Tag Archives: Westport Woman’s Club

Roundup: Westoberfest, Roy Wood Jr., Flooding …

Sure, it was a wet Saturday.

But a little rain can’t keep a good Westoberfest down.

The annual Westport Downtown Association event went on yesterday, with the usual beer, music, beer, kids activities, and beer.

We’ll drink to that!

(All photos/Susan Garment)


Also last night: The annual “Stand up for Homes with Hope” benefit.

A full crowd packed Fairfield University’s Quick Center to laugh uproariously with Roy Wood Jr., and raise much-needed funds for Westport’s supportive shelter and food pantry non-profit.

Laughter and homelessness don’t often go together. But the star of the night — and Helen McAlinden and the many board and staff members who make Homes with Hope a local treasure — made sure attendees understood that connections between all of us are the most important thing in life.

Roy Wood Jr. (Photo/Susan Woog Wagner)


Flooding is a major issue in Westport. As climate change worsens, it too will became even more prevalent.

The Flood & Erosion Control Board meets November 1. On the agenda:

  • Prioritize and assist the Department of Public Works in the approval and implementation of flood related projects involving watersheds in Westport.
  • Work with the Representative Town Meeting to revise regulations, allowing the board to review large projects if required, and educate the RTM about public input related to flooding.
  • Dedicate a minimum of 2 public discussion meetings per year to discuss updates on flood projects.
  • Develop and implement a campaign to help educate the public about flood and erosion issues in Westport.
  • Develop and implement a plan to educate the community on ways to help mitigate the impact of flooding and erosion on private and public properties.
  • Advocate for supporting the town mitigation efforts by sharing the board’s perspective with the Board of Finance, state legislative leaders, and Department of Energy & Environmental Protection officials.

The meeting will be held virtually. Click here for the Zoom link. The meeting ID is 892 4707 8896; the passcode is 900470.

Grove Point flooding, from a December storm. (Photo/John Kantor)


Saranda and Al Strazza are very involved with Veterans of Foreign Wars Joseph J. Clinton Post 399. Al — a retired combat Marine who served in the first Gulf War — is now vice commander of the local VFW. Saranda helped obtain a $100,000 gift, to pay for river dredging in the area.

This Friday (October 20, 6 p.m.), the VFW hosts a Chili Cook-off. The participation fee is $15. Funds raised will benefit Westport’s Police and Fire Departments, and Emergency Medical Services.

There are prizes, a 50/50 raffle — and of course chili.

While participating in the Citizen Police Academy, Saranda and Al were surprised to learn that the local K-9 unit is completely funded by donations.

They vowed to help raise funds for a new bite jacket, medical costs, food, equipment supplies and training toys.

A booth at the Chili Cook-off will sell plush toys for sale, and collect donations.

For more information, call 203-227-6796, or email vfw399ct@gmail.com.

Westport’s K-9 corps.


October is both Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Fire Safety Month.

So — of course! — on Friday the Westport Fire Department brought fire trucks and pink fire boots to Kings Highway Elementary school, for an all-school event.

Fire Marshal Terry Dunn spoke to students about fire safety. Meanwhile, his fellow firefighters collected donations from students for the American Cancer Society. Students filled the pink boots with more than $475.

After listening to the fire safety speech, students, teachers and administrators explored a vintage fire truck. ‘

They also placed pink ribbons in the back of the school, as a symbol of support for those impacted by breast cancer.

Kings Highway Elementary School administrators, in a vintage fire truck. From front to back: principal Tracey Carbone, assistant principals Catherine Carmona and Jame’el Lawrence.


Also on Friday, the Norwalk Housing Authority brought students to the Westport Community Gardens for after-school art enrichment.

Creativity “bloomed,” as NHS and WCG adults watched with pride.

Friday fun, in the Westport Community Gardens.


The Westport Woman’s Club’s annual Clothing Tag Sale runs this Friday and Saturday (October 20-21) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday (October 22) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the WWC’s historic clubhouse (44 Imperial Avenue).

Gently used women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and accessories are featured, with a wide variety of suits, dresses, pants, blouses, gowns, coats, scarves, shoes, jewelry, handbags and hats.

Funds raised help support the town’s food closet, many charities throughout Fairfield County, and student scholarships.


Rolling Stone magazine just listed their 250 best guitarists of all time.

There at #7 — behind Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, but ahead of artists like BB King and Duane Allman — is Westport’s own Nile Rodgers.

The story begins:

There’s “influential,” then there’s “massively influential,” then there’s Nile Rodgers. The story of pop music over the past 50 years is basically the story of Rodgers’ guitar.

The manic-staccato funk jangle he invented with Chic, in Seventies disco hits like “Le Freak” and “Good Times” — that’s been the heartbeat of global pop ever since.

His warp-speed guitar on the 1980 Diana Ross classic “I’m Coming Out” was still the toughest sound on the radio almost two decades later, when Biggie turned it into “Mo Money Mo Problems.” Now that’s staying power.

Click here for the full story.

PS: Weston’s own Keith Richards checks in at #15.

Should we start calling our 2 towns the Guitarists’ Capital of the World?

(Hat tip: Mark Mathias)

Nile Rodgers, at the Queen’s Jubilee. (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


Jack Backiel is a frequent commenter on “06880.” He no longer lives here, but he has fond memories of the years his family owned Westport Lanes — the bowling alley located where BevMax is today.

Jack’s son John recently added a small display about the Lanes in his dining room. It includes newspaper clippings, stationery, and a photo of opening day (with professional bowlers, sent by Brunswick).

John lives in the Washington area, and is vice president of finance and accounting at the Heritage Foundation.


High on the cell tower behind Walgreens, Johanna Keyser Rossi counted 20 turkey vultures. And a few crows.

It takes an eagle eye to sport them. But they’re all part of “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … let’s hear it for our neighbor Nile Rodgers, the 7th greatest guitarist in the world! (See story above …)

(From floods and the Fire Department to Nile Rodgers and Keith Richards, we’ve got 06880 [and 06883] covered. Please click here to support local journalism. Thank you!)

Roundup: Halloween Window Painting, Uncorked Wine, $10,000 Grants …

It’s b-a-a-a-a-c-k!

The annual Halloween window painting contest returns Saturday, October 28.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is looking for painters for the popular event. It’s open to elementary and middle school children, with 6 winners in 3 different categories earning gift certificates to Saugatuck Sweets.

Last year, 105 kids painted 65 windows throughout town, individually or in teams. Click here to sign up, and for more information.

But that’s not all.

That night (October 28, 8 p.m., Westport Library), the Chamber presents a Halloween Concert and Costume Ball.

Costumes are encouraged. Prizes will awarded for best outfits, in several categories. Specialty cocktails, beer and wine complement music by Bella’s Bartok, a funk/pop/folk band.

