Tag Archives: Wakeman Town Farm

Roundup: Holiday Stroll Is On Tonight; World Cup Is On Today, 10 am @ The Library ….

Important note: Today’s Holiday Stroll is on — rain or shine!

Over 40 stores and restaurants — plus Santa, face painters, a balloon artist, Staples and Greens Farms Academy singers and other carolers — look forward to seeing you this evening, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Main Street, Church Lane, the Post Road and across the river. The main tent will be outside Cold Fusion.

Dress warmly. Wear reindeer — I mean, rain gear — if needed. Ho ho ho! See you there.

And for more information — including all the participating stores and restaurants — click here.

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USA! USA! USA!

If you can’t be in Qatar this morning (10 a.m. kickoff, our time) cheering the American team on in its World Cup round of 16 match against the Netherlands, go to the next best place.

The Westport Library.

Today’s broadcast begins a series of matches, live on the 18-foot screen. The Trefz Forum will also host the quarterfinals next Friday (December 9), 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), and the semifinals on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 13 and 14 (2 p.m.).

The games will be very exciting. The players will be larger than life. But — hey, this is still a library — fans should bring a mobile device to download the Sennheiser app, and headphones or earbuds to listen.

Christian Pulisic’s pulsating goal powered the US past Iran on Tuesday. The win vaulted the Americans into the knockout round. (Photo/Odd Andersen for AFP)

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Also at the Westport Library: the final evening of the Short Cuts Film Festival.

Five narrative films will be screened on Thursday (December 8, 7 p.m.).

“Pragma” is a British rom-com. “Hallelujah” is a reminder that “trouble won’t last always.” “Lilith & Eve” is a feminist reimagining of Lilith, Adam’s first wife. “Life Remembered” is a hybrid live-action and virtual reality short depiction of a cowboy who leads a double life.”F^cK ‘Em R!GHT B@cK” follows a queer aspiring rapper who accidentally eats an edible. A talk back follows the final film.

Click here for more information on the films, and to purchase tickets ($25, including refreshments).

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One of Westport’s favorite toy drives begins today.

The Westport Police Department and Police Athletic League will again collect gifts for underprivileged children in Fairfield County.

Officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys — plus cash donations — in the ASF Sports & Outdoors parking lot (1560 Post Road East), this weekend and next, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Toy collection boxes are also available at:

  • Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road
  • ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East
  • PAL ice rink, Longshore
  • Awesome Toys & Gifts, 429 Post Road East
  • The Toy Post, 180 Post Road East.

Questions? Contact Officer Craig Bergamo: 203-341-6000; cbergamo@Westportct.gov.

Westport Police toy drive at ASF.

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A couple of hundred kids thronged Wakeman Town Farm yesterday, for the annual Christmas tree lighting.

Over 50 young musicians played carols …

… and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, with Wakeman relative Tom Constantino, counted down to the lighting up …

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker (far right), and the Wakeman Town Farm tree. (Photos/Dan Woog)

… and then everyone enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies.

All that was missing was snow.

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Club 203 — the great new social group for adults with disabilities — is planning its biggest event yet.

A holiday party is set for Wakeman Town Farm on Tuesday, December 13 (7:30 to 9 p.m.).

Outdoor and inside activities include a hot cocoa bar, cookies, cider donuts and more. Click here to register.

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The Westport Garden Club has made its annual deliveries of wreaths to non-profit and service organizations around town.

Each year the club organizes a workshop for members. They bring cuttings and natural embellishments from their gardens, making special bows for unique designs.

Among the recipients: Homes with Hope, the Gillespie Center, Wakeman Town Farm, the Westport Museum for History & Culture, the Senior Center, Westport Parks & Recreation Department, the Aspetuck Health District, and Earthplace.

Westport Garden Club wreaths are on sale today at the Westport Museum’s Holly Days Market.

Westport Garden Club members, ready to deliver their holiday wreaths.

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Something from Tiffany’s” — the romcom produced by Reese Witherspoon — begins streaming on December 9 (Amazon Prime Video).

Westporters should have a special interest in it: The director is 2002 Staples High School graduate Daryl Wein.

The other day, he hung out at the official Los Angeles premiere, with her:

Daryl Wein and Reece Witherspoon

(Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

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Hear ye, hear ye!

Our Local Town Crier has just published its annual Holiday Gift Guide. There are plenty of good ideas and links, plus a comprehensive list of December events. Click here to see.

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Speaking of gifts: Pop down to a holiday pop-up this Friday (December 9, noon to 4 p.m., Yoga 45 at 201 Main Street).

There’s a great selection of clothing, jewelry and artwork from local businesses — and a portion of the sales benefit A Better Chance of Westport.

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After 3 riveting performances of “The Laramie Project” last month, the Unitarian Church’s UU Players offer an encore.

They’ll repeat the powerful drama about the Wyoming community’s reaction to the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard next Saturday (December 10, 7 p.m., Unitarian Church of Westport). There’s a talkback with the director and cast right after the show.

It’s a benefit for Triangle Community Center, Fairfield County’s center for LGBTQ programming and resources.

Click here for tickets ($20 suggested donation; pay what you can) and livestream information.

“Laramie Project” talkback, at the Unitarian Church. (Hat tip and photo/Jill Johnson Mann)

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Sandy Rothenberg notes that the Bayberry Lane bridge — which up until recently announced a completion date of November 30, 2022 — now has nothing listed.

(Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)

Sandy wonders, “Is that a bad sign?”

I’d say yes, it’s a bad sign.

In both senses of the term.

