Tag Archives: Wakeman Town Farm

Roundup: Tunnel Of Love, Compo Swim, Cribari Lights

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Just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season, a small ceremony honored the re-lighting and re-naming of the pedestrian tunnel between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza.

New lights show off Miggs Burroughs’ stunning lenticular images. They portray Westporters connecting with each other. Each changes, depending on the angle you view them from.

The original name was “Tunnel Vision.” Suzanne Tanner came up with the new “Tunnel of Love & Community” — abbreviated as (of course) TLC. Then it was re-opened — as it always has been — to the public, 24/7/365.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker (center) and guests enjoy the newly re-lit Tunnel of Love & Community.

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While all the tunnel re-dedicators were bundled up in Friday’s chill, Ann Chernow’s grandchildren chilled at Compo Beach.

Well, actually, they went in the water.

She sends a photo of “2 of my crazy grandchildren. They usually swim  in the Pacific in San Francisco.” At 47 degrees, Long Island Sound was much chillier.

Yikes!

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Also this weekend: The Cribari Bridge is lit for the holidays.

Betsy Pollak sends along the first of what is sure to be many photos of one of Westport’s favorite and most colorful traditions.

(Photo/Betsy Pollak)

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Westport’s hidden music gem, Voices Cafe, offers in-person, high quality live music (or livestream), with café-style seating. Everyone brings their own snacks and beverages.

Coming this Saturday (December 4): Eclectic musical duo The Whispering Tree, and award-winning folk couple Ash and Eric (formerly, The Promise is Hope).

Click here for tickets and more information. Seats are assigned by ticket purchase date.

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Photos keep coming in of new Thanksgiving Day traditions. Here’s one more — of a group of dads and sons — with the by-now-familiar name: Turkey Bowl. (Hat tip: Bianca Jonas)

(Photo/Eric Ritter)

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You can’t be too busy next month, right?

If you need an activity, check out these 2 from Wakeman Town Farm.

“In “Making Spirits Brighter: A Holiday Mixology Class” (December 6, 7 p.m.), “Mixxed by Ed” Hernandez will teach you how to make 5 holiday-themed drinks, using natural ingredients picked straight from the farm. Premium liquor is provided by Remy Cointreau.

“A Holiday Centerpiece Workshop” (December 14, 7 p.m.), features WTF’s Chyrse Terill and Ellen Goldman. Materials are collected from the Farm. You can take home your creation — and feel free to bring an appetizer, bottle of wine or other drink.

Click here for details and registration.

“Mixxed by Ed” Hernandez

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Former Staples High School football star Joseph Vincent DeMattio died Wednesday, following a courageous battle with a long-time illness. He was 63, and is survived by a large extended family and hundreds of friends.

Joey played tackle on the Wreckers’ 1975 state champion team, and was a 1997 inductee into team’s Wall of Fame. He also played defense for the University of Maryland where he played  defense for the Maryland Terrapins. An excellent athlete, he returned to Westport and played softball for the legendary Sonny’s team.

His family says, “There was never a dull moment in Joey’s life. From running with the bulls in Pamplona to fighting pirates in the Bahamas, he was no stranger to adventure or travel.”

Although Joey held several positions in his career, his favorite was working for Keith Richards in Weston. He often said how down to earth and kind the family was to him.

He was also an accomplished inventor, and held 2 provisional patents.

Joey had a huge heart, especially for children and the elderly.

Joey loved Saugatuck, Jr’s Hot Dog Stand, Compo Beach, Aunt Jean’s eggplant parm, Walter K, the Maryland Terrapins, Ledo’s Pizza, inventing things, his little dog Tony, his beautiful home, eating any food (especially Italian), his Saugatuck Saints jacket, Calvin the monkey, yelling at umpires, playing football, traveling, the Three Stooges, the Rolling Stones, and pistachio ice cream.

His family notes, “Saugatuck will never be the same without you.”

A  funeral is set for Thursday (December 2, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home on Wednesday (December 1, 4 to 8 p..). Click here to leave online condolences.

In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to Safer Refuge of Central Texas, where 2 of Joey’s beloved puppies come from.

Joey DeMattio, in the 1977 Staples High School yearbook.

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Nicholas T. Saviano Jr. of Westport died quietly at home earlier this month.

After graduating from Staples High School in 1947, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Union College and a master’s from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was inducted into Sigma Xi Honor Society.

