Tag Archives: Westport Book Shop

Roundup: Menorahs, Wreaths, Trash Pick-ups …

Hanukkah starts tonight at sundown.

All set to celebrate is Jolantha, Weston’s favorite pig.

But where’s her gelt and dreidel?

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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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.

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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.

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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:

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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!

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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 acolabellartm4@gmail.com.

Andrew Colabella (center, front) and friends, picking up trash at the Westport train station last winter.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Go Wreckers!

The 2023 Staples High School football program.

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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.”

The event — sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston — is free, but registration is required (click here). For further information, email jkbrandt@aol.com or call 203-246-6280.

John Brandt

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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.

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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: bookshop@westportbooksaleventures.org.

Yurkiw’s art is on exhibit through December 31. All work is available for purchase.

   

Mark Yurkiw, at the Westport Book Shop.

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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.

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In her 80s, Ruth Sherman is still an indefatigable walker.

At Compo Beach yesterday morning, she spotted this:

(Photo/Ruth Sherman)

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.

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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!)

Thankful For …

What are you thankful for?

That’s the question I posed last week.

“06880” readers responded. Family, friends, community, health — the emails came in.

When we all sit down Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner, we’ll give thanks for many things. Among them:

I am thankful for Westport’s beautiful nature — the beaches, the fall colors at Longshore, and all of the deer that remind us of who walked here before.

Globally, I am thankful to be a US passport holder — what an amazing gift to have the movement and freedoms that come with it.

Personally, I am thankful for my new son, a gift later in life who came via a selfless surrogate. (Alia Afshar)

I am so deeply grateful for how hard our Westport teachers, school administrators, staff, coaches, club sponsors and Board of Education work to prepare our children for a productive, purposeful and happy life.

Too many to name have had a meaningful impact on my children. I am so thankful that they continue to embrace new ideas and development opportunities to do even more for all students. (Joan Gillman)

Into our world of grim news and widespread loneliness, the Westport Book Shop arrived to become a place of community, warmth, and encouragement.

Every time I enter, I feel uplifted and hopeful for our world and our little town. The staff and volunteers are unfailingly kind.

The inclusive mission, to support the Westport Library while developing the talents of employees with a range of abilities, is a joy to support. On a personal level, when I retired from teaching and took shaky steps to build an art-based business, the Westport Book Shop supported me by hosting my first solo art show. Then they offered my stationery and gifts up front by the register — talk about encouragement!

Their active empowerment is life-changing. I am a loyal customer and I invite my neighbors to visit for holiday shopping and “It’s a Wonderful Life”-level good cheer! (Kerstin Rao)

The Westport Book Shop’s Katherine Caro and Jocelyn Barandiaran.

This has been a brutal year in many ways. I am thankful for the health and safety of my family, our Westport community that voted to put children first in our School Board election, and the solidarity shown by President Biden that we stand with Israel and Ukraine. (Jonathan Alloy)

That my mother cares for herself, her children and the world at large. A huge shout out too to the folks at the Westport Book Shop. (Caroline Sorstein)

As always, thankful for my family. (Diane Silfen)

I’m thankful for having made it to 70. I know that might sound strange to some, since I grew up in a place with many advantages and resources — but more than a half dozen of my childhood friends unfortunately never made it to this age.  And I have family medical history and non-genetic health issues which have not been in my favor either. 

So I am also thankful for even the little things that I am able to enjoy, and naturally for the friends who are still around. (Fred Cantor)

I’m thankful for the new games I’ve learned to play, and the new friends I’ve made playing. I’m also thankful for all I’ve learned from the Democratic Town Committee, and the great people I’ve met there. (Bobbi Essagof)

Just yesterday, I felt grateful as I rode across the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, seeing the blue ribbons. I was grateful that I live in a place without war, in a town that tolerates its citizens exercising their constitutional rights. (Joyce Barnhart)

I am thankful to live in a community that advances social justice, values diverse opinions, and fosters mutual respect, where my family feels safe despite so many terrifying tragedies that regularly occur in our world. (Carole Orland)

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

 

Roundup: Absentee Ballots, Leaf Dumping, Comedy …

Election Day is Tuesday (November 7).

To be ready, the town clerk’s office (Room 105, Town Hall) will be open this Saturday (November 4), from 8:30 to 11 a.m., to issue absentee ballots.

They will also be available Monday (November 6), until 4:30 p.m.

All absentee ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.

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Speaking of Tuesday’s election:

Yesterday’s “06880” story on Board of Education write-in candidate Jill Dillon noted one particular challenge: educating voters on how to do it.

Several readers wondered how.

There are 2 steps: fill in bubble 5E, 6E or 7E (under “Board of Education”; then write in “Jill Dillon.” (“Dillon,” “J Dillon” and “Jill D” are also acceptable.)

Sample ballot for a write-in candidate.

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It’s leaf season. And time to remind Westporters that dumping leaves and debris in a wetland or watercourse is illegal.

Several leaf disposal options are available to Westport residents. One is to compost leaves in the back yard within a fenced area or a composting receptacle, located at least 20 feet away from any wetland or watercourse. Click here for details.

Another option for Westport residents with a valid sticker: Deliver collected leaves to the yard waste site at 180 Bayberry Lane, behind the Aspetuck Health District (no plastic bags).

The yard waste site is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.  Also, the Department of Public Works begins curbside leaf collection on November 6.

For more information about leaf removal or the yard waste site, call the Department of Public Works: 203-341-1120. For more information on wetlands or composting, call the Conservation Department: 203-341-1170.

Compost, don’t dump!

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Before leaving Halloween in the now-November dust: Here’s one last look back at last night, from Gorham Avenue:

(Photo/Jamie Walsh)

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Everyone needs to laugh.

Especially these days.