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The Westport Pod of B.I.G. Connecticut — a global women’s empowerment community — hosts a holiday cocktail networking event at the Westport Woman’s Club (December 15, 5:30 p.m.). Local women-owned businesses will be featured.

The public is invited. Tickets are $30, and include wine and appetizers. For more information, email bigconnecticutregion@gmail.com.

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Looking for a non-holiday event?

The Westport Astronomical Society’s free online science lecture series welcomes Dr. Brett Denevi, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and deputy principal investigator for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.

She’ll talk about “the moon up close and personal,” including unprecedented mapping of its surface.

The virtual event is December 20 (8 p.m.). Click here for the livestream.


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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from Rick Hochman.

Let’s hope they grow their winter coats soon.

(Photo/Rick Hochman)

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And finally … in honor of tonight’s Big Event (see top story above):

(To help support activities like tonight’s Stroll, please consider a contribution to “06880.” Click here — and thank you!)

 

A Tribute To Cathy Talmadge

Countless Westporters know and love Cathy Talmadge.

Those who don’t, should. Every resident’s life has been touched, and impacted, by hers.

Cathy’s longtime friend Amy Ancel calls her “a passionate, tireless volunteer and leader with Wakeman Town Farm, Earthplace and Friends of Sherwood Island.”

Cathy is also a member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting. Over the past 15 years she has served on the RTM’s Public Works and Environment Committees.

She works quietly yet doggedly to help make Westport a better place to live.

Cathy Talmadge.

Cathy is now seriously ill.

Her friends at Wakeman Town Farm want her to know what an inspiration she has been to them, and so many others. Cathy’s friend and colleague Christy Colasurdo writes: 

When I met you more than  15 years ago, I was in awe. You were a wonderful cook, gardener, traveler, swimmer, environmentalist, and served on at least 2 town boards.

And that’s just skimming the surface.

You clearly relished your role as a conduit between the players in town and the organizations you served. You knew everyone who was anyone, and they obviously knew and respected you.

But the thing that impressed me the most was how you were always the first to quietly jump in to lend a hand, whether it was wrangling permits from the liquor control board, rolling up your sleeves to sew masks during COVID or dropping off used file folders to cut down on paper waste.

When I think of you, I picture you in your sunny kitchen with a soup bubbling on the stove and a golden retriever and Siamese cat at your feet, switching out your seasonal planters, or working away at your sewing table. You befriended and surrounded yourself with local environmental “greats” like Sal Gilbertie and Norm Bloom, and you were viewed as a civic leader on par with these giants for your commitment to Earthplace, Sherwood Island, the RTM, Wakeman Town Farm and other local organizations fighting for a more sustainable environment.

Cathy Talmadge, at Wakeman Town Farm.

At the Farm you were one of the pioneers, putting yourself in the mix to ensure a successful initial renovation of the aging Wakeman residence to provide a cozy and warm welcome to the first caretaking family.

After this you took on the dual roles of town liaison and farm treasurer, helping create accounting systems, guiding budget decisions, managing the Farm’s first audit and so much more.

To many of us at the Farm you were a valued team player and, more than this: family.

I was deeply affected by your fight through serious illnesses, leading to your kidney transplant last year.

Thank you for your friendship, and for being such a wonderful person. Please know that you have always been an inspiration to me and many others. and that we are with you now.

Roundup: Hamlet At Saugatuck, Police Arrests, Leaf Pickups …

The Planning & Zoning Commission took no action last night on the retail and hotel project known as The Hamlet at Saugatuck.

Discussion, including comments from the public, ranged from building heights and setbacks to where the proposal fits in the town’s affordable housing plans.

Conversations on the text and map amendment requested for The Hamlet will continue on November 14.

Part of the Hamlet at Saugatuck proposal.

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Wakeman Town Farm has many traditions.

The Thanksgiving Pie Sale is only 3 years old. But it’s already one of the most anticipated of all WTF events.

Plus, it’s for a good great cause. Thanks to a partnership with Earth Animal, the Farm and Westporters will raise funds for Connecticut Food Share, helping neighbors in need.

Oronoque Farms is baking up a storm. Choices include apple and blueberry pies (traditional and crumb), and the holiday classic pumpkin pie.

Click here for pie sizes, prices, and pickup dates and times. Orders end November 18.

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The Westport Police have released arrest reports for the October 26-November 2 period.

Three people were detained in custody. Two were charged with identify theft. One was charged with conspiracy to commit larceny, forgery and the sale of a controlled substance.

The following citations were issued:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast (8)
  • Cell phone, 1st offense (6)
  • Violation of any traffic commission regulation (4)
  • Misuse of plates (4)
  • Operating an unregistered vehicle (4)
  • Failure to display plates (3)
  • Discussion, act or intent to commit a crime (2)
  • Larceny, 6th degree (2)
  • Speeding (1)
  • Improper passing/cutting off (1)
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license (1)
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension (1)
  • Failure to have stop lamps/turn signals (1)
  • Stop sign violation (1)
  • Failure to obey control signal (1).

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Speaking of cops:

The WPD and Stop & Shop are again sponsoring a Thanksgiving Food Drive. All donations support Homes with Hope’s Food Pantry at the Gillespie Center. and Westport Human Services’ Food Pantry.

Police officers and volunteers will accept non-perishable food items and cash donations at Stop & Shop this Saturday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Suggested items include: Applesauce, Brownie/Cake/Pie mix, Breakfast Bars, Boxed Macaroni & Cheese, Canned Sweet Potatoes, Canned Vegetables, Canned Fruit, Canned Gravy, Canned meat/tuna, Cereal, Cranberry Sauce, Dry Milk Envelopes, Hamburger or Tuna Helper, Hearty Soups, Instant Mashed Potatoes, Oatmeal, Pasta Sauce, Peanut butter & Jelly, Rice, and Stuffing. No glass jars!

