Tag Archives: Y’s Men of Westport and Weston

Roundup: Wreaths, War, WPD Toys …

Each Christmas season, the Wreaths Across America program honors fallen servicemembers, and all who serve. Over 2 million volunteers take part, in all 50 states and overseas.

This year, for the first time, Westport joins in.

The date is December 17. The time is noon. The cemetery is Assumption, on Greens Farms Road.

It wouldn’t have happened without Patty Kondub. The popular Westport Family YMCA and Senior Center (and Staples High School girls golf coach) is the local coordinator.

As part of her many other Westport activities, she’s also vice president of the VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 Auxiliary.

Click here to sponsor a wreath (the deadline is November 29). To designate a wreath for a specific veteran at the Assumption cemetery, email Patty: nortonpk@aol.com. You can also email her to volunteer to mark graves before December 17, and place them on that date

For Patty, the project is personal. Her father — John Kondub — was a World War II Marine, and VFW Post 399 member. He earned a Purple Heart, for hand-to-hand combat in the Japanese Islands.

He is buried at Assumption Greens Farms Cemetery — almost across from the farm where he was born, before I-95 was built.

“There are over 200 veterans buried in this cemetery,” Patty says. “I hope they all get wreaths.”

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Liz and Richard are true heroes.

She’s from Florida, and speaks 5 languages. He’s a German attorney. They met and formed a group that braves drones and missiles to drive desperately needed supplies to the front lines in Ukraine. Their supplies include water filtration systems and wood burning stoves for civilians, who are starving and bracing for a cold winter.

In Ukraine they met Brian Mayer. The Westporter spent several months helping coordinate relief efforts. He also helped fund Liz and Richard’s work.

After several months of non-stop work, the pair needed a rest. Brian invited them to Westport, for a few days of R&R.

On Monday they met with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Ken Bernhard, another Westporter deeply involved in humanitarian aid.

Liz and Richard were taking a breather. But they did not stop working. The group discussed how Westport can be even more helpful in the global fight against Russian aggression.

(From left): Richard, Brian Mayer, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Liz and Ken Bernhard discuss how Westport can aid Ukraine.

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One of Westport’s favorite toy drives takes place soon.

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

Officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys — plus cash donations — in the ASF Sports & Outdoors parking lot (1560 Post Road East), on Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4 and 10-11, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Toy collection boxes will also be available at:

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

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

Westport Police accept toy donations at ASF.

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Speaking of police: As they do every year just before Thanksgiving, dozens of Staples High School students dodged cops.

The teenagers and officers had a ball.

The event was the annual Dodge-a-Cop dodgeball tournament. Each team of students included at least one member of the Westport force.

They hurled dodgeballs at each other. They protected their teammates.

The event — sponsored by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group — was for a great cause. Entry fees supported the Toys for Tots holiday drive.

Staples school resource officer Ed Woolridge (back row, white shirt, blue headband) was on the winning Dodge-a-Cop team. The winners posed with Andrew Colabella — longtime Dodge-a-Cop referee, former Youth Commission member, and current RTM member. (far right).

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The poster evokes the Roaring ’20s:

That’s appropriate. Longshore — the site of this Saturday night’s first-ever Café Noir — is said to have been the setting for nearby resident (okay, renter) F. Scott Fitzgerald) when he later wrote “The Great Gatsby.”

But the music and vibe will be “classic house, funk and disco” at 9 p.m., when a pair of Westport DJs (self-described “middle-aged British dudes, aka “Bangers and Mash”) host the event at Longshore’s La Plage restaurant.

“We’re looking to introduce a bit of suave and sophistication to the evening,” says Phil White, who is Banger.

Tom Fielding is Mash. He’s also an accomplished house DJ. He founded London’s famed dance club The End back in the late 90s.

White DJed in college, then toured Europe putting on raves. before getting sucked into “the big bad world of global advertising.” (Hey, at least he’s advertising Café Noir well.)

The pair will run their Saturday night events at La Plage through Christmas. In the spring, they’ll take their act out on the terrace.

“So get out,” White urges. “Get your groove on. And dress to impress!”

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Westporter Jen Dennison and her colleague Kelly Gipson (who grew up here) are teachers at the Learning Community Day School on Hillspoint Road.

Recently, their class read “Pearl and Squirrel Give Thanks.” (The plot, if you don’t have a preschooler, is about 2 homeless pets.)

