Tag Archives: Westport Garden Club

Roundup: Ukraine, Santa, Brien McMahon …

The war in Ukraine has moved off the front pages.

But it’s still very close to Mark Yurkiw’s heart.

The Westporter (who has Ukrainian heritage) continues to work on a variety of projects to help that embattled country. He writes: “Missiles are raining down on Ukraine today. They are specifically meant to destroy access to heat, light and water.

“A group I am working with was given the chance to fill the balance of the next shipping container going to Ukraine in 5 days.

“‘06880’ readers can save lives by donating used generators, chainsaws, sleeping bags, flashlights and cell phone power banks. Non-working chainsaws and generators are fine. We will repair them.”

They can be brought to 190 Cross Highway and left by the barn any time. For questions or pickup arrangements, call Mark: 646-873-0050.

NOTE: Other containers will follow soon. The equipment collection is ongoing.

Mark Yurkiw has not forgotten his native Ukraine.

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Last night’s party honoring Westport Lifestyle magazine’s 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards winners featured fantastic food, an exciting venue (Christian Siriano’s Collective West) — and the most buff Santa ever to hustle down a chimney.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

This one bore a striking resemblance to RTM member/Staples High School graduate/longtime volunteer Andrew Colabella.

Ho ho ho!

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Westport’s has a new pop-up shop: Megan’s Martha’s Vineyard Boutique.

The women’s clothing and accessories boutique on Church Lane has a season location on the actual Vineyard.

Owner Molly Kopp is from Westport. Her family moved around a bit, and she landed on the island full-time while in college.

She worked for Megan, and after graduation asked about partnering on a Westport location.

The store opened last month. It will be here — opposite Spotted Horse — until at least January 1.

Megan’s Martha’s Vineyard pop-up.

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Staples and Brien McMahon High Schools compete against each other in many FCIAC (Fairfield County league) sports.

Now the Westport mother of former Wreckers is trying to help the Senators.

Lisa Marriott — whose sons were Staples  track stars — heard that McMahon boys indoor track coach Valerie Kalunian needs used track spikes and/or running sneakers for some of her athletes. Without them, they cannot participate this winter.

“Those shoes can be very costly for students, and hard to find in local stores,” she says. “Over the years we have tried to gather extra spikes/racing shoes/training shoes for those that may not have them, but our selection is limited.”

Running shoes can be dropped off at the Town Hall front desk starting Monday (put Lisa Marriott’s name on the bag or box). For other options, email lsmarriott@gmail.com. To donate cash, click here for a GoFundMe page.

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Ring-around-a-rosiesPocket full of posies …

Come on, Westport students. You can write a much better garden-related poem  than that timeworn ditty.

Here’s your chance. The Westport Garden Club has partnered with the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, town poet laureate Jessica Noyes McEntee and the Westport Library to sponsor a Youth Poetry Contest.

Affiliated with the National Garden Club’s Youth Poetry Contest, it’s open to public and private school students in kindergarten through 9th grade, plus those who are home schooled.

The competition encourages youth to embrace their creativity, using nature as inspiration.

The theme for the 2023 competition is “Seeds, Trees, and Bees…Oh My – Celebrating the Diversity of Nature”

Poems should be emailed to westportctgardenclub@gmail.com by January 6. Click here for guidelines, and more information.

Inspiration may come from this Westport Garden Club arrangement.

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No, the Ned Dimes Marina was not on fire yesterday.

It was just the Westport Fire Department doing what they always do, to keep us safe: checking equipment, and training.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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Everyone in Westport goes to Compo Beach in the summer.

Plenty go in late spring and early fall.

December — not so many.

If you don’t know what it looks like when the wind is whipping and the skies are gray — as they were earlier this week — check out today’s “Westport … Naturally” scene:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … the Westport Garden Club’s youth poetry contest reminded me of …

(Promises, promises … please click here to help support “06880,” your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

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

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

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

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

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

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USA! USA! USA!

