Tag Archives: Y’s Men of Westport and Weston

Roundup: Carjacking Forum, Car Theft Podcast, Lyman Apartments …

Tonight’s special forum on car thefts, vehicle break-ins and Sunday’s carjacking (Wednesday, September 20, 7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium) will also be livestreamed. Click here to access that page, on the town’s website.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas will lead a discussion on safety concerns voiced by residents. He and members of his command staff will describe the work of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force, formed in response to increased car thefts and vehicle break-ins in the area.

The discussion will also include police practices utilized to combat vehicle thefts.

Yesterday, Koskinas and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker taped a special edition of “What’s Happening … Westport.” They discussed the escalation in incidents, and what residents can do. Click below to listen to the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston podcast.


Meanwhile, Westport Police made one custodial arrest between September 13 nd 20. A woman was charged with disorderly conduct, following a domestic dispute.

Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations 6 citations
  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 4
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 3
  • Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 3
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 2
  • Failure to obey traffic control signs: 2
  • Evading responsibility: 1
  • Following too closely: 1
  • Distracted driving: 1
  • Distracted driving (2nd offense): 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle using a handheld phone: 1
  • Failure to grant right of way: 1
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Improper use of license plates: 1


As winter nears, Westport’s sister city of Lyman is in a race against time.

52 apartment buildings need repairs, so they can survive the cold weather and be fully restored in the spring.

Ukraine Aid International co-founder Brian Mayer — the Westporter who helped create the sister city relationship, and has made many trips to Lyman on our behalf — sends a video that shows how much our town has helped.

And how much remains to be done.

(Donations through Ukrainian Aid International will help rebuild the many heavily damaged apartments. Click here to help. Under “Designation,” click the dropdown menu and select “Westport — Lyman Sister City.”)


This Friday’s Westport Country Playhouse show is called “I’ll Drink to That! A Broadway Cocktail Party.”

Fittingly, it will feature Broadway stars.

Joe Delafield, Kristen Hahn and Maggie Lacey will perform cocktail-themed tunes and scenes from Broadway productions, while author Laurence Maslon recounts tales of actors, shows, and cocktail concoctions from his recently published book, “I’ll Drink to That!”

The event (September 22, 6 p.m., Playhouse courtyard and barn) begins with cocktails that pay homage to Broadway. The 70-minute program concludes with a second cocktail and book signing. Cocktails are included with $50 ticket.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

From left: Joe Delafield, Kristen Hahn, Maggie Lacy.


STAR Inc. and Voices Center for Resilience present a special program: “A 22-Year Journey from 9/11 to Today: Helping Families and Communities Prepare for Emergencies” (October 18, 7 p.m., Westport Library).

Mary Fetchet — founding Director of Voices Center for Resilience — lives in New Canaan. Her son Brad died in the September 11 attacks.

She will share her personal experience and perspective on preparing communities in advance of a tragedy. The presentations also includes representatives of local and state emergency management, highlighting their efforts to prepare communities.

For more information and to register,  click here.

Mary Fetchet, with a photo of her son Brad.


When kids go to the doctor, they may be nervous.

Like many offices, Village Pediatrics provides distractions to calm their nerves.

Their latest surprise, for patients big and small: an outer space room.

Huck (in the rocket control center) and Lola Shipman, with their mother.


Speaking of doctors: BD²: Breakthrough Discoveries for Thriving with Bipolar Disorder today announced an $18 million first round of grants, focusing on research in bipolar disorder.

Among the recipients: Westport resident Dr. Hilary Blumberg. She will lead a Yale University team in an investigation of mitochondrial-related genes, metabolic changes, and the central importance of energy- and activity-related symptoms at the onset of bipolar-related episodes. These studies w may translate that into pharmacological therapeutics and behavioral interventions. (Hat tip: Sherri Peyser)

Dr. Hilary Blumberg


The bar for “06880” Entitled Parking photos has been set incredibly high.

Drivers must now show breathtaking acts of selfishness to be featured here.

This one does:

(Photo/David Meth)

That’s not one, but two handicap spots taken up at Stop & Shop.

Plus, the car is taking up space in the drivers’ part of the lot too.

And — of course! — there is no handicap placard inside the car.


Johanna Keyser Rossi reports for “Westport … Naturally” from Sherwood Island State Park:

“There were lots of monarch butterflies yesterday, all around the milkweeds and bees. Unfortunately, lanternflies were everywhere too.”

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


Roger Whittaker — described by the New York Times as “a British singer whose easy-listening ballads and folk songs caught the sentiments of perfect summer days and last farewells, touching the hearts of mainly older fans across Europe and America for four decades” — died last week in France. He was 87.

Click here for a full obituary.

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Roundup: 9/11 Ride, Annam Olasewere, Geno Auriemma …

NOTE TO READERS WHO RECEIVE “06880” BY EMAIL: WordPress appears to now be sending emails with just the heading of stories — not the full story. Hopefully this is a glitch, not a permanent change.

In any event, please pass the word to anyone who asks — though you already know, because you are reading this: Just click on the headline in the email. That will bring up the entire story!