The class talked about people who have no homes, or money for food. They decided to help.

The children took home a letter about donations. In 3 days, they collected a truck full.

“They were so proud,” Kelly reports.

On Tuesday, they brought their donations to Operation Hope in Fairfield.

It’s never too early to learn about giving. Thanks and congratulations — you are a true Learning “Community.”

Giving back, at the Learning Community.

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Given the alleged nature of La Plage at Longshore ( the original millionaires party venue for the Great Gatsby?)…we’re looking to introduce a bit of swarve and sophicats to the evening proceeding and get 06680’s well healed and otherwise housebound cognoscenti to get out and get their groove on!

No shoe? No problem!

Ryan Smith — Bates College’s men’s cross country captain, and a Staples High School running star with the Class of 2019 — lost a shoe in the first mile of the 8K NCAA East Regional Championship, at Bowdoin College.

When his shoe was stepped on, there were 100 runners behind Smith. He could not slow down to fix it, so he kicked it into the woods and kept going.

He finished 11th out of more than 200 runners, helping the Bobcats to 2nd place overall. That helped them qualify for the NCAA Championships, (Hat tip: Brian Strong)

Ryan Smith

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Westport’s founding fathers did not wear t-shirts. And they sure didn’t have mouse pads.

But you can sport a tee (or tank top, sweatshirt or hoodie), wrap yourself in a fleece blanket, drink from a mug or use a mouse pad that commemorates 1835 — the year Westport became its own town.

Those items are part of Finding Westport’s newest offerings. There are 2 lines: the 1835 Collection, and one called Westport Est.

Daniel Nash would be proud.

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The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston took a brisk 5-mile walk Monday — in Manhattan.

The group headed out from Grand Central to the United Nations, Sutton Place, Rockefeller University, Carl Shurz Park and Gracie Mansion.

It was the 7th in their series of New York City explorations. Many Y’s Men spent their careers working there. They seldom had a chance to be tourists, though.

Y’sMen at the New York Daily News building. (Hat tip and photo/Dave Matlow)

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It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the raccoons are scavenging.

Jill Grayson went to fill the back yard bird feeder, and found a skunk. A short time later, these 2 guys appeared.

All creatures, great and small — and smelly — are part of our “Westport … Naturally” world. Happy Thanksgiving1

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … Michael Butler, the wealthy financier and producer who brought “Hair” to Broadway in 1968, died earlier this month in a nursing home in California. He was 95.

He was hardly a hippie. But he made his mark on American theater with the “tribal love-rock musical.” Click here for a full obituary.

(“Easy to be hard …” — and easy to support “06880.” Just click here. And thank you!)

“Westport … What’s Happening?” Jen Tooker Talks Downtown Details

This week, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker discusses downtown: Parker Harding Plaza, traffic, cost and more.

When will it be shovel ready? Click below to find out.

“Westport … What’s Happening?” is a service of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen.

Roundup: “Guys & Dolls”, World Cup, Bridgeport Boatworks …

Last week, “06880” reported on the hard luck suffered by the cast of Staples Players’ “Guys and Dolls.” Henry Carson (Nathan Detroit) fell ill just before the show opened. Freshman Will McCrae stepped spectacularly into the breach.

The next day, understudies Graham Griffin (also a 9th grader) and junior Finley Chevrier took the stage, in other roles.

In the week between opening and closing, nearly 2 dozen of the cast and tech crew got sick. By the final performance, all but one had recovered. The show went on — fabulously.

But without its regular pit orchestra conductor.

Staples music teacher Carrie Mascaro is in the hospital with pneumonia. Her colleague Luke Rosenberg — the school’s choral director — stepped up big time. He learned the score, then led 14 musicians in a flawless performance.

The show must go on. And it did.

But it’s a good bet (ho ho) that directors David Roth and Kerry Long will tell the improbable “Guys & Dolls” story to future Players for many years to come.

Conductor Luke Rosenberg in the pit last night. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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The World Cup starts today.

If you can’t be in Qatar for the opening match — the hosts vs. Ecuador, 11 a.m. EST — you can do the next best thing.

Head to Vanish Media System‘s showroom, in the strip mall near Fortuna’s and Greens Farms Spirit Shop.

Mark Motyl’s company builds state-of-the-art home theaters that disappear into customized credenzas or benches. 

