Wednesday, December 07, 2022

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Thief Hits People’s United Bank at Stop & Shop

UPDATE: Westport Police announced a reward of up to $1,500 is being issued for the arrest of the unknown individual(s) being sought by law enforcement, pictured in the linked video (below).

Between Sept. 29, 2020 and Oct. 5, 2020, four robberies, including three bank robberies, occurred in Fairfield, Westport, Shelton, and Norwalk. All four robberies had very distinct similarities and video has been obtained and compiled as the respective agencies request the public’s help in identifying the unknown suspect(s).

A man made off with an undisclosed amount of money today at the People’s United Bank at Stop & Shop, 1790 Post Road East, police said. “The 12:41 p.m. robbery was carried out by a lone male who passed a note demanding money,” said Lt. Anthony Prezioso.

To view the video, click this link. Westport Police said, “We ask that you please pay particular attention to the clothing, mannerisms, eyes, and vehicle type of the pictured suspect.”

“No weapons were threatened or displayed in the commission of the crime,” he said. “The suspect did successfully obtain cash prior to leaving the scene in a waiting vehicle.”

He added: “The Westport Police Detective Bureau is actively investigating this incident in close coordination with several other local police agencies as well as with federal law enforcement officials.

Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the Westport Detective Bureau at (203) 341-6080.

 

Westport COVID-19 Cases Up 5, Deaths Unchanged

The state said today its Westport COVID-19 case count was up five at 385 (369 confirmed and 16 probable) and deaths unchanged at 23.

Gov. Ned Lamont today defended his decision to proceed with expanding indoor restaurant dining this week, even as Connecticut’s coronavirus numbers remain higher than they were for much of the past few months.

The latest reopening phase, set to begin Thursday, would allow indoor dining at restaurants to increase from 50% to 75% capacity, along with relaxed restrictions on hair salons, barber shops, libraries, places of worship, outdoor concerts and more.

“We just wanted to give our restaurants a little bit of flexibility,” Lamont said. “They’ve been managing very well when it comes to the protocols, and we’re going to stick to that plan.

Lamont announced 823 new COVID-19 cases out of 50,333 tests over the weekend, for a rate of 1.64%. The state’s positivity rate has now risen to 1.6% over the past seven days, up from as low as 0.7% at times over the summer.

Connecticut now has 129 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a jump from 19 and Friday, and 54 more than last Monday — and the most of any day since June 23. New London County has experienced a particularly significant increase, from two hospitalized patients on Sept. 18 to 26 as of today.

The state recorded four more coronavirus-linked deaths over the weekend, bringing its total to 4,517 during the pandemic.

Granger at the Movies: ‘The Social Dilemma,’ ‘The Comey Rule,’ ‘The Secret Garden’

By Susan Granger
Special to WestportNow

Not to be confused with “The Social Network,” the timely new documentary “The Social Dilemma” explores the insidious addiction to social media that many of us face, particularly those born during the late 1990s and after.

Susan Granger at the Movies

As the logline says, “We tweet, we like, and we share—but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen.”

Director Jeff Orlowski (“Chasing Ice,” “Chasing Coral”) devotes much interview time to Tristan Harris, formerly a Google design ethicist and now head of the Center for Humane Technology, a nonprofit whose mission is to “reverse human downgrading by realigning technology with our humanity.”

Harris clarifies how and why social media’s manipulation is so malevolent – addicting and isolating users while harvesting their personal data – explaining, “If the service is free, then you are the product.”

That’s why the algorithms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, etc. have the ability to encourage division, radicalizing users, influencing their actions. That’s echoed by Justin Rosenstein, the engineering manager who invented Facebook’s “like” button.

Stanford University “addiction expert” Anna Lembke explains how social media exploits the brain’s evolutionary need for interpersonal connections, while Facebook investor Roger McNamee, alleges that Russia didn’t hack Facebook; it simply utilized that popular platform.

There’s also a fictional re-enactment of a suburban family’s battle against social media addiction, focusing on the daughter’s obsession with her looks and the son’s tendency to withdraw and become anxious/depressed. It’s contrived but effective.