A forecast of severe weather has forced organizers to cancel Sunday’s CT United Ride.

It’s the first cancelation ever for the event, which draws up to 1,000 motorcyclists honoring 9/11 victims and first responders.

Bikers assemble at Sherwood Island State Park, then ride down I-95 to Exit 17, where they follow Riverside Avenue and Wilton Road into Wilton, and 8 towns beyond.

Police shut down all roads, to let the motorcyclists pass. So although the tribute to 9/11 victims is off, Westporters will not be impacted by traffic detours. (Hat tip: Stacie Curran)


Staples High School junior Annam Olasewere has missed the start of the Wreckers’ swim and dive season.

There’s a good reason: She’s representing the US at the World Aquatics Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel. Over 600 young swimmers from more than 100 nationals are participating. Annam is the only one from Connecticut.

She’s in the finals today, the finale of the 6-day event.

Annam’s 50-meter fredstyle final heat will be shown on the big screen in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum today (Saturday), at 12:06 p.m. She is 3rd currently, with a time of 24.95.

Annam has already swum in 2 Olympic trial cuts, in the 50- and 100-meter free. This June, she’ll attend the US Olympic Trials.


Annam Olasewere


Speaking of sports at the Library: With insight, humor and plenty of stories, Geno Auriemma kicked off the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston’s 2023-2024 speaker program on Thursday.

The hugely successful University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach did not disappoint the capacity crowd of 200 Y’s Men and their spouses.

Interviewer Jeremy Schaap — a Westporter, and Emmy Award-winning ESPN journalist — drew revealing answers from the coach.

Auriemma called the keys to his success “knowing what you’re good at, and getting the right people.” He noted, “trying to build a team from nothing and seeing it develop was a lot of fun. Every day was an opportunity to do better.”

The discussion also covered the new challenges contemporary college athletes face today.

The Y’s Men thank Pete Wolgast for helping arrange Geno’s appearance.

Geno Auriemma (with mic) answers questions from Jeremy Schaap.




Looking for help, information and support around behavioral, mental health and parenting issues?

Several interesting events are on tap this month, sponsored by Westport Together:

September 12 (3 p.m.): Join the Westport Prevention Coalition’s monthly meetings. The community-based group of parents, students and local stakeholders offer prevention education and programs to combat substance misuse and related behavioral health problems. For more information, email Kgodburn@westportct.gov.

September 26 (6:30 p.m.): “The Most Vital School Supply for Parents: Learn the Signs of Adolescent Mental Health Issues and How to get Help.” An expert panel discusses mental health resources available to area students and families. Register at wtestani@turnbridge.com

September 27 (noon): “Body Positivity in the Digital Age.” Social media has profoundly impacted teenagers, particularly concerning their body image and susceptibility to eating disorders. This virtual program covers warning signs and strategies to promote healthy habits. Click here to register.

September 30 (8 a.m.): “Fathers’ Forum.” An informal opportunity for fathers to talk about parenting challenges and strategies. Click here for more information, and to register.


No resuscitation was needed for fans of DNR Friday night at the Levitt Pavilion.

The rock band of (mostly) retired doctors performs annually there. Last night’s event was — appropriately — a fundraiser for Westport Emergency Medical Services.

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)


The Westport Country Playhouse presents “I’ll Drink to That! A Broadway Cocktail Hour” — with a chaser.

Tickets to the September 22 (6 p.m.; Playhouse courtyard and Lucille Lortel White Barn Center, adjacent to the theater) event — featuring Laurence Maslon, author of “I’ll Drink to That!,” recounting magic moments on stage, and a guide to making cocktails inspired by legendary stars and classic shows, and actors incorporating his stories with songs and scenes from Broadway productions — include 2 specialty cocktails.

Attendees will enjoy the first as Maslon details the history of cocktails on Broadway. The 70-minute program concludes with a second drink, and book signing.

Click here for more information, and tickets.

Laurence Maslon


What’s it like when a town goes to war?

Tony Pavia answers that question on September 30 (3 p.m.). It’s part of the Weston History & Culture Center’s World War II lecture series.

“An American Town Goes to War” focuses on a group of men from one town — Stamford — but their stories are universal.

Pavia — a former US history teacher, and principal of New Canaan, Stamford and Trinity Catholic High Schools — will discuss their experiences, and tell stories of them and their loved ones.

Guided tours of the Coley House, which shows life on the home front during World War II, will begiven after the lecture.


Congratulations to Lila Manimala Doromal earned honorable mention in NPR’s recent Student Podcast Challenge.

The Pierrepont School 8th grader and Paul Taylor Ensemble dancer wrote and narrated “I Am American.” She spoke about her Indian, Filipino and Caucasian backgrounds — and what they mean to hear.

Click here to listen.


Lila Manimala Doromal


Mary Gardner Stephenson of Westport, and Estero, Florida, died on August 16. She was 96.

Born in London, she was among the first graduates of the Royal Cancer Hospital’s program for X-ray technology.

Five years after marrying her late husband, John Mitchell Stephenson in 1948, they emigrated with their eldest daughter to Providence. They settled in Westport in 1963.

