Tag Archives: WestportMoms

Roundup: Popup Bagels, Spirited & Small Town Movies, Staples Football …

Popup Bagels — the Westport-based company that has taken the tri-state area by storm (including several out-of-the-suburbs-and-into-the-city awards at Brooklyn BagelFest) — has some eye-popping news.

They just closed on a second round of (poppy) seed funding. Founder and CEO Adam Goldberg calls it “a few million dollars — more than a couple.” That’s on top of about $250,000 last year.

The most recent funding was led by film producer John Davis. Other investors include actors Patrick Schwarzenegger and Paul Rudd; swimmer Michael Phelps, and NFL players JJ and TJ Watt, and Michael Strahan.

The company will now hire a team to examine expansion ideas, including more locations in the New York area (and possibly adding Los Angeles). They’ll also add production capability.

Click here for the full story, from Restaurant Business.

Adam Goldberg, with his Brooklyn BagelFest awards.

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Spirited” — the Christmas-themed musical comedy retelling of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” — has opened to great reviews. It’s in theaters, and streaming on Apple TV.

The music-writing team includes 2003 Staples High School graduate Justin Paul, and his songwriting partner Benj Pasek (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman”).

Justin — also credited as an executive producer — said he had “a blast” working on the score during the pandemic, on Zoom.

In this quick, intriguing interview below, he provides a bit of the back story:

(Hat tip: Julie Whamond)

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Speaking of cinema: “Small Town Movie” is making its way to distribution.

And that “small town” is Westport.

Jarret Liotta — a Staples High School graduate, now a journalist and writer — filmed the dark satire that tries to make sense (“or non-sense”) of racism, gun violence and modern cancel culture in an “average, upper middle class, affluent Connecticut town.”

The timely script will make audiences laugh. “Or furious, depending on their mood that day,” Jarret says.

His goal is to “poke fun at everyone equally, regardless of their social or political views. Hopefully it provides a minor epiphany for everyone — about themselves and the comical world in which we live.

“If Westporters enjoyed my smarmy columns and editorial writing in the past, they’ll probably adore this flick,” Jarret — former editor of Westport Journal — adds.

“If they hated them, this will help them hate me even more.”

The film includes original music by Staples grads Tom Shaner and Margot Liotta.

Jarret plans a screening in Westport after the holidays. Then, he hopes, it will start getting attention from film festivals.

For more information, click here.

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The Staples football team’s quest for a state tournament semifinal berth fell a few agonizing inches short last night.

The Wreckers — seeded 4th in the “LL” (extra large schools) division — dropped a 23-22 heartbreaker to #5 Fairfield Prep, at Paul Lane Field.

The game came down to the final seconds. With no timeouts left, Staples junior quarterback Caleb Smith brought his team 77 yards in the final 2:22. A pass into the end zone was broken up with 3 seconds to go. A final 29-yard field goal attempt was just wide.

Congratulations to coach Adam Behrends and his squad for an excellent 9-2 season. This was the Wreckers’ first playoff game in 7 years.

Quarterback Caleb Smith. (Photo/John Nash courtesy of The Ruden Report)

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WestportMoms’ Holiday Shopping Event always draws a huge crowd to the Westport Country Playhouse. Vendors offer nearly everything shoppers need to complete their gift list.

This year, it’s moving inside, to the Playhouse barn. (Some tables will be outside too). It’s set for this Friday (December 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Warm drinks will be provided. Those WestportMoms think of everything.

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Westporters raveled to Guatemala this month to help expand a local English academy, and also create healthy cooking stoves for local families.

Led by Howard Greene, chair of the non-profit Friends of BEA, the group spent a week building 2 middle school classrooms, painting the exterior, erecting a fence, and working in homes to build energy-efficient and properly ventilated cooking stoves. They also met students, and observed classes.

Among the volunteers: Howard and Joyce Greene, Jeff and Nancy Plotkin, Dan and Ivy Guetta, Robert and Heidi Flicker, Tony and Amy Riggio, Steve and julie Lewine, and Mark Mathias.

The Guatemala group.

Balanya English Academy provides high quality, English-based education, and supportive services to students, their families and the local community.  The goal is to prepare graduates to work in an increasingly globalized world.

For more information, click here or email hgreene@balanyaenglishacademy.org. Check out the drone video below too, shot by Mark Mathias:

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Longtime Westport resident Dr. Paul Schulman died peacefully in his sleep last month, doing what he and his late wife Susan loved: traveling overseas. He was 89 years old.

