Tag Archives: Staples SLOBs

Roundup: Library Parking Lot, AMG Catering, Miggs Burroughs …

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The Westport Library parking lot is being repaved.

Fingers crossed that the project will eliminate some of those lake-sized puddles that form even after a sprinkle.

Now about the topsy-turvy entrance to the lot itself …

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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Speaking of books: The Westport Book Shop’s featured artist for May is Miggs Burroughs.

The native Westporter — and devoted book lover — exhibits his large lenticular installation “Sign Language” at the Drew Friedman Art Place. That’s at the rear of the popular used book store on Jesup Green.

“Sign Language” includes 25 small signs. Depending on the angle of the viewer, the words change in ironic or humorous ways.

Miggs has created art since he was 20. Six years later he was chosen to design a commemorative US postage stamp. He has also illustrated covers for Time magazine — and the Westport town flag. Miggs is a co-founder of the Artists Collective of Westport

Miggs Burroughs with his lenticular art. When looked at from a different angle, the words change.

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One more sign the pandemic is abating: AMG Catering has ended curbside pickup.

Business has picked up substantially. Owner Alison Milwe Grace is focusing once again on off-site events.

She is grateful to the many clients who kept her business afloat for the past 16 months. Bon appétit!

Alison Milwe Grace,back to catering.

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Dr. Parthena Penny Proskinitopoulos has big shoes to fill. But she’s ready to step right in.

The Fairfield educator is Staples’ newest assistant principal. She takes over from Meghan Ward on July 1.

She is a former technology integration specialist and social studies teacher. Most recently, she served as interim assistant principal at Roger Ludlowe Middle School.

Staples principal Stafford Thomas says, “Penny was the standout candidate out of a very large and talented administrator pool. She is thrilled to be joining our team at Staples, and I am excited that her arrival will coincide with our summer efforts to create an exciting and fulfilling 2021-22 school year.”

Dr. Proskinitopoulos earned a BA in psychology from St. John’s University, an MA in teaching and 6th year diploma from Sacred Heart University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Bridgeport.

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Speaking of Staples: Praise keeps pouring in for the high school’s SLOBs.

Among the many organizations the Service League of Boys helped at last weekend’s community work day: Homes with Hope.

COVID had depleted the food pantry, while more people than ever need help.  A townwide appeal brought in over 300 bags — and SLOBs worked tirelessly to collect and unpack them, then stock the shelves.

It takes a village to help, HwH officials said. They’re thankful SLOBs are part of ours.

PS: If you could not drop off food, monetary donations are needed to buy supplies. Click here: www.hwhct.org.

SLOBs, with officials and friends of Homes with Hope, outside the Gillespie Center.

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During this graduation season, here’s a shout-out to Tom Tarrant. He recently graduated from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind school — along with his new guide dog, a black Lab named Velvet.

Tom is a longtime Westporter, but this is his first guide dog. An avid rower, Tom has participated in his local area’s rowing club on and off for over twenty years. He looks forward to running with Velvet.

He and his wife have 2 sons, ages 20 and 14, and a 9-year-old golden retriever. The newest member of the family fits right in.

Tom Tarrant with Velvet.

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Wendy Crowther found this morel mushroom the other day, in her backyard near Winslow Park. She says, “The morel has a reputation for being one of the greatest mushrooms in the world — edible when cooked and prized by gourmets.  It was such a surprise to find one.”

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)

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And finally … Happy Cinco de Mayo!

The holiday has become commercialized here in the US — primarily by bars and restaurants — and it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico.

It is not “Mexican Independence Day.” Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day in 1862 when the Mexican army defeated France at the Battle of Puebla. It was part of the Franco-Mexican War — a conflict I had never heard of until a few seconds ago.

 

 

Roundup: Marshalls, SLOBs …

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Barnes & Noble’s departure for downtown has left a large vacancy in the shopping center between Little Barn and Greens Farms Elementary School.

Next week, it won’t be the only one. Marshalls Shoe Shop is closing Saturday (May 8).