Nick was a lifelong Westport resident. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed photography, horseback riding, skiing, wine making, family genealogy, and aviation and navigation.

In his younger years he owned a small private plane with his older brother. He traveled throughout the country and abroad, including Italy and China with family and friends.

For most of his career he worked as an electrical engineer at Sperry Rand/Unisys in New York as the senior research section head, software development, shipboard and ground systems group. Nick also held a number of patents.

He volunteered for many years at the Westport Library and Sons of Italy. He was also an usher at the Assumption Church. He was devoted to his family and friends.

He was predeceased by his elder brother Ralph, his nephew David and his wife Joanne of New Hampshire, and several dear life-long friends. He is survived by his sister Florence of Stratford; brother Thomas of Westport; nieces Dyana and Felica of Monroe; niece Suzanne of New Hampshire; nephew Mark of Colorado; several great-nephews and nieces, great-great nephews and nieces, and 7 godchildren.

A funeral is set for Saturday (December 4, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Assumption-Greens Farms Cemetery. A reception immediately following the burial will be held at Christ and Holy Trinity Church. Gifts may be given in Nick’s memory to Union College,

Nick Saviano

 

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Today’s colorful “Westport … Naturally” image comes from the home and camera of Linda Stern:

(Photo/Linda Stern)

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And finally … Today in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting in Nashville, as the WSM Barn Dance. Uncle Jimmy Thompson was the first guest.

And if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill:

 

CORRECTION: Dueling Tree Lightings Are December 3

This morning’s Roundup noted that 2 tree lighting ceremonies are December 2. In fact, both the Wakeman Town Farm and Town Hall events are Friday, December 3.

The Town Hall lighting begins at 5 p.m. The Staples High School Orphenians will sing.

The WTF lighting starts at 4:30, and features music, cocoa, cookies and a bonfire.

See you at one — or both!

Wakeman Town Farm tree lighting, in 2019. Last year’s event was canceled, due to COVID.

Roundup: Dodge-a-Cop, Tree Lighting, Uber Discount …

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Police officers and Staples High School students battled last night. For 2 hours in the fieldhouse, they hurled objects at each other.

It’s all good.

The event was Dodge-a-Cop. The annual dodgeball tournament is a fundraiser for Toys for Tots — and a great way to get police and teenagers working together. Each student team included at least one officer.

Dodge-a-Cop was organized by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group.

There were no arrests.

Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (2nd from right) and RTM member Andrew Colabella (far right) joined in the fun. (Photo courtesy of Westport Police Department)

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Dueling tree lighting ceremonies!

Both the town of Westport, and Wakeman Town Farm, will do the honors on Friday, December 3.

The Town Hall event begins at 5 p.m. The Staples High School Orphenians will sing.

The WTF lighting starts at 4:30, and features music, cocoa, cookies and a bonfire.

If there are any other tree lightings that day, please let us know.

The Town Hall tree, in 2018. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Speaking of the holiday season: What a time for parties, celebrations and fun!

Not time for drinking and driving afterward, though.

Smart imbibers know that one way to avoid arrest — or worse — is to call Uber. Now — thanks to the Connecticut Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety — you can get a $10 discount off that potentially life-saving ride.

And it’s available every day from now through January 14, between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. The discount code is: SaveTheNightCT.

Put that code in your phone now. It may be harder to find when you need it the most.

This program comes thanks to a grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association, in partnership with Uber. Connecticut is one of only 5 states to receive the funds.

For more information, click here.

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Anaiza Morales moved to Westport only 2 months ago, from New Jersey. But it didn’t take her long to get involved in her Westfair neighborhood.

Impressed by how much fun everyone had on Halloween, last Sunday she organized a chili crawl/cook-off.

Anaiza met new neighbors, and their college-age kids and mothers in for the holiday weekend. They shared food and stories, while walking around the neighborhood (in perfect weather).

It was a blast. And people who did not have a chili recipe brought dessert.

The competition was close. Only .6 of a point separated the top cooks (as calculated by a young engineer). The winner: Wendy, with Brazilian feijoada.

Enjoying the chili (and warm weather) in the Westfair neighborhood.

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MoCA Westport’s current exhibition – “When Caged Birds Sing” — features 8 life-size sculptures by the late Westport artist Ann Weiner. They represent women’s rights activists who survived abuse because of their gender, yet still advocate for the rights of others at risk.

