Tag Archives: United Methodist Church

Roundup: Voters’ Guide, Traffic Study, Halloween …

The print version of the Westport League of Women Voters’ voter guide has gone the way of much of the print media: It’s disappeared..

But the LWV still provides important information. And it works for anyone, anywhere in the United States.

Just click on vote411.org. Enter your address. You’ll see every race being contested at your polling place. Clicking any office and candidate’s name brings up plenty of background information.

It’s a rich resource. And a lot better way to decide who to vote for than yard signs. (Hat tip: Charles Wiseman)

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In August, the Board of Finance unanimously approved funds for a traffic and safety study of Cross Highway, at the North Avenue and Bayberry Lane intersections.

Monitoring devices have been installed. They’ll measure things like traffic volume and patterns.

No — they’re not cameras catching stop sign violators.

Although that might not be a bad idea.

Traffic monitoring device at North Avenue/Cross Highway stop sign. (Photo/Matt Murray)

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Westport Chinese Takeout — the bare bones, simply named but popular restaurant on Saugatuck Avenue at Franklin Street, closed recently.

The location is historic. It was the original site of the Arrow Restaurant. The Nistico family eventually moved their famed Italian eatery to larger digs on Charles Street.

When the Arrow’s run ended there, it became Jasmine — a Chinese restaurant. When that closed, the owners opened the much smaller Westport Chinese Takeout — in the Arrow’s first spot.

Jasmine then became Blu Parrot, and later Mystic Market. Now it too is gone.

And the original Chinese Takeout owners sold to others too.

For now, a phone message says: “We’re sorry. Westport Chinese Takeout is no longer in business. In the meantime, we’re getting ready to bring you the best of Peruvian food at this location. We’ll see you soon!” 9(Hat tip: 

Westport Chinese Takeout is now closed.

Halloween alert: Tomorrow (Saturday, October 29, 2 to 4 p.m.) — not Monday — the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston hosts their annual (and very popular) “Trunk or Treat,” 

The parking lot will be filled with car trunks from church and community members, Staples PRIDE, and more, decorated for (non-scary) Halloween. Kids (up to age 12) can pick up candy and other goodies.

It’s free for the community — but there’s a chance to give back too. The church is collecting canned goods for the Person to Person food pantry. A donation of 5 cans of food per child attending is requested.

All (kids up to age 12) are indeed welcome at the United Methodist Church’s “Trunk or Treat” tomorrow. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Speaking of Halloween: Wednesday’s downtown parade was a smashing success.

We can’t ask the kids — they’re still devouring their candy — so here’s the perspective of a parent. Tyler Errickson writes:

“Westport is a special town, and my son Henry had a special time at the Halloween parade. He was proud to mount the Westport fire truck, on a very special day.”

Henry Errickson, on a fire truck at the Halloween parade. (Photo/Tyler Errickson)

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Jonathan Alloy reports on a long-running projecct:

“The bridge on Bayberry Road North Extension saw major progress on Thursday: The deck rails arrived.

“Each of the 7 concrete and steel rails is more than 50 feet long, and weighs over 19 tons.

“They came from Vermont, each on its own special 24-wheel trailer truck. A portable crane lifted them into place.

“Instead of being flat, the rails are built with a camber (arc) to allow for flex with weight and weather. Inside the concrete, steel cables allow for that bending.”

The trucks caused a traffic mess on Bayberry. Westport Police soon straightened things out.

Plenty of work remains. But yesterday marked a big step forward.

Trucks line Bayberry Lane yesterday morning …

… and work is completed yesterday afternoon. (Photos/Jonathan Alloy)

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Everyone in the world knows about TED Talks.

Everyone in Westport should know about TEA Talks.

The free Thinkers, Educators, Actors — “TEA” — event returns to the Westport Library on Sunday, November 6. Among the notables: an Emmy-winning composer, Oscar-nominated filmmaker, former Westport Teacher of the Year, and many more.

They’ll share the Trefz Forum stage, to explore provocative, topical subjects in the arts. Particularly apt for an event impacted for 2 years by COVID, they’ll consider the effects of recent history on creativity in film, music and visual art.

Were home-bound artists more or less creative? What new ways were discovered to express one’s creativity? Does the public now consume the arts differently from the way it did before?

Westport textile and fashion designer Shobana Mani converses with Oscar-nominated New York City filmmaker Kevin Wilson Jr.