This weekend, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport offers 3 evenings of 4 one-act comedies.

The UU Players present the uplifting shows on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4, 7:30 p.m.) and Sunday, November 5 (2 p.m.). The suggested donation of $20 will be collected at the door.

“Miss You” explores the tangled webs we weave with the aid of telephones. “Baby Food” and “Crazy Eights” highlight the extreme and bizarre lengths people go to to get what they want. “Sure Thing” proves that connections are all about timing.

For more information, click here.

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It just got easier for seniors to use technology.

A $10,000 grant from AT&T to Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities will be used purchase connected devices, and to support technology instruction programs (including workshops conducted by high school students).

For example, new iPads will allow the Senior Center to offer regular classes focusing on computer skills like navigating the internet, scam awareness, video conferencing with family members, and more.

Displaying a new tablet (front row, from left):  Diane Bosch and Marsha Darmory, co-presidents of Friends of the Senior Center; rear:  Harry Carey, AT&T director of external affairs’ Wendy Petty, Senior Center director; State Representative Jonathan Steinberg.

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Speaking of the Senior Center: Here’s how a few folks looked yesterday:

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

No, it’s not their normal look. It was Halloween, and they posed behind the pumpkin contest entrants. (The winner was #2 (hidden), courtesy of Jason Wilson.

It just goes to show: You’re never too old to dress up for this holiday.

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Tickets go on sale today for Coleytown Company’s music revue, “Pure Imagination”. Songs from Broadway Junior musicals include “Seussical,” “Shrek The Musical,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Frozen.”

Launching a new format this fall, the group of professionals leading the production broadened the cast to include students in all three grades (6-8). Veterans and newcomers bring their singing and dancing talents to the stage.

Performances are Thursday, November 16 (6 p.m.) and Friday, November 17 (7 p.m.). For more information and tickets, click here.

Getting ready for “Pure Imagination.”

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Westport Book Shop hosts a children’s book reading and signing of “Bradford’s Walk” == with author Denis O’Neill and illustrator Cyrus Quadland this Saturday (November 4, 10:30 a.m.).

As any parent of a Bradford fan knows, the tale follows the adventures of a lovable brown dog, set against the backdrop of, yes, Westport.  It captures the simple pleasures of daily walks that everyone relates to.

Denis is a Westport native, and has lived here for 6 decades.

. Space is limited. RSVP by email or by phone (203-349-5141).

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Speaking of children: Every kid needs a pet.

Every adult too.

This Saturday (November 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), William Pitt Sotheby’s (199 Post Road East hosts an event to benefit Westport Animal Shelter Advocates, PAWS and Hopalong Hollow Rabbit Rescue.

There will be available-for-adoption furry friends to meet (no on-site adoptions, though).

There’s also a raffle with donations from restaurants, merchants and animal service providers (plus New York Yankees merch). Food trucks will feed hungry humans.

For additional information, call 203 557 0361.

One of the dogs that will be at William Pitt Sotheby’s on Saturday.

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The Short Cuts Film Festival returns to the Westport Library on Thursday, November 9 (7 p.m.).

Six short narrative films will be screened, on the state-of-the-art 18-foot video wall.

Curated from the Tribeca Film Festival, Short Cuts showcases current trends in filmmaking. Selected films are a diverse cross-section of stories and perspectives, including one animated short.

“Fourteen years ago, when we began Short Cuts, it was difficult to find films directed by women, people of color, or LGBTQ communities,” says producer Nancy Diamond.

“Now filmmakers of all genders, cultures and life choices abound. Short Cuts brings these award-winning short films to you.” Click here for details on the 6 films.

Following the screenings, Olivia Shapiro, Let Liv writer and actor, will join Diamond on-stage for a conversation. Questions will be taken from the audience.

Tickets are $26.50; click here to purchase. Refreshments and popcorn will be served.

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It’s just a coincidence, but Aspetuck Land Trust’s next “Lunch and Learn” — the noontime webinar series — is about food.

Expert forager and author Russ Cohen hosts “Wild Plants I Have Known and Eaten” (November 10, noon to 1:30 p.m.).

He’ll featuring at least 2 dozen species of native edible wild plants suitable for adding to your landscape, or nibbling on when you find them. Click here for more information, and to register.

Russ Cohen, with wild plants.

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Remember Saturday’s beautiful, midsummer-like weather?

Pat Auber was at Compo Beach (with hordes of others), to enjoy it.

Also having fun: many unleashed dogs (in the leash-only area). She writes:

“This Animal Control officer policed the area. As he said, ‘it’s like putting my finger in a dike.’

“This is not the off-leash area!” a security officer explains. (Photo/Pat Auber)

“Dog owners: We don’t love your dogs off leash sniffing our toes and eating our food, like you seem to think we do.

“Westport is kind enough to offer a leash off area. Respect it! So thank you to this security gentleman, who managed this and made for a pleasant experience for all.”

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“06880” has posted plenty of images of Sherwood Mill Pond, from many angles.

But today’s “Westport … Naturally” offers a perspective we rarely see:

(Photo/Clarence Hayes)

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And finally … Aaron Spears, a Grammy-nominated drummer who played with Usher, Ariana Grande and many other major pop stars, died recently. He was 47.

Click here for a full obituary.

(If you enjoy our daily Roundups, please know: The stories are short, but they take a ton of effort. Please support our work, with a tax-deductible contribution. Click here — and thank you!)

 

Roundup: Board Of Finance, Dog Days Of Autumn, Peace Vigil …

Yesterday’s Roundup noted that the 4th agenda item for Wednesday’s Board of Finance meeting is “Long Lots Building Project (Discussion only”).

Chair Lee Caney notes: “On all of our agendas for our regular monthly meetings, we will have an update on LLS.  The updates have been on prior agendas.  We did the same thing with the Coleytown Middle School updates.

