Tag Archives: The Joggers Club

Roundup: Ukraine Art Auction, Hamlet At Saugatuck, Fox News Lawsuit …

As donations for our new sister city in Lyman, Ukraine surge toward $120,000 — more than halfway to our goal of $250,000 to rebuild 150 homes, provide generators and a water filtration system — our partners in our other (and longtime) sister city of Marigny, France are pitching in.

In 1991, Roger Potier — a Marigny landscape artist — painted a scene of his Normandy town:

Our friends in Marigny have offered it as an auction item. The winning bidder will donate that price to the Lyman fund — and it will be shipped direct to you, from France. The dimensions are 16″ x 12″.

The bidding starts at $1,000, and runs until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, December 24). Click “Comments” below to bid. You do not have to include your real name — but be sure to fill out the email address in the Comment box, so I’ll know who you are!

Meanwhile, to make a non-auction bid: Please click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other tax-deductible donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo). You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

Meanwhile, we’ll add this thought from 2 noted Westporters.

David Pogue says:

When all a town wants for Christmas is plywood, generators, and drinking water, you know its citizens are in a dire situation.

Our sister city Lyman didn’t ask for this horrific invasion, attack, and devastation; this is a “there but for the grace of God go we” situation.

Let’s give them electricity, water, and tools to rebuild. Let’s show them kindness in a time of desperation. And in this Ukrainian season of devastation, destruction, and death, let’s send them a reminder that compassion and generosity are still alive.

David Pogue urges holiday donations for Lyman.

Ed Gerber adds:

I donated $500 to Ukraine Aid International, because my late father always told me that allowing Hitler to annex the Sudetenland was a horrible mistake that led to World War II.

If we do nothing against “Tsar” Vladimir’s aggression in Ukraine, where will he stop? Next it could be the Baltic States, Finland, Poland, Moldova to name a few undoubtedly on his list. If we do nothing and Putin invades “free” Ukraine, there will be a bloodbath of gargantuan proportions.

Knowing this, if I have an opportunity to help prevent it from happening, and do nothing, it will haunt me for the rest of my life. Please donate – it’s easy!

Ed Gerber

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A petition to review the Hamlet at Saugatuck text and map amendments has been filed with the town clerk.

The action — following the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recent approval of the hotel/retail/and more project on Riverside Avenue and Railroad Place — sends the decision to the Representative Town Meeting.

They have 30 calendar days from yesterday to complete a review. A supermajority of the RTM — 24 members — can vote to overturn the text amendments.

They cannot modify the decision; only vote to uphold or deny.

P&Z chair Danielle Dobin says, “This process is unique to Westport, thanks to our town charter. It is another way in which Westport is special. We are truly the most democratic of towns.

“The RTM review provides another opportunity to discuss the approved text amendment in a public forum, address questions, and tell the story of how the P&Z Commission shaped this proposal to work for Westport.”

Artist’s rendering of a Hamlet at Saugatuck courtyard.

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Sean Hannity was deposed in August, in Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News.

But several statements that emerged Wednesday are making news.

Hannity said he did “not believe … for one second” that Dominion was part of fraud in the 2020 election. Neither did Fox News’ executive vice president, and other high-profile executives at the network.

Those details emerged in Delaware Superior Court. With a high legal standard of proof in defamation cases, Dominion must show a jury “convincing evidence that speaks to the state of mind of those who were making the decisions” at Fox, says the New York Times. (Click here for more details, from NPR.)

The company was arguing this week that they had enough evidence to make that case. Co-lead counsel for Dominion’s legal team is Stephen Shackelford, Jr.

A partner and trial lawyer at Susman Godfrey, the Harvard University and Harvard Law School graduate (first in his class) and former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is a Westport resident. He and his wife Stefanie are the parents of 4 school-age children. In his spare time, he serves on Westport’s Representative Town Meeting. (Hat tip: Tom Prince)

Stephen Shackelford, on CNN.

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On Monday, the Orphenians — Staples High School’s elite vocal ensemble — entertained a large Westport Library crowd.

They’ve been part of our music scene for nearly 70 years. This week’s show included holiday selections, and several from their highly regarded fall concert.

The event was sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to enjoy. (Hat tip: John Brandt)

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“Newsboy” — a 1954 photograph by Westport resident and Internationally known photographer Larry Silver — has been acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Silver took the now iconic photo as a scholarship student at The Art Center School in LA. Part of a photographic series of Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, it has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Westport Art Center.

It’s the first work by Silver to enter the Getty, and complements the work of mid-20th century documentary photographers.

“Newsboy” (Larry Silver)

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The Joggers Club invites all members — and runners who might become members, and anyone else — to their holiday party.

It’s next Thursday (December 29, 7:30 p.m., Romanacci). Members get a free drink!

The Joggers Club welcomes all levels. The number one goal is to have fun.  Everything else is a distant second.

There are fun runs at Compo Beach every Saturday at 8 p.m.; track nights at Norwalk High School on Wednesdays (6:15 p.m.), and Joggers Club Jr. (kindergarten through high school) coming this spring.

Membership ($50 per year) includes a Brooks podium racing shirt for all new members.

For more information click here; check out The Joggers Club on Facebook or Strava, or follow on Instagram (@TheJoggersClub.ct).

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Alan Mande — a 1963 Staples High School graduate, and former Grateful Dead sound engineer — died suddenly at his Mount Shasta, California home last month. He was 77.

The Brooklyn native moved with his family to Westport at age 5. His mother Frances still lives here. Alan was active in Staples Players.

He majored in theater arts at Brandeis University, then spent 2 years at the Yale School of Drama.

Alan took his Players and Westport Country Playhouse stage skills to join Bill Graham’s Fillmore East sound crew as an engineer. He worked on shows like Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies’ New Year’s Eve show in 1970, and others by the Allman Brothers and Crosby Still Nash & Young.

In 1969 Alan’s life changed forever when, while working at the Fillmore East concert venue, he discovered the Grateful Dead. They inspired him to move to California in 1970, where he worked as a sound engineer and stage manager for the Firehouse Theater. In 1971 he met his future wife Nancy, in San Rafael.

Alan earned his master’s in marriage and family therapy from Lone Mountain College. He spent 31 years as a state-licensed MFT.

Alan was involved in many Mount Shasta activities. He assisted with numerous youth theater productions and coached Little League.

Alan’s passion for the Grateful Dead continued throughout his life. He was a prolific collector and archiver of tapes. He is cited in many articles, books and forums as one of the sound engineers who originated the tradition of “stealth taping” and distributing recordings to the larger community, assuring their posterity.

He loved music, theater, children, the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco sports teams, and chocolate

Alan is survived by his mother Frances, sister Susan, brother Jerry, and children Molly and Caton. Contributions in his name can be made to the Jerry Garcia Foundation.

Alan Mande. Yes, that is Jerry Garcia at the center of the steering wheel.

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Today’s spectacular “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from Wendy Crowther.

She explains: “I was taking a photo of birds swarming my birdfeeders yesterday (perhaps sensing the big storm and deep freeze coming in). Suddenly, something big flashed by my lens causing the birds to scatter.