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

The Westport Library.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One of Westport’s favorite toy drives begins today.

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

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

Toy collection boxes are also available at:

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

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

Westport Police toy drive at ASF.

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

Over 50 young musicians played carols …

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

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

… and then everyone enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies.

All that was missing was snow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daryl Wein and Reece Witherspoon

(Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

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Hear ye, hear ye!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)

Sandy wonders, “Is that a bad sign?”

I’d say yes, it’s a bad sign.

In both senses of the term.

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

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

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Looking for a non-holiday event?

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

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

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


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

Let’s hope they grow their winter coats soon.

(Photo/Rick Hochman)

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

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

 

Roundup: Voters’ Guide, Traffic Study, Halloween …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although that might not be a bad idea.

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

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

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

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

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

And the original Chinese Takeout owners sold to others too.

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

Westport Chinese Takeout is now closed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jonathan Alloy reports on a long-running projecct:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trucks line Bayberry Lane yesterday morning …

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

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Everyone in the world knows about TED Talks.

Everyone in Westport should know about TEA Talks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riki and Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn.

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

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

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

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

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

Westport Garden Club members at the Nevada Hitchcock Garden.

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Many Westporters know Pippa Bell Ader for her environmental activism.

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

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

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

Pippa Bell Ader’s pottery.

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

It says “Fast Drivers are Scary.”

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

Slow down — particularly on Halloween!

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Here’s another Halloween photo:

(Photo/Anne Bernier)

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

Beware: It’s in the Old Hill neighborhood.

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Yogi Bear has appeared in “06880” before.

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

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

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)

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

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

Roundup: Cumby’s Gas, Main Street Paving, FEMA Grants …

On Wednesday, “06880” reported that the Cumberland Farms at Bulkley Avenue South near Stop & Shop — formerly Mercury — was charging customers Super Premium prices for Unleaded gas.

Yesterday at 2 p.m., an “06880” reader was getting gas (hopefully for the correct price). In mid-pump, a woman emerged from the mini-mart and told her — and 4 other customers — that the station was short-staffed, and had to close.

Then the pumps were immediately shut off. The customers could not even finish filling their tanks.

The lights were turned off inside. No gas, no Ring Dings, no processed pizza. Nothing.

“Very strange,” the reader notes.

Yesterday’s sign at Cumberland Farms.

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Earlier this week, parts of Westport were affected by paving projects. Traffic backed up near Saugatuck and Jesup Road.

Here’s the next site. Main Street between Post Road East and Avery Place, plus Avery Place itself, will be milled beginning Monday (October 17.

Main Street will be closed to through traffic and parking starting at 5 a.m. Monday. Avery Place will be closed to through traffic beginning around 10 a.m.

Once milling is done, both roads will be re-opened to traffic until paving begins. It is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, and follow the same schedule as milling. However,  a weather system may postpone paving until Wednesday, October 19.

You won’t see this early next week. Paving and milling will close Main Street.

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One of the the Westport Library’s most popular technology events — the “Anyone Can Use…” series — returns next month.

The classes offer live tech instruction, for all users. They include:

The sessions run from 11 am to noon, near the checkout desk.

Use your library card to download stuff!

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FEMA grants help property owners make homes and businesses resilient against future floods, or relocate to safer locations.

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments’ Regional Flood Mitigation Assistance Program helps educate property owners about opportunities, determine if they qualify, and aid in applications.

An informational session is set for October 27 (6:30 p.m., Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Boulevard). The public is welcome. It will be recorded, and available at www.westcog.org afterward.

Questions? Call or email Todd Fontanella: 475-323-2070;  tfontanella@westcog.org(Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

Flood-proofing, at Old Mill Beach. (Photo/John Videler, Videler Photography)

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The winds picked up yesterday. Not enough for a flood (see story above) — but enough to draw at least one man to Compo Beach:

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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The first public reading of “The Incubators” — a new comedy by Madison Fiedler — is set for the Westport Country Playhouse (November 7, 7 p.m.).

