Westport's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/westport Sat, 14 Dec 2019 18:37:39 -0500 HamletHub.com The Longest Night Service Coming to UMC Westport & Weston Tuesday, Dec. 17th, 7-8pm https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46329-the-longest-night-service-coming-to-umc-westport-weston-tuesday-dec-17th-7-8pm46329-the-longest-night-service-coming-to-umc-westport-weston-tuesday-dec-17th-7-8pm https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46329-the-longest-night-service-coming-to-umc-westport-weston-tuesday-dec-17th-7-8pm46329-the-longest-night-service-coming-to-umc-westport-weston-tuesday-dec-17th-7-8pm

Do hope and joy feel out of reach? Are you sad, struggling, overwhelmed, uninspired, or in a daze? You are not alone!

Join our service of hope and healing for all who seek comfort in the Christmas season. We offer a space to rest, reflect and find solace in a gathering of God's people. You are invited to join us for a service of music, prayer and silence by the glow of candlelight, as we acknowledge the many emotions of the season.

United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston is located at 49 Weston Road in Westport, CT.

Learn more: www.westportumc.org

danliu@optonline.net (Dan) Neighbors Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:24:31 -0500
Westport Police Department Anounces Early Retirement of Police Service Dog Koda, Ceremony on Friday https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46326-westport-police-department-anounces-early-retirement-of-police-service-dog-koda-ceremony-on-friday46326-westport-police-department-anounces-early-retirement-of-police-service-dog-koda-ceremony-on-friday https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46326-westport-police-department-anounces-early-retirement-of-police-service-dog-koda-ceremony-on-friday46326-westport-police-department-anounces-early-retirement-of-police-service-dog-koda-ceremony-on-friday

It is with a heavy heart that the Westport Police Department plans to announce the early retirement of Police Service Dog Koda due to recently diagnosed health concerns.  Koda is a nine year old Belgian Malinois that was imported from Hungary and joined the Westport Police Department in February of 2012.  At eighteen months old, Koda completed a thorough ten week training course where he became certified in narcotics detection, tracking, handler protection, and criminal apprehension.  Since beginning his law enforcement career, Koda has been partnered up with Officer James Loomer, who joined the department in February of 2010. Officer Loomer and Koda have since worked full time in the patrol division.  Through the duration of their partnership, they have responded to over six hundred canine-related calls for service for the town of Westport and other neighboring municipalities.

To honor Koda’s career, the Westport Police Department plans to raise funds to purchase and train a new police service dog that will continue Koda’s impressive legacy.

 In order to officially announce Koda’s retirement, as well as to mark the commencement of this fundraising drive, all are welcome to join us for a brief ceremony to be held at 9:30am on Friday, December 13, 2019 in the Westport Police Department’s classroom; located at 50 Jesup Road in Westport.

kerry@ducey.org (Westport Police Department) Neighbors Wed, 11 Dec 2019 08:50:08 -0500
Westport Playhouse Awarded $50K Grant from Newman's Own https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46327-westport-playhouse-awarded-50k-grant-from-newman-s-own46327-westport-playhouse-awarded-50k-grant-from-newman-s-own https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46327-westport-playhouse-awarded-50k-grant-from-newman-s-own46327-westport-playhouse-awarded-50k-grant-from-newman-s-own

Westport, CT - Westport Country Playhouse has been awarded a $50,000 Challenge Grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman.  In conjunction with the Playhouse’s year-end fundraising appeal, Newman’s Own Foundation will match all annual fund gifts up to $50,000 through December 31, 2019.

The Newman's Own Foundation Challenge Grant will help to highlight the important role of philanthropy in sustaining the non-profit theater where ticket sales account for less than half of the operating budget. 

“Sustained support from foundation partners like Newman’s Own Foundation allows the Playhouse to create professional theater of the highest quality in our broadest community,” said Michael Barker, Playhouse managing director.  “Our shared history of personal support from Paul Newman makes this relationship truly special.”

Newman’s Own Foundation uses all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products for charitable purposes. Since 1982, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have donated over $550 million to thousands of charities around the world.

“Westport Country Playhouse is such a treasure and an icon of the arts in our community,” said Kelly Giordano, managing director of Newman’s Own Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to continue our longstanding support to this special organization that Paul Newman held so dear.”

Annual fund gifts can be made online at www.westportplayhouse.org/support, or by calling the Playhouse at 203-571-1138.

