A capacity crowd (including namesakes Rev. John and Judyth Branson) filled Christ & Holy Trinity Church’s Branson Hall last night, for the annual 1st Citizen Award dinner.
The 7th annual event — sponsored by the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce, but the first held since the pandemic — honored Westport Library director Bill Harmer, CastleKeepAdvisors founder and CEO Charlie Haberstroh, and 4 student entrepreneurs: Marley Brown, Akhila Kooma, Addison Moore and Jamie Semaya.
Charlie Haberstroh (center) and his family.
The theme of the evening — echoed by Chamber director Matthew Mandell and keynote speaker US Senator Richard Blumenthal — was “giving back to the community.”
Westport Library director Bill Harmer speaks. Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell is at left.
All 6 honorees have done that in major ways. And all expressed thanks that the communities of Westport and Weston have inspired, and enabled them, to do so.
Keynote speaker Senator Richard Blumental. (All photos/Dan Woog)
Also last night: the opening of a new exhibit at the Westport Museum for History & Culture.
“Reluctant Liberators: Westport in the Civil War” was curated by students. Staples High School junior Talia Moskowitz took the lead, as part of an independent study project.
She got help from the museum’s high school interns: Amelia Gura, Devan Patel and Oscar Scher (Staples), Stephanie Field (Weston) and Tess Innes (Wilton).
The exhibit includes information on early Westporters like the Toquet, Coley and Ketchum families, and an exploration of racial issues during that time.
It runs through November 11.
Talia Moskowitz, at the Westport Museum for History & Culture exhibit.
Speaking of Staples: Can’t make it to graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2023? Live far away? Or you couldn’t snag a ticket?
Next Tuesday’s ceremony (6 p.m., football field) will be livestreamed. Click here for the link.
It’s also be available on Optimum Channel 78. Enjoy!
As the end of school nears, here’s an important reminder: Not every family here can afford the camps and enrichment programs many take for granted.
Westport’s Department of Human Services can help.
Last summer, 58 income-qualified youth, from 32 families, participated in the department’s campership program.
This year, the number may be higher.
Human Services director Elaine Daignault encourages residents who can, to contribute. Online donations can be made to the “DHS Campership Fund” (click here), or mailed to 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.
For more information — including how to qualify for a campership — email youth and family specialist Annette D’Augelli: 203-341-1050; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Camp has been part of growing up for decades. In 1953, Westport artist Stevan Dohanos used Camp Mahackeno for this Saturday Evening Post cover.
Tomorrow marks the start of Wakeman Town Farm’s farm stand.
Open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., it features fresh produce, fresh-cut flower bouquets, WTF logowear and honey, and products from local vendors like artisan baked goods, extra virgin olive oils, gourmet balsamic vinegars, Chaga mushroom elixirs, homemade salsas and more.
The gardens are open. It’s also a chance to see the animals, and chat with farmers.
PS: This week: limited amounts of country and roasted garlic sourdough, multigrain pan loafs, focaccina minis, olive-Focaccia and bomboloni Nutella.
Wakeman Town Farm farm stand.
When it comes to powerful adjectives and action verbs, no one beats the New York Post.
Yesterday’s story on the the future of Phil Donohue and Marlo Thomas’ former Beachside Avenue home begins:
A Connecticut “Gold Coast” mansion sold by talk show pioneer Phil Donahue for $25 million is to be be bulldozed by its current owners who say it is falling apart and overrun by vermin.
The once-palatial Tudor on Westport’s most exclusive avenue has become a home for rats and raccoons with a caving-in roof, its new owner Peggy Reiner claims.
She is involved in a bid to tear down the 8,500 square foot manse after building a 20,000 square foot beach-view home with a commanding prospect of Long Island Sound in front of it.
The long story describes the history of the current property, and others nearby.
It also calls “06880” a “popular gossipy and newsy blog.”
Nice. But we’ll stick with “where Westport meets the world.”
Click here for the full Post story. (The “06880” mention comes near the end.)
The New York Post story includes this Google Earth photo of Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas’ “vermin”-filled old house (rear), and the 20,000-plus square foot home that replaced it.
The recent haze from Canada’s wildfires prompts this message, from Westport’s Office of Emergency Management:
Daycare providers, summer camps and older residents should subscribe to the Air Quality Index . It is fast, easy and provides important daily information. The link includes ground-level ozone, its health effects, what to do on a high ozone day, and how to reduce ground level ozone in your backyard.
Learn how to cope with days like this. Subscribe to the AQI. (Photo/Charlie Scott)
Speaking of air quality: Neighbors & Newcomers has postponed today’s year-end party (scheduled for Compo Beach), due to the outdoor conditions.
A new date will be announced soon.
Speaking of health: Both the federal and state governments have declared an official end to the COVID public health emergency.
What does that mean for testing, vaccines, insurance coverage and more? Click here for a full report from CT Mirror.
When Judy Auber Jahnel saw a tiny insect she could not identify, she emailed a photo to the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension.
They told her it was a spotted lanternfly nymph — quite different looking from the mature one she’s familiar with. they look quite different.
She sent this link to “06880,” in the hopes that readers will learn about them — and the damage that spotted lanternfly nymphs and adults can cause.
Spotted lanternfly nymph. (Photo/Judy Auber Jahnel)
There must be a back story to this.
Stupid parking tricks, at the Westport train station. (Photo/Jeremy Deutsch)
And we’d sure like to hear it. Click “Comments” below.
Everyone shops at the Westport Farmers’ Market.
Including the town’s 1st selectwoman and police chief.
Jen Tooker and Foti Koskinas were part of yesterday’s crowd.
The market runs every Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.
Yesterday’s Roundup posed a question: What’s up with the Photoshopped figure on top of the Westport Country Playhouse photo I posted on “06880” a couple of days ago.
It took about 12 minutes to find the answer.
Miggs Burroughs — Westport’s graphic artist/photographer extraordinaire, who has worked with nearly every organization in town — Photoshopped Ann Sheffer on the roof of the building, several years ago.
It was a gift from the Playhouse to her, for her many years of service and support.
In fact, Ann — one of our town’s most philanthropic residents — spent one summer, back in the day, as an usher there.
Decades later, she made it onto the roof.
And now the mystery is solved.
Also yesterday, our Roundup gave an incorrect date for this weekend’s “Last Lollapaloosa” at Blau House & Gardens.
The correct day for the Bayberry Ridge event is Sunday, June 11.
The day includes tours of the magnificent property, yoga, children’s book readings, a reception and more.
Click here to register (deadline: June 5), and for information on payment and shuttle transportation from Coleytown Elementary School.
A view of the Blau gardens.
David Vita spotted this handsome hawk yesterday. It poses proudly, for its “Westport … Naturally” close-up.
David adds: “This made me think about all the animals that had to breathe this foul air the past days.”
And finally … George Winston, the new age pianist (he called it “rural folk piano”) died Sunday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He was 74, and had been ill with cancer.
Click here for a full obituary.
(“06880” will cover Staples’ graduation — as we do with every big town activity, and many small ones. Please help us keep doing it. Click here to contribute — and thank you!)