Dr. Richard Epstein (Westport musician, dentist and WPKN radio host) speaks with Emmy Award-winning composer, music supervisor and pianist Michael Whalen

Westport 2013 Teacher of the year Cecily Anderson discusses the state of the arts with Westport artist Tom Berntsen and Norwalk street-muralist 5ive Fingaz.

TEA Talks is sponsored by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee. An audience Q-and-A and refreshments follow the presentation. For more information, click here.

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There’s a big honor ahead for The Conservative Synagogue‘s Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and his wife Riki.

Next month, the New York Board of Rabbis presents the Westport couple with  Humanitarian Award.

They’ll be in good company. Receiving the same award: former US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The event is November 16, at the Pierre Hotel. Click here for tickets and more information. (Hat tip: Avi Kaner)

Riki and Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn.

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Speaking of honors: The Westport Garden Club earned several honors at this week’s Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s 93rd annual awards luncheon.

The club received the Certificate of Achievement – Arboreal for planting a swamp white oak at Grace Salmon Park for “Oaktober 2021.”

They also won a Certificate of Achievement – Historic, Memorial and Public Gardens for their 2022 renovation of the Nevada Hitchcock Garden at the Cross Highway/Weston Road intersection.  The garden — established in 1941 — was reworked to focus on native and pollinator plantings.

Two members received individual awards. Andi Turner was given a Certificate of Individual Achievement for her work as horticultural chair. At each meeting, she shares well researched and informative best practices .

The Tribute Award in Landscape Design went to Ellen Greenberg, a Westport Garden Club past president, for her leadership in the club and community, involving a diverse array of partners including the Waltersville School Garden Project with Pivot Ministries, Wakeman Town Farm Pollinator Gardens, a Kaboom playground project in Bridgeport, and  Aspetuck Land Trust’s Green Corridor Initiative and Haskins Preserve Project.

Westport Garden Club members at the Nevada Hitchcock Garden.

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Many Westporters know Pippa Bell Ader for her environmental activism.

She’s also a talented potter. Next Thursday (November 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), she’ll sell her work at the Westport Farmers’ Market (Imperial Avenue parking lot).

All money raised at the “Urban Farming and Food Justice” fundraiser go to Green Village Initiative. The non-profit grows food, knowledge, leadership and community, through urban gardening and farming, to create a more just food system in Bridgeport.

Can’t make it to the Farmers’ Market, but interested in helping Pippa and GVI? Email bellader@gmail.com.

Pippa Bell Ader’s pottery.

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MoCA Westport’s next 2 “Cocktails and Conversation” events are set.

On November 3 (6 p.m.), Diana Mashia — founder and CEO of Invest In Her Art — discusses “the power of story, and the role that narratives play in shaping identity, fandom, advocacy and positive social impact.” She’ll lead a conversation around “how to better utilize stories and the arts to build awareness and advance women and non-binary people.” Click here to register.

On November 10 (6 p.m.), exhibition co-curators Tom Berntsen, Liz Leggett and Ruth Mannes describes the design and installation of MoCA’s current exhibition, “From the Pen to the Knife,” and the fascinating story of artist Marian Christy. Click here to register.

Both events are free; advance registration is requested. Access to the exhibit beforehand is free; cocktails and drinks are available for purchase.

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You may have to slow down to read this Halloween-themed sign on Bridge Street, near the Cribari Bridge:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

It says “Fast Drivers are Scary.”

That’s true all year round. But especially now when it gets dark early, but people are still out walking, running and riding bikes.

Slow down — particularly on Halloween!

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Here’s another Halloween photo:

(Photo/Anne Bernier)

Anne Bernier explains: “Anyone has seen ‘Stranger Things 4’ episode 3 (or has heard the Kate Bush song ‘Running Up that Hill’) will understand the floating Halloween decoration my 8th grader Luke created. Hopefully it won’t scare off any potential trick-or-treaters.”

Beware: It’s in the Old Hill neighborhood.

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Yogi Bear has appeared in “06880” before.

But never like. Cathy Malkin snapped this great “Westport … Naturally” photo the other day.

Because what’s more natural than a pair of skeletons hanging out in lawn chairs on Fairfield Avenue?

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)

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And finally … Charlie Daniels was born on this day, in 1936. The singer/ songwriter/guitarist/fiddler died in 2020, at 83, after a stroke.

(Once again, “06880” is jam-packed with stuff. Once again, we hope you’ll click here to support our work.)