“I looked up to see this hawk sitting on a low branch 10 feet from the feeder. It waited, changing perches, in hopes an unsuspecting bird would return to the feeder. None did. The hawk eventually flew off.

“As best as I can tell, this is a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk, or a juvenile Cooper’s hawk. Both species prey on birds and other small animals. Like all juveniles, practice will make perfect. But hopefully not at my birdfeeder, and especially not while I’m watching.”

(Photo/Wendy Crowther)

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And finally … Wendy Crowther’s photo of the hawk (above) — and today’s wind — remind me of Lou Rawls’ “Dead End Street.”

Why? Well, it begins:

I was born in a city the called the “Windy City”
And they call it the “Windy City” because of the ‘Hawk.”
All mighty Hawk,
Talking about Mr. Wind — kind of mean around winter time

It’s a great song. Give it a listen — and stay warm and dry.

(Got nothing to do today, with the rain coming down, all the Christmas presents wrapped, the tree trimmed and everything else taken care of? Please consider an “06880” donation. Just click here — and thank you!)

 

Roundup: Dog Park, Distracted Driving, Nice House …

Right now, there are no fenced dog parks in Westport. (Winslow Park is enclosed, but there are many gaps and areas without walls or fences.)

Andrew Colabella wants to change that.

The Representative Town Meeting member worked with Karen Kramer and Matthew Mandell to create a petition. The goal is to gauge support, to show town officials the need. Click here to see.

There are gates, and some new fences, at Winslow Park. But it is not a fully enclosed dog run. (Photo/Nell Waters Bernegger)

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The Westport Police Department is participating in the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s high visibility distracted driving enforcement campaign. The campaign — beginning today, and running through October 31 — will increase efforts to enforce distracted-driving laws.

Connecticut law prohibits the use of any hand-held mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers who are 16 or 17 years old are prohibited from using a cell phone or mobile device at any time — even hands free.

The fine for the first offense is $200. It’s $375 for the second ticket, and $625 for the third and subsequent offenses.

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Who knew so many “06880” readers also read the New York Post?

I’d need an entire haberdashery to hand out hat tips to everyone who sent me the tabloid story noting Shonda Rhimes’ purchase of Doug and Melissa Bernstein’s 11-bedroom home. The 7.5-acre property also includes a basketball court, bowling alleys, arcade, home theater, playroom, billiards room, 8 fireplaces, kitchen with a pizza oven, tennis court, pool, playground, and outdoor seating and dining areas.

Karen Scott was the KMS Partners at Compass broker who sold the property to the producer/screenwriter/author/global media company CEO/Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee’s agent.  Rhimes will move from elsewhere in Westport; the Bernsteins have bought another home here.

Click here for the full New York Post story.

Shonda Rhimes’ new home.

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Meanwhile, another New York newspaper — the Times — this week ran a Critic’s Notebook piece headlined: “Has War Changed, or Only War Photography?”

It begins by citing a 1991 Staples High School graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist:

Lynsey Addario began taking war pictures when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Only two-thirds of a century had elapsed since Robert Capa documented the Spanish Civil War. But to go from the exhibition of Capa’s Spain photos at the International Center of Photography to the Addario show at the SVA Chelsea Gallery is to traverse not just time and geography but a profound shift in sensibility. Capa’s pictures express his belief in war as a conflict between good and evil. In our time, which is to say in Addario’s, unwavering faith in the justice of one side has perished, a casualty of too many brutal, pointless, reciprocally corrupt wars.

Addario over the last two decades has taken her camera to some of the most dangerous places on earth. A MacArthur fellow, she is a freelance photographer who shared a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting awarded to The New York Times in 2009 for its coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like Capa, she calls herself a photojournalist, not an artist. She has said that she is dedicated to “using images to undo preconceptions and to show a reality often misunderstood or misrepresented.” She has also named Capa as one of her main influences, even though many of the preconceptions she seeks to undermine are those he enshrined.

Click here to read the full story. (Hat tip: Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

In one of Lynsey Addario’s most famous photos, Ukrainian soldiers try to save the father of a family of four — the only one at that moment who still had a pulse — moments after being hit by a mortar while trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

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The Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County has received a $5,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

It’s for their Dignity Grows chapter, part of a national network to fight period poverty among nearly 30% of menstruators in the U.S. Donors and volunteers fund and pack monthly totes of hygiene and period essentials. They’re delivered free of charge to partner agencies, who then provide them to their clients. 

From last September through June, the Federation organized 10 packing events — many in Westport — and delivered 800 totes. The grant will help them expand their reach, to meet a growing need.

A packing event hosted by Sharon Navarro (top right, 3rd from right) and Jen Frank (bottom row, 2nd from right). All participants are Westport residents — except the lone male, Ofek Moscovich. He’s the Federation Israel emissary spending a year here. The group packed 100 totes for LifeBridge Community Services in Bridgeport.

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Who knew there were “professional carvers”?

On Thursday (October 20), you can meet one. DeTapas restaurant hosts one. He’ll serve a “world-class jamon,” paired with special Spanish wines.

The carver will go from table to table, from 5:30 p.m. on. The cost is $45 per person. Guests can stay and enjoy dinner afterward. To RSVP, use Open Table, or contact the restaurant: hola@detapasrestaurant.com; 203-557-0257.

Owner Carlos Pia in his handsomely decorated De Tapas restaurant.

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Speaking of restaurants:

After a successful summer, La Plage pivots to fall. Highlights include “Mussels Wednesday” (Pemaquid Maine mussels with non-stop fries service, paired with a special Pilsner from Spacecat Brewing in Norwalk); “Lobster Bake Thursday” (with head-on shrimp, mussels, clams and andouille), and “Paella Sunday” (clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, chicken, chorizo).

La Plage also offers a “Halloween Bash” (Sunday, October 30). The winning costume earns 2 tickets to the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve dinner and gala.

Killer water views at La Plage.

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Looking for money?

Connecticut has just published a new “Big List” — names of people owed money from various sources, currently held by the state treasurer.

The website (click here) guides users through a form to complete and have notarized.  

If you get a windfall, consider sharing it with Dennis Jackson — the “06880” reader who found the site.

And, of course, with “06880.”

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The Joggers Club is not running out of great ideas.

Besides Fun Runs every Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. at Compo Beach, and Track Night every Wednesday at 6:q5 p.m. (Staples High School), they’re taking part in races throughout the state. Among them:

  • Pumpkin Run: October 30 (costumes encouraged)
  • Jamie’s Run for Children: November 6 (DJ Party after)
  • Hot Coco 5K: November 12 (“Hottest Race in November”)
  • Branford Thanksgiving 5K: Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Run for Children: December 4 (free beer and live music).

The Joggers Club offers a free race bib to each of those races to one member — and discounted coupons for everyone else.

Club membership is $50 a year (new members get a free Endurance Brooks racing shirt. Click here or on Instagram or Facebook for more information.
$50 a year (And new members get a free Endurance Brooks racing shirt)

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Boo!

The scene outside Winslow Park Animal Hospital changes with the holiday. It’s clear what’s next:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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We’ve featured wasp nests before, in our “Westport … Naturally” series.