He was the highly respected chief of hematology and oncology at Norwalk Hospital. He also served at both Yale New Haven Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York.

Paul was born in New York, graduated from Columbia College and SUNY Medical School, and served in the US Air Force.

After he and Susan married in 1965 they moved to Westport, and purchased a home on Twin Oaks Lane in 1968 in anticipation of a family. They raised Heidi and Bruce, both of whom graduated from Staples High School.

Paul coached Little League baseball and softball. He played tennis with friends, enjoyed Westport Pizzeria, and dropped in at Harvey’s Liquor Locker and Klein’s (to purchase action thrillers). Paul and Susan spent many weekend nights dining at Mario’s.

He and Susan shared a passion for art and antiques, especially clocks, which he collected and wound every Sunday. Their collections were fueled by their intrepid travel. Paul and Susan were among early visitors to Antarctica, Burma (now Myanmar), China, and New Guinea, among many other destinations.

After spending nearly 40 years in Westport, Paul and Susan retired to South Carolina and Marbella, Spain. After Susan died in 2016 Paul moved into Fox Hill Residences in Bethesda, Maryland, near where his son lives with his family.

Paul was an active member of the Fox Hill community, participating in the quarterly “radio show,” passing evenings at his end stool at the bar, and watching his grandsons in sports and school activities. He became dear friends with the late Rhoda Herman. Together they enjoyed weekends at her country home in Leesburg, Virginia.

Paul is survived by his children Bruce (Frazier) and Heidi Greenwald (Brad), and 5 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a memorial page at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

A service to celebrate his life will be held in Bethesda in January. Email Bruce (bschulman@hotmail.com) for details.

Dr. Paul Schulman

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Whether you’re a buck — or you’re paying big bucks for a sticker — it can be tough finding a spot at the Greens Farms train station.

David Hyman spotted today’s “Westport … Naturally” scene yesterday afternoon.

(Photo/David Hyman)

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And finally … Louise Tobin died Saturday in Texas. She was 104.

In 1939, the vocalist with Benny Goodman’s orchestra was ready for national fame. But her husband — bandleader/trumpeter Harry James — had her put her career on hold, to further his own career.

They divorced 4 years later. She raised 2 sons, and was forgotten. But her career was jump started years later in New Orleans, when Al Hirt recognized her and invited her on stage.

Click here for her full, fascinating obituary.

(Louise Tobin may have been forgotten. Please don’t forget “06880.” Just click here, to help support your hyper-local blog.)

This Halloween, Keep In Mind …

WestportMoms is our town’s go-to multi-platform destination for upcoming family and kid events, merchants and helping professional news, and and school and camp advice.

The head moms — Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post — always have every child in mind. They know “it takes a village,” and they always support ours.

The other day, they posted this advice. It comes from Dr. Ali Griffith, and is worth repeating for the (few) folks who don’t follow WestportMoms:

Roundup: Bolsheviks, CTBites, Blue Sunday …

An “06880” reader was intrigued by an item in yesterday’s “Roundup.” It previewed a November 1 discussion at the Westport Library on “How Public Policy is Putting Our Children at Risk.” The session will be led by CD Media’s chief investigative correspondent and senior editor Christine Dolan.

Hoping to learn more about Dolan the reader found a piece she wrote last year.

Headlined “Idyllic Westport, CT Is Ground Zero for CRT Infiltration by America’s Bolsheviks,” it begins:

The yellow and red leaves are drifting down quietly as they have for millennia in Westport , CT as the historic New England town sleeps towards a tipping point, one it may never recover from if the coming elections go the wrong way and vote in a continuation of its current path.

The Minuteman statue guards at Compo Beach where a ragtag group of American rebels fought the global tyranny of the once monolithic British empire, but Westport residents seem to want to forget this honorable history and welcome with open arms global tyranny of a different name — the Maoist doctrine of Critical Race Theory, or CRT.

Essentially, the agenda of the CRT movement is to teach young children their country is evil, that they themselves are racists and bad if they are white.  The ideology is racist, it is divisive, and is on purpose.  The doctrine is just a gateway drug to a more pernicious evil, re-imagining Westport schools.  In the CRT future, gone will be AP classes, music excellence.  Gone will be the gateway to Ivy league schools, replaced with a dumbed-down redistribution of educational wealth and excellence.

Along with this educational decline, property values will plummet as zoning laws are also changed to forever alter the nature of the community.  Physical safety will disappear.  Crime will increase.

Click here to read the full story.

