Tag Archives: Staples High School girls golf team

Roundup: I-95 Bridge Work, “Different” Cook Book, Happy 90th! …

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Some big bridge projects are in the works.

The state Department of Transportation plans work on 2.5 miles of I-95, from the Yankee Doodle Bridge in Norwalk to the Saugatuck River bridge. It includes reconstruction of the center median and right shoulders, and resurfacing the ramps at Exits 16 and 17.

The bridge over Saugatuck Avenue will be totally replaced. The new superstructure will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge, and slid into place.

The bridges over Franklin Street and the Saugatuck River will undergo concrete deck repairs, and replacement of expansion joints.

A virtual public information session is set for Thursday, June 3 (7 p.m.). To access the meeting, and for information about commenting or asking questions, click here.

The estimated cost is $90 million. Construction is planned to begin this fall. DOT did not provide an anticipated end date.

This work is substantially more complex than the Kings Highway replacement project currently underway near Canal Street. Fingers crossed …

Traffic will flow less smoothly on the I-95 bridge over Saugatuck Avenue when construction begins this fall. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

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Work is moving ahead on Bankside House, the 12 units of luxury housing rising on the west bank of the Saugatuck River.

A large canvas banner hides construction from drivers passing by (or stopped in traffic) on Wilton Road. So here are 2 bird’s-eye views:

(Drone photos/David Waldman)

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Brette Warshaw’s love of food, food culture and food writing began in Westport.

In 3rd grade, she was reviewing local restaurants for the Long Lots Elementary School paper. (Angelina’s got a rave.)

At Staples High School, the 2009 graduate loved Alison Milwe Grace’s culinary classes. Brette wrote her college essay about working at the Weston Field Club snack shop.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she worked at the Food52 website, moving up to managing editor. Brette the became CFO of Lucky Peach, David Chang’s quarterly food journal.

She works at Apple News now (no food jokes, please!). She writes the daily Newsletter. She also wrote “What’s the Difference” — answering questions we’ve all wondered about. (What’s the difference, for example, between a balcony and terrace? Latino and Hispanic? A dash and a hyphen?)

In Brette’s special area of expertise, what’s the difference between broth and stock? Jam and jelly (and preserves)? Barbecuing and grilling? Chef and cook? Sweet potato and yam? Maître d’ and host?

She’s turned those important questions (spoiler alert: I have no idea about any of the answers) into a new book. What’s the Difference? Recreational Culinary Reference for the Curious and Confused will be published June 8. (Click here for more information, and to order.)

It’s irreverent, informative — and when I get a copy, I’ll let you know the answers.

Brette Warshaw

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Longtime Westporter George Manchester turns 90 in June.

His son Jeff — now raising his own family, in his home town — has planned a special gift. He hopes at least 90 “06880” readers will send his father “Happy Birthday” cards.

George spends summers in Maine. This year, he’ll arrive June 5. Going to the post office is an important part of his day. Let’s inundate him (and the PO) with cards!

Send to: George Manchester, PO Box 202, South Bristol, ME 04568. And feel free to pass this on to others!

George Manchester in 2017, just before the old Saugatuck Island bridge was torn down after damage from Superstorm Sandy. Decades earlier he was involved in the construction of that bridge, as president of what was then called the Saugatuck Shores Island Association (now the Saugatuck Island Special Taxing District).

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The Westport Library’s Memorial Day Book Sale began at 9 this morning.

Forty minutes earlier, there was already a waiting line.

The sale is on today through 6 p.m. It continues tomorrow (Saturday, May 29) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday (May 30) from noon to 5.

Outside the Westport Library, 8:20 a.m. today … (Photo/Karen Como)

… and at 9:02 a.m. (Photo/Amy Schneider)

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For today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, Tina Green writes:

“Some time in the last several days, the American oystercatcher eggs hatched at Compo Beach. This year there are 2 very healthy chicks. The adult female is limping, but will hopefully recover soon.

“The federally protected piping plovers are nesting on the most northern edge of the roped off area. I had the good fortune to witness the first egg being laid while observing the female early yesterday morning.

“Westporters are lucky to have a variety of bird species nest within our borders. About 88 species breed in the wide variety of  habitats around town, including back yards, town parks, beaches and open spaces like Cockenoe Island and Aspetuck Land Trust properties.

“If the pandemic got you into birdwatching while at home, this is one of the best towns in the state to see and observe our feathered friends.”

American oystercatcher at Compo Beach (Photo/Tina Green)

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Longtime Westporter Ronald Joseph Melino died on May 22. He was 91.

The South Bronx native transplanted himself and his family from the city he loved to Westport in 1967.

Melino studied biology at City College, and was a proud employee of American Airlines. He worked his way up from the La Guardia Airport terminal to the company’s executive offices at the Chrysler Building.

