Tag Archives: Tyler Hicks

Roundup: Tyler Hicks’ Lyman, Connecticut Mag’s 40 Under 40, Farmers’ Market’s Lectures …

As the year ends, Westporters look back on a tough one. COVID is still hanging around. The stock market plummeted. Our nation is politically divided.

Compared to Ukraine though, we live on Easy Street.

Our new sister city of Lyman is entering its 10th month of hell. The Russians are gone after 5 months of occupation. But they left devastation behind.

Buildings lack roofs and walls. There is virtually no electricity or heat. Fire trucks and police cars were demolished. Debris is everywhere.

You can click here to read the latest devastating news, from yesterday’s New York Times. (This news just in: Earlier today, a Russian missile hit the police station. Only 2 patrol cars are left in the town.)

You can see some brutal images too — taken, coincidentally, by Westport native/Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Tyler Hicks.

A Lyman firefighter battles a blaze with just a trickle of water, in bitter cold. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

On this final day of 2022, please help Westport’s drive to help Lyman.

Our goal is $250,000. As of yesterday — less than 2 weeks after we began — we’ve raised $219,200. Wouldn’t it be great to reach our target today?

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Lyman through Ukraine Aid International — the non-profit co-founded by Westporter Brian Mayer. 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). 

(Hat tips: Elisabeth Keane and Sharon Fiarman)

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After Italian and Chinese food, what’s next?

Peruvian.

When blandly named but popular Westport Chinese Takeout closed in October, it left a void in Saugatuck.

That’s where — decades earlier — the original Arrow Restaurant began. (The name comes from the angle of the road, where Franklin Street meets Saugatuck Avenue.) When it outgrow that location, the Arrow moved around the corner to Charles Street.

Work has begun on Lomito. The windows are still papered over. But there are new steps, and a spiffy logo. Two signs promise: “Opening soon.”

(Photo/JD Dworkow)=======================================================

Connecticut Magazine is out with their annual “40 Under 40” list.

Among the 40 people under 40 years old who are “changing the game in Connecticut and beyond”: Westporters Drew Angus and Julia Marino.

The writeup on Angus — a 2007 Staples High School graduate — says:

Finding success as a musician is not easy, explains this Bridgeport-based and Westport-raised singer-songwriter. “In this business, behind all the accomplishments and successes are many more unsuccessful projects and ideas that just never quite worked out,” Angus says. “It takes a certain kind of drive and a sick love for things not working out to be successful in creative ventures like music.”

Fortunately for him and fans of music everywhere, Angus has that drive, as his easy-to-listen-to, melodic New Americana music propelled him to be a finalist on American Idol in 2016. He’s also shared the stage with Harry Styles and Nile Rogers on Saturday Night Live, as well as Pat Benatar, Ann Wilson of Heart, and Andrea Bocelli. He has also toured with Marc Broussard and last summer impressed his hometown music fans with a set at Sound on Sound festival in Bridgeport.

When asked what advice he has for aspiring songwriters, he urges artists to not over-revise their work. “Finish those songs and put them out,” he says. “There’s a point of diminishing returns when changing lyric, melody or mix on a song no longer makes it better but just different or actually worse. Sometimes version one is actually the magic take.”

Drew Angus

For Olympic silver medalist Marino, it reads:

Lots of notable folks can boast about throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for a Red Sox game at fabled Fenway Park, including slopestyle and Big Air snowboarder and Westport native Marino. But she also has bragging rights none of those others can touch. In 2016, Marino, then an 18-year-old World Cup newcomer, replaced an injured teammate to compete in the Polartec Big Air event held at Fenway Park … and won.

A hit at Fenway, she returned to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in 2017, and again for a Red Sox-Yankees game in August 2022. Eighteen was a good age for Marino, who that year also became the first woman to land a double in slopestyle competition, according to her U.S. Ski & Snowboard team bio, landing two in the same run, a cab double underflip and a double backflip. Marino is most famous, of course, for winning a silver medal in women’s slopestyle at the 2022 Beijing Olympics (slopestyle is snowboarding down a course filled with terrain-park features and obstacles like rails and jumps.)

Also a 2018 Olympian and a seven-time X Games medalist, Marino loves photography, making videos, and spending time outdoors with her family and dog.

Julia Marino, on the Olympic podium.

Click here for the full Connecticut Magazine “40 Under 40.”

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The Westport Farmers’ Market: It’s not just for fresh produce anymore.

Well, everyone knows that. But here’s more proof, if anyone needs it:

Through January, the Market will host a 4-part lecture series, Thursdays at 1 p.m. at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center on Sylvan Lane.

Each presentation is 20 minutes, followed by a Q-and-A.

  • January 5: “Yoga is (Not) a 4-Letter Word: Demystifying the Practice” (Abbey Chase, owner, Abbey Chase Yoga)
  • January 12: “Muscle Activation, Neurological Inhibition, and Chronic Pain” (Dr. Andrew Crape)
  • January 19: “The Lymph” (Rev. Dr. Mark L. Heilshorn owner, Dharma Massage Therapy)
  • January 26: “Gut Healing and Anti-inflammatory Bonebroth Detox Soup” (Christine Beal Dunst, CEO and co-founder, Embody Wellness Company).

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This photo is a bit of a mystery.

Matt Murray noticed all these shoes lined up at Old Mill Beach.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

There was no one nearby. No one swimming.

Who owns them? Why are they there?

Maybe it’s part of SyFy’s annual “Twilight Zone” marathon. The annual event — an homage to the show and its creator, former Westporter Rod Serling — began at 5 a.m. today. It runs through 4 a.m. on Tuesday.

Click here for the full schedule.  (In case you’re wondering: “A Stop at Willoughby” — the classic Westport-themed episode — airs Monday, at 5 p.m.)

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Congratulations to Dr. Cindy Dunbar. The 1976 Staples High School graduate  was recently inducted into the National Academy of Medicine.

A Harvard graduate who specializes in hematology, she’s had an amazing career. Click here for an in-depth interview. (She begins with her youth in Westport — and her interest in music and theater. It continues to this day.)

Click here for a more scientifically oriented piece. (Hat tip: Ed Stalling)

Dr. Cindy Dunbar

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It wouldn’t be a holiday without a photo of Jolantha.

Weston’s favorite pig welcomes the new year in (as always) style:

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image combines a favorite subject (the beach) with a manmade-but-natural offering.