For Westport Country Playhouse information and tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater of the highest caliber and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus.  The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training through Broadway Method Academy, Westport Country Playhouse’s resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.  Charity Navigator has recently awarded its top 4-star charity rating to the Playhouse in recognition of its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Photo Attached: Michael Barker, Westport Country Playhouse managing director.   Photo by Ed Smith

kerry@ducey.org (Pat Blaufuss) Places Wed, 11 Dec 2019 08:36:16 -0500
Fairfield County Bank Appoints Cheryl MacCluskey to Senior Loan Officer https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46328-fairfield-county-bank-appoints-greenwich-resident-cheryl-maccluskey-to-senior-loan-officer46328-fairfield-county-bank-appoints-greenwich-resident-cheryl-maccluskey-to-senior-loan-officer https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46328-fairfield-county-bank-appoints-greenwich-resident-cheryl-maccluskey-to-senior-loan-officer46328-fairfield-county-bank-appoints-greenwich-resident-cheryl-maccluskey-to-senior-loan-officer

Ridgefield, CT – December 11, 2019 – Fairfield County Bank recently appointed Cheryl MacCluskey to Senior Loan Officer. Before joining the Bank, Cheryl was a Loan Officer at First Republic Bank.

As a Senior Loan Officer, Cheryl will meet with Clients regularly to determine their loan product needs to ensure their goals are being met. Ms. MacCluskey is also responsible for maintaining a knowledge base of the Bank’s loan products and understanding of the qualifications required for each client.

“Cheryl is a great addition to our experienced team of lenders. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience and is excited to work with her clients to help them achieve their goals,” says Raymond LaFlamme, Chief Mortgage Sales Office at Fairfield County Bank.

In her spare time, Cheryl volunteers at the YMCA and Inspirica. She also belongs to the Greenwich Board of Realtors, National Notary Association and the Marist College Alumni. In 2016, Cheryl received the Volunteer of the Year award from the YMCA. Growing up, Cheryl competed in Dressage and actively participated in triathlons. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree and currently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut.

kerry@ducey.org (Ryan Arconti) Neighbors Wed, 11 Dec 2019 08:30:04 -0500
Ale to the Chief: Washington Beer Bash in Westport - Save the Date! https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46324-ale-to-the-chief-washington-beer-bash46324-ale-to-the-chief-washington-beer-bash https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46324-ale-to-the-chief-washington-beer-bash46324-ale-to-the-chief-washington-beer-bash

Toast President Washington on his 288th birthday with his favorite libation and nibbles! Join Westport Museum on Sat., Feb. 22, from 6 to 7:30pm, as we serve ale made from Washington’s own recipe as well as Madeira–his drink of choice. Food that the first president would have enjoyed will be served.

There will also be drawings to win a growler of Presidential Ale and a signed copy of Executive Director, Ramin Ganeshram’s historical novel The General’s Cook, about George Washington’s enslaved celebrity chef, Hercules.

Tickets are $25 for members, $30 for non-members. The day of price is $35. 

Reservations are recommended, purchase tickets online at www.westporthistory.org or call (203) 222-1424 x5.

bpeck@westporthistory.org (Barbara Peck) Events Wed, 11 Dec 2019 03:45:20 -0500
Westport Police Department Buys 1st Tesla Model 3 Squad Car in Connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/publicsafety/46325-westport-police-department-buys-1st-tesla-model-3-squad-car-in-connecticut46325-westport-police-department-buys-1st-tesla-model-3-squad-car-in-connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/publicsafety/46325-westport-police-department-buys-1st-tesla-model-3-squad-car-in-connecticut46325-westport-police-department-buys-1st-tesla-model-3-squad-car-in-connecticut

The Town of Westport is pleased to announce the newest addition to its Police Department fleet – the fully electric 2020 Tesla Model 3. The 310-mile range electric vehicle has been delivered and is currently in the process of being outfitted with all the necessary police equipment – including emergency lights and siren, a networked computer, a weapon rack and tires capable of sustained speeds of over 100mph. The Police Department is working in partnership with Whelen Engineering Company who will be supplying all the emergency equipment and Fleet Auto Supply who will be outfitting and installing all the equipment to get the vehicles fully operational by the last week of January 2020.

When asked why he chose the Model 3, Police Chief Foti Koskinas says he “believes in being green” but was primarily impressed by the superior performance, 5 star crash ratings, and industry-leading collision avoidance technology available in the Model 3 compared to the Town’s typical squad cars. The Police Department has no plans to use the Autopilot feature, as it’s not relevant for the type of driving they will be doing.