Tickets are $35. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

Halloween window painting collage.


Like a fine wine, Westport Sunrise Rotary’s “Uncorked” fundraiser gets better with age.

This year’s event (october 12, 6 to 9 p.m., The Inn at Longshore) will once again feature extraordinary vintages from the Fine Wine Company of Westport. Cory D’Addario will carefully choose 100 wines for tasting.

She is committed to sustainable, organic or bio-dynamic practices, and looks for integrity from the vineyard and supplier to the store. Passed hors d’oeuvres, creative charcuterie and carving stations will be paired with the wines.

Funds raised benefit the many charities supported by Sunrise Rotary. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Festive crowds, great food and excellent wines, at the Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Uncorked event.


Less than one month remains to get $10,000.

Applications for the Westport Woman’s Club Ruegg Grants close October 20.

The grants, established in 1995 by former member Lea Ruegg, are awarded to non-profit projects that enhance social services, health, safety, the arts or education.

Recent Ruegg Grant beneficiaries include the Westport Astronomical Society, Project Return, Earthplace and Wakeman Town Farm. Proposals should be high-profile initiatives that make a meaningful difference in Westport. Click here for the application form. 


Rain and wind are likely tomorrow.

Stay dry and warm — and learn about dozens of opportunities — at the volunteer fair in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum.

Co-hosted by the town and League of Women Voters (Saturday, September 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), it’s a chance to check out over 2 dozen community organizations. Each will have a staff member to provide information and answer questions.

Participating groups include: A Better Chance of Westport; AWARE; Center for Senior Activities; Club 203; Earthplace; FCJazz; Food Rescue; Friends of Sherwood Island; Guiding Eyes for the Blind; Levitt Pavilion; Staples Tuition Grants; Sunrise Rotary Club; TEAM Westport; Town of Westport; Verso Studios; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Wakeman Town Farm; Westport Book Shop; Westport Community Theatre; Westport Country Playhouse; Westport Emergency Medical Services; Westport League of Women Voters; Westport Library; Westport Permanent Art Collections; Westport Sunrise Rotary; Westport Woman’s Club; Westport Young Woman’s League; Westport-Weston CERT; Westport Weston Family YMCA.

Every year AWARE partners with a different organization, getting to know their work and helping wherever they can. Last year’s partner was Her Time, which serves women affected by incarceration. AWARE is one of many groups at tomorrow’s volunteer fair.


Austin Hatch has an incredible story.

After surviving a plane crash that killed his mother and siblings years earlier, he was critically injured in — and the sole survivor of — a second crash that claimed the lives of his father and stepmother.

His road to recovery — capped by playing basketball for his mother’s alma mater, the University of Michigan — is both astonishing and inspiring.

He’ll tell it next Friday (September 29, 7:30 p.m.) at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Saugatuck Financial is sponsoring the event. They’ve made a few seats available, to friends of “06880.” Click here for tickets, and more information.


When was the last time you went to a real trunk show?

On October 1, you can. On October 1, over 35 Artists Collective of Westport members will (Westport Library lower parking lot, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), will literally open the trunks of their cars to offer works for viewing and sales.

Okay, some may have vans, but still …

Prices range from $25 to $1,500; most are under $100. They’re bargains — and you can meet the artists too.

Participating artists include Elisa Keogh, Deborah Bohren, Beatrice delPerugia, Nina Bentley, Marc Zaref, Louise Cadoux, Dionne Pia,  Holly Hawthorn, Rosalind Shaffer, Maryann Neilson, Julie Leff, Lisa Silberman, Dolores Santiliquido, Fruma Markowitz, George Radwan, Ronnie Gold, Jean Krasno, Jocelyn Baran, Cecilia Moy, Susan Fehlinger, Dorothy Robertshaw, Cindy Wagner, Robin Babbin, Michael Brennecke, Susan Murray, Debbie Smith, Rebecca Fuchs, Elizabeth DeVoll, Janine Brown, Leonor Dao Turut, Hernan Garcia, Carla Goldberg, Barbara Ringer, Jane Fleischne and Maj Kalfus.

Jazz/pop singer Melissa Newman is an added attraction.


Many Westporters volunteer at Mercy Learning Center.

They help provide literacy and life skills training to women in need. They’ll be at the non-profit’s annual fundraiser October 1 (Shorehaven Golf Club, Norwalk, 5 to 8 p.m.), and encourage many others to join them.

The evening of cocktails, tastings and a live auction is a chance to learn more about this wonderful organization. New president and CEO Lindsay Wyman will be introduced too. Click here for tickets, and more information.


Westport resident Mitchell Green pleaded guilty this week to wire fraud charges in Newark.

He stole more than $2 million by selling Champagne and cognac at artificially inflated wholesale prices. He also got kickbacks on the transaction, which led to litigation by a company owned by 50 Cent.

“Though he was supposed to negotiate the best deal possible for his employer, Green set up secret side deals to inflate what his employer paid so that he could reap millions of dollars in kickbacks,” said Philip Sellinger, US attorney for the District of New Jersey. “Companies must be able to rely on the integrity of their agents to conduct business.”

Green faces up to 20 years in prison, plus a large fine. He will be sentenced in January. (Hat tip: Allan Siegert)

50 Cent


Want to buy a lighthouse?

A Westport resident did.

He bid $360,000, and won the Penfield Lighthouse off Fairfield.

The property contains a 51-foot tall octagonal light house built in 1874, and a 2-story, 1,568- square foot keepers’ quarters. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The bidder is remaining anonymous for now. Still ahead is final approval by the General Services Administration, then negotiations with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on the long-term lease.

The bidders will then form a steering committee of local stakeholders, to figure out how best to embrace this offshore treasure. They hope to open it to the broader community for education, events and more.

“06880” will follow this lighthouse story to the end. It’s a beacon of hope for all.

Penfield Lighthouse


Tuesday’s Westport Rotary Club guest speaker was Rotary International’s Celeste Herbert. She noted that the group’s contributions to the Rotary Foundation help it impact communities around the world, in areas like education and literacy; economic development; maternal and child health; peace building and conflict prevention; water, sanitation and hygiene; the environment, and disease prevention and treatment.

Herbert praised Westport Rotary for their “audacity” in addressing important issues, and believing they can make a difference.

Celeste Herbert at the Westport Rotary Club.


It’s mid-September — past the Levitt Pavilion’s traditional closing date — but the outdoor entertainment venue continues to rock.

Last night’s attraction was Borboletta. The Santana tribute band drew a summer-like large crowd.

Borboletta at the Levitt Pavilion. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)


Goose H290 has been hanging around Westport for several years.