She was a nuclear medicine technologist at Bridgeport’s Park City Hospital.

Mary was as a member of the Daughters of the British Empire, League of Women Voters, Sierra Club and Audubon Society. She was also involved in the Westport-Weston Community Theatre and Wilton Playshop.

In retirement Mary dedicated herself to her lush garden, birding, listening to opera and traveling internationally. She was a devoted grandmother, sharing her love of the arts, animals and history.

She is survived by her daughters Wendy Winkler of Beaver Creek, Ohio; Jennifer Stephenson of Bonita Springs, Forida and Julia Thompson of Naples, Florida, 7 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Mary Stephenson


This egret made quite a splash the other day, at Grace Salmon Park.

Dan Johnson captured it nicely, for our “Westport … Naturally” daily feature.


And finally … today is September 9. Whether you use the American or European way of writing dates, it still comes out as 9/9. So …

(Sure, the weather may be iffy this weekend. But you’ll always have “06880.” Please click here to make a contribution. Thank you!)

Roundup: Elvira’s, Club 203, Rhone …

Elvira’s is gone. The popular store has been replaced by the equally popular Old Mill Grocery & Deli.

But Elvira’s pizza will soon be back.

Harry Yiovanakos is following in his family’s footsteps. Elvira’s Pizza will open just over the border on Norwalk’s Belden Avenue.

“06880” will let readers know as soon as the first pie comes out of the oven.

Elvira’s Pizza opens soon. (Photo and hat tip/Andrew Colabella)


Club 203 — Westport’s social group for adults with disabilities — returns for another year soon.

And the lineup of activities is bigger and better than ever:

  • September 20: Reconnect and renew friendships at Toquet Hall
  • October 12: Halloween Bingo & Barbeque at the Senior center
  • November 15: “Get Your Turkey On” at Earthplace
  • December 4: Holiday bash at MoCA
  • January 15: Splash and celebrate 2024 at the Westport Weston Family YMCA
  • February TBD: Valentines at the Westport Country Playhouse
  • March TBD: Celebrate the luck of the Irish at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399
  • April TBD: Rock on at the Westport Library
  • May TBD: Bowling event
  • June 5: Beach bash at Compo.

Sign up for all events for $100; individual events are $15 each. Click here for more information, and to register.

Questions? Email club203ct@gmail.com, or call 203-418-7672.

EJ Zebro (far right) and friends have fun at Jesup Green in April.


Rhone — Main Street’s new men’s store — celebrates its grand opening next Saturday (August 26), with a full day of activities.

C0-founders Nate and Ben Checketts will host:

  • 10 a.m. to noon : Ribbon-cutting with the Westport Downtown Association; bagels and coffee from Popup Bagels and GG & Joe.
  • Noon to 2 p.m.: Ice bath with Edge Theory Labs; first 30 customers receive a free pair of Rhone swim trunks.
  • 2-4 p.m.: Recovery with Restore Hyper Wellness; juices and snacks from Green & Tonic.
  • 4-6 p.m.: Drinks from Two Roads Brewing and Athletic Brewing Co.

Customers get 20% off their purchase, plus a free pair of Essentials boxer briefs or trunks with all purchases over $350.

Plus: It’s the final day of Connecticut’s Tax-Free Week..

Rhone is ready for business.


The Levitt Pavilion’s summer series continued last night, with DJ Rekha playing Bollywood tunes.

Tonight’s show features Bill & the Showmen. Tomorrow, it’s the always popular Frank Mastrone & Friends. Click here for more information.

Bollywood night at the Levitt. (Photo/Sarathi Roy)


Speaking of music: Yesterday’s “06880” preview of CLASP‘s “Rockin’ Halloween Bash” (October 20, Fairfield Theatre Company) — a benefit for the organization providing group homes and other services for people with autism and intellectual disabilities — included incorrect information about the music.

CLASP now says that the danceable, great rock from artists like Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Journey, Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and more will be provided by Stephanie Harrison (powerhouse leader of the band Fake ID), Anthony Gadaleta, Crispin Cioe (Westport saxophonist who toured with the Stones), Pat Marafiote, Marcos Torres Jr. (Cosmic Jibaros), and Rob Fried, Band Central founder.

The pre-party starts in the FTC gallery at 6:30 p.m., with light bites. Click here for tickets, and other information.


MDSolarSciences is a Westport sunscreen and skincare brand.

On Tuesday (August 22), CEO Renee Plato and employees will travel around Fairfield County, to donate sunscreens to lifeguards, fire and police departments, and others. They’ll also offer advice and tips on sunscreen application techniques, and the role sun protection plays in maintaining healthy skin.

The event begins in Westport.

MDSolarSciences says: Sunscreen is important!


On Wednesday, members and guests of the Y’s Men of Westport & Weston toured Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park. It was part of the group’s New York historic walking tour series.

Warren Jahn led the informative and fun event.

Y’s Men at Prospect Park. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Tomorrow (Sunday, August 20, 2 p.m.), high school sophomore and Connecticut Entomological Society member Lukas Keras leads a bug walk in Sherwood Island State Park’s West Woods.