In conjunction with this important exhibit, MoCA hosts 3 human rights experts for a panel discussion at 6 p.m. on December 2:

  • Claudia King, from Connecticut’s Human Anti-trafficking Response Team
  • Cadence Pentheny, coordinator, community and corporate learning, LGBTQ+ Training Institute, Triangle Community Center
  • Jamie Rubin, Southwest regional manager, Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required (click here). Attendees who arrive early can grab a beverage at Bar MoCA. Guests can stay after the event to watch a documentary associated with the exhibition.

Part of MoCA’s “Caged Bird” exhibition.

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A memorial service for Julie Belaga — the former state representative, regional EPA administrator and Export-Import Bank director who died Friday — is set for December 19 (10 a.m., Westport Library). All of Julie’s friends and admirers are welcome.

Julie Belaga

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Two days ago, our Roundup featured 2 intriguing photos. Both showed a fancy women’s shoe, abandoned at Compo Beach. In one shot, it lay on the ground; in the other, it was perched on a railing.

That shoe sure gets around. Here’s a third image:

(Photo/Indrani Basu)

It sure gets around. If you see it on the cannons — or anywhere else — let us know.

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“Westport … Naturally” celebrates Turkey Day with, of course …

Dogwood Lane buck. (Photo/Eric Roth)

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And finally … 5o years ago today, hijacker DB Cooper parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane over the Pacific Northwest, with $200,000 in ransom money. He has never been found.

Click here for full details. Click below for DB Cooper’s song.

Roundup: Josh Koskoff, Free Coffee, WTF Tree, Millie Rae’s …

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Yesterday, a Connecticut Superior Court judge Barbara Bellis ruled in favor of 8 families of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. They sued conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — who called the massacre a government-led hoax to confiscate firearms, and called the families “actors” — for defamation.

It was a victory for the families — one of whom has had to move 10 times since the shooting, due to harassment from Jones’ followers — and for Josh Koskoff. The Westport-based attorney represented the Sandy Hook families.

After the ruling, he was interviewed by several major media outlets. Click here, then scroll down for the transcript of his appearance on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”

Josh Koskoff

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Steam Coffee Tea is new. The Westport Transit District’s Wheels2U service has been around awhile, but they recently added a few upgrades.

This Thursday and Friday (November 18 and 19), they team up to offer riders a freebie. Anyone using Wheels2U those mornings can show proof of their completed ride between 6 and 10 a.m., for a free coffee.

Wheels2U is the WTD’s on-demand group ride door-to -train platform shuttle service. Steam is the recently opened coffee shop on Railroad Place.

Westporters can use the Wheels2U Westport app to request a pickup  between 5:45 and 9:45 a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m., to be taken to or from the Saugatuck or Greens Farms train platform and their front door. Pickups should be requested 20 minutes before normally leaving to drive to the station.  The fare is $2, paid via the Wheels2U app.  A Metro North Uniticket rail/bus pass can also be used.

For more information about Wheels2U, including how to download the Wheels2U app and book a ride, click here. For more information about the Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.

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Everyone has their own idea of when the holiday season “really” starts.

If yours is the lighting of the Wakeman Town Farm tree, then get ready for Friday, December 3.

Musicians from Staples High, and Long Lots and Greens Farms Elementary School, will play Christmas and Hanukkah favorites at 4:30 p.m. The tree lighting is at 4:45 p.m.

Then comes marshmallows by the bonfire, treats from The Porch and Sweet P Bakery, and hot chocolate from The Granola Bar and Starbucks.

It’s festive and fun. It’s family friendly. And of course, it’s free.

Wakeman Town Farm tree lighting, in 2019. Last year’s event was canceled, due to COVID.

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Millie Rae’s is a favorite Westport shopping destination.

Here’s one more reason to love the Post Road East clothing store. Today (Tuesday, November 16), they’re donating 20% of all proceeds to A Better Chance of Westport. That’s the wonderful Westport program — and North Avenue home — that provides educational opportunities at Staples High School for students from underserved communities.

The event goes on all day. From 4 to 6 p.m., you can enjoy champagne and treats will you shop.

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The Greenwich Community Sailing program will not run at Tod’s Point next summer. The vendor — who also owns Longshore Sailing School — did not renew the lease. Construction in the area is forcing relocation.