As the holidays wind down … enjoy!

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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And finally … who needs Guy Lombardo (or Dan Fogelberg), when we’ve got Mariah Carey?!

 (The year is not yet over! You’ve still got a few hours to support “06880” — and, because we’re a non-profit, take a tax write-off. Please click here. Thank you!)

 

Roundup: Comments, Ukraine, Cops …

A note about Comments:

Yesterday, a commenter calling himself “Ed Doucette” posted a swipe at the woman who had nominated dog owners as “06880”‘s  Unsung Heroes of the Week.

I asked him how many Unsung Heroes he had nominated. Remember the old ’60s saying? “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Turns out, he used an alias.

That makes him even more of a jerk. Coming on the heels of my discovery of a couple of other aliases — some plausible-sounding like “Will Leach,” others clearly fake — I feel like a jerk, too.

I trust “06880” readers. I do not require verification to post comments. I only ask that people use full, real names.

I spend a ton of time on all aspects of “06880.” Monitoring comments for civility and accuracy is one of them. Monitoring them for honesty should not be part of the deal.

I’ve asked before: Please be nice. Please don’t abuse the Comments section. If you have something to say, have the guts to say it publicly, under your real name.

That shouldn’t be too much to ask. Obviously though it is, because I just did.

“06880” welcomes your comments. Please have the courtesy — and guts — to use your real name.

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The New York Times’ “Morning” newsletter just published their most memorable photos of the year.

The very first one was taken by 1991 Staples High School graduate — and Pulitzer Prize/MacArthur “genius grant” award winner — Lynsey Addario.

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

The caption says:

“Millions of people fled Ukraine in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion, seeking refuge in other countries. Desperate families shoved their way onto a train leaving the capital, Kyiv, in early March.”

Click here for more of the Times’ top images. (Hat tip: Susan Leone)

Meanwhile, the Times’ other photo feature — the more extended “Year in Pictures” — includes more than half a dozen images from Addario and Tyler Hicks, her colleague who is also a Pulitzer winner and Staples grad (Class of 1988).

The first in the chronological list is from January 19. It’s a shot by Hicks of a Ukrainian soldier at a frontline position. “The world watched nervously as Western countries warned that Russia was preparing to attack Ukraine at any moment,” the caption says.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

There was also this harrowing photo of a dead Russian soldier near Kharkiv, as Ukrainian troops defender their land in the first days of the invasion.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)

“The Year in Pictures” includes this explanatory quote from Hicks:

There was no way to know if you would run into Russian soldiers. I decided to get out of the car and walk to make sure we weren’t going to drive up to any surprises. There was snow on the ground and I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, but I eventually came upon several Russian soldiers who had been killed. I took the photos as quickly as I could because the area where I was working was exposed, and then I got back to cover.

There’s also this iconic shot by Addario, immediately after Russian mortar fire killed a family trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv. The photo drew worldwide attention to the horrors of Russia’s invasion:

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

Addario explains:

I was photographing along a civilian evacuation route and was in the actual attack. The shell landed between us. The woman and her two children and the church volunteer were killed. I was just lucky the blast went the other direction and not toward me.

Click here and scroll down, for many more photos by Hicks and Addario (and others). (Hat tip: Evan Stein)

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Speaking of Ukraine: It’s now a few days after Christmas. But the good feelings from Westport’s holiday gift to our sister city of Lyman, Ukraine still linger.

Click below for a brief video — just posted to YouTube’s “Sister Cities Westport Lyman Marigny” channel:

The total amount raised now by our town (and friends and relatives of Westporters) is $209,300. We are closing in on our goal of $250,000.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Lyman through Ukraine Aid International. 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).

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Crime took a holiday last week.

Westport Police report no custodial arrests between December 21 and 28. With the cold weather, traffic was light too. These were the only citations issued:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 2
  • Following too closely: 2
  • Speeding: 1
  • Evading responsibility: 1
  • Traveling too fast for conditions: 1
  • Failure to drive in proper lane: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Failure to carry certificate of registration/insurance: 1
  • Failure to obey control signal: 1
  • Violation of any traffic commission regulation: 1.

Required by law

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The end of the year is the perfect time for Westport Town Farm to announce programs for the new year.

“Parent and Me” returns, from January through March. Classes include outdoor time for feeding animals, followed by age-appropriate crafts, games or stories inside the Farmhouse.

Families transitioning out of “Parent and Me” enjoy “Toddler Sprouts” (ages 3-5,  Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m.).

A new program — “Tiny Farmers Playdate” — begins in January (Wednesdays, 9 a.m.). Taking place in the Farmhouse, it’s geared toward ages of 0 -18 months.

A new “Rugged Bear Wilderness Club” runs after school. Youngsters ages 11-14 will develop outdoors skills like fire-making, orienteering, using basic hand tools, simple first aid, pitching a tent and being challenged in nature. The club begins February 9.

Spots are also available in the “Fantastic Farmhands” elementary school program.

WTF also runs an MLK Jr. Vacation Day Camp on January 16.

Click here for more information, or email education.wakemantownfarm.org.

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The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Westport Fairfield County Group will “Skate Through New Zealand.”

That’s the topic of their January 10 meeting (Saugatuck Congregational Church; appetizers, wine, dinner at 6:15 p.m.; presentation 7:30 p.m.; members $10, non-members $15).

Speaker Geoffrey Saunders has been skateboarding since he was 10. He lived in New Zealand for a year as an exchange student, and has returned 4 times. He skateboarded 400 miles through North Island, raising funds for Wildlife in Crisis, and will discuss his many adventures.

Reservations not required, but please RSVP: easasso7@icloud.com.

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Several “06880” readers sent photos of last night’s crazy cloud, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

This Compo Beach view was the most colorful:

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … in honor of Geoffrey Saunders’ talk next month to the Appalachian Mountain Club (story above):

(If you’re a skater — or a commenter — or anyone else who reads “06880,” please consider a year-end contribution. Just click here — and thank you!)

Roundup: Trash Truck, Tyler Hicks, Tree Trunk …

Westporters seldom think about trash trucks.

They come. Our trash goes. They come again, a few days later. Occasionally we write a check, to keep them coming.

Lyman — our new sister city in Ukraine — has not seen a trash truck in months.

Soon — with the help of Westport — they will.

When the Russians fled this fall, after several months of occupation, they stole all of the town’s trash trucks.