Westport’s Minute Man, on guard against Bolsheviks and/or Maoists. (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

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If you like to dine out — and, this being Westport, that means everyone — then CTbites is essential reading. Published by our town’s Stephanie Webster, it’s a weekly guide to new restaurants, special culinary events, food trucks, catering and more.

I always learn something from the site. But — until yesterday — I’d never actually laughed while reading it.

“Connecticut Restaurant Confidential: Strange Stories, Odd Orders & Twisted Tales in the Industry” is a collection of jaw-dropping tales, from owners, chefs, bartenders and wait staff.

It’s an insider’s look at what gets told after hours — about diners (hopefully un)like you and me.

They come from all over the state. Including our own Winfield Deli. Click here to read.

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Texas blues/New Orleans funk band Otis & the Hurricanes headlines the next “Blue Sunday” at the Westport Library (October 23, 2:30 p.m., Trefz Forum).

The free event is curated by Mark Naftalin. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame keyboardist will be there of course, with his Blue Sunday Band of all-stars: Westport/internationally known saxophonist Crispin Cioe, guitarists JD Seem and Paul Gabriel, and special guest Chance Browne.

Lat month’s Blue Sunday — the first in the series — drew a large crowd, and plenty of raves.

And this one could make that seem like just a warmup.

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From jazz to blues:

This week week’s “Jazz at the Post” features pianist Michael Cochrane, drummer to the stars Steve Johns, and fiery young bassist Jason Clotter in concert with the Jazz Rabbi, Greg Wall.

There are 2 shows — 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. — on Thursday (October 6) at VFW Post 399 (465 Riverside Avenue). There’s a $10 cover. Food service starts at 6:30.

Reservations are strongly suggested. Email JazzatThePost@gmail.com.

Michael Cochrane

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This is an active weekend in Westport. Among the highlights: Westport Moms’ 2nd annual Fall Family Festival. It’s Saturday, October 15 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greens Farms Academy; $20 per family).

The event includes food, crafts, games and fun (bouncy houses, ninja course, music, art projects, DJ, pumpkin and cookie decorating, face painting, hair extensions, glitter tattoos, magic, STEM activities and more).

Many businesses will show off their products and services — all with activities for kids.

Organizers Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post ask attendees to bring gently worn jackets, for donations to a local non-profit.

A scene from last year’s Fall Family Festival.

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Sunday’s Westport Weston Family YMCA Fall Festival drew a large crowd.

There was music, gymnastics exhibitions, bounces houses and s’mores. The weather was perfect for an outdoor event.

Best of all: You didn’t have to be a kid to have a great time.

Westport Board of Assessment Appeals member Ifeseyi Gaylel (left) and Westport Weston Family YMCA CEO Anjali McCormick take a break during the Y’s Family Festival.

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The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra takes center stage at the Y’s Women’s October 24 meeting (Green’s Farms Church, 10:45 a.m.). Jonathan Yates and Sandra Miklave will talk about the group’s long history, and share visions for the future.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is striking.

Even more impressive: this Montauk daisy — on the Bonnie Brook/Silver Brook Road corner — was taken by 13-year-old Emae Forman. What an eye!

(Photo/Emae Forman)

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And finally … if you’ve never heard Otis & the Hurricanes (see story above)  — well, click below, and you will:

Roundup: Qatar, Kids, Service …

Giles Goodburn lives in Westport. But he grew up in the UK, where he became great friends with rugby teammate Marc Bennett.

They stayed close over the years. Their families celebrated special occasions together; they vacationed together too, all over the world.

Most recently, the Goodburns would visit the Bennetts in Dubai, where Marc — a travel industry executive — worked. Marc, Nancy and their 2 boys would reciprocate, in Westport. Marc loved fishing off the Westport shoreline, and Cockenoe Island.

One memorable Christmas Eve, Marc, Giles and and their sons  skated at Longshore. Marc fell, dislocated his shoulder, and spent that night in the ER.

“He was the life and soul of the party, and a dear friend,” Giles says.

Marc’s most recent job was with Qatar Airways to boost Qatar’s tourism trade, in the runup to the coming soccer World Cup.

Near the end of 2019, he was found hanging in a Doha hotel. He had been arrested at his office 10 weeks earlier. He told friends he had been detained for 3 weeks, blindfolded, stripped, blasted with high-pressure hoses, slammed against wall and deprived of sleep, by the country’s secret police,

After his release he could not leave Qatar. Authorities there called his death a suicide. But British officials, and Marc’s family, are not so sure.

Last week, the Times of London published a story about the case, and of the secret Qatari unit that was involved. In the run-up to the World Cup, Qatar has attracted international attention for its human rights abuses, and the deaths of foreign workers building stadiums and other infrastructure.

