Tag Archives: TikTok

Roundup: Malone Refuse Gets Scammed; Turkey Trot T-Shirt Goes Viral …

Kristen Stroud posted this important — but depressing — information on social media:

“My family owns Malone’s Refuse Service. A customer brought to our attention that someone is fraudulently soliciting holiday tips.

“The person placed these cards (photo below) in mailboxes, hoping the customer will then mail them a holiday gift. This person is not employed by Malone’s Refuse Service. We will be reporting it to the police.

“Between this scam and all of the recent issues with check washing and mail being stolen, if you would like to gift your actual refuse collector, you can email me at malonesrefuse@gmail.com and we will figure out the safest way to do so.”

Calling Sherlock Holmes!

Or really, any 1st grader who can read.

With the address provided, it should not take long to crack this case wide open.

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Every organization in Westport (and beyond) asks Miggs Burroughs for favors.

He always obliges.

For over 30 years, the talented and generous artist/graphic designer (and longtime runner) has designed t-shirts for the Pequot Running Club’s annual “Turkey Trot.” Proceeds go to the club, and charity.

They’re great souvenirs. Then they end up in the bottom of runners’ drawers, replaced by their next race t-shirt.

This year Miggs commemorated 45 years of Turkey Trotting. He chose historic national and world events from those past years, and included them in the design.

Uh oh.

A Tik Tok user named “Crawlie” — who did not run in the race, and apparently had way too much time on her hands — did not like Miggs’ choices. She posted her thoughts.

@crawlie

#greenscreen my outfit is giving miscallaneous star wars girlie but i cant do anything about it now #thanksgiving #fyp #kellyclarkson

♬ original sound – crawlie

For reasons known only to Tik Tok users, Crawlie’s post has received over 688,000 views. It’s generated more than 2,800 comments.

Most people did not share her outrage.

In fact, requests to buy t-shirts have poured in from across the country.

Take that, Crawlie!

PS: Another Tik Toker attempted a Billy Joel/”We Didn’t Start the Fire”-style video. It’s pretty weak. Still, it gives you an idea of the “controversy” surrounding the shirt.

@lucybiggers

Our towns Turkey trot shirt decided to make a “run through history list” and this is what they came up with…

♬ We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel

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Staples High School’s elite Orphenians sang …

… and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker made brief remarks (including a shout out to the Public Works Department, for decorations). She then asked kids in the crowd to join her, counting down “3 … 2 … 1!” …

… and wham! Last night, Westport’s Christmas (aka Holiday) tree was lit, in front of Town Hall by Myrtle Avenue.

(Photos/Dan Woog)

Missed it? No problem!

There’s another tree lighting tonight (Friday, 4:30 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm). Stick around for carols and treats, too.

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Speaking of Christmas songs: The Saugatuck Caroling Crawl returns a week from tomorrow (Saturday, December 10).

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce event was last held in pre-COVID 2019.

This year once again, 6 Staples Orphenians will sing holiday songs, moving from one restaurant to the next. They’ll hit 14 in all.

Carolers begin their rounds at the Boathouse at 6:30 p.m. They’ll head to Parker Mansion, Kawa Ni, The Whelk, Tutti’s and the Black Duck, before making their way to Railroad Place to sing at Tarantino, Harvest, Romanacci and Allium.

They finish by 8:30 p.m., after entertaining diners at Match Lobster Burger, Rizzuto’s, Viva Zapata and Dunville’s.

Participating Orphs include Sophia Betit, Madelyn Spera, James Dobin-Smith, Alyssa Lee, Deneil Betfarhad and Ethan Tober will be performing.

Reservations are recommended.

 

A scene from the 2018 Caroling Crawl.

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The Westport Farmers’ Market adds a special “Holiday Artists’ Market” a week from tomorrow (Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane). The market features a wide range of handcrafted gift ideas, from 25 local artists.

Carolers will entertain. Bubble & Brew will provide cold and hot beverages, plus sweet treats.  Chef Dan Kardos will bring his Oak & Oar food truck too. “Mark(et)” the date right now.

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Yesterday’s “Roundup” featured a Jeep smushing a traffic pylon on Main Street.

Today we feature a different scene, from almost the exact same spot:

After zipping past several prominent “One Way/Do Not Enter” signs, the driver continued the wrong way, refusing to back up or turn around — even when told to. (Had she looked around, she might have noticed every other car pointed in the other direction.)

The driver never stopped (or acknowledged reality). She just kept going, all the way to the Post Road.

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‘Tis the holiday season. So Westport Country Playhouse ends its 2022 Script in Hand series on December 12 with …

… “Bad Jews.”

Spoiler alert: It’s a comedy.