It’s an absurdist dark comedy, as the “Pro-Life Generation” is just getting started.

On the first day of California Right To Life Leadership Camp Age Division 15-17, everyone is nervous. But they’re excited to be surrounded by what they believe in, with new strategies of warfare.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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A few days ago, our “06880” Roundup included a photo of pink ribbons on several trees in Grace Salmon Park.

We figured they honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Nope.

Nathalie Fonteyne writes: “They were placed there by Monica Buesser (conservation chair of the Westport Garden Club and chair of the Westport Tree Board) and myself (civics chair of the Westport Garden Club).

“They highlight the prevalence of the invasive Ailanthus altissima — also known as tree of heaven — at the park. We tagged 20 trees there.

“The Westport Garden Club is working with Mike West of Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department to get the trees removed. Removing invasive species can be an arduous process because of their extensive root system, and their ability to re-sprout. The fact that the trees are in a wetland complicates the process.

“However, the Westport Garden Club and the town are committed to removing the invasive species at the park and planting new native species in their place, hopefully very soon.”

Pink ribbons on trees of heaven.

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Just in time — well, a bit ahead of — the shopping season, the “Ugly Westport Holiday” collection has landed in Finding Westport’s e-store.

The design is available as a sweatshirt, bodysuit, fleece, hoodie or blanket. Click here for more information, and to order.

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Speaking of Grace Salmon Park (see story above), Peggy O’Halloran says of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo: “It looks like this poor tree already has a headstone.”

(Photo/Peggy O’Halloran)

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And finally … speaking of Cumberland Farms (story above):

 

Roundup: WTF Trifecta, Y’s Men, Clinical Trials …

Sustainability — and Wakeman Town Farm — are non-partisan, apolitical efforts.

But WTF was swarming with Democrats yesterday.

The Democratic Women of Westport organized a half-day program for adults and children. It was part of the Farm’s “Giving Trifecta Program.” The community service, education and donation effort is open to organizations, clubs and business of all sizes.

WTF staff work with each group to design an experience that educates volunteers on a specific sustainability-related topic, and provides participants with community service hours. Programs could include beekeeping, composting, the Pollinator Pathway and Gardens, animal husbandry or restoring the pond.  

In return, organizations make a donation from the Farm’s Wishlist. Funds replenish items necessary to keep the farm running.

Saturday morning saw Congressman Jim Himes, State Senator Will Haskell, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg and State Senate candidate Ceci Maher all got their hands dirty — and learned a lot.

“06880” looks forward to highlighting the efforts of other “Giving Trifecta” groups — of any political party, or none at all.

Taking a break at Wakeman Town Farm yesterday are (standing from left): WTF co-chair Bill Constantino, Ceci Maher, Will Haskell, Jim Himes, Dominique Johnson, Front:  Jessica Hill, Allyson Stollenwerck

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Speaking of sustainability:

In 1989, the Westport Garden Club created a garden at Earthplace. They’ve  maintained it ever since, renovating it in 2015 to feature more native plants to sustain bees, butterflies, birds and all pollinators. The garden was part of the Pollinator Pathway long before that concept became popular.

In early April the club learned that a large oil tank underneath the garden had to be replaced. Members scrambled to save as many plants as possible. Many found their way to the club’s annual plant sale.

The tank was removed on April 18. A new garden was planned, aligning with both the club and Earthplace’s missions to build passion and respect for the natural world and a more sustainable future for our community.

The garden is ready for visitors — just in time for today’s International Day for Biological Diversity.

Standing, from left: Earthplace’s Becky Newman, Westport Tree Board chair Monica Buesser, Nathalie Fonteyne, Seated: Andi Turner, Jane Eyes. All are Westport Garden Club members.

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It was Selectwomens Day at the Y’s Men on Thursday. The group heard from 2 leaders — Westport’s Jen Tooker and Weston’s Samantha Nestor. Both spoke frankly about the challenges they face. Both were elected in November.