Click here for the full Times story.

Marc Bennett at Longshore, just before he fell.

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Westport Zoning Board of Appeals member Thomas Hood Jr. died on Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The New Jersey native was 65.

Thomas received his BS in civil engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, an MBA from the University of Connecticut, and a master’s in architecture from NJIT.

He had over 40 years of experience in the design, planning and construction of buildings, software engineering, advanced product development, marketing, and consulting.

Thomas was appointed to the ZBA in 2018. Previously, he spent 2 terms on the Flood & Erosion Control Board.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston for more than 30 years, where he served as a trustee and sang in the choir.

Thomas’s favorite activities were spending time with his family, painting, cooking, and being near the water. An avid sailor, he was a member of both Cedar Point Yacht Club and the Mantoloking (New Jersey) Yacht Club.

Thomas is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mary Jane (Pascale) Hood; their children, Elizabeth (James Ifert) of Philadelphia, and Thomas and Meredith, both of Brooklyn; his sister Barbara Hood Benz (Charles) of Mantoloking, and extended family.

Visitation will be held Thursday, (October 6, 4 to 8 p.m., Magner Funeral Home, 12 Mott Avenue, Norwalk, CT). A memorial service is set for Friday (October 7, 11 a.m., United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston).

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Diabetes Association.

Thomas Hood

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Sure, there’s a lot going on this month.

But if you’ve got children, try to make time to the 2nd annual Fall Family Festival (Saturday, October 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greens Farms Academy; $20 per family).

Sponsored by WestportMoms — the multi-platform we’ve-got-kids-covered organization — it features food, crafts, games and fun (bouncy houses, ninja course, music, art projects, DJ, pumpkin and cookie decorating, face painting, hair extensions, glitter tattoos, magic, STEM activities and more).

Many businesses will show off their products and services — all with activities for kids.

Organizers Megan Brownstein and Melissa Post ask attendees to bring gently worn jackets, for donations to a local non-profit.

A scene from last year’s Fall Family Festival.

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Speaking of kids: They love nature. They also love Victoria Kann.

This Sunday (October 9, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), they can combine both. The author will read from her popular “Pinkalicious: Treasuretastic” book, and sign copies. There’s also a scavenger hunt for natural treasures through the remarkable Blau House gardens, and a chance for children to take a bean home and watch it grow.

The gardens are at 9 Bayberry Ridge Road. Registration and payment ($10 per child, which includes a copy of the book) must be done by October 7. Click here for details.

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Speaking still of kids:

The 3rd grade Brownies troop from Long Lots School recently raised funds through cookie sales to purchase a native tree for the Long Lots Preserve, next to the Community Gardens.

The Preserve protects land for future generations, while educating Westporters about a healthy environment. It is turning open space overrun with invasive plants and pests into a native New England forest.

The girls — who have been a troop together since kindergarten — worked with Long Lots Preserve director Lou Weinberg, and their troop leaders to dig a hole and plant their tree. It was a great project — one they can see every day, outside their school.

Long Lots Brownies, Lou Weinberg and their Preserve tree.

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Westport’s National Charity League chapter invites 6th grade girls to apply for the 2023-24 year.

With over 275 members, NCL Westport has more than 275 members (women and their daughters in grades 7-12) provide volunteer service for over 30 community  non-profits.

The 6-year core program includes leadership development and cultural activities. Click here or email mmurphy33Wyahoo.com.

National Charity League seniors, at Ned Dimes Marina.

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Lynn Flint writes: “I’m really concerned about the number of people walking on the side of the road with traffic, not against it, wearing dark non-reflective clothes, in the early twilight and darkness — especially where there are no sidewalks, and the streets are poorly lit.”

As darkness falls earlier, this long-running (and walking) problem gets worse. “06880” readers: Please wear light clothing. Walk against traffic, not with it.

And if there’s a sidewalk nearby, use it. Taxpayers have paid good money to save your life.

Light clothing is good. Walking with traffic is not.

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Speaking of taking care of accident victims:

This weekend at the VFW, Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service honored the achievements of our volunteers. Among them:

  • Crew Chief of the Year: Jamie Bairaktaris
  • Volunteer of the Year: Stew Reifler
  • Youth Corps Member of the Year: Jenna Baumblatt
  • EMT of the Year: Ryan Blake
  • Presidential Service Awards Lifetime Recognition: Danielle Faul
  • Presidential Service Awards Lifetime Recognition: Audrone Tarnok
  • Carol Dixon, Danielle Faul: 20 years of service
  • Dorrie Harris: 30 years of service
  • Pat Salvo, Jay Paretzky: 40 years of service

Click here, then scroll down for more information on each honoree.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo features just one autumn leaf.