Lukas looks forward to inspiring visitors to love the natural world as much as he does. Entrance to the state park is free for vehicles with Connecticut license plates.


Michael Chait provides both a stunning photo, and an appropriate caption, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

“The cruelty of Mother Nature. One life ends and one continues, high above the Saugatuck River.”


Jerry Moss — the “M” in A&M records, the label behind the Carpenters, the Police, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton and (the “A” in the name) Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass — died this week in Los Angeles. He was 88.

Click here for a full obituary.


(Here’s our usual potpourri o’ stuff. To help keep it coming, please click here. Thank you!)


Roundup: Long Lots School, Appletree Trail, Beach Tents …

This will no doubt be the most listened-to “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast ever.

In this week’s edition — sponsored, as always, by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston — 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Long Lots School Building Committee chair Jay Keenan chat about the future of the elementary school.

Keenan begins with a brief background of the committee itself. He describes 3 options — renovate the existing structure, construct an addition, or build a new school on the property — and discusses their implications (buses, parking, draining, neighbors) and stakeholders (including the Westport Community Gardens and youth sports).

Options for the Gardens, Keenan says, are that they remain; that they’re modified, or that they’re relocated elsewhere on the property.

“Our main priority is the school, and the children,” the chair notes. “All the rest is juggling” a variety of elements.

The committee’s goal is to have a report to Tooker by the end of August. That will be followed by presentations to the Board of Finance, Board of Education and Representative Town Meeting, with requests for money to complete the design work.

Keenan hopes for “a bid-able set of drawings” within 10-12 months.

Click below to hear the full podcast.


One real estate change that is definitely happening: This white oak tree at 22 Appletree Trail is scheduled to be removed, perhaps as early as today.

(Photo/Cathy Morrison)

It will be replaced by a new home, and pool.


Speaking of the beach: What’s with the recent epidemic of tents?

Yesterday afternoon, I counted more than 2 dozen at Compo. More than half were blue-and-white striped.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

Back in the day — like, 2019 — tents were few and far between. Now they’ve taken over.

I’d love to know what’s behind this sudden surge in tents, generally — and, more particularly, this special style.

Please click “Comments” below.

But be nice. Don’t throw shade.


On Saturday, “06880” featured some very cool drone photos of Longshore Sailing School.

They were shot by Brandon Malin. The multi-talented 2020 Staples High School graduate is a rising University of Michigan senior, noted lighting designer and photographer, who has spent this summer working at the Sailing School.

On Saturday night, at their annual staff dinner  — just a few hours after his photos appeared — Brandon received the “Jimmy A” Spirit Award. It’s Longshore Sailing’s highest honor.

Named for Jim Adelman — a longtime employee and Westport resident — it is given each year to a staff member who embodies exemplary character, a willingness to put others before themselves, and a passion for Longshore Sailing School.

LSS president Jane Pimentel says, “Brandon is a jack of all trades, and a master of them all. He has the best interest of Longshore Sailing School and its staff on his mind at all times. He is a kind soul, someone you can depend on, and just a great human. He is a great example of what it means to represent the spirit of Jimmy A.”

Brandon Malin, with his Jimmy A Award.


Today, the Westport Rotary Club premieres a new video podcast.

“Westport Rotary Speaks” is hosted by member Ifeseyi Adedoyin. The 3- to 4-minute videos will post at least once a month on Rotary’s website, and its social media platforms (Instagram @Westportrotary; YouTube WestportRotarySpeaks; LinkedIn Westport Rotary Club).

This month’s shows will focus on LobsterFest. Next month, club members will discuss a variety of topics.


Lou Weinberg’s has a “real” job: He’s a teacher.

His volunteer job as chair of the Westport Community Gardens takes a ton of time too.

But Lou still finds time to be a wildlife photographer.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image is one of his bumblebee shots. Ever the educator, Lou writes:

“Thousands of bees, including this, use the Gardens and Long Lots Preserve as a food source and for habitat. This bumblebee adds to the pollen sack on its leg by gathering from shrubby Saint John’s Wort located in the Gardens.

“If you like feeding bees, plant St. John’s Wort! Nature wins!”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)


And finally … in honor of Brandon Malin, and his Longshore Sailing School award (story above):

(Another week … and another week of “06880.” We started in 2009, and have never missed a day. Please help us continue. Click here to make a contribution. And thank you!)


Roundup: Beach Closures, Tutti’s, Town Awards …

Recent beach closures (for swimming only) due to high bacteria counts after heavy rains have residents wondering: How do I know if they’re open?

Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department follows a directive from the Aspetuck Health District to close when rainfall reaches an inch or more within a 24-hour period. The Health District tests the water.

(Parks & Rec notes that the problem has been exacerbated recently by heavy flooding in northern New England. That’s meant a large amount of debris and other pollutants is entering Long Island Sound, from the Connecticut River.

For updated information, Parks & Rec maintains a cancellation line for all activities: 203-341-5074. You can also check the Parks & Rec page on the town website (click here).

Everyone out of the water! (Photo/Sunil Hirani)


When the going gets tough … Westport helps the Funicello family.