Longshore Sailing School will operate as usual this summer. Greenwich Community Sailing gift cards will be eligible for use there. A program discount will be extended to Greenwich residents too. (Click here for the full story. Hat tip: Peter Gold)

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Westporter Denise Zack is a certified life coach, meditation instructor, yoga teacher and — as founder of Ripple Affect Life Coaching — a wellness-based consultant and educator for individuals and businesses.

Now she’s an author, too.

Zack just published “Ripple Affect: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life.” It offers 8 steps toward “reclaiming your happiness and living a balanced life.” Ripple effects begin within us, she says, and reach out to touch many others. (The books title is spelled with an “a” because an “affect” means touching one’s feelings, or moving emotionally.)

For more information, click here.

Denise Zack

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It’s November. Naturally, there’s frost in the morning.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows yesterday’s scene (in Weston, but still…). Button up!

(Photo/Regi Kendig)

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And finally … Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founder of the Moody Blues, died of complications from cancer on Thursday in Florida. He was 80 years old.

I was not a fan of the spoken word poems he wrote, which helped define the progressive rock era. But I know they were popular.

I’m more of a fan of their earlier and later works. Here are 3 of their biggest hits, from 3 different eras. (Click here for a full obituary.)

 

Roundup: Staples Girls Soccer, Holiday Shopping, Earth Animal …

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The Staples High School girls soccer team has done it again!

Madison Sansone’s goal in the 5th minute was the difference — along with stout defense from, among others, central defenders Samantha DeWitt and Gaby Gonzalez, plus keeper Camille Kolek — as the #4 Wreckers shut out #6 Wilton 1-0 last night at Fairfield Warde High School.

It’s the 2nd league title in a row for Staples. They won it in 2019. There was no championship game last year due to COVID, but the Wreckers won their 5-team division then too.

Congratulations to coaches Barry Beattie, Mackenzie Pretty, the rest of his staff, and of course this remarkable group of young women.

The state tournament begins next week for girls and boys soccer, and field hockey. Pairings will be announced today.

The Staples High School girls soccer team at the Push Against Cancer …

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Get your holiday shopping done early — like, today!

WestportMoms’ Holiday Boutique Bash runs today (Friday, November 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m) in the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot.

The 5th annual event features over 30 vendors. It’s free, open to all — and there will be a food truck with coffee and warm food right there.

In return, WestportMoms asks for contributions of coats for adults and children. They’ll be donated to Homes with Hope, for our neighbors in need.

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Long before the pandemic, Earth Animal was helping Westport’s four-legged creatures.

And those with only 2.

 The 14th annual Mitten Project is the Post Road store’s fall initiative to support the Connecticut Food Bank. Last year’s effort raised over $38,000. This year’s goal is even higher.

It runs now through December 31. For $5, people can buy “mittens” at Earth Animal, to sign and hang in the store windows.

There are also holiday items for sale. All proceeds go to the Mitten Project total.

And donation boxes will be placed at area stores during the holiday season.

Earth Animal does even more: They’ll match every penny donated. 

 For more information on how to donate, email merritt@earthanimal.com.

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Wakeman Town Farm serves Westporters of all ages.

Including the very youngest.

Its “Little Farmer: Mommy & Me” program — for infants through age 3 — offers an hour of quality time each week. Developmentally appropriate experiences foster social skills and independence.

“Creative Nature Sprouts” is for 3-to-5-year-olds. It’s largely outdoors, exploring the wonders of WTF’s farm and barns.

“Fantastic Farmhands” (kindergarten through 5th grade) offers care and education about animals, pollinators, compost and more, through hands-on activities. Youngsters also enjoy farm crafts and games.

The “Farm Apprentice Program” (grades 6-8) concentrates on organic farming and gardening.

Click here for more information.

Learning about life at Wakeman Town Farm.

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Following 1st Selectman Jim Marpe’s announcement yesterday that the indoor mask mandate is lifted for most locations, the Westport Library has followed suit.

Masks are no longer required in the building — except for people who are unvaccinated.

Masks continue to be required in the Children’s Library, and for indoor children’s programs for everyone over 24 months old.

One step closer to normal at the Westport Library. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

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Nikki Gorman is more than a beloved Village Pediatrics doctor.

She’s on the board of the Unite the World With Africa Foundation. Next Thursday (November 11, 5 to 9 p.m.), she’s opening her home for a cocktails and open house “Heal the World” awareness-raising event.