Debris from their missile attacks is piled everywhere. So is the garbage that accumulates as citizens live their daily lives.

Without trucks, there is no way to remove any of it.

For the past several days, Westport has been raising funds for Lyman (pronounced Lee-MON). We just passed $200,000, heading toward our $250,000 goal.

The other day, Brian Mayer — the Westporter who co-founded Ukraine Aid International — learned of a truck in Gdansk, Poland. It will cost about 5,000 euros to transport it to Lyman. Volunteers are already lined up to move it.

When it arrives in Lyman, residents will be ecstatic. Volunteers there are ready to start removing many tons of trash — and avoid an environmental catastrophe.

Brian is working too with construction wholesalers in Ukraine. They’re getting ready to move material from Kharkiv to Lyman, where more volunteers are eager to begin shoring up apartment buildings that are close to collapse.

Westport’s support for our sister city has been immediate. But the need is ongoing.

To help, click here for a credit card “Donate” button. Click “I want to support”; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” You can also scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.) Or you can donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

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One more cosmic connection between Westport and our sister city:

Yesterday’s New York Times included more harrowing photos from Ukraine, by 1988 Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Tylerl Hicks.

Among them: an image showing Ukrainian troops crammed into an armored vehicle, plowing through mud in dusty skies on their way to the front lines.

The dateline: Lyman. (Hat tip: Steve Taranko)

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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As noted last week on “06880,” black plastic cannot be recycled.

It can, however, be repurposed to serve food to people in need.

For the second straight week, Sustainable Westport is partnering with Food Rescue CT and the Westport Farmers’ Market to collect black plastic takeout containers.

Washed, clean, black plastic takeout food containers (with lids!) can be brought to tomorrow’s Farmers’ Market at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center (7 Sylvan Lane; Thursday, December 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

The containers will be used by Fridgeport Outdoor Food Pantry to repackage large trays of donated prepared foods into smaller portions for distribution to Bridgeporters facing food insecurity.

 

Westport resident Ria Nova (right) donated black plastic containers to Sustainable Westport co-director Johanna Martell at last week’s Westport Farmers’ Market.

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How strong were last Friday’s winds?

Strong enough to topple this tree, on the border between Winslow Park and the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

Just be thankful it didn’t fall in the other direction.

And that we didn’t get whacked like Buffalo did.

On the other hand, there’s this: Perhaps the trunk can be delivered to Long Lots Preserve.

As noted in yesterday’s Roundup, decomposing tree trunks promote the growth of bug populations. They in turn supply local and migrating bird populations with an important source of food, especially in the spring when they feed their young.

For more details on the Preserve and its need for dead tree trunks, email longlotspreserve@gmail.com.

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Westporter Paul Podolsky has published a new thriller: “Master, Minion.”

Fellow Westporter Mike Hayes — former commander of Seal Team Two and author of “Never Enough” — calls it “a gripping portrayal of the people and machinery behind financial warfare. Paul is a true storyteller who knows Russia and China firsthand. He takes the readers on a thrilling journey only an insider can provide.”

The book draws in part on his expertise in Russia. He recently wrote about that, for the Wall Street Journal.

Click here for more information on Podolsky’s new book.

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Yesterday’s clouds caught the eyes of many “Westport … Naturally” photographers.

This shot near the Norwalk border was one of the most intriguing:

(Photo/Rowene Weems Photography)

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And finally … thinking of the photo above:

(Scrambling for a tax deduction, as the year draws to an end? Please consider “06880” — we’re a non-profit! Click here for details. And thank you!)

 

Roundup: Ducks, Ospreys, Kindness …

The Great Duck Race returns this year. But — just as ducks migrate — so does the popular Westport Sunrise Rotary fundraiser.

From 2008 to ’19, thousands of yellow ducks bobbed in the Saugatuck River. COVID forced it into a virtual format the past 2 years.

On July 9, the Great Duck Race will be run as a giant water sluice on Jesup Green. Tomorrow (Sunday, May 1), the Rotarians will see how it works as a duck race track. AJ Penna is providing a truck and front loader. Water comes from the Westport Fire Department.

Everyone is invited to watch tomorrow. “Ducks” in full costume will pose for photos.

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Also on Jesup Green: The Westport Library Book Sale.

It opened yesterday, with the usual packed crowd. It continues today (Saturday, April 30) until 5 p.m. Tomorrow (Sunday, May 1, noon to 5 p.m.) all items are half price. On Monday (May 2, 9 a.m. to noon), fill a bag for $5, or purchase individual items for half-price.

The Westport Library Book Sale yesterday. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Kindness is always on the Porch menu. Everyone feels comfortable at the Cross Highway café.

Tomorrow through May 15, they’re running a “Kids Kindness Contest.” Everyone in grades K-12 is invited to share a story of how they are kind to friends, strangers or within the community.

The K-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade winners each earn an ice cream social with 9 friends. The middle and high school winners each get a fun lunch with 3 friends.

Forms are available at the Porch, or by clicking here.

The Porch is always “kind” of cool and great.

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Want to surprise the woman in your life the day before Mothers Day?

Take her to “Supper & Soul” next Saturday (May 7).

It’s a great event, with lots of reasons she’ll be thrilled. The 8 p.m. concert — remember live concerts? — features Cris Jacobs. He’s back in Westport, after a searing show at the 2018 Blues Views & BBQ Festival. The opening act is Gnorm.

The show is at the Westport Library, where the new, state-of-the-art sound system will blow you away.

Tickets ($90) include a 3-course dinner at a downtown restaurant (6 p.m.; list below), including tax and tip (though drinks are on you). $40 concert-only tickets are available too.

Participating restaurants include:

  • 190 Main
  • Amis
  • Arezzo
  • Basso
  • Capuli
  • De Tapas
  • Don Memo
  • Manna Toast
  • Spotted Horse
  • Wafu
  • Walrus Alley

And … after the show, your ticket is good for happy hour pricing on drinks at any of the participating restaurant. Try a different one than dinner!

Click here for tickets and more information. Click below to see Cris Jacobs. The event is sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, and the Westport Library.

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There may be no free lunch. But there was a free sapling giveaway yesterday.

Dozens of Westporters took advantage of the Arbor Day gift at Town Hall, courtesy of the Tree Board.

Residents Robert Sohmer and Debbie Fisher showed up — then offered to help. They’re shown in the photo below, as Tree Board members Alice Ely and Monica Buesser prep saplings.