“This month there will probably be no discussion, as we just had a meeting. This is not our second meeting on LLS, which will take place at a date to be determined.

“I would never try to sneak in an important meeting, as I welcome and encourage community participation.”

The Board of Finance is just one stop on the road to approval of the Long Lots Elementary School project.

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Today will be much cooler than yesterday — like, 30 degrees lower.

So let’s take one look back at the “last day of summer” (aka October 28):

Longshore: The view from a Boston Whaler (Photo/Nancy Lewis)

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The view is always spectacular from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation sanctuary.

It’s particularly inspiring on a gorgeous fall day list yesterday.

The foliage framed the UU’s quiet and contemplative peace vigil yesterday. Rev. Alan Taylor and others led attendees through a meditative experience. Cellist Gunnar Sahlin provided musical accompaniment.

“All of us are spiritual people, no matter our personal faith traditions or religious affiliations,” the UU says. “We can find solace in community … in peace, in meditation, and in reflection.”

Cellist Gunnar Sahlin. (Photo/Dayle Brownstein)

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The Westport Library celebrated Halloween last night with a Westport and Weston Chamber of Commerce-sponsored party.

“Bella’s Bartok” played. The stage was decorated. Costumes were worn.

It was, one of the 200 attendees said, “outrageous.”

In, of course, the best way possible.

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

There’s a new sheriff in town. Matthew Mandell (left) — director of the Chamber of Commerce — and his wife Cara enjoy last night’s party. 

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More traditional entertainment was provided last night at the Westport Country Playhouse.

There was a deserved standing ovation at the opening performance of “First Lady of Song: Cherise Coaches sings Ella Fitzgerald.”

The show continues Tuesday through Sunday, including evenings and matinees. Special events include Pride Night (November 2) and Open Captions (November 5). Click here for schedules, tickets, and more information.

Cherise Coaches, at last night’s curtain call. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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“Billions” — the high-powered Showtime series about a high-stakes hedge fund managed that morphed into a fascinating exploration of people, power, prestige, and (always) the role money plays in it all — ended its 7-year run this month.

Bobby Axelrod’s “Axe Capital” — based, more than loosely, on both Westport’s Bridgewater Associates and Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital — was originally headquartered in Westport, where the character lived. Midway through the series, it (and he, following a divorce) moved to New York.

It was a thrilling series, with plenty of superb writing and acting (including the great Damian Lewis). Click here to see.

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The Westport Book Sale hosted their first-ever fundraiser this past week.

The event supports the next phase of their employment and job training program for adults with differing abilities.  Scores of Westporters enjoyed a video about the Book Shop, including plans for expanding their employment program.

Click here to watch.

Some of the scenes at the Westport Book Sale fundraiser.

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Sure, it was 80 degrees (or more yesterday).

But it’s still autumn — and peak foliage time.

Claudia Sherwood Servidio snapped this why-we-love-New England “Westport … Naturally” shot yesterday at Vista Terrace. That’s the private road that forms a horseshoe, starting and ending across from the 1st hole at the Longshore golf course.


(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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And finally … today is the 94th anniversary of Black Tuesday.

On this date in 1929, the New York Stock Exchange crashed. Investors traded a then-whopping 16 million shares in one. $14 billion of stock value was lost, wiping out thousands of investors.

Some stocks had no buyers at any price. The Dow lost 11.73% of its total value: a staggering 30.57 points.

The Great Bull Market was over. The Great Depression had begun.

(Help “06880” stay solvent. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

Roundup: Tooker & Riano, Max Weinberg, Compo Playground …

At yesterday’s TEAM Westport meeting, Jen Tooker was asked about the controversial Board of Education candidacy of a fellow Republican.

She told “06880”: “I was asked by a member of the public if I was endorsing Camilo Riano. And I responded no, I am not endorsing him. That’s all I said.”

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Last night, some Westporters went to Town Hall for the Long Lots School Building Committee decision (and the future of the Community Gardens).

Others stayed home for the virtual Parks & Recreation Commission meeting on the future of Longshore — including the gardens, a new baseball diamond and the controversial siting of new pickleball courts. (They were disappointed. A “technical problem” ended the once-rescheduled meeting once it was clear it could not begin.)

The best time was had by the sold-out crowd at the Levitt Pavilion. Max Weinberg — longtime drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band — brought his “Jukebox” show (with 300 songs that each audience picks) to the banks of the Saugatuck River.

The weather was beautiful. They played for 2 1/2 hours.

And at the end, he invited the audience up on stage, to join the fun.

Max Weinberg and friends, on stage at the Levitt. (Photo/Susan Garment)

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Speaking of fun: In preparation for the Compo Beach playground renovation, Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department is looking for ideas.

A planning survey has been sent to Westport and Weston residents. The goal is to “improve the structure, visibility and accessibility” of the popular site, and to add new features.

The project is a partnership with the Westport Rotary Club and Westport Young Woman’s League.

Click here for the survey. It will be live through October 30. For project updates, on Instagram, follow @compobeachplay.

Compo Beach playground.

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Speaking of the beach: As the Hillspoint Road streetscape has changed over the years, there has been one constant: #246.

The tiny wooden shotgun house has stood — if not tall, then proudly — as all its neighbors have been torn down and replaced by far larger homes.

The end is in sight, though, for the 2-bedroom, 1-bath, 695-square foot house that sold last year for $1.5 million.

A “Demolition” sign sits on the front.

Another bit of old Westport soon bites the dust.

246 Hillspoint Road (JD Dworkow)

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Yesterday’s “06880” lead story saluting Westport’s long relationship with Marigny-le-Louzon, our sister city in France.