Tooker says she is focused on 5 issues: traffic, recreation (particularly Longshore), strengthening downtown, addressing stream management and flood mitigation, and creating a safe, comfortable and diverse community for all.

Nestor said that Weston is at an inflection point. It is a bedroom community with a minimal commercial grand list, with schools as the most common asset. They are “top notch,” but need capital investment. She hopes to resolve that contentious issue this year. Her major challenge is upgrading the town’s infrastructure.

To hear both women, and the Q-and-A that followed, click below.

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Matthew Jordan is a Staples High School senior (and recent honoree with a Moffly Media “Light a Fire” award, for his work with Kids in Crisis).

Before he heads to Georgetown University, Matt’s senior internship this spring is with Medidata. The company develops and markets software for clinical trials.

His project involves enrolling patients who are interested in receiving information about enrolling in upcoming trials. His goal for the week is 800 registries.

Matt says, “I’ve learned how important it is to get an accurate representation of the population in clinical trials. We are trying to flip the ‘last resort’ stereotype of clinical trials to being more of a great first-choice option. Sometimes they can be lifesavers.”

To help Matt reach his goal of 800 registries — and learn about clinical trials that may help your health — click here.

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Speaking of health: Massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture — those, and more, are available at the new Westport Medical and Wellness Center on Whitney Road Extension, behind the CVS parking lot.

Tomorrow and Tuesay (Monday 23 and 24, 9 to 11 a.m.), founder Dr. Nikki Gorman invites residents to tours of the versatile space.

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Very quietly, CLASP Homes serves adults with intellectual disabilities. Their group homes — 4 in Westport, 8 others and 9 apartments throughout Fairfield County, plus a day program in Bridgeport — provide community, stability, jobs and fulfilling lives to men and women from their 20s to 82.

I’ve featured their fundraiser —  the very popular eat-and-drink “Taste of Westport” (June 15, 6 p.m., Inn at Longshore) — before.

Today the spotlight shines on their new website. It was constructed thanks to a grant from another great local non-profit: Near & Far Aid. To see the end result of these 2 organizations working together, click here. (Pro tip: You can find out more about “Taste of Westport” there too.)

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With the thermometer nearing 90 yesterday. Compo Beach was hopping. Some folks ventured into the water; others dusted off their beach chairs.

And on South Beach, every barbecue grill was in use.

Similar temperatures are expected today, with possible thunderstorms after 2 p.m. This week, we’ll be back in the 60s and 70s.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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You never know where a “Westport … Naturally” photo op will pop up.

Ellen Wentworth found these chicks right on top of her front door light.

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

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And finally … Rosmarie Trapp died last week in Vermont, at 93.

She was a member of the von Trapp singing family made famous by “The Sound of Music.”

You may not recognize her name. She is not in the play or movie, because “The Sound of Music” focused on the 7 children Georg von Trapp had with his first wife — not with Rosmarie’s mother, a governess who later married the baron.

But she did did travel and perform with the Trapp Family Singers for years, including at the lodge in Stowe. Click here for the full obituary.

Meanwhile:

Garden Club Grows Annual Plant Sale

The Westport Garden Club’s annual plant sale is this Friday May 13 (9:30 a.m., Jesup Green). The club celebrates their 98th anniversary with over 1,000 perennials from members’ own gardens, all potted up for sale.

The event has happened every year since 1924 — except World War II, when members’ gardens grew vegetables to support the war effort, and 2020 during COVID.

The sale reopened last year, with cautions in place and an online pre-order/ curbside pick-up option. It was so successful, it’s been retained this spring.

The Garden Clubs uses funds raised to maintain gardens around Westport. This spring they replanted the Nevada Hitchcock Garden at Cross Highway and Weston Road with native species. It now supports the Pollinator Pathway Project, launched with Wakeman Town Farm and Earthplace in 2019.


Fothergilla species — deciduous Eastern US natives — are spectacular 4-season shrubs.