Roundup: Westport10, Yard Help, Remarkable Movies …

Westport Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice joined members of Westport10 — the civic and social organization of Black men and their families — for a tour of the Westport Library yesterday.

The group — founded by Library trustee Jay Norris — was very impressed with the innovative building, and inspired by Scarice’s vision for Westport schools.

At yesterday’s Westport Library event, front row (from left): Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice, Board of Education member Kevin Christie, Roy Anderson, Alie Diagne, Eric Freeman. Back row: Ryan Smith, Dale Mauldin, Abdul Ngnoumen, Jay Norris, Ted Parker.

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Get your oak saplings!

From now through 12:30 p.m. today (Saturday), the Westport Tree Board is giving them away. It’s part of “Oaktober,” at the Westport Book Shop fall festival. The festival runs until noon.

Westport Tree Board member Ed Picard offers an oak sapling to Dylan Rosen. (Photo/Frank Rosen)

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Outdoor chores are part of suburban life. As Westporters age, they sometimes need help.

Our Department of Human Services has a list of middle and high school students eager to help with outdoor chores. There suggested fee is $12 an hour.

Seniors looking for help — and students interested in helping –should email humansrv@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1050.

Chances are you won’t need all this help. Just one kid can work wonders …

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The Remarkable Theater has a jam-packed schedule of movies at its Imperial Avenue drive-in theater site.

Many are geared to Halloween. There’s also “The Candidate,” in honor of Election Day.

Here’s what’s ahead:

  • Thurs., Oct. 13: “Slap Shot” (doors open 5:30 p.m.; movie at 6:30)
  • Fri., Oct. 14: “Coco” (doors 5:30, movie 6:30)
  • Sat., Oct. 15: “Saturday Night Fever” (doors 5:30, movie 6:30)
  • Sat., Oct. 22: “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (doors 5, movie 6)
  • Tues., Oct. 25: “The Candidate” (doors 5, movie 6)
  • Wed., Oct. 26: “Beetlejuice” (doors 5, movie 6)
  • Sat., Oct. 29: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Curious George: A Holiday Boo Fest” (doors 5, movie 6)
  • Sun.,, Oct. 30: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (doors 8, movie 8:30)
  • Mon., Oct. 31: “Halloween” (Doors 6, movie 7).

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Speaking of Halloween: It’s fun for kids.

And stressful for parents.

The United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston wants to make it easy for everyone. On Saturday, October 29 (2 to 4 p.m.), they’ll host their annual (and very popular) “Trunk or Treat.”

The parking lot will be filled with 30 car trunks, decorated for Halloween. Kids (up to age 12) can pick up candy and other goodies.

It’s free for the community — but there’s a chance to give back too. The church is collecting canned goods for the Person to Person food pantry. A donation of 5 cans of food per child attending is requested.

All are welcome at the United Methodist Church, 49 Weston Road — throughout the year, and of course at “Trunk or Treat.” (Photo/Dan Woog)

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The next big event after Halloween is Election Day.

Absentee ballots are available at the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall Room 105 on weekdays (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except this Monday, Columbus Day.) Ballots are also available online; click here.

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Who says art has to be expensive? (Well, galleries, but that’s beside the point.)

The Artists Collective of Westport is dedicated to making art — and making it affordable.

Their 4th annual Affordable Art Trunk Show takes place Sunday, October 16 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Westport Library lower parking lot).

There’s music and food. Of course, admission is free.

Susan Fehlinger sells art out of — literally — her trunk.

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It’s been just over a year since beloved Westporter Jonathan Greenfield died of ALS. He had just turned 50.

Greenfield dedicated the last years of his life to building Breathe 4 ALS, with his wife Iris. The non-profit had 2 missions: raising money for genetic ALS research, and spreading awareness of the Wim Hof method of breathwork and cold therapy. It greatly improved Greenfield’s life, as he battled ALS.

The second annual Jonathan Greenfield Wim Hof Fundamentals Workshop is set for Sunday, October 16.

It’s limited to 30 participants, and is free for people living with ALS.

Jonathan was a photographer and filmmaker. He published a coffee table book, which is included as a gift with the ticket purchase ($225 donation).

People who cannot attend, but support the work with a $100 donation will receive the book as a thank you. Click here for tickets.