From that segment comes a new clinical term “Snapchat Dysmorphia,” pertaining to people who seek plastic surgery to look more like the filtered/altered image they see online.

And be sure to stay through the credits for clear, simple rules that concerned parents can adopt.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Social Dilemma” (streaming on Netflix) is a cautionary, relevant 9—a MUST SEE!

Not only is Election Day coming up soon but former F.B.I. director James Comey—pivotal to “The Comey Rule” (Showtime)—lived in Westport from 2010 to 2017 with his wife and their five children.

The former legal counsel at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, Comey was placed in an untenable position during the final days of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign against Donald Trump as he struggled to be an apolitical public servant in today’s America.

Adapted and directed by Billy Ray (“Shattered Glass,” “Breach”), this two-part mini-series is based on Comey’s memoir “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” published in 2018 with Jeff Daniels playing Comey and Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump, interspersed with actual TV news reports.

The first segment covers Comey’s determined commitment to priorities & procedures during the F.B.I.’ s second inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ill-advised use of a private e-mail server on the eve of the election. His wife (Jennifer Ehle) begs him to wait, cautioning: “You are going to convince everyone that she’s ‘Crooked Hillary.’”

The second follows the early days of Donald Trump’s Presidency, when Comey and his cohorts were investigating Russia’s election interference. Forced into an ill-fated, incendiary, intimate dinner at the White House, Comey took copious notes about how Trump arrogantly demanded his “loyalty.”

While poker-faced Daniels is stoically convincing, it’s Brendan Gleeson’s calculating, pugnacious performance that will be remembered, along with Holly Hunter’s poignancy as acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Kingsley Ben-Adir’s charisma as Barack Obama.

“I felt it was important that this work be shown to the American people before the election,” Jim Comey states: “Because it’s about the nature and character of our institutions and the damage that the person who would like to be re-elected has done to them. I hope it makes a difference because it tells the truth.”

On the Granger Gauge, “The Comey Rule” is a uneven, yet significant 7. Timely and relevant, it’s streaming on Showtime.

British director Mark Munden’s new adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved 1911 fable “The Secret Garden”  is adapted by Jack Thorne who—with cinematographer Lol Crawley—leans heavily on eye-popping magical realism.

Appealing to youngsters who have been trapped in isolation for many months because of Covid-19, the theme of the wondrous fable is surprisingly timely.

This version begins in 1947 India during a cholera epidemic on the eve of its Partition from Pakistan, during which 10-year-old Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx) is orphaned. She’s sent to England to live with her reclusive, widowed Uncle, Lord Archibald Craven (Colin Firth), at cavernous Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire Moors.

Willful Mary is placed in the care of Craven’s stern housekeeper (Julie Walters) who warns her to keep to her own rooms and not to “explore” her gloomy Gothic environs—which, of course, she immediately does, making fascinating “discoveries” along the way.

Following a robin through the rolling mists, Mary finds a disheveled, stray dog and makes friends with Dickon (Amir Wilson), the young brother of the housemaid (Isis Davis).

When Mary climbs over a tall fence surrounding abandoned ruins, she’s suddenly in a secluded garden, a veritable paradise filled with lush, tropical flowers and foliage, along with a muddy stream whose remedial waters seem to heal the dog’s paw which was caught in a trap.

Meanwhile, Mary realizes there’s another child in her Uncle’s home. It’s his sickly son, her bedridden cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst). Eventually, Mary coaxes frightened Colin into the secret garden, where—miraculously—he thrives.

Plus, there are ghostly flashbacks to happier times when Mary’s mother and Colin’s mother—devoted sisters—languished there.

FYI: While there have been many British TV/stage interpretations, perhaps the most poignant screen version was in 1949, starring Margaret O’Brien; Agnieszka Holland remade it in 1993.

On the Granger Gauge, “The Secret Garden” is a fanciful 6, blurring the elusive line between a child’s imagination and reality. Rent/buy on Google Play, Amazon Prime and other streaming outlets.