Time for his/her/its closeup on “Westport … Naturally”:

(Photo/Matt Murray)


And finally … happy birthday to Andrea Bocelli. The Italian tenor was born on this day 65 years ago.

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Roundup: Victoria Kann, Verso University, Judy O’Meara …

Victoria Kann is back!

The famed Westporter and Pinkalicious author will read from her book “Pink or Treat” on Sunday, October 22 (10 a.m.).

The headline event is part of the kids’ component of StoryFest 2023. It also includes a “Pink or Treat” Halloween book reading and parade; a Pinkalicious Halloween parade with fun giveaways; a picture book reading on the Library steps with picture book authors, and a Monster Lab where kids can make their own 3D Monster Figurine or a Halloween mask.

The event is free with registration. There is an option to buy a signed copy of “Pink or Treat” for $15, and many other Kann favorites.

The 6th edition of StoryFest — the largest literary festival in Connecticut — runs October 20-22, with writers of all forms and from all genres.

Best-seller Neil Gaiman kicks off StoryFest 2023 on Friday evening, October 20, in conversation with Stephen Graham Jones. Saturday features author conversations and panel discussions, closing with a staged reading of Eric LaRocca’s new play, “Gentle Hacksaw.” Additional events are set for Sunday.

Victoria Kann


More Westport Library news: Verso University — its lifelong learning arm — offers a number of classes this fall.

They include:

  • “History of Jazz”: Tuesdays, September 5-27, 11 a.m. – noon.
  • “Location Sketch Drawing”: Thursday, September 7-28, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • “Transcending the ‘Unreality of Reality'”: 4 Novels of Crisis and Endurance: Every other Tuesday, September 12 to October 24, 2 to 3 p.m..
  • “Song Arts Academy Contemporary Songwriting Workshop”: Mondays, Septebmer 18 to November 13, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • “CT Art Trail: Housatonic Museum of Art”: Thursday, September 21, 11 a.m. to noon.
  • “Private Small Group Guitar or Electric Bass Lessons”: Sunday, September 24 to October 15, 3 to 4 p.m.
  • “CT Art Trail: New Britain Museum of American Art”: Thursday, October 12, 11 a.m. to noon.
  • “Stand-Up Comedy Workshop and Student Showcase”: Mondays, October 16 to November 6, 7 to 9 p.m. (Zoom); Showcase: Friday, November 17, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • “The Development of Comedy in Film”: Wednesdays, October 18 to November 8, 2 to 3 p.m.
  • “Total Cents: Empowering Parents in Financial Educations”: Starting Thursdays, October 19, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
  • “Introduction to Video Game Design”: Wednesday, November 1 to December 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • “CT Art Trail: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum”: Wednesday, November 15, 11 a.m. to noon.

Click here for details, and registration information.

Tom Henske’s class — “Empowering Parents in Financial Education” — is one of my Verso University offerings.


Westport Police made 1 custodial arrest between August 16 and 23.

A man was clocked by radar going 53 miles in a 25 mph zone. He had 2 active re-arrest warrants, for failure to appear, and was detained for both.

Westport Police also issued these citations:

  • Disorderly conduct: 2 citations
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 2
  • Failure to renew registration: 2
  • Failure to register a commercial vehicle: 2
  • Speeding: 1
  • Traveling unreasonably fast:
  • Improper passing: 1
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
  • Failure to grant right of way: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle with out-of-state plates: 1
  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 1.

Pro tip: Don’t drive double the speed limit when there are 2 warrants out for your arrest.


A reader wonders about Judy O’Meara’s now-closed TBI Apple-authorized shop, located first on Post Road West, then a mile down Route 1 in Norwalk.

She bought 2 iMacs there. Then the shop disappeared.

“Judy and the shop are irreplaceable,” the reader writes.  “I’ve spent almost 11 months trying to find her.

The reader contacted the owner of the building and the Better Business Bureau. No one knows what happened, or where Judy is.

Readers with information on TBI and/or Judy: Please click “Comments” below.

Judy O’Meara


Donations of new and gently used clothing and accessories are welcome now, for the Westport Woman’s Club annual clothing tag sale.

The event runs October 20-22, at the WWC clubhouse. On sale: a wide array of suits, dresses, pants, blouses, gowns, coats, scarves, shoes, jewelry, handbags and hats.

Funds raised help support the Westport food closet, charities throughout Fairfield County, and student scholarships.

Donations can be dropped off weekdays (9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m.) at the WWC (44 Imperial Avenue).


Laszlo Birinyi, a noted investment adviser who analyzed money flows to determine stock moves died Monday. He was 79.

The native of Hungary founded Birinyi Associates. Its office is still in a modest building on Wilton Road.

He was inducted into PBS’s “Wall Street Week Hall of Fame” in 1999. after success as the show’s top-ranked Dow Jones forecaster for most of the decade. (Hat tip: Johanna Rossi)


This glorious arrangement at Stephanie Mastocciolo’s Warnock Drive home provides today’s “Westport … Naturally” color:

(Photo/Stephanie Mastocciolo)


And finally … today is the birthday of Jimmy Soul.

His 1963 hit reached #1. Its lyrics would definitely raise eyebrows today.

jimmy Soul was born on August 24, 1942. He died of heart failure just 45 years later.

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Roundup: Baron’s South, Harvest Restaurant, Cooling Centers …

Today’s meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s Zoning Regulation Revision/Sustainability Subcommittee (Wednesday, July 26, noon) opens with an interesting agenda item.

“Presentation of Affordable Housing Concept for the Adaptive ReUse of Existing Residential Structures at Baron’s South” is part of the P&Z’s 5-year affordability plan.

The subcommittee will explore the possibility of using existing town-owned residential properties for affordable housing.

Though much of Baron’s South — the 22 acres of land between South Compo Road and Imperial Avenue — is hilly and wooded, it includes structures like “Golden Shadows,” the late Baron Walter Langer von Langendorff and his wife’s former home.

It was used most recently by the Westport Library to store books, but has largely been in a state of disrepair.

Click here for a Zoom link to today’s meeting.

“Golden Shadows”


The owners of 6 Connecticut restaurants will pay over 100 workers more than $858,000 in back wages and damages.

One is in Westport: Harvest.

A US Department of Labor investigation found that employers violated overtime and record-keeping regulations, including compensating managers from tip pools for regular employees; failing to pay employees for all hours worked, and not paying employees 1 1/2 times regular pay for working over 40 hours a week.

Kleber Siguenza was cited as having an ownership interest in all 6 restaurants. He was in the news earlier this week when a court ruled in his favor, as the rightful co-owner of Weston’s Cobbs Mill Inn(Hat tips: Allan Siegert, Karen Jennings)

Outdoor dining at Harvest restaurant, on Railroad Place.