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Dana Buckmir’s memoir, Everything Will Be Okay, is a cautionary tale of online dating and domestic violence. On October 12 (7 p.m.), the Connecticut native brings her story to The Westport Library for a conversation with Ann Rodwell-Lawton, associate director of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

The event, a collaboration between the Library, The Domestic Violence Crisis Center, and the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force, will be held in person, streamed live, and recorded.

“Domestic violence and abuse impacts thousands of people, especially women, each day, in every community,” says Kerri Gawreluk, programming associate at The Westport Library. “Dana’s ability to articulate her own personal story from a place of clarity, strength, and empowerment is truly inspiring, and we’re incredibly grateful to host her at the Library.”

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Westport 12-year-old Vivek Kanthan is now on the Kart Racing World Circuit in Italy.

The 50+-nation competition is very difficult. Karts have different tire compounds and specifications. Tracks are very fast and highly technical.

In the Rok Cup Italia Competition, Vivek finished as vice champion. He has qualified to represent the US in the World Championship Rok Superfinal in Lonato later this month. Good luck, Vivek!

Vivek Kanthan, with his hardware.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows Andre the dachshund wishing everyone a Happy Halloween.

He’s now on another planet, says Bevi Bullwinkel. But he never forgot his favorite holiday, or his Westport home.

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And finally … on this day in 1956, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. (Just think: The MLB post-season is only beginning now, with wild card games.)

(Movies, sports, Election Day info … it’s all available on “06880.” Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)

Sunrise Service Celebrates Easter

The moon set early this morning.

The fire was ready for the Christian faithful. Over 150 gathered for Easter sunrise service at Compo Beach, led this year by the Westport United Methodist Church.

Rick Benson took this photo — and arranged the fire.

Other participating churches included Greens Farms, Saugatuck and Norfield Congregational.

(Photo/Gloria Smithson)

(Photo/Gloria Smithson)

Roundup: Parks & Rec Registration, Downtown Improvements, Zenabi …

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Registration for many Westport Parks & Recreation’s spring and summer programs begins online at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2. Registration for Camp Compo, RECing and pickleball begins later: 9 a.m. on Monday, March 28.

Spots go quickly. Click here to see all the choices.

The website is not exactly user friendly. Now is a good time to log onto your online account to verify information. Problems? Email recreation@westportct.gov or call 203-341-5152.

For address changes, email recreation@westportct.gov. Additional proof of Westport residency may be required.

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Want to improve downtown?

Put your money where your mouth is!

The town of Westport seeks proposals for Downtown Improvement Projects at Parker Harding Plaza, Jesup Green and the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Bids will be received until 11 a.m. Thursday, March 3 at the Town Hall Finance Office (Room 313, 110 Myrtle Avenue). Copies of the bid documents can be downloaded from the Town’s website. 

Responses will be opened the next business day via Zoom. For meeting access, email rkotchko@westportct.gov.

Send your bid in to improve Parker Harding Plaza.

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In 2018, I ran a story on Zenabi. Profiling a company located in the old Town Hall (Don Memo) building on Main Street, it began:

I’m not quite sure what Zenabi does. A spokesperson says it’s a “new pioneering tech and artificial intelligence company that helps Fortune 500 companies find signals in their data that drive growth and value.”

Their website says that Fortune 500 companies trust them to “help understand and grow individual relationships.” They also “enable companies to scale their ability to personalize interactions and offers.”

The hook was an upcoming “Brains & Bands” night hosted by Zenabi. I wrote that its press release

describes this as “some of the most brilliant minds in technology, business and music come together for an epic evening of inspiration and innovation…this self-proclaimed team of ‘Pirates’ and ‘Black Ops’ of the artificial intelligence world” — I guess that’s something else Zenabi is or does — “have the set the stage for titans of industry to share their paths to success with the local community.”

My skepticism was well placed. Zenabi — which later moved to Riverside Avenue and/or Church Lane — imploded.

But not before receiving $1.5 million in PPP funds.

Billy Penn — part of the WHYY news team at the Philadelphia PBS station — has taken a deep dive into the many deceits of the company’s founder, Billy Ibanez. They include false claims about associations with the Philadelphia Eagles and CIA, and many more.

Click here for Billy Penn’s long, and very fascinating, story.

A screenshot from the Zenabi website.

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The United Methodist Church of Westport is collecting clothing, toiletries and non-perishable food drive for their neighbors in Bridgeport.

The drive is set for Saturday, March 5 ( 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, 49 Weston Road). Volunteers will gather donations from car trunks.

