Friday, October 24, 2014
Going Down: 44 Elm St.
The former medical office building at 44 Elm St. was demolished today. Its removal was part of the Bedford Square Development, which includes the relocation of the adjacent Kemper-Gunn House, 35 Church Lane, to the town-owned Baldwin Parking Lot. According to construction supervisor Christopher Moran of Easton-based Moran Construction Management, the Kemper-Gunn house move is aimed to take place before the Black Friday shopping day after Thanksgiving. If that target is not achieved, he said it will occur after Jan. 1, according to an agreement with town officials. Moran said the project is now running three weeks behind schedule. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Comings & Goings: Athleta to Open Before Thanksgiving
Athleta, a division of GAP Inc, opens at 103-07 Main St. before Thanksgiving, according to a worker on site today who said the construction shell covering the front of the store was removed Thursday. The new store was constructed in the spaces previously occupied by Westport Pizzeria, Kate Spade and Francois du Pont Jewelers, which have all relocated elsewhere. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, October 24, 2014
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Farm to Table Cycle” and “Edward Burtynsky: Nature Speaks”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Wheeler Coffeehouse: “Girls Like Us—Carole, Joni and Carly”
6:30 p.m. - Branson Hall, Christ & Holy Trinity Church (75 Church Lane) - Westport Sunrise Rotary Silver Anniversary Wine & Beer Tasting Celebration
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Jillian Jensen w/ Sarah Barrios, Riley Lynch, and Josh Pavel
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Thursday, October 23, 2014
At Earthplace, Rep. Candidates Tackle the Environment
By James Lomuscio
The environment took center stage tonight in the state House of Representatives races for the136th and 143rd districts as Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center hosted a candidates forum.
From topics ranging from global warming to air pollution to electric vehicles to protecting the Long Island Sound and shoring up coastal residents against storms to pesticides and the efficiency and drawbacks of natural gas, each candidate attempted to show how he or she was environmentally best suited for the job.
Vying for the 136th District were Democratic incumbent state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg and Republican newcomer Brandi Briggs, who currently served on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). Competing for the 143rd District seat were Republican incumbent Gail Lavielle and Democratic newcomer Keith Rodgerson.
Steinberg touted himself as “a committed environmentalist” who “walks the walk” with solar panels on his roof, a hybrid vehicle and one who co-authored the Comprehensive Energy Strategy in Hartford.
Historic District Commission Preservation Winners
Recipients of the 2014 Westport Historic District Commission Preservation Awards posed tonight for a group picture with First Selectman Jim Marpe and members of the HDC following the awards ceremony at Town Hall. Owners of seven Westport residential and business properties were cited for their efforts to preserve the town’s character and cultural heritage through their restoration and renovation work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Honored for Making Westport Special
Scenes from tonight’s 2014 Historic District Commission Preservation Awards ceremony and reception at Westport Town Hall. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Author Says He Knows ID of 1922 Hollywood Murderer
Author William J. Mann, who has written books featuring such famous divas as Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Streisand and Elizabeth Taylor, was at the Westport Library’s McManus Room tonight promoting his latest book, “Tinseltown”….a story about the movie business in Los Angeles in the Roaring 20s. There were drugs, beautiful women, handsome men and the highly publicized 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor. It officially remains a “cold case,” but Mann said readers of his book will find out the identity of the murderer. “I did lots of research and had a lot of help from the FBI files and feel I know who the murderer is,” he said. “I liked tracking down killers. I got tired of writing traditional biographies.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Developer Wants Inn to Become 200-Unit Housing Complex
By James Lomuscio
A developer has submitted plans for five-story, 200-unit housing complex at the site of the Westport Inn on Post Road East. Thirty percent of the units would be deemed affordable.
Under submitted plans, the Westport Inn on Post Road East would be replaced by a 200-unit housing complex. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The submission has raised concerns that use of state statute 8-30g to build it will not only allow the developer to bypass town zoning regulations, but put stress on town services and traffic, all in the name of affordable housing.
Sheldon Stein, who bought the inn seven years ago, submitted applications to the Conservation Commission last week and to the Planning & Zoning Department on Thursday, with maps and engineering reports. The designs choreograph razing of the 127-room hotel at 1595 Post Road East, replacing it with a 200-unit, multi-family residential community dubbed Westport Terrace Views.