The night after their grandfather’s funeral, 3 cousins engage in a verbal (and sometimes physical) battle. There’s Daphna Feygenbaum, a “Real Jew” who is volatile, self-assured and unbending; her equally stubborn cousin Liam, a secular and entitled young man with a shiksa girlfriend Melody in tow, and Liam’s brother Jonah, who tries to stay out of the fray.

There’s live music at 6 p.m. in the lobby before the show. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Baby, it’s cold outside. But Misty shows off her fashionable winter coat, in today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

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And finally … Lucy Biggers tried to mock the Turkey Trot t-shirt, by channeling her inner Billy Joel (story above).

She failed miserably. Here’s how it’s done:

(You won’t get a souvenir t-shirt for supporting “06880” — just our eternal thanks. Hopefully, that’s enough. Please click here to donate.)

 

Roundup: TikTok Teen Arrests, Water Main Break, Wall That Heals …

Last Saturday night, the Westport Police Department received several calls from locations around town. All concerned a group of youths in a vehicle, shooting projectiles at pedestrians. One victim was struck in the eye.

Callers provide a detailed description of the vehicle. Officers found and stopped it near Greens Farms Road and Compo Road South.

All 3 occupants were juveniles. Police found toy air guns that fired gel-like projectiles at high speed.

The teens were participating in TikTok’s viral “Orbeez Challenge.”

The 3 juveniles were charged with multiple counts of assault 3rd degree, reckless endangerment 2nd Degree, and breach of peace 2nd degree. They were released to their parents.

Victims from that evening are encouraged to report the incidents to the Westport Police Department.

Gun and pellets used in the Orbeez Challenge.

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A photo contest for the cover of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce 2022-23 Visitors/Membership Guide is now open.

In 2015 and ’17, the Chamber received over 1,000 pictures from dozens of photographers, amateur and professional. Westport residents Mark Litvinoff and William Scalzi won, with their shots of the Levitt Pavilion and a serene dock setting respectively.

Scores of runner-up photos were used inside the 68-page booklet and map guide. Every winner received credit in the publication.

Any resident or businessperson from Westport or Weston may submit what they believe is the “quintessential” photo that represents our community. Use Dropbox, Google or an email attachment to send one or more photos to matthew@westportwestonchamber.com; use the subject line “Photo Contest.”

The deadline is June 19.  Be sure to have a full resolution of the photo for printing, but email a lower resolution for greatest efficiency.

Questions? Use the email above, or call 203-227-9234.

The 2017 guide.

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An “06880” reader reports that on Sunday, a number of homes in his Long Lots neighborhood lost water.

He called Aquarion, and was told there was a water break somewhere on Long Lots Road. That’s a first for him, in over 30 years here.

The break — apparently near Fairfield County Hunt Club — was fixed a few hours later. However, brown water persisted at least through yesterday.

What’s particularly distressing to him is that Aquarion never called him — either about the break, its cause or its resolution. There was a notice briefly on the water company’s website, he says, but it was soon gone.

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As Rev. Alison Patton heads to her sabbatical, visiting minister Rev. Dr. Jim Antal hits the ground — and Saugatuck Congregational Church — running.

The climate activist delivers a public lecture on June 9 (7:30 p.m.): “Let’s Makek our Coastal Community a Climate Leader!” The event is co-sponsored by Wakeman Town Farm and Sustainable Westport.

The lecture is followed by a community conversation about the topic.

In addition to his public talk, Rev. Antal will share a 3-sermon series, “Responding Faithfully to the Climate Crisis,” at Saugatuck Church on the first 3 Sundays in June.

Drawing from his activism and his book “Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change,” Antal will challenge attendees to see their place in the work of climate justice.

The 10 a.m. topics are:

  • June 5: “Welcoming the Fullest Truth”
  • June 12: “Attenting to the Source”
  • June 19″ Living Into a New Story.”

The public is welcome to attend those services too.

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Terrence Dunn was sworn in as Westport’s new fire marshal yesterday. He replaces Nate Gibbons, who has retired.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker calls Dunn “a genuine and humble leader who has the skills and experience necessary to ensure that the Fire Department continues to provide exceptional service to the community.”

He was hired as a Westport firefighter in 2003, and promoted to fire inspector in 2009. He graduated from the University of New Haven with a major in arson investigation and a minor in criminal justice.

Along with state certification as a fire marshal, Dunn is licensed as an assistant building official. He is first vice president of the Connecticut Fire Marshal’s Association, a member of the Fairfield/New Haven County Fire Marshal’s Association, the International Association of Arson Investigators, and District 8 Building Official’s Association.

A formal pinning ceremony on June 21 (5 p.m., Christ & Holy Trinity Church) will celebrate the department’s promotions and medals.

