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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Democrats Seek Candidates for November Municipal Election

The Westport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) is seeking candidates for November’s townwide municipal races.

Vacancies are available on the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance, the Board of Education, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Assessment Appeals, an announcement said.

Those who would like to be considered, know of someone who would be a good fit for one of these boards, or have any questions, are asked to contact DTC Nominations Committee Chair Andrew Nevas (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), or DTC Chair Melissa Kane (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) on or before June 1.

Prospective candidates will be interviewed by the Nominations Committee during the month of June, the announcement said.

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05/23/17 01:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘War Machine, ‘Alien: Covenant,’ ‘Snatched’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Over the last few years, Netflix has established itself as a premiere steaming service. Now, Netflix is breaking new boundaries by debuting Brad Pitt’s provocative “War Machine” for home viewing on Friday, May 26, the same day it opens for Oscar-qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles.

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Written and directed by David Michod (“Animal Kingdom,” “The Rover”), it’s a black comedy, loosely based on Michael Hastings’ nonfiction best-seller “The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” expanded from a 2010 “Rolling Stone” expose that led to President Obama’s dismissal of General Stanley McChrystal.

Pitt plays cocky, charismatic Glen McMahon, the fictional, four-star General who struts in to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, deploying a controversial military strategy called counterinsurgency or COIN.

“We are here to build, to protect, to support the civilian population,” he says. “To that end, we must avoid killing at all cost. We can’t help them and kill them at the same time.”

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05/23/17 11:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: Support Your Local Firefighters

To the Editor:

The Board of Finance and First Selectman have written a few notices lately regarding the town budgets, and I just feel a few things have gotten lost in the shuffle. 

My husband went to Town Hall the other day so his fellow firefighter could turn in his retirement papers. He has served this town for 38 years. He did this not because he wants to retire, but because he has to. 

It was a sad moment for everyone. This is years of experience walking out the door, and he is not alone. They are all facing significant reductions in benefits.

The Firefighters Union and the town are still in arbitration over their contract. My husband has been a firefighter in this town for over 20 years. He did not take this job to be wealthy. He took this job because he cares about this town.

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05/23/17 11:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 15 Covlee Drive

By Dave Matlow

The house at Westport’s 15 Covlee Drive in the Saugatuck Shores area is WestportNow’s Teardown of the Day -— with an unusual history to it.

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The house at 15 Covlee Drive is little changed from this 2005 photo. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

It was in 2005 that the 1952-built, two-story split gained some notoriety because its owner, Joan Raymond, was so unhappy with the way the neighborhood was changing that she erected a lawn sign outside her house: “Slow: Pre-McMansion Historic District.”

Her action and the resulting WestportNow story (see WestportNow June 10, 2005) brought lots of attention to the retired dietitian. She died in July 2011 at age 82. (See WestportNow July 20, 2011)

Not only did Raymond publicly display her feelings through a lawn sign, but she also taped a sign to a window offering guided tours of her disappearing lifestyle.

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05/23/17 09:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Power Outage Hits Parts of Westport

UPDATE A power outage hit parts of Westport Monday night.

Eversource said 200 customers were without power from just after 11 p.m. until about 1 a.m. today.

Police said the outage was widespread in the east part of town, around Post Road East and Turkey Hill Road South. An Eversource crew working in the area told police a “main phase” had gone down.

Parts of the Coleytown area — North Avenue, Easton Road — experienced about a five-mile blackout shortly after 11 p.m.

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05/23/17 01:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Scene

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A Westport scene Monday outside the Westport Library as rain fell most of the day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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05/23/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - RTM Ordinance Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit: “The Danbury Raid”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Main Street to Madison Avenue”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Wisdom from CEOs: Brian Gaffney
7 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - RTM Employee Compensation, Finance, Public Protection Committees
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Parks & Recreation Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, Frontier channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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05/23/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, May 22, 2017

Honoring Our Heritage: 16 Morningside Drive South

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The owner of 16 Morningside Drive South is the newest recipient of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to longtime Westporter Anne Beers, who has lived in the house since 1976, two years after she relocated to Westport from Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to Weingarten, the house, known as the Charles Banetz House c. 1901, was built by Banetz who, according to records, emigrated to Westport from Hungary in 1893. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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05/22/17 08:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Company to Build Southport Senior Living Facility

Westport-based Maplewood Senior Living announced today that it has closed on a 27-acre parcel of land in the heart of Southport where it will build a new luxury, three-story, 98-unit assisted living and memory care community.