Items needed for Saturday’s food drive (without the glass jars!).

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It’s leaf collection time!

The Department of Public Works begins curbside leaf collection on Monday (November 7).

All leaves must be placed in biodegradable paper bags near the curb of a town street by December 5. Residents living on private streets must place their leaves behind the curb of an intersecting town roadway. Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be picked up.

There is no need to call for a pick-up. Crews will complete pick-ups as schedules allow. For further information, call 203-341-1120 or click here.

Meanwhile, extended fall hours begin at the Bayberry Brush Facility (180 Bayberry Lane, behind the Aspetuck Health District.

The yard waste site is now open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. 3 p.m. Extended Saturday hours are in effect through December 10.

Westport residents with valid proof of residency may dump up to 6 30-gallon bags or containers full of leaves without a fee. Plastic bags are not allowed.

Any van, pickup or tag-along trailer exceeding the 6-bag limit will be charged $40 per load. Any vehicle or trailer larger than a conventional pickup with a 4-foot by 8-foot bed will be charged $90 per ton.

Any vehicles with a 9-foot body or vehicles changed to significantly enlarge their factory design size will be charged $90 per ton, estimated at 2 ton without weigh slip ($180).

Dump tickets must be purchased at Town Hall, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or by Department of Public Works, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

(Photo/Scott Smith)

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It’s been awhile since we’ve had major flooding here. (Knock wood.)

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker, and the Public Works, Planning & Zoning, and Conservation Departments have arranged a series of open meetings to discuss stream flooding and the town’s responses to it.

Officials and personnel experienced in flooding issues and flood plain management, as well as regulations and oversight authority, will attend.

Each meeting will cover specific streams in Westport. There will be a general overview, followed by a forum for anyone to raise specific issues. Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting specific to their neighborhood, but may attend any session they choose.

Information from these meetings will be analyzed, and sent to the Flood and Erosion Control Board to determine flooding priorities.

The meetings will take place in Town Hall on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. The full schedule:

Date Topic Room
11-10-2022 Indian River Auditorium
11-17-2022 Silver Brook & Willow Brook 201
12-01-2022 Muddy Brook Auditorium
12-15-2022 Pussy Willow Brook Auditorium
01-12-2023 Sasco Creek & New Creek Auditorium
01-19-2023 Deadman Brook Auditorium
01-26-2023 Stony Brook & Poplar Plains Brook Auditorium

Myrtle Avenue flooding in 2018.

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Yesterday morning, “06880” reported on a new stop sign on the corner of Greens Farms Road and Bulkley Avenue South. Drivers blew right past it.

Yesterday afternoon, it was gone.

That was fast!

Just like the drivers who ignored it.

Now you see it … now you don’t!

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Popular Westport photographer Tom Kretsch is being featured at Picture This – Nylen Gallery, the custom frame shop. The theme is “Chasing the Light.”

There’s a reception November 10 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.). It’s a chance to relax — just like the moods of his local scenes. For more information, click here.

“Chasing the Light” (Tom Kretsch)

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Many members of the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston spent years working in New York City.

Their hours were long, the commute hard. They didn’t have a lot of time to see a lot of the city.

Now — with many of them retired — they’re enjoying New York walking tours.

Tuesday’s — the 6th in the series — included a jaunt over the Queensboro Bridge. Also called the 59th Street Bridge (by Simon & Garfunkel) and the Ed Koch Bridge (by no one), it connects Manhattan with Long Island City, via Roosevelt Island.

Check out the photo below. Looks like the Y’s men were feelin’ groovy.

Y’s Men members (from left) former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, tour director Warren Jahn and Bob Mitchell near the peak of the Queensboro Bridge. (Photo and hat tip: Dave Matlow)

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CAMP Gallery’s newest exhibit is a solo show by Westport artist Liz Leggett. It’s a new venue for the well-known MoCA curator.

Leggett’s vibrant abstract work formed a perfect background when she posed (below) with fellow Westporter Ifeseyi Gayle.

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Westport attorneys Ken Bernhard and Ted Freedman have again joined forces for a “Soles4Souls” collection. They’re gathering donations of shoes from residents to help lift people out of poverty, and support those who are homeless in the US and around the world.

From now through Thanksgiving, there are collection boxes at Town Hall, police headquarters and the Senior Center. Donors can drop off new or gently used shoes (with no holes or mold). Please tie the laces together, or use rubber bands to keep matched pairs joined.

In the past, Soles4Souls has collected 3,000 pairs of shoes. Bernhard and Freedman hope for at least 500 pairs this year. For more information, click here.

(From left): Ken Bernhard, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Senior Center director Sue Pfister, Ted Freedman and Westport Police Officer Ashley Delvecchio start the Soles4Souls drive.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo looks like a painting.

This fall has been the season that keeps on giving. We are lucky indeed to enjoy scenes like this.

(Photo/Nora McIlree)

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And finally … in honor of the Y’s Men’s trip to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (story above):

(Also groovy: Supporting “06880.” Please click here to help.)

Roundup: Beach Dogs, Earth Animal, Salmon Trees …

Tomorrow is October 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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Speaking of animals:

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

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

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

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

Wakeman Town Farm barn.

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

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

For more information, click here and here.

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

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

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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

Probably not so at Grace Salmon Park.

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

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

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

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Some people don’t look at food expiration dates.

Jarret Liotta does.

The native Westporter sends this photo:

(Photo/Jarret Liotta)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Slava Ukraini!