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Speaking of nature: Recent reports of the Fresh Market ospreys’ demise are premature.

Carolyn Doan reports: “All is well with the pair. They are incubating now, which means they sit very low in the nest and are impossible to see.

“They are really a really strong pair, and are co-parenting. They give each other breaks while one is in the incubating position. They call out to each other when one needs a break or is hungry.

“Yesterday I watched the female sit at the top of a dead tree behind Terrain. and preen herself for 45 minutes. After faint calls from the nest, she went back. Then the male popped up. He went to a nearby perch and preened.

“The ospreys returned a week early this year, so chicks may come sooner than usual.”

A Fresh Market osprey, yesterday afternoon. (Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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Remember the Yarn Bomber? In the darkest days of the pandemic, she brightened the town with her late-night creations.

Molly Alger was not the Yarn Bomber. But — responding to an “06880” offer — she took “secret” lessons, via FaceTime.

The actual Bomber left yarn on Molly’s porch in the middle of the night. Molly  created 2 bombs for her own trees, and 2 for friends.

She also did one for the Senior Center. I lasted through 2 winters and one summer, since November 2020. But it was looking a little ragged.

Now — just in time for spring — Molly has created a new Senior Center yarn bomb.

The pandemic has eased. But the Yarn Bomber — and her protégé — live on.

The Senior Center’s new yarn bomb.

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29 Staples High School students and 6 adults returned recently from 10 days in Spain. It was the first overseas trip for a large group in a decade.

The packed itinerary included visits to Granada, Cordoba, Seville, Madrid and Barcelona. Highlights included Alhambra, scavenger hunts in cities, an olive farm, guided city tours, a flamenco lesson and show, the Prado Museum, a churro breakfast and cooking class, Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, a Good Friday religious procession, and the first women’s soccer match ever played at Camp Nou — with a crowd of 91,000.

Future trips planned by Staples’ World Language Department include Germany next spring, and a February journey to Panama focusing on STEM topics.

Cheering for the Barcelona women’s team at Camp Nou.

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Staples High School’s boys basketball team will have a new look next year.

Head coach Colin Devine is stepping down, to pursue administrative positions. In 15 years at the helm, he built the Wreckers into an FCIAC contender.

Coach Colin Devine (far left) and members of the 2018 Staples High School boys basketball team took the #ALSPepperChallenge.

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Services have been announced for Charlie Capalbo. The former Fairfield Ludlowe High hockey player battled 4 cancers before succumbing last week, one month before his 24th birthday. He is the grandson of Westporters Richard Epstein and Ina Chadwick; his mother Jennifer Wilde Capalbo is a Staples High grad.

Charlie’s wake is Wednesday, May 4 (2 to 8 p.m., Penfield Pavilion, 323 Fairfield Beach Road, Fairfield). A funeral mass is set for Thursday, May 5 (10 a.m., St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, 1719 Post Road, Fairfield). Burial will be private.

Charlie and his mother, Jennifer Wilde Capalbo.

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Today’s New York Times carries one of its most harrowing stories ever on the war in Ukraine. It begins:

 The wind carried the smell of death across the street. The body of the dead man, burned, mutilated and barely recognizable, was taken from the refrigerator and laid on a metal gurney. The coroner smoked a cigarette and unzipped the black bag.

It was a beautiful spring day. There had been no shelling that morning. And Oksana Pokhodenko, 34, gasped, blinking, at the charred corpse. That was not her brother, she told herself, that was not Oleksandr. That was barely a human.

Her brother lived once. The family patriarch for 20 years since their father died, he called his sister every day after the war started as he fled with his family to a village, Husarivka, wedged between rolling wheat fields. He kept calling — “Hello, Little One. We’re good. How are you?” — but never mentioned that the Russians had overrun the village where he was hiding.

Ms. Pokhodenko, in black jeans, a black jacket and barely laced sneakers, struggled to keep looking at the body. Her brother had taught her how to ride a bike and had loved to watch cartoons for hours with his son. To his sister, he was a “stone wall.” This was a charred husk. Half of the man’s skull was gone, and his chest cavity was splayed open.

The photos are as chilling as the writing. They’re all by Tyler Hicks, the 1988 Staples High School graduate and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Click here for the full story, and Tyler’s images.

Some of Tyler Hicks’ latest photos, illustrating atrocities in committed in Ukraine. (Photos/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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“Westport … Naturally” waves goodbye to April (and hello to May!) with this gorgeous image from the Library Riverwalk:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … on this day in 1803, the US purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. We spent $15 million — and more than doubled the size of our nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roundup: River Dredging, Beach Cleanup, Ukraine …

The other day, 1st Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker, Congressman Jim Himes and Senator Richard Blumenthal took a boat tour of the Saugatuck River. They surveyed conditions, and announced $2.81 million in federal funding for proposed dredging.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas and Public Works director Peter Ratkiewich were on board too.

Tooker calls the river “one of Westport’s greatest assets. Westport is fortunate that this long-needed project is on the near horizon. For years, the sediment coming down the river has caused shoaling of the federal channel, and has diminished the multi-use capacity of the river.

“With funding now earmarked for this important dredging program, the outlook for downtown, the Saugatuck neighborhoods and the river shoreline is positive and vibrant for our businesses and our residents.“

Ratkiewich adds, “the dredging project will increase recreational opportunities on the river, allow for maritime connectivity between downtown and Saugatuck, and most importantly will enhance the ability of our emergency services to respond to emergencies that happen on or near the river.”

From left: Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Public Works director Pete Ratkiewich, 1st Selectman Jen Tooker and Congressman Jim Himes on the Saugatuck River. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Himes’ office)

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Sustainable Westport, the Zero Waste Committees of all Westport schools and ZenWTR join together to sponsor a community Compo Beach cleanup this Saturday (April 30, noon to 2 p.m.).

Everyone is invited to help. Meet at the pavilion by the volleyball court and playground.

Questions? Email zwcstapleshs@westportps.org.

Beach garbage, from a previous cleanup. (Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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As reported last week, Lynsey Addario is back in Ukraine.

The 1991 Staples High School graduate  — and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, and MacArthur “genius grant” fellow — captured grim scenes of Orthodox Easter services yesterday along the frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region.

“Hopes for a cease-fire over the holiday weekend were quickly dashed,” the Times reported, “as Russian artillery fire and missiles continued to strike Ukrainian infrastructure, government buildings and residential homes.”