Gently used or new items include children’s clothing in all sizes; women’s clothing, sizes 4 to 16, purses, accessories and shoes; men’s clothing medium and large, pants size 32 to 36 waist shoes sizes 7 to 10, and outerwear all sizes.

Also needed: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo and body lotions; peanut butter and jelly (plastic jars only), canned ham, tuna and chicken, boxed macaroni and cheese, cold and hot cereals, hearty soups, canned vegetables and fruit.

Questons? Email kimberlyweigle@att.net.

Food, clothing and toiletries will be collected at the United Methodist Church. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Dick Steele was honored this month at the Stratford VFW. The World War II Marine Corps veteran — and father and father-in-law of former Staples High School teachers Kathy and Jeff Lea, respectively — just turned 100.

Steele was 20 years old when he enlisted just after Pearl Harbor. He earned his golden wings, was promoted to 2nd lieutenant, and deployed to the South Pacific. His bombing squadron attacked Japanese positions on the island of Yap.

After the war he returned to civilian life only. He was recalled to active duty as a captain in 1952, to train a new generation of dive bomber pilots during the Korean conflict.

His fighter attack squadron flew 310 combat sorties, totaling more than 550 hours. His was the last Marine aircraft engaged in combat during the war. He retired with the rank of major.

In 2008 Steele became involved with the Connecticut Air & Space Center’s restoration of a Corsair fighter plane, the same aircraft he flew in the Pacific Theater.

Happy 100th, Major Dick Steele! (Hat tips: Adam Vengrow, Don Pavia)

Major Dick Steele

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. Westport’s Domestic Violence Task Force is doing its part, sponsoring a pizza and movie night — followed by a discussion on healthy relationships — tomorrow (Wednesday, February 16, 6 p.m., Toquet Hall).

The event features the movie “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” For more information, click here. To fill out the required COVID waiver, click here.

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There is plenty of nature all around Westport’s many ponds — including Nash’s. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo was taken there, by Linda Stern.

(Photo/Linda Stern)

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And finally … today is the birthdate, in 1809, of International Harvester co-founder Cyrus McCormick.

Roundup: Selectmen, Trunk Or Treat …

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Jonathan Steinberg does not want to be 3rd selectman.

T.J. Elgin does.

Now, Candice Savin does too.

The question of who will fill the final seat on the Board of Selectmen arose when Steinberg — the loser for 1st selectman in Tuesday’s election — decided to keep his day job, as Westport’s state representative in Hartford.

By law, the position goes to “the defeated candidate for First Selectman having the highest number of votes.” Elgin — a Libertarian who received just 64 votes in the race — contends that with Steinberg’s withdrawal, Elgin should be next in line. He says that Candice Savin — Steinberg’s running mate — was a candidate for second selectman, not first selectman.

The Democratic Town Committee believes that as the defeated party with the next highest number of votes, they get to fill the spot. Yesterday, they said:

The DTC recognizes the Third Selectman as a valuable member of Westport’s leadership team and would like to address any questions surrounding this potential appointment in the newly elected administration. In accordance with the Town Charter, if Jonathan Steinberg chooses not to accept this role, the DTC recommends a candidate to the newly elected First and Second Selectmen for their consideration.

Candice Savin, who ran for Second Selectman, is interested in being considered to fill the position of Third Selectman should Jonathan Steinberg choose not to accept it. Candice has expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to work with Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore for the benefit of the town. The DTC appreciates the significant contributions that Third Selectmen have made to Westport over the years and looks forward to recommending a new Democratic member to the Board of Selectmen.

If Savin is selected, Westport’s 3 selectmen would all be women, for the first time in history.

Which means we should then call it the Board of Selectwomen.

Candice Savin

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Halloween was last week, but it’s never too late to say thank you.

The United Methodist Church is grateful to all who attended Sunday’s Trunk or Treat event.

Scores of local kids (and their parents) enjoyed spooky displays in 20 car trunks  (and safely picked up lots of candy).

At the same time, a collection for area food banks was very successful. Over 40 shopping bags of groceries were donated by church members. In these times of increasing food insecurity, that’s a great “treat” for many people.

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Fall flowers are as beautiful as spring’s. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is from Jennie Lane:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … on this day in 1874, a Thomas Nast cartoon in Harper’s Weekly is considered the first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the Republican Party.

Here to celebrate elephants is Staples High School Class of 1966 graduate/longtime musician/certified “Vermont State Treasure” Jon Gailmor.