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

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

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

The Ukrainian Society of Fairfield.

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

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

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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

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

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

 

Roundup: Restaurant Week, Organic Krush, Mushrooms …

Restaurant Week returns! In fact, it’s “Restaurant 2 Weeks.”

The popular Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event begins  tomorrow (Sunday, September 25). It runs through October 9. Part of an “Eat Local” campaign, it follows the successful Slice of Saugatuck Festival.

This year, 21 restaurants all over town offer prix fixe meals, in a wide range of cuisines and prices. Each eatery sets their own prices and hours.

Here are the participating restaurants. “L” means lunch; “D” is for dinner; “B” for brunch. Click a link where applicable for menus (some are pending — click here for the most up-to-date information).

Allium Eatery (L)
Amis (L,D)
Boathouse (L,D)
Capuli  (L,D)
De Tapas (L,D)
Don Memo (L)
Gray Goose (L)
Harvest (D,B)
Kawa Ni (L)
La Plage (L,D)
Pane E Bene (D)
Rive Bistro (L,D)
Rizzutos (D)
Romanacci (L,D)
Spotted Horse Tavern (L)
TAJ (L,D)
Tarantino (D)
Terrain (D)
The Whelk (L)
Tutti’s Restaurant (L,D)
Via Sforza (L,D)

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The hour-long CNN “Champions for Change” special — hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and featuring Westport’s own Police Chief Foti Koskinas — airs tomorrow (Saturday, September 24, 8 p.m.).

“06880” previously gave an incorrect date of Sunday. Tune in tomorrow! (Hat tip: Alisyn Camerota)

    • Screenshot from CNN: Alisyn Camerota and Chief Foti Koskinas.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up, to help with the education of the children of Mark Blake, the popular and long-serving Westport and Weston Emergency Medical Service supervisor and volunteer, who died Tuesday of complications from COVID. Click here to donate.

    • Mark Blake

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With low-key publicity — and high security — former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak spoke at Temple Israel Tuesday night.

Drawing on his experience as a military leader and cabinet minister, he discussed ongoing tensions in the region, threats from Iran and more.

    • Ehud Barak, at Temple Israel. (Photo/JC Martin)

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As the school year begins, Organic Krush reminds teachers that they get a 10% discount — year round. Founder Michelle Walrath — a former teacher — is proud to honor educators “invaluable service.”

She also adds a plug for their new spiced pumpkin smoothie and pumpkin donuts. “Off the charts!” she says.

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“The Wonderful World of Mushrooms” comes to Wakeman Town Farm on October 24 (7 p.m.).

The free lecture is a deep dive, with experts from Essential Earth Farm.

WTF says: “During a billion years of evolution, fungi have become masters of survival. They are primary decomposers that keep our forests alive. They play an integral role in decomposition.”

Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between fungi, soil, and environmental and human health. Click here to register.

    • (Photo/Peter Gold)

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Robin Frank writes: “In anticipation of Halloween, let’s remember the dead by investigating art’s historic role in celebrating and memorializing loss.

“Join me for a free lecture called “Hauntings: Death and Desire in American Art” (October 6, 7 p.m., at Museum for History & Culture). Artists of all generations have made the absent present through haunting imagery, ranging from the seductive to the spectral, from portraits to seemingly haunted domestic spaces immortalizing intimate and moving stories.”

Click here for more information, and registration.

    • A haunting image.

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Sorelle Gallery’s next exhibition — “Cosmic Botany” — features artist Roger Mudre.

His work is inspired by patterns of nature, and the circle as the perfect form. Titling each painting after plants, he draws upon “microscopic worlds, cellular growth, auras, the cosmos, and places unseen, only imagined.”

The exhibit runs October 1 through 23. An opening reception and artist meet-and-greet is set for October 1 (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.). Click here for more information.

    • Art by Roger Mudre

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‘Tis the season for nests. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” scary-looking one was spotted on Bermuda Road, by Ken Yormark:

    • (Photo/Ken Yormark)

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And finally … in honor of Wakeman Town Farm’s upcoming lecture on mushrooms (story above):

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Roundup: Chief Foti, Mark Blake, Food Inequality …

The other day, Police Chief Foti Koskinas took CNN’s Alisyn Camerota for a spin.

The footage wound up yesterday on the network’s “Champions for Change” segment.

Foti was cited for his innovative community involvement, including helping the department handle demonstrations calmly and respectfully. He spoke candidly about the state of American policing, noting that he would take a knee with George Floyd protesters in solidarity, prayer and against police brutality — but not against police or the flag.

TEAM Westport chair Harold Bailey praised Foti’s ability to listen. “There was some change in his position” during discussions after the Michael Brown incident, Bailey said — “and change in ours as well.”

The piece will be rebroadcast this Sunday (September 25, 8 p.m.), as part of a CNN special hour-long “Champions of Change.”

Click here to see the segment. Spoiler alert: I’m on camera for a few quick seconds. And I provide the voice-over intro, conclusion and other thoughts.

It was an honor to be included.

Screenshot from CNN: Alisyn Camerota and Chief Foti Koskinas.

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Autumn arrives tonight at 9:04.

This morning, Westport said goodbye to summer with a quick thunderstorm. Andrew Colabella captured this dramatic lightning strike over Cockenoe Island:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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The Westport Police Department and Emergency Medical Services mourn the death of Mark Blake. The popular and generous EMS crew chief died Tuesday.

He was hired in May of 1990, and had a long, rewarding career serving Westport. He was a representative for the Southwest EMS Council for over 10 years, and was most recently its president.