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

Her fellow Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner — and Staples ’88 grad — Tyler Hicks has been in the embattled nation all along.

Today his photos illustrated a story about 12 people who have chosen to stay in the basement of a shattered school building. Click here for the piece.

The view from a bombed-out apartment in Saltivka, one of Kharkiv’s most brutalized neighborhoods. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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“The Art of Nature” — Earthplace’s first benefit art show and sale — opens this Thursday (April 28, 5 to 9 p.m.).

Each artist has up to a dozen pieces. All are inspired by the natural world.

Westporters in the show include Jennifer Williams, Kris Toohey and Nancy Breakstone.

The opening reception includes wine, light bites donated by Rizutto’s, and a $15 donation to Earthplace. 35% of each piece sold is tax-deductible.

The show continues with free admission Friday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Kris Toohey’s “Sunkissed Marsh” is one of dozens of works at Earthplace’s art show.

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It takes all kinds.

And all kinds were out in force the other day, posing for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

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And finally … on this day in 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed “La Marseillaise.” It became the French national anthem.

Quelle coincidence! France is in the world headlines this morning, thanks to a very important election yesterday.

Roundup: Tyler Hicks, Jim Himes, Emil Gilmutdinov …

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First came Willowbrook Cemetery’s “Miracle Mile.” Then came Debra Kandrak’s town-wide planting project. Now, Westport has become the Daffodil Capital of — if not the world — at least the area.

Among the yellow beauties bringing joy to us all: 7,000 lining Prospect Road.

These were planted, thanks to Debra, to remind everyone about the issue of bullying. It’s just not cool — for victim or the bullies themselves.

Cindy Shumate — who had both a literal and figurative hand in the projects — says that anyone who has suffered from bullying, or knows a person who has, is welcome to clip a bouquet for themselves.

(Please take them only from the roadway in front of #11, 13, 21 and 25 Prospect Road, owned by Melissa and John Ceriale).

“It’s a small token to let someone know that they are safe with you, and to open a conversation if that someone is ready,” Cindy says.

Prospect Road connects Hillspoint Road with Greens Farms Road. It’s worth a drive even without clipping a daffodil bouquet!

Hillspoint Road daffodils (Photo/Cindy Shumate)

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As the Russian war in Ukraine grinds on, Tyler Hicks’ photos continue to illustrate the gruesome state of life and death there.

The 1991 Staples High School graduate’s latest work in the New York Times is from the village of Husarivka. The Pulitzer Prize winning photographer’s images illustrate a story about the depravity of Russian soldiers, as they harass, terrorize and kill farmers and their family members. Click here for the full story, and photos.

Lubov Dvoretska, 62, a biology teacher whose husband was killed in a bombing. Her neighbors buried his body in the garden behind their house. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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The Y’s Men attract an A-list of speakers for their Thursday meetings. Last week’s was particularly impressive and insightful.

Congressman Jim Himes offered thoughts on some of the major news stories, then answered questions on a broad array of topics.

Click below to see and hear Himes’ session. All that’s missing are the Y’s Mens’ famous coffee and donuts,

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Emil Gilmutdinov was born in Russia. He moved to New York in 2009. He worked in the food and beverage industry for nearly a decade, but lost his job during the pandemic.

That’s when he rediscovered his passion for drawing and painting. A self-taught artist working with both pencil and oil paint, he constantly experiments and hones his skills. His work includes both black-and-white graphic prints, and oils reflecting nature.

His first-ever solo exhibition is set for Steam, the coffee spot across from the Westport train station on Railroad Place. There’s an opening reception tonight (Monday, April 18, 6 to 9 p.m.).

Emil’s work is on display at Steam, for purchase, through June 12.

Pencil work by Emil Gilmutdinov.

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In a few days, this tree will be bursting with color.

Right now, it’s today’s “Westport … Naturally” featured photo.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … Happy Patriots’ Day, to our readers in Massachusetts and Maine.

The official state holiday commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War, at Lexington and Concord in 1775.

Roundup: Kawa Ni, Stefanowski, Figgs …

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One of Westport’s most popular restaurants will soon be even more so.

Kawa Ni — Bill Taibe’s Japanese spot in Bridge Square — is expanding into the former juice bar next door.

The 6-person bar will now double in size. The front area will open into what Taibe calls a “more useful, more playful” space.

Kawa Ni opened a decade or so ago. This expansion has run into the usual 2022 issue, including supply chain delays and the soaring cost of cedar.

But it’s proceeding well. The restaurant will be open for takeout this Thursday through Saturday. In-person dining begins April 21.

Taibe promises “a few surprises” on the new menu. Today he’s taking his chef and sous-chef into New York, for inspiration.

There’s always something cooking at Kawa Ni.

Bill Taibe, at what will soon be the new Kawa Ni bar. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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“06880” readers have appreciated and admired — and been horrified by and appalled at — Lynsey Addario’s photographs from Ukraine.

The 1991 Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photojournalist/MacArthur fellow has worked in the world’s toughest trouble spots for over 2 decades.

How does she do it? And balance motherhood, and being a wife?

Yesterday, she answered those questions. Click here for an intriguing, wide-ranging interview with Yahoo. (Hat tip: Leah Nash)

Lynsey Addario (center) with her mother Camille and then-toddler son Lukas. He is now 10 years old.

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And speaking of New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers who also graduated from Staples: Tyler Hicks has photographed many harrowing scenes from Ukraine. “06880” has reposted some of them.

But how does the 1988 SHS grad actually get those shots?

With intuition. Hard work. And plenty of balance.

Tyler’s sister Darcy — who still lives here in town — posted these 2 images on Facebook.

One shows the parking lot of an apartment building in Kramatorsk, littered with debris from Russian bombs:

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

The other shows the lengths Tyler went to to take it. Yes, that’s him in the tree:

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Connecticut law caps contributions to gubernatorial campaigns at $3,500.

However, there is no limit on donations to super PACS — so long as they do not coordinate activities with candidates they support.

CT Truth PAC supports Republican Bob Stefanowski. It opposes Governor Ned Lamont. So far, they’ve spent $300,000 on TV and online ads. Lamont defeated Stefanowski in the 2018 governor’s race.

Two $500,000 contributions to CT Truth PAC have helped. One came from Thomas McInerney of Westport. He’s the CEO of Bluff Point Associates, a private equity firm on Riverside Avenue.