That garden was created in 1941 to honor the club’s co-founder, a reporter for the New York Herald. She moved to Westport in 1920. As a columnist for the Sunday Post (now the Connecticut Post), her column “Your Own Garden” was a popular feature.

The original garden featured 137 dogwood trees. Over the years many fell to disease, and were replaced by other plantings.

Original Nevada Hitchcock dogwoods.

The new plan features hydrangeas, Clethera, Baptisia, Joe Pye, butterfly weed, and goldenrod — all plants that promote the abundance and diversity of beneficial insects \.

Information about beneficial native plants is available at the plant sale, along with tips for home gardeners.

Westport Garden Club members prep the Nevada Hitchcock Garden.

Roundup: Fleet Feet Food Drive, Paul Lane Field, Nail Cutting …

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Today’s the day for Fleet Feet’s food drive.

Now through 6 p.m., the Sconset Square store is collecting non-perishable food items for Connecticut Foodshare.

You can give cash or online too (click here). There’s a free gift from Brooks for donations over $100 — and you’re entered into a raffle to win a Brooks running shoe.

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There was a lot of action at the Staples stadium last night.

The football team honored its seniors. Then the Wreckers beat Ridgefield 26-10, keeping their postseason tournament hopes alive.

They also dedicated “Paul Lane Field.” The legendary coach died in June, at 93.

On hand were many former players, and family members. Among them: Skip Lane. The star — who was coached by his father — sported his Super Bowl ring, earned as a member of what was then called the Washington Redskins.

Skip Lane, with his Super Bowl ring. (Photo/Baxter Urist)

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IHOP closed in 2011. Three years later, it reopened — as a nail salon.

Now it too is gone.

Judging from Matt Murray’s photo, it needs a trim.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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One more “Oaktober” event (slightly delayed from November).

On Thursday, the Westport Garden Club planted a swamp white oak at Grace Salmon Park. Club members will mulch and water it for the first 2 important years after transplant.

It’s a fitting spot. Grace Salmon was an early member of the club.

A hat tip to Frank Geiger of Greenscape Design in Fairfield. He provided the tree at a reasonable price. His staff then carefully planted it close to the water.

Planting the tree, at Grace Salmon Park

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The Westport Astronomical Society’s 2022 calendar is available now.

Amateur astro-photographers — led by president Shannon Calvert — took the photos. There’s daily astronomical data too, courtesy of Phil Harrington.

The cost is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. Shipping is $5 for 1 or 2 calendars, $10 for 3 to 5. It can also be picked up at WAS events, To order, email alex@was-ct.org,

Westport Astronomical Society calendar

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Longtime Westporter and noted hair stylist Frank Migliarese died unexpectedly last week. He was 88 years old.

Following graduation from Staples High School, Frank served his nation in the Army.

Returning to his beloved Westport, he enrolled in the Sassoon Academy and began a career in cosmetology. With his haircutting skills and charming personality, he won the hearts of many.

He owned Salon Coiffeur in down Westport, where he made his mark in the world of beauty. He loved his customers, and worked well into his 80s.

When he was not at his salon, Frank enjoyed Compo Beach, a special place all his life.

Frank’s obituary calls him “family-oriented, warm, personable, well-dressed, understanding, with a great sense of humor.”

A funeral is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 17 at Assumption Church. Interment will be private. The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home on Tuesday, November 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. Click here to leave online condolences.

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Many Westporters support Adam J. Lewis Academy, the innovative Bridgeport elementary school that for nearly a decade has changed many lives.

On November 18, they’ll unveil a “Hope Quilt.” Artist Lizzy Rockwell led a community production with over 200 volunteers. The quilt will hang proudly in the school.

For more information on Adam J. Lewis Academy, click here.

The Adam J. Lewis Academy quilt.

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Congratulations to Staples’ November Students of the Month!

Alonzo Darby, Nina Driscoll, Max Levy, Christina Meehan, Maria-Despina Mutescu, Michael Porzio, Tyler Rockwell  and Chanel Wash “help make Staples a welcoming place for peers and teachers alike. They are the ‘glue’ of the Staples community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students that keep the high school together, making it the special place that it is.”