While the initial purchase price of $52,290 was higher than the $37,000 the department would normally spend on adding another Ford Explorer to the fleet, Koskinas expects to more than makeup for that in fuel and maintenance savings over the life of the vehicle. Just in the first 3 years, an internal combustion engine squad car typically requires approximately $11,000 in maintenance, including oil changes, oil filters, tune ups, and brakes. In contrast, Teslas don’t require annual maintenance and have brakes that last 70,000 miles or more, benefiting from a regenerative braking system that uses a motor to simultaneously slow the car down while recharging the battery.

The savings on gasoline compared to electricity are significant as well. Using the US Department of Energy’s fuel economy calculator, the Police Department’s energy cost for the Model 3 per mile will be $0.040, while the fuel cost for a Ford Explorer is $0.127 per mile, adding up to a fuel savings of $13,770 just in the first 3 years.

Charging the battery won’t be an issue, as the typical daily mileage of the Tesla is expected to be less than 150 miles, and the official mileage rating for a Model 3 is 310 miles. Given the way the vehicle will be used day to day, maximum range is expected to be between 200-220 miles. The Police Department already has a gas pump on its property, and now will be adding a Level 2 electric vehicle charger which will easily recharge the vehicle in a few hours overnight so it has a full charge each morning. There are also EV chargers available to the public at other Westport locations such as the Library, Town Hall, and both train stations.

According to Barry Kresch, a member of the Leadership Team of the EV Club of Connecticut who analyzed the state’s DMV data, this vehicle will join a fleet of 431 electric vehicles already owned by Westport residents, of which 250 are Teslas. In fact, Westport is #1 per capita in Connecticut in both Tesla ownership and EV ownership overall. (Data as of July 1, 2019, obtained via FOIA from the DMV.)

EV Club President Bruce Becker commented, “The economic, environmental and public health benefits of electric vehicles are irrefutable, and it is exciting to see the Town of Westport reaping these benefits. It’s logical for those responsible for public safety to lead the effort in keeping the planet safe by reducing dangerous pollutants and emissions, 38% of which come from the transportation sector. As the first Police Department on the east coast we know of to add a Tesla squad car to its fleet, Westport is now a national leader in the urgently needed transition to EVs.”

Sustainable Westport Advisory Team Chair David Mann said, “We’re excited by this opportunity to help drive awareness and understanding of electric vehicles across our community. Our Town’s goal is to get to Net Zero waste, water, and energy by 2050*. According to the Department of Energy, driving an electric vehicle that’s been charged on Connecticut’s grid produces only 21% of the total emissions that would occur from driving a gasoline-powered car. Electrifying our transportation sector is a critical part of helping the Town reach its goals.”

A few other electric vehicle benefits that are relevant to police usage:

● The Model 3 has an extra trunk in the front of the vehicle where an internal combustion engine would usually be, affectionately called “the frunk” by the Tesla community, where officers will be able to store emergency equipment that’s important to be kept separate from cargo in the rear trunk.
● Every Tesla comes straight from the factory with many features installed in the car – like its front, side, and rear-view cameras – that a police department would typically need to install at extra cost. These cameras can also be used in “Sentry mode” to monitor the vehicle and vicinity when the vehicle is parked. Chief Koskinas is in direct conversations with Tesla to work on potential ways to leverage the car’s existing systems to better meet the needs of a police force.
● For those very rare occasions when it is both safe and necessary to do so, the all wheel drive Model 3 is capable of reaching 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and it has a top speed of 162 mph, outperforming all other vehicles in the Police Department’s current fleet.
● Police cars can spend lots of time idling, as they need to keep the internal combustion engine running to power the lights and keep online computers running properly while not draining the battery. In any fully electric car, the tailpipe emissions from those long sessions spent parked will be eliminated. With Fairfield County’s air quality being among the worst in the country, eliminating emissions during idling is important.

First Selectman Jim Marpe commented, “I’m very proud of the steady progress that Westport is making towards our Net Zero by 2050 goal, and the leadership role we continue to play in sustainability. Whether it’s adding more solar panels on our library and school roofs, or eliminating single use plastics in food establishments, or now as we continue the transition of our municipal vehicles to electric vehicles.”

