Tag Archives: Sunrise Rotary Club

Roundup: Scarice Memo, Outpost Pizza, Sun Reflexology …

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As Westport — and the nation — grapple with COVID’s Delta variant, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice sent this notice to families:

“Greetings and Happy Summer! I hope that each of you are taking the time to rest, recharge, and most importantly, make some great memories with family and friends. As a parent, the time with my wife and 3 children feels like water through my hands…you cannot hold it, but you can feel it in the moment and you can remember that feeling forever.

“We have entered the beginning of August. This is typically the time of year that we provide some brief updates to our faculty and staff, and to our families. However, as the summer unfolded over the past few weeks, it became apparent that this will again not be a typical summer transition back to school. With that I’d like to share that we will provide updates throughout the month as soon decisions are made, and as guidance is provided to schools from the Department of Public Health and the State Department of Education.

“At the moment, the Governor has extended executive orders through September 30. This includes the masking mandate for all schools through September 30.  However, I want to caution the entire school community that there will likely be many changes in guidance provided to schools over the next few weeks. This is frustrating for parents and students. I can assure you that this is equally frustrating for faculty and staff.

“At this time, we expect to follow the mandates that are required of public schools, but to emphasize as much normalcy as permitted within areas of discretion.  Our year ended with some positive moves towards normalcy (i.e. changes to our elementary recess), and we will continue to move in that direction, where permitted, while maintaining a balance between safety and the social/emotional wellness of our students.  .

There will be much more to come. I want to assure our families that we will build off of our success at the end of the 20-21 school year to make the upcoming year a positive experience for our students. Be well, and continue to make more positive memories over the next few weeks!”

Superintendent of School Thomas Scarice was vaccinated last spring. EMT (and Coleytown Middle School theater teacher) Ben Frimmer did the honors. (Photo/John Bayers)

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Six weeks after a driver (somehow) demolished the side and front of Outpost Pizza, it’s back in business.

Work on the façade of the restaurant across from Hudson Malone, near Coffee An’ and Grapevine spirit shop still continues.

But don’t worry. The best pizza — guaranteed!!! — is once again in the oven.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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One business opens, another closes: Sun Reflexology has been hit with a Stop-Work Order.

The state Department of Labor charges the massage therapy business in the small shopping plaza near Layla’s Falafel and Dunkin’ Donuts with “misrepresenting employees as independent contractors,” and “materially understating or concealing payroll.”

A phone call to the spa — and to its 2nd location, between Shearwater Coffee and the Sherwood Diner — went unanswered.

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The Lone Bellow has quite a Westport following.

The Brooklyn band brought their indie-folk act to the Levitt Pavilion last night, for a benefit show. A good-sized crowd enjoyed the music, sang along, and danced (in their pods).

(All photos/JC Martin)

This week’s Levitt lineup:

  • Tonight (Saturday, August 7): Isaiah Sharkey
  • Sunday, August 8: Mimi & the Podd Brothers
  • Tuesday, August 10: Tony Trischka, Banjo Master
  • Wednesday, August 11: Elena Moon Park & Friends
  • Thursday, August 12: The Sweet Remains
  • Friday, August 13: Baskin & Batteau, and Jesse Terry
  • Saturday, August 14: The Simple Radicals
  • Sunday, August 15: Dan Levinson’s Palomar Jazz Band

Click here for times and (free) tickets.

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Andy Friedland has always watched out for others. The Staples High School graduate worked with AmeriCorps, and for the ADL. Now he’s at the University of Connecticut, earning a master’s to teach English.

It’s for us to watch him. He’ll be on ABC’s “The $100,000 Pyramid” this Wednesday (August 11, 9 pm EDT) — with New York Giants legends Michael Strahan and Tiki Barber.

The show was filmed nearly a year ago. Since that time Andy has scrupulously adhered to his Non-Disclosure Agreement. Even his closest relatives don’t know the outcome.

But whatever happens: Westport knows Andy is a winner.

Andy Friedland (Photo by Harold Shapiro for Connecticut Magazine)

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Jon Lindbergh — son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, whose life the New York Times says “was shaped by the height of fame and the depths of tragedy that his family experienced” — died recently in West Virginia. He was 88.

The Times obituary mentions that his family lived in Westport. That surprised many people.