All are welcome. Click here for details, and to RSVP.

Speaking of pediatrics: Dr. Nikki’s practice is holding COVID vaccine clinics today and tomorrow. They’ll be inoculating as many newly eligible 5-to-11-year-olds as they can.

Slots are all filled. But it’s good news indeed, on the continuing fight against the pandemic.

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Last night’s freezing temperatures did not keep sunset lovers away from Old Mill Beach.

Photos like this never get old.

(Photo/Rick Benson)

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A few hours earlier — not far away, on Sherwood Mill Pond — Peter Swift snapped this blue heron, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Peter Swift)

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And finally … happy 80th birthday to Art Garfunkel!

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: Burglary, Diwali, Dermaplaning …

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The Westport Police Department press release was straightforward:

70-year-old Robert Milton of Bridgeport was arrested for burglary and larceny. He’s charged with stealing a bicycle and jewelry from a Westport home. Bond was set at $10,000.

Why would an elderly man do that? As usual, there is a story behind the story.

“06880” reader John Kelly sent a link to a Connecticut Post story from 2012, about help for homeless people in Bridgeport. The first photo shows Robert Milton staying warm with a cup of coffee.

There must have been many factors that sent Robert Milton to the streets. Much no doubt happened to him in the past 9 years too.

I don’t know the full story. None of us do. But whenever we read the police report of an arrest — any arrest — we should realize that there is probably a human story behind it.

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Diwali is a major Hindu festival. It represents the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and wisdom over ignorance. It is a festival of new beginnings, an auspicious day.

Like Christmas, it includes brightly lit homes, great food and many presents.

The Hindu community invites all Westporters to join the Diwali festivities on November 5 at MoCA Westport (19 Newtown Turnpike, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.).

All activities will be held outside (weather permitting). For questions or more information, email aapiwestport@gmail.com.

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Speaking of holidays: Bridgewater Chocolate is leasing a seasonal pop-up retail space in Bedford Square.  The Bridgewater Chocolate Box Shop will feature high-end assortments, with hinged boxes and bows. The store opens the day after Thanksgiving, and will be open weekends only through the holiday season.

PS: I asked the obvious question. There is no connection between Westport’s 2 Bridgewaters: the chocolatier, and the world’s largest hedge fund.

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Glowbar is a skin care service on Elm Street (and Tribeca and the Upper East Side). Treatments include chemical peels and extractions.

In Connecticut, however, Connecticut legislation prohibits estheticians from performing dermaplaning (“exfoliation using a 10-gauge scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dulling dead skin cells, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion” — nice!) The practice is allowed in New York.

Glowbar asks for an addendum to the Connecticut Esthetician Scope of Practice, to allow licensed estheticians — who required over 600 hours of training — to dermaplane. Click here for the full petition.

Dermaplaning

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What is fire cider? Why is everyone drinking it?

Wakeman Town Farm knows. In a hands-on workshop (Wednesday, November 3, 6:30 p.m.), they’ll share the health benefits of this immune-boosting tonic. Then everyone can chop together — and leave with a quart of their own homemade fire cider.

The cost is $75. Click here for tickets.

Fire cider

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On Sunday, members of the Saugatuck Rowing Club junior program headed to the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. Nearly every boat finished in the top third.

The women’s U17 4+ boat (Mia Kirkorsky, Alexandra Cowan, Kelly Kennedy, Rosie Lundberg and Victoria Bazarko snagged first. Both the men’s and women’s eights placed 4th in their events, with over 80 entries in each.

The men were George Bentley, Victor DiPasquale, Gabriel Marous, Felipe Artia, George Karacsonyi, Adam Pushner, Jack Kiely, Gavin Marshall and Finn Kiely. The women’s eight included Kira Obsitnik, Janna Moore, Hannah Clemens, Jane Leahy, Lecia Sun, Olivia Hankey, Lauren Eve Schramm, Claudia Chadwick and Mia Seibert.

Next up: the final race of the season, in Philadelphia.

Women’s U17 4+ champions (from left): Alexandra Cowan, Kelly Kennedy, Mia Kirkorsky, Rosie Lundberg, Victoria Bazarko. (Photo/Leslie Eisen)

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Speaking of youth: Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from our youngest photographer ever.