Everything is on sale now for 40% off — but almost nothing is left.

The Norwalk store will remain open.

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As “06880” reported earlier, yesterday was SLOBs’ Day of Service.

Dozens of members of Staples High School’s Service League of Boys fanned out across town. They planted, weeded, hauled rocks, and did all kinds of other work to help non-profits and the needy.

One site was the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum. SLOBs joined members of Westport’s Tree Board to make the Stony Brook Road preserve even more welcoming than it already was.

They filled and removed 20 trash bags with the noxious invasive, garlic mustard. They mulched and marked trails for families to enjoy the new Story Walk, a signed pathway with an illustrated story that’s a collaboration between the Tree Board and Westport Library.

It was a beautiful day. And Staples’ SLOBs made it far lovelier. (Hat tip: Alice Ely)

SLOBs at the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum.

And if you haven’t seen the Story Walk, here it is. Like the Arboretum itself, it’s one of Westport’s many hidden gems.

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Have you been thinking about getting solar panels installed on your house? Should you lease or rent? Will you actually save money?

Those questions — and many more — will be answered next Monday (May 10, 7 p.m., Zoom) at a Wakeman Town Farm-sponsored virtual panel.

“The Pros and Cons of Solar” will be moderated by Bill Constantino. He’s co-chair of WTF, and has worked in the renewable and energy efficiency industry for over 10 years.

Panelists include John Rountree, whose Westport-based Rountree Architects specializes in Net Zero homes; Matthew Macunas, a policy specialist for the Connecticut Green Bank; Emily Basham, senior manager of partnership development at the Connecticut Green Bank, and Susan Young, community marketing manager at PosiGen Solar and Energy Efficiency.

Click here to register.

Solar panels

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And finally … Bing Crosby was born on this day, in 1903. He was multi-talented, leading in record sales, radio ratings and movie grosses from 1930 to 1954. He made over 70 films, and recorded more than 1,600 songs. He died in 1977, age 74.

He hit #1 on the charts 43 times — more than the Beatles (24) and Elvis Presley (18) combined. Here are 5 of them.

Not Always As Easy As Riding A Bike

Every child’s life is marked by developmental milestones: Potty training. Shoe tying. Bike riding.

But — as basic as those sound — not every kid achieves every milestone with ease.

Barbara Greenspan

Barbara Greenspan

Westporter Barbara Greenspan is a pediatric occupational therapist. Working primarily with preschoolers to develop gross and fine motor skills — jumping, skipping, handwriting — she knows the physical and emotional benefits of being able to do everyday tasks.

Barbara is also a devoted bike rider. She works out at Sherpa, does the CT Challenge and enters triathlons. “Kids need to ride bikes,” she believes. But they don’t always have the ability to.

In 2007 she asked Westport Parks and Rec to help organize a bike-riding class for children with disabilities. “Inclusion” is part of their mission. Cyndi Palaia worked with Barbara to develop a “Cycle Club.”

They’ve run it every spring since. For 6 weeks at the Compo Skate Park, a half dozen or so youngsters learn about balance, starting and stopping, and safety.

Easy does it...

Easy does it…

Every Monday — with help from Staples’ Service League of Boys (SLOBs), and other high school students — the kids hesitantly, then confidently, move from training wheels to independence.

Some are autistic. Others have Down Syndrome, or ADHD. All achieve an important milestone.

Barbara calls the teenage helpers crucial to the program’s success. “They literally hold the bikes, say when to pedal, and slowly let go.”

She notes that the teenagers “have to think about how to teach. They have to be empathetic. They’re in close proximity to the kids, physically and emotionally. I think they get as much satisfaction out of helping, as the kids do themselves. It’s a process, and they’re there for the kids every step of the way.”

Some of the teens return every year to help.

The Cycle Club is one of Westport’s lowest-key, littlest-known programs. But it has a major impact.

The other day, Barbara saw one of the program’s graduates on a bike near Roseville Road. “I rode to the beach with my dad, and back,” he proudly told her. “I rode 6 miles!”