Click here for the full CTMirror story.

Thomas McInerney is not a fan of Governor Lamont (above, on Main Street). Or at least, he backs Bob Stefanowski in the upcoming race.

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Figgs fans get an extra helping on Saturday.

The high-energy band’s MOCA performance (April 16, 7 p.m.) includes a tribute to punk. It’s part of the museum/gallery’s current “Punk is Coming” exhibition.

Food and drink from Shaken & Stirred includes sliders, and a custom “fig” drink. Click here for tickets.

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In 1987, Westport resident and small plane pilot Bob Jacobs got sandwiched in between much bigger jets — and shut down Westchester Airport as a result.

A series of circumstances (of course) led to the mishap. Now he tells the story on a Flying magazine podcast, called “I Learned About Flying From That.” Click here to listen (it helps to know all the pilot jargon).

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Michael Hannan of Westport died March 29, from complications of COVID. He was 56.

A lifetime resident of Westport, he graduated from Staples High School and the University of Massachusetts, with a degree in urban forestry.

Michael was a Connecticut licensed arborist for 30 years, and the mainstay of family-owned New England Nurseries. His passion for trees and plant science was exceeded only by his dedication to his friends and customers.

Michael was an avid fisherman. he traveled far and wide — including Central and South America, Ireland and Alaska to fish, catch and release. He was a perennial sight on Long Island Sound. He was tenacious in all endeavors that he found interesting, and had unwavering conviction in those areas. 

Michael is survived by his parents, Peter and Dolores Hannan; sister Kelly (John) Anzalone; niece Haley Humiston; nephews Ryan and Connor Humiston, and John JJ Anzalone;  an uncle; 2 aunts, and cousins. He was also survived by his constant companion Blue.

A memorial service will be held this summer, somewhere by the water. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice, or an animal rescue organization.

Michael Hannan

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The other day, “06880” previewed tomorrow’s Aspetuck Land Trust Zoom program on invasive species like knotweed.

Soon after, alert reader Werner Liepolt was at Sherwood Island. He was impressed by the grooming effort to rid the state park of knotweed — and wondered why we haven’t done the same, at some of our town’s open space.

Knotweed grooming, at Sherwood Island State Park. (Photo/Werner Liepolt)

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And finally … on this day in 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 63 years old.

Woody Guthrie wrote “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,” about the president’s life and astonishing accomplishments. The refrain says it all: “The world was lucky to see him born.”

Bob Dylan and The Band performed a definitive version, at a Woody Guthrie tribute concert in Carnegie Hall.

Roundup: Affordable Housing Meeting, Tyler Hicks, Vinyl …

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Everyone in Westport has a stake in affordable housing.

For the first time, all 4 political parties — including the 2 formed around land-use issues — have joined to co-sponsor a forum. 

Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 12, 7 p.m., Town Hall and Zoom at www.westportct.gov), 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin host a community conversation about Westport’s “5-Year Affordability Plan.” It’s a joint effort of the Republican and Democratic Town Committees, Save Westport Now and the Coalition for Westport.

Among Westport’s affordable housing options: Sasco Creek Village.

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Six weeks after Russia invade Ukraine, Tyler Hicks continues to show the carnage to the world.

The 1988 Staples High School graduate — a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer — is now in Kramatorsk, where more than 50 civilians trying to flee the region were killed in a train station missile attack.

This is one of several striking images posted yesterday by the Times. Click here for more.

A worker cleans debris outside the Kramatorsk train station. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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A large crowd Saturday night helped launch what is believed to be the public library record label in the world.

The first vinyl on that first label is “Verso Records: Volume 1.” It’s a 500-copy compilation of emerging and established musicians in the tri-state region.

They play a variety of genres, including jazz, rock, folk, indie and hip hop. All tracks were recorded at the Library’s Verso Studios, a state-of-the-art, hybrid-analog SSL facility.

Chris Frantz — a founding member of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, and a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee — calls himself “a major fan of the Westport Library, and the creativity they’re cultivating in artists throughout the region.”

Tracks available for download include Daniprobably (indie pop band), Alexandra Burnet and the Stable Six (ethereal singer-songwriter and band), Ports of Spain, (indie rock) and the Zambonis (“hockey rock”).

The album also includes hip hop artists MIGHTYMOONCHEW and Dooley-O; post punk artists Lulu Lewis; new wave musician Nicki Butane; singer-songwriter Terri Lynn; the John Collinge Jazz Quartet; indie rockers Tiny Ocean; garage punk band The Problem with Kids Today, and roots Americana rock The Split Coils.

To view session recording videos at Verso Studios, click here.  To preorder the album, click here.

Tammy Winser was named winner of the album cover design contest, at VersoFest Saturday night. Her artwork is displayed behind her. (Photo/Jerri Graham)

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Two folks with longtime Westport roots have joined the board of the Remarkable Theater.

David Waldman will serve as co-president. Angela Wormser is the director of workforce.

Waldman and his wife Yvette have supported the the Remarkable Theater  since its inception. Since founding David Adam Realty in 1991, he has developed some of the area’s most important commercial properties, including Bedford Square and the west bank of the Saugatuck River. Waldman is also a past president of the Westport Downtown Association, and has sat on its board for almost 2 decades. He was also a board member of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee.

Wormser, an educator with a strong background in special educaiton, will help expand the Remarkable’s mission of creating opportunities for people with disabilities.

Angela’s role will focus on helping expand The Remarkable’s mission of creating opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

The current board includes State Representative Jonathan Steinberg and filmmaker Douglas Tirola. Both have been members since the beginning of the Westport Cinema Initiative. Stacie Curran continues as vice president and secretary.

Angela Wormser and David Waldman

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When Pastor Alison Patton embarks on a sabbatical in June, Saugatuck Congregational Church welcomes a “theologian in residence.”

Jim Antal — a nationally recognized climate expert, and author of “Climate Church, Climate World,” will share his expertise with the congregation and greater community through conversations, discussions, lectures and sermons.

The church seeks housing for Antal and his wife for their 3-week stay in June (June 1-22). A donation of living space, bedroom and kitchen is ideal; an inexpensive rental is the second option.

Anyone offering either possibility should email Priscilla Long: pal9948@aol.com.

Saugatuck Congregational Church seeks housing for a guest pastor.