This actually isn’t the first EV for Westport’s Police Department. The first Toyota Prius arrived in 2007 and replaced a car that was burning 7-9 gallons of gasoline every day. The current model Prius is a plug-in hybrid, but operates almost exclusively in electric-only mode for its daily driving needs. The Town’s efforts to renewably electrify transportation go back to 2012 with the addition of solar-powered electric vehicle chargers at the Saugatuck train station.

The Westport Police Department will be planning an Open House in the spring so members of the public can come see the vehicle in person and learn about how it’s been helping the Police Department better serve the community.


kerry@ducey.org (Westport Police Departmetn) Public safety Tue, 10 Dec 2019 09:57:43 -0500
Why Small Businesses Matter in Westport: The Cake Box https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46321-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-cake-box46321-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-cake-box https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46321-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-cake-box46321-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-cake-box

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT The Cake Box!
Four questions with Jordon Gregory, owner of The Cake Box.
Why did you start your business?
I'd been home with kids for 10 years and it was time to re-enter the workforce. Things had changed a lot since my last job in 1999 when my first child was born so I decided to do what I love and went to pastry school. Still not sure of my path, my husband and I started making custom cakes for friends and family from home and it turned out that he's an incredibly talented artist and a master with fondant. We took the leap and signed a lease and thought we'd also do cupcakes to help pay the rent. Almost 10 years later we now have the Westport location and are still at it!
Finish this sentence in regard to your business: I wish I could...
I wish I could spend more of my time advocating for small "mom & pop" businesses, retail in particular. It's getting to be exponentially more expensive to run a small business (and it's not just high rents, though we are incredibly lucky to have a fair and helpful landlord in Westport). I fear that small retail is going to become a thing of the past and the thought of losing that personal touch and the experience you get from these shops is truly distressing. A world of Amazon only shopping is not that far fetched. Independently owned shops and restaurants are an important part of the character of our communities.
Best selling product?
Our best selling product is still cupcakes! Sweet & Salty is a perennial favorite.
Do you use any local businesses to operate your business? Can you name them?
Over the years we have been fortunate to work with other local businesses. That shifts and changes as needs change, but to name a few: Tusk & Cup, 109 Cheese & Wine, Four Forks (Darien), Zumbach's coffee from New Canaan (we serve this in both stores), and Sarah's Wine Bar. We also donate locally to various schools and non-profits in town (one of which is Meals on Wheels).  One of the things I like most about owning a local business is having the opportunity to be a part of this community of talented and hard-working people.
The Cake Box is located at 10 Bay Street in Westport (behind Design Within Reach). The Cake Box has a second location in Ridgefield. Visit the Cake Box online here.
The Cake Box nominates Field Trip Snacks!
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!
kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Tue, 10 Dec 2019 05:50:09 -0500
Checks Stolen from Vehicle in Westport, Police Arrest Suspect for Forgery, Larceny, Identity Theft https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/publicsafety/46323-checks-stolen-from-vehicle-in-westport-police-arrest-suspect-for-forgery-larceny-identity-theft46323-checks-stolen-from-vehicle-in-westport-police-arrest-suspect-for-forgery-larceny-identity-theft https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/publicsafety/46323-checks-stolen-from-vehicle-in-westport-police-arrest-suspect-for-forgery-larceny-identity-theft46323-checks-stolen-from-vehicle-in-westport-police-arrest-suspect-for-forgery-larceny-identity-theft

On the morning of Friday, September 6, 2019 a victim responded to police headquarters reporting that her vehicle had been burglarized. She explained that while parked at the Saugatuck Railroad Station on Thursday, September 5, 2019, the unlocked vehicle had apparently been entered and that several checks were taken from a checkbook that had been left inside the vehicle. The victim’s husband became aware of the theft when he received notification from his bank of possible fraudulent activity. In a follow-up with the bank, he was advised that several withdrawals were attempted from his checking account on this same date using physical checks.

It was learned through investigation that a suspect had attempted to cash one of these stolen checks in person at a bank branch in Stamford on Thursday, September 5, 2019. The teller suspected possible fraud and attempted to contact the victim to verify the legitimacy of the transaction prior to processing the request. The teller was unsuccessful in this attempt to contact the victim and the transaction was ultimately denied.

Despite that, several stolen checks were then later deposited into a customer’s account using an ATM at the same branch. This account belonged to Devaun Joyner, who was physically present with the second suspect when the checks were deposited into the ATM machine. The total amount of funds that the suspects attempted to steal from the victim’s account using the five fraudulent checks was alleged to be $1150.00.