With a heat advisory in effect for the area through Sunday morning, Westport’s Office of Emergency Management has opened 5 cooling centers:

Emergency Management director Nick Marsan offers these tips:

Stay cool: Keep your body temperature cool to avoid heat-related illness

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening.
  • Find an air-conditioned shelter. Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Pets that cannot be brought indoors should be provided ready access to water and shade to keep them cool.

Stay Hydrated: Because your body loses fluids through sweat, you can become dehydrated during times of extreme heat

  • Drink more water than usual.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids.
  • Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.

This will not be the weather over the next few days. (Photo/Dick Kalt)


The Westport Country Playhouse is almost there.

The historic theater announced yesterday that they are just $200,000 short of their $2 million “Save Your Playhouse” goal. The campaign ends Monday, July 31.

Over 300 donors have contributed or pledged $1.8 million. The aim is to transform the 92-year=old Playhouse into a center for a wide array of performances that appeal to a broader audience, while continuing to produce high-quality theater.

“While there’s a deep respect for the Playhouse history and what it is today, there’s also an eagerness for growth, change, and the next chapter,” says board chair Athena Adamson.

“We are listening; we care about what the audience wants to see on the Playhouse stage. In turn, the audience is stepping up to offer their support.”

Beginning in 2024, the Playhouse will be a performing arts center from January through August. Presentations will include single night events like cabaret, comedy, music, play readings and speakers. From September 2024 through March 2025 the WCP will mount 3 theatrical productions.

“The community is changing and we must adapt our programming,” Adamson says. “We won’t lose our theatergoers; we simply are looking to increase our audience by offering more entertainment options. Our board of trustees wants the Playhouse to be here for the entire community, with performances on stage to appeal to everyone.

For more information on the fundraising campaign, click here. For naming opportunities, email development@westportplayhouse.org.

The Westport Country Playhouse is just $200,000 shy of its $2 million fundraising goal.


Sustainable Westport is our town’s environmental eyes and ears.

The other day, they noticed — and gave a shout-out to — the Police Department’s use of electric vehicles.

They’ve added 2 new EVs to their fleet — an all-terrain utility vehicle and an electric motorcycle — and expect a third Tesla patrol car this summer.

Earlier, the WPD purchased 7 plug-in vehicles: 2 Tesla patrol cars (Models 3 and Y), a Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, a Honda Clarity PHEV, a BMW i3 battery electric vehicle, and a Ford Interceptor conventional hybrid patrol car.

The new all-terrain utility vehicle is powered by 6 12-volt batteries, lasting 8-12 hours. Though it looks like a golf cart, the vehicle can drive across terrains (including sand) and includes a winch for heavy-duty applications. It is used often at Compo Beach and Winslow Park.

The Zero electric motorcycle will be used for parking and traffic enforcement. It contains a 17.3 kWh battery, and has a range of 183 miles in the city and 85 miles on the highway.

In 2019, Westport Police purchased their first electric patrol vehicle, a Tesla Model 3, for $52,000. Over a 4-years it is projected to save the town $50,000.

Tesla vehicles also are expected to provide a longer service life: 6 years is the projection compared to 4 of Ford Explorers. The WPD hopes to actually get 8 years.

“Kudos to the Westport Police for continuing to be a leader amongst police departments and municipalities nationwide,” Sustainable Westport says.

The Police Department’s Tesla Model Y, and all-terrain utility vehicle.


Westport’s sister city with Lyman, Ukraine began with a suggestion from our friends in Marigny, France — our much longer-established other sister city.

That relationship began right after World War II. Bonds tightened as we helped the Normandy town recover. Marigny has never forgotten Westport.

When we were planning LymanAID — the celebration/fundraiser earlier this month, at the Ukrainian American Club — our Marigny amis sent gifts for a raffle: 3 gorgeous books, sweatshirts and calvados.

One of those books has been donated to the Westport Library.  “601 Communes” includes a history and photos of Marigny. It’s accompanied by a letter — in French and English — from author René Gautier.

The library will display both soon.


Rachel Suggs is a rising junior at the University of Chicago. The 2021 Staples High School graduate is double majoring  in law, letters and society, and Middle Eastern languages and civilizations.

Last summer and this, she’s internet at the Jerusalem law firm Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co., which specializes in immigration law.

She’s seen the current political upheaval up front. She wrote this piece for The Times of Israel: “Israel Must Ratify a Constitution, Protests Prove” (click here to read).

This is not Rachel’s first Times of Israel article. She previously discussed Israel’s quota for non-Jewish Ukrainian refugees and the right to abortion.

Rachel Suggs


Robin Clark has been selected for another term as Westport Woman’s Club president.

Under Robin’s leadership this year, the WWC awarded over $100,000 in community service grants, scholarships, and food supplies to those in need.

She has personally raised tens of thousands of dollars for food drives, collected and shopped for food donations, and volunteered countless hours helping others.

Robin gives much of the credit for her community work to her employer, Westport National Bank, where she is vice president and branch manager.  The bank is a strong supporter of employee volunteer initiatives.

Robin Clark


The view in and around the Levitt Pavilion is almost as great as the show itself.

Johanna Keyser Rossi spotted these flowers — just in time for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … as the heat settles in, let’s listen to the very cool Sly & the Family Stone:

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Yankee Doodle Comes To Town

A little rain Friday could not dampen the enthusiasm of Westport’s kids.

A good crowd celebrated the last day of school with the “first day of summer”: the Yankee Doodle Fair.

For decades, the Westport Woman’s Club event has raised funds for worthy causes.

And for decades, kids have done exactly this stuff.

“06880” photographer (and Staples High School rising senior) Charlie Scott captured all the sights.

You can almost hear the sounds too.

The Yankee Doodle Fair winds up today. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m.

(All photos/Charlie Scott)

Roundup: Yankee Doodle Fair, Neil Gaiman, Saugatuck Rowing …

Summer is here!

The Yankee Doodle Fair — the way we know that’s true — is almost all set up.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

The annual fundraiser for (and at) the Westport Woman’s Club on Imperial Avenue opens Thursday, at 6 p.m. It continues Friday night, and throughout the weekend.

Click here for details.


Neil Gaiman, author of “American Gods,” “Coraline” and “The Sandman,” is coming to Westport.

He’s the keynote speaker at StoryFest 2023. The 6th edition of StoryFest, the Westport Library’s annual celebration of reading, writing, ideas and community, will be held October 20-22.

Gaiman headlines opening night. The weekend includes panel discussions and other events, with authors Angie Kim, Gabino Iglesias, Stephen Graham Jones, Caroline Kepnes, Eric LaRocca, Josh Malerman and more.