Bedford Middle School 6th grader Caitlin Hand snapped this photo the other day, after dinner by the Saugatuck River at Arezzo. Keep the great photos coming, Caitlin!

(Photo/Caitlin Hand)

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And finally … on this day in 1682, Philadelphia was founded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

Roundup: COVID, Sheryl Crow, Unsung Science …

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1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

“The rise in case levels in Westport for the past 1 weeks placed the town into the ‘substantial transmission’ (‘red’) category this week. Westport Weston Health District (WWHD) Director of Health Mark Cooper stated, ‘High risk individuals should take extra precautions, particularly those who are unvaccinated, by avoiding large gatherings. Getting fully vaccinated, wearing masks and social distancing continue to be strongly recommended for all.’

“The First Selectman’s Executive Orders #9 and #10 remain in effect. They require masks in indoor public places within Westport for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Indoor public spaces include retail establishments, restaurants, or other businesses, as well as galleries, museums, performance spaces, places of worship and government buildings. Businesses may still require proof of vaccination to enter, but a mask will also be required. Executive Order #10, which modifies Executive Order #9, refers specifically to gyms and workout studios, and provides certain exceptions to mask-wearing in those public places only.

“I am grateful that Westporters recognize the importance of wearing masks and getting vaccinated. It is for our physical and mental health and safety that we remain vigilant.

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If you know Dan Aron, you know how proud he is to be an Indiana University grad.

If you don’t know Dan Aron, you know his house. It’s the one on Soundview Drive with the huge IU flag.

On October 14 — during Homecoming — he’ll be one of 3 recipients of Indiana’s Distinguished Alumni Service award. It’s the highest honor the school gives to a graduate.

Dan earned a BS from IU’s Kelley School of Business in 1983. He was an equity sales trader, partner and head trader for 30 years with Salomon Brothers, John Levin & Co. and others. Along the way he mentored Kelley students, and served on many school advisory boards.

Dan and his wife Maureen raised daughters Alexa, Ashley and Anna in Westport. The couple underwrote the Investment Center in Hodge Hall, and the Kelley Diversity Merit Bicentennial Scholarship.

“I will never forget where I came from. I will always be a Hoosier,” Dan says. (Hat tip: JD Denny)

Dan Aron

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Speaking of Dan Aron: Among his philanthropic activities, he’s a big supporter of the Levitt Pavilion.

He was there there — near the stage — at last night’s great Sheryl Crow concert. Here’s his photo:

(Photo/Dan Aron)

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David Pogue has a new project.

Well, the Westport tech guru/media personality always does. But this is especially intriguing.

“Unsung Science” (@UnsungSci) debuts Friday. Each weekly episode offers the origin story of a cool science or tech achievement. They’re told by the characters themselves, from their first inspiration to the times they almost gave up.

Episodes include the NASA engineer whose team landed a delicate, unpiloted $3 billion rover on Mars without kicking up dust; the father of the cellphone; the committee that chooses which emoji to add to your phone each year; the computer scientist who blessed/cursed the world with CAPTCHA website login obstacles; the storm chaser who discovered that Tornado Alley is shifting east into more vulnerable states; the inventor of the Impossible Burger, and more.

Click here for more information.

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Stephen Gustafson loves dahlias. Others do too. He’s formed them into a close-knit Facebook group: the Westport Dahlia Society.

Now he — and anyone else who shares the dahlia passion — will meet at Wakeman Town Farm. The event is  October 18 (7 p.m.).

Gustafson will explain the overwintering process of tubers to save for next year. There’s a door prize of dahlia seeds.

Guests can bring their favorite flower cuttings. Novices looking to learn more about dahlias are welcome too. For more information, email westportdahliasociety@gmail.com.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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“06880” does not run wedding announcements.

But this photo — by frequent Pic of the Day contributor Lauri Weiser — was too good to pass up.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

Her daughter, Sabrina Weiser-Min, married Matt Crorey last weekend at the Bryant Park Grill in New York City.

She has been friends with Micha Grand since Bedford Middle School. Micha and Matt were roommates in college. Then all 3 lived together in New York. He was the perfect choice to officiate.

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Frederick Louis Hyman, former president and CEO of The Cousteau Group and co-founder and president of The Cousteau Society, died October 7. He was 89.