Maria and Pasquale own Tutti’s — the very popular, very family-focused Saugatuck restaurant.

Their great-nephew Mason Dent was born at just 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 12 ounces. His medical journey has been harrowing — and expensive.

So on Sunday, Tutti’s had a special pasta-and-meatballs deal. It raised over $5,000.

Meanwhile,  the entire staff is donating all cash tips throughout this month to the Dent family.

There’s also a GoFundMe page.

“We want to thank all of our customers who helped,” Maria says. “We cannot get over the generosity of everyone! Mason has a long road ahead, and this will help them very much. God bless.”

An update on Mason, posted yesterday.


Every day, town officials help make Westport a better place to live, work and play.

Now we can nominate them for an award.

The 8th annual Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ Excellence Awards will recognize “innovative projects and individuals that have significantly improved the quality of life for citizens, established partnerships, and built community support.” Anyone can submit a nomination.

Towns and cities are recognized in 3 population categories. There’s also an award for “Innovation in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

There are 2 individual honors too. One is for lifetime achievement; the other, for innovation.

For more information, including how to nominate, click here.

The deadline is August 25. For a list of last year’s winners, click here(Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)


You may not be ready for back-to-school shopping.

But the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force is already hard at work. They’re collecting supplies for residents of 2 safe houses.

They need:

  • New (unused) backpacks
  • Notebooks
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters, crayons
  • New lunchboxes
  • Graphing calculators
  • Gift cards (Staples, Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc.).

Donations can be left from now through July 23 in collection bins at the Westport police station lobby (50 Jesup Road), and at ASF Sports & Outdoors (1560 Post Road East).


The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston (and guests) headed to a familiar (to them) spot yesterday: Flushing Meadows, site of the 1964-65 World’s Fair.

As the group passed landmarks like the Unisphere, Hall of Science and pavilions (GM, GE, Bell System and others), they shared memories of experiences there.

The latest in a series of historical walking tours  was led by member Warren Jahn.

Y’s Men (and guests) on tour. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)


Bunny Franco and her son Jimmy have been Westporters for 60 years.

What better place to pose Sunday than this classic spot?

PS: Jimmy is sporting Westport’s iconic 150th-anniversary t-shirt, from 1985. He’s already been here for 23 years.

(Photo/Andrew Franco)


Fred Cantor sends today’s “Westport … Naturally” image.

And, he adds: “Kudos to whoever planted and/or takes care of the flower bed surrounding the Doughboy statue. Truly beautiful!”

(Photo/Fred Cantor)


And finally … since we’re talking about closing the beach to swimming (story above):

(Whether Westport’s your home — or Boston — please consider a contribution to “06880.” Just click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Fireworks Trash, Long Lots, Prospect Gardens …

Thousands of people had a blast at last night’s fireworks.

There was wonderful community spirit. Friends met; strangers mingled; joy filled the air.

The one downside: Not everyone picked up after themselves.

Totney Benson notes: “Substantial debris was left behind. Most impressive was the carefully piled and bagged trash and pizza boxes a mere 15 steps from the trash bins!”

(Photo/Rick Carpenter)

So Public Works and Parks & Recreation Department employees were out in force, all night long and right through dawn, making sure Compo Beach and Soundview Drive look perfect for the weekend.

(Photo/Rick Carpenter)

Thanks to all who helped — those who cleaned up after themselves, and those who cleaned up after those who did not.

And if you left a mess: Just think about the message you sent to Westport.

Especially to your kids.

(Photo/Karen Como)


The Long Lots School Building Committee posted this on Facebook:

“The LLS Building is working through the feasibility phase of the project. The committee, along with an architectural design firm and construction management company, is still evaluating and discussing all three options for the future of LLS.

“Options include: 1) Renovate the existing school as new, 2) Renovate the existing school as new plus build additions, or, 3) Build a new school building. With all three options, the existing school needs to remain open and in use during construction.

“No recommendations or decisions regarding how to proceed have been made. The committee expects to make a recommendation to the Selectwoman’s office in August.

“The committee is taking great care to evaluate all aspects of the site to find the ideal location for a new building or additions, while respecting the residential neighborhood, maintaining town fields, ensuring adequate parking, and preserving or relocating town assets such as the community gardens – it is a challenging balance!

“While the school is the priority, the committee fully appreciates the beauty and value of the community gardens, as well as the importance of town fields and maintaining a symbiotic relationship with neighbors. At this point, the committee is considering all options before making its recommendation. We know the town governing bodies and Westport residents would want and expect nothing less.

“The LLSBC will hold its next scheduled meeting on Friday, June 30 at 10 a.m. All Building Committee meetings are noticed on the Town website. The public is welcome to attend and there is time for public comment/questions at the meetings.”

The Long Lots Elementary School campus. (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)


Westport celebrated the 4th of July with fireworks last night, on June 29th.

But there are still 5 days to go until the holiday. And many Westporters will be thinking of more pyrotechnics.

Westport Fire Marshal Terry Dunn says, “The public has been overwhelmed with advertisement, signs, and sales pitches of so-called fireworks. The only legal ‘fireworks’ items in Connecticut are sparklers.