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On Saturday, the Westport Rotary Club participated in Westport Parks & Recreation Department Clean-Up Day.

Dozens of Rotarians began and the Compo Beach skatepark, then headed to the Longshore driving range.

They shouldn’t have to pick up after the rest of us. But they sure did a great job!

Part of the Westport Rotary Club, with part of their trash collection.

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Spring weather brought many Westporters outside, preparing their lawns and gardens for new growth.

Teenagers Leilani Fleming and Ellen Ou headed to Sherwood Island State Park. They planted grass shoots today, as part of an ongoing effort to shore up the shore.

Ellen Ou and Leilani Fleming, hard at work.

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Visitors to the famed Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland — one of the world’s leading institutions entirely devoted to photography — enjoy many images.

Including 2 from Westporter Larry Silver.

They’re now more accessible to his neighbors. Silver is exhibiting at Fairfield University Art Museum’s Quick Center, in the “13 Ways of Looking at Landscapes” show.

Larry will be in a conversation there about his photos on Wednesday (April 20, 5 p.m.).

“Girl at Showers,” one of 2 Larry Silver images on display in Lausanne.

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Dr. Stephen Rubin, a Westport resident for over 55 years, died last week after a battle with cancer. The educational philosopher and innovator was 83.

After graduating from Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, he studied education and general systems theory at Brooklyn College and New York University. where he earned his (first) Ph.D. in 1965.

At 23 Dr. Rubin, became the principal of Center School in New Canaan. He made an indelible mark on education, student success and the hearts and minds of multiple generations of students, faculty and other staff from 1965 until 1983, when it closed.

Under his direction, and with a strong staff of teachers and administrators, Center School became a social-educational experiment featured in national publications like Newsweek and the New York Times for its extraordinary atmosphere and remarkable outcomes.

After closing Center School, Rubin served as assistant superintendent of schools in New Canaan until his first retirement in 2003.

As founder and president of the Institute for General Systems Management, He brought his vision about elementary education to a national audience. He was a frequent speaker at The Aspen Institute. Rubin also authored the book Public Schools Should Learn to Ski: A Systems Based Approach to Education; it is still considered seminal reading at the Harvard School of Education.

In 1994 Rubin joined the administrative faculty at Sacred Heart University, where he was founder and director of Educational Leadership and Management. He retired in 2014.

He met Adrienne Jurow in 1959, when they both taught at the same school in Brooklyn. They married in 1961.

Rubin and his wife had homes in Ridgefield; Boynton Beach, Florida, and Truro, Massachusetts. He is survived by son Jason (Louise) and daughter Tory Miller (Robert), plus grandchildren Damon, Madison, Olivia, Alexandria and Trevor, and nephew Seth.

Dr. Stephen Rubin

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I try to run “Westport … Naturally” photos within a couple of days after receiving them. Timing is everything.

It’s especially important with this spring-is-here! photo from Hillspoint Road, by Suzanne Raboy. It illustrates beautifully why this is such a wondrous time of year here.

But — sadly — if I wait even a few days, it will be gone.

(Photo/Suzanne Raboy)

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And finally … On this day in 1727, Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion premiered at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.

Roundup: Easter Egg Hunt & Tree, Beach Dunes & Dogs, Tyler Hicks …

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The Great Lawn at Saugatuck Church hosts lots of events. Social justice rallies, blessings of animals, plant sales — you name it, it’s there at one of Westport’s most visible and handsome sites.

Yesterday, it was an Easter egg hunt. Hundreds of youngsters raced around, finding thousands of eggs.

The afternoon was organized by WestportMoms — the multi-platform social media group, not a generic bunch of mothers —  with volunteer support by Boy Scout Troop 36.

Great hunt, on the great lawn. (Photo/Craig Patton)

Want Mark Mathias’ video version? Click below:

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Speaking of Easter:

For 15 years, 1971 Staples High School graduate Jalna Jaeger has decorated a tree on her property (3 East Avenue in Norwalk, not far from Stew Leonard’s).

It’s an homage to Ostereierbaum — the German tradition of filling trees and bushes with Easter eggs. It’s always colorful and fun.

This year, it sends a message.

Most of Jalna’s eggs are blue and yellow: the colors of Ukraine.

Many Americans are doing what they can to show support for that embattled nation. But Jalna’s Ostereierbaum tree may be the only one like it anywhere.

Jalna Jaeger’s Easter egg tree. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

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As Russian troops retreat in parts of Ukraine, the horrors of their occupation are only now beginning to be known.

One of the world’s first looks at what the invaders did — and left behind — comes today in the New York Times. A story headlined “‘This is True Barbarity’: Life and Death Under Russian Occupation” describes the past month in Trostyanets, a strategically located town that soldiers finally fled a few days ago.

“A monthlong Russian occupation reduced much of the town to rubble, a decimated landscape of mangled tank hulks, snapped trees and rattled but resilient survivors,” the Times says.

The piece is accompanied by more than a dozen photos from Tyler Hicks. The Pulitzer Prize winner graduated from Staples High School in 1988. Click here for the full story and photos.

Svitlana Grebinyk’s home was left in disarray after being inhabited by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Trostyanets. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

Entire blocks of homes were destroyed in Trostyanets, after Russian occupation. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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There was plenty of action yesterday at Sherwood Island State Park.

Michele Sorensen — Friends of Sherwood Island’s next president — organized volunteers to plant beach grass. It helps revitalize the dunes, and prevents erosion.

They’ll return over the next few weeks. But they need others. Click here to help, via Signup Genius.

Restoring dunes at Sherwood Island. (Photo/Ilene Mirkine)

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How’s this for a warm-and-fuzzy, pooch-friendly photo?

(Photo/Roseann Spengler)

Unfortunately it was taken at Compo yesterday — the day after dogs were prohibited from all town beaches.

Hopefully the woman was unaware of the rule, not flouting it.

She and her buddy can return October 1.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image features a strong, handsome eagle. They’re hard to photograph well. But Steve Halstead nailed it.

(Photo/Steve Halstead)

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And finally … on this date in 1865, Union forces captured Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America.

Just over 100 years later the Band included that pivotal moment, in Virgil Caine’s lament — though he puts the date as “May the 10th”:

 

Roundup: Lynsey & The Library, Supper & Soul, Fiscal Firecrackers …

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Lynsey Addario has been in the news a lot lately. The 1991 Staples High School graduate and Pulitzer Prize winning/MacArthur fellow photojournalist has taken harrowing photos of Ukraine, for the New York Times. Earlier this week, she gave an insightful interview to Katie Couric.