He’s got several in the showroom. With Dolby Atmos Surround Sound and a 4k projector, it’s just like being in the stadium. Except at Vanish Media, you’re much closer to the action.

Like Qatar, Mark does not sell beer. But he provides snacks, and is plenty of fun to watch a game with.

There’s an open invitation for today’s 11 a.m. match. If you’d like to arrange a private viewing party for an upcoming game of interest, call or text Mark: 203-246-2011.

Click here for a full schedule of all 64 matches.

In February, Julia Marino’s family and friends gathered in the Vanish Media showroom to watch her silver-winning snowboard performance at the Beijing Olympics. Today, the action switches to soccer’s World Cup in Qatar.

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Over 80 Westport-Weston Y’s Men visited Bridgeport Boatworks Friday morning.

The highly specialized business provides a wide range of maintenance and storage services for boat clients around the world, including New York ferries and super yachts. Its 2 lifts can haul up to 200 tons.

Y’s Men at Bridgeport Boatworks. (Hat tip and photo/Dave Matlow)

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Longtime Westport resident Mary Kinser died peacefully in her sleep on Friday, at home. She was 92. Her family calls her “a tiny package with a huge impact.”

Born in Kentucky and raised in West Virginia, she attended business school and worked as a bookkeeper. She married Bill at 20, and a year later their daughter Mary Jo was born.

The family traveled all across the US and Europe. In 1966 they moved to Toledo, then 14 years later to Geneva, Switzerland for Bill’s work. Mary loved to ski and hike in the Alps.

After her husband died in 1982 she moved to Westport, where her daughter lived. She knew no one here, but began working as a receptionist at the Westport YMCA, a real estate assistant and a babysitter.

She loved Compo Beach: walking, combing for shells and enjoying sunsets. She also found joy and excitement in New York City’s arts and culture scene.

Mary served the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston for over 40 years. She taught Sunday school, prepared communion, babysat in the nursery and visited sick parishioners.

She also volunteered at the Gillespie Center and food bank, delivered meals to shut-ins, and raised money for the less fortunate.

Mary was preceded by her  sisters Mabel Rumbaugh and Mearilyn Auvil. She is survived by her daughter Mary Jo (Greg Hawkins) Kinser; brother John Hackworth, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and step-granfchildren.

Funeral services will be held in West Virginia on Saturday (November 26, noon). Click here for the livestream, or to view later. A memorial service is set for March 11 at United Methodist Church of Westport.

Mary Kinser

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(Photo/Ted Horowitz)

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And finally … Ned Rorem, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, died Friday in New York. He was 99. Click here for a full obituary.

(If you get a kick out of “06880,” please consider a donation. Click here for details.)

Roundup: “Guys & Dolls,” World Cup, Bridgeport Boatworks …

Last week, “06880” reported on the hard luck suffered by the cast of Staples Players’ “Guys and Dolls.” Henry Carson (Nathan Detroit) fell ill just before the show opened. Freshman Will McCrae stepped spectacularly into the breach.

The next day, understudies Graham Griffin (also a 9th grader) and junior Finley Chevrier took the stage, in other roles.

In the week between opening and closing, nearly 2 dozen of the cast and tech crew got sick. By the final performance, all but one had recovered. The show went on — fabulously.

But without its regular pit orchestra conductor.

Staples music teacher Carrie Mascaro is in the hospital with pneumonia. Her colleague Luke Rosenberg — the school’s choral director — stepped up big time. He learned the score, then led 14 musicians in a flawless performance.

The show must go on. And it did.

But it’s a good bet (ho ho) that directors David Roth and Kerry Long will tell the improbable “Guys & Dolls” story to future Players for many years to come.

Conductor Luke Rosenberg in the pit last night. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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The World Cup starts today.

If you can’t be in Qatar for the opening match — the hosts vs. Ecuador, 11 a.m. EST — you can do the next best thing.

Head to Vanish Media System‘s showroom, in the strip mall near Fortuna’s and Greens Farms Spirit Shop.

Mark Motyl’s company builds state-of-the-art home theaters that disappear into customized credenzas or benches. 

He’s got several in the showroom. With Dolby Atmos Surround Sound and a 4k projector, it’s just like being in the stadium. Except at Vanish Media, you’re much closer to the action.

Like Qatar, Mark does not sell beer. But he provides snacks, and is plenty of fun to watch a game with.