But I don’t think I’ve seen any as large — and scary-looking — as this. Pete Powell spotted it on the Longshore golf course, opposite the green at hole 13.

You sure don’t want to hit a ball near there.

(Photo/Pete Powell)

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And finally … in honor of the Connecticut state treasurer’s trove:

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(Not much to add to the song above. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)

 

Roundup: Beach Dogs, Earth Animal, Salmon Trees …

Tomorrow is October 1.

Every dog owner — and probably every dog — knows what that means.

From Saturday through March 31, canines are allowed back on Compo Beach.

They’re prohibited from the pavilion, playground and walkways. They must be leashed in all areas, except the off-leash area (south of the pavilion, including South Beach).

And it goes without saying — though the Parks & Recreation Department says it anyway, because some dog owners don’t care about this crap — “you are required by law to pick up your dog’s feces.”

Oh happy day! Frank, Oggy, Utah and Winston (Photo/Nicola Sharian)

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Speaking of animals:

Earth Animal has donated $20,000 to build a new barn at Wakeman Town Farm. It will provide shelter, feed storage and veterinary care space.

The funds came through a 6-month Little Barn Project. A percentage of store sales — including WTF merchandise — went to the farm. Earth Animal then matched the funds.

“My sister Abbey and I fell in love with the farm and all that it does for the community, the animals, children, families and their dedicated sustainability mission,” says Merritt Goldstein, whose family owns Earth Animal.

“We asked what we could do for the farm and began supplying food for the animals. We realized that the existing barn was run down, and needed to be rebuilt.”

Wakeman Town Farm barn.

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Aquarion has requested a revenue increase of $49.9 million — a 25% increase. If approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, it would add about $4.25 per month to the bill of a typical residential water customer using 72,000 gallons of water annually.

Public hearings will be held next Thursday, October 6  (via Zoom; click here) and Tuesday, October 25 (via Zoom; click here). (Hat tip: Jeff Manchester)

For more information, click here and here.

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As if Westport does not have enough traffic and school bus problems:

Andrew Colabella reports that a bus broke down in this most inopportune spot prior to starting its route today:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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Ribbons around trees usually mean they’re coming down soon.

Probably not so at Grace Salmon Park.

These pink ribbons are undoubtedly in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

But it might not hurt to get rid of these particular ones.

They’re trees of heaven — a very invasive species.

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Some people don’t look at food expiration dates.

Jarret Liotta does.

The native Westporter sends this photo:

(Photo/Jarret Liotta)

He writes: “This is probably my third in the last couple of months. Perhaps you can suggest a new ‘06880’ game: Readers can search Stop & Shop for their favorite expired products.”

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The Joggers Club is moving from Greens Farms train station to Compo Beach.

There are fun runs every Saturday at 8 a.m. (parking available even without a sticker). There are short (3-5 miles) and long courses (6 to 9 miles) each week.

The cost is $50 (not each time!). New Joggers Club members receive a Brooks racing shirt.

The club also introduces a new members-only track night, every Wednesday at 6:15 p.m., at the Staples High School Track.

Got kids? The Joggers Club Jr. welcomes youngsters in kindergarten through 8th grade. They work on speed, strength and how to love the sport.

The Joggers Club was founded in 2007 to help runners build friendships, form bonds,  have fun (and run).

For more information, click here, or go to Instagram (@TheJoggersClub.CT),
Facebook or Strava for weekly courses and local running chatter.

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Speaking of sports: Tennis fans would give anything to watch Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal up close and personal. When they do, it costs big buck$. And they’re surrounded by thousands of other people.

Squash aficionados can watch their heroes — Paul Coll (ranked #2 in the world), Diego Elias (#4) and Faraz Kahn (#53) — on October 6.

The site is Intensity — the tennis/squash/fitness/dance center just over the Norwalk line. (It’s also home to the Staples High School squash teams.)

The event starts at 5 p.m. with junior clinics. Adult clinics follow at 6, with the pro exhibition matches beginning at 7.

Admission includes food, drink, and photo and autograph opportunities — something else you’d never get with Federer or Nadal. Click here for tickets.

Paul Coll — the #2 squash player in the world — comes to Intensity.

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Slava Ukraini!

Last week, Westporters Anna Dubchak, Steve Taranko, Vitaly Yakubovskiy and Mark Yurkiw, plus Luba Zam from Norwalk, held the first meeting of the
Ukrainian Society of Fairfield.

The group hopes to assist Ukraine cope with the horrors of the Russian invasion.

Non-Ukrainians are welcome to help too. For more information, email: UkrainianFairfield@hotmail.com.

The Ukrainian Society of Fairfield.

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There’s always something going on at Sherwood Mill Pond.

Matt Murray spotted this great blue heron yesterday. Today, it’s our handsome “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … rapper Coolio, the rapper and Grammy winner of hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise,” died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 59. Click here for a full obituary.

This may be the first YouTube video I’ve ever linked to with over 1 billion views.

(“06880” is your source for all local news (and worldwide hit songs). Please click here to support this blog.

 

Roundup: StoryFest, Train Station, Puppies …

It’s almost here: StoryFest, the Westport Library’s genre-spanning literary festival (and the largest one in the state). Plus: It’s free!

StoryFest celebrates all forms of stories, and storytellers from across all media.

Among the highlights:

  • StoryFest Kick-Off: Isaac Fitzgerald in Conversation with Saeed Jones (Friday, September 9, 6 p.m. — click here to register)
  • Tessa Smith McGovern and Patricia Dunn launch their new podcast, “Go Ahead, Write Something” with bestselling author Naomi Novik  (Saturday, September 10, 4:30 p.m. — click here to register)
  • Raise a glass to StoryFest weekend with specialty cocktails. Mallory O’Meara (James Beard Book Award-winning author) and Brea Grant (filmmaker/actress) bring their podcast “Reading Glasses” to the Library stage, with guest stars: Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, Alexis Henderson and Clay McLeod Chapman (Saturday, September 10, 6 p.m. — click here to register).

Several authors authors are releasing new books early, for StoryFest. They include:

For the full StoryFest schedule, and more details, click here.

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It’s been nearly 30 months since the pandemic struck.

Westport — a town of commuters — changed immediately. Anyone who could work from home, did.

Metro-North slashed service. The railroad parking lots stayed empty. People who had waited for years for parking permits suddenly had them.

Offices re-opened slowly, often only 2 or 3 days a week. But many men and women — unwilling to sit next to others on trains where conductors did not enforce mask mandates — traded trains for cars.

Yesterday though, “06880” reader Ellen Bowen noticed something: The Westport train station’s eastbound lot was once again full. From Donut Crazy to the lower spots by Saugatuck Avenue, every spot was taken.

A sign that things are pretty much back to normal? A cause for celebration? Concern that the great experiment in working from home is ending?

Click “Comments,” to offer your take.

No spots — not even by Saugatuck Avenue. (Photo/Ellen Bowen)

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Aquarion has requested a revenue increase of $49.9 million — a 25% increase. If approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, it would add about $4.25 per month to the bill of a typical residential water customer using 72,000 gallons of water annually.