Lynsey has been doing great work for years. And in January — several weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine — the Westport Library featured a special exhibit of her photos.

“Veiled Rebellion: Women of Afghanistan” began with a 2009 assignment from National Geographic.

Cultural and societal taboos make it extremely difficult to photograph women in that conservative country. But Lynsey persevered, gaining trust and shooting remarkable, intimate images. They cover home, work, religious and recreational life.

The exhibit is on display in the entrance gallery through June 15. They’re just part of the 34 photos that Lynsey donated to the Westport Public Art Collections.

Lynsey Addario’s “Veiled Rebellion” exhibit at the Westport Library.

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And speaking of Lynsey Addario: Here is a photo she took yesterday, at President Volodymyr Zelensky’s press conference in Kyiv.

A good picture tells 1,000 words. This one speaks volumes.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, at his press conference yesterday in Kyiv. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

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Tyler Hicks — Lynsey’s New York Times colleague, and a 1988 Staples graduate — continues to capture compelling photos as well.

This was shot yesterday in Dachne, a village near Odessa. Bombs at midday killed one person there.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)

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One more sign we’re emerging from the pandemic: The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce and Westport Library are bringing back “Supper & Soul.”

The first dinner and concert event in 2 years is set for Saturday, May 7. Cris Jacobs — a Blues Views & BBQ favorite — presents a concert in the Library Forum, following dinners at various restaurants throughout downtown.

Participating downtown restaurants are 190 Main, Amis, Arezzo, Basso, Capuli, De Tapas, Don Memo, Manna Toast, Spotted Horse, Wafu and Walrus Alley.

One ticket buys a 3-course meal at any of 11 participating restaurants, plus the concert — and happy hour-priced drinks afterwards, at any of those restaurants.

Tickets are $90 per person; concert-only tickets are $40. For more information and tickets, click here.

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Money. It’s what makes Westport (and the world) go round.

Want to be entertained, educated and empowered about it?

Check out Galia Gichon’s new podcast: “The Fiscal Firecrackers.” The 20-year finance industry veteran, with an MBA in finance — and a Westport mom — has teamed up with comedic actress Susan Yeagley (Jessica Wicks on “Parks and Recreation”) and Jill Leiderman (a producer with Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel).

It’s available wherever you get your podcasts.

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Punk is coming to MoCA.

In fact, “Punk Coming” is the name of the local museum’s next exhibition. A diverse group of photographers, filmmakers and artists whose work defined the punk era in 1976 New York City, as well as contemporary works heavily influenced by the movement, kicks off with an opening reception on March 26 (6 p.m.)

The show runs through June 5. It features over 30 artists with additional programming, events and concerts throughout the spring.

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Suzanne Sheridan grew up on protest music.

On Saturday, March 12 her Westport-based Suzanne Sheridan Band performs at the Unitarian Church’s Voices Café (and via livestream), . They’re dedicating the concert to “the freedom-loving people of Ukraine.”

On the bill: favorite songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and others.

All proceeds will go to Save the Children, to provide food, water, clothing, medical supplies, emergency assistance and toys to Ukrainian refugees entering Poland, Romania and Lithuania. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Suzanne Sheridan

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Artist/author/naturalist James Prosek spent years trespassing on the Aspetuck Reservoir.

On April 6 (7 p.m., Westport Library), he turns that experience into this year’s Aspetuck Land Trust Caryl and Edna Haskins Lecture. In “Trespassing and Conservation,” Prosek will talk about how growing up near the reservoir shaped his appreciation of the natural work, his career, and his art. Click here for tickets, and more information.

James Prosek

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Tomorrow’s rally in support of Ukraine (Saturday, March 5, 11 a.m. Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge), includes a silent auction of 3 native hand-embroidered shirts.

Proceeds will go to 2 aid organizations: Save the Children, and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. A QR code will be available to help with the bidding.

One of the 3 Ukrainian shirts.

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There’s nothing like a comedy/drama about midlife crises and aging parents.

Westport Country Playhouse’s next Script in Hand play reading tackles those subjects. “Dot” is set for Monday, March 14 (7 p.m., live) and on-demand streaming (March 17 through 20).

Script in Hand shows offer intimate storytelling. Professional actors bring words to life, without sets or costumes.

The Playhouse describes “Dot”:

In their West Philadelphia home the Shealy family, headed by proud, lovable matriarch Dot, is ready to celebrate the Christmas holiday. But the family must grapple with more than exchanging presents as Dot’s memory is beginning to slip.

While her 3 grown children reunite, each with their own personal challenges to attend to, they must also struggle with how to best care for their mom as she faces the difficulties ahead.

For tickets and more information click here, call 203-227-4177 or email boxoffice@westportplayhouse.org.

“Dot” playwright Colman Domingo

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Longtime Westporter Elizabeth Izzo Petretta died peacefully at home on Monday. She was 85.

Born in Caserta, Italy to Luigi and Maria Izzo, she and her family moved to Westport in the 1950’s. That’s where she married her beloved husband, Rocco Petretta.

With Elizabeth’s support, Rocco’s Restaurant was established in 1975 on the Post Road. She worked there for many years.

She enjoyed cooking for her family and friends, sewing and crocheting. She especially loved spending time in her garden. She loved to take care of others, always with a smile. She was her happiest when she was with her family.

Her faith was extremely important to her. She was a lifelong parishioner and volunteer at Assumption Church.

She is survived by her husband Rocco and their daughters Emily (Vinny) Engongoro and Michelle Hankey; grandchildren Christopher Engongoro, Chloe and Olivia Hankey; siblings: Angelina (Joseph) Carusone of Verona, Italy, Josephine Bertoldo of Meriden, Antonia Prentice of Monroe, Anthony (Margie) Izzo, of Tar Heel, North Carolina, Jospeh Izzo and Ann Izzo of Westport, and her many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated this Saturday (March 5, 10 a.m. at Assumption Church. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society. Condolences for the family may be left online.

Elzabeth Petretta

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On Tuesday, a flock of robins visited Elisabeth Keane’s yard, off South Compo.

“They did not faze the woodpecker who is here every day,” she reports, as she sends along today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Elisabeth Keane)

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And finally … on this day in 1837, the city of Chicago was incorporated.