Sparklers are non-explosive, non-aerial devices that contain less than 100 grams of pyrotechnic material. They can be legally used only by persons aged 16 or older.”

Novelty items like party poppers, snakes, smoke devices and anything that emits a flame are not legal for private use in Connecticut. In addition to being illegal, exploding devices can cause painful, debilitating injuries.

Sky lanterns (small hot air balloons made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire burns) are also illegal in Connecticut. They can cause fires and injury. The flaming lantern can travel long distances and drop onto roof tops, fields, trees and power lines.

Our area has experienced dry conditions, making it very easy for fireworks, sparklers and fountains to cause brush fires. Extreme caution must be exercised even with campfires, as the fire danger has been elevated.

Possessing or causing to explode fireworks can result in a fine or incarceration.

Sparklers are legal — but only for people 16 and older. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Westport Police made 1 custodial arrest between June 21 and 28.

A woman was arrested for larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, identity theft and conspiracy to commit identity theft.

A companion had been arrested on similar charges earlier. They stemmed from the complaint of a First County Bank customer, after a fraudulent check of hers was cashed for $2,940. Her car had been broken into, and her purse stolen.

Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 4 citations
  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 3
  • Larceny: 1
  • Distracted driving: 1
  • Driving with a foreign license for more than 30 days: 1
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 1
  • Violation of readable plates: 1
  • Failure to obey stop sign: 1
  • Failure to drive right: 1


Over 30 Y’s Men of Westport & Weston members, and their guests, were treated to a tour of Prospect Gardens on Wednesday.

Owners Melissa and John Ceriale welcomed the visitors, who were led by curator/landscape designer/master planner Cindy Shumate.

The Prospect Road property includes nearly 9 acres of flowers, shrubs, lawns, walking paths, meadows, orchards, trees and more.

Y’s Men and guests, at Prospect Gardens. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


If you missed Alison Stewart’s WNYC “All of It” interview about the Westport Library’s first-in-the-nation record label vinyl release — no problem.

You can hear it — including an interview with sound engineer Travis Bell, artist Dani Capalbo, and some of the music recorded at the Library’s Verso Studio — by clicking here.

Travis Bell, at work.


The year is winding down for the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club. On Wednesday, new president Liz Wong was inducted.

They’re still smiling over last weekend’s Great Duck Race. More than 3,000 plastic ducks “competed,” raising more than $70,000 that the club will donate to charities.

Here’s the entire event, in just 42 seconds:


Stacy Prince offers an intriguing close-up, in today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Stacy Prince)


And finally … Bobby Osborne, a singer and mandolin player whose bluegrass band flouted convention by using drums, electric bass, pedal steel guitar, twin banjos and string sections — and were the first to amplify their instruments — died Tuesday near Nashville. He was 91.

The Osborne Brothers are best known for their 1967 record, “Rocky Top.” Click here for full obituary.

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Roundup: DPW, TD Bank, Big 10 …

Westport’s Department of Public Works is always busy.

Their latest project: repairing sink holes.

The photo below shows a pipe separation on Roseville Road that was undermining the sidewalk. DPW cemented around the pipe, then back filled with asphalt.

It’s one of those jobs that can go unnoticed. And we’ll never know what problems they avoided, thanks to vigilance and hard work.


A large crowd attended last night’s drag show at MoCA Westport.

The 2nd annual event was family-friendly, and part of Westport Pride’s month-long Pride celebration.

Young drag queen Desmond MCed the event. (Photo/Nikki Gorman)


One of the hidden gems of Westport is the large color mural at TB Bank’s Main Street branch.

The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston enjoyed it — and many other sights — on Friday’s “historic walking tour.”

From left: Bob Mitchell, Larry Lich, Joel Wasserman, Jay Dirnberger. (Photo/Molly Alger)


Jake Thaw was an All-State football and basketball player at Staples High School — and an FCIAC and NFL Foundation Exemplary Scholar Athlete.

The 2020 graduate has continued his success at the University of Michigan, where he’s a 2-time Academic All-Big 10 honoree. On July 2 (6 p.m., Pizza Lyfe, 833 Post Road East), he’ll meet fans, talk about his journey, and discuss the upcoming season.

It’s free — and you don’t have to be a Michigan alum to go. But please click here to register (so the restaurant can plan seating). And attendees are responsible for their own food and drinks.

Jake Thaw


We’re used to seeing fishermen on Compo Beach’s South Beach jetty.

But seldom are there as many as Karen Como spotted yesterday.

(Photo/Karen Como)

“Was there a fishing convention?” she wonders.

Nope. Just another day at the beach.


Robert Giury and Nicole Kelman were honored with “40 Under 40” business awards recently.

Westfair Business Journal cites young businesspeople. Each town in Fairfield and Westchester Counties is represented by the head of their Chamber of Commerce. Matthew Mandell handed out Westport’s honors, at the Point at Norwalk Cove.

Giury is vice president of investments for David Lerner Associates. Kelman is CEO of New England Educational Consultants.

Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell, flanked by Nicole Kelman and Robert Giury.


Friday’s rain may have dashed some plans.

But it also created this gorgeous “Westport … Naturally” image. Every cloud has a silver (or yellow) lining.

(Photo/Matthew Tackman)


And finally … this song goes out to all the “06880” fathers, step-fathers, foster fathers, grandfathers and father figures. Today is your day!

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Unsung Hero #289

Alert “06880” reader Gil Ghitelman writes:

Mario Sa Couto was born in Lisbon, and served as an officer in the Portuguese navy.

His love of the water made Westport a welcoming spot when he worked as a Xerox executive for 35 years.

He and his wife Teresa raised 2 girls and a boy (all Staples grads).

Mario Sa Couto

Mario thrived at his passions: duplicate bridge and boating. He shared both pleasures with his Y’s Men brethren.

He initiated the duplicate game there. Seventeen years later, the weekly game is as popular as ever.

Corralling 20 curmudgeons, setting up the games, scoring and occasionally serving as arbitrator are a walk in the park for Mario.

Pre-pandemic, he invited fellow Y’s men for a weekly boating experience each summer. We’re not sure he ever shared his harrowing boating nightmare. During his Xerox assignment in Brazil, a boat he was on sank in the middle of the night on the Amazon River.

He is most proud of the dozen years he spent as as a terminal patient volunteer with Masonicare. When he was honored for his efforts, it was noted that he spent so much time with the patients some of the staff assumed he was family.

Mario Sa Couto may be considered an Unsung Hero. But those of us who know him are quick to drop the “unsung” part. Our town is most fortunate to have this good guy in our midst.

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Email 06880blog@gmail.com)

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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!

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog — and a non-profit. Contributions are tax-deductible. Please click here to support us — and thank you!)

Roundup: Parker Harding Petition, Help For Fire Victims, D-Day Hero …

The Downtown Plan Implementation Committee’s idea for Parker Harding Plaza — eliminating the cut-through from Main Street to the Post Road, in favor of 2-way traffic closer to the back entrances of stores in the lot, along with the loss of 44 parking spots — has run into heavy traffic.

A petition on Change.org has garnered over 500 signatures. It says:

“We, the undersigned, respectfully OPPOSE the Westport Downtown Plan Implementation Committee’s proposed plan to eliminate the Parker Harding Access Road and 44 parking spaces as part of a larger proposal to re-conceptualize and redesign Parker Harding Plaza. If approved, this proposed plan will result in a dramatic increase in traffic throughout Westport and make finding Downtown parking more difficult.

“The Westport Downtown Plan Implementation Committee is an appointed committee responsible for initiating and carrying out the implementation of the Downtown Master Plan. We encourage the Westport Downtown Plan Implementation Committee to propose a viable alternative that does not impose further burdens on the residents of Westport, visitors, and downtown business owners/employees.”

The proposed plan eliminates the cut-through, and reconfigures spaces. Click on or hover over to enlarge.


Meanwhile, a minute or two from downtown, Winslow Park just got a bit safer.

Mark Mathias writes: “It’s great to see an AED (automated external defibrillator) back at Winslow Park. It was missing for at least a couple of years.

“I also like that despite the ‘Call 911 for code’ label, there’s no lock on the hasp.  When seconds matter, having to call for a code seems wrong.

“I hope the AED stays in the locker in case someone needs it. I also hope that the other AEDs around town have been deployed.”

AED at Winslow Park. It’s located near the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot. (Photo/Mark Mathias)


Monday’s fire on Old Hill Road destroyed the home — and all personal possessions — of a Westport family.

Grace Firth — a single mother, whose family lives abroad — along with her daughter Bria (a Coleytown Middle School 7th grader) and an aunt, Sylvia, who is with them — escaped with only the pajamas they were sleeping in.

They have lived in Westport for several years. Friends have created a GoFundMe campaign, to help.

All money raised will pay for clothing, household items, and new housing — the most urgent need. Click here to help.

A Facebook “Westport Front Porch” post by Julie Einziger Sternberg lists sizes:

Shoes (Grace 6, Sylvia 9 or 9.5, Brie junior 4); clothes (Grace medium/large size 10, Sylvia xl tops/large bottom, Brie large kids/sweats and hoodie — she loves those).

A meal train has been set up too. Click here to sign up.

Grace and Bria Frith.


“Work, Live, Ride” — a bill increasing housing density near train stations, including Saugatuck and Greens Farms — will probably not be enacted during this Connecticut General Assembly session.

Click here for the full Connecticut Mirror story.

The “Work, Live, Ride” bill could have increased housing around the Saugatuck and Greens Farms railroad stations.


Firefighters from across the region gathered yesterday evening at Assumption Church. A solemn ceremony sponsored by the Bridgeport Area Retired Firefighters honored all those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

A reception followed at the VFW.


At 6:30 a.m., 79 years ago yesterday, Allied forces began the largest sea invasion in American history. Over 350,000 soldiers and naval personnel landed on the Normandy beaches. Thousands of paratroopers assisted.