Public hearings will be held today (Thursday, September 8, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall), and Thursday, October 6  (via Zoom; click here) and Tuesday, October 25 (via Zoom; click here).

For more information, click here(Hat tip: Mark Lemcke)

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The Porch @ Christie’s is going to the dogs.

This Sunday (September 11, 10 a.m. to noon), the popular Cross Highway spot will be overrun by puppies.

Westport animal Shelter Advocates will bring a litter of 11, and other furry friends, including older dogs — all available for adoption.

There is no on-site adoption. But for those who follow up through WASA, Earth Animal is donating pup packs. (They’ve already provided nutritious puppy food.)

WASA will also hold a silent auction at the Porch, to raise funds to assist and advocate for neglected and homeless dogs. Featured items include a certified signed Aaron Judge baseball, and four VIP Yankee Stadium Legends seats for the September 24 Yankees-Red Sox game.

For more information, call 203-557-0361. or email wasa1@optonline.net.

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It’s a paradox: There are so many utility wires, we often don’t really notice them.

But Michael Brennecke does.

The native Westporter thinks there are too many. He cites this “particularly egregious example of wire pollution,” where Hillspoint Road and Prospect Road meet:

(Photo/Michael Brennecke)

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As the weather cools, the Joggers Club heats up.

The all-runners-welcome group once again sponsors Saturday morning events, starting at the Greens Farms train station at 8 a.m. The $50 yearly fee includes all paces, 2 new routes each week, free Brooks Endurance running shirts for all new members, unlimited post-run coffee, along with track nights and the Joggers Club Jr., for youngsters in grades kindergarten through 8th.

For more information, click here, or go to Instagram (@TheJoggersClub.CT),
Facebook or Strava for weekly courses and local running chatter.

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Speaking of sports:

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker honored Westport’s 11U Little League district all-star state champion team yesterday. Each player received a commendation for their “hard work and perseverance.”

Rear (from left):1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Nolan Walters, Wyatt Johnson, Justin Goldshore, Henry Ellis, Toby Slavin Jack McGrath, coach Jon Ellis, Dylan Burdeshaw, coach Marc Theisinger, manager Justin Walters Front: Torrey Rossetter, Chase Landgraf, Luke Moneyhon, Grant Theisinger, Miles Delorier, Christopher Lambert.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is a bit different than most.

Maggie Boroujerdi writes: “Tuesday’s much-needed rain revived our dry stream along Morningside Drive North and Keenes Road.

“We’re relatively new to the neighborhood. At the bus stop the other morning, neighbors said this is the first year they’ve seen the little stream dry up completely, for weeks. I took this photo:

(Photo/Maggie Boroujerdi)

“I’m grateful to have the water running again.”

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And finally … in honor of Sunday’s dog adoption event at The Porch @ Christie’s:

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(How much is that doggie in the window? No clue. But you can click here to support “06880.” Any amount is appreciated!)

Roundup: Daylight Savings Times, Whole Body Reset, Westport’s Future …

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Tonight is the night we love to hate.

We lose an hour’s sleep — but we gain an hour of sunlight for the next 8 months. Set your clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.

If you’re one of those who forgets between now and bedtime: Stick a Post-It note on the clock by your bed.

Sweet (if shortened) dreams!

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“06880” has reported on a bill proposed in the General Assembly. If passed, HB 5429 would allow up to 15 housing units per acre within a half-mile radius of Westport’s 2 train stations.

How far is half a mile? Here are maps:

(Map by Danielle Dobin, courtesy of Matthew Mandell)

(Map by Matthew Mandell)

A Zoom hearing on the bill is set for Monday (March 14, 10 a.m.). Residents wishing to testify must register by 3 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday). Send a brief email to PDtestimony@cga.ct.gov. Reference Bill #5429, and include your name and town.

Click here on Monday, to watch the hearing live.

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Congratulations to Stephen Perrine. The Westport author’s new book, “The Whole Body Reset: Your Weight-Loss Plan for a Flat Belly, Optimum Health & a Body You’ll Love at Midlife and Beyond,” debuted at #2 on the New York Times’ “Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous” best seller list.

It’s also #1 on Publisher Weekly’s Hardcover Non-Fiction chart.

And last week — following Perrine’s “Today Show” appearance — it was #1 on Amazon.

Not just one of the e-commerce giant’s many lists. It was #1 among all of Amazon’s books.

Click here to join everyone else who has bought the book. Or — if you need to lose weight today — head to Barnes & Noble downtown.

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Yesterday’s “Roundup” item about Wakeman Town Farm’s project to send medical supplies to Ukraine did not include an important link: how to order those supplies through Amazon. Click here to see what’s needed.

You can have them sent to WTF, Lachat Town Farm in Weston or Ambler Farm in Wilton — or drop them off at any of those 3 sites yourself. More instructions are at the top of the Amazon link. Deadline is 1 p.m. next Saturday, March 18.

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Want to help draft a plan for Westport’s future?

On March 23 (7:30 p.m.), Temple Israel hosts a community conversation. Rabbi Michael Friedman and interfaith clergy colleagues will moderate a discussion and brainstorming session. It’s co-hosted by Westport’s Planning & Zoning Commission, and features chair Danielle Dobin and P&Z director Mary Young.

Organizers call it “an introduction to planning for affordability, and an opportunity for public feedback on how to diversify housing in a way that works for Westport.”

Among Westport’s affordable housing options: Sasco Creek Village. Explore other options at Temple Israel on March 23.

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Need a feel-good story? Check out this News12 clip on Darien High School boys basketball manager Tripp Lyons.

He’s non-verbal, with a disability that requires the use of a wheelchair. But he fires up the Blue Wave players, and they love him. The other day — on Senior Night — he hit the court with his teammates.

What makes this “06880”-worthy — besides the fact that we need something uplifting these days — is that Darien’s opponent that day was Staples. The Wreckers were as excited as the Wavers to see Tripp with the ball.

Click here for the video. (Hat tip: Matt Murray)

Staples players (in blue) cheer along with Darien for Tripp Myers. (Screenshot from News12 Connecticut)

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Like many Americans, Nate Gibbons is watching the price of gas rise.

As Westport’s fire marshal, he’s concerned about more than the economic cost.

“A few residents have resorted to gasoline hoarding. People are taking any and every container to the pump and filling it up,” he says.

Fuels like gasoline and diesel are flammable. The cans to store small fuel quantities are metal or special red plastic, have safety nozzles, and can be effectively sealed against leaking vapors, which can ignite if they find a source of ignition.

“You’ve seen them around and probably have one or two in your garage. It’s what they are designed for, safe storage of flammable liquids,” he says.

The Westport Fire Marshal’s Office reminds everyone to put fuel only in rated, fuel containers. If you need to stockpile fuel, invest in the correct gas storage containers. Store fuel outside your living area, and never in a basement. Transfer fuel using safety nozzles that shut off automatically in the event of a slip or a drop. Always use funnels to minimize the risk of a spill.

Questions? Call the fire marshal: 203-341-5020.

Legal. It even says it on the front!