A follow-up investigation into this incident was conducted that included interviews with the employees of the bank branch in Stamford as well as the drafting, granting and execution of search warrants for bank records and for bank video surveillance. Through this information gathering, it was learned that a total of two suspects, Joyner and an accomplice, had been involved in the attempts to negotiate these stolen checks. Through information sharing with other agencies and through the investigation, both suspects were positively identified. Arrest warrants were subsequently drafted and granted for both of these individuals. The second suspect in this incident was previously arrested by this department on October 2, 2019.

On the morning of Sunday, December 8, 2019, the Westport Police Department was contacted by the Stamford Police Department. On that date that agency was reporting that Devaun Joyner was being held in connection with the active warrant for his arrest issued pursuant to this investigation. He was transported back to the Westport Police Department where he was formally arrested and charged with 53a-103 Burglary Third Degree, 53a-129d Identity Theft Third Degree, 53a-139 Forgery Second Degree. 53a-49(53a-125) Criminal Attempt at Larceny Fourth Degree and 53a-125 Larceny Fourth Degree per the warrant.

Bond was court-set at $15,000 which he was unable to post. Joyner was transported to Norwalk Superior Court on the morning of Monday, December 9, 2019 for arraignment.

kerry@ducey.org (Westport Police) Public safety Mon, 09 Dec 2019 09:04:32 -0500
WFM Named A Top Market in the Country https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46322-wfm-named-a-top-market-in-the-country46322-wfm-named-a-top-market-in-the-country https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46322-wfm-named-a-top-market-in-the-country46322-wfm-named-a-top-market-in-the-country

Westport, Ct – Westport Farmers’ Market (WFM) is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by American Farmland Trust (AFT) as the 10th best farmers market in the country; the 6th top farmers market in the Northeast; and the 3rd favorite farmers market in Connecticut during this summer’s Farmers’ Market Celebration! From June through September, 2019, AFT ran a contest to “ensure that markets across the county get the recognition they deserve … nationally and at the regional level.” 

In its eleventh year, the Farmers Market Celebration rallies community support for local food while raising awareness about the loss of America’s farmland and its impact on local food. Using the hashtag #onmyfork, AFT sought stories on social media about the cream of the crop of farmers markets across the U.S. And Westport shoppers responded! 

“It is such an honor to be recognized by our shoppers, vendors, and AFT as one of the top markets in the nation,” said Lori Cochran-Dougall, executive director of WFM. “AFT gets that farmers markets matter at a time when farms are diminishing and threatened by development. Farmers who participate in markets are staving off development and succeeding where others, unfortunately, are not.”

AFT’s summer-long campaign helped to promote markets, farmers, vendors, and the people and places that bring communities fresh, healthful food. According to AFT president, John Piotti, “The role that markets play is invaluable, not only because they provide us with such a vital source of food. Farmers markets have also been at the leading edge of educating consumers about where food comes from, and reinforcing AFT’s message of No Farms No Food. Here at AFT, we know it starts on your fork.”

“From our Chef-at-the-Market competition to our community programming, WFM tries to go above and beyond ensure all people have access to clean food grown by farmers they know by name,” said Mrs. Cochran-Dougall. “One of our original founders, Paul Newman, would be proud of AFT’s recognition!”

PHOTO: Chef Carlos Baez addresses judges and a crowd at one of WFM’s Chef-at-the-Market competitions this summer. Each month, three chefs were given 30 minutes to shop from farmers at the market and prepare a dish for judging, with only one advancing to the finals and recognition as Chef of the Market. The program is one of many sponsored by WFM that led to recognition by American Farmland Trust (AFT) as the 10th best farmers market in the country; 6th top market in the Northeast; and 3rd favorite market in Connecticut.

Westport Farmers’ Market is The Westport Farmers’ Market is committed to providing fresh, local, healthy and seasonal food. We aspire to create a fun, safe and healthy community environment for education and socialization. Our mission is to increase awareness, knowledge and support for local producers focused on sustainable and healthy growing practices.

The Westport Farmers’ Market receives philanthropic support from: Aitoro, Boxcar Cantina; Cohen and Wolf; Club Pilates Westport; CTBites; Doc’s Maple; Earth Animal; Eileen Fisher; Farah’s Farm; Fleishers; Fresh Direct; Gault; Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center; Jesup Hall; Neat Capital; Newman’s Own Foundation; Saugatuck Rowing Club; Sugar & Olives; Westport Sunrise Rotary; Terrain; Wave Hill Breads; and Wells Hill Farm.