Teachers nominate students who are friendly to staff and fellow students, and make positive contributions in class as well as the Staples community.

From left: Max Levy, Alonzo Darby, Nina Driscoll, Tyler Rockwell, Maria-Despina, Mutescu, Christina Meehan, Michael Porzio. Missing: Chanel Wash. 

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Town Hall attracts all kinds of visitors.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows one recent arrival. My guess for the destination? The Conservation Department.

(Photo/Danielle Dobin)

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How do you know that Thanksgiving is near?

Here are some turkey orders, at Stiles Market:

(Photo/Richard Jaffe)

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And finally ,,, today is World Kindness Day.

Who gives a f—?

 

Roundup: Candidates, Moon, Music …

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Worried about traffic? Want more bike lanes? How can we balance growth with greenery? Interested in Westport’s goal of Net Zero by 2050, energy, transportation, waste, water and conservation issues?

Sustainable Westport and Earthplace are sponsoring a pair of “environmental debates,” prior to next month’s election. Candidates for the Planning & Zoning Commission will meet this Monday (October 18, 6:30 p.m.). Those running for Board of Selectmen will meet on Thursday, October 21 (7 p.m.).

Both events are virtual. Click here for links, and more details. The debates will be recorded, and posted on the Sustainable Westport website for viewing later.

Click here for details on how to watch. Both debates will be recorded and posted to the Sustainable Westport website.

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Sunday is International Observe the Moon Night. The worldwide public event encourages observation and appreciation of (yes) the moon.

The Westport Astronomical Society invites everyone to the observatory on Bayberry Lane this Sunday (8 p.m. — only if skies are clear). It’s a chance to see the moon as you’ve never seen it before. All you have to do is look up.

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Chris Frantz knows music. The Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club artist — and Fairfield resident also knows the importance of introducing new musicians to new audiences.

He’s partnering with the Westport Library on a new series. The inaugural “Chris Frantz Presents Emerging Musicians” concert (December 4) features New York’s Lulu Lewis, and New Haven’s The Problem with Kids Today. Both specialize in punk rock.

This is another music collaboration and production by Verso Studios at the Westport Library and the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. The series will feature up-and-coming regional, national and international talent, hand-picked by Frantz..

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Chris Frantz (Photo/Ebet Roberts)

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Congratulations to this year’s Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services award winners. They were cited at this week’s annual dinner.

Vice President Larry Kleinman won the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He logged vastly more than the 4,000 volunteer hours required for the honor. Kleinman also received Crew Chief of the Year.

Jenna Baumblatt and Ryan Blake were named Youth Corps Members of the Year. EMT of the Year went to Yves Cantin, an ex-president who stays involved.
Volunteer of the Year is Andrew O’Brien.

Volunteer Service Award winners include James Bairaktaris, Jenna Baumblatt,. Ella Bayazit, Ryan Blake, Michael Burns, Yves Cantin, Andrew Dinitz, Carol Dixon, Danielle Faul, Leah Foodman, Daniel Guetta, Dorothy Harris, Deanna Hartog, Jonathan Huzil, Mary Inagami, Vignesh Kareddy. Larry Kleinman, Eliza Lang, Christopher Moore, Annika Morgan, Christopher Muschett, Andrew O’Brien, Lynette Pineda, April Rademacher, Stewart Reifler, Morgan Rizy, Joshua Rosen, Alice Sardarian, Kathleen Smith, Ian Speers, Swati Sriram, Nancy Surace, Audrone Tarnok and Ekaterina Taylor-Yeremeeva.

Honorees (clockwise, from upper left):Yves Cantin, Jenna Baumblatt, Larry Kleinman, Ryan Blake.

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The Westport Garden Club installed Ginger Donaher as its 52nd president yesterday. She’s new — but her family is very familiar.