The construction would take place through use of state statute 8-30g. Passed in 1989, it allows developers to overstep a municipality’s local zoning laws if that municipality does not have 10 percent of its housing stock classified as affordable, which Westport does not. It is intended to be an incentive to create more affordable housing in the state.
Work Begins on Green’s Farms Station Steps
When Green’s Farms station commuters return to Westport tonight they may be surprised to see the end-of-platform stairway missing. That’s because construction started today which, according to Westport Police Deputy Chief Foti Koskinas, involves removal of the wooden steps and replacement with granite ones. The work is expected to be completed by mid-November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Dunville’s Getting a Fix-Up
Longtime Westport favorite Dunville’s bar and restaurant on Saugatuck Avenue is undergoing renovations and according to the manager on site will reopen for business this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
Morning rain did not deter shoppers today at the weekly Westport Farmers Market in the Imperial Avenue parking lot. Among them was Westporter Martha Aasen who checked out the vegetables at the Roxbury-based Riverbank Farm booth. Mississippi-bred Aasen said she purchased collard greens, which she describes as “good southern food.” The outdoor market continues through Nov. 6 and then moves indoors to Gilbertie’s Herb Garden, 7 Sylvan Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Staples Drunk Driving Simulation Set for Saturday
A drunk driving simulation for teens is set for Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Staples High School football field, the Westport Police Collaborative (WPYC) and the Teen Awareness Group (TAG) announced.
The one-day program presented by the Westport Police Department in collaboration with the WPYC and TAG is designed to educate students about the risks of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or being otherwise distracted, event coordinators said.
The effects of substances on depth perception and coordination, in addition to decreased reaction time, as well as how the use of drugs or alcohol can lead to poor judgment and impaired decision making, will be stressed, and a distracted driving component will also be provided.
Coordinators said several Westport Police officers will be on hand, and that the presentation will include an instructional portion plus practical exercises using specially designed goggles that simulate impairment.
It was a soggy commute for Westporters today as a Nor’easter moved through the area overnight with rain continuing into the morning. Scene is the Metro-North Westport station as commuters waited for the 7:24 a.m. to Grand Central Terminal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Storm Brings Power Outages
UPDATE Strong winds brought down trees and power lines Wednesday night and early today, causing widespread power outages in Westport.
Connecticut Light and Power Company said 743 Westport customers were in the dark from late Wednesday until about 4:15 a.m. today.
Then the number dropped to 66, and they were restored a short time later, the utility said.
Many of those affected appeared to be in the Imperial Avenue area, according to police.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Farm to Table Cycle” and “Edward Burtynsky: Nature Speaks”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen: Tech Hangout
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM District 7
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Annual Historic District Preservation Awards
7 p.m. - Earthplace - Earthplace Environmental Debate (State representative candidates)
7 p.m. - Westport Library - William J. Mann, “Tinseltown”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Intimate Apparel”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Boys Soccer Wins, Moves on to FCIAC Tourney
The seven senior Staples High School soccer players were honored before today’s final regular season match. Pictured are (l-r) Gabe Pensak, Matt Bateman, Nate Argosh, Denzel Robinson, Andrew Puchala, Michael Reid and Patrick Beusse). The Wreckers then went out and beat Harding 4-1, on two goals by Graham Gudis, and solo strikes by Daniel Reid and Josh Berman. Staples finished the regular season 9-5-2, and advances into the FCIAC tournament. They start play Friday, with a 5:30 p.m. match in Danbury. The teams tied 1-1, earlier this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kim Lake for WestportNow.com
Nine Under Quarantine After West Africa Travel
In the first test of the state’s tough Ebola protocols, the Connecticut Department of Public Health said today that it has placed under quarantine nine individuals who have traveled to West Africa but are symptom-free.
“The people under quarantine are not sick and do not present a risk to public health,” said DPH spokesman William Gerrish. “The individuals will be in quarantine for 21 days, during which time they will be actively monitored by public health officials.”
The nine quarantined individuals, who were not identified, had traveled to Africa, Gerrish said.
The Department of Public Health said federal authorities will notify the agency of travelers from affected West African countries—Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia—that have been subject to an enhanced screening process established at New York’s Kennedy Airport and four other major U. S. airports.
