Bross Chingas Bross Real Estate, Riverside Realty, #1 in 2013
WCP presents Things We Do for Love, August 19 through September 7, Westport CT7th Annual Blues, Views and BBQ Festival, August 30-31, 2014 - Westport, CT
Levitt Pavilion presents The Magic of Lynn, August 27
 
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Burying Hill View

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A couple of visitors to Westport’s Burying Hill Beach on Tuesday enjoy the view at dusk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Larry Silver/Westport Visions” & “Faces in the Crowd”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Scents & Soles”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Things We Do For Love”
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
6 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - The Magic of Lyn! (ticketed event)
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Parks & Recreation Commission

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Done In By a Soccer Net

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A Great Horned Owl, in its zest to capture prey, became entangled in a soccer field net at Westport’s Wakeman Field Monday. Animal Control Officer Peter D’Amico managed to free the bird from the webbing, but it did not fly away, according to Julie Loparo, president of Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA). D’Amico contacted Peter Reid, associate director of Wildlife in Crisis in Weston, a nonrofit dedicated to wildlife preservation and land conservation, who took the bird away for medical treatment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Rescued

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Peter Reid (l), associate director of Wildlife in Crisis in Weston, takes a Great Horned Owl into custody with Westport Animal Conrtrol Officer Peter D’Amico after it became entangled in a soccer net at Wakeman Field and was unable to fly away. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Qdoba Opens to Rave Reviews from High Schoolers

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Four Staples High School juniors enjoy Mexican cuisine today at Qdoba Mexican Grill at Playhouse Square, 275 Post Road East, in the space formerly occupied by Pierre Deux, the first day the restaurant is open to the public. The 16-year-old students said they each ate at Qdoba in the past few days when attending one or more private events sponsored by Qdoba. “This stuff is great,” according to Reece Armstrong. They are (l-r)  Mike Cusa, Reece Armstrong, Ben Hamer and Ryan Baer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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DNA Leads to Arrest in 2011 Armed Robbery

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Derek Forsythe: held on $35,000 bond. Westport Police photo

The long arm of the law seems to have gotten longer with the arrest of a Weston man today based on DNA evidence found after a 2011 armed robbery of Westport’s Merritt Country Store.

Derek Forsythe, 26, whose last know address was 73 Georgetown Road, was arrested after police obtained “a DNA hit on a shirt and mask that was worn by the perpetrator and discarded on the roadway after the incident,” said Capt. Vincent Penna.

Penna said state’s forensic laboratory advised the police that the DNA on the items matched a known offender in its database, after which a search warrant was obtained for samples of the suspect’s DNA. Further testing confirmed the results of the initial test, Penna said.

Charged with first-degree robbery and sixth-degree larceny, Forsythe, who is currently incarcerated on multiple unrelated charges, had a $35,000 bond placed on him Norwalk Superior Court, where the arrest warrant was served.

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Parents, Officials Take After-School Bus Fight to Norwalk

By James Lomuscio

Though only a handful of Westport parents and officials showed up at a public hearing in Norwalk today, their message to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in Washington was a strong one: do not discontinue the Westport Transit District’s (WTD) after-school bus service for children.

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Today’s Norwalk meeting did not attract a large crowd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“The rug has been pulled out from everybody’s feet right as school starts,” Dewey Loselle, Westport’s operations director, told Nancy Carroll, chief operating officer for the Norwalk Transit District (NTD), which runs the WTD.

“We’re really just asking for an extension of time until January 1,” he added. “We would like to look at whatever measures we can to make it compliant.”

The WTD learned from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) Aug. 1 that the after-school bus service it has run for more than 30 years, shuttling children to religious education and myriad activities, was in violation of federal law for a municipal bus service.

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Access Health CT Chief Leaving for Fed Job

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org
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Kevin Counihan: led Access Health CT through a relatively smooth launch. Ctmirror.org photo

Kevin Counihan is resigning as the chief executive of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange to lead the once-troubled federal Obamacare marketplace, officials announced today.

As CEO of the federal exchange, Counihan will assume responsibility for the HealthCare.gov insurance marketplace, a crucial piece of the Affordable Care Act that is used to enroll people in coverage in nearly three dozen states.

The federal exchange’s launch last fall was considered disastrous, and Counihan’s appointment comes less than three months before the Nov. 15 start of the second open enrollment period for private insurance.