As the piece noted, our 7-decade relationship began in the aftermath of World War II. Two Westport soldiers — gun sergeant Bob Loomis and heavy machine gunner Clay Chalfant — moved through the Normandy town, just 25 miles from Utah Beach, on their way to Belgium.

Alert reader Mary Manning sent this welcome news along: Clay Chalfant still lives in Westport.

He and his wife Mary are in Greens Farms. In February, they’ll celebrate his 100th birthday.

Best (and early) wishes, sir!

And thank you, all those years ago, for helping begin a transatlantic friendship that flourishes still.

From left: Clay and Mary Chalfant, with then-1st Selectman Jim Marpe. 

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Westport Police made 4 custodial arrests between September 27 and October 4.

A 27-year-old man was charged with disorderly conduct, assault, threatening and strangulation, after a domestic violence argument about a cell phone. He punched, pushed and choked the victim. After leaving, he threatened harm if police were notified.

A 57-year-old woman was charged with disorderly conduct, after arguing with a family member. The victim was assaulted, and injured during a fall.

A 28-year-old woman was charged with driving under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane, following a 1-car crash on Sylvan Road North.

A 34-year-old man was charged with burglary and larceny, after taking keys, checks and paperwork from Westport Auto Craft. Mamaroneck police arrested him during a burglary the same day, and found the items from Westport in his possession.

Westport Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 6 citations
  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 3
  • Larceny: 1
  • Disorderly conduct: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle while texting: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 1
  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 1

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Earth Animal has a long history with both CT Foodshare and the Mitten Project. Together, they tackle food insecurity.

Once again this year, the Post Road East store will match every dollar donated.

Last year, Earth Animal raised $53,000. This year’s goal: $60K.

CT Foodshare sources healthy food donations from the food industry, retail stores, farms, and generous donors. They are donated through a network of over 480 food pantries, community kitchens and meal programs.

The first part of the fund drive is “Pumpkins for Good.” Locally grown pumpkins and gourds will be sold all this month at Earth Animal.

During the holiday season, the store will sell ornaments, handmade mittens and dog treat Advent calendars. They’ll sponsor other fundraisers too. Stop in to Earth Animal to learn more.

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Wakeman Town Farm and Patagonia are partnering to show short film about how food connects to climate change. “Unbroken Ground” screens on October 23 (7:30 p.m., WTF Tim’s Kitchen).

After the film, Ellie Angerame od Green Village Initiative leads a discussion on how  a community can make a positive impact.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Westport Book Shop’s October guest artists are Jane Lubin and Toby Michaels. Both are survivors of the disease.

A reception is set for October 18 (6 to 7:30 p.m.).

Their art is on display at the Jesup Avenue store through through October 31. All work is available for purchase. To learn more about Toby and Jane, click here.

Jane Lubin and Toby Michaels, at the Westport Book Shop.

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It’s a cappella for all! (And for a great cause too.)

The Princeton Nassoons sing at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport October 18 (7 p.m.). The Beachside Express is their excellent opening act.

Admission is free. But voluntary donations support UU’s social justice partner, the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

The Nassoons are one of the country’s oldest collegiate singing groups. And the vocal coach for Beachside Express — Greens Farms Academy’s elite group — is Mike Costantino, a longtime UU Westport member.

Princeton Nassoons

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With so much controversy in Westport — the Community Gardens, the meaning of “shall,” Board of Education candidates and more — now is a good time to take a deep breath, step back, and admire what we have in Westport.

Nancy Lally’s “Westport … Naturally” photo for today is a great place to start.

(Photo/Nancy Lally)

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And finally … the songs in the photo of Max Weinberg’s Jukebox show (story above) is just a sampling of the 300 he offered last night to Levitt Pavilion concert-goers.

Here, for your listening/dancing/air guitar pleasure, are 3 of them:

(Whew! There sure is a lot going on in Westport. And “06880” covers it all. If you believe in local journalism, please support this hyper-local blog. Just click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Lights Out, Rainbow Crosswalk, Book Shop Pumpkin Fest …

Sarah Gross reminds us that now through November 15 is “Lights Out Connecticut.”

A bill signed by Governor Lamont requires all state-owned buildings to dim or turn off non-essential outdoor lights.

All residents are asked to dim or turn off outdoor and indoor lights too.

The goal is to protect migratory birds, who are put at risk from light pollution. Click here for more information.

Nearly 30% of birds in the US and Canada have vanished since 1970. Click here to learn more.

 

Connecticut warbler (Photo/Ryan Sanderson for Macaulay Library)

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The rainbow crosswalk at Jesup Road and Taylor Place — installed temporarily in June, for Pride Month — is showing signs of wear.

So on Monday, October 2 — the start of LGBTQ History Month — a new, permanent rainbow crosswalk will take its place.

And the official dedication is at 1 p.m. on October 11: National Coming Out Day.

The project — developed by Westport Pride, paid for by private donations, and supported by the Board of Selectwomen and Public Works director Pete Ratkiewich — promotes diversity, inclusion and acceptance in the community.

Nearly 40 individuals, families and businesses from all walks of life contributed funds.

The design and colors– created by Westport Pride founder Brian McGunagle — symbolize “the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community,” he says.

“It adds a vibrant touch to our town’s streetscape, but also serves as a powerful symbol of acceptance, unity, and love. We believe it will be a source of pride and inspiration for all Westport residents.”

Dr. Nikki Gorman — who helped sponsor the original temporary rainbow crosswalk, as well as the new permanent one — also took part in the first installation in June.

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The Westport Book Shop is just a few yards from the crosswalk.

This Saturday (October 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon), they partner with Earthplace and the Westport Tree Board for their 3rd annual Family Fun + Halloween Pumpkin Painting Project.

It’s a morning of crafts, guest animals from Earthplace, and giveaways from the Tree Board.  Michael Zenetti will read from his book “The Sloth and His Friends.” Halloween costumes are optional, but encouraged.