PS: Jon is most definitely not a Republican.

 

 

Roundup: Leaf Blowers, Lamont, Trunk Or Treat …

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Yesterday’s “06880” post about leaf blowers created a lot of noise.

On November 8 (7 p.m.), Wakeman Town Farm hosts an information session to clear the air about the impact of gas blowers on our bodies and environment. There will be information too about a gas leaf blower ordinance being presented to the Representative Town Meeting.

The panel includes RTM member Kristin Schneeman, lead co-sponsor of the ordinance; Valerie Seiling Jacobs, advisor with the non-profit Quiet Communities, and Alice Ely, advocate for Westport’s Pollinator Pathway.

The event is moderated by Liz Milwe, WTF co-chair and proponent of Westport’s successful plastic bag ban. Tickets are $10. Click here to register.

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Governor Lamont believes that Connecticut residents should shop local.

So when it came time to pick out a gift for his wife’s birthday, he headed to one of his favorite spots: Savvy + Grace.

The Main Street store was not open decades ago, when Lamont was a young man living on Saugatuck Shores. But he discovered the gift shop-and-more on a trip to Westport, and has loved it ever since.

Governor Lamont, on Main Street.

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Pirates, princesses, superheroes — and all other costumed characters ages 12 and under (and their parents) are invited to tomorrow’s Trunk or Treat event, at the United Methodist church (Sunday, October 31, 1 to 3 p.m.).

It’s fun — and benefits local food pantries. The requested admission is a non-perishable food or cash donation.

Ideas for non-perishable food donations: hearty Soups, peanut butter and jelly, pasta and sauce, snacks like granola bars, canned items (chicken, tuna, beans, fruits, vegetables), cold cereal and oatmeal, shelf-stable milk, pancake and cakek mixes, rice, and mac and cheese.

For more information, click here.

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Jolantha — Weston’s favorite holiday sculptor — welcomes Pumpkin Day. (“Some find Halloween too spooky,” explains Jolantha’s creator, Hans Wilhelm.

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The air is getting colder. But folks continue to flock to Westport. So — as this “Westport … Naturally” photo shows — do our fine feathered friends.

Of course, they were there first.

(Photo/Bruce Borner)

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And finally … tomorrow is Halloween. Kids will dress up as anything. Maybe a walrus?

Meanwhile — once upon a time — the day before Halloween was “Mischief Night.” Hard to believe now, but Kids would toss toilet paper over trees, smash mailboxes, and throw eggs.

So, in honor of walruses and eggmen:

 

 

Roundup: Aquarion, Abilis, Art …

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Do you know a person, business or organizations in Connecticut dedicated to environmental protection and sustainability?

Connecticut’s water utility wants to honor them, with an Aquarion Environmental Champion Award.

Winners will join previous honorees, including Sikorsky, Bigelow Tea, Pratt & Whitney, the Trust for Public Land and Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition.

Winners in the Adult, Non-Profit Organization, Large Business, Small Business, and Communications categories can select an environmental non-profit to receive a $2,500 grant. The winner of the Student category (grades 9-12) will receive a $1,000 award.

Click here for details.

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COVID has done 3 things, all related:

  • Postponed United Methodist Church’s annual giant tag sale for 2 years in a row.
  • Spurred many Westporters to clean their closets, cupboards and bathrooms.
  • Decreased donations to non-profits that provide items to clients.

On Saturday, May 15 and Monday, May 17 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), there’s a solution to all 3. That’s when you can drop off items at the church (49 Weston Road).

Here’s what’s needed:

Gently used items: baby clothes, children’s clothes (ages 4-10), youth clothing for teenagers (desperately sought!), men’s and women’s suits, pajamas, jackets, t-shirts, dress shirts, shoes of all sizes and designs (dress, sneakers, sandals, etc.), socks, dishware, cups, glasses of all sorts, suitcases, traveling bags.

New items: hair products (shampoo, conditioner), skincare products, deodorant, toothpaste, floss, sunscreen, nail clippers, razors, soaps, lip balm, moisturizer, lotion, hairbrushes, shower gel, shaving cream, mouthwash, wet wipes, diapers, canned foods, Jersey Mike’s gift cards worth $10 and $20 (for homeless youth).

Items should be sorted (gently used, new), packed into large plastic garbage bags, and labeled clearly (for example, “Children’s Clothing” in one bag, “Shoes” in another).

