Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Y Set to Open Aug. 29

After years of planning, town approvals, court battles, fundraising and perseverance, the new $38.5 million Westport Weston Family Y will officially open the doors to its new facility at 14 Allen Raymond Lane on Friday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 a.m., Y officials announced today.

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The official ribbon cutting for the new Y is Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. with the facility opening the next day for members at 5:30 a.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The opening of the 54,000-square-foot complex at its Mahackeno summer camp property along the Saugatuck River follows a scheduled ribbon cutting ceremony set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, to be attended by staff, volunteers and a number of local and state officials, according to Scott Smith, Y spokesman.

This first day of operations beginning at 5:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29 will be reserved for Y members, and the facility will be open free of charge to all members of the community over the Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, Smith said.

“Having served the community for the past 90 years at our original location in downtown Westport, at long last we are poised to begin the next chapter in our Y’s history in our modern new home,” said Rob Reeves, Y CEO and president.

More "New Y Set to Open Aug. 29"

07/22/14 10:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


9 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Westport Library - BOOKstravaganza: The Annual Gigantic Summer Book Sale (free)
9 a.m. - Noon - Westport Library - July Maker-in-Residence Joseph Schott: Un-Making!
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Tinker Camp
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - July Maker-in-Residence Joseph Schott: Un-Making!
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Connecticut Ballet
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Nora”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/22/14 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Monday, July 21, 2014

‘No Surprises’ in Downtown Survey Results

By James Lomuscio

Of the 3,143 Westporters who took took the Downtown Steering Committee’s (DSC) online survey, not to mention the hundreds who took park in two visioning workshops last month, the majority want flood ready parking and buildings, a pedestrian bridge across the Saugatuck River, a waterfront park and crosswalk improvements.

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Several dozens persons attended tonight’s meeting to learn about the downtown survey results. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

What they do not want are modern looking buildings, parking meters, awnings along the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, diagonal parking in front of set back stores and a community center.

These findings were unveiled tonight in the Town Hall auditorium as DCS officials and representatives from the RBA Group hired to devise the downtown master plan presented the results of community input to an audience of about 50.

Three more specific downtown workshops will be held July 28 on the Westport Library and the Levitt Pavilion, on the Bedford Square project and the Kemper-Gunn House move Aug. 6, and the Westport Cinema Initiative Aug. 7, according to Melissa Kane, DSC chairwoman.

More "‘No Surprises’ in Downtown Survey Results"

07/21/14 10:49 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Dancing at the Y

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A group of middle school students from China, visiting Westport this week as part of the SPIRAL International Chinese/American Culture Exchange Program, visited the Westport Weston Family Y today. They toured the Y facility and enjoyed basketball in the gym and, for some of the students, a special dance class led by Danette Meigel-Cahr (r). The tour was organized by Kana Higuchi,  a student ambassador for SPIRAL and high school advisory member of the Westport Weston Family Y board of directors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

07/21/14 05:55 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Focusing on Shoe Art

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Forty visiting Chinese exchange students stopped at the Westport Arts Center today as part of their tour of Westport. Among them was Kong Xinyu, 14, from Anhui province, west of Shanghai, who focused on a shoe by Westport artist Nina Bentley. The shoes and watercolors of perfume bottles by photorealist Robert Cottingham are part of the Center’s current “Scents and Soles” exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/21/14 05:50 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Comings & Goings: BP Out, Exxon In on Post Road East

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The BP service station, 1510 Post Road East, will switch to the Exxon brand starting Tuesday, according to Helen Kronberg who, with her husband, are the owners. Kronberg cited several reasons for the change, including a reduction in the number of BP stations in this area, “we don’t get the same BP support as in the past, and Exxon offers us a better presence and better support, especially credit card support.” Meanwhile, the bear statue, a fixture on the BP property for years which last week was damaged in an act of vandalism, is being replaced, according to Kronberg. She said the person responsible for the damage has been identified and has agreed to pay for the bear replacement. “We await delivery of the new bear,” she said. (CLICK TOT ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/21/14 03:06 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 1655 Post Road East

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Demolition of 33 mobile homes at 1655 Post Road East owned by the Westport Housing Authority is in process. Part of a $22 million makeover, they will be replaced with 54 new units. The existing 39 townhouse-style residences that were built in 2003 in the rear of Sasco Creek will remain. Completion of the redevelopment is projected for November 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/21/14 02:04 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Easton Man Faces Assault Charge

Westport Police arrested an intoxicated Easton man who became combative, causing facial injuries to a man who had tried to help him and his girlfriend Sunday night, police said.

According to the police report, Steven Batis, 57, of 205 Mile Common Road also became combative with officers trying to arrest him outside the old Town Hall at 90 Post Road East.

Held in lieu of a $5,000 bond, Batis is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Wednesday, July 30.

He will face charges of breach of peace, third-degree assault and interfering with an officer, police said.

07/21/14 11:25 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Brothers Charged in Fight

UPDATE A Florida man arrested Friday night after striking his brother in the head several times with a flashlight causing injuries that required hospitalization is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court today, police said.

Charles Friedson, 53, of Fort Lauderdale is charged with second-degree assault, breach of peace and first-degree disorderly conduct for fighting with an instrument causing serious injury. Prior to appearing in court, Friedson was held in lieu of a $2,500 bond.

His brother, Ronald Friedson, 56, of 95 Bayberry Lane, was charged with disorderly conduct, police said. He was released on a promise to appear for a court date today as well, police said.

According to police, Charles Friedson struck his brother during a dispute over money.

07/21/14 11:20 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Levitt Adds Color to Westport Skyline

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The shell over the stage of the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts reflected various colors Sunday night as Jose Feliciano performed in concert on opening night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/21/14 12:15 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Monday, July 21, 2014


9 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - BOOKstravaganza: The Annual Gigantic Summer Book Sale (half-price day)
9:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Tinker Camp
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Storytelling Live! Naughty & Nice in Literature & Life
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Downtown Visioning Survey Results

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/21/14 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Era for Westport’s Levitt Pavilion Begins


Scenes from tonight’s opening of the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts.Helen Klisser During and Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com and contributed photos

07/20/14 10:41 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

New Levitt: Cheers, Thanks, Thrills, and Jose

By James Lomuscio

Tributes, thanks, tears of joy and standing ovations marked the inaugural season of the new $9 million Levitt Pavilion tonight—and that was before headliner Jose Feliciano of Weston, donating his performance for free, even took to the stage.

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The lights of the new Levitt Pavilion reflect off of the Saugatuck River at tonight’s opening concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

The pavilion itself, named after the late Mortimer Levitt and his wife Mimi, who arrived on a golf cart, was the star, reborn after 40 years of providing free, riverfront summer concerts to more than 1.5 million persons.

A total of 1,800 first come, first served free tickets were made available for tonight; however, a much larger number seemed to fill the lawn between the new entryway replete with restrooms, a concession stand and storage and the new pavilion band shell, its cathedral roof looking like a boat’s sail and reminding some of the Sydney Opera House.

Some would-be concert goers had even set up beach chairs on the new walkway that runs along the perimeter of the peninsula in the Saugatuck River on which the Levitt stands.

More "New Levitt: Cheers, Thanks, Thrills, and Jose"

07/20/14 09:29 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Levitt Lights His Fire

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NIne-time Grammy Award winner Jose Feliciano performed tonight at the opening night of the new Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The Weston resident said he was honored to be chosen when so many artists live in the area and also could have been asked. The Levitt said he was donating his fee to the Levitt to continue to provide free concert nights. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 07:41 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

New Levitt Debuts With Jose Feliciano Concert

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Westport’s new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts made its debut today with an opening night concert by Jose Feliciano. More than 500 guests packed the new sloped lawn of the $9 million facility to watch a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a concert by the nine-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist, who resides in Weston.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com photo

07/20/14 07:35 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Emotional Moment

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Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch (l) comforts her mother, Mimi Levitt, as Mimi addressed the crowd at the new Levitt Pavilion tonight.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 07:15 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Standing Ovation for Mimi Levitt

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The crowd at the new Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts gives a standing ovation tonight to Mimi Levitt, who with her husband, the facility is named after. At left is Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

07/20/14 07:10 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Making the Cut

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Mmi Levitt concentrates on cutting the ribbon tonight as she officially opened the new Levitt Pavilion for the performing arts named after her and her late husband Mortimer. With her are (l-r) Carleigh Welsh, marketing director for the Levitt, Fred Plotkin, Freda Welsh, executive director, former First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Mimi’s daughter Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch, First Selectman Jim Marpe, and Janet Plotkin, chair of the Levitt board. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 06:58 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Cutting the Ribbon to Officially Open Levitt

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Mimi Levitt reacts with delight tonight after cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The Mimi and Mortimer Levitt Foundation were major contributors to the $9 million renovation cost. Joining her were (l-r) Fred Plotkin, husband of Levitt Pavilion chair Janet Plotkin, Freda Welsh, executive director of the Levitt, former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch, Mimi’s daughter head of the Levitt Foundation, and current First Selectman Jim Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 06:54 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Ready to Party at the New Levitt

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More than 1,800 persons settled in at the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts late today for a ribbon cutting ceremony and concert by Jose Feliciano. Sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s made for ideal conditions for the debut of the $9 million facility. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

07/20/14 06:24 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Packed in at the New Levitt

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There was little room to picnic on the sloped lawn of the new Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts late today as hundreds packed in for a ribbon cutting and concert by Jose Feliciano. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

07/20/14 06:19 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Celebrating Finding a New Home

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Zach During of Weston and newly adopted dog Jack, enjoying some ice cream,  join in the fun today at a fundraiser at Westport’s Saugatuck Sweets for Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA). Jack was adopted at the Westport animal shelter two weeks ago after being there since February. With them is dog trainer Susie Valentine Collins of Norwalk.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 04:56 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Crowds for Second Day of Fine Arts Festival

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Crowds were out agan today for the second and final day of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association’s Fine Arts Festival on the banks of the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 03:05 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Taking a Break

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Some visitors to today’s second and final day of the Westport Fine Arts Festival took a break on steps above the Saugatuck River at Parker-Harding Plaza.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 03:00 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Levitt Looking Good for Tonight’s Grand Opening

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All was ready today at the new Wetport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts for tonight’s grand opening and concert by Jose Feliciano. Gates open to ticket holders at 5 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. and concert at 7 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 11:54 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Flags Aflutter at New Levitt

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The American and Town of Westport flags flew above the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts today in readiness for tonight’s grand opening. The new Levitt features a state of the art sound system, performer dressing rooms, indoor rest rooms, and a concession stand.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 11:49 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Point to Point Winner

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Jonathon Blansfield, 17, of Westport finishes first today in the 36th annual Westport Weston Family Y Point to Point swim race at Compo Beach. Blansfield, who completed the one-mile, open water course in 17:07, won the competition for the second consecutive year. A 2014 graduate of Staples High School, he will attend Northwestern University in the fall. According to Nicole Turecheck, Family Y aquatics director, 105 participants registered for today’s event. Ages ranged from 10 to 76. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 10:27 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Winning Duo

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Jonathon Blansfield, 17, and Danielle Honrath, 29, were the male and female first place finishers in the 36th annual Point to Point swim race at Compo Beach today. Blansfield, a 2014 Staples High School graduate, finished in 17:07. Honrath, whose time was 18:40, said it is the fourth time she competed in the Point to Point and just on Saturday earned a first place finish in a one-mile swim in Greenwich. Formerly of Monroe and now residing in New York, Honrath is an advertising account director for Young & Rubicam. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 10:22 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

View from Above: Point to Point Swim


Aerial view of today’s Point to Point swim competition at Westport’s Compo Beach. Contributed video

07/20/14 10:20 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Everyone Into the Water

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Swimmers set out today in the 36th annual Point to Point swim at Westport’s Compo Beach sponsored by the Westport Weston Family Y. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/20/14 10:17 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon
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