Hanukkah starts tonight at sundown.
All set to celebrate is Jolantha, Weston’s favorite pig.
But where’s her gelt and dreidel?
Speaking of the Festival of Lights: The Schneerson Center for Jewish Life sponsors community menorah lighting celebrations in Westport and Weston.
The “original Westport menorah” at Compo Acres Shopping Center (Trader Joe’s/Wells Fargo parking lot) — now in its 16th year — will be lit Monday (December 11, 7 p.m.).
The day before (Sunday, December 10, 5:30 p.m.), a menorah will be lit at the Weston Shopping Center. It continues a tradition begun 20 years ago.
Both ceremonies include music, cookies, gelt and dreidels.
Now, on to Christmas:
Westport Scout Troop is selling wreaths as a fundraiser this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, December 9-10, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., while supplies last; Saugatuck Congregational Church).
Wreaths are $30 and $45. Baked goods and hot cocoa are available too.
Funds will help projects, like the recent construction of lanternfly traps for Sherwood Island State Park. The troop also partners with Sustainable Westport each year, for a mattress recycling drive.
There are just 18 days left until Christmas.
Everyone should be mailing gifts and cards like crazy.
But — astonishingly — this was the scene at noon yesterday, in the post office lobby:
Come on, Westport! This is show time for our postal clerks.
It’s when they shine: helping with packages, dispensing advice, tossing all your stuff into the back to be whisked away — all with the efficiency of a thousand Rudolphs.
Our great US Postal Service men and women are ready to serve you. Give ’em the business!
With leaves off the trees, and leaf pick-up by the town almost complete, the trash that litters our town has become quite visible.
Andrew Colabella, and his faithful crew of garbage pickers, come to the rescue.
And anyone can join.
After a successful spring, they’re starting again this Sunday. Everyone is invited to meet at 10 a.m. this Sunday (December 10), at the transfer station on the Sherwood Island Connector. They’ll work throughout the Greens Farms neighborhood.
Volunteers should wear boots, bring gloves and trash bags — and dress warmly.
For questions, or to be added to the email list, write email@example.com.
Andrew Colabella (center, front) and friends, picking up trash at the Westport train station last winter.
Westport Police made 1 custodial arrest between November 29 and December 6.
A man was charged with assault, unlawful restraint, interfering with an emergency call, larceny, sale of narcotics, possession of cannabis greater than 1.5 ounces, illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, and criminal possession of a firearm.
The charges came after police responded to a report of domestic violence in a vehicle on the Sherwood Island Connector. After the assault, the man refused to let the victim leave, and prevented a 911 call.
The suspect left the area on foot. Officers located him in a vehicle traveling the wrong way on the I-95 northbound exit ramp, and initiated a traffic stop.
Westport Police also issues these citations:
- Traveling unreasonably fast: 12 citations
- Failure to obey stop sign: 4
- Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 3
- Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 2
- Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 2
- Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 2
- Distracted driving: 1
- Following too closely: 1
- Failure to obey traffic control signals: 1
- Failure to renew registration: 1
- Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 1.
A handgun was found, following a report of domestic violence.
Speaking of crime:
Scooter Swanson — editor, and nephew of the TV dinner magnate — says his mail carrier tells him that leaving cash in the mailbox as a holiday gift (whether in an envelope or not) is subject to theft.
The carrier claims that UPS, FedEx and Amazon drivers yank out the cash cards intended for him and other US Postal Service colleagues. (This has not been verified.)
Swanson was ripped off of a $10,000 check for his credit card when it was robbed by a “correctional officer” making his nightly tour of mailboxes through neighborhoods.
Fortunately, People’s Bank reimbursed him for his loss. The Hartford also considered it personal property, and reimbursed him another $10,000.
PS: Swanson was once a federal attorney.
Think twice about leaving holiday cash for your mail carrier inside your mailbox.
Tickets are on sale now for Saturday’s state “LL” (extra large schools) football championship game, between Staples and West Haven.
Kickoff on December 9 is 5 p.m., at Central Connecticut State University’s Arute Field.
Tickets ($10 each) will not be sold on site; they can only be purchased by clicking this website.
The 2023 Staples High School football program.
Music is everywhere — including, often, the Westport Library.
On December 12 (7 p.m.), a multi-media presentation tracks the impact of music on a variety of art forms, in a range of venues.
Speaker John Brandt — a dancer, singer, actor, percussionist, PR consultant and lifelong Westporter — will highlight how music is “the soundtrack of our lives.”
Speaking of the Library:
The second of 3 “Short Cuts Film Festival” showings is next Thursday (December 14, 7 p.m.).
Documentaries selected from the Tribeca Film Festival include:
- “Then Comes the Body” by Jacob Krupnick: An unlikely ballet school outside Lagos, Nigeria, gains national attention after a video of students dancing in the rain goes viral.
- “In Her Element” by Idil Ibrahim: Hip-hop artist Daisha McBride takes the traditional rock and country audience in New Orleans by storm.
- “Team Dream” by Luchina Fisher: Determined friends and competitive swimmers journey to the National Senior Games.
- “Deciding Vote” by Jeremy Workman & Robert J. Lyons: Fifty years ago, a now-forgotten New York assemblyman cast single tiebreaking vote that legalized abortion in New York, and la the groundwork for Roe v. Wade.
After the screenings, “Team Dream” director Fisher will discuss her film, and documentary filmmaking in general.
Short Cuts Film Festival concludes on January 18, with a program of narrative shorts.
Tickets are $26.50; click here to purchase. Films are suitable for ages 12 and up. Refreshments and popcorn will be provided.
Mark Yurkiw — whose work has lately been heavily influenced by his Ukrainian heritage — is December’s guest exhibitor, at the Westport Book Shop.
His exhibit — “Art is Always of Its Time” — includes 12 illuminated works using large-format film transparencies of 3-D images of the 1980s and ’90s.
Yurkiw is an artist, sculptor, filmmaker, scientist, designer, creative director and consultant. His work appears in magazines, advertising, television, feature films, exhibitions and public art. It has been exhibited globally, including most recently as part of a 2-man United Nations exhibit.
A reception for Yurkiw will be held December 14 (6 to 7:30 p.m.). Reserve a spot by phone (203-349-5141) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yurkiw’s art is on exhibit through December 31. All work is available for purchase.
Mark Yurkiw, at the Westport Book Shop.
The Weston Weston Family YMCA’s Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund honors its 2023 grant recipients at 5 p.m. next Tuesday (December 12) at the Y.
This year, the Fund will award $315,000 in grants to 31 organizations throughout Fairfield County. Their programs support equitable educational programs for students.
Recipients will be announced then.
In her 80s, Ruth Sherman is still an indefatigable walker.
At Compo Beach yesterday morning, she spotted this:
Other walkers told her it reminded them of a dog, lizard, rabbit, even a parrot looking sideways with its fist up.
What do you see?
We’ll ask that question, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature. Click “Comments” below.
And finally … It wouldn’t be Hanukkah without 5-part harmony from “South Park”:
(Oy! Time to celebrate the holidays with a donation to “06880.” Please click here. תודה!)