Though their time in Darien is more well known, the Lindberghs lived on Long Lots Road — on the right side, just before the Fairfield line — from 1944 to 1946. They kept a low profile, having endured both the kidnapping and murder of Jon’s 20-month brother Charles Jr. (5 months before Jon’s birth in 1932), and Charles’ unpopular political views as an isolationist and possible Nazi sympathizer during World War II.

Click here for the full New York Times obituary. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)

Jon Lindbergh (Photo courtesy of NY Times)

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One last look at Sunny the Duck. He (she?) advertised Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race/Raffle, which was held yesterday.

He (she?) will now be deflated. Here’s hoping he (she?) will rise again next year, and that 2,000 plastic ducks will once again bob in the Saugatuck River.

Sunny the Duck, yesterday on Jesup Green. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

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This week’s #FridayFlowers grace the entrance to Compo Beach. The gorgeous arrangement is courtesy of Westport Garden Club members Ginger Donaher and Tracy Pollard.

#FridayFlowers, at Compo Beach.

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This has nothing to do with Westport (although many “06880” readers can relate). But this is my blog, so I’m sticking it in.

What’s up with email lists that — once you click “unsubscribe” — send you another email to confirm.

PS: This is 2021. It should not take “up to 10 days” for a request to be honored.

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Elaine Clayton had never heard of a hummingbird moth. Neither had I.

But the other day, she spotted one near Bayberry Lane. It is a giant moth — but it behaves like a hummingbird. Who knew?

It’s  today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

(Photo/Elaiine Clayton)

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And finally … if you missed the Lone Bellow last night, no problem. Here they are again:

 

Roundup: Drs. Al And Jean Beasley, Sunrise Rotary, Remarkable Mondays …

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Norwalk Hospital will dedicate 2 newly renovated pediatric emergency rooms in memory of Dr. Al Beasley and Dr. Jean Beasley.

The husband-and-wife pediatricians were beloved in Westport. Dr. Al died last year; Dr. Jean passed away from cancer in 1973.

The most recent issue of Catalyst — the magazine published by Nuvance Health, Norwalk Hospital’s owner —  devotes 2 pages to the Beasleys. The story notes that Al was the grandson of a Harvard-educated attorney who founded the Boston chapter of the NAACP; his father graduated from Harvard, his mother from Radcliffe. Al served 2 years as an Army reservist, the 4 years in the Air Force during the Korean War. He and Jean married while they were attending NYU Medical School.

Dr. Al Beasley was also a major benefactor of Staples Tuition Grants, in honor of Dr. Jean. (Hat tip: Burton Stuttman)

Dr. Jean Beasley and Dr. Al Beasley

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Sunrise Rotary Club sponsored a food drive collection yesterday, at Saugatuck Congregational Church. Norwalk’s great Person-to-Person organization was the beneficiary.

Sunrise Rotarians collect food. (Photo/Nick Mathias)

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Mondays are remarkable at the drive-in.

Upcoming screenings at Westport’s Remarkable Theater at the Imperial Avenue parking lot include:

  • The Breakfast Club (June 28, 8:45 p.m.)
  • Dirty Dancing (July 5, 9 p.m.)
  • Pitch Perfect (July 12, 9 p.m.)
  • Grease (July 19, 9 p.m.).

Click here for tickets, and more information.

“The Breakfast Club”: still hilarious after all these years.

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John (Jackie) Laux of Jersey City died June 9 in Midvale, Utah after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He passed at home to the tune of the Grateful Dead, surrounded by his wife Marybeth, son Robert, and daughters Kristen and Molly.

Jackie and Marybeth had recently relocated to Utah to live out his lifelong dream of becoming a ski bum and being closer to his grandchildren, Devyn and Callan Laux, and Maggie and Noelle Giusti.

Jackie was an accomplished hockey player, playing goalie for Iona College. He made many lifelong friends on the ice, a tradition that continued through his final years while refereeing youth hockey in Connecticut.

Jackie also loved golf, and was a proud member of Shorehaven Club in Norwalk. Surrounded by friends, he enjoyed the fresh air, light beers and moderate exercise, then met his children by the pool to catch a swimming, diving or tennis match.

He was always excited and proud to watch (or coach) his children’s soccer, baseball and softball games, and tennis matches. As his children grew, their joint love of sports grew into family gatherings at New York Giants and Rangers games.

