Tag Archives: Todd Suchotliff

Roundup: Slice & Dog Fest, Khaliq Sanda, Gabi Conti …

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A few folks grumble about paying admission to the Slice of Saugatuck or Westport Dog Festival.

Quit bitching. Held this fall after a COVID hiatus, they helped fund donations of more than $10,000 to non-profit organizations. The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce sponsors both events, and announced the grants.

The traditional recipient of the Slice of Saugatuck is Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Food Pantry. This year’s donation of $4,500 brings the grand total since the Slice began to over $30,000. The giant neighborhood food tasting tagline is: “Food for those who can afford it, and food for those who can’t.”

Donations to local non-profits from the Dog Festival total $6,000 this year: $4,000 to co-producer TAILS; $1,000 to the Westport Police Department (split between the K9 unit and Animal Control via Westport Animal Shelter Advocates); $500 to Fidelco Guide Dogs; $250 to the Connecticut Humane Society, and $250 to Adopt-a-Dog.

The Dog Festival returns this spring to its usual date. Slice of Saugatuck will be held right after Labor Day.

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For years, Richelle Evarts has been a familiar, friendly face at Organic Market.

She’s been diagnosed with colon and liver cancer. Her husband William is reaching out for help.

He writes: “After exploring many options, she decided to take an integrated holistic medical path to recovery.

“Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover such a path. We found a facility in Mesa, Arizona, with an extensive 6 week-stay.

“I’m reaching out to all who know Richelle and what a beautiful, wonderful and giving person she is, I’m asking you to help us reach our goal for her to live many more healthy and active years. Any donation is greatly appreciated.”

Click here for Richelle’s GoFundMe page. (Hat tip: Sarah Gross)

Richelle Evarts

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Often, the state Department of Transportation works slowly.

This time, they got the job done quickly. And right.

Earlier this month, the Hillspoint Road bridge over I-95 was named for Khaliq Sanda. He’s the smart, energetic, dynamic and popular 2013 Staples High School graduate (and A Better Chance of Westport scholar) who was diagnosed with brain cancer while majoring in pre-med at Duke University. His death in March devastated Westport.

Today, signs went up on the span. They’ll serve as a constant reminder of all that we lost.

(Photo/Ben Joseloff)

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Speaking of bridges: Sunday was UN Day. As always, flags of member nations flew proudly on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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A few days ago, our “06880” Roundup previewed Todd Suchotliff’s upcoming New York Marathon — which he would run entirely in Westport. A recent arrival in town, he invited his friends (and strangers) to run a bit with him, or cheer along the route.

It happened Sunday. Todd reports:

“It was a great day, made all the better with help from the amazing community here in my new hometown, from start to finish.

“My neighbors came out to cheer me on. Three people from the Joggers Club ran with me — one for the first 20 miles (!), the others to run the last 6.2 home. Plus my family chased me all around Westport, holding up signs and cheering for me.

Thank you fall. And we raised close to $8,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, in my mom’s memory.”

Todd Suchotliff and friend.

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In June 2020, I started an “06880” story on Gabi Conti this way:

“The guy who got away. The guy who’s hotter than you. The guy you always go back to. The guy who’s much older. The guy who’s toxic. The guy you can’t remember.

“Gabi Conti knows them all. She’s dated them all.”

The hook was that Gabi — a 2005 Staples High School graduate — had just written a book. Called “20 Guys You Date in Your 20s,” it was a compilation of her greatest hits — and misses.

Gabi is now 34. As of earlier this month, she’s also married.

This past weekend, the New York Times featured her Greens Farms Church wedding. Click here for the whole story.

Spoiler alert: The 31st date was a charm.

Gabi Conti and Daren Johnson (Photo courtesy of Robert Norman Photography)

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The Town Clerk’s office (Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue) will be open this Saturday (October 30, 9 a.m. to noon) to issue absentee ballots for the November 2 election.

Absentee ballots will continue to be available on Monday, November 1, until 4:30 p.m. All ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Questions? Click here; email tclerk@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1110.

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With all our recent focus on animals, “Westport … Naturally” has neglected a no-brainer: fall foliage.

This wonderful shot is from Gray’s Creek.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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And finally … Jay Black, the 2nd “Jay” of Jay and the Americans, died Friday in Queens, of cardiac arrest. He was 82, and suffered from pneumonia and dementia. (Click here for the full obituary.)

The first Jay (Traynor) had a great voice, on songs like “She Cried.” But Jay Black’s baritone made his predecessor sound like a wannabe. Consider these classics:

Roundup: Community Garden, Dog Fest, More Marathon …

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The Westport Community Gardens are one of our town’s true hidden gems.

Located just south of Long Lots Elementary School, they’re more than a place to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers — though the dozens of plots are great for that.

It’s also (as the name says) a true community. Gardeners trade tips, bounty and gossip. They socialize, and throw parties. They nurture the soil, and friendships.

A few openings may come up soon. Some more may be available next spring. Westport residents and Westport town employees are eligible. To get on the waitlist, click here.

Remember: The early bird gets the worm.

Taking a quick break at the Westport Community Gardens.

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Among the winners at yesterday’s Dog Festival: Oliver, with best trick. He did a few sits, downs and shakes. His grand finale was a “big baby”: He jumped into owner Scott Martin’s arms.