Ginger’s mother, Nancy  Gault — yes, of those Gaults — served as president from 1991 to ’93. Ginger’s aunt, Judy Sterling, held the position from 1983 to ’85.

Ginger’s grandmother, Georgiana Gault, was not president. But she was an active Garden Club member from the 1950s until her death in 1994.

Kelly Pollard — Ginger’s’ cousin, and Judy’s daughter — is the club’s current hospitality chair. And — who knows? — perhaps a future president herself.

Westport Garden Club president Ginger Donaher (center) is flanked by (from left) Kelly Pollard and Judy Sterling. (Photo/Topsy Siderowf)

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Westporter and animal Reiki volunteer Cathy Malkin is featured in this month’s Connecticut Humane Society spotlight.

She describes herself as “an animal muse who is able to translate animals’ thoughts, feelings and viewpoints so they can be better understood.” For the full Q-and-A, click here.

Cathy Malkin

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Despite the recent deaths of 3 of the their most active, engaged members — and the COVID cancellation of the traditional Great Duck Race and Wine Tasting fundraisers — Westport’s Sunrise Rotary Club pushes forward with its mission to give talent, time and money to community and social causes.

Sunrise Rotary’s International Service Committee got approval last week for 2 new projects: sustainable agriculture to benefit Syrian refugees in Jordan, and battling malnutrition through improved food security in Guatemala. Members are also excited about participating in the upcoming Bridgeport schools’ Read Aloud Day.

For more information on Westport Sunrise Rotary, click here.

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Up Next Teens is a Staples High School organization that fights food insecurity in Fairfield County.

They’re sponsoring tomorrow’s Remarkable Theater showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Ticket purchasers have the option of contributing $25 to their fundraiser. Click here for tickets. Enjoy the show — and help a great cause.

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It’s mid-October. Most leaves have not yet turned. Here’s today’s “Westport … Naturally” image, for example, from Weston Road near Lyons Plains.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

A week from now, this will be an entirely different scene.

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And finally … on this day in 1878, the Edison Electric Light Company began operation. By 1890 it merged with several other Edison companies, and became the Edison General Electric Company. Today we know it as GE.

 

Roundup: Pre-Henri Edition

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Being proactive here: In the event of a power outage, “06880” may need a temporary home. If any reader has a generator and space where I can work, please email: dwoog@optonline.net. All options are gratefully accepted!

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As summer winds down, the Westport Garden Club found a perfect spot for its #FridayFlowers arrangement: the lifeguard shack at Compo Beach.

Those guys (and girls) definitely deserve the love!

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When the 2020 (’21) Paralympic Games begin Tuesday in Tokyo, Westporters should pay attention to swimmer Matthew Torres.

The 20-year-old Fairfield University sophomore — born without part of his right leg and missing all but one toe on his left foot, along with curvature of his hands — will compete in the 100 and 400 meter freestyle, and 100 meter backstroke.

He’s a proud alum of the Westport Weston Family YMCA Water Rats program — and winner of the 200 individual medley at the 2019 World Para Swimming World Series.

Go get ’em, Matthew. And congrats to the Water Rats, who helped get him there!

Matthew Torres

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The Westport Police Benevolent Association Car Cruise scheduled for today (Saturday), has been canceled due to weather concerns. The new date is October 2 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Westport PBA car rally

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All 3 sailors from Longshore Sailing School’s week-long regatta in honor of the late Doug Sheffer are Staples High School students. In the photo below, winner James Russell is flanked by second place finisher Annabelle Lott, and bronze medalist Alex St. Andre.

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Who knows what Henri will bring?

But even as the clouds rolled in, there were few worries last night at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Alina Pitchon)

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

(Photo/Dorothy Robertshaw)

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In addition to the beach, Westporters flocked last night to Jazz at MoCA, featuring Samara Joy and the Pasquale Grasso trio ,,,

(Photo/JC Martin)

… and more music at the Levitt Pavilion, with Lizzie No. She was spellbinding, and her friend Amy Irving joined her for a “Cecilia” duet …

(Photo/JC Martin)

… and of course outdoor dining, on Church Lane and elsewhere in town.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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“Tiny jumpers” is the way Molly Alger describes today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … in honor of Henri:

Roundup: Home Buyers, Save The Sound, Merritt Parkway …

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Is it true that every new Westport home buyer comes from Manhattan or Brooklyn?