RSVP to the Book Shop: 203-349-5141.

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EcoFest — Westport’s sustainable holiday celebration — is set for November 11, at Staples High School.

The sponsors — the school’s Zero Waste Committee — invites all organizations, businesses, artists, crafters and sustainable groups to participate.

A wide variety of exhibitors are welcome. Click here to register. The deadline is October 31.

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MyTeamTriumph — whose volunteers help youth, adults and veterans with disabilities to participate in triathlons and road races — is a great non-profit.

Their fundraiser will be a great one too.

“Stories of Triumph & Inclusion” (November 2,6:15 p.m., Westport Library), will feature Chris Nikic, the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman. He also won the Jimmy V ESPY Award for Perserverance.

The evening includes inspiration from other athletes with disabilities, raffles, drinks, and catering by Marcia Selden.

Click here for tickets and more information, including sponsorships.

My Team Triumph, at the Westport Triathlon.

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MoCA Westport’s MoCA Westport’s annual benefit — held last night — was called The Surrealist Soiree.

It featured imaginative décor, avant-garde performers. a DJ, delicious food from Marcia Selden, Spencer Heyfron‘s surreal photo sessions, never-before-seen works by Purvis Young — and this:

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

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Rain and high tides combined to close Burying Hill Beach yesterday.

Ed Simek got this far — and no further — as he snapped today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Ed Simek)

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And finally … in honor of migrating birds (story above), this seems appropriate in a couple of ways:

(It’s always the season to think about supporting local journalism — aka “06880.” Please click here to make a tax-deductible contribution. Thank you!)

Roundup: Brian’s Kitchen, Hungry Pots, Lime Rock Racing …

The correct day, but incorrect date, was posted yesterday for former superintendent of schools Dr. Elliott Landon’s funeral.

It is tomorrow: Monday, September 4, 10 a.m., at Temple Israel.

Dr. Elliott Landon

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Today’s grand opening of the Daniel E. Offutt III Education Center at Weston’s Lachat Town Farm will be special.

The morning includes tours of the new facility and a pancake breakfast (from now until noon), plus hayrides, pony rides, a blacksmith demonstration live music, children’s book reading, and visits with the farm’s goats and bunnies.

The $4 million center includes a large gathering spce with stone fireplace, art studio, classroom — and Brian’s Kitchen, a demonstration space honoring Brian Gordon.

At Staples High School, Brian was president of his Class of 1987, and a basketball star. He went on to become president of his ’91 class at the University of Pennsylvania too.

When he, his wife Kristy and daughters Molly and Drew moved to Weston, he became active there too. As 2nd Selectman Brian vigorously supported Lachat Town Farm. He particularly enjoyed Music at the Meadow, and other special events, with his family.

Cooking was one of Brian’s passions. He delighted his family and friends with culinary treats. He rarely used a recipe, believing that cooking was an expression of love and caring, and should be joyful and creative.

Brian’s Kitchen will continue his legacy of good food, good times and good fun. Click here to read more about Brian’s life, and his contributions to Weston.

Brian Gordon, at work.

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Right now, there are 4 Hungry Pots in the world: Danbury, Wethersfield, Manchester, and Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Soon, there will be a fifth.

A sign at the former Panera Bread — across from Shake Shack — announced its arrival.

It’s an “all you can eat Korean BBQ and Hot Pot.”

The website says: “We offer different variety of fresh quality meats seafood and vegetable to provide our guests with an enjoyable dining experience and authentic atmosphere. Customer service is our top priority when it comes to our customers. It is a perfect place for family gatherings, birthday parties and other events. We are passionate to bring a new unique dining experience for our new customer.

“The owner and all staff in Hungry Pot will greet you with the warmest welcome, whether you are a habitual patron or come for the first time. We have made painstaking efforts to create the tidiest and cleanest dining place, and guarantee you with friendly and timely service. All of your demands and feelings will be cared in our restaurant.

“We pick ingredients carefully and use only the freshest and natural ones to prepare every dish.”

No date has been set for opening.

(Photo and hat tip/Dan Vener)

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Holes have been dug, and stakes posted along the path from Old Mill to Compo Cove.

Are new trees next for Sherwood Mill Pond? Stay tuned …

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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Frank Rosen headed to Lime Rock Park yesterday, and spotted 3 fellow Westporters.

He was spectating. But they were all racing.

One of the trio was a (relatively rare) female driver, Lexy Barlow (below). She’s a 2018 Staples High School graduate.

The others were Joe Fuller (below) …

… and Josh Lewis (silver #812, below):

It’s great that Westport was well represented at Lime Rock. Our 3 drivers are following in the footsteps — er, slipstream — of our town’s most famous race car driver of all time.

A guy named Paul Newman.

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The Japan Society of Fairfield County invites everyone to a Fall Festival next Sunday, (September 10, 1 to 4 p.m., Jesup Green).

The family-friendly event includes taiko drum performances, live plays of Japanese folk tales, martial arts demonstrations and traditional dancing.

Click here for more information.

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The Westport Book Shop’s featured artist this month is Maj Kalfus.

She’ll exhibit several digital compositions. Her paintings and drawings are influenced by an extensive career in the fashion industry. All work on display is available for purchase.

Maj teaches art in Westport and Weston, as well as the Silvermine Arts Center. She is a member of The Artists Collective of Westport.

Maj Kalfus, with her exhibited work.

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Nature photographer and Westport Community Gardens director Lou Weinberg contributes today’s great “Westport … Naturally image.”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

He adds this context:

“Dragonflies love to be photographed. This one cracked a broad smile for me.

“Dragonflies are a great control on the mosquito population. A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day.