Halloween Window Painting Winners
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce today announced the winners of the second annual Halloween Window Painting Contest. Judges Kathie Bennewitz (town curator), Peter Van Heerden (executive director, Westport Arts Center), and Betsy Pollack (publisher, Our Town Crier) had to vote a few times to break a tie in a very close competition. The winners (clockwise from top left): Danielle Spadacenta of Bedford Middle School painted Calise’s Food Market; Danielle King, Heather LaPalme and Kayleigh Levent of Weston Middle School painted Westport Yarns; Kaitlyn Comerford of Hurlbutt Elementary School, Weston, painted Brooks Brothers, and Shealeigh and Courtlyn Crombie and Molly Liles of Greens Farms Elementary School painted Matsu Sushi. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matthew Mandell for WestportNow.com
Real Estate Report: Knowledgeable Agent is Key
By Judy Szablak
Whether you are buying or selling a home in Westport, a knowledgeable agent who also maintains an open and expeditious line of communication is key to your real estate transaction.
Featured Home This home at 6 Pond Edge Road is listed at $5,375,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis-Westport/ Leslie Clarke Homes
All too often, an agent who is not adept at both can cost you valuable time, money or the transaction itself.
The first step is to choose the right agent, and you should certainly exercise due diligence in that respect. Before you hire anyone to represent you in buying or selling a home, look for signs as to what their overall style of communication is, and their level of market expertise.
An agent who is timely in their initial response to you, and can answer your questions at the drop of a hat, is also one that will follow up very quickly when its needed or required. That should also hold true for buyer inquiries on your home. Additionally, this demonstrates their ability to act fast on your behalf when a great deal comes on the market.
Splash Reopening Delayed
Sign on Splash door. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Splash Restaurant & Bar, which has been closed for two weeks for plumbing and electrical repairs, had been scheduled to reopen Tuesday but was still closed today.
A closed sign still greets customers who stop at the waterfront restaurant located in the Inn at Longshore.
“We still haven’t reopened,” said Teresa De Caro, sister of the owner. “The electrical repairs are taking longer that we expected.”
She did not say when she expects the work to be completed.
Westporters Aid Art Bra Workshop at Yale-New Haven
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Westport Arts Center today held an Art Bra workshop today at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven as part of their WAC Gives Back outreach initiative. Patients and hospital staff worked together to design creative and whimsical bras which featured dreams and wishes from the participants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Staples Group Seeks Support in Distracted Driving Campaign
The Teen Awareness Group (TAG) at Staples High School is seeking support for its entry in a national competition to reduce teen distracted driving.
The Celebrate My Drive competition is sponsored by State Farm Insurance and seeks to get new drivers to pledge to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
“It’s a simple habit that can reduce distracted driving and help new drivers build confidence on the road,” an announcement said.
State Farm Insurance is offering 100 grants to the high schools that recruit the most students in their communities to sign an online petition to Make A Commitment to keep two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel.
Marpe: Westport Prepared for Ebola
UPDATE Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe said today Westport is well prepared for any outbreak of Ebola.
He spoke at a Board of Selectmen meeting hours before state health officials said nine persons are being quarantined in the state so they can be monitored for possible exposure to Ebola, the Hartford Courant reported.
Marpe told a meeting of the Board of Selectman he has met regularly on the subject with the town’s emergency management director, Fire Chief Andy Kingsbury, Police Chief Dale Call, EMS Deputy Director Marc Hartog, and Health Director Mark Cooper.
In addition, he said first responders have undergone training, including 911 dispatchers.
Quinnipiac’s CT Cliffhanger: Malloy 43%, Foley 42%
By Mark Pazniokaswww.ctmirror.org
Connecticut’s race for governor remained tight today as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy opened a one-point lead over Republican Tom Foley in a new Quinnipiac University poll, 43 percent to 42 percent. Petitioning candidate Joe Visconti remained at 9 percent.
The tiny lead is Malloy’s first in more than a year of polling by Quinnipiac. With the exception of a September poll showing Foley with a 6-point lead, the university has consistently pegged the replay of the close 2010 race as a dead heat in 2014.
“The race for Connecticut governor looks very much like it will go down to the wire – again,” said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac poll. “Republican Tom Foley has to be concerned that this is the first likely voter poll in which Gov. Dannel Malloy has a numerical edge, even though it’s razor-thin.”
In its previous poll of likely voters Oct. 8, the first-term Democratic governor and his Republican challenger each had 43 percent.
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PROPERTY TRANSFERSWestport Property Transfers Sept. 29 - Oct. 3, 2014
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