup: Timari Rivera, Polo Ponies, Free Range Children, More


It was a gorgeous sunrise on Soundview Drive this morning.

Let’s hope it foretells a better week ahead than the last one. (As for that “red sky in morning” stuff … there’s no rain or snow in the forecast.)

(Photo/Susan Ford)


The family of Timari Rivera — the Staples High School senior who died last week — has released his obituary:

Timari Raquan Rivera, 17, was greeted in heaven on Monday, January 4, 2021 from his earthly home.

He was born August 5, 2003 to Timothy Rivera and Anglie Edmounds in Bridgeport. He attended local schools and began his love of the game at age 6, when his pediatrician suggested that if his mom didn’t put a basketball into Timari’s hands, he would.

His passion for basketball grew from PAL league, leading him to play in several leagues – including Weston Wilton Travel Team, NE Playaz, and CT Elite AAU, but his varsity position with the Staples High School Wreckers remained his primary focus.

Timari was a math whiz, fluent in basketball statistics, and loved pottery. He enjoyed spending time with family, friends, playing 2K, and every teen’s passion, eating. He was set to graduate from Staples this year.

In addition to his parents, left to cherish the memory of this “gentle giant,” are stepfather Devin Robinson, big little brothers Taurean and Tyron Rivera, 9 additional siblings, nephews Amir and Tristian Rivera, bonus niece Marlo Perkins, and a host of family and friends.

A private Service of Celebration will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 12, at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 729 Union Avenue, Bridgeport. Friends may greet the family from 9 to 10 a.m. at the church. The family will proceed to a private interment immediately following service.

The family wishes to thank those who have expressed their love and condolence in various ways. It is truly appreciated. To plant memorial trees in memory, click here.

Timari Rivera


Seen yesterday at Sherwood Island:

(Photo/Mary Sikorski)

Photographer Mary Sikorski reports that the riders’ jackets said “Yale Polo.”

So that’s why they look like 3 Wise Men.


Those kids playing on Saugatuck Shores are so adorable, you could just eat them!

(Photo/Les Dinkin)


And finally … on this day in 1972, East Pakistan officially renamed itself Bangladesh.

 

Roundup: Turkey, More

 


Spotted on Soundview Drive:

(Photo/Mary Sikorski)


And finally … Ian Finkel, “the world’s greatest xylophonist,” has died at 72. Who even knew there was such a thing?