“The Westport Community Gardens and Long Lots Preserve provide great habitat and food for these critters. They are part of the incredible biodiversity supported by our model of suburban open-space environmental rehabilitation.”

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And finally … Jimmy Buffett died Friday. He was 76.

The New York Times calls him a “singer, songwriter, author, sailor and entrepreneur whose roguish brand of island escapism on hits like ‘Margaritaville and ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ made him something of a latter-day folk hero, especially among his devoted following of so-called Parrot Heads.”

Click here for a full obituary. Meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites. Jimmy Buffett always made me smile.

(Today, “06880” is “where Westport meets Margaritaville.” If you enjoy our musical tribute — or any of our other daily selections, or anything else on this blog — please consider a contribution. Just click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Justin Paul & Friends, Cobs Bread, Max & Max …

The Westport Country Playhouse’s annual benefit gala is always star-studded.

This year’s event will be studded with 3 Westport and Weston stars.

And all are Tony Award winners.

Staples High School Class of 2003 graduate Justin Paul — creator of “Dear Evan Hansen,” “La La Land” and “The Greatest Showman” (and also an Oscar, Grammy and Oliver Award honoree) headlines the exciting evening of music,

He’ll be joined by Kelli O’Hara (“The Light in the Piazza,” “The King and I,” “South Pacific,” “Days of Wine and Roses”) and James Naughton (“City of Angels,” “Chicago,” director of the Playhouse’s “Our Town”).

The show includes talented Broadway performers, from Paul’s past projects and other award-winning Broadway musicals. The full list of special guests will be announced soon.

In keeping with the local-but-internationally-talented angle, the gala is directed by Staples High School Class of 2012 Caley Beretta (Disney Theatrical Productions).

“An Evening with Justin Paul and Friends, with Kelli O’Hara and James Naughton” is set for Saturday, September 9 (8 p.m.).

A limited number of $1,000 tickets are available; a post-show reception with the stars is included. Call 203-571-1291, or email cmackay@westportplayhouse.org.

For $500 and $300 tickets, click here.

Justin Paul (Photo/Dan Woog)

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The bread was an afterthought at Jersey Mike’s.

Soon, bread (baked daily) — and danishes, cinnamon rolls and the like — will be front and center, at the now-vacant Compo Acres Shopping Center storefront.

Cobs Bread is moving in. A sign announces: ” We’re hiring!”

(Photo/Sal Liccione)

The “artisan bread” chain has over 700 franchises in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, with a smaller presence in the US.

Two other Connecticut locations are Stamford and Greenwich. Click here for the company website (and the menu).

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Max Saperstein is a rising junior at Staples High School.

He’s also the youngest person honored as a guest exhibitor at the Westport Book Shop.

Max is showing a variety of photographs, ranger from the Westport Farmers’ Market to Italy, and places in between.

Inspired by nature and architecture, Max seeks to capture beauty wherever he finds it.

He is photography director at Inklings, the school paper, a silver medal winner in the Westport PTA’s 2023 Reflections art contest, and earned special recognition in the Congressional Institute’s Congressional Art Competition.

Max’s photography will be on exhibit at the Book Shop through August 31.  All work on display is available for purchase.

He will use the proceeds to support a philanthropic photography project, “Max’s Magic.” He takes portraits of children who face challenging situations, then transforms them into images of superheroes, sports stars or movie characters.

Max Saperstein with his photos, at the Westport Book Shop.

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News of another Max:

Just added to the Levitt Pavilion calendar: “Max Weinberg’s Jukebox.” The ticketed show is set for October 5 (7:30 p.m.).

In the interactive experience, Weinberg invites audience members to create the set list — in real time — for his 4-piece band.

The “menu” of 300 songs includes the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and more.

And speaking of The Boss: Weinberg has been the driving rhythmic force behind the E Street Band for 43 years. In 2014, he and the band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

He is well known too for his 17-year gig as the bandleader and comedic foil to Conan O’Brien, leading his namesake band on “NBC’s Late Night” and “The Tonight Show.”

Weinberg has played with James Brown, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, BB King, Tony Bennett, Ringo Starr, John Fogerty, Stevie Winwood, Isaac Hayes and Sheryl Crow.

For tickets and more information, click here.

Max Weinberg

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The Westport Community Gardens near Long Lots Elementary School is 20 years old.

The town’s arts heritage stretches back 100 years.

Tomorrow (Saturday, August 5, all day: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), the Gardens celebrate that arts legacy.

“Art in the Garden” is a day of enjoying the natural beauty of the Gardens — and a chance for everyone to make art, or take photos, there.

The event is a collaboration with the Artists Collective of Westport.

Children are welcome. For more information on the Westport Community Gardens, click here.

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How has Bridgeport’s Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater become one of the most popular music venues in the state?

Last night, Howard Saffan — the owner, developer and president — told a large Westport Library crowd how he’s attracted large crowds, with headliners like the Beach Boys, Temptations, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, the Four Tops, Rod Stewart, Jackson Browne, Santana and more.

The event was sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

Howard Saffan at the Westport Library. (Photo/Tom Lowrie)

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It’s been a while since we’ve run a deer photo.

This one — taken on Bedford Drive — clears the very high bar for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Patricia Auber)

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And finally … in honor of Justin Paul’s upcoming appearance at the Westport Country Playhouse annual benefit gala, here are 3 of his “greatest hits”:

(“06880” has covered Justin Paul — and the Westport Country Playhouse — since we began, 14 years ago. We’ll keep doing it. But we need your help. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!) 

 

Roundup: Parker Harding Meetings, Heat Help, Tacombi Taqueria …

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker announced last week that “in coordination with the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee, discussion and reviews scheduled for town boards, committees and commissions in the upcoming weeks regarding the current proposal for the reconfiguration of the Parker Harding Plaza Parking Lot will be postponed.”

