Sunday, March 03, 2024

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Full House for Cinema Initiative Screening

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There was a full house tonight for the Westport Cinema Initiative screening of the 2005 film “The War Within” at the Westport Country Playhouse Barn. Written by Ayad Akhtar, a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, the film provides insights into the Muslim experience in the United States. It was held in conjunction with the Playhouse production of “The Invisible Hand” by the same author and included a talkback with its director, David Kennedy, and Westport filmmaker Doug Tirola. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

‘Reader’s Theatre’ at Green’s Farms Congregational

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Members of Green’s Farms Congregational Church enjoyed a different approach to worship today when Chris Murray shared his talents as director of a short “Reader’s Theater” in the meetinghouse. Pictured in Howard Lipson’s one-act play “Two Minutes” are Martha Eidman, Ashley Welker and Chris Murray. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Comings & Goings: Arby’s Out, Starbucks In On Post Road East

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Arby’s, Westport’s only drive-up fast food restaurant, is out at 1000 Post Road East and soon will be replaced by Starbucks, which is relocating from nearby 925 Post Road East. Arby’s took over the site in 2006 from Burger King, which had been there since at least 1995. The drive-through capability is especially important for Starbucks, which also has a standalone store a 1 Parker Harding Plaza. Arby’s closed on Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Israeli Art at Fine Arts Festival

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Jerusalem-born artist Yoram Gel, a resident of Old Jaffa, Israel, shows his artistic creation of Adam and Eve today at the second and final day of thr Westport Fine Arts Festival. Gal and his son, Nimrod, 16, are in the United States for three weeks to participate in art shows in Westport, Stamford, and Geneva, Ill. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Talking Transportation: America’s Mass Transit Mecca

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

What’s the most mass transit intensive city in the United States? By the numbers, New York City. But for a glimpse of the real future of mass transit, the winner is clearly Portland, Ore.

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Portland has only 632,000 residents but 2.3 million in its metro area. Yet it has, per capita, what I think is the largest, most extensive and best integrated systems of light rail, streetcars and bike lanes in the nation.

Light Rail:  It was 1986 when Portland opened its first light rail line. Today the system covers 60 miles (including the airport, 12 miles from downtown). In 2001, a downtown streetcar system was added. It proved so successful that Portland now manufactures streetcars for other American cities.

Like the city’s extensive bike rack-equipped bus network, all of Portland’s mass transit operates on the honor system: you buy tickets before boarding and only show them if a inspector boards, looking for proof of payment.

Watching Over the Valuables

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Longtime Westport Library volunteer Dick Lowenstein today rearranges the enclosed display of “highly valued or fragile” collectibles in the McManus Room on the second day of the library’s annual summer book sale.  Lowenstein said the highest price single item purchased this weekend was a first edition, signed copy of “Ghosts Along the Mississippi,” a photography book authored by Clarence John Laughlin. The photographs capture Mississippi River relics, and was influenced by French photographer Eugene Atget. The buyer paid $275. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Sunday Book Sale Buyers

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Among Westport Library summer book sale buyers today in the McManus Room were Westport residents Sheela Hari and sons, Yashi, 11, (l), a sixth grade student at Coleytown Middle Schoo,l and Jay, 8, a third grade student at Kings Highway Elementary School. They purchased mostly classics and children’s books. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com