By an overwhelming majority last night, the Representative Town Meeting affirmed the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recent decisions to allow text and map amendments in Saugatuck.
There were 33 RTM members in favor, 1 against (Sal Liccione) and 1 abstention (Matthew Mandell). The vote — following similar margins in the RTM’s Transit and Planning & Zoning Committees — means that planning can proceed for the Hamlet at Saugatuck.
That project could bring new retail, restaurants, residences, and a hotel and marina to the area near the train station.
The RTM vote was required, based on a petition from voters. Twenty-four members had to vote to overturn the P&Z decision — but only 1 did.
Next up: A site plan for the Hamlet project, and approval from the P&Z.
What’s the newest hot place in town for teenagers?
The Westport Library.
It’s been filled all week long, with Staples High School students studying for midterms.
The Trefz Forum — and the rest of the building — has been a place where friends can work together, but where others can find space to be alone. It’s serious, but also social — perfect for teens’ needs.
The other night, library officials surprised the students with 25 pizzas.
They were gone quicker than you could say “good luck with exams!”
Speaking of the Westport Library: The Trefz Forum will be packed tomorrow morning too (Thursday, January 19, 10 a.m.).
Local attorney (and Staples High graduate) Josh Koskoff will discuss his latest victory: the largest verdict in history in a defamation suit. Koskoff led the case against Alex Jones, who used his Infowars website and daily radio show to present counter-factual information about issues including the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Koskoff’s talk will also be livestreamed. Click here for the link.
The event is co-sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.
Speaking still of the Library:
It was packed in November, for the Board of Education’s first “Community Conversation.”
Plenty of topics were discussed — but others, like challenges to books in the high school library, and diversity, equity and inclusion planning — did not have time for exploration.
A second open discussion — picking up where last fall’s left off — is set for next Tuesday (January 24, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Westport Library). All residents are invited, for a “back-and-forth exchange) with Board of Education members, and school administrators.
Spiga is a popular New Canaan restaurant, specializing in handmade pasta, brick oven pizza and other Italian fare.
Soon, they’ll add a Westport location. They’re replacing Tarry Lodge on Charles Street. The target date for opening is late March.
It’s one more Italian business in a line that began with Esposito’s gas station, and continued through Abbondanza. (Hat tip: Maria Funicello)
Speaking of Saugatuck: Mackenzie Winner Berman has a question that’s on the minds of many other Westporters. She writes:
“On Saugatuck Avenue, roughly across the street from the old Westport Chinese/ new Lomito restaurant, is a home with a small storefront on street level.
“The home is being renovated. I assumed the storefront would go, but recently it has been improved with new windows, among other things.
“Does anyone know the plans for that space? It has always interested me. Every time I drive by, I try to imagine what sort of activity used to take to place there.”
Sacred Heart University’s beautiful new Martire Family Arena is drawing raves. And fans.
Those spectators are helping the Pioneers’ men’s ice hockey program raise funds for great causes.
The January 21 game (7 p.m., vs. Holy Cross) will benefit the Chad Jacobs Hockey Foundation — run by Westporter Karen Jacobs — and the CT Hockey Foundation. The Jacobs fund was a major supporter of education for Charlie and Will Capalbo, grandsons of Westport writer Ina Chadwick. Charlie fought a long, courageous battle against several cancers.
A February 4 game (7 p.m., vs. American International) for CapalboStrong will benefit Dana Farber Cancer Institute, specifically pediatric research. That date is the anniversary of Charlie’s life-saving bone marrow transplant from his brother Will, in 2019.
Click here for tickets, and more information.
The bad news: There was plenty of trash at the I-95 Exit 18 commuter parking lot on the Sherwood Island Connector.
The good news: A crew of dedicated Westporters picked it up last weekend.
The bad news: There will always be more garbage in need of collection.
To find out what’s next for our civic-minded citizens — and help — email Andrew Colabella: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Surface Alchemy” — a new exhibition featuring Donald Martiny and Stuart Disston — opens this Saturday (January 21; reception from 5 to 7 p.m.) at Amy Simon Fine Art (123 Post Road East).
The exhibit runs through February 25.
You can teach an old dog new tricks. Or — in the case of Bobo — a new dog can enjoy old tricks.
Either way, here’s today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, from (naturally) Compo Beach:
And finally … today is the birthday of David Ruffin.
One of the lead singers of the Temptations from 1964-68, and later a solo star, was born on this date in 1941. He died in 1991, from an accidental overdose of crack cocaine.
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