Free registration for the keynote address begins June 20. The complete lineup and schedule for StoryFest 2023 will be announced this summer.

The largest literary festival in Connecticut and one of the biggest in New England, StoryFest drew more than 800 participants and 40 authors to the Library last year,

This year’s StoryFest keynote doubles as the Fall 2023 Malloy Lecture in the Arts,. The spring edition featured artist and former Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler.

The Malloy Lecture in the Arts, delivered free to the public since 2002 thanks to the generosity of Westport artist Susan Malloy, highlight individuals who have had significant cultural influence and whose work has enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the arts.

Neil Gaiman


The Saugatuck Rowing Club Junior Rowing program showed well last Sunday, at the USRowing Youth Nationals in Sarasota, Florida.

The largest Youth Nationals ever drew over 4,000 athletes from 225 clubs and schools. Saugatuck Rowing Club sent 12 boats.

The women’s U17 4+ A boat, including  Clementine Kirt, Carolina Proctor and Alice Frascella of Wesptort, and Hannah Makmale of Weston), helped SRC defend its championships for the third year in a row.

In a thrilling finish, the Saugatuck 4+ B boat including Rylie Cordella and Olivia Saw of Westport, and Anne Studnicky of Weston, took silver, giving the club the top 2 spots.

Earning bronze: the men’s U17 4+ boat, with Westley Dick and Tommy Wright of Westport, and Daniel Lee and Davis Evans of Weston), along with the men’s U16 8+ boat, with Westporters Elena Nasar, Daniel Arava, Jack Mello, Liam Wiegand and Alex Proctor (Westport).

Saugatuck Rowing Club’s U-17 4+A boat national champions (from left): Coach Cody Silvester, Alice Frascella, Carolina Proctor, Madeline Casano, Clementine Kirt, Hannah Makmale.


Congratulations too to Derek Amlicke.

The Staples High School pole vaulter won the New England championship, clearing 14′ 3″ in Bangor, Maine.

Earlier this year, he set a new Staples record: 15′ 2″.

The sky’s the limit for Derek!

Derek Amlicke (Photo/Jacob Halsema)


Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

On July 2, State Representative Dominique Johnson will fiddle while while Westport celebrates.

The legislator — whose 143rd district includes part of our town — brings her bluegrass instrument to First Folk Sunday (VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399, 12:30 p.m.).

Johnson began playing violin at 2 years old in a Suzuki program. She discovered bluegrass through her grandfather’s family in Kentucky.

First Folk Sunday is a popular new folk series featuring Suzanne Sheridan (vocals and guitar), Bob Cooper (keyboards). and guest artists.

There is a $10 music charge. Brunch, plus a make-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar and Mimosas are extra.

For more information and tickets click here, email info@firstfolksunday.com, or call 203-222-1441.

State Representative Dominique Johnson


Last week, members of the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force and the student-led Staples High School Sexual Assault Awareness and Self Defense Club attended a private female self-defense training session at Fit Club Jiu-Jitsu in Fairfield.

The group practiced defensive tactics and learned practical skills, including situational awareness and how to avid potentially risky situations.

Instruction came from Fit Club owner/coach Joe Oppedisano, Staff Corporal Michael Ruttenber (Westport Police Department) Rob Curcio (Weston Police Department) and Detective Beth Leetch (Fairfield Police).

Trainers and trainees.


Westport Sunrise Rotary and Westport Country Playhouse Staff teamed up to help visitors at the SCP’s recent open house have fun playing”Toss the
Duck into the Bucket.”

It was a great promotion for Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race (June 24, Jesup Green). Click here for details.

Promoting the Great Duck Race, at the Playhouse. From left: Mike Hibbard (duck), Giovanni Orozlo, Joe Watson, Chris Conte, Erin Reynolds. (Photo/Ashley Sweet)


On Monday, 30  Y’s Men of Westport and Weston and their guests toured the UN.

It’s the latest in their ongoing series of educational and cultural events.

The Y’s Men’s guide, from Uzbekistan, describes the Security Council. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)


Cedar waxwings are today’s “Westport .. Naturally” feature.

They’re also, as Westport Community Gardens director/photographer extraordinaire Lou Weinberg explains, “the bandits of the bird world. With their black masks and paintbrush tails, these beauties travel in flocks and love the serviceberry tree.”

He adds: “If you love birds, plant serviceberry and other native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses. Nature wins!”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)


And finally … Happy Flag Day!

The American flag was adopted on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.[1] 

Two years earlier on this date, Congress adopted “the American continental army.” So happy birthday too to the US Army!

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Roundup: Yankee Doodle Fair, Wakeman Farm Stand, Emmy Squared …

Okay, now we know summer is just around the corner.

The Westport Woman’s Club has announced the dates for the Yankee Doodle Fair.

The decades-in-fact-almost-a-century-old tradition returns Fathers Day weekend. From Thursday, June 15 through Sunday, June 18, the grounds and parking lot on Imperial Avenue will transform from a staid club into a carnival, for “kids” of all ages.

Profits support charities throughout Fairfield County, need-based scholarships to Staples High School students, and the Woman’s Club food closet.

Among the rides: a carousel, Flying Dumbo, Dizzy Dragon, Frog Hopper, Scrambler, Cliff Hanger, Zero Gravity and Expo Wheel. Unlimited ride wristbands make things easy (and inexpensive). 

Entertainment includes rock and country/bluegrass bands. There are raffle prizes and a “take a chance” tent. 

Plus of course a food court with hamburgers, hot dogs, Greek food, Good Humor ice cream, baked goods — and beer and wine.

Last year, proceeds helped the WWC fund $300,000 for a new Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services ambulance.

The greatest show on earth (or at least, in Westport). (Photo/Lee Scharfstein)


Another sign of summer: The Wakeman Town Farm farm stand opens June 10.

Running every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 28, the stand features fresh organic produce and flower bouquets from the Farm, WTF honey and logo wear, plus local artisanal products like organic coffee, bread, pastries, extra virgin olive oils, gourmet balsamic vinegars and salsas.

BMW of Darien  is the summer and fall sponsor of the Wakeman Town Farm farm stand. The dealership will also serve as a lead sponsor of WTF’s annual fundraiser, Harvest Fest.

The Wakeman Town Farm farm stand.


Speaking of food: Westport pizza lovers (perhaps that’s a redundant phrase) salivated at news that Emmy Squared is coming to town.

The Brooklyn-based restaurant is known for its “Detroit-style pizza”: square, crisp bottom, fluffy dough, cheesy crust and sauce strpes.

Their double-stack burger — served on a pretzel bun — was named one of the “20 Best Burgers in New York” by The Infatuation.

There are 8 location in New York, Nashville, Philadelphia, Washington and Louisville. Number 9 will be …

… at the site of the now-closed Amis Trattoria.