Counihan will also run the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a part of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that plays a key role in implementing the health law.

Click here for more of story

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Review Urged of Police Military Donation Program

By Ann Radalet

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – Images of Ferguson, Mo., police dressed in riot gear, riding in massive armored vehicles and using high-power rifles like those used by the U.S..military has sparked debate on the wisdom of militarizing police forces,  including those in Connecticut, by giving them cast off Pentagon equipment.

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Police in Willimantic, pop. 17,737 (2010), received a military vehicle for its SWAT team. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Willimantic Police photo

Since the Defense Department established its Excess Property Program, also known as the 1033 program, in 1997, police departments across the state have acquired dozens of military assault rifles, grenade launchers, night vision equipment, mine resistant and armored vehicles and even a helicopter from the Defense Department. (See WestportNow Aug. 20, 2014)

The Hartford Police Department, for instance has received more than 30 assault rifles, night vision equipment, pistols, body armor and a mine-resistant vehicle from the DOD.

Police departments in New London, New Haven, Fairfield County – which also received a helicopter – have been given similar equipment. Even the 42-member Willimantic Police Department has received the gift of an armored vehicle from the Army.

Click here for more of story

08/26/14 02:11 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 5 Horseshoe Lane

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 5 Horseshoe Lane, off Keyser Road, is in process. Built in 1961, the one-story split has 1,004 square feet and is situated on a .25-acre property. 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

08/26/14 11:39 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Newman’s Own Launches Salad Dressing Contest

Newman’s Own—the Westport-based brand that donates all profits to charity—today announced a Newman’s Own Salad Dressing “Greens for Good” Recipe Contest.

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An announcement said the competition empowers salad aficionados to share their favorite salad recipe/dressing pairing and nominate a nonprofit organization to receive another kind of green: a $35,000 donation.

Beginning today, consumers can visit www.facebook.com/NewmansOwn and click on the Greens for Good tab to enter their original salad creation and Newman’s Own Salad Dressing pairing.

“Making good food and pursuing the common good have been at the core of Newman’s Own mission since Paul Newman mixed up his very first batch of great-tasting Newman’s Own salad dressing,” said David Best, executive vice president, Newman’s Own, Inc.

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Gas Odor Forces Evacuation of Bedford Middle School

UPDATE An odor of gas in the loading dock area of Bedford Middle School today forced evacuation of the school, fire officials said.

The cause was determined to be a problem with a gas meter and the building was allowed to reoccupied at 8:31 a.m.

08/26/14 08:21 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Some Went to School, Some Went Fishing

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Monday was the first day of school for many Westporters, but for others, it was just another hot summer day perfect for fishing off a jetty at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Larry Silver/Westport Visions” & “Faces in the Crowd”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Scents & Soles”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Virtual Vacation Matinée Series: “Le Week-end”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Unitarian Church (10 Lyons Plains Road) - Summer Sings with Music on the Hill
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 100 - Probate Judge Lisa Wexler: “When You Die Without a Will”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Things We Do For Love”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Monday, August 25, 2014

New School Year, New Locks and Security Measures

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Board of Education tonight unanimously approved asking the Board of Finance for $750,000 to equip key public school personnel with special radios for instant police communication in the event of a security breach or possible attack.

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First floor windows of all Westport public schools now have a thin protective security layer held in place by a black seal. This is a window at Staples High School tonight where the Board of Education met. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“With this system it’s instantaneous,” said Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, noting that currently teachers and administrators would have to dial 911 in the event of an internal or external attack. “We save 15 to 30 seconds. We have time we never had before.”

Buying time appears to me the focus of the school board’s security measures now entering the next phase, communication.

Over the summer, Landon noted, the school system installed 1,425 high security interior door locks costing $200,000, as well as installing to the tune of $500,000 clear 3M film on each school’s first floor windows and doors to slow down access for those who would do harm to children.

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Himes Tours Westport’s Innovation HUB

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes today visited the Westport Innovation HUB in Saugatuck as part of his 17 towns in 17 days congressional break tour.

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Congressman Jim Himes (2nd l.) meets today with entrepreneurs at Westport’s Innovation HUB, including founder Howard Steinberg (3rd r). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

He toured the facility and met with local entrepreneurs and small businesses based at the center’s shared workspace at 20 Ketchum St.