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Gas is not the only things whose price is rising.

Food is more expensive too. That may be why donations to Homes with Hope’s pantry have dropped off. Of course, rising food prices mean more people are going hungry than before.

A special food drive runs from today through Tuesday (March 15th). Items can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Gillespie Center on Jesup Road, behind Barnes & Noble and next to Don Memo.

Most-needed items include pasta sauces, canned meats, soups and stews, canned vegetables (other than beans!), hot and cold cereal, peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, oatmeal and mayonnaise.

The Gillespie Center. (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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The bar is high for entitled parking photos. “06880” no longer runs drivers who take up 2 spaces. The limit for hogging more than your own is now 3.

This driver managed that feat. Sure, it’s subtle — a few inches over a couple of lines. But very cleverly, he (or she, though I doubt it) managed to make sure that no one came close to this precious Pacifica Limited.

(PS: Don’t say “the cops should ticket it!” It’s a private lot.)

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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As we stumble toward spring, it’s time to “run” some news from the Joggers Club.

If you sign up for The Minute Man 10k, you get a free Build-up Series training run. Each week is progressively longer (and you’re rewarded after each run with coffee, water, bagels and muffins).

The series starts and ends at Compo Beach. The route is the same roads as the Minute Man 10k. It starts at 8 a.m.: April 9 (3 miles), April 16 (4 miles), April 23 (5 miles), April 30 (race day!).
·
The Joggers Club also sponsors a club for youngsters grades kindergarten through 8th. The goals are form, endurance and (most important) fun.

The program is run by elite athletes, every Sunday from April 3 to May 29 (2 to 3:15 p.m., Staples High School track. Its $49 for Joggers Club members, $99 for non-members.

The club also offers a great social run series: 42 weeks of enjoyable group running. Click on TheJoggersClub.com,or follow on Instagram: @TheJoggersClub.ct.

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Longtime Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club member and volunteer David Bate died Monday in Fairfield, with his family by his side. He was 78.

The Birmingham, England native graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Aston University there. He joined Jaguar Rover, and moved to the US in 1965.

David stayed with Jaguar for nearly 25 years, retiring as national technical service manager at their US headquarters in New Jersey. He later founded EnviroSolutions, a distributor of environmentally safe cleaning products. He spent the remainder of his career traveling the country, brokering private sales of classic cars.

David was a member of Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club for over 40 years, and served as chairman of the racing committee for 6. An accomplished sailor, he competed often. He completed the Marion Bermuda Race 4 times, and the Caribbean 1500. He also earned his US Coast Guard 6-Pack Captain’s License.

Summer weekends were spent with his family, trimming the sails of their Cal 39 “Scimitar” on Long Island Sound. He was also an avid classic car enthusiast, and specifically loved the AC Cobra. Music, photography, motorcycles and golf were other favorite pastimes, as was socializing with his many friends.

David is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patrice Choquette Bate; daughter Jennifer Bate Orgera (Theodore), and grandchildren Theodore Jr. and Chloe.

A private celebration of his life will be held later.

David Bate

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Molly Alger sends today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo — and a wish.

“I hope the weekend weather doesn’t destroy these beauties!” she says.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … here’s one more reminder to set your clock forward tonight!

 

Roundup: Ukraine Rally, Mark Yurkiw, Mexicue …

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For the past few days, Westporters have watched citizens around the globe rally in support of Ukraine.

We get our own chance this Saturday.

The Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge — the go-to site for local political activity — is the site March 5, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The theme is “Stand With Ukraine.”

The event’s organizers — DefenDemocracy CT — say: “Represent. Bring signs. Be safe.”

 

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Westport’s Mexican dining scene — already hot, with everything from “mama y papa” (Border Grille, Cuatro Hermanos) and fast-casual (Salsa Fresca) to upscale (Mexica) and of course old standbys (Viva Zapata, Bartaco) — gets another player soon.

Mexicue moves into the 2nd floor of 38 Main Street. The newly designed space was formerly occupied — in a much different configuration — by Bobby Q’s and Onion Alley.

Founder Thomas Kelly — who does not sound as if he’s from south of the border — writes on Mexicue’s website that he began by mixing a street food sensibility with fine dining. His experimenting, mixing and combining has led to Mexicues in New York City (Chelsea, NoMad, Midtown), Stamford and Washington, DC. Besides Westport, another is in the works in Bethesda, Maryland.

Target date for opening is early May.

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Westport artist Mark Yurkiw’s parents emigrated to the US from Ukraine, in 1949. They had spent years in displaced persons’ tent camps.

As a teenager during World War II, Mark’s mother was enslaved .For almost 50 years, the United Nations paid slave labor reparations to her.

Mark was born in New York, but his first language is Ukrainian. He has followed the news from his parents’ homeland closely, and fearfully. He knows its history well.

Mark says: “To get a sense of what Ukraine has endured, watch the film Mr. Jones. It is a true story about a British reporter trying to warn the world about what is now referred to the Holodomor during the early 1930s, when Stalin starved Ukraine and untold millions died.

“The rise and acceptance of the ruling authoritarians around the world is the most frightening aspect of our times. What is happening now in Ukraine will affect the whole world for years to come.”

Mark Yurkiw, with a patriotic t-shirt.

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WestportMoms reports that in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, BevMax has taken Russian vodka off its shelves. Instead, the chain is encouraging customers to buy vodka from Ukraine.

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Today’s New York Times features a compelling photo from 1988 Staples High School graduate Tyler Hicks. It shows civilian volunteers sorting empty bottles in a parking lot in Dnipro, Ukraine. They’ll be used for Molotov cocktails.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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Following CDC guidelines, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice announced yesterday that students are no longer required to wear masks on school buses or vans. Anyone wishing to continue wearing them may do so.

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Pass the Torch is a popular sports podcast. Each episode examines the life journeys of athletes and sports personalities.

The most recent one highlights David Lloyd. The 1979 Staples High School graduate and SportsCenter host has been at ESPN for 25 years.

Click here for his insights into his career, including the long road from Westport to Bristol. (Hat tip: Tommy Greenwald)

David Lloyd

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Speaking of sports: With spring almost here*, the Joggers Club is warming up some great program.

The Kids Running Camp for kindergarten through 8th grade runs (ho ho) Sundays, April 3 through May 29 (Staples high School track, 2 to 3:15 p.m.). It’s $40 for members, $99 for non-members.

The Minute Man 10K Build-Up Series is Saturdays throughout April (Compo Beach, 8 a.m.); free for members.

Track Night (every Wednesday, Norwalk High School, 6:15 p.m.) and Fun Run (every Saturday, Compo Beach, 8 a.m.)) are both free for members.

Click here for more information, and membership ($50 per year; includes a free Brooks technical running shirt). Instagram: @TheJoggersClub.CT.

*Please, dear God.

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“What is a healthy fat?” “Should I do a juice cleanse?” “How can I improve my diet?” “Are all carbs bad”?

Dietician and wellness expert Katie Andrews answers those questions and more tomorrow (March 1, 7 p.m., TAP Strength Lab, 180 Post Road East). She’ll cover the basics of healthy nutrition, from macro and micronutrient needs, to how to manage a healthy diet.