It’s October 3. Believe me: There are many more to come.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … Happy 81st birthday, Chubby Checker. Let’s dance!

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. We rely entirely on reader support. Please click here to help.)

Roundup: Easter Egg Hunt, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Roseville Full Stop …

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For years, people have asked WestportMoms to sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt.

Get those baskets ready!

The social media wizards have hopped to it (ho ho). The event is set for this Saturday (April 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), on the big lawn in front of Saugatuck Congregational Church.

It includes make-your-own bags for egg collecting, courtesy of One River Art School; music by DJ Marcello; sports and games with Sara Holland; face painting; food trucks, pictures with the Easter Bunny — and of course, a hunt for 3,000 eggs.

The cost is $20 per family. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Save the Children Ukraine.

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Jersey Mike’s’ Westport location may — or may not — be closed.

But the Norwalk store joins more than 2,000 others on Wednesday (March 30), in donating 100% of its sales to Special Olympics.

You read that right: Not 100% of profits. 100% of sales.

Making the offer even tastier, Westporters Rick Levin, Bob Levy and Sunny Sherman are buying a few hundred sandwiches. They’ll be donated to STAR of Norwalk, and Bridgeport’s Alpha Community Center and Cardinal Shehan Center.

The Jersey Mike’s at 360 Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk has been excited to work with Rick, Bob and Sunny on their idea. They’re ready to make those sandwiches — and all others that area residents order, on that special day.

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Many Westporters have expressed concern about the massive logs stored on the Post Road property near Roseville Road.

That’s not the only potential danger. Drivers heading south on Roseville have a tough enough time seeing westbound traffic, thanks to the blind curve.

Often now though, a logging truck parked on the lot makes it even harder.

There’s no “No Right Turn on Red” sign at that traffic light, for Roseville traffic. There should be.

Savvy motorists — at least, those turning right — cut through the McDonald’s parking lot.

Everyone else should just wait for the green.

(Photo/Joseph Signorile)

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It’s the time of year for swans and their eggs. The annual ritual is today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature. This photo is from Riverside Avenue, near the boardwalk by the medical offices.

(Photo/Gabriela Bockhaus)

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And finally … Taylor Hawkins, the ever-smiling, fierce drummer and occasional vocalist for Foo Fighters for more than 2 decades, died Friday in Colombia, at 50. Several drugs were reportedly found in his system. Click here for a full obituary.

Roundup: Clear-Cutting, Santa, Holiday Help …

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Westporters have been talking this week about trees, and their removal near property lines and roadsides. A Planning & Zoning Commission subcommittee is drafting a regulation to protect mature trees in setbacks, stop clear-cutting, and ensure that when mature trees are removed, new trees are planted.

One of the most recent examples of clear-cutting is on Hideaway Lane. Several days ago the lot that fronts Hillspoint Road — opposite Loretta Lane, on the last gentle hill before Old Mill Beach — was stripped of every tree.

Here’s the before shot …

(Photo courtesy of Google Earth)

… and how it looked yesterday:

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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If your kids can’t wait to see Santa … he makes a special appearance tonight!

From 5:30 to 6 p.m. today (Thursday), the Bearded One will wave to everyone driving past 28 Oak Street. It’s Josh and Rose Philip’s gift to Westport.

And if Santa looks a tiny bit like Josh — well, what a remarkable coincidence!

Santa visits 28 Oak Street tonight.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up for a Westport family.

Marius Sarapinas is a master carpenter, whose work ethic is equaled only by his attention to detail. He is loved by clients and colleagues.

His dedication to his sons, age 13 and 8, is legendary. He suffered a brain aneurysm just before Thanksgiving, and has been in the ICU at Yale New Haven Hospital ever since. He has made some progress, but the road to recovery is long.

The family must pay medical expenses, along with their mortgage, food, utility and Christmas bills.

The fund is halfway to its $25,000 goal. To help, click here(Hat tip: Danielle Alexander.)

Marius Sarapinas

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Yesterday’s, Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids and Garelick & Herbs provided a holiday lunch for 30 firefighters, at Westport’s main station.

The meal was delicious — and (thankfully) uninterrupted. The department thanks these 2 great local businesses for their generosity.

The Fire Department’s holiday meal.