The HUB is home to more than 25 small business operators and its members assist each other with capital, local resources and expertise. A core group of six members are actively looking at investing and supporting startups in southwest Connecticut.

“The HUB is harnessing the entrepreneurial energy that is vital to creating jobs and keeping southwest Connecticut at the forefront of innovation,” Himes said.

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Shuttered Max’s to Host One-Day Pop-Up Art Show

Max’s Art Supplies, scheduled to shut its doors Sunday after 59 years of serving the town’s legendary arts community, is not going quietly into that good night.

Local artist Amy Kaplan said that Max’s, at 68 Post Road East, will reopen its doors for one last time on Friday, Sept. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. for a “juried, pop-up art exhibit featuring the works of some of the area’s most talented artists.”

Dubbed “Westport Area Artists Celebrate Max’s,” the event has been made possible, says Kaplan, by the support from Shirley Mellor, Max’s owner and Max Kaplan’s widow; Nina Royce, a longtime employee; John Hartwell, chairman of the Westport Town Democratic Committee; the Westport Downtown Merchants Association (WDMA); Parkway Liquor; and Rockwell Art and Framing.

“Since 1956, Max’s Art Supplies has offered a comprehensive inventory of quality art supplies along with a place for artists to find encouragement, advice, and each other,” said Kaplan. “They have also offered artists the opportunity to show their work in Max’s front windows at the foot of Main Street and Post Road.”

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All Ready for Family Y Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Thursday

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The new Westport Weston Family Y will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at 7 p.m. in advance of its public opening in September. Finished facilities include the Aquatic Center, which includes a 10-lane, 25-yard lap pool and adjacent warm-water family/teaching/therapeutic pool. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Town Ask Feds for Exemption on Buses

By James Lomuscio

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in Washington, D.C. will now decide again whether the Westport Transit District (WTD) can shuttle the town’s children to after-school activities—as the bus company has for the past 30 years.

Town Operations Director Dewey Loselle said today that Westport has complied with the FTA’s recently outlined procedures in submitting an exemption request to run the bus service, which the federal government said does not comply with its regulations.

Loselle said the regional FTA office in Boston has sent Westport’s request for an exemption—it turned down an earlier request for an extension—to its main office after the town advertised in three regional newspapers but was unable to hire an outside bus company to transport the children.

“Someone down there will make the call,” Loselle said. “We have no idea when.”

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Playhouse Announces 2015 Season

The Westport Country Playhouse has announced its 2015 season, featuring a celebration of playwright Arthur Miller’s centennial, as well as plays by Alan Ayckbourn, David Ives, and C. P. Taylor, to be staged next year from May through October.

Under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos, 2015 will mark the Connecticut professional theater’s 85th season.

“Our 2015 season is a particularly rich and satisfying smorgasbord of plays—with a couple extra desserts thrown in,” said Lamos. “We hope to enrich your Playhouse experience with entertainment that ranges from the hilarity of brilliant farce to the striking power of insightful, moving drama. Theater that’s not only worth talking about, but one which engages hearts through laughter, passion, and gripping storytelling.” 

2015 subscriptions are now on sale for current and new subscribers. Current subscribers who renew by the Early Bird Deadline of Sunday, Sept. 7, will receive “Concessions Cash,” redeemable for food and beverages in the Playhouse concessions stand, plus a special sweet treat.

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First Day Memories


Scenes as Westport students returned to school today after summer vacation. The school population is about 5,700, according to Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, and 44 teachers are new to the system. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Greeting Students at Staples

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Staples High School Principal John Dodig today talks with Andrew Ippolito, 17, a senior at Staples High School who showed up on the first day of school wearing a graduation cap. Dodig later conducted an orientation session with each of the four classes starting with the Class of 2015.  Of his session with 480 seniors, he said, “The students were so quiet and attentive I could have heard a pin drop. To me that’s a measure of the respect between students and staff.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/25/14 09:45 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

New Name, Same School

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Janna Bell Sirowich, starting her fifth year as principal of Coleytown Elementary School, today welcomes first day students. Sirowich said she has a new last name this year because she was married in April. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Hurry Up and Wait

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Saugatuck Elementary students today wait for the entrance doors to open at 7:45 a.m. A volunteer said the buses arrived a few minutes earlier than expected. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/25/14 09:19 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

All Smiles on First Day of School

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Carolyn Cassell, 12, smiles as she boards the bus today to Bedford Middle School where she is in the seventh grade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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