It’s free; please RSVP to nancy@tapstrength.com. The first 30 people to respond get a free ready-to-eat chef-crafter meal from Azuluna.

Katie Andrews

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Because of an online glitch and snow that prevented hand delivery of essays difficult, TEAM Westport has extended the deadline for its Teen Diversity Contest to Wednesday, March 2.

Click here for full details, and an application form.

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Fulvio Vladimir Dobrich — a longtime Westporter, and husband of civic volunteer Maggie Mudd — died earlier this month in a sailing accident off the British Virgin Islands. He was 74.

His family writes: “Fulvio was a larger-than-life figure, a successful multi-lingual international financier who was energetic and ever-curious, with a strong grasp of world history and politics.

“He felt most at peace roaming the world on his beloved S/Y Istria.

“Youthful, adventurous and endowed with a passionate and enduring zest for life and risk unusual for a man of his age, he influenced the lives of many, showing them extraordinary generosity, warmth, moral support and always a guiding sense of greater possibility.

“Everybody could count on Fulvio for help. His devoted friends are spread across the globe.

“A teen emigrant who left a poor Istrian village in Croatia with his family to escape Communism, Fulvio became an ardent New Yorker, intensely proud of his public school education in Hell’s Kitchen and at City College, where he was a devoted alumnus.

“He served on the Advisory Council and the Board of Visitors of CCNY’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, and was a member of City College’s 21st Century Foundation board.

“He also created the Fulvio V. Dobrich New American Scholarship Fund. He instituted a similar program for first generation students at Wake Forest University.

“An anti-snob, he held an abiding compassion for the many worthy deprived of privilege or opportunity.”

In addition to Maggie Mudd, his wife of 27 years, he is survived by their sons, Jack Dobrich of New York and Andrew Dobrich of Los Angeles, and his daughter from an earlier marriage, Erin Dobrich of Westport.

In addition, a celebration of Fulvio’s life will be held at City College, New York, at a date to be determined.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Colin Powell School at CCNY.

Fulvio Dobrich

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No, Jo Shields Sherman admits, it’s not the best photograph.

But her shot of “the first robin” on North Avenue is a great “Westport … Naturally” reminder that spring is not too far away.

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)

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And finally … yesterday we noted the death of Sally Kellerman, “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the original “MASH” movie.

On this day in 1983, the final TV episode of “M*A*S*H” aired. Almost 106 million viewers tuned in. Nearly 40 years later, that’s still the record for highest viewership of a season finale.

Anyone who saw that emotionally stunning 2-hour show recognizes the key role Mozart’s “Quintet for Clarinet and Strings” played in that memorable broadcast.

And if you haven’t seen it — or want to watch it again — click below. War is indeed hell.

Roundup: State Of The Town, Cheesecake, Bagels …

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We have the State of the Union speech, and the clumsily named State of the State speech.

But what about Westport?

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein address the “State of the Town” on Sunday, February 6 (2 p.m., Westport Library).

The pair will review accomplishments during the past year, and preview some upcoming initiatives. A question and answer session will follow, led by RTM moderator Jeffrey Wieser.

Questions may be emailed before and during the State of the Town to WestportSOTT@gmail.com.

The event will be livestreamed on www.westportct.gov, and broadcast on public access channels 79 (Optimum) and 6020 (Frontier). Click here to register for in-person attendance or a Zoom link. The event is co-sponsored by Westport Sunrise Rotary and the Westport Rotary Club.

 

What’s the state of our town? Find out on February 6. (Photo/JC Martin)

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Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist — and 1991 Staples High School graduate — Lynsey Addario spent nearly 3 years photographing Marieke Vervoort as she prepared to die. The Belgian woman — a Paralympics gold medalist as a wheelchair sprinter — suffered from a painful degenerative muscular disease.

Under Belgian law, she chose to end her life. Addario’s 2019 New York Times story was raw, intimate and powerful. She also wrote about what the reporting and photography of that story meant to her, personally.

Yesterday, the Times released a podcast of that story. Addario revisits that story, and all its emotions, in a riveting episode. Click here to access it. (Hat tip: John Hartwell)

In her final hours, Marieke Vervoort embraces her parents. (Photo/ copyright Lynsey Addario for New York Times)

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The Joggers Club Jr. is back for a 2nd season of fun.

Youngsters in kindergarten through 8th grade can train with accomplished athletes, including speed and strength coaches.

It “runs” (ho ho) Sundays (2 to 3:15 p.m.), from April 3 to May 22, at the Staples High School track. The cost is $49 for Joggers Club members, $99 for non-members.

The camp is open to only 35 runners, and sold out last year. To join, Venmo @TheJoggersClub.ct.

Registration opens this Sunday (January 30, 6 a.m.). Click here, then complete the waiver under the “Members” section. Once that is complete, email the name and age of the registration to TheJoggersClub@gmail.com. Confirmation will be sent within a day.

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Speaking of jogging: It’s a good way to work off any extra pounds from The Cheesecake Collection.

Westporter Anthoula Pantzos now makes beautiful, custom — and superb — cheesecakes. She grew up around the desserts — including at her family’s Greek restaurant in Stamford — and her husband (a chef) makes them too.

They come in Classic, Trendy and Seasonal varieties. Customers can also build their own. Pantzos offers 8-inch and 10-inch cheesecakes, plus mini-cakes, cheesecake bars, and special items for Valentine’s Day. Click here for the website.

Pick-up is available with 2 days’ notice. Free delivery is available on Saturdays, within a 10-mile radius of Westport.

Click here for the full story on CTBites. (Hat tip: Christine Meiers Schatz)

Anthoula Pantzos, with one of her cheesecakes. (PHoto courtesy of CTBites.com)

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Speaking of food: A Westport bagel maker has made the New York Post‘s list of “the most sought-after pastries at NYC’s best bakeries.” The paper says:

“Putting it bluntly, New Yorkers are begging for these bagels. Popup Bagels, a subscription-based bakery with roots in Westport, Connecticut, won the vaunted title of best bagel at the Brooklyn BagelFest last October.

“Owner Adam Goldberg, 47, told The Post that his bagels’ ‘fun collaborations and freshness’ make them real winners. His recent ‘awesome flavors’ range from dill pickle and caramelized onion to Utz Cheese Ball powder and Mike’s Hot Honey.”

Adam Goldberg with his Brooklyn Bagelfest award.

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As of this week, the FCIAC is allowing non-parent fans back into winter high school sports events.

The Staples gym was packed last night, for the first time in 2 years. Students from the home team and Wilton were equally raucous in support of their squad, 2 of the top in the league. The Warriors prevailed 50-47 in overtime.

The 2021-22 Staples High School boys basketball team.

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The link provided by AAPI Westport for the February 5 Lunar New Year celebration (Westport Weston Family YMCA, 1 p.m.) was broken. Registration is requested, but not required. Click here for the correct link.

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Dale Eyerly Colson — a Westport resident for over 60 years, and a 1963 Staples High School graduate — died last week in Pittsboro, North Carolina. She was 76.