There’s an open invitation for today’s 11 a.m. match. If you’d like to arrange a private viewing party for an upcoming game of interest, call or text Mark: 203-246-2011.

Click here for a full schedule of all 64 matches.

In February, Julia Marino’s family and friends gathered in the Vanish Media showroom to watch her silver-winning snowboard performance at the Beijing Olympics. Today, the action switches to soccer’s World Cup in Qatar.

======================================================

Over 80 Westport-Weston Y’s Men visited Bridgeport Boatworks Friday morning.

The highly specialized business provides a wide range of maintenance and storage services for boat clients around the world, including New York ferries and super yachts. Its 2 lifts can haul up to 200 tons.

Y’s Men at Bridgeport Boatworks. (Hat tip and photo/Dave Matlow)

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Longtime Westport resident Mary Kinser died peacefully in her sleep on Friday, at home. She was 92. Her family calls her “a tiny package with a huge impact.”

Born in Kentucky and raised in West Virginia, she attended business school and worked as a bookkeeper. She married Bill at 20, and a year later their daughter Mary Jo was born.

The family traveled all across the US and Europe. In 1966 they moved to Toledo, then 14 years later to Geneva, Switzerland for Bill’s work. Mary loved to ski and hike in the Alps.

After her husband died in 1982 she moved to Westport, where her daughter lived. She knew no one here, but began working as a receptionist at the Westport YMCA, a real estate assistant and a babysitter.

She loved Compo Beach: walking, combing for shells and enjoying sunsets. She also found joy and excitement in New York City’s arts and culture scene.

Mary served the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston for over 40 years. She taught Sunday school, prepared communion, babysat in the nursery and visited sick parishioners.

She also volunteered at the Gillespie Center and food bank, delivered meals to shut-ins, and raised money for the less fortunate.

Mary was preceded by her  sisters Mabel Rumbaugh and Mearilyn Auvil. She is survived by her daughter Mary Jo (Greg Hawkins) Kinser; brother John Hackworth, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and step-granfchildren.

Funeral services will be held in West Virginia on Saturday (November 26, noon). Click here for the livestream, or to view later. A memorial service is set for March 11 at United Methodist Church of Westport.

Mary Kinser

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(Photo/Ted Horowitz)

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And finally … Ned Rorem, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, died Friday in New York. He was 99. Click here for a full obituary.

(If you get a kick out of “06880,” please consider a donation. Click here for details.)

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“What’s Next In Weston”

The Y’s Men of Westport/Weston take the last part of their name seriously.

The very active, 400-plus member social-and-more club recently inaugurated a bi-weekly podcast with Westport 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker.

Now they’ve expanded north.

Under the direction of Dick Kalt, “What’s Next in Weston” features 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor. Every 2 weeks, she’ll discuss projects, programs and activities in her town.

In the first episode, she talks about Weston’s return to normalcy from COVID, including 3 new sidewalks, the Town Green, pickleball courts and Lechat Town Farm.

 

Roundup: Oysters, Coming Out, Chris Coogan …

The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston took a tasty tour yesterday.

They headed to Copps Island Oysters, the 4th- generation shellfish farm in Norwalk.

Don Bell — the environmental health director who led the tour — said that Copps Island’s oyster farming, harvesting, processing, sorting and packaging business is Connecticut’s largest fishery.

Don Bell leads the oyster museum tour. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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If you missed last week’s Coming Out Day panel at the Westport Library — titled “When Did You Know,” and featuring several members of the LGBTQ community discussing their coming out stories — click below. The event was sponsored by Westport Pride.

(NOTE: The program begins at the 4:30 mark — skip ahead to that point.)

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A local favorite — the Chris Coogan Trio, featuring bassist John Mobilio and drummer Jim Royle — headline this Thursday’s “Jazz at the Post.”

Of course, Greg Wall — the “Jazz Rabbi” — will bring his saxophone too.

Pianist Coogan grew up here. He travels the world, but still calls this area home. He is a sensitive, in-demand accompanist for singers, a powerhouse gospel pianist, choir director and bandleader, a highly effective and inspiring educator, and an all-around good guy.

There are 2 sets October 20: 7:30 and 8:45 p.m (VFW Post 399, 465 Riverside Avenue). Dinner begins at 7 p.m. There’s a $10 cover; reservations are strongly suggested: JazzatThePost@gmail.com.

