Community Channel: Musicians, movies and more
Updated 11:06 am, Friday, February 17, 2017
Westport’s Susan Granger, film critic, entertainment industry maven and child of Hollywood, will make her annual visit to Y’s Men of Westport/Weston meeting on Feb. 23 at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East, to share her picks (and a few pans) for the 89th Academy Awards on Feb. 26. Coffee and doughnuts begin at 9:45 a.m. and Granger will talk at 10:30 a.m.
Granger was born in Hollywood. Her father headed production at Columbia Pictures and her stepfather produced films for MGM. As a child, Granger appeared in movies with Abbott and Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O’Brien and Jane Powell, with whom she worked on “Son of Lassie.”
After studying journalism at the University of Pennsylvania, where Pierre Salinger was one of her teachers, she enjoyed, and continues to enjoy a long and active career on radio, television, newspapers and the internet as a commentator on and critic of the entertainment industry, drama and film. She brings a unique combination of background and experience to her commentaries.
The Y’s Men of Westport/Weston is an organization of semi-retired and retired men with a continued interest in activity, fellowship, learning and community service. Those interested in attending Granger’s talk and learning more about the Y’s Men should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ysmenwestportweston.org.
Off to college
Food drive for Gillespie Center
Sunrise Rotary’s annual Super Bowl Food Drive for the benefit of Gillespie Center’s Food Pantry at Stop & Shop in Westport was a success.
Stop & Shop shoppers donated more than $10,000 of food, other non-perishables and cash on Feb. 4.
The donations will ease the lives of many food-insecure people who rely on the Food Pantry, most of them Westporters.
Arnold Rutkin Scholars Fund
A scholarship fund has been set up in honor of a Westport attorney.
The Center for Children’s Advocacy is pleased to announce the establishment of The Arnold Rutkin Scholars Fund, a grant made possible by The Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust. The fund will allow the Center for Children’s Advocacy to provide intensive, focused legal advocacy for two youth each year as they transition out of DCF care and into secondary education and independence in the community.
This program was established in honor of Westport attorney Arnold Rutkin, whose work has consistently supported children who live with challenge and lack of access to a critical support system.
Selection will be made by legal staff from the Center for Children’s Advocacy’s Bridgeport office whose clients include students throughout Fairfield County. CCA attorneys will review clients’ academic achievement, perseverance and demonstrated motivation. Two students will receive intensive support and advocacy each year, including access to legal and community resources, supports for continuing education, and access to services for basic needs.
Standout student musicians
Twenty-eight Westport middle school musicians have been selected for statewide honors.
Each school year, the Connecticut Music Educators Association sponsors four regional honors ensemble concerts (Northern, Southern, Eastern, & Western). Similar to a weekend sports tournament, the Western Region Middle School Music Festival is a two-day event featuring exceptionally talented students who audition for placement in either a concert band, mixed chorus, or jazz ensemble.
The following Bedford and Coleytown middle school musicians have been selected to perform in the upcoming CMEA Western Region Middle School Music Festival on March 17 and 18 at Wilton High School:
On bassoon: Lucas Lieberman;
On oboe: Jaime Paul;
On alto saxophone: Elana Atlas;
On tenor saxophone: Colin Daines;
On tuba: Caleb Kitchner;
On euphonium: Alexandra Hermus;
On acoustic bass: Claire Lee;
Furthermore, 30 students from the Staples High School music department were also selected for the CMEA’s Western Regional Music Festival for high school students:
In the orchestra: James Gikas, Chloe Hankey, Angela Ji, Lauren Schmidt, Jack Whitten, Jessica Xu, Justin Berg, Michael Fording, Melanie Lust, Maya Namasivayam, Anella Lefebvre, Sophia Thomas, Seohyun Hong and Samantha Atlas;
In the chorus: Madison Malin;
The festival, hosted by Staples High School, involved 30 schools and close to 400 students from the western part of the state. Students rehearsed the evening of the Jan. 13 and all day on Jan 14. Concerts were given later on Jan. 14.
Youth Citizens’ Police Academy
The Westport Police Department will offer a Citizens’ Police Academy for Westport teens beginning on March 1. Participants will establish a better understanding of the role of the police department in the community and laws affecting teens.
The academy can accommodate up to 24 high school students, who will be taught by highly trained and experienced Westport police officers. In addition to the classes, participants will have the opportunity to experience a “ride-along” with an officer from the patrol division.
For information or to apply, contact Officer Ned Batlin or Detective Cmdr. Lt. Jillian Cabana at 203-341-6000. Applications are also available in the lobby of the police department and are due Feb. 20.
Chambers of commerce plan Danube cruise
The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce, together with the Greater Norwalk, Fairfield and Danbury chambers, will be taking a group trip to the scenic Danube River, stopping at Imperial cities along the way. Departure is
Sept. 28; return is Oct. 7.
Chamber members, guests, family and the public are invited to visit one of the most spectacular rivers in the world, the Danube. Included in the trip are stops in Munich, Passau, Melk, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Linz, with an optional, three-night extension stay in Prague.
Chamber trips are affordable, while providing the same high-quality travel of other tour groups.
For those who may be interested, there will be a travel overview presentation at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21 by Chamber Discoveries at The Boathouse at Saugatuck, 521 Riverside Ave., Westport. Light appetizers and beverages will be served.
Attendees will see photographs, videos and hear about all the beautiful imperial cities along the river, unchanged over the centuries, as they cruise along and pass through four European countries.
Each city boasts its own unique and beautiful architecture, fine culture and specialty stores for shopping. On board the ship, with only 71 cabins, providing comfort without crushing crowds, guests experience superb dining with all meals included during the cruise, including complimentary, quality red and white wines from Europe’s great wine regions with every dinner onboard the ship.
Trip reservations that are made by March 3 will receive a $200 discount off the regular tour price. With the early bird discount, the starting price is $3,999, double occupancy.
Those interested in learning more about the trip, can call the Norwalk Chamber at 203-866-2521 to reserve your seat. Walk-in’s are also welcome.
The trip is open to all interested travelers. Membership in the chambers is not required.
TEAM Westport and The Westport Library are co-sponsoring the fourth annual Teen Diversity Essay Contest for students in grades nine, 10, 11 and 12 who attend Staples High School or another school in Westport, or reside in Westport and attend school elsewhere.
The focus of the contest is the issue of “white privilege,” which surfaced as a topic during the recent presidential election.
This year’s invitation states, “In 1,000 words or less, describe how you understand the term ‘white privilege.’ To what extent do you think this privilege exists? What impact do you think it has had in your life — whatever your racial or ethnic identity — and in our society more broadly?”
Applications for the contest are available on the TEAM Westport website. Essays are due Feb. 27.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Westport Library on April 3. Subject to the volume and caliber of entries received, at the discretion of the judges up to three prizes will be awarded. The first prize is $1,000, the second is $750, and the third prize is $500.