That’s the center-of-town location next to Anthropologie, where Church Lane meets the Post Road near Main Street.

No word yet on an opening. The salivation continues.

Pizzas from Emmy Squared.


gorjana comes to 74 Main Street on June 16.

And if you don’t know — as I did not — what is replacing the Sunglass Hut, read this breathless press release from the Laguna Beach-based jewelry brand (which for some reason does not use a capital letter in its name):

“When gorjana Westport officially opens its doors, shoppers will be immersed in a welcoming coastal bungalow inspired by co-founders Gorjana Reidel and Jason Griffin Reidel’s Southern California roots. Light wood finishes, a crystal quartz chandelier, three sparkling window pendants and a hand-dipped Lauren Williams Tapestry inspired by the iconic Laguna Beach coastline create the perfect backdrop to gorjana’s elevated yet effortless designs.

“Located in a beautifully restored historic building along bustling Main Street, the store will bring together the best of Southern California with the charming history of Westport right in the heart of the coastal city. gorjana Westport is the perfect shopping destination for out-of-towners and locals alike.

This is gorjana’s 49th location, but only the second in Connecticut. The first was in Greenwich.


Two weeks ago, a college student named Emily posted a TikTok. She wanted to give a hand-painted romantic gift to a classmate she had a crush on, but needed her followers to give her confidence.


both of our love languages are gift giving, and she’s also extremely crafty, so no i dont think this is too much #fyp#foryou#wlw#wlwtiktok help

♬ original sound – wayn3sw0r1d

The video went viral, with over a million views. She got more validation than she ever dreamed of.

Five days later, she shared an update. The woman she gave the gift to loved it.

Now they’re dating.

The woman is Samantha Webster — a 2021 Staples High School graduate.

As for Sam, she texted her parents that she had a new girlfriend.

And, she said, a million people knew before her parents did.


Replying to @Mikala Walker the highly anticipated cupdate: I didnt get a chance to package it up all cute, but I was too excited I couldn’t wait any longer💛🌼#fyp#foryou#wlw#wlwtiktok#dandelions

♬ Dandelions (Originally Performed by Ruth B.) – Piano Karaoke Version – Sing2Piano


MoCA Westport just hired its first-ever director of performing arts.

Kristen Young knows MoCA well. She’s worked there for 3 years, most recently as its music associate. She created the Music at MoCA concert series, bringing a diverse range of emerging and established artists to the museum.

In her expanded role Young will curate all performing arts experiences, fostering collaborations with music programs across the region, and providing music education opportunities.

Young holds a master’s in violin performance and a graduate certificate in arts management and entrepreneurship from the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor’s in music management from the University of Delaware.

Kristen Young (Photo/Nina Capozzi Photography)


Speaking of music: Jazz at the Post favorite Melissa Newman returns this Thursday (May 25; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner begins at 7; VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399; $15 cover; reservations: JazzatthePost@gmail.com).

The Westporter will be joined by guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Bobby Leonard.

Melissa Newman


Speaking still of the performing arts:

Saugatuck Congregational Church song leader Anthony DeLuco hosts a recital at the church on June 10 (4 p.m.). It’s a fundraiser, to support his attendance at an intensive vocal workshop this summer in Salzburg, Austria.

DeLuco is a young Western Connecticut State University graduate (with many honors and awards). He’s in his second year as a high school teacher.

He’ll play works by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and more. Donations can be made at the recital or by clicking on this GoFundMe link.

Anthony DeLuco


It’s not graffiti, at the Post Road/Main Street intersection.

And they’re not hieroglyphics.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

They’re markings for utility workers.

But what do all those symbols, arrows and colors mean?

If you know, please click “Comments” below.


Understated yet colorful landscaping near Saugatuck Shores stands out in today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/David Stone)


And finally … on this day in 1829, Cyrill Demian was granted an Austrian patent for the accordion.

(“06880” is your home for accordion music — and much more. Please click here to support what we do. Thank you!)

Roundup: Dog Fest, Equity Study, Fire Danger …

This Sunday, Westport’s dog park really goes to the dogs.

The 7th annual Dog Festival takes over Winslow Park on May 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event — produced by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and TAILS — celebrates all things canine.

The day includes guide dog and training demonstrations, a police K-9 presentation, an obstacle course (the winner gets a year’s supply of dog food), adoptables, kids activities, food trucks, information on non-profits, and more.

Prizes will be given for best tail wagger, best dressed, best kisser, best trick, best lap dog over 50 pounds and dog that most looks like its owner. Dog owners can register for the competitions at the festival, or online.

Surrounding the main activities are over 60 pet-related vendors, picture taking, caricatures, face painting, balloon bending and giveaways.

Proceeds from the entrance fee of $10 per person, and $30 for a family of 4 will benefit nonprofit organizations. So far, over $36,000 has been donated by the Chamber to local groups.

Parking is available at business lots along Post Road East. Click here for more Dog Festival information.


For months, the Board of Education has discussed an “Equity Study Action Plan.” The goal is to help all students feel a sense of belonging.

The debate continued Monday night, for 3 hours. But one of the most compelling comments came not from a board member, but from a teenager.

One who cannot even speak.

Wynston Browne — an autistic Staples High School sophomore — has made remarkable progress over the past 2 years, using a spelling device. His parents and teachers realize now that a very keen and incisive mind had been locked away for over a decade. Wynston’s goal is to be a neuroscientist.

On Monday, Wynston typed. His words appeared on screen: “I want to do things that all kids my age do. I want to eat lunch with friends in the Staples cafeteria, and laugh instead of being laughed at. I want to attend classes that are challenging.”

And, he concluded: “Everyone got it wrong, for so long. It’s time to make it right, starting now.”

Click here to see Wynston’s compelling 6-minute speech. He did not speak out loud — but his words said it all.


Effective immediately, the Westport Fire Department has banned all outside burning until further notice. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the entire state, due to extremely dry conditions.

The ban includes all recreational campfires and fire pits. Brush fires spread rapidly, and can threaten homes and property. 


Today’s “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast features an introduction to the Westport Center for Senior Activities’ new director, Wendy Petty.

She discusses her plans for the center with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker. Click below to listen to the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston production:


Westport Rotary club’s weekly lunches are always illuminating.

For 39 local non-profits, yesterday’s was also lucrative.

In a ceremony at Green’s Farms Church, the civic group distributed grants to each one. Funds came from the more than $200,000 raised by ticket sales and from sponsors of September’s LobsterFest.