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Not to be a Debbie Downer as we head into the final, festive week of the year, but I have to repeat this thought, first seen on the WestportMoms Instagram:

Next year is pronounced “2020, too.”

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A ring with the inscription “United States Veteran,” surrounding a green stone (photo below), was found in the Staples High School gym. If it’s yours — or you know whose it is — email klquinn@westportps.org (after the Christmas break).

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Today is one of the busiest days of the year.

To help de-stress, just look at today’s “Westport … Naturally” image.

Relax. Fly above it all. Enjoy the view!

(Photo/Patricia Auber)

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And finally … on this day in 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Imagine” promotional film premiered on American TV. The single and album of the same name was released a year earlier.

Fifty years later, its message still resonates.

Roundup: Light Up Westport, Shoveling, “We The People,” More

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First Selectman Jim Marpe and 2nd Selectman Jen Tooker helped “Light up Westport” yesterday at Town Hall (photo below).

They were not alone.

Dozens of others bought luminaries to send a message of hope and resilience — and raise money for Filling in the Blanks, the non-profit that provides weekend meals to needy area residents.

The event was sponsored by WestportMoms and Purpose 2 Purchase.

(Photo courtesy of Town of Westport)

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At the end of yesterday’s Roundup item reminding commercial property owners that they are responsible for all snow and ice removal from their sidewalks, I noted that residential homeowners must do the same.

That’s true in Westport, Wisconsin — but not Westport, Connecticut. Homeowners only are off the hook.

Still, it wouldn’t hurt.

And don’t forget to shovel your hydrants!

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Boat purchases have risen during the pandemic. There’s a wait list of more than 1,000 people — and they’re waiting up to 11 years for a slip at a town marina.

And those slip fees will rise in 2022.

Yesterday, the Board of Selectmen approved increases for boats in 4 categories. For examples, owners of boats 22 to 26 feet will pay $1,580, up from $1,505; boat owners of slips 35 to 40 feet will pay $3,099, up from $2,695.

There is no increase for slips less than 21 feet.

Ned Dimes Marina, at Compo Beach (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

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Congratulations to Staples High School’s “We the People” team.

For the 2nd year in a row, teacher/advisor/coach Suzanne Kammerman and her crew took 1st place in the state competition.

For the 2nd year in a row, they knocked out longtime powerhouse Trumbull High.

For the 2nd year in a row, their championship earns them a place in the national contest, this April.

And for the 2nd year in a row, they don’t get a traditional trip to Washington for nationals. Once again, this year’s event will be virtual.

Last year, the team placed 5th in the US. This time around, they’re gunning this year for the top spot.

State champs!

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From today through Saturday (February 13), Winged Monkey will donate 15% of all proceeds to CLASP Homes, the great non-profit that supports adults with developmental disabilities.

Can’t make it in, but want to help? Text Valentines to 44-321 to make a donation.

Basso restaurant is also participating. Show a Winged Monkey receipt; they’ll give you a free glass of prosecco.

And more on Winged Monkey: The popular Post Road East shop celebrates its 25th anniversary on March 1. That’s appropriate: March is Women’s History Month.

Winged Monkey has a great history in town. It’s always been woman-owned. Jenny Vogel has now taken over from her mother, who founded the business and ran it all this time.  

Here’s to the next 25 years, for one of the coolest — and best named — stores anywhere!

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“When Caged Birds Sing” — a human rights teaching exhibition created by Westport artist Ann Weiner — has been acquired by MoCA Westport for its permanent collection. It is thte museum’s first such acquisition.

Weiner’s work features 8 life-size sculptures. They represent women’s rights activists who suffered and survived abuse because of their gender, and continue to advocate for the rights of others at risk.

The exhibition will be on view at MoCA Westport every 3 to 5 years. In between it will be loaned to other museums.

Click here to learn more about “When Caged Birds Sing.”

Ann Weiner, with one element of “When Caged Birds Sing.”

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Roberta Seret is a United Nations NGO director and NYU film professor. Now the Westporter adds another title: author.

Her book “Gift of Diamonds” will be published February 23. She’s turned government secrets and stories from Romania into fiction, for a journey of self-discovery.

The history of Bucharest Jews forms the center of the story, which begins in 1960s Transylvania. “Gift of Diamons” reveals hidden secrets of how fascism led to communism — which formed the seeds of modern-day terrorism. Click here for more information.

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And finally … on this day in 1534, Henry VIII was recognized as supreme head of the Church of England. You know what’s coming …

Roundup: Christmas Tunes, Food, Tree And More


The Senior Center is filled with fascinating people.