While studying sociology and economics at Salem College in Winston-Salem, she met West Point Cadet Robert Colson on a blind date before the Army-Navy football game. In June of 1967, they both graduated college and were married — all in the same week.

During 54 years of marriage they lived in 7 states, courtesy of the US Army. They were apart only while Robert served in Vietnam.

When he left the Army in 1976 they returned to Connecticut. Dale joined Travelstar, a full-service travel agency started by her mother. She was influential in the industry. She wrote “View from the Bilge,” a humorous column that ran regularly in a travel industry trade publication, and started the Cruise Compendium, which offered training to travel agents who hoped to specialize in cruises.

When her mother retired, Dale took over Travelstar and led the agency to a national award.

After closing the agency in 2003, she worked for 10 years with Tauck World Discovery as a proofreader and fact checker. Her work in the travel industry was matched by her love of travel itself. She visited relatives in England and Scotland, and traveled to 5 continents.

In 2013, Dale and Robert moved to Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. Their home became known as the “house on the edge of the deep, dark woods.” Friends on social media read frequent accounts of her adventures there.

She was active in her community, editing the newsletter for Women of Fearrington, volunteering in elementary schools in Chapel Hill and Chatham County, and singing first alto with the Fearrington Village Singers.

Dale is survived by Robert; daughter Amanda (David) of Chapel Hill; granddaughters Claire of Berlin, Germany and Lucy of Chapel Hill; sister Beth van Dijk of Little Britain, Ontario, and many nieces and nephews.

Because she made an anatomical gift to Duke Medical School, no funeral arrangements are planned. Those wishing to honor her life may make donations to the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation in Siler City, NC or CORA Food Bank in Pittsboro, NC, 2 organizations she supported.

Dale Eyerly Colson

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Okay — so the Compo Beach jetty doesn’t qualify as “natural,” for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

But the dusting of snow yesterday, and the waves lapping up against it, sure do.

(Photo/Betsy Amitin)

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And finally … on this date in 1858, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” ws played at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter (also named Victoria), and Friedrich of Prussia. It’s still heard 164 years later, at nearly every wedding, everywhere.

Roundup: Masks, Ben McFall, Skating Rink …

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As COVID cases soar in Westport, a concerned “06880” reader writes:

“Our positivity rate is through the roof. The statistics as of Wednesday were near 18%. When other variants were circulating, an indoor mask mandate was in place.

“Currently there is no mask mandate, except government or municipal buildings. I cannot comprehend why there is no mandate reinstated for all indoor spaces in Westport.

“Masks have proven to work in preventing the spread of COVID. As we are all aware, the Omicron variant is extremely contagious. Westport residents, as well as people who work here, would be much safer with a mask mandate in place.

“Not having everyone wear masks indoors puts all of us in danger, especially the older and immuno-compromised populations.

“This has nothing to do with politics or the economy; it has to do solely with health. Whether people agree or not, it is honestly not much of an inconvenience to mask while indoors in order to protect people.

“Let’s keep everyone safe. Let’s reinstate a mask mandate.”

Masks did not detract from Staples High School’s Candlelight Concert earlier this month.. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Yesterday’s New York Times carried a fascinating obituary of Ben McFall. It calls him “the longest-tenured bookseller in the history of the Strand, New York’s renowned bookstore, who for decades peered above his spectacles at a line of acolytes, tourists and young colleagues for whom he incarnated the store’s erudite but easygoing spirit.” He died last week at his home in Jersey City. He was 73, and suffered from pulmonary fibrosis.

The story notes that after graduating from Olivet College with a degree in French and music in 1971, he moved with college friends to Connecticut — and worked at the Remarkable Book Shop in Westport.

“A co-worker told Mr. McFall she could see him at the Strand,” the Times says. “He had never heard of the place, but in 1978 he arrived in New York and interviewed for a job.” He was hired on the spot.

Click here for the full obituary. (Hat tips: Tom Prince, Jackie Kaplan, Adam Stolpen, Mark Lassoff and Fred Cantor)

Ben McFall (Photo/Julie Glassberg for the New York Times)

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The Longshore skating rink is sponsored by Westport PAL. That stands, of course, for “Police Athletic League.”

To promote this year’s season, the Police Department took this image:

It’s a great one. And we’re not the only ones who think so.

It’s now the Photo of the Week on Police1.com — the go-to site for national police news.

Like the rink itself, that’s very, very cool.

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If you’re like 90% of Westporters*, your New Year’s resolution is: “Get fit” (or “fitter”).

Why wait?**

The Joggers Club starts 2022 on the right foot (ho ho), with their annual 3.5-mile run (Saturday, January 1, 8 a.m., Compo Beach).

But wait! There’s more! Cool off with a Polar Plunge at 10.

For a $50 annual fee, you’ll get access to exclusive parties, 41 group runs, post-run coffee and treats, a Brooks running shirt ($35 value!), a ton of fun — and you’ll get in great shape.

Click here, or check out Instagram (@TheJoggersClub).

PS: Save the date: Joggers Club Jr. (ages 5 to 13) returns April 3. Six weeks of 75-minute coached sessions, for just $99.

*The other 10%? See below.

**Because then you won’t do it.

This could be you! (Photo/Armelle Pouriche-Daniels)

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Perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to find inner peace.

Pause + Purpose is ready. A new studio on 21 Jesup Road — right near Westport Book Shop — they offer drop-in meditation weekdays (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). They also plan to launch mindfulness gatherings soon.

Founder Emily Vartanian-Tuttle says: “The world is especially stressful right now, and our collective mental health and wellness is suffering. We have built a positive communal space for meditation and discussion in the heart of Westport.

“Scientists are beginning to understand that meditation is essential to a healthy mental landscape, and there is no better way to dedicate yourself to a practice than with the backing of a whole community behind you. We offer meditation modalities and group support, backed by science to improve mental, social, and emotional wellbeing.

“Our professional staff includes psychologists, counselors, nutritionists, and the like, addressing issues such as postpartum depression, social anxiety, dietary challenges, and mourning, among others.

“Drop in for a self-led practice or join one of our high-quality children and adult mindfulness gatherings, where a seasoned meditation teacher will lead you and a group in meditation and discussion.” Click here to learn more.

The soothing interior of Pause + Purpose.

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Jolantha — Weston’s most famous (or at least most visible) sculpture — greets the New Year:

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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Our final “Westport … Naturally” photo of 2021 shows one of our town’s most popular (and most photographed) scenes: Grace Salmon Park.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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And finally … good riddance, 2021!

There was not a lot to laugh at this year. But try this:

 

Roundup: Downtown Trees, Staples Girls Soccer State Champs, Joggers Club …

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Downtown is all about holiday shopping.

But it’s about helping others too.

This season, the Westport Downtown Association will install a dozen beautiful, colorful trees throughout the area.

Each will be decorated by professional designers. Each will also be themed to a different local non-profit.

The organizations include Filling in the Blanks, Wakeman Town Farm, Westport Young Woman’s League, Westport Fire Department, Homes with Hope, Christ & Holy Trinity Church, Aware, CLASP Homes, Westport PAL, Westport Bookstore, and MoCA Westport.