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Maplewood at Southport will be about a mile from the Westport border. Contributed graphic

Preparation of the site, just over a mile from the Westport-Fairfield border, will begin immediately with the intention to begin construction this summer, an announcement said.

The project, to be known as Maplewood at Southport, includes restoration of wildlife and the Mill Pond dam area, location of a former Ice House. The area overlooks the scenic Mill Pond in the Mill Hill neighborhood adjacent to Mill Hill Elementary School.

The development of a 92,000-square foot senior living community will evoke the tradition of the rambling Adirondack and coastal New England grand resort hotels of the early 20th century, the announcement said.

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05/22/17 06:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: Moving Morris


It was moving day today for the marble bust of Westport Library benefactor Morris Ketchum Jesup from his prominent spot at the library to a temporary home in the lobby of Westport Town Hall. The bust by sculptor William Couper is being relocated for safekeeping during the library’s transformation project. Town Curator Kathie Bennewitz gave Morris a kiss on his departure and was on the other end to welcome him to his new temporary home. Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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05/22/17 05:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporter Off to Become U.S. Senate Page

Ethan Parker, 16, of Westport is off to Washington, D.C. this summer to work as a U.S. Senate page under the sponsorship of New York Sen. Charles Schumer, the Senate minority leader.

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Ethan Parker: passion for politics. Contributed photo

The Greens Farms Academy honor roll sophomore is one of 30 students from across the country who will serve the 100 senators.

His passion for politics goes back to elementary school when he closely followed the 2008 presidential election won by Barack Obama over John McCain.

“I was this 8-year-old kid watching the debates, speeches and party conventions,” Ethan said. “I even had a map that I updated daily, marked with red and blue states, electoral numbers and the candidates.”

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05/22/17 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Time to Renew Railroad Parking Permits

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The Westport Police Department Railroad Parking Division today began walkup annual renewals of railroad parking permits, which can also be renewed online, for a small fee, at http://www.buymypermit.com/westport. Single vehicle permits cost $325 per year and two-vehicle permit for vehicles registered to the same family at the same address are $450. All permits expire June 30. According to Police Chief Foti Koskinas, just over two permits are sold for each of the 2,000-plus parking spots available at Westport and Green’s Farms. He said the waitlist is about 1,050 persons with a time of about two years. View is of Lot No. 1 in Saugatuck. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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05/22/17 04:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Ask Help in Finding Mailbox Vandals

Westport police today asked the public’s help in finding those responsible for recent mailbox vandalism.

Since May 12, the department has received 20 complaints of vandalized mailboxes and two reports of stolen mailboxes, said Lt. David Farrell.

“The vandalisms and thefts have occurred during the overnight hours,” he said. “These mailboxes cost between $100 and $450 to replace.” 

He said anyone with information as to the identity of the responsible parties should contact the Westport Police Detective Bureau at (203) 341-6080.

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05/22/17 01:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 15 Valley Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 15 Valley Road, between Greens Farms Road and Hillspoint Road, is in process. Built in 1955, the one-story split has 1,449-square feet, is situated on a .52-acre property and changed hands for $450,000 in March 2000, according to Town Assessor records. Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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05/22/17 12:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Report: Malloy Near Union Concession Deal

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

UPDATE The tentative concessions deal Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and employee unions were closing in on today would double pension contributions for most workers, create a hybrid pension/defined-contribution plan for future workers, and curtail health care benefits for existing retirees.

As more details of the potential deal became available, it was disclosed that the potential deal would save $712.6 million next fiscal year and $849.4 million in 2018-19 — effectively matching the $1.57 billion, two-year savings target Malloy set in February.

The proposed plan, according to a source, would freeze wages for each of the next two fiscal years. Employees, most of whom are working this fiscal year under a contracts that expired last June, also would forfeit any retroactive pay hike.

The cumulative three-year wage freeze, would provide nearly half of the total projected savings. Workers would receive pay hikes of 3.5 percent in 2020 and in 2021.

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05/22/17 11:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

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Granger at the Movies: ‘War Machine, ‘Alien: Covenant,’ ‘Snatched’

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