High on the list: pianist Irwin Lebish. A veterinarian since 1954, he is still — in his 90s —  a general practitioner at Schulhof Animal Hospital.

That’s not all. He also plays piano with the hands of 20-year-old.

The other day, Dr. Lebish recorded a Holiday Piano Recital — jazz, standards and more — for the Senior Center. He was joined by a young whippersnapper: his son Scott, on bass.

Jim Honeycutt and Nick Pisarro videotaped it all. Click below to enjoy!


Everyone knows about stress eating. But what about stress cooking?

If the thought of making another — or any — holiday meal fills you with dread, click here.

The WestportMoms’ Food Delivery & Catering Guide is filled with businesses that have pivoted during the pandemic to provide — in addition to their usual delicious fare — catering, weekly meal plans, delivery and curbside pickup.

No cooking? No problem! Click here.


MoCA Westport invites all high school students to submit works of art for a student exhibit. “Hindsight is 2020” will run open January 23, and run through March 6.

This is the first student in-person show at MoCA’s Newtown Turnpike space. The museum presented an online student exhibition in July.

“Hindsight is 2020” will feature submissions created this challenging, unique year.

All high school students may submit 1 work, of any kind. The deadline is January 8. Cash prizes of $500, $300 and $100 will be awarded by judges. Click here for details, or email liz@mocawestport.org.


Downtown’s newest Christmas tree stands outside Savvy + Grace, near the steps to the old Tavern on Main.

Check it out — and don’t worry. It will be trimmed soon!


And finally … happy 55th birthday to Björk! Now — can anyone name another Icelandic singer-songwriter?!

“Local Love” Is Back!

Last year — just in time for the holidays — local shoppers and diners enjoyed a spectacular discount coupon book. Dozens of area stores and restaurants offered deals — and part of the sales went to a plan to build a playground downtown.

“Local Love” returns for a second year. Card sales are already live. And the dream of a downtown playground is closer to reality. Plans are in place, with completion scheduled for this summer at Bedford Square.

The playground tie-in is strong. People buying the Local Love card can have their name — or their child’s — on a commemorative plaque there.

Artist’s rendering of the Bedford Square playground.

The “local” part of the campaign is important. Organizers Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post want to do the same thing with the card as they do with their multi-platform WestportMoms site: “keep our town vibrant, keep businesses alive, keep people connected, and celebrate everything this community has to offer.”

This is a true townwide effort. Megan and Melissa have partnered with civic officials, the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, and over 100 retailers, spas, fitness studios and restaurants.

The campaign runs from Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 15. Coupon books are $40; click here to purchase.

For a full list of participants, scroll down:

Appliances & Electronics

Stanton Miles (Vaccums) – 20% off

Arts, Art Classs & Flowers

Compo Flowers – 10% off orders $100+
One River Art School  – $75 off first month of a weekly class membership
Westport Country Playhouse – Buy 3 tickets, get the 4th free (25% off) – Box office only

Clothing & Accessories

Alala – 20% off
Anthropologie – 20% off
Athleta – 20% off
Bella Bridesmaids – 20% off (some exclusions)
Cotelac – 20% off
Fleet Feet – 20% off sneakers
Fred – 20% off; 10% off for members
Great Stuff – 20% off (some exclusions)
Groove – 20% off
J. Crew – 20% off
Joie – 20% off
Jojo Maman – Up to 50% off, plus gift in store
Madewell – 20% off (excludes denim)
Marine Layer – 20% off purchase over $425
NIC + ZOE – 20% off
Scout & Molly – 20% off
She La La – 20% off kids and women’s clothing; 10% off jewelry (excluding Julie Vos)
Soleil Toile – 20% off purchases over $150
Southern Tide – 20% off
South Moon Under – 20% off
Splash of Pink – 20% off
Theory – 20% off
West – 20% off
Winged Monkey – 20% off (excludes gowns and select other items)

Fleet Feet in Sconset Square is filled with running gear, and accessories.

Fitness

Bar Method – 15% off
Club Pilates – $10 membership fee, plus 15% off 3-month membership
CST 50 – 20% off a 5-pack (one-time use)
F45 Westport – 15% off class packs and membership
Gym Source (fitness equipment) – 20% off
Joyride Cycling + Fitness- 15% off
PureBarre – 15% off
Row House – 15% off
Solid Core – 15% off a 5-pack or a private in-studio 12 person class
Stretch Lab – 15% off
Upper Deck Fitness – 20% off

Hair & Nails

Amenity Nail & Spa – 20% off, plus free manicure with pedicure
Blow Dry Westport – 15% off products and services
Greg & Tony Salon – 15% off products and services
Hair Genies – 15% off
Le Boudoir – 15% off
Nail Factory – 15% off
Roots Salon – 15% off
Sharkey’s – 20% off services and retail products
Steven Mancini – 15% off products and services
Studio on Main – 15% off gift cards and retail
WHIP Salon – 15% off products and services

Don’t give lice for the holidays. Hair Genies can help!