Fire marshal Terry Dunn

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“The Wall That Heals” is a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Since its dedication in 1996, it has been displayed at nearly 700 communities across the country.

From tomorrow (June 2) through June 5, it will occupy a place of honor at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Norwalk.

Yesterday, the Westport Police and Fire Departments helped escort it from its staging area at Sherwood Island State Park to the park. Click here for details of the exhibit.

The staging area at Sherwood Island. (Photo and hat tip/Chris Swan)

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Anthony LoFrisco is a Westport motorcycle rider. He’s organized a series of rides.

But they’re not just rev-up-the-engines-and-make-loud-noises jaunts. Starting last Sunday, and continuing each month through August, they deliver donated items to food pantries throughout Fairfield County.

The first was to the Gillespie Center in Westport, from Grace Community Church in New Canaan. Parishioners provided cereal, peanut butter, jelly, pasta sauce, canned goods and other items.

The weather was beautiful. The riders — on 4 BMWs and 1 Harley — met at the Westport train station, headed to the church, then returned here for the drop-off.

The next deliveries will be in Stamford, Bridgeport, and then the Gillespie Center again. Anthony invites everyone to drop off non-perishable food items at 11:15 a.m. on June 26, July 31 and August 28 — and/or join the motorcycle riders.

For more information, email anthony@lofrisco.com.

Motorcycle gang at the Gillespie Center.

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This weekend, celebrate Connecticut Trails Day (actually, 2 days). The event draws thousands of people of all backgrounds, ages, abilities and interests, across the state. 

Friends of Sherwood Island State Park will host 4 hikes:

Saturday, June 4: Butterfly Walk (10 a.m.): Explore the gardens and natural areas around the park’s Nature Center, searching for caterpillars, skippers, moths and butterflies. Bring binoculars and a camera or smartphone. You’ll learn how to report your findings on iNaturalist, so scientists everywhere can see how these insects are doing.

Saturday, June 4: Kayak Paddle (1 p.m.): See Sherwood Island from the water. Explore the park’s shoreline. Bring your own kayak, canoe or other paddle craft, and a pump/bailer. A life vest and whistle/horn are required by state boating regulations.

Sunday, June 5: Archaeology Walk (1 p.m.): See interesting terrain, and examine traces of past inhabitants, from 1000 B.C. to the 1940s. Learn about recent excavations, including Native American, early settlers, and onion farmers.

Sunday, June 5: Nature Walk (2 p.m.): Go beach to beach  along Long Island Sound. Discover habitats, inhabitants, birding locations, viewing platforms, a purple martin enclave, and other special features of this waterfront park. Other points of interest include Connecticut’s 9/11 Memorial, model aircraft airport, trail heads, wetlands, and a pine forest.

Click here for more details. For questions, and to register (recommended, but not required), email cece@historicalperspectives.org, or call 203-984-1488.

Sherwood Island State Park is a natural wonderland. (Elena Nasereddin)

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1999 Staples High School graduate Kyle Martino has been the National High School Soccer Player of the Year, MLS Rookie of the Year, a US men’s national team athlete, and a highly regarded analyst on NBC Sports.

Now he’s the founder of the Over Under Initiative. The non-profit increases access to sports in urban neighborhoods, by converting basketball courts and other blacktops to multi-sport spaces. Martino designed the innovative and elegantly simple conversion process himself.

On June 13 (5:30 p.m., Autostrada, 499 Post Road East), Martino joins Westporters Dan Donovan, Mark Kirby and friends for a fundraiser. Tickets are $250 each. To attend and for more information, email rsvp@overunderinitiative.com.

Youngsters play at Cesar Batalla School’s new multi-sport court. The soccer goal can be pulled out of the ground, then sunk back into the ground, with ease. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Lou Weinberg sends along this gorgeous “Westport … Naturally” image of a Lansdowne song sparrow — and adds a link to its equally beautiful song:

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … Happy Connecticut Trails Day!

TikTok: The Walters Are Famous!

If you were a certain age a few years ago, you may have heard of the Walters.

The Chicago-based band — whose harmonies are reminiscent of the Beach Boys, and whose music has been described as “cardigan rock” — recorded a few songs. The first — “I Love You So,” released in 2014 — did the best.

The Walters’ founder — 2010 Staples High School graduate Walter Kosner — helped the group do some guerilla marketing, on places like Reddit, In 2016 they booked a too-ambitious 3-month tour. It burned them out. Members went their separate ways.

Four of them — minus their lead singer — eventually reunited. They played under a new name: Corduroy.

Kosner moved to California. He had a few side gigs, but the steady income from the Walters’ streaming helped pay the bills.