Still, last night’s Flood & Erosion Control Board agenda noted that town engineer Keith Wilberg would discuss plans to “revise the existing roadway and parking lot, build sidewalks, a riverfront boardwalk, and park areas, and to relocate trash and recycling dumpsters.”

John McCarthy reports that the board was told last night that the town pulled the Parker Harding application. However, a new application would be back, “possibly as early as September.”

Tomorrow (Friday, July 7, 10 a.m.), the Tree Board will hold a special meeting — at Parker Harding — to  “observe and note the site and conditions of the trees” there.

The Tree Board will observe conditions at Parker Harding Plaza.

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Temperatures in the 90s — combined with humidity and smoke from Canadian wildfires — will make today very uncomfortable. Vulnerable populations will be especially affected.

It will moderate only slightly tomorrow.

Signs of heat-related illness include muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Children, adults 65 and older, those without access to air conditioning, outdoor workers and those with chronic health conditions are most vulnerable.

For someone experiencing heat-related illness: Move to a cool place, drink water, place cold cloths on the body and seek medical attention. For additional safety tips and information, click here.

The Westport Fire Department advises:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even if not thirsty. Avoid excessive caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Seek shade and limit outdoor activities: Take breaks, pace yourself, and stay in shaded or air-conditioned areas.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Check on vulnerable people: Monitor the elderly, young children, and those with pre-existing conditions. Ensure access to a cool environment.

Several cooling centers will be today and tomorrow:

  • Westport Weston YMCA (5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.), with showers.
  • MoCa Westport (noon to 4 p.m.).
  • Senior Center (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
  • Westport Library (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.).

MoCA Westport is a cool cooling center, in more ways than one.

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Westport Police made one custodial arrest between June 28 and July 5. A woman was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, and failure to drive in the proper lane, following a 1-car crash at Canal Park on Kings Highway North.

Westport Police also issued the following citations:

  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 6 citations
  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 2
  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 2
  • Speeding: 1
  • Distracted driving: 1
  • Improper passing: 1
  • Failure to yield right of way: 1
  • Driving with a foreign license after 30 days: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Violation of license class: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without tint inspection: 1
  • Failure to insure a motor vehicle: 1

One driver was cited for improper passing. This is not a view of the actual offense.

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The original opening date for Tacombi was December 2022.

Seven months later, nada.

But it looks like the first margarita may be poured soon.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Danny Meyer’s restaurant — which is expanding beyond Manhattan and Brooklyn — takes over the former AJ Farm Stand.

The website calls Tacombi “a Mexican company founded on the soft sands of the Yucatan … focused on sharing authentic taco culture. Our taqueros proudly work every day to preserve and share Mexico’s culinary traditions — and we do it sustainably with wholesome, simple ingredients free of antibiotics, hormones, genetic modification or artificial additives & preservatives.”

Bartaco, Border Grille, Mexica, Mexicue, Salsa Fresca, Viva Zapata: Say ¡bienvenido!

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Westport is not the only area town with a storied arts history.

This Sunday (July 9, 1 to 4 p.m., Weston History & Culture Center) marks the opening of a new exhibit.

“Weston Illustrated: Penned, Painted & Sculpted” tells the story of influential artists between 1919-1965, and their connection to both the locals and locale of Weston.

It includes pieces on loan from the Friends of the James Daugherty Foundation, the Jenny Moore Collection, Westport Public Art Collection, Weston Public Library, Wilton Historical Society and WHCC’s collection.

Admission is free for WHCC members; non-members pay $5 (adults), $3 (children). If you mention the “CT Summer at the Museum” program at check-in, Connecticut children and one accompanying state resident adult can visit free.

The exhibit runs until February 25, 2024. The museum is open every Sunday and Thursday, from 1 to 4 p.m.

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Speaking of the arts; Ellen Ehli is the Westport Book Shop’s featured artist for July. She’ll exhibit original multi-media paintings on paper and canvas.

Ehli is a self-taught abstract artist. Working with acrylic paints, pastes, oil pastels and other mixed media, she explores texture and depth to create one-of-a-kind works. She describes her style as “retro inspired organic shapes combined with a harmonious palette.”

All pieces are available for purchase. For more of her art, click here.

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Jeffrey Hatcher — creator of the new Westport Country Playhouse adaptation of “Dial M for Murder — is the guest at a Sunday Symposium, following the July 16 3 p.m.

He’ll discuss how he re-thought the classic tale of blackmail and revenge.

The event will be moderated by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, who also directs the production.

The Symposium program is free and open to the public. No performance ticket is necessary. It begins immediately after the show, at approximately 5 p.m. Click here for more information on the show, including tickets.

Jeffrey Hatcher

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Connecticut’s General Assembly did not pass any housing bills in the session that ended last month.

But legislation involving “fair share” and “transit-oriented” development could be introduced again next year.

The Connecticut Mirror explores what did not pass and why — and what the future holds — in a long story today. Click here to read.

Transit-oriented design proposals could affect properties near the Westport train station. 

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VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 celebrates summer — and our veterans – with a BBQ.

The menu for the July 22 event (1 to 5 p.m.) includes smoked brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, chili, cole slaw and corn.

All veterans — and everyone else — is invited.

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Matt Murray wins the Caption of the Year contest for this photo:

“Dog is my co-pilot.”

Mic drop!

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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Rainy weather may have put a damper on holiday plans.

But they’ve been great for fungi.

And they’re a fantastic subject for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

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And finally … in honor of that fine fungus in the photo above:

Roundup: Luke Rosenberg, Hiro Wyatt, Rebecca Schussheim …

Staples High School choral director Luke Rosenberg is leaving Westport.

The much-admired, multi-talented musician has taken a position at Greenwich High School.

He told “06880”: “I am incredibly thankful to Westport for the last 11 years. Shortly before I was hired at Staples, I thought my career as a choral director was over.

“But Westport took a chance on a young teacher, and I was able to continue doing what I love. I will forever be thankful for all that Westport has given me.”

Luke Rosenberg, at the 2019 Pops Concert.

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Hiro is a hero.

Hiro Wyatt — one of the stars of Staples High School’s baseball team — has been named Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Player of the Year.

The honor recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field. Wyatt is now a candidate for National Gatorade Player of the Year.

The 6-1, 190-pound senior right-handed pitcher and designated hitter posted a 7-0 record with a 0.67 ERA and 90 strikeouts (and just 10 walks) in 41.2 innings pitched. He allowed no runs in 31.1 innings leading into the state “LL” (extra large schools) state tournament.

The Wreckers — seeded 3rd in the state tournament — host #6 South Windsor in today’s quarterfinals (1 p.m.).

Perfect Game’s Number 1 state prospect in the Class of 2023 also hit .359 with 3  home runs, 15 RBI, 18 runs scored and a 1.025 OPS through 20 games.

Wyatt has volunteered with Special Olympics and helped fundraise for the St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

He has a 3.63 weighted GPA in the classroom. He has signed a mational letter of intent to play on scholarship at the University of Southern California this fall.

Previous Gatorade Athlete of the Year honorees include Chad Knight (2019) and Ben Casparius (2017) in baseball, and Kyle Martino (national winner) in soccer, in 1999. (Hat tip: Vince Kelly)

Hiro Wyatt.

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Still at Staples:

Rebecca Schussheim was honored last week, as winner of the Key. It is the high school’s highest honor.

The Class of 2023 salutatorian is co-president of Staples’ Sikorsky STEM challenge team, principal cellist in the Chamber Symphonic Orchestra, and co-captain of the squash team.

She did an Independent Learning Experience in astrophysics, examining galaxy images with a Yale University graduate student. She presented her findings at the International Science Youth Forum in Singapore in January.

The 2 other finalists for the award were musician/actor/youth volunteer James Dobin-Smith, and political activist/club founder Spencer Yim.

Rebecca Schussheim

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And we haven’t left Staples yet:

The jazz combo plays an hour-long set this Monday (June 5, 7 p.m., Westport Library). The event is sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

Band director Phil Giampietro will talk about the Staples jazz program, and answer questions.

The Staples High School Jazz Ensemble, with director Phil Giampietro (front right).

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Speaking of the Y’s Men: If it seems like they’re everywhere, it’s because they are.

Molly Alger joined several members of the very active social group yesterday, on an in-town hike near Winslow Park. She photographed them crossing the bridge over Deadman Brook, by Evergreen Cemetery.

Very wisely for walking in Westport, they wore very visible bright colors.

From left: Jay Dirnberger, Peter Donovan, Baxter Urist, Joel Wasserman, Dick Sallick, Larry Lich. (Photo/Molly Alger)

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Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas headed to New Haven on Thursday.

He joined a small group of Connecticut Police Chiefs who met Attorney General Merrick Garland and Connecticut US Attorney Vanessa Avery. The discussion included crime trends, fentanyl deaths, addressing juvenile offenders and resources at the federal level.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland (front row, 3rd from left), Connecticut US Attorney Vanessa Avery (front row, 4th from left) and Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (back row, far right).

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Speaking of law enforcement:

The man accused of illegally squatting at Cobb’s Mill Inn is in jail, on an unrelated charge.

Connecticut Insider reports that Anthony Villano was ordered locked up by a judge in Milford Superior court, for violating conditions of release for not fully complying with random drug tests. He also allegedly removed his GPS anklet.

Eight charges against Villano include drunken driving, trying to fraudulently sell a Post Road property, and stealing a vehicle he once owned from the Milford Police Department impound lot.

Click here for the full story.

Cobb’s Mill Inn.

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Westport’s newest landmark — the Pride crosswalk at Taylor Place and Jesup Road — has drawn raves since it was installed early Thursday morning.

Here’s how it looks from a drone:

(Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

Westporters can see it from ground level tomorrow (Sunday, June 4, noon to 4 p.m.). The 3rd annual Pride festival at Jesup Green includes music, speakers, kids’ activities and more. The public is invited, and welcome.

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The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics made its way through Westport yesterday afternoon.

Police officers from several towns took part, before the opening of the Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games. The “Flame of Hope” was passed along at each town line in the area.

The run ended at Fairfield University, where the Summer Games opening ceremony will take place.

Special Olympics Torch Run on the Post Road, at the Sherwood Island Connector. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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The Westport Book Shop’s June Artist of the Month is Sally VanDevanter Her colorful abstract and figurative acrylic and oil paintings, done with cold wax, are on display throughout June.

VanDevanter has a background in advertising, working as an art director at Saatchi & Saatchi, and in art book production management for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

She studied at the Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual Arts in New York, and the Cocoran School of Art in Washington.  She holds an MA in organizational psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a BA in art history and psychology from the University of Virginia. 

All pieces on display are available for purchase.

Sally VanDevanter

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Peonies and daisies decorate Tracy Porosoff’s driveway on Compo Parkway.

Today’s forecast is for much cooler and cloudier weather than yesterday. Her “Westport … Naturally” image brightens our weekend considerably.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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And finally … Cynthia Weil died Thursday in Beverly Hills, She was 82.

With her writing partner and husband, Barry Mann, she wrote some of the most memorable songs of the rock and pop era. One — the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin'” — was cited by BMI as the most played song on radio and television of the 20th century,

Click here for a full obituary. Click below for a few of her songwriting classics.

(From Staples High School to downtown — and everywhere else in Westport and Weston — “06880” has you covered. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)