For more information, visit www.westportfarmersmarket.com, or email director@westportfarmersmarket.com. Find WFM on FB, Instagram, and Twitter @westportfarmersmarket.

kerry@ducey.org (WFM Director ) Places Mon, 09 Dec 2019 06:49:28 -0500
Dragon Lady: The Life of Sigrid Schulz Exhibition Opening in Westport on January 20 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46316-dragon-lady-the-life-of-sigrid-schulz-exhibition-opening46316-dragon-lady-the-life-of-sigrid-schulz-exhibition-opening https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46316-dragon-lady-the-life-of-sigrid-schulz-exhibition-opening46316-dragon-lady-the-life-of-sigrid-schulz-exhibition-opening

Be among the first to experience Westport Museum’s newest exhibit “Dragon Lady” exploring the life and legacy of Westporter Sigrid Schulz.  Join us on Monday, Jan. 20, from 4:30 to 6:30pm for the opening. Light refreshments will be served. 

Born in Chicago in 1893, war correspondent Schulz was bureau chief for Central Europe The Chicago Tribune in the years leading up to World War II and the first woman to hold that position for a major news service. Fluent in German, Schultz was stationed in Berlin where she witnessed the rise of the country’s National Socialism (Nazi) Party and was acutely aware of the danger the party and its leader, Hitler, posed to the world. Filing her most sensitive stories from various European cities under a pseudonym so as not to jeopardize her entrée behind the scenes of the Third Reich, Schulz was a masterful investigative reporter, and her dispatches provided critical intelligence about Germany’s wartime plans. Nazi party leader Herman Göring called Schultz “the dragon lady of Chicago” and attempted to eliminate her more than once. After being wounded in an Allied Air Raid, Schulz returned to the United States to reside in Westport with her mother, remaining in the town for more than four decades until her death. 

bpeck@westporthistory.org (Barbara Peck) Events Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:29:30 -0500
RA Division Head Talks - Middle School Matters https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46319-ra-division-head-talks-middle-school-matters46319-ra-division-head-talks-middle-school-matters https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46319-ra-division-head-talks-middle-school-matters46319-ra-division-head-talks-middle-school-matters

Middle School Matters

If your middle school experience was anything like mine, you are more likely to recall an awkward moment at a dance or an embarrassing comment in a classroom than you are to remember the depth of your learning. In fact, it is rare, when I share my job with someone in a social setting, that I am not inundated with that person’s worst memories of middle school.

For years, middle schools were intentionally designed to mimic the high school experiences and environments of their students’ futures. In these junior high schools (get it?) teachers expected students to perform like mini high school students as they navigated watered-down high school classroom experiences. This is not to say that we who survived these environments didn’t learn anything or that we didn’t experience some great moments--I am quite sure that you did, too--it’s that we likely were not learning in an environment that truly supported the developing human beings that we were at the time.

The failure of this junior high school structure is that it does not take into account the uniqueness of the middle school student, one who is navigating a seemingly overwhelming transition of cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development. Schools were asking and expecting students to, quite literally, be someone they were not, which left too many students feeling lost and disconnected from their schooling at a time when the single greatest need is to feel an authentic sense of connection. At Ridgefield Academy we are crafting a developmentally-appropriate learning experience for our students, one that challenges them to grow and develop as learners and people in a caring and nurturing environment; one that understands that middle school actually matters.

Meeting Students Where They Are

A truly great middle school meets students where they are at each developmental level. The range of cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development is never again as wide as it is during the middle school years. This reality has driven a pedagogical shift away from a  traditional, one-size-fits-all teaching model to a far more engaging, student-centered model, which allows each individual student to interact with the material at his or her own developmental level. In this model, the great middle school teacher of the twenty-first century is akin to a symphony conductor, encouraging and leading each student to perform at his or her best. In order for this to be possible, the teacher must be a master of his or her content. This allows the teacher to be dynamic and to shape and steer the learning around the questions and conclusions of the students. The teacher must also foster a strong and healthy relationship with each individual student, to know them as distinct learners and to support them in making the learning relevant in their own lives. With a deep understanding of the content and a strong relationship with the students, the teacher can craft a meaningful learning activity that supports the students in accessing the material and deepening their own, individual understanding.