The WDA asks residents to help fund trees, lights and decorations. Click here to donate via GoFundMe.

PS: Dartmouth College’s Brovertones will sing on Sunday, December 5 (6:30 p.m., Christ & Holy Trinity Church courtyard).

A downtown Christmas tree (last year).

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Staples’ girls soccer team has done it again!

Two weeks after winning the FCIAC championship, they earned a co-state championship. The Wreckers and Wilton battled through 80 minutes of excellent soccer, and 30 more of overtime, before both were declared Connecticut LL (extra large schools) winners.

The defensive battle was a worthy final, between teams that knew each other well. Staples shut out the Warriors 1-0 for the league crown, after beating them by the same score in the regular season.

Congratulations to coach Barry Beattie and his staff, and a wonderful group of talented, tenacious athletes!

Staples celebrates after last week’s state semifinal win. (Photo/JC Martin)

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Staples is not coach Barry Beattie’s only championship team this fall. His Westport Soccer Association U-15 Blue squad also tied for their league title. Congratulations (again) to him, and of course to his players!

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Speaking (still) of sports: The Joggers Club hosts its first-ever Turkey Burn on Saturday (November 27, 8 a.m., Compo Beach).

On tap: 5K, 10K and 15K runs, along with hot coffee, treats, and finish line music. “Celebrate the holidays with your most festive running outfit,” they say.

Regular Compo Beach runs are Saturdays at 8 a.m., and Wednesday nights at the Staples High School track (6:15 p.m.).

Click here for more information, or follow on Instagram: @TheJoggersClub.ct.

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Staples Players is back!

“Grease” — their first full mainstage musical since the pandemic — played to 2 weeks of sold-out audiences. Choreography, music, sets, lighting — all were up to the award-winning high school troupe’s always high standards.

Congratulations to directors David Roth and Kerry Long, the cast and crew. Stay tuned for news about the spring show!

Ryan Porio leads a show-stopping “Greased Lightning.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

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Greens Farms is filled with “Westport … Naturally” photo opportunities. Here’s Ron Henkin’s submission.

(Photo/Ron Henkin)

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And finally … we have a two-fer for today in history. On this date in 1877, Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph …

… while — somewhat related — on this day in 1959, disc jockey Alan Freed  — who helped popularize the term “rock ‘n’ roll” — was fired from WABC radio in New York. He was alleged to have been part of the payola scandal.

 

Roundup: Beach Dogs, Tyler Hicks, Clothing Swap …

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Friday is October 1. Which means that Fido — and all his 4-legged friends — will once again be allowed at Compo Beach.

For the next 6 months, they can enjoy the off-leash area (south of the pavilion, including South Beach), and the leashed area north of that. They’re prohibited from the pavilion, playground and walkways.

It goes without saying, but Parks & Rec says it anyway: Pick up all poop.

Violations will cost you $77.

Looking forward to Friday.

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Tyler Hicks is an internationally known New York Times photographer. Fittingly, he just won (another) international prize.

The Staples High School Class of 1988 graduate (and 2-time Pulitzer Prize winner) captured the 2021 Visa d’Or Award for Best Digital News Story. He won for his COVID coverage on the Amazon River.

Hicks spent over a month last summer traveling on a riverboat with health workers, entering villages where the dead were uncountable.

The Visa d’Or international news photography awards are presented in Perpignan, France, after a series of jury reviews.

This is Hicks’ second Visa d’Or News Award. He won in 2014 for his coverage of the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Click here to see his prize-winning Brazil photos.

COVID in the Amazon (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

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The Westport Library’s Fall Book Sale returns — live and in person — Friday, October 8 through Monday, October 11.

Thousands of “gently used books” include dozens of categories. A few examples: children’s, literature and classics, fiction, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, art, photography, history, math, science, psychology, religion, biography, business, cooking, gardening, performing arts, travel, foreign language and antiquarian.  Tons of DVDs, CDs and vinyl records will be available too.

Everything Sunday (October 10) is half-price. On Monday (October 11), you can fill a bag for just $5.

Early bird admission on Friday (October 8, 8 a.m.) is through a pre-paid $15 ticket. It’s sold online only; click here. For more information about the Book Sale itself, click here. To help, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

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“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” was a 1962 film. The Joggers Club is anything but lonely.

It’s a great way to get outside, get exercise, meet people and have fun.

Need a push? This Saturday (October 2), the Joggers Club hosts a free “Welcome to Running” party.

Runners of all levels are invited to Compo Beach. The run begins at 8 a.m.; the party follows at 9 a.m.

Click here for more information, or follow on Instagram: @thejoggersclub.ct.

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After your jog, check out WestportMoms’ first-ever Fall Family Fun Festival (Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greens Farms Academy).

The $20 per family ticket price includes music, sports, a ninja course, pumpkin decorating, crafts, tattoos, food trucks and more. Run on over!

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After that, you can cruise over to the Westport Police Benevolent Association’s 3rd annual Car Cruise (Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Westport train station Lot #1.

Cars of all years, makes and models are welcome. The fee to enter and display a car is $20. The first 100 cars to arrive will receive a gift bag.

The family-friendly event includes music, food, trophies and raffles.

Westport PBA car cruise.

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Carly Novick Ridloff’s 1st “Sip, Shop, Swap” clothing exchange was a hit.

So she’s doing it again. The socially conscious (and very social) way to get rid of (and find) gently used clothes takes place October 28 (12 to 4 p.m., 82 Roseville Road).

A portion of the proceeds goes to Sustainable Westport. For more information, email carlyridloff18@gmail.com or search on social media: @the.exchangeproject.

Come to the clothing exchange!

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There’s something for everyone at this Sunday’s “Smart Walk for Smart Kids with LD” (October 3, 12 p.m., Sherwood Island State Park).

In addition to crafts, games, ice cream, music and tai chi, Piglet — the blind, deaf, pink dog with the positive attitude — will make an appearance. And Stephanie Bass will sign copies of her book of pandemic signs, Driveway Showcase.

Click here for more information, and to register.

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Last week’s “Unsung Heroes” honored Rosie and Lou, 2 post office employees who always go above and beyond.

We should also note E.J Butner III. The long-time Westport USPS employee retires this week, after many years of loyal service

His family has a long postal history. His grandfather, Edward J. Butner, served as postmaster at the previous Post Road location (now Design Within Reach). (Hat tip: Pam Jones)

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Child’s Pose Yoga helps youngsters connect their bodies, minds and health. To help, they’re partnering with “mindful expert” Denise Zack on a workshop: “Setting Your Child up for Success with Mindful Skills.”

The goal is to help children develop emotional resilience. Parents will learn specific, useful strategies.

It’s October 8 (10 a.m., 8 Church Street South).

Tickets are $40 each. Registration is required; DM @childsposewestport.

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Meanwhile, look what crawled up Molly Alger’s window the other day. It posed long enough to be our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … on this day in 1836, Thomas Crapper was born. The English plumber held 9 patents, including the ballcock, leading to the invention of modern plumbing. [Insert your own juvenile joke here.]