Afterward, he posed (below) with Scott Martin, and kids Cody and Emrys Martin.

Missed all the action? What a bitch!

But the next Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Dog Fest is less than a year away. In 2022, it returns to its regular spring slot.

(Photo/Kelsey Martin)

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Yesterday’s Roundup highlighted Todd Suchotliff. A newcomer to town, he’ll be running during next Sunday’s New York Marathon — through Westport. It’s a fundraiser for his mother, who died of leukemia 9 years ago tomorrow.

He created a Google Sheet — with mile markers and approximate times — for people to sign up to run or cheer for each mile along the route. He will start at 9 a.m., and plans to run an 8:42 mile pace.

For more information, email coachtoddwestport@gmail.com. To donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, click here.

Todd Suchotliff and his kids.

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Bamboo grows wild — and rapidly — in Westport.

I wrote about it in 2013. It continues today, as this “Westport … Naturally” photo from Narrow Rocks Road, off South Compo, shows.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … happy 74th birthday to Laura Nyro. The singer/songwriter made many great recordings. But she’s best known for the many artists that had great success covering her tunes.

JC Martin adds: “Laura lived in Danbury for many years, and recorded some of her last material in a studio she built on her property. It was one of the first studios to have a separate floor for the drummer, detached from the rest of the band. For ‘Mother’s Spiritual’ she brought in Todd Rundgren to help produce some of those songs, along with her friend and Danbury neighbor Felix Cavaliere.

“She died of ovarian cancer in Danbury in 1997, at 49. Her ashes were scattered beneath a maple tree on the grounds of her house.”

Roundup: Car Robbery, NY Marathon, Election Debate …

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The weather was great — and crowds large — for yesterday’s Westoberfest.

It wasn’t just about the craft beers. Among the scenes at the Westport Downtown Association-sponsored event: fun for kids.

(Photo/JC Martin)

A Post Road West business owner writes:

A technician was in my store Thursday evening, fixing our Wifi network and cameras.

Around 10 p.m. he saw a guy trying to break into his car, which was parked in front. He banged on the window to get him to stop. He didn’t want to step outside, because the man had a backpack. My network guy didn’t know if there was a weapon inside.

My guy called the police. The cops arrived very quickly.

Incredibly, while waiting for the police, my guy started praying for a safe resolution. When he looked outside, the robber stopped trying to break into the car. He started sobbing and praying as well.

My guy said that somehow his prayer had something to do with the change of heart of the would-be robber.

The police took him in without incident. But they said that was the third call of a car break-in that night.

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Todd Suchotliff moved to Westport this summer. He’s enjoyed running through town. Next Sunday (October 24) he’ll run the New York Marathon — right here.

He encourages his new neighbors (and strangers!) to cheer him on, or join him for part of the route.

It’s his 9th straight NYC Marathon — and the 2nd virtual one. He runs in memory of his mother, who died of chronic lymphocytic leukemia 9 years ago this Tuesday. It’s his way of keeping her fighting spirit alive (and supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — click here to help).

Todd has been training with his kids, and been motivated by the beauty of Westport.

His long runs start at his home on River Lane. He goes down Wilton Road, across the Saugatuck, up Cross Highway to Sturges Highway, down across Post Road to Greens Farms Road, turning at Hillspoint Road to Compo and through Longshore, then back across the Saugatuck on Bridge Street, up to Wilton Road and home.

“I realize it looks crazy, written out like that,” todd says. “But that’s more or less (actually more) the marathon route.”

His shorter runs, with his kids, include Compo and Longshore. They finish at the beach playground, and top the day off with donuts from Coffee An’ on the way home.

Todd Suchotliff and his kids.

Todd’s “NYC Marathon” route through Westport.

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As the days dwindle before the election, the League of Women Voters Westport is gearing up for a pair of debates. They’re set for Monday and Tuesday, October 25 and 26 (7 to 9 p.m.).

The first debate includes candidates for first and second selectmen, and the Boards of Finance and Assessment Appeals.

The second is for the Board of Education, and Planning & Zoning Commission.

Candidates will be in Town Hall, but there is no live audience. The debates can be watched on Cablevision Channel 79, or livestreamed from the town website.

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There must be a reason this driver chose this parking spot at Long Lots Elementary School.

But I sure don’t know what it is.

Guesses are welcome. Click “Comments” below.

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In the midst of COVID, Staples High School Class of 2002 graduate Sarah Kesselman and her boyfriend Hermes Arriola filmed a series for YouTube. it features snacks from other countries.

It was a hit. Viewers soon sent in their own snacks,. Sarah likes the sweet ones; Hermes, the salty ones. Hence the name: “Salty and Sweet.”

Click here for the channel. below to enjoy “Oreos from Around the the World.” Who knew?

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Halloween comes early to the Westport Weston Family YMCA.

Nest Saturday (October 23, 5 to 6:30 p.m.) — 8 days before the holiday — they’re sponsoring a “Spooktacular,” for children 10 and under.

Events include costumes, cookie decorating, Halloween crafts, face painting, ring toss, bean bag throw, and free play in the gym.

The cost is $5 per child. A parent or caregiver must attend. Click here to register.

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Speaking of the Y: Collette Winn took today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo at the parking lot there.

I wonder: “Y” did these 2 birds choose that particular car?

(Photo/Collette Winn)

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And finally … happy 79th birthday to Gary Puckett!