Recently — suddenly, and out of the blue — labels began calling. There was renewed interested in the Walters. Kosner had no idea why.

Turns out that TikTok gave the group a new life.

A few fans posted videos there, with background music from “I Love You So.” Younger people discovered the song, then used it for their own videos; The Walters started trending; that led music lovers to Spotify and Apple Music, and bam! 

The Walters are bona fide internet sensations: over 200 million Spotify streams, and more than half a million TikTok videos. By comparison, The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears” soundtrack is on just over 130,000 TikToks; Ariana Grande’s “34+35” is featured in 184,000 videos.

There was only one snag: They broke up 5 years ago.

No problem!

Kosner recruited the singer back. Now they’re making new music. Soon — signed to Warner Records — they’ll start recording again.

Walter Kosner (back row, center) and The Walters.

And touring. They’re playing dates from New York to Los Angeles.

Thanks to social media, they’ve got fans all over the world. Some of the most avid are in Indonesia and the Philippines. In the new year, the Walters will make their way there too.

The genius of some famous people — Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Galileo — became apparent only after their death.

The Walters only had to wait for TikTok.

Dr. Nikki Gorman: Westport Pediatrician, International TikTok Star

There’s never a dull moment in pediatrics.

One moment, Dr. Nikki Gorman may advise a new mother why children should not play with magnets. The next, she may tell a teenager it’s okay to have a same-gender crush.

Of course, not everyone has a Dr. Nikki (as she likes to be called) — or access to a practice like Village Pediatrics on Riverside Avenue.

So Dr. Nikki is reaching out to a wider group of parents, children and teens. And she’s meeting them on their turf: TikTok and Instagram.

Growing up in Palos Verdes, California, Dr. Nikki loved performing. She also knew she wanted to work with kids. Pediatrics was a natural career. Acting fell by the wayside.

She and her then-husband, a cardiologist, came to Westport 19 years ago. She joined Dr. Jerry Lieberman’s Weston practice. As he wound down his practice, Dr. Gorman and her partner Dr. Jennifer Gruen established Village Pediatrics.

Dr. Nikki Gorman

She realized that the important information she was conveying reached only a tiny fraction of people who needed to hear it. For years she thought about writing a board book, with real but lighthearted messages on everything from sleep and feeding to sex and drugs.

“When you give birth, you don’t know what your baby will turn out to be,” Dr. Nikki notes.

“You may have a tough toddler. There may be middle school drama, illness and family strife. When you look at your beautiful newborn, you can’t predict any of that. But every parent will face challenges.”

Yet a board book might not be the way to reach a new generation of parents, Dr. Gorman recognized.

“Young parents in their 20s and 30s have ADD — and I don’t mean that in a negative way,” she says.

“They see flashes of things. Their brain is trained to move quickly from one thing to another.” Conveying her messages in quick video bursts on social media platforms would be key to getting her messages across.

They were also likely to be discovered and appreciated by people far beyond Dr. Nikki’s Westport office.

An important message from Dr. Nikki.

During a new mothers presentation for Malta House — the Norwalk non-profit serving homeless pregnant women and new mothers — she discussed the need for vitamin D supplements during nursing.

“Some mothers might not know that,” she says. “If they see it on TikTok, they’ll learn. And they’ll share it with their friends.”

Dr. Nikki was not a TikTok user. But Zibrille Pepito — her office scribe, who works remotely from the Philippines — is. She was happy to help.

She tutored her boss in how to set the camera, where and when to point — in other words, how to be a TikTok star.

@drnikki_

Reply to @octaseed 👍 #dancingdoctornikki #docnikki #villagepediatricswestportct #villagepediatrics #connecticut #pediatiktoktalk #fyp

♬ original sound – drnikki_ – TikTokDoc

TikTok videos can’t be longer than 90 seconds. Instagram videos must be at least a minute. Dr. Nikki aims for that sweet spot in between, so the same video can be posted to both platforms.

“People love them,” she says of her return to performing. “The audience is growing. We haven’t even sent them out to our practice yet.”

She tries to post one video a day. She films during downtime between patients — and can do several at a time.

Dr. Nikki has no problem finding topics. “I just think about what goes on during each visit. That’s the joy of pediatrics: You see people from 0 to 22 years old.’

Meanwhile, they and their parents see their pediatrician on their favorite social media sites.

Along with everyone else, anywhere on the planet.

You can follow Dr. Nikki on TikTok @drnikki_ and on Instagram: drnikkigorman.

@drnikki_

Get them vaccinated 👍 #dancingdoctornikki #docnikki #villagepediatricswestportct #villagepediatrics #connecticut #covidvaccine #vaccination #fyp

♬ original sound – TikTokDoc – TikTokDoc