Jackie’s generous personality garnered him hundreds of friends around the country. He was quick to lend a helping hand or buy a drink for a friend in need of company (or just plain fun). He connected with others instantly and deeply, and leaves behind a lasting impression on all who knew him.

Due to COVID, a private memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on July 12 at Westport’s Unitarian Church, and broadcast via Zoom (click here for the link). Following the service, family and friends are invited to Penfield Pavilion in Fairfield (5 p.m.).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jackie’s name to Huntsman Cancer Institute or First Tee of Metropolitan New York.

Jackie Laux

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Staples’ spring hockey team won the Southern Connecticut Hockey League Division 3 Spring hockey championship, thumping North Branford 7-0 in the finals. Incoming captains Andrew Gebicki, Jason Wolgast and Cole Feinleib led the team.

Staples: spring league champs.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo features a bee. It’s gorgeous — but the bee is also hard at work.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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And finally … Happy Industrial Workers of the World Day!

 

Roundup: Black Bear, Private Ryan, Chad Knight …

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A black bear has been making its way south, from northern Fairfield County. On Saturday, it roamed around the Cranbury area of Norwalk.

Yesterday, the medium-sized mammal lumbered into Westport. Stella Wong spotted it in her Old Hill back yard, around 9 a.m.

“It looked healthy and beautiful,” she reports. Then it headed downhill, toward Wilton Road.

(Photo/Stella Wong)

Later yesterday, the bear was spotted at the Westport Weston Family YMCA, near Mahackeno.

No word on whether it had a membership pass.

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Last night’s Remarkable Theater showing of “Saving Private Ryan” was rained out.

It’s rescheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday, June 1, 8 p.m.). So you can extend your Memorial Day weekend one day.

Click here for ticket information, and future shows.

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Staples High School students raise funds for many worthy projects. They thank their donors, work hard — but in their busy day-to-day worlds, never share the results of their efforts.

Jackson Cregan remembers.

The 9th grader loves Sherwood Island. After raising funds for Friends of Sherwood Island, he sent along this update:

“100%  of your donations were used to purchase seagrass and jute erosion control cloth, trees and shrubs.

“In early April, I helped restore dunes. We planted 2,400 seagrass stems with 18 volunteers. In late April, we planted 125 trees and shrubs with 20 volunteers.

Jackson volunteers there nearly every week. He is learning from Michele Sorensen and other master gardeners. He helps with dune restoration, removing invasive species, tree planting, creating pollinator pathways, and maintenance.

Great work, Jackson! And thanks for letting all of us know what’s going on at our great state park.

Jackson Cregan, with Michele Sorenson.

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Congratulations to Chad Knight!

Yesterday the former Staples High School and Little League World Series star’s current team — Duke University — won the ACC championship, 1-0 over NC State. It was the Blue Devils’ 4th ACC baseball title — but first in 60 years.  

Knight — a 2-time state champion at Staples — batted .272, with 2 home runs, this year.

Chad Knight

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Memorial Day weekend’s rains meant a washout for many local businesses.

News12 sent a crew to Joey’s by the Shore. As expected, sales were slow. The popular deli/market had stocked up on supplies, expecting big crowds. But neighbors were stopping in. And the cameraman got some great shots, of Joey’s and Old Mill Beach.

Click here for the report.

Screenshot from yesterday’s News12 report.

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The Sunrise Rotary Club has missed 2 years’ worth of Great Duck Race fundraising efforts. Which means we haven’t seen Sunny the Duck bobbing in the Saugatuck River for 2 years either.

But the club is marching in today’s Memorial Day parade. And they’re marching with “Little Ralphie,” Sunny’s smaller counterpart.

Club members inflated Ralphie yesterday. They had a blast.

From left: Sunrise Rotary president George Masumian; members Jake Labate, Mark Mathias and Mike Hibbard. Little Ralphie is behind them. (Drone photo/Mark Mathias)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo includes this mommy and her 10 babies. Can you find them all?

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … B.J. Thomas died yesterday at his home near Dallas, of complications from lung cancer. He was 78.

Though best known for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” — the song from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which connected him forever with Westport’s Paul Newman and Weston’s Robert Redford — he had many other successes. Fifteen singles reached the Top 10, and he earned 5 Grammys.

I never liked “Raindrops.” But I sure did appreciate much of the rest of B.J. Thomas’ music. What a voice! (Click here for a full obituary.)