Blake was a certified child safety seat instructor, and organized many car safety seat clinics throughout Fairfield County.

Blake also volunteered with Weston’s fire department and emergency medical services, for over 39 years. He was the department’s vice president, and earned the rank of lieutenant.

Westport Police and EMS say: “Those who knew Crew Chief Blake quickly realized that his passion was to help any way he could. Whether organizing a safety clinic, treating a sick patient or helping at the scene of a fire in Weston, he  was there.  His dedication and passion will most certainly be missed.

Deputy Chief Sam Arciola oversees Westport EMS. He says: “Mark was an incredibly dedicated public servant as well as a widely respected EMT. He never hesitated to put the needs of others above his own.”

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker adds, “I was saddened to hear of the passing of Crew Chief Blake. On behalf of the town, I want to extend my condolences to his friends and family as well as express how appreciative the town is for all his years helping our community.”

Mark Blake

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One more police item: Local departments were recognized recently, in a ceremony at Beth Israel Chabad in Norwalk.

Westport was represented by Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Weston by Police Chief Ed Henion. The event included plaques of appreciation, music and brunch.

Among the officials at the Beth Israel Chabad ceremony: Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht (far left), Weston Police Chief Ed Henion (4th from left), Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (5th from left) and Westport 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker (6th from left).

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The state of Connecticut will help fund replacement sidewalks near Greens Farms Elementary School, and renovations at the Weston Police Department.

The sidewalk project includes $250,000 from the state, and $100,000 in town funds. The police building includes $500,000 in state funds, and $264,926 from Weston.

State grants come from the Small Town Economic Assistance Program.

A sidewalk replacement project is coming soon to Greens Farms Elementary School.

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Up Next Teens is a Staples High School student-founded and run organization. They’ve just launched a new project: #FeedFairfield County.

The goal is to raise $25,000. That would supply meals for nearly 10,000 hungry residents.

They asked Wakeman Town Farm for help. The result is a great partnership.

On October 6 (6 p.m.), WTF hosts an intimate chef’s dinner. Marcia Selden caters; Greens Farms Spirits supplies the wine and bubbly — and UpNext Teens will serve.

They’ll also speak to guests about their goals and projects. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Massimo Tabacco — the former owner of Bar Lupa, and other restaurants — has a new venture.

He’s partnered with lifelong Westporter Matthew Balk to open Il Pellicano, at 1460 Post Road in Fairfield.

The Italian restaurant features classic and contemporary dishes, including small plates, steaks, fish and piadina (an unleavened thin bread with delicious fillings).

There’s an extensive cocktail menu too, with experienced mixologists.

Il Pellicano opens tomorrow (Friday, September 23). A roof patio has just been approved, and will be ready soon. Click here for more information.

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The Westport Library’s Verso Studios are leading-edge.

So they’re a perfect spot for a new education initiative. The Fairfield County-based LiveGirl non-profit will co-host a 9-week Leadership Lab for high school girls there. Sessions start October 3, and run each Monday through December 14.

Founded in 2014, LiveGirl’s mission is to “prepare the next generation of diverse, brave female leaders with the skills, community, and connections so that all girls may thrive and make a positive impact on the world. LiveGirl’s vision is to contribute to a world free from both gender and racial inequality.”

Utilizing state-of-the-art Verso Studios media facilities, the LiveGirl Leadership Lab will focus on creative arts empowerment, multimedia expression and training. Participants will develop storytelling skills through creative channels like video, music and podcast production.

The program is free. Spots are limited, and pre-registration is required.

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The next Amy Simon Fine Art show is “Slow Motions,” with Liz Barber, Christopher Jeffries, Carolanna Parlato and Paul Shakespear.

It runs September 24 through November 5, at 123 Post Road East.

“Summer Fold 2” — mixed media on canvas (Liz Barber)

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Longtime Westporter and former Planning & Zoning Commission member Michael Stashower died yesterday. He was 96 years old.

The Cleveland native attended Hobart College as part of the US Navy’s V-12 Officer Training program, then received BA degree and MBA degrees from Cornell University.

After retiring from a long and successful career in corporate finance, Michael continued used his expertise as an overseas volunteer with the International Executive Service Corps, and to help with New York City’s 2012 Olympic bid.

In more than 50 years in Westport, he was actively involved in the community. He was elected twice to the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission. He was a past president of the UJA/Federation of Westport-Wilton-Norwalk, treasurer of Temple Israel, and served on the board of directors of the Council of Jewish Federations and the Jewish Home for the Elderly.

He loved sailing, tennis, and playing clarinet with the Westport Community Band.

Michael is survived by Gloria, his wife of nearly 72 years; their Susan (Paul Milbauer), Debby Missal (Michael) and Jon (Allison), and grandsons Jordan, Scott and Matthew.

A service is set for tomorrow (Friday, September 23, 10 a.m., Temple Israel). Shiva will be observed tomorrow from 1 to 5 p.m. at 321 Lansdowne.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a donation to Temple Israel of Westport.

Michael Stashower

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Staples High School Class of 2010 graduate Keith Gelman moved back to Westport with his wife, in June.

The other evening he saw this barred owl, in his front yard. Classmate Stuart Schmerzler snapped this stunning “Westport … Naturally” photo. Follow @schmerzlertakesphotos on Instagram, for more great shots.

(Photo/Stuart Schmerzler)

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And finally … in honor of the great “Westport … Naturally” photo above, I had to include this song, by this band.

Get it?

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Roundup: Ned Lamont, Emergency Prep, Queen Elizabeth …

Last week, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston hosted gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski at the Westport Library.

Yesterday, it was Ned Lamont’s turn.

