Tag Archives: Westport Kiwanis Club

Roundup: Robbery, High Tide, Triathlon …

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A rash of car break-ins and thefts is bad enough. Yesterday, a different crime was committed: an alleged robbery, just before noon on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

A man approached a couple quickly from behind, Westport Police say. The suspect walked in step with the male victim, allegedly brandishing a knife, threatening the female and demanding to be brought to the couple’s car.

The woman darted across the Post Road to escape. Her husband followed, and flagged down a patrol officer driving by. The suspect fled toward Jesup Green

A detailed description of the suspect was relayed to all officers. Patrol units flooded the area. During a search of the area, a member of the Westport Fire Department said he had seen a suspect fitting the description across from Playhouse Square.

Officers quickly James S. Cummings, 41, of Bridgeport. He was identified by the victims as the man who accosted them on the bridge. A knife was found in his possession.

Cummings was charged with attempt to commit robbery in the 1st degree, attempt at larceny in the 3rd degree, carrying a dangerous weapon, and threatening in the 2nd degree. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.

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Here’s the latest on one of Westport’s greatest, and so-glad-it’s-back-after-COVID, traditions: the Rotary Club’s Lobsterfest.

A crowd of 1,500 is expected this Saturday (September 18, 3 to 7 p.m.), for a townwide party.

Fewer than 80 tickets remain. You can get them at Hook’d by the Sound (Compo Beach concession stand), or by emailing leslie2of8@gmail.com. They’re $70 each, for either 2 lobsters or a 14-ounce steak.

Plus lots more, of course. Volunteers and Rotarians will cook and serve 2,500 lobsters, great steaks and a raw bar. They’ll serve beer and win (with a Tito’s scotch tasting). Plus there’s a great band, and plenty of kids’ activities (including magic shows, and an antique fire engine to climb on).

COVID protocols include 30% more tables, further apart, and fewer seats per tables. Masks are optional, but recommended when spacing is not possible.

There’s also a drive-through option, for guests who choose to party elsewhere.

As well as an exhibition tent, and a kickoff for Rotary’s Afghan relief resettlement project.

Volunteers are still needed! To help, click here or email lobsterfestvolunteers@gmail.com

As the sun set on Lobster Fest in 2016, no one wanted to leave.

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Burying Hill’s High Tide Club has been around a long time.

Not as long as the venerable beach perhaps. But its members have seen — and swum in — more than their share of incoming and outgoing tides.

Membership skews older. But recently an influx of younger swimmers has waded into the water. They’ve enjoyed the social gatherings too, while forming one of Westport’s most fun, under-the-radar groups.

Nico Eisenberger reports that at high tide yesterday — just after 4 p.m. — members brought food and drinks to celebrate another great season.

High Tide Club: It’s not just about swimming. (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

The late summer weather was perfect. The camaraderie was strong. Nico says he and his wife “feel blessed to have this place, and these fun and funky folks, as part of our daily lives here.”

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Yesterday’s Westport Kiwanis Club Minuteman Triathlon was another success.

The family-friendly event at Compo Beach included a jetty-to-jetty swim, and short bike and running courses throughout the flat neighborhood streets. It was perfect for first-timers, and families that race together.

It was advertised as open to all abilities, and that was true.

MyTeamTriumph was out in force. The organization helps children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who otherwise could not participate in endurance events like triathlons and road races.

Volunteer “angels” take “captains” out on the water in special inflatables. They assist with wheelchairs for the biking and running parts too.

There were plenty of smiles yesterday at the Minuteman Triathlon. And regardless of times, everyone was a winner.

MyTeamTriumph captains and angels. (Photo/Peter Swift)

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Munich has Oktoberfest. Westport has Westoberfest.

Now we’ve also got Oaktoberfest.

Okay, there’s no drinking, drinking games or lederhosen. But the October 4 event (7 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm) is still worth checking out.

Sponsored by Westport’s Tree Board, it’s a chance to learn about all the good things trees do in our yards — and how to return the favor, by caring for them.

Attendees receive free samplings, too.

Panelists include Mary Ellen Lemay (Aspetuck Land Trust), Danica Doroski (Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection), Doug Williams (Bartlett Tree Experts), and Tree Board members.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

White oak tree at Kings Highway Elementary School.