After graduating from Staples High School in 1949, and then the University of Connecticut, he served as first lieutenant, combat command, in the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Hyman’s career started with Associated Artists Productions, a distributor to television of feature films and short subjects, best known for the Popeye, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. After acquisition by United Artists Associated, he became executive vice president. He then co-owned Scope Advertising, a New York agency.

He also founded Americom, a Westport manufacturer and marketer of unique custom phonograph records that combined print and sound for the publishing and education markets. He innovated a 4-inch flexible single record, the PocketDisc, with its own player.

His experience with educational television and publishing led Jacques-Yves Cousteau to him. Hyman joined Cousteau in 1971 as president and CEO of The Cousteau Group, the operator of all Cousteau related companies in the US and in France; television production; publications based on expeditions; the 20-volume Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau; research activities aboard Calypso, and the development of new technology.

A gift by Hyman and Cousteau was the basis for their 1973 creation of The Cousteau Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of marine life and the environment. Hyman served as president and later a board member. However, he later lost confidence in the management and no longer supported TCS.

Hyman was a founding member of the Aspetuck Valley Country Club in Weston. He played in 3 British Seniors golf championships, plus many tournaments in Bermuda.

He is survived by Janett, his wife of 67 years; children Richard (Margaret), Mark, Dean and Jane, and grandchildren Emily, Brent, Sarah, Ben and Olivia.

Frederick Hyman

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June Rose Whittaker is aptly named. She sends along this “Westport … Naturally” submission from her home: “the last rose of summer.”

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … if you missed Sheryl Crow last night, this will make you happy:

 

 

Oaktober!

Westport is now officially “Tree City USA.”

Earlier today, Tree Board chair Monica Buesser and Westport Library children’s librarian Lynne Perrigo raised a “Tree City USA” flag on Jesup Green.

The designation — by the Arbor Day Foundation —  gives Westport the chance to apply for tree grants, and participate in educational forums sponsored by the Foundation.

Monica Buesser and Lynne Perrigo hold the Tree City flag. (Photo/Frank Rosen)

 

On a recent Zoom forum, Buesser learned about “Oaktober” events. There’s a Wakeman Town Farm panel this Monday (October 4, 7 p.m.), on tree care. Attendees will learn about all the good that trees do in our yards, and how to return the favor in caring for them. Free saplings are available too. Click here for details.

In addition, the Tree Board, Earthplace and Westport Book Shop are partnering with the Library for one on Saturday, October 23. It includes crafts, guest animals, and Halloween fun (come in costume!). Free baby oaks will be available to take home. Click here for details.

“Oaks are very important for our environment,” Buesser says. “They support over 450 types of caterpillars, which birds need. Acorns feed everything from squirrels to deer.”

One more Tree Board bit of news: They’re looking for another member. To learn more, email mkbuesser@gmail.com.

Roundup: Yankee Doodle Fair, Affordable Housing, Animal Blessings …

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The Yankee Doodle Fair is back!

After missing 2020 because of COVID, the annual Westport Woman’s Club carnival has shifted from its traditional June date to September.

What hasn’t changed are the site — the Imperial Avenue parking lot next and adjacent WWC — and the attractions: rides, games, raffles, food, sand art and more.

Or the cause: raising funds for philanthropy.

The Yankee Doodle Fair runs today (Friday, 6 to 10 p.m.), tomorrow (Saturday, 1 to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (1 to 5 p.m.).

Click below for a special video, created last year by Doug Tirola’s 4th Row Films, highlighting the 2019 event.

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Affordable housing — what it means, where to put it, how it fits in to the suburban and statewide landscape — is a controversial topic.

Next Tuesday (September 28, 6:30 p.m., Zoom), State Senator Will Haskell and State Representative Stephanie Thomas host a bipartisan panel: “Affordable Housing in Our Community.”

Panelists include Westport Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin, and her Wilton counterpart Rick Tomasetti. The moderator is Heather Borden Herve, editor of “Good Morning Wilton.” Click here to register.

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

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Wednesday’s Roundup included details of the upcoming Blessing of the Animals, at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Looks like Westport’s animals will be twice blessed.

On the same date (Sunday, October 3, 9:30 a.m.), Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will offer its own courtyard Blessing of the Animals. It’s part of the annual Feast of St. Francis.

All animals — and humans — are welcome.

Blessing of the Animals, at Christ & Holy Trinity Church.

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It’s almost October. Almost time to say goodbye to your garden, for the year.

