Woog’s World: Westporters are very busy people
Westporters are very busy people. We have hedge funds to run, children to pressure, red lights to roar through. There’s precious little time to read long, in-depth news stories.
Fortunately, hope is at hand. “Woog’s World” has compiled a list of the most important articles — all you need to know about Westport, in 800 words. Better yet, these are stories from the coming year: 2017. So, for the next 12 months, you won’t have to read a single story.
Because hey, there’s all that fake news out there now. You can never be too careful.
January: “Winter Storm Xerxes Breaks Snowfall Record - Again.” After pounding Fairfield County with high winds, bitterly cold temperatures and an astonishing 36 inches of snow, Xerxes — the third blizzard in three weeks — moved out to sea. Newly inaugurated President Donald J. Trump tweeted that it was “amazing” weather, adding this was proof that “global warming is a hoax. Can’t trust those Chinese!”
February: “Hartford Budget Woes Create Uncertainty in Westport.” With the state Senate deadlocked 18-18, Connecticut’s budget crisis worsened this month. Uncertain of the continued availability of state funding, Westport Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer immediately suspended all bus transportation in town. Despite the increase in parents driving their children to and from school, traffic congestion eased noticeably. School buses no longer stopped every five yards each morning and afternoon.
March: “Bridgewater Threatens To Move; State Sweetens Pot.” Just hours after President Trump moved the U.S. Treasury Department from Washington, D.C., to Moscow, Bridgewater Associates — Westport’s largest taxpayer — announced its intention to move to the Russian capital, too. Despite Connecticut’s continuing budget crisis, Gov. Dannel Malloy offered a $300 million grant to the hedge fund, contingent upon its remaining here. Bridgewater immediately accepted, and thanked the state for its commitment to helping “small businesses like ours.”
April: “New Owner of Old Positano’s Asks for Variance.” Citing “extreme hardship,” the new owner of 223 Hillspoint Road — the site of several restaurants, including Café de la Plage and, most recently, Positano — petitioned the Zoning Board of Appeals for permission to build a three-story, 8,000-square-foot home on the property. The owner noted that without the variance, he would not be able to obstruct the views of his neighbors. By a 3-2 vote, the ZBA approved the request.
May: “Memorial Day Parade Thrills Westporters.” For decades, the Memorial Day parade has wound its way from Riverside Avenue through downtown. This year’s event had a twist: With every Westporter marching or riding in the parade, no one was left to watch it. “It’s kind of different,” admitted longtime organizer Bill Vornkahl. “But every Little Leaguer, youth soccer player and Suzuki violinist had parents who wanted to be there right next to them, taking photos when they weren’t talking on their cellphone. And with all the senior citizens being priced out of town, I guess there just wasn’t anyone left to stand on the sidewalk.”
June: “4th of July Fireworks Date Change Causes Outrage.” The decision to hold Westport’s annual Independence Day fireworks on Thursday, June 15, sparked controversy throughout town. Organizers claimed that was the only day they could get the barge, adding, “The actual date is less important than the chance to celebrate our nation’s freedom, despite President Trump’s internment camps.” But local residents objected for many reasons, including that many people would not have Friday, June 16, off; school is still in session, and the proximity to Father’s Day would take away from the celebratory mood.
July: “Record Heat, Drought Send Westporters Searching for Relief.” With temperatures reaching past 105 for 12 straight days, and no precipitation since the nine blizzards of winter, Westporters found a variety of ways to cope. Many stayed by their swimming pools, but some fled to Aruba, Antigua or the Turks and Caicos. “Sure, it’s 119 here,” one woman said. “But it’s dry heat.” President Trump tweeted, “Heat is a natural part of summer. Climate change is a hoax. #Chinesebehindthis.”
August: “No One in Town. Literally.” Westport set a record on Aug. 11: There was no one anywhere. All stores had closed in anticipation of the exodus from town, the result of a combination of the extreme weather, algal blooms at all beaches, Visiting Day at many summer camps, and the fact that “there really isn’t a lot to do here in Westport in August, especially now that the Levitt Pavilion melted.”
September: “Westporters Prepare for Nuclear Winter.” Anticipating the end of the human race, as tensions between the United States and the rest of the planet escalated, local citizens began saying their goodbyes. In his final post, “Woog’s World” columnist Dan Woog wrote, “I told you.”