Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Early Tax Returns Diminish Hopes for Big CT budget Surpluses

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

As the April 15 tax deadline approached, speculation at the Capitol was that tax receipts would rise. The only question was, Would they grow modestly, or explode?

But early tax returns have weakened hopes for any explosion, and raised the specter of something worse: Are tax receipts on the decline again?

This helps explain why the launch of keno gaming in Connecticut remains very much under consideration by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration and the General Assembly.

Through Monday, projected income tax receipts for April were running below budgeted levels by almost $108 million, or 10.2 percent.

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04/23/14 09:18 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Matthew Mandell to Head Chamber of Commerce

Breaking with tradition, the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce announced today it has picked a community leader, not a businessperson, as its new president and executive director—Matthew Mandell.

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Matthew Mandell: “great opportunity” to make Westport better. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

A longtime Westporter currently serving his fifth term representing District 1 on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), Mandell has been a familiar, outspoken presence at RTM and myriad town meetings, championing causes the business community favors.

“Matthew has shown a rare ability to advocate and lead,” said Jonathan Baron, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors. “He’s imaginative and processes the right social and technical skills to break new ground in the changing landscape of business in our community.”

Baron said that Mandell caught the organization’s eye two-and-a-half years ago “with how he created the Slice of Saugatuck Festival to promote local businesses and his influence to promote what is now a new restaurant district on the west side of the river downtown.”

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Selectman Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 2014”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
2 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Kemper-Gunn Advisory Group
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - Beautification Committee
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
5:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Public Works Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Library - World Book Night, Shakespeare’s Birthday, & Play With Your Food!
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Education & Employee Compensation Joint Committee Meeting
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Minecraft Grades 6-12

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

04/23/14 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting Ready for Beach Season

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A bulldozer was parked at Westport’s Compo Beach today to do some final sand work prior to the beach season’s official opening May 1; After that date, all cars must have an emblem to enter the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 10:01 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Lacrosse Hosts Sticks for Soldiers Saturday

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The Staples High School Boys Lacrosse team will hold its annual Sticks for Soldiers event on Saturday as the team hosts the Trumbull Eagles.

The Sticks for Soldiers charity raises funds to assist and support wounded veterans and their families. Its main fundraiser is a high school lacrosse tournament held in November.

On Saturday, there is a suggested, optional donation of $5 for admission with funds raised to support the fall tournament

Pre-game activities begin at 11:45 a.m. with a “shoot out” by grade for all PAL boys lacrosse players.

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04/22/14 09:01 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Wind Siting Regulations Approved, But May be Too Late

By Jan Ellen Spiegel

www.ctmirror.org

After nearly three years with wind energy development in Connecticut at a standstill – siting regulations for wind turbines have finally been approved. But how quickly or energetically wind will move ahead is still a question.

It took five tries before the Regulation Review Committee approved the Connecticut Siting Council proposal that establishes setbacks and heights for turbines, noise and “flicker” from their turning blades, decommissioning and other contentious details. While some tweaks had been made over time, the provisions have largely stayed intact.

But what has changed is that the key federal incentive for wind development—known as the production tax credit—has expired, and that may mean even with siting regulations on the books in Connecticut, nothing may happen with large-scale wind projects.

“It could be too little, too late possibly,” said Paul Michaud, executive director of the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Business Association and a lawyer whose clients have included wind developers.