How do you do it? On October 18 (7 p.m.), Wakeman Town Farms hosts “Putting Your Garden to Bed: The Pollinator Friendly Way.

Nathalie Fonteyne joins WTF master gardeners and coaches Alice Ely and Ryan Brunelle to share tips on what to cut down and what to leave, how to recycle and compost the last greens as the garden prepares for its long winter nap, and what vegetables you still have time to plant to ensure a healthy, beautiful garden next spring.

Click here to register.

Back to the garden.

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Fairfield County has a lively music scene.

But there’s no band livelier than Band Central. The “house band” for CLASP Homes — the Westport-based nonprofit serving adults with autism and other developmental disabilities — headlines the organization’s first in-person, indoor event in nearly 2 years.

On October 15 (6:30 p.m., Fairfield Theater Company), they’ll play songs from Motown, and soul greats like Aretha Franklin, the Commodores, Earth Wind & Fire and more. Special guests will join in.

$40 tickets to the benefit include a pre-party, and an art show with work by CLASP residents. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

Two members of Band Central in action.

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Speaking of music: Scott Barr loves venues like FTC, the Levitt Pavilion and Capitol Theater, plus bars and other spaces to see local (and national) acts. He particularly enjoys seeing bands in small, intimate spaces, then watching as they achieve great success.

Every so often you stumble upon an entertainment event or a scene that must be witnessed and it usually happens where you least expect it.

He’s done it with the Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Joan Osborne and Phish. More recent examples include The Record Company playing at Roton Middle School, and the Revivalists and Black Pumas playing at StageOne.

Now, Scott says, a music scene is happening in Westport “right under our noses.”

Every Tuesday night at 8, a band called Residual Groove (aka KRIS or JEDD ) plays at Dunville’s. This week, members of Goose played with them.

“They have special guests all the time, and their playlist is for all ages,” Scott reports. “If anyone is looking for a fresh new scene and great music, check it out.”

He gives a special shoutout to Dunville’s owner Steve Carpentieri, for making it all happen.

Residual Groove (with special guest Peter Anspach from Goose, center) at Dunville’s.

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Jayne Mauborgne was moved by yesterday’s Roundup story about the rescue of 11 turtle hatchlings. A wildlife conservationist came from Madison to help.

She wants readers to know about Wildlife in Crisis.

“We are lucky to have this wildlife rehabilitator right in Weston,” Jayne says. They are great, dedicated people. Over the years I have brought them birds, squirrels, opossum, and all manner of forest creatures.”

Call 203-544-9913 (ask for Darrah or Peter), or email wildlifeincrisis@snet.net.

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Lifelong Westporter John Stahursky died Tuesday at Fairfield County House in Stamford. He was 86 years old.

John graduated from Staples High School in 1953, and retired as a mechanic from Slez Garage in Westport. He loved gardening and farming, and volunteered for many years maintaining the lawns and flower gardens at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fairfield. John grew from seed, then donated, countless plants to the parish for sale at their annual picnic.

He was honored with the St. Augustine Medal, from the Diocese of Bridgeport.

John enjoyed restoring Model A Fords, which were driven in Westport’s Memorial Day parades.

His family remembers him as “a hard working man, always ready with a smile and happy to help others in need.”

Survivors include his siblings Bernard Stahursky of Westport, Wanda Ornousky of Norwalk and Bertha Matis of Westport, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.

John was predeceased by sisters Jean Kral, Helen Rutski and Sophie E. Stahursky, and brothers, Joe, Frank and Steve Stahursky.

A funeral will be held Monday (September 27, 9:15 a.m. from the Dougiello Fairfield Funeral Home, and 10 a.m. in St. Anthony of Padua Church with a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will be in Assumption Cemetery in Westport. Friends may call Sunday (noon to 3 p.m).

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in John’s memory to St. Anthony Parish, 149 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 or Fairfield County House, 1 Den Road, Stamford, CT 06902.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” scene is familiar, yet fresh:

(Photo/Wendy Levy)

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And finally … singer Sarah Dash died Monday. She was 76.

According to the New York Times, she “brought her church-rooted soprano and high harmonies to Labelle, which began as a 1960s girl group before reinventing itself as a socially aware, Afro-futuristic rock and funk powerhouse, costumed in glittery sci-fi outfits and singing about revolution as well as earthy romance.”

Click here for her full obituary.