Five days later, the beaches were secured. Nearly 2,500 mile of coastline was taken. “Operation Overlord” turned the tide of World War II.

Over 5,000 Allied forces — including 2,001 Americans — were killed on D-Day. Many more perished, and were injured, during the ensuing Battle of Normandy.

Robert Loomis — a 19-year-old infantryman at Utah Beach — was fortunate. He returned home.

He was honorably discharged later, as a sergeant first class. His decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Citation, Army Meritorious Citation, French and Belgian Fourrageres and the French Legion of Honor.

He and his family moved to Westport in 1958. He commuted to New York as an art director.

He was also very involved here, as a volunteer. He spent 25 years as an EMT with the Norwalk Hospital Emergency Department and Westport Emergency Medical Service. He also helped his wife with Meals on Wheels.

In 1985, Bob Loomis designed the logo for Westport’s 150th anniversary celebration.

In 1994 Loomis returned to France, for the 50th anniversary celebration of D-Day. He and fellow Westporter Clayton Chalfant visited Marigny, Westport’s sister city in Normandy.

Loomis died on June 8, 2016 — in the midst of the 72nd anniversary of Operation Overlord. He was 91. Click here for his full, fascinating, obituary.

Last night’s Representative Town Meeting session included a moment of silence for Sgt. Loomis, and all who served on D-Day. (Hat tip: Andrew Colabella)

Bob Loomis proudly displays some of his medals. The next day, he added the Croix de Guerre.


Also last night at the RTM: member Jessica Bram paid tribute to former moderator (and later, 1st Selectman), on what recently would have been his 78th birthday. Joseloff died in 2020.

Bram said: “Gordon contributed so much to Westport. He was a volunteer EMT, Westport firefighter, and what he may have been proudest of, publisher of WestportNow.com which was a groundbreaking hyper-local blog that connected us all as a community in real time.

“Gordon was so modest you might not know he had lifelong career at CBS News, the only journalist who got into the Gdańsk Shipyards — for anyone who remembers that—was an Emmy winner, served as both Moscow and Tokyo bureau chief, and sat just off camera alongside Walter Cronkite during CBS  evening news broadcasts.

“I take note especially of how much he contributed to this RTM, where he was proud to serve as Mmderator for 10 years. He told me that he always wore a jacket and tie at RTM meetings to show his respect for his role as moderator….

“We have much to be grateful to Gordon for, for how much he contributed to Westport. But perhaps here especially, where he served 10 years as moderator of this RTM.”

Gordon Joseloff (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Gordon Joseloff (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)


On July 13, “Booked for the Evening” honoree Laura Linney will entertain and enlighten an already sold-out Trefz Forum audience.

It’s a major fundraiser for the Westport Library.

Now there’s a way to see the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress — in the comfort of your home. And you don’t even have to live in Westport.

The Library will livestream the ceremony, and Linney’s talk. The cost is just $20. Click here for details, and to purchase a virtual link.

Laura Linney


Speaking of the Library:

Verso Records: Volume One — the debut album from Verso Studios, which was launched Sautrday night at the Trefz Forum — is now on sale.

It’s available at the Library Store, online via Bandcamp, through the Verso Records website, and soon at record stores around the area.

The bright yellow vinyl sells for $22, and includes a digital download. A $10 digital-only version is also available.


Speaking of music at the Library:

On Monday night, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston welcomed the Staples High School Jazz Band Combo Blue. The Trefz Forum was packed for the sextet’s 40-minute set, with Y’s Men and jazz lovers (some were both).

Click below to enjoy:


This year, Neighbors & Newcomers of Westport celebrates its 60th anniversary.

The organization — far more than a “welcome wagon” — offers an array of activities for new Westporters (and those who are not so new). Lasting friendships are formed.

All residents — members or not — are invited to their 60th anniversary celebration this Friday (June 9, 6:30 p.m.) at the Compo Beach brick pavilion.

Food and water will be provided; BYOB. And — as old-timers know: No glass!

For more information on the group, click here.

Neighbors & Newcomers enjoy a hike.


Last night’s News 12 “Crime Files” segment on the Joan Wertkin murder included interviews with family members, police officers and others — and archival footage from the days immediately after the May 24, 1989 crime.

But — despite hints that the killer is known — no names were revealed.

According to the show, however, investigators are coming close to closing the long-open case.

A News 12 “Crime Files” screenshot shows an aerial view of the Main Street shopping plaza — the site of Coffee An’, among others — behind which Joan Wertkin’s body was found.


TAP Strength celebrates the summer solstice with a special drop-in class (yoga and sound bath).

The date is June 21 (of course); the time is 6 p.m. Call 203-292-9353 or email nancy@tapstrength.com to register.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from Tom Feeley.

He shot it at 6:05 a.m. yesterday, at PJ Romano Field. It’s not edited or altered in any way. “Courtesy of Canadian wildfires,” Tom says of the bright orange hue.

(Photo/Tom Feeley)


And finally … wildfires are deadly. This song, however, is beautiful:

 (Every day, “06880” scours Westport — and the world — for interesting Roundup features. If you enjoy this feature, please help support our work. Just click here — and thank you.)