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Jesup Green is the site of this Saturday’s free, outdoor Japanese Fall Festival (September 18, 2-4 p.m.). The event — sponsored by the Japan Society of Fairfield County — features taiko drummers, an Okinawan dance performance, a live play of the Japanese folktale “Tanabata” (“Star-crossed Lovers”), traditional Bon dancing, Japanese calligraphy and a craft activity to make dance hats.

Click here for details.

A scene from the 2019 Japan Fall Festival.

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“06880” has posted many stories and photos of “Gloria,” the oyster boat owned for years by the late Alan Sterling.

It was beached this summer in Gray’s Creek, between Compo Beach and Longshore.

Bruce McFadden has watched and — photographed — the craft for years. He wonders if this is its final resting place.

“Gloria” (Photo/Bruce McFadden)

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Linda Doyle was harvesting rhubarb for jam, when she spotted this guy in her garden. What a great way to start off the “Westport … Naturally” week!

(Photo/Linda Doyle)

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And finally … in honor of yesterday’s gathering at Burying Hill Beach (see story above):

Jackson Delgado Wins Staples Key

In the crush of end-of-sch00l-year news, a big announcement like the winner of the Staples Key often gets overlooked.

It shouldn’t.

The Key is the high school’s highest honor. Presented annually for decades — courtesy of the Westport Kiwanis Club — it goes to a senior who combines academic excellence and community service with the respect of teachers and peers.

“The Key winner is our vision of what a Staples graduate should be,” says principal James D’Amico.

“And because the 3 nominees are selected by the staff, and voted on by students, it’s especially meaningful.”

This year’s winner — announced last night, at the school’s annual awards ceremony — is Jackson Delgado.

Jackson Delgado

He’s president of both Student Assembly and the debate team. He tutors for Caroline House in Bridgeport, and Top Hat Tutors in Westport. He’s also a drummer in a percussion ensemble.

“I’m not sure there’s a common link. But I enjoy everything I do,” Jackson says.

In debate, he notes, “there are never right or wrong answers. It’s cool to construct an argument, use it against your opponent, and then have to see the other side.”

Student Assembly — the school government — allows Jackson to help plan schoolwide events, while tutoring is personally fulfilling. Caroline House serves youngsters in Bridgeport, while Top Hat is for Westporters. In both roles, Jackson enjoys talking about concepts he finds interesting, while helping others understand them too.

He has a host of favorite Staples classes. Advanced Placement Chemistry, Calculus BC and Multivariable Calculus appeal to his problem-solving mind. It’s intriguing, he says, to realize that different paths can lead to the same solution.

English Language and Rhetoric helped him dissect arguments — a valuable tool in debate — while Economics connected him to “the real world.”

Jackson’s educational influences stretch back to Saugatuck Elementary School (Peter von Euler) and Bedford Middle School (Anitha Bolar and Kathryn Sicbaldi). At Staples, he cites Heather Wirkus (Biology), Will Jones (Chemistry), Noreen McGoldrick (English Language), Drew Coyne (Economics), Robert Papp (Multivariable Calculus) and Robin Sacilotto Hurlbut (Calculus).

But, he adds, “every teacher I’ve had has been important in different ways. I could name 50 of them.”

Though Jackson has earned a host of honors — National Hispanic Scholar, National AP Scholar, National Merit Commended Student, Connecticut Governor’s Scholar Semifinalist, and awards from Harvard, Brown, Fairfield University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — he says he never chose classes with grades in mind. He took those that interested him.

Asked to give advice to younger students, he says, “It’s important to focus on academics. But it’s just as important to surround yourself with good people, and be happy. Staples is a great place to find out what you enjoy. And it’s true: Four years go by fast.”

In previous summers, Jackson has interned at a Yale lab, attended the Haw Chong Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit, and studied engineering at the University of Michigan. He’s doing his senior internship closer to home: at Bedford, with his former math and science teacher Ms. Sicbaldi. It’s a nice way to complete his Westport educational career.

Oh, yes: There’s another big honor for the Harvard University-bound senior. He’s already been named valedictorian.

Which means you can hear him in action, giving a graduation address on June 22.

(“06880” would love to hear the stories of previous Staples Key winners. If you’re a past recipient — or know someone who was — please let us know. And add a few details of post-Staples life!)