They’ll be distributed to Person to Person, Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Summerfield United Methodist Church, and agencies working with the Greater Bridgeport Council of Churches.

Questions: email ganderson24@optonline.net or kbrumit@optonline.net.

United Methodist Church, 49 Weston Road. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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People with disabilities face many challenges. So do their siblings.

Abilis — the non-profit that helps hundreds of special needs families — holds a “Sibshops” workshop on May 19 (5 to 6:30 p.m., Zoom). It’s open to area children ages 10 to 14 whose brother or sister has a disability.

Sibshops are “high-spirited, fun workshops that combine recreation, discussion and information.” They provide safe spaces for siblings to share thoughts and feelings, while meeting others in similar circumstances and learning about the services their brother or sister receives. Click here to register. Questions? Email schulte@abilis.us.

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Art has helped many people through the past (very difficult) year.

A new virtual exhibit — “The Healing Power of Art” — shows viewers exactly how that happens.

It features works from 18 artists, including Westporters Rebecca Fuchs, Dorothy Robertshaw and Lisa Stretton.

Art can be purchased directly through the website, at various prices. Click here for the virtual show; click here for a video on how to navigate through it.

“Sherwood Umbrellas,” by Ceal Swift

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Lauren Weisberger’s novel The Devil Wears Prada, offered a devastating view of fashion publishing. Her 6 books have sold over 13 million copies.

Her newest — Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty — goes on sale May 18. The night before (May 17, 7 p.m., Zoom), she’ll chat virtually with Westporter Jennifer Blankfein about her latest book, and the women — a TV anchor with everything, and her stay-at-home supermom sister — in it.

The conversation is sponsored by the Westport Library. Click here to register.

Lauren Weisberger

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Friends of Sherwood Island’s annual general meeting will “bee” very special.

A presentation titled “Pollinator Pathways & The Green Corridor:
Improving Biodiversity on Protected Land in Our Own Yards” is set for May 23 (4 p.m.).

Click here for more information. Questions? Email lizannlwv@gmail.com or call 203-451-5755.

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And finally … happy 70th birthday to Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club drummer, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, producer and right-across-the-Fairfield-line neighbor Chris Frantz.

George Weigle Memorial Service Set For Saturday

A memorial service for George Weigle — the longtime and beloved Staples High School choral director who died last month at 90 — is set for this Saturday (September 22, 2 p.m.) at the United Methodist Church on Weston Road. In addition to his Staples tenure, he served as choral director there for 43 years.

Dr. Weigle’s many friends — and countless former singers — are warmly encouraged to attend. A reception follows the service in the Fellowship Hall.

George Weigle (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

And In Westport, They Marched For Our Lives Too

All day yesterday, Westporters attended “March For Our Lives” rallies. They traveled to New York, Washington, Hartford and Shelton.

Former Westporters marched in places like Roxbury, Los Angeles, Delray Beach, Florida — and West Palm Beach, getting as close as they could to Mar-a-Lago.

Westporters temporarily finding themselves in places like Patagonia, Chile also marched.

And when it was all over — as dusk was falling — Westporters marched here too.

Over 1,000 friends and neighbors rallied on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, and on Main Street. Their message was loud and clear: This American scourge must end.

One of many signs, as marchers gathered at the Westport Library. (Photo/Chuck Greenlee)

Poppy Harrington, Marin Banks and Ella Harrington joined over 1,000 Westporters last night. (Photo/Robert Harrington)

On the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. (Photo/Janette Kinnally)

A small part of the large crowd on the Post Road at Main Street. (Photo/Ellen Lautenberg and Kristan Hamlin)

Senator Richard Blumenthal with “Westport Moms.com” Megan Brownstein and Melissa Post.

Marchers on Main Street. (Photo/Annette Norton)

Members of the United Methodist Church stood together. (Photo/Ellyn Gelman)

Their message is clear. (Photo/Bridget Curtis)


Rob Feakins was in Washington yesterday. He compiled this short video. It’s a fitting coda to a passionate day.

 

Friday Flashback #45

Last weekend, the United Methodist Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of its home on Weston Road.

“06880” recounted the history of the church. It’s been here, in one form or another, since 1790.

From 1850 to 1908, congregants gathered in a building at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Main Street. A law office now occupies that site. This photo — from Seth Schachter’s postcard collection — shows that church.

Note the fence on the lower right, which still encloses what is now Veterans Green. And the hill on the left is where Town Hall sits. It was built as Bedford Elementary School in the 1920s.