Health, Beauty, & Spa

Artistex Salon & Spa – 15% off
The Brow Girl – 20% off
Dermatology Associates – 15% off botox and fillers (on Main Street)
Dream Spa – 20% off
European Wax – 15% off products and services
Modern Dermatology – 15% off all skincare products (excluding Alastin and SkinBetter)
New England Hemp Farm – 15% off
Restore Cryotherapy – 15% off all services
Westport Dental Associates (teeth whitening) – $399 ZOOM Teeth Whitening (40%+ discount); 2 Quip toothbrushes for $40 (normally $30 each); $20 off kids Sonicare with purchase of Adult Sonicare

Home Decor & Gifts

Belmondo – 20% off one-time purchase
Fig – 20% off
Party Harty – 20% off (excluding helium)
Redi-Cut Carpet – 20% off
Savannah Bee – 20% off honey products
She La La – 20% off kids and women’s clothing; 10% off jewelry (excluding Julie Vos)
Tusk – 20% off select items (designated in store)
William-Sonoma – 20% off

Savannah Bee Company: a honey of a local business.

Jewelry

Faye Kim Fine Jewelry – 20% off select items
Lux Bond & Green – 10% off (20% off select items)
Noya – 10% off select jewelry items
Silver Ribbon Jewelry – 10% off

Pet Care

Earth Animal – 20% off

Restaurants & Food Services

190 Main – 10% off
A&S Food – 10% off
Bagel Maven – 10% off
Black Duck – 10% off
The Boathouse (at Saugatuck Rowing Club) – 10% off
The Cottage – 10% off dinner
Field Trip Snacks – 20% off
Freshii – 10% off
Garelick & Herbs – 10% off
Gold’s Deli – 10% off restaurant dining
The Granola Bar – 10% off
Green & Tonic – 10% off menu; 30% off detox and cleanse
Ignazio’s – 10% off
Jesup Hall – 10% off
Joe’s Pizza – 10% off
Le Rouge by Aarti (chocolates) – 10% off
Match Burger Lobster – 10% off
The Meatball Shop – 10% off
Mystic Market – 10% off
OKO – 10% off lunch
Organic Market – 10% off
The Pearl – 10% off
Le Penguin – 10% off
Planet Pizza – 10% off
Rizzuto’s – 10% off
Rye Ridge Deli – 15% off
The Spotted Horse – 10% off
Stiles Market – 10% off butcher, deli and prepared foods
Tarrylodge – 10% off
Tavern on Main – 10% off
Wafu – 10% off
Westport Pizza – 10% off
Winfield Street & Deli – 10% off

Gold’s Deli: a Westport favorite for over 60 years.

Sporting Goods

ASF Sports and Outdoors – 20% off footwear
Fleet Feet – 20% off sneakers
Ski & Sport – 15% off ski rentals and 20% off (10% off Bogner)
Soccer & Rugby Imports – 20% off

Toys

Age of Reason – 20% off
The Toy Post – 20% off

Moms Matter

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12.

But you don’t have to wait that long to celebrate Mom — or, more specifically, motherhood and the “MOMents that Mattered.”

WestportMoms — the wonderful, multi-platform resource — sponsors a cocktails-and-conversation event by that name on Tuesday, May 7 (7 p.m., Pearl at Longshore).

Six rock-star local moms —

  • Alisyn Camerota, CNN anchor
  • Stephanie Szostak, star of ABC’s “A Million Little Things”
  • Melissa Bernstein, co-founder of Melissa & Doug
  • Elyse Oleksak, founder of Bantam Bagels
  • Lindsay Czarniak, sports broadcaster
  • Emily Liebert, author

— will share some of the tough choices they’ve made balancing families and careers. And they’ll talk about what makes Westport special to them.

The food is on WestportMoms. There’s also a cash bar.

Attendees are asked to bring a package of diapers, for donation to the Diaper Bank of Connecticut.

It’s all a “celebration of being moms together.”

Save the date. Then book a babysitter.

Or better yet, tell your spouse to feed the kids that day.

(Click here for more information.)