Original to his core, naturally charismatic and never shy, he lived life on his own terms. He loved beach walks, tennis with pals at the Westport Tennis Club and Longshore, workouts and saunas at the Westport YMCA, reading, train travel to San Francisco, and above all else his grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Maureen. He is survived by his children Stephen Melino (Margie), Frances Zahler (Gary), Barbara Deecken (George), and James Melino (Ilana); grandchildren Alexsis Adams, Christina Deecken, Cody Zahler, Christian Zahler, Avery Chung-Melino, Rachel Melino, Emily Zahler, and Katey Melino, great grandson Isaiah, beloved nieces and nephews and their families, and his brother Eugene.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Assumption Cemetery, at a time to be determined.

Ronald Joseph Melino

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Westport’s newest police officer is Stephen Silva has joined its ranks. He was sworn in yesterday at a small ceremony, in front of his family and friends. Two brothers serve with the Trumbull Police Department.

Silva started his career in law enforcement in 2016 with the Bridgeport Police Department. He worked in the patrol division, served as an acting detective, and was a member of the department’s honor guard.

In addition to working full time as a police officer, Silva is pursuing a degree in emergency management at Post University.

Officer Stephen Silva (right) is congratulated by Police Chief Foti Koskinas.

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The Staples girls golf team — ranked #4 in the state — beat St. Joseph yesterday. The win solidified a spot in the FCIAC tournament, beginning next Thursday.

After the match, the Wreckers posed for a special Memorial Day photo.

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While Charles MacCormack traveled the world as CEO of Westport-based Save the Children, his wife Susan Ross devoted her life to public service of a more local scope. For 40 years she worked with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; for 12 years, she was its CEO.

Susan died 4 years ago this month, after a 7-year battle with breast and pancreatic cancer. In her memory, her husband of 45 years has helped established the Susan M. Ross Fund for Great Leadership at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. It targets the organization’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which provides leadership develop opportunities.

For more information or to donate, click here.

Susan M. Ross

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And finally … happy 76th birthday to John Fogerty. I’ve played tribute to his band — Creedence Clearwater Revival — and I will again. So today I’ll honor his solo work. (PS: Thanks again for that great Levitt Pavilion concert in 2017. I’m still smiling.)

 

Full Speed Ahead For Staples’ Sailing Team

COVID-19 has done what no opponent can: knock off Staples High School spring sports teams.

Coaches are providing workouts, and staying in touch via video conferences. Athletes are training on their own. Competitions, however, are on hold — perhaps all the way through the end of the season.

Yet one team still sails along.

Literally.

Staples’ sailing squad is special in many ways. It’s coed, for one thing. Members have experience in everything from 10-foot dinghies to 50-foot sailboats. But they are from different ages, they race in the summer for different clubs, and they’re in a variety of friend groups. Working together in tight quarters, they become a close-knit bunch.

The 2019 Staples High School sailing team.

The 20 sailors meet at Cedar Point Yacht Club. They typically spend 15 hours a week practicing and racing. The vibe is “competitive yet chill,” says senior co-captain Emerson Anvari.

The team — with a bunch of talented juniors — was looking forward to this season. Then the coronavirus raced in.

Emerson Anvari

Still, Anvari says, “we keep our sailing brains switched on.”

That’s because coach AJ Sorenson has found intriguing out-of-the-water experiences for his sailors. The most exciting is Virtual Regatta. An online game, it simulates an actual race as much as possible (without of course real wind, sea spray and booms that can knock you into the water.

The physical engagement — the full-body workout of trying to hike and flatten the boat — is missing. Sitting home with a laptop is “serene,” Anvari admits.

But the 2 competing teams join the same group chat program to simulate the often hectic nature of a race course, when many voices call out across the water. And it sure is fun. Take a look:

Last week, Anvari says, “I found myself really getting into it, getting tingly and excited the way I do when I compete.”

Then his sister called him to dinner, and he realized he was just lying in bed playing a computer game.

Still, Anvari and co-captain Nora Dockter have received great feedback from the rest of the team. They all enjoy the break from their daily routines.

Staples has “sailed” against Greenwich High already. They’re connecting with schools in places they never could compete against in real life — like Annapolis, Maryland — for future regattas.

Cecilia Adams and Emerson Anvari, last year.

Sailing is not the only Staples team using online resources. The girls golf team “practices” at 4 p.m. every day on Facebook. Head coach Patty Kondub — who is also a certified fitness trainer — leads golf-specific workouts Mondays and Wednesdays.

On Tuesdays they focus on skills like putting and chipping, through YouTube and other videos. The girls then post their own videos, and get feedback from coaches.

Thursdays are dedicated to other aspects of the game like rules, nutrition, and mental concentration.

Kondub is even making plans for Senior Day, and and a post-season “banquet.”

It’s not the same as Longshore. But — as the Staples sailing team knows — “any port in a storm.”

The Staples girls golf team.