Learning Through Connection

Another quality of a great middle school is that of student-teacher relationships in and out of the classroom. I often refer to the middle school years as a rollercoaster as students navigate the ups and downs of the significant cognitive, physical, and social-emotional change they are naturally experiencing. During this time of relative instability, students crave consistency in their relationships and in their environment, and unfortunately their peer group is equally unstable. To this end, the adults at home and at school must keep their feet firmly on the ground during these rollercoaster years. Genuinely trusting relationships with adults at school help students to feel grounded in that environment, which engenders in them a sense of security and safety as they work to define their authentic self. Moreover, educational neuroscience reminds us that brains learn better when they feel “safe”; when students learn in a safe and joyful environment, they are supported in taking greater cognitive risks--to think more deeply and make greater connections in their learning. No longer are middle schools the training grounds for new teachers or the pasture where former high school teachers go to finish their careers; instead, great middle school classrooms are led by dynamic adults who truly love and understand the age group.

Providing a Well-Rounded Experience

In addition to recognizing the unique developmental needs of middle schoolers and supporting those needs with dynamic, student-centered adults, a middle school program needs to be built with its student body in mind. As we do at Ridgefield Academy, the middle school years are a wonderful opportunity for students to explore new learning opportunities across the academic disciplines, through the performing and visual arts, in technology, and through athletics. With the competitive landscape of high school in mind, by providing middle level learners with a broad set of curricular and co-curricular experiences, the students have to opportunity to develop new passions and to determine how best to dedicate their time when the move on to high school. Moreover, without a high school building looming large on our campus, as a preschool-Grade 8 institution we are able to craft authentic leadership leadership roles for our middle school students. Our eighth graders understand and embrace their critical role as leaders on our campus; they lead community meetings, assume leadership roles in service learning initiatives, and set a positive example for our younger students. Through these 

opportunities our students not only learn the value of leadership to a community, but also how to be a leader in a community. They are empowered by this challenge and rise to it, taking these critical skills with them into their high school experiences and beyond.

At Ridgefield Academy, we strive to create the best learning environment for our middle school students. Because we truly know and understand middle school students, and we provide a strong program and positive environment that supports them in their own cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development we empower our students to challenge themselves as learners and leaders in a world that so desperately needs their leadership.

Explore RA’s Middle School program during Take a Look Tuesday or our Open House.



kerry@ducey.org (RA Division Head for Grades 4-8 Clinton Howarth) Neighbors Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:02:00 -0500
New Art Show Opening at Pop't Art Gallery in Westport this Weekend https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46313-new-art-show-opening-at-pop-t-art-gallery-westport46313-new-art-show-opening-at-pop-t-art-gallery-westport https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46313-new-art-show-opening-at-pop-t-art-gallery-westport46313-new-art-show-opening-at-pop-t-art-gallery-westport

Gallery director of Pop't Art Gallery, Jennifer Ruger Haviland, has curated a new art show opened on Friday, Dec. 6 and will run through December 31, titled DENIZENS - People of a Place.

Join them for a reception tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 8th from 5 to 7pm. The hours for the rest of the month is daily noon to 6pm. Address is 1 Main Street where Main Street meets the Post Road

Artists exhibiting will be Stephen Goldstein, Trace Burroughs and Greg Giegucz. All artists are open for commissions. Let Trace Burroughs capture you or a loved one in one of his iconic portraits.

The gallery opened in October of this year with it's first show Kernels of Inspiration. Followed by Words Matter and now Denizens. For more information contact Jennifer at popt.art.fineart@gmail.com.

burroughsmedia@gmail.com (Trace Burroughs) Places Sat, 07 Dec 2019 13:31:09 -0500
Westport Continuing Education Offers More Variety for Winter After School K-12 Programs https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46320-westport-continuing-education-offers-more-variety-for-winter-after-school-k-12-programs46320-westport-continuing-education-offers-more-variety-for-winter-after-school-k-12-programs https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46320-westport-continuing-education-offers-more-variety-for-winter-after-school-k-12-programs46320-westport-continuing-education-offers-more-variety-for-winter-after-school-k-12-programs

Area residents should look in their mailboxes for the colorful Winter / Spring 2020 catalog from Westport Continuing Education (WCE). New for the Winter / Spring sessions are shorter sessions that are more affordable and offer kids more variety! Parents can get ahead of the game and register now. Online registration is available on the WCE website at www.westportcontinuinged.com

WCE offers after school classes for students in grades K - 12. For grades K–5, safe, affordable, and convenient options are available at all five elementary schools in Westport. New for the Winter / Spring sessions are shorter sessions of classes for kids to try even more variety! Classes include Fine Arts, Creative Writing, STEM, Chess Club, Sports and Theater Arts. In partnership with iCook and Chartwells, all five elementary schools will have classes in the cafeteria kitchens! Most programs begin at the end of January and the second session of classes begin in March and April. The weekly program calendar for the K-12 kids division is online here.