Click here for more of story

04/22/14 08:13 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Girls Varsity Golf Beats Ridgefield in Season Opener

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The Staples High School varsity girls golf team won its season opener today at their home Longshore course, defeating Ridgefield High School 169-217. Senior tri-captain Faith Garcia led the Wrecker victory with a 3-over-par 40 while freshman Alex McMahon, playing her first match, shot a 42. The Staples team ended up last year with a 17-2 record, finishing second in the FCIAC behind Greenwich, which accounted for both Staples losses. Pictured before today’s play are (l-r)  Marie McHugh, Analise Brown, Faith Garcia, Mary Bennewitz, and Alex McMahon. Said Patty Kondub, assistant coach: “We are starting our run for the championship.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

The

04/22/14 07:38 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Outdoors: Arezzo Ristorante

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Arezzo Ristorante on Westport’s West Bank of the Saugatuck River at 5 Riverside Ave. is today’s featured spot in our new WestportNow series,Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months. Named after a city in central Italy, Arezzo Ristorante, open since the summer of 2012, offers Tuscan specialties in a rustic classic riverfront setting. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 03:11 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Arts Center to Honor Ann Sheffer at Saturday Gala

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The Westport Arts Center’s annual gala Saturday will honor Westport arts patron and philanthropist Ann Sheffer as “Queen of the Arts.” Called “WONDERland: A Mad Art Party,” the event will be held at the Gallaher Mansion, a limestone Tudor Revival built in 1930 by industrialist/inventor Edward Beach that sits in the 227-acre Cranbury Park in Norwalk. The evening will feature a performance by Juilliard-trained soprano opera singer and Westport native, Lucia Palmieri. To purchase tickets visit http://www.westportartscenter.org or call (203) 222-7070. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During photo

04/22/14 03:01 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Baron’s South Financials Still Unsettled With Developer

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Westport’s Baron’s South Committee, working on establishing a senior housing project on the town-owned land known as Baron’s South, was told today that progress has been made on a memorandum of understanding with developers Jonathan Rose Companies. But Selectman Avi Kaner (l, back to camera) said still unresolved are financial arrangements. He said the challenge is that it is a private/public partnership structure with a 98-year term. “It’s hard to see what can happen in the future,” he said. “For instance, say in 30 years from now the state of Connecticut changes a tax code from property tax to sales tax or something of that sort.” Meanwhile, he said, “We do not want to slow down the project.  We want to proceed simultaneously.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 11:15 AM Comments (3) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Taking Flight

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Cormorants take flight on Westport’s Saugatuck River near Riverside Avenue and Sylvan Road South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 12:15 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - Earth Day


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Baron’s South
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 2014”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
2 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Excavation and Fill Regulations Subcommittee
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 100 - Probate Judge Lisa Wexler: What Happens When You Die with a Will?
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium -  Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

04/22/14 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Monday, April 21, 2014

Golfers Meet New Course Maintenance Company

By James Lomuscio

Westporter Andy Kaplan said last July he had given up on golfing at Longshore Club Park, opting to go as far away as Farmington to play on decent links.

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Ryan Segrue, who is serving as ValleyCrest’s superintendent for the Longshore golf course, listens to golfers tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“The greens, they looked diseased,” Kaplan said. “It was like the surface of the moon, brown, discolored.”

Even pockmarked, he said.

But as Kaplan left a Town Hall presentation tonight by principals of ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, he seemed a bit more optimistic about returning to his hometown course this summer. Calabasas, Calif.-based ValleyCrest has a three-year contract with the town and aims to upgrade the 18-hole golf course while saving the town $755,450 attributed to personnel attrition over three years.

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04/21/14 10:16 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Committee Mulls Medical Marijuana Dispensary

By James Lomuscio

Representatives of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary turned down by the Bridgeport Zoning Commission last week came to Westport tonight in the hope of convincing the Planning and Zoning Commission’s (P&Z) Medical Maijuana Subcommittee that a such a facility could work in town.

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Three-time cancer victim Angela Fiorini of Monroe displays her medical marijuana prescription card outside a P&Z Medical Marijuana Subcommittee meeting tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

But P&Z Chairman Chip Stephens, who chairs the subcommittee, insisted that the argument put forth by Ray Rizzio, attorney for Trumbull-based D&B Wellness, was premature.

Rizzio said that the company he represents was turned down by Bridgeport because of “hysteria.”

“We’re not here to judge,” said Stephens