Former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe moderated the discussion. Asked about affordable housing, the Democratic incumbent said that local communities need to take the lead.

Traffic is a problem in the state, Lamont said — and entrance/exit ramps on highways are the source of the greatest congestion. He also noted that train bridges were not build for high-speed rail traffic, and cause slowdowns.

With unemployment very low in Connecticut, Lamont said there is a job for everyone who wants one. Though recession headwinds are ahead, he said, the state is in good shape.

The governor also noted that Connecticut has the largest unfunded pension debt in the country. However, he said, his administration has reduced interest debt, saving $400 million in interest payments.

Lamont also recalled that he met his wife Annie in Westport. (Reporting by Dave Matlow)

Governor Ned Lamont and former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, at yesterday’s Y’s Men event at the Westport Library. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Last night’s storm knocked out power to 239 customers in the Old Mill Beach area. This morning, Eversource’s map showed no outages remaining.

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Dozens of rescue vehicles — helicopters, tanks, ambulances, you name it — converged on Sherwood Island State Park yesterday.

Fortunately, it was just a drill.

Local and regional authorities and incident management teams shared knowledge, and demonstrated technology for Connecticut politicians and other services. The event was organized by the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, for the 14-town area.

!st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Deputy Fire Chief Nick Marsan represented Westport.

Among the activities:

This bomb squad robot has X-ray vision, and can shoot projectiles.

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There was plenty of pomp yesterday, when Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest.

There was also plenty of music.

Staples High School Class of 1966 graduate Paul Gambaccini is a longtime music journalist. Based in London, he also hosts of “Her Majesty’s Music” on the BBC.

Gambaccini was interviewed by NPR, about the songs that “inspired and defined” the late queen. Click here to listen. (Hat tip: Mary Ann Meyer)

Paul Gambaccini

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Pumpkin spice lattes and muffins have been here since around Independence Day.

Now it’s time for “Fall Pumpkin Centerpieces.”

That’s the title of a session at Wakeman Town Farm (October 4, 6:30 p.m.). Chryse Terrill will instruct attendees on how to create a fall harvest centerpiece inside a pumpkin. Some materials will be harvested from WTF’s gardens.

Of course, everyone can take home their work of art. Click here to register.

A pumpkin centerpiece.

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This Thursday’s Jazz at the Post (September 22, 7 and 8:30 p.m. shows, 6:30 p.m. dinner, 465 Riverside Avenue, $10 cover) is a feast for local music lovers.

“Jazz Rabbi” Greg Wall brings world-class Gospel pianist, choir director, bandleader — and local legend — Chris Coogan to VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399.

The musicians met almost 10 years ago. They share a deep spiritual attachment to American music that digs deep into its roots, and extends up from there.

Joining in are John Mobilio and Jim Royle, both longtime rhythm-mates of Coogans.

Reservations are strongly suggested: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Greg Wall and Chris Coogan

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Saturday’s Westport Country Playhouse gala — the first in-person benefit in 3 years — lived up to its hype.

Broadway star Renée Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler in “Hamilton”) headlined the event, with a high-energy concert of Broadway pop and soul music, backed by a 7-piece band.

Attendees also enjoyed a pre-show cocktail party, live auction and after-party with a DJ and dancing.

Renee Elise Goldsberry and her band, at the Playhouse. (Photo/Coppola Photography)

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The other day, Peter Marks complained about “visual pollution” in Westport.

Yesterday, he sent along this example, at the Compo Road South/Post Road traffic island:

(Photo/Peter Marks)

He’s particularly concerned about signs advertising upcoming events that stay up long after they’re over.

Of course, the political season has just begun. We’ll see more — not fewer — signs everywhere, in the weeks ahead.

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Former Westporter Ellen Wisser died Friday in Norwalk. She was 92.

The Brooklyn native attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with classmates and friends Grace Kelly and Vince Edwards. At Brooklyn College she met her future husband and lifetime love, Allen Wisser, who had already performed with the Broadway show “Showboat”‘s national tour.

After they married Ellen taught at James Madison High School in Brooklyn.

Ellen and Allen moved their young family to Westport in 1960. Ellen continued commuting to Brooklyn, then began teaching English, speech and drama at Harding High School in Bridgeport. She also produced and directed the annual school play, influencing the lives of many teachers and students, who continued to stay in touch for decades.

Ellen was active in the Bridgeport, Connecticut and National Educational Associations. She ran for the NEA presidency in 1976.  She was an advocate of the women’s liberation movement at the local and national levels.

Ellen changed careers in her 50’s, attending Bridgeport Law (now the Quinnipiac School of Law). She then practiced family and worker’s compensation law until age 88. Ellen recently survived 3 different types of cancer, forcing her retirement, and defeated unbeatable odds.

She was predeceased by her husband, grandson Tyler Wisser and brother Marvin Borenstein. She is survived by her children, Dr. Jamie R. Wisser (Natalie), Kerry M. Wisser (Debbie), R. Ilise Gold (Fritz Heilbron); grandchildren Davin Gold, Alanna Dayton, Evan Wisser, Caitlyn Wisser, Ryan Wisser; great grandchildren Jack, Sam and Beck Dayton, Claire and Penelope Wisser; sister-in-law Gladys Floch, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be held today (Tuesday, September 20, 1 p.m., Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home, Fairfield), with interment following at Temple Israel Cemetery in Norwalk.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Connecticut Education Foundation – Children’s Fund.

Ellen Wisser

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Roger Ratchford died earlier this month, at 88. He was a teacher, golf coach, and advocate for people with disabilities.

