Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Houses of Worship Come Together for Hurricane Harvey Relief

By James Lomuscio

When five area churches meet for the summer’s last service near the cannons at Compo Beach Sunday at 8:30 a.m., their prayers and tithings will go beyond Westport’s borders to Texas and Louisiana for Hurricane Harvey’s victims.

The Rev. Alison Buttrick Patton, pastor of the Saugatuck Congregational Church, said that leaders of the churches scheduled to hold the service agreed today that all offerings collected would go directly to hurricane relief efforts.

The Compo service, which has drawn between 200 and 300, is being concelebrated by Saugatuck Congregational Church, United Methodist Church in Westport, Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, the Green’s Farms Congregational Church and the Wilton Congregational Church. The service will be led by the Rev. Anne Coffman of Wilton Congregational.

Of her own church’s efforts, Patton said, “We already put out an appeal in an e blast, and we will put out another notice on Sunday.”

Palmer: First Day of School a ‘Smooth Opening’

Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer gave the first day of school today high grades for a smooth opening for everything from the buses rolling on time to staff and student excitement about being back.

“We had a very smooth opening to our school year,” said Palmer, who had visited half of the district’s eight schools by 1:30 p.m. and the remaining four by the close of day.

“I got a chance to tour our schools, talking to teachers and staff; everyone is excited to be back,” she added.

Palmer said she planned to go during dismissal of the lower grades to meet the parents.

Weighing in on Amazon Whole Foods Purchase Image
Westport Selectman Avi Kaner, whose day job is running New York’s Morton Williams supermarkets, was on Bloomberg Television today discussing the Amazon purchase of Whole Foods. Much of the conversation centered on the cost of avocados and compared the new Whole Foods price, much lower, to competitors, including Morton Williams. Kaner said there was no doubt the new Whole Foods has super buying power backed by Amazon, but said his company can compete by offering competitive pricing on many products — not just a few highlighted by Whole Foods — in addition to good customer service. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from

Save Westport Now Endorses Dem Slate for P&Z

Save Westport Now (SWN), a 37-year-old political party focusing on town planning and zoning issues, today announced is endorsement of the three Democratic candidates running for the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in November. Image
Announcing today’s endorsement: (l-r) Ian E. Warburg, Michael Cammeyer, Danielle Dobin, Greg Rutstein, and Valerie Seiling Jacobs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Valerie Seiling Jacobs, SWN co-chair, gave a ringing endorsement to candidates Michael Cammeyer and Danielle Dobin, appointees who sit on the current P&Z, and to newcomer Greg Rutstein, an attorney who works for Bridgewater Associates, the Westport-based international hedge fund.

Jonathan Olefson, a P&Z alternate, is the only Republican candidate running for the commission.

According to Rutstein, he and his fellow Democrats hope their win will give their party a true 4 to 3 majority on the current seven-member commission which, while technically Democratic-controlled, in fact is controlled by Republicans because Democrat Alan Hodge, who is not seeking re-election, voted for Republican leadership.

New Long Lots Principal Welcomes Students Image
The new principal of Long Lots Elementary School, Debra Dunn, welcomes students today along with Peter Barcello (l) head custodian, and Ryan Butler, security manager. Dunn, formerly schools superintendent of the York, Maine public schools, had earlier served as an elementary school principal in Massachusetts. She replaces Jeffrey Golubchick, who was removed and placed on administrative leave in February while an interim principal finished out the school year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for