Chris Coogan

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Staples High School’s October Students of the Month are senior Jeffrey Pogue, juniors Nina Lauterbach and Morgan Tamm, sophomores Samantha Henske and Logan Noorily, and Eleni Bragi.

Students of the Month are those who help make Staples a welcoming place for peers and teachers. Principal Stafford Thomas says, “they are the ‘glue’ of the community — the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students who keep the high school together. They are friendly to the staff and fellow students, and make positive contributions in class as well as to the Staples community.”

Staples’ October Students of the Month (from left): Eleni Braga, Nina Lauterbach, Logan Noorily, Samantha Henske, Jeffrey Pogue, Morgan Tamm.

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“Westport … Naturally” once again goes to the dogs.

Our own “Scooter” Swanson was recently designated as a Marine Corps Service dog, by the Commandant. Congratulations!

(Photo courtesy of Carl Addison Swanson)

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And finally … Chuck Berry would have been 96 years old today. The great rock ‘n’ roller died in 2017.

(Don’t forget Chuck Berry — or “06880.” Please click here to help support this blog.)

What’s Happening, Westport? Jen Tooker On River Dredging

The Army Corps of Engineers is beginning the Saugatuck River dredging project.

What’s involved? Where exactly will they dredge?

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker explains the process, with Dick Kalt of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

This Y’s Men podcast is released every 2 weeks. Click below to listen. If you have a question for the next episode, email: westport@ysmenwestportweston.org.

Roundup: Cyndi Lauper, Aspetuck Land Trust, Longshore Ladies …

Last night, Cyndi Lauper joined a long list — Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson and Chuck Berry, to name just 3 — who played a Levitt Pavilion Fundraiser.

Bantering with the audience and sounding in fine form, the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” girl wowed the sellout crowd.

The weather was fine. The set list was great. And — thanks to all those ticket buyers — Westport’s favorite outdoor entertainment venue can begin planning another summer of over 50 free events for 2023.

Cyndi Lauper, in action. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

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This is the week to pick up 6,000 pre-ordered native plants, through Aspetuck Land Trust’s semi-annual sale.

Funds support their Green Corridor. It links green spaces within developed residential and urban areas to the protected natural areas ALT preserves, maintains, and manages as public spaces.

The Land Trust has added 34,000 native plans to the region, in just the past 3 years. 1,400 Fairfield County residents have contributed more than $100,000, helping improve the region’s biodiversity.

To learn more about Aspetuck Land Trust, click here.

Haskins Preserve is one of Aspetuck Land Trust’s many such areas. (Photo/Wendy Cusick)

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The Longshore Ladies 9-Holers’ recent Charity Golf Event lived up to its name.

The Westport Woman’s Club Food Closet received over $1,125, and 4 grocery carts of food donations. The funds will help provide Stop & Shop gift cards.

Seems like there were plenty of winners at that golf outing,

Food donations, courtesy of Longshore Ladies’ 9-Holers.

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“06880” covers Westport, past and present.

On Thursday, I spoke on exactly that subject to the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

My message was, “The bad news is: Westport has changed. The good news is: Westport has changed.”

It was a great audience — as the Y’s Men are for all guest speakers. They asked great questions. They laughed at all the right times.

And the donuts and coffee were fantastic.

Yours truly, at the Y’s Men meeting. ({Photo/Ted Horowitz)

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Hurricane Ian has claimed another victim.

Well, at least the weather has.

The Westport Book Shop event with Lauren Tarshis — originally scheduled for this afternoon (Saturday, October 1) on Jesup Green — has been rescheduled to November 5 (3:30 p.m., Westport Library Trefz Forum).

For more information, click here.

Westport Book Shop.

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Work continues on Westport Hardware’s new location.

The popular store is moving a few storefronts west of its current site, in the shopping plaza opposite Fresh Market.

They’ll open “soon,” they promise.

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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Speaking of shopping: Hurry on down to Walgreens.

Altoids are selling now at a much lower price than before!

(Photo/Phil Rubin)

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature is a serene scene, off Compo’s South Beach:

(Photo/Laurie Sorensen)

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And finally … today is October 1. Or, as it’s better known in Westport: The day dogs can return to Compo Beach.’

Enjoy th next 6 months. April 1 will be here before you know it.

 (After playing with your dogs, please consider a contribution to “06880”! Click here to help.)