The Norwalk native was raised mostly by his mother, with the help of the large Hungarian side of his family. Though she died when he was 13, Roger went on to become valedictorian of his class at Fairfield Prep. To supplement a tuition scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross, he worked afternoon shifts at Worcester Quilting Company.

After graduating he returned to Prep to teach Latin, classical Greek, French and English, and coach the golf team for 40 years. He was inducted into the Prep Athletic Hall of Fame, was named National High School Golf Coach of the Year, and held a national record for wins.

Roger was also one of the first to bring American high school students to the French Alps for homestays with French families. He strongly felt that immersion was the best way to master a language.

Until the end of his life, heh could recite by memory passages from Homer’s “Odyssey” — in the original Greek. He was proud of his work helping the nuns at the Convent of St. Birgitta in the proper pronunciation of Latin chants.

But Roger felt his greatest legacy was improving opportunities for people with disabilities. Inspired by his son Mike, he and his wife Gail became actively involved in the growth of STAR, Inc.

He lobbied for the closure of Mansfield Training Center in 1993, and advocated for a shift to group homes and the full integration of people with disabilities into the community. Two-time president of STAR, he was named Volunteer of the Year by the ARC of CT in 1988.

He was a walking encyclopedia of Norwalk history, and was proud of the Ratchfords’ long legacy in this town, from the Ratchford Hotel & Saloon in the first part of the 20th century, to his Aunt Helen’s tenure as a teacher at Norwalk High.

Roger was predeceased by his wife. He is survived by 3 children and 1 grandchild. His family is indebted to Dorrean, Sharon Mack, and her staff for their loving care during hospice. 

A funeral mass will be held on Thursday (September 22, 2 pm, St. Mary’s Church, Norwalk. A Celebration of Life will be held at Fairfield Prep some time in October. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to STAR Lighting the Way.

Gail and Roger Ratchford

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Michael Szeto describes today’s “Westport … Naturally”photo:

“We are infested with deer in Westport, since they lack natural predators and we are not allowed to hunt them. A herd of 5 or 6 deer constantly roams through my backyard.

“But yesterday was a first for me. I saw 2 bucks butting heads in my back yard, apparently fighting for territorial dominance. They don’t seem to realize that I own the land, not them.”

(Photo/Michael Szeto)

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And finally … to honor the Queen (and Paul Gambaccini — story above), here is the quintessential British song:

 

Roundup: Harvest Fest, Shorefest, StoryFest …

If you didn’t have somewhere to go yesterday, you just weren’t trying.

In addition to Slice of Saugatuck — the gorgeous festival already covered on “06880” yesterday afternoon — there were several great events.

Wakeman Town Farm raised nearly $100,000 at their annual Harvest Fest. The evening featured fantastic food and drinks, a kick-ass band, and the always-special pastoral setting.

The tent … (Photo/Gregg Bromberg)

… the food … (Photo/Dan Woog)

… the band … (Photo/Dan Woog)

… and the $20,000 check from Earth Animal. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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From the farm to the beach … yesterday evening, Friends of Sherwood Island threw their annual Shorefest, at Connecticut’s first state park.

The meal …

… and the moon. (Photos/Gene Borio)

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Yesterday also marked the final day of StoryFest, the Westport Library’s celebration of the story in all forms. It’s the largest literary festival in Connecticut.

Panels included this one on activism …

… and the finale, which included food, drink, and the “Reading Glasses” podcast, live from the Library stage.

(Photos/EJ Crawford)

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Also last night: guitarist Robert Cray, at the Levitt Pavilion.

Now get set for next Saturday’s Lobsterfest at Compo Beach, courtesy of the Westport Rotary Club.

September in Westport: It doesn’t get much better than this!

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Friday was a big night for Staples High School football.

After an address by 3 active servicemembers, quarterback Caleb Smith led the Wreckers to a 42-13 rout of Conard-West Hartford. It was the season opener for both teams, at Paul Lane Field.

And the Gridiron Club presented Catch-a-Lift founder Lynn Coffland with a check for $23,000. Funds were raised this summer by the club and players, who participated in the “Murph Challenge.” The money helps post-9/11 combat wounded veterans, with gym memberships and fitness rehabilitation.

The Wreckers travel to St. Joseph next Saturday, for a 1:30 p.m. contest.

Gridiron Club and Catch-a-Lift representatives are all smiles Friday night.

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A reader writes:

“There is a severe water shortage. It is recommended to water lawns at night.

“Did Longshore not get the message? Or are they privileged? I’m curious …”

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Jill Grayson witnessed this “Westport … Naturally” standoff recently. She did not mention who backed off first.

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … anyone who lived through 9/11 remembers the profound sadness that hung in the air, and crept into our hearts, for so long.

There was little anyone could do, besides grieve. But music — as it always does — helped heal.

Three songs in particular will always remind me of the weeks after September 11, 2001. The world changed forever that day.

And so did the way I will always hear these songs.

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Roundup: Harvest Fest, Deer Plants, CraftWestport …

The Wakeman Town Farm Harvest Fest fundraiser is September 10.

The online auction — a key part of the event — opens September 6.

But you can preview all the items now.

They include destination travel, private dinners at WTF, kids’ cooking parties, sunset cruises, and great sporting events.

All proceeds — and those from the live auction at Harvest Fest — help fund youth programs, adult classes, scholarships, the farm stand, family events and more.

Click here for a preview.

Those alpacas didn’t pay for themselves. (Photo/Cathy Malkin)

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Oh, deer!

Aspetuck Land Trust’s next “Lunch & Learn” webinar should appeal to just about every homeowner in Fairfield County.