Susan Granger

(Editor’s Note: Westport resident Susan Granger grew up in Hollywood, studied journalism with Pierre Salinger at Mills College, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. In addition to writing for newspapers and magazines, she has been on radio/television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic for many years. See her reviews at www.susangranger.com.)

Patricia Rodgers, 73

Patricia Rodgers, a longtime resident of Westport, died Oct. 2. She was 73.

Patricia was born in Norwalk on July 3, 1947 and was the daughter of the late William and Marie (Demace) Wallace. Patricia is survived by a son, Patrick Rodgers; a daughter, Josephine Hoffman; and three sisters: Marcia Ball, June Bosik, and Lisa Klein; and two grandchildren. In addition to her parents she was predeceased by her husband David Rodgers and sister Mary Marcinkowski.

Friends are invited to attend a graveside service on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. in Assumption Cemetery, 73 Greens Farms Road.

Condolences for Patricia’s family may be left on line at www.hardingfuneral.com

Rotary Donates Masks to Town Hall

Rotary Club delivers masks to Westport Town Hall
Leslie Roberts, Westport Rotary Club president, today delivers 3,000 masks at Town Hall to Elaine Daignault, Human Services Director and First Selectman Jim Marpe. Daignault said the masks will be distributed to the senior center, social workers and senior housing communities. Roberts said additional Rotary-donated masks will be distributed to Norwalk Hospital (1,500) and Stamford Hospital (3,500.) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Monday, Oct. 5, 2020


Westport Town Offices & Senior Center are closed.
10 a.m. – 929-205-6099 ID:  885 3899 3462 – Westport Center for Senior Activities Policy & Planning Board
7 p.m. – 646-876-9923 ID:  878 9270 6596 – Golf Advisory Committee
7 p.m. – 646-876-9923 ID:  815 6667 1448 Code: 538655 – RTM Information Technology Committee
7 p.m. – Electronically – Board of Education: live streamed on http://www.westportps.org, Optimum ch. 78, Frontier ch. 6021
7 p.m. – Virtual Westport Library – Susannah Marren on “A Palm Beach Scandal”

Westport Senior Center YouTube Channel
Westport Library Event Calendar
Westport Library YouTube Page
Earthplace YouTube Channel
Virtual Westport Museum for History & Culture
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar

Library’s Fundraiser ‘Show of Shows’ Seeks Sponsors

WestportNow.com Image

The Westport “Show of Shows” featuring dozens of local personalities in comedy sketches, humorous shout-outs, and musical numbers, is set for Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m.

The virtual event is designed as a Westport Library fundraiser in lieu of the library’s signature fundraiser “Booked for the Evening,” which had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

TV personality David Pogue will serve as the show’s emcee, with award-winning producer Andrew Wilk acting as creative director

Library officials describe the Show of Shows as a “first-of-its-kind community event” scheduled to be broadcast from the library’s Trefz Forum.

“When the pandemic forced us to cancel Booked for the Evening, our signature fundraising event, we started thinking about what kind of virtual experience we might create to bring the community together in support of the Library,” said Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer.

“We started talking to people about being in the ‘cast,’ and the response was overwhelming,” he added. “Westporters love Westport, and they love their Library!”

Pogue said he looks forward to working with local talent.

“I’d jump on any opportunity to help out the library; that’s how you think when you’re a natural ham,” says Pogue. “But then they told me I’d be part of a crazy complicated technical feat? A live video show that jumps around multiple Westport locations in real time, while the audience sits at home in pajamas and sweats? I was like, ‘Sign me up!’”

According to the announcement, the Westport library is looking for residents and businesses to become sponsors of the show. Sponsors will be recognized on the Show website and during the broadcast if purchased before Oct. 19.

For further details and to register, visit westportlibrary.org/westport-show-of-shows/

The Machine Performs Pink Floyd at Saturday Concert

The Machine Performs Pink Floyd at Supper & Soul Concert, Westport, CT
Every Supper & Soul Drive-in Concert of the summer of 2020 sold out, including The Machine Performs Pink Floyd on Saturday. The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce and Westport Library hosted the successful series and will look at the possibility of putting together more shows to be performed indoors or streamed as pandemic rules allow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matthew Mandell for WestportNow.com