Giving Committee chair Peter Helt handed charitable checks to representatives of, among others (in alphabetical order): A Better Chance of Westport, Builders Beyond Borders, Carver Foundation of Norwalk, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Mercy Learning Center, Norwalk Housing Foundation, Positive Directions, Remarkable Theater, Staples Tuition Grants, Westport Book Sales Ventures, Westport Country Playhouse, and Westport Volunteer EMS.

75 percent of LobsterFest proceeds go to local organizations; 25 percent to international organizations.

Rotarian Rick Benson described a few of those projects, including water sanitation efforts in Kenya and providing medical equipment to a hospital in Uganda.

Rotary Club members and grant recipients, at Green’s Farms Church.


Jeff Scher is a prolific filmmaker and animator.

The 1972 Staples High School graduate — now back in Westport, working in a Cross Highway studio a few steps from his house — has created everything from an HBO documentary about a Holocaust survivor, to holiday videos for Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and a short film about summer and water.

He made the official video for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Teach Your Children.”

Now he’s made another one for Graham Nash’s new album. It’s environmentally themed — and there’s a “no mower” section that’s very Westport.

Click below to see:


Wheels2UWestport’s Park Connect returns this summer. The service — funded by Connecticut’s Departments of Transportation, and Energy and Environmental Protection — provides free rides to and from anywhere in Westport and Sherwood Island State Park.

Similar free-ride programs are available at 6 other state parks.

Rides are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and holidays, beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day.

Rides are available through the Wheels2U app Westporters use to and from the train station.

For more information about Wheels2U and Park Connect, click here. For more information about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.

Sherwood Island — Westport’s “other” beach — is Connecticut’s first state park.


The Westport Woman’s Club and Congregation for Humanistic Judaism team up for an important event this Sunday (May 21; light breakfast, 9:30 a.m.; program, 10 a.m., 44 Imperial Avenue; click here for the livestream link with passcode 581845).

Dr. Deborah Varat, professor of art history at Southern New Hampshire University, presents “Arthur Szyk’s ‘The New Order’: How the Cartoons of a Polish Jew Helped Prepare the US for War.”

The cartoonist’s work helped Americans visualize and personalize the Nazi evil, against which they ultimately had to fight. Today his illustrations and impact on moving American public opinion toward readiness for war are commemorated in museums around the world. For more information on Szyk, click here.

Arthur Szyk’s “Freedom From Fear.”


Lime Rock Park celebrates the 37th anniversary of Paul Newman’s Trans-Am win with an exhibit of his racing estate on May 27, during the Trans Am Memorial Day Classic.

It includes helmets, racing suits and other memorabilia that former Westport resident Newman used during his storied career. Click here for tickets. (Hat tip: Frank Rosen)

Paul Newman at Lime Rock.


The Saugatuck Rowing Club was not around — not even a dream — when the Staples High School Class of 1983 graduated.

But that’s where their 40th reunion will be, on July 29 (6 to 10 p.m.).

Click here for tickets. Click here for the ’83 Facebook page.

Graduation Day, 1983.


This pond did not look particularly inviting — unless you’re a dog.

Mark Mathias captured today’s wet “Westport … Naturally” image at the Leonard Schine Preserve, off Weston Road.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)


And finally … happy 81st birthday to Taj Mahal.

The multi-talented musician (guitar, piano, banjo, harmonica and many other instruments) has incorporated Caribbean, African, Indian, Hawaiian and South Pacific sounds into his blues/rock/gospel/funk repertoire.

He has played all over the world — including, in 1971 and ’73, at Staples High School. He returned in 1974, to the Westport Country Playhouse.

(It’s a dog’s world, as the first story above explains. Don’t be a bitch. Help support “06880.” Please click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Railroad Parking, Clarendon Art, Woman’s Club Show …

Prices for the Saugatuck and Greens Farms parking lots will increase on July 1.

The new rates are:

Single permit: $400 plus $25.40 state sales tax = $425.40 yearly

Multi-permit: $500 plus $31.75 state sales tax = $531.75 yearly.

Daily parking: $6. That’s the first daily parking increase since 2011.

For full information on railroad station parking, click here.

Weekdays at the train station are more crowded than this weekday shot. (Photo/Caroly Van Duyn)


Clarendon Fine Art has 80 locations in the UK.

Now they’ve got one in the US.

Their 22 Main Street gallery opened in February. Last night, a large crowd welcomed them, at their official launch party.

CEO Helen Swaby loved Westport, from the moment she saw it. She calls our town ‘a flourishing cultural and creative center (which), like Clarendon, has a strong commitment to preserving community, traditions, and quality of life.”

The world’s largest gallery group wants to make art “accessible to all.” They showcase an eclectic portfolio of artists, across a broad range of genres.

The new 2-story building features an international portfolio of originals, collector’s editions, and sculpture from famous names, alongside emerging talents.

Works from artists like Picasso, Miro, Warhol and Hockney; cutting edge pop, street, and contemporary art; more traditional work including landscape, wildlife, still life, figurative and abstract art, is all on view — and sale — at Clarendon.

Clarendon’s 2nd floor. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Speaking of art: There are plenty of great works at this weekend’s Westport Woman’s Club 8th annual show.

Yesterday, there was also A-list entertainment.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame keyboardist Mark Naftalin (Paul Butterfield Blues Band) and Crispin Cioe — who has played sax with James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Solomon Burke, Darlene Love, Tom Waits, Ray Charles, Robert Palmer, Bronski Beat, the Ohio Players, Usher and others — offered music to admire art by. Both are Westporters.

The show ends today: 2 to 5 p.m., 44 Imperial Avenue.

Mark Naftalin and Crispin Cioe, at the Westport Woman’s Club.  (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)


In an age when every youngster seems to be on a device — and/or traveling up and down the East Coast playing youth sports — it’s nice to see that these kids had good old-fashioned fun yesterday, decorating a driveway on Gorham Avenue.

Elle and Axel Enslin, their mom Kara, and Charlotte Peters, hard at work.


Lovely lilacs are today’s “Westport … Naturally” featured flower. Thank you, Dana Kuyper!

(Photo/Dana Kuyper)


And finally … it’s great having Mark Naftalin as our neighbor (see story above). He is very generous with his time, and talent.

He’s sure had a legendary career. Here’s one small sample, from 1965:

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Roundup: Free Trees, Open Doors, Police Arrests …

Get your seeds!

The Westport Tree Board celebrates Arbor Day with a tree seedling giveaway tomorrow (Friday, April 28, 3 to 5 p.m., rear of Town Hall near the softball field).

The seedlings come with planting instructions for school-age children and residents of Westport on a first-come, first-serve basis. They’re donated by Bartlett Tree Service.


A reader who works on Riverside Avenue writes: “A stroll down Main Street recently, on an exceptionally warm day, spurred me into action.

Almost every door to every retail establishment was propped open, air conditioning the outdoors. And as always (I walk 2-3 miles a day in town) I passed many parked cars, engines idling with owners sitting inside, engrossed mostly in cell phones.

I think emissions could be curtailed significantly 2 ways:
• A reduction of idling vehicles (epidemic even during reasonable weather)
• Stores not opening their doors to attract people (heating the outside in cold weather, cooling it in hot),

Legislatively, these things could take much longer than we have to reduce our emissions and our warming climate.

What if they both were tackled as PSAs? Part education via some easily digestible data, and part message along the lines of “What can I do?” Perhaps a campaign akin to the crying Native American of our childhood, the icon for the anti-pollution campaign that was very effective in cleaning up our littered roadways.

A national effort is needed. Perhaps we here can take a leadership position.

This photo ran on “06880” in 2012. More than a decade later, little has changed.


Westport Police were busy recently.

The Staples High School school resource officer was alerted to an irate parent in the front lobby. As the SRO approached the lobby he heard a man screaming at school staff. The man became increasingly agitated, about a custody issue. A staff member had to put their hand up in a defensive move.

The SRO could not de-escalate the situation, but moved the conversation outside The man continued to act aggressively, and refused to obey lawful orders from the SRO. He was arrested, and charged with criminal trespass, interfering/resisting an officer, and breach of peace.

Another shoplifting incident at Ulta Beauty led to the arrest of 4 people, for larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, and illegal possession of a shoplifting device.

Westport Police also issued a number of citations, from April 19-26:

  • Operating a motor vehicle with a telephone, electronic device or texting: 16 citations
  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 8
  • Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 8
  • Unreasonable speed: 6
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 6
  • Improper use of marker: 6
  • Distracted driving, not cell: 5
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 5
  • Failure to comply with state traffic regulations: 4
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 4
  • Failure to obey stop sign: 3
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
  • Improper use of high beams: 1
  • Violation of readable plates: 1
  • Illegal tint: 1
  • Failure to renew registration: 1
  • Failure to carry license: 1.


A year ago, “06880” reported on Westport10: the social and networking group for Black men in town and their families.

The other day, News12 Connecticut picked up the story, with an insightful interview with founder Jay Norris.

He talked about the benefits and opportunities for the organization — now “Westport 100,” as it’s grown from 4 men to 55, plus their spouses and children — for the members, and all of Westport.

Click here for the full interview.

A recent Westport 100 lunch at Hudson Malone.


The opening of the Westport Woman’s Club’s 3-day art show will be special.

On May 5 (5-7 p.m.), Staples seniors Chloe Hackett and Mia Vindiola will be awarded scholarships of $10,000 each. The 2 very talented students plan to pursue arts careers — thanks in large part to the grants from the Drew Friedman Community Arts Center.

The scholarships will be presented by Miggs Burroughs of the DFCAC, and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker. The scholarship project was a collaborative effort with “06880.”

The show continues May 6 and 7 (2 to 5 p.m.). Featured artists include Nina Bentley, Ola Bossin, Michael Brennecke, Ellen Ehli, Susan Fehlinger, Hernan Garcia, Erszebet Laurinyecz, Katya Lebrija, Diane Pollack, Tina Puckett, Jon Puzzuoli, Dorothy Robertshaw, Katherine Ross, Agata Tria and Kathleen Rampe.

All art will be on sale.

Mia Vindiola and Chloe Hackett.


Several Staples student journalists with Inklings were honored recently by the Connecticut Press Club, as winners of their High School Communications Contest.

Finnegan Courtney cleaned up, taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for Best Newscast (“On the Wreckord,” episodes 6, 5 and 3 respectively.

Also taking 1st: Genevieve Frucht (Feature Story, for “Logan Goodman ’24 Incorporates Love for Sneakers, Art into Business”), Anna Diorio (Opinion, “The Damaging Effects of ‘I’m Just Teasing'”), and Talia Moskowitz (Sports, “Report Highlights Impact of Wealth Inequality on State Championships in Connecticut”).

Caroline Zajac was 3rd in the News Story contest, for “Connecticut Swatting Incident Highlights Growing National Problem.”

Samantha Sandrew placed 3rd for Video Feature Story, for “Sneakerheads of Staples.” Anna Diorio earned honorable mention in the category, for “The Power of a Good Book: A Discussion with Staples’ Librarians.”

Congratulations to all of Staples’ superb journalists!


Speaking still of Staples:

The boys lacrosse team’s annual “Sticks for Soldiers” event is this Saturday (12:30 p.m., Paul Lane Field).

The ceremony — before the 1 p.m. game against Greenwich — highlights the service and sacrifice made by our military. Funds raised support wounded veterans and their families.

A minimum donation of $5 is suggested. For more information and to donate, click here or email edward.iannone@gmail.com.

Staples lacrosse players have worn special jerseys to honor “Sticks for Soldiers.”


Longtime Westporter Daisy McCann died last Friday, surrounded by her family. She was 98 years old.

Her family says, “She lived a long and wonderful life, leaving behind a legacy of love, faith and a commitment to giving back to her community.”

Daisy was born in New York City on May 31, 1924. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Hunter College.

After World War II she married Navy veteran Hugh (Bud) McCann. They moved to Westport in 1959, where all 6 of their children lived and attended school: Hugh Jr. (Sarah) of Venice, Florida; Marguerite Francis of New London, New Hampshire; Tom (Mary Jo) of Nantucket, Massachusetts; Rosemary Semanski (Paul) of West Hartford; Tim (Tricia) of Easton, and Rich Tina) of Darien. Daisy is also survived by her grandchildren Katie, Scott, Kristen, Brittany, Shana, Kyle, Conor, Erin, Ali, Jack and Colin, and 7 great-grandchildren. Her family says, “She loved shopping for all of the wee ones in her extended family, and nothing brought a smile to her face more than their visits.”

She was predeceased by her husband.

Daisy was a trustee at St. Luke Parish, where she organized ladies’ luncheons for several decades and hosted generations of priests at her holiday parties. “She loved to feed people; it was her love language, whether at the church, in her home, or at the Norwalk Soup Kitchen.” In recent years, attending St. Luke’s regularly became more challenging, yet she never missed her daily digital Mass.

The family will receive friends tomorrow (Friday, April 28, 4-7 p.m., Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road, Fairfield). A Requiem Mass will be held Saturday (10 a.m., St. Luke). Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Near & Far Aid in memory of Daisy McCann at www.nearandfaraid.org (select donate); P.O. Box 717, Southport, CT 06890 (note honoree’s name in memo).

Daisy McCann


A Burritt’s Landing bald eagle poses for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Dan Vener)


And finally … on this day in 1981, Xerox PARC introduced the computer mouse.

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