Programs for middle school students include the American Red Cross Babysitters Certification course, Body Blast, Overtime Athletics, Rocketry and more. Teens can take advantage of Driver’s Education courses presented by The Next Street and test prep provided by AlphaPrep. Both courses are held at convenient dates at Staples High School. 

For more information go online at www.westportcontinuinged.com or call 203-341-1209.   

About Westport Continuing Education
Westport Continuing Education (WCE) provides high quality educational and enrichment programs to the residents of Westport and Fairfield County, annually serving 7,500 adults and kids with over 700 programs. Classes, workshops, and camps are offered throughout the year after school, in the evenings, and on weekends for adults and children. WCE is a division of Westport Public Schools, whose mission is to empower and inspire students to reach their full potential as lifelong learners. 



kerry@ducey.org (Westport Continuing Education) Neighbors Sat, 07 Dec 2019 13:27:30 -0500
Plum Pudding Workshop at Westport Museum for History and Culture on Dec. 11 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46299-plum-pudding-workshop-157479638046299-plum-pudding-workshop-1574796380 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46299-plum-pudding-workshop-157479638046299-plum-pudding-workshop-1574796380

Registration for our first plum pudding workshop was quickly filled, so we are adding an additional one for you!

Westport Museum for History and Culture announces a workshop that will make your mouth water and your guests delighted. Join us on Wed., Dec. 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Our Executive Director, Ramin Ganeshram, a trained chef, food historian and award-winning cookbook author will talk about the history of plum pudding. You will make your own special mix of brandy-soaked fruit and pudding mix to take home and bake or give as a gift!  

No dessert says “Christmas” quite like plum pudding. This delectably moist, dessert, heady with the flavor of brandy, is a Victorian tradition that recalls the charming holidays of yore.

$40 per person. Reservations are required, register online at www.westporthistory.org or call (203) 222-1424 x5. Refreshments will be served. Class fee includes all materials.  

bpeck@westporthistory.org (Barbara Peck) Events Sat, 07 Dec 2019 09:26:00 -0500
Explore what Ridgefield Academy can offer you child at Take a Look Tuesday https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46318-explore-what-ridgefield-academy-can-offer-you-child-at-take-a-look-tuesday46318-explore-what-ridgefield-academy-can-offer-you-child-at-take-a-look-tuesday https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46318-explore-what-ridgefield-academy-can-offer-you-child-at-take-a-look-tuesday46318-explore-what-ridgefield-academy-can-offer-you-child-at-take-a-look-tuesday

Learn what Ridgefield Academy can offer your child at our Take a Look Tuesday on December 10 from 9AM to 11AM

Research proves that a strong, early academic foundation is critical to ensure future success in high school, college and beyond. Ridgefield Academy helps students in Kindergarten-Grade 8 build that foundation through a forward-thinking, integrated educational program. Our entire community is dedicated to helping students build the necessary skills to become accomplished leaders, public speakers, and critical thinkers. RA students graduate as authentically self-assured individuals who have a strong sense of self, exceptional confidence, and are prepared for what comes next.

Learn what Ridgefield Academy can offer your child at our Take a Look Tuesday on December 10 from 9AM to 11AM. Explore the benefits of RA's independent preschool through Grade 8 with our Head of School, Tom Main. Tour our beautiful campus and experience our dynamic classrooms in action. See firsthand how our students become authentically self-assured because their unique talents are cultivated by talented faculty who inspire a joy of learning.

Come see why our parents say, “RA educates rather than teaches.”

RSVP here or contact Director of Enrollment David Suter at 203-894-1800 x112 or via dsuter@ridgefieldacademy.org. We would be delighted to meet you.
Curious about what other parents say about RA? We invite you to read other parents' stories about their RA experience.

Can’t make it on December 10? Visit RA on April 21 for the next Take a Look Tuesday!

The Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool community celebrates childhood, pursues excellence, and cultivates kindness. Our educational program is intellectually inspiring, and we foster joyful learning and mutual respect in all that we do. We empower each student to rise to their authentic self, preparing confident graduates who shape their future with ingenuity and integrity. Visit today!

kerry@ducey.org (Andrea Grady) Places Fri, 06 Dec 2019 05:44:46 -0500