Called “Designing With Native Plants in Deer County,” it’s set for next Wednesday (September 7, noon to 1 p.m.).

Landscape designer Brid Craddock will discuss deer-proof plants, and the techniques that will actually keep Bambi at bay. Click here to register.

(Gorgeous. Now get off my lawn! Photo/Karen Weingarten)

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CraftWestport — the monster pre-holiday show with over 175 vendors selling handmade fashions, accessories, jewelry, home décor and furniture, plus photography, ceramics, glass, metal, wood, mixed media and other artworks — returns to the Staples High School fieldhouse November 5 and 6.

Also on sale: gourmet specialties like bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup, hand-painted chocolates, teas and honey, cheese spreads and curds, baked goods,  skincare products, soaps and candles.

It’s the first time in 3 years for the popular Westport Young Woman’s League show, following 2 COVID cancellations.

Net proceeds from Connecticut’s largest indoor fine crafts festival go to charitable agencies in lower Fairfield County.

Click here for more details.  

One of 175+ booths at CraftWestport.

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The deadline for comments on the proposed cell tower at 92 Greens Farms Road is September 7.

The email address is sitingcouncil@ct.gov; the snail mail address is Connecticut Siting Council, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

A cell tower been proposed for the property on the left: 92 Greens Farms Road. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

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There’s a back story to today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo. Lauri Weiser writes:

“I was at Compo yesterday, under the South Beach trees that provide a little bit of shade. The crow that’s been here all summer was there.

“Anyone who spent  time under these trees knows that this crow lives here and never shuts up. There were many threats on its life today🤣😳”

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … in honor of the Compo Beach crow (story above) … “it’s the same story the crow told me …”

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Grow A Row!

Despite this summer’s lack of rain, many home gardens are at their peak right now. Tomatoes, zucchini, other seasonal delights — they’re all ripe.

Some gardeners may actually have too much produce. They give it to neighbors — and still have extra food.

Every problem has a solution. This one is easy.

Grow-A-Row Westport is a volunteer effort to grow and donate fresh produce. Since 2020 members have planted, tended, harvested, and collected nutritious donations of fresh fruits vegetables, and herbs to benefit food-insecure people and families throughout Fairfield County.

Bounty from the Westport Community Gardens.

Amy Unikewicz runs Grow-A-Row Westport. The program began in the spring of 2020 at the Westport Community Gardens, during the early COVID lockdown.

The idea was simple: encourage fellow Community Gardens members to grow an extra row (or more) to donate.

She set-up a large cooler. All season long, gardeners filled it with freshly harvested items. Several members helped transport over 200 grocery bags were donated to the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development (FEED) in Bridgeport.

Westport continues to sustain the effort. Early on, Pippa Bell Ader of the Zero Food Waste Initiative and Sustainable Westport, and Aileen Brill of Christ & Holy Trinity Church, helped with logistics.

Last year Pippa connected Amy with Westporter Haley Schulman — national site coordinator with Food Rescue US – Fairfield County, a non-profit that picks up otherwise-wasted food from restaurants and supermarkets, and delivers it to pantries and shelters.

Haley — also a Wakeman Town Farm committee member — loved Amy’s idea to expand Grow-A-Row Westport beyond the Community Gardens.

They met Lori Cochran, director of the Westport Farmers’ Market. She championed the idea of a Grow-A-Row community collection cooler every Thursday at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

By the donation cooler at the Westport Farmers’ Marker: Lori Cochran, WFM director; Amanda Sayegh, Westport Housing Authority director of programs and resident services; Amy Unikewicz, Grow-A-Row Westport founder; Haley Schulman, national site coordinator with Food Rescue US – Fairfield County, and Food Rescue US volunteers, Jennifer Seideman, Darryl Kowalsky and Susie Kowalsky.

The Wakeman Town Farm Committee supported Grow-A-Row collections at their weekly farm stand too.

Haley committed Food Rescue US – Fairfield County’s network of volunteers to transport the fresh produce, and found agencies that are a good fit for the collections.

Grow-a-Row at Wakeman Town Farm.

Now in its third year, the expanded Grow-A-Row Westport effort continues to, um, grow.

All home gardeners are invited to donate at any of 3 drop-off spots:

  • Thursdays (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Westport Farmers’ Market, Imperial Avenue lot)
  • Saturdays (9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm farm stand, 134 Cross Highway)
  • Daily (8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Christ & Holy Trinity Church Branson Hall, 75 Church Lane).

Westporter Cornelia Olson donates a huge rutabaga.

Not a gardener? Grow-A-Row gladly accepts fresh produce from your CSA, refrigerator, even “freshly-purchased” at the Farmers’ Market or Wakeman Farm Stand.

Each week, volunteers with Food Rescue US – Fairfield County deliver the donated produce to agencies in Bridgeport and Westport, including: FEED Center, Lucy Baney Family Reunification Center at Career Resources CT, Fridgeport (Bridgeport’s first community fridge), and the Westport Housing Authority.

Westport Housing Authority director of programs and resident services Amanda Sayegh says that residents are very appreciative of the fresh donations. They’re shared among 221 families, including seniors and families with children, and prioritized to the most food-insecure residents.

“Fresh vegetables are considered a luxury for many,” Amanda says. One resident was “thrilled” to receive fresh lettuce — something they had not been able to purchase for a long time.

You may shake your head, wondering how you’ll get rid of all that lettuce.

Now you know: Grow-A-Row!

(For more information, follow @growarowwestport on Instagram.)

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Joe Stadek lives in Ridgefield — and donates to Westport’s Grow-a-Row project. (All photos courtesy of Amy Unikewicz)