No. It only seems that way.

According to Coldwell Banker realtor Judy Michaelis, 38% of Westport buyers in the 6 months between January 1 and June 30, 2021 came from … Westport.

Whether trading up, downsizing or moving closer to the beach or woods, nearly 4 in 10 new homeowners are actually still our neighbors.

The next biggest chunk — 17% — came from (yes) New York City.

That was followed by “other states” (15%), Stamford (10%), Norwalk and other Connecticut towns (8% each), New York state (3%) and Wilton (1%).

Wherever you’re from: Welcome to our town, 06880. And also to our “06880” blog.

Many New York City apartment dwellers come to Westport seeking more space.

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Save the Sound’s annual Connecticut Cleanup begins at the end of August, and runs through October.

It’s the largest volunteer effort of its kind in Connecticut. Last year, 1,495 volunteers took 7,498 pounds of trash out of 133 miles of coasts and streams.

This year, Save the Sound is adding a crowdsourcing effort to discover new cleanup sites. Westport is one of 15 communities already on the list for an event.

Click here to register, and for more information.

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Brian Keane is headed to the New England Music Hall of Fame.

The Emmy Award-winning film documentary composer — also a professional guitarist, film producer and Staples High School Class of 1971 graduate — joins a glittering case of 2021 inductees. They include the late Muddy Waters and his son, Mud Morganfield; blues greats James Cotton, James Montgomery and Duke Robillard, and John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band.

Connecticut Magazine features Keane this month. Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

Brian Keane

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For the past couple of years, the state Department of Transportation has been removing trees, bushes and buffering hills from the northbound side of Merritt Parkway Exit 41, near the Westport Weston Family Y.

Now they’re putting stuff back. It won’t look the same as it did before.

But it won’t look the way it did recently, either.

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

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Speaking of nature: The Westport Garden Club’s #FridayFlowers arrangements are always gorgeous. This week they had competition, though — they had to look good in a place that’s already beautiful.

They do.

Check out the photo below, from one of Westport’s hidden jewels: the Wadsworth Arboretum. The arrangement comes courtesy of Dottie Fincher and Susan Nettesheim.

(Photo/Susan Nettesheim)

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Local to Market — the new artisan food-and-crafts store in the old Remarkable Book Shop — hosts a farm stand on their patio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Saturday, July 31).

They feature Silverman’s Farm and Shaggy Coos farm. There’s fresh veggies including corn and peaches, fresh milk, and 2 local artists: pottery by Anna Aron and woodturnings by Dick Stein. A portion of all sales goes to charity.

In addition, Local to Market is looking for a store manager and sales associate. It’s a great chance to be part of the resurgence of Main Street — and help all kinds of local folks get to market (duh).

Email info@localtomarket.com for details.

The Local to Market patio opened recently, across from Cold Fusion.

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Also downtown this afternoon: Jack Eigen will be selling his ice cream (featured recently on “06880”) in front of New England Hemp Farm, in Brooks Corner.

There’s a connection: Colin Bannon, the hemp store owner, is Jack’s Staples High School lacrosse coach.

Just one more way in which Westport coaches go the extra mile for their players.

Jack Eigen, making ice cream.

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After Thursday’s rain, a couple of deer appeared at Lori Lustig’s house. This one didn’t know whether to be scared of — or play with — their dog “Ollie.”

And vice versa.

Just one more example of “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Lori Lustig)

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And finally … sure, Brian Keane earned fame (and Emmys) scoring music for documentary films.

But he’s also an accomplished jazz guitarist. He’s played with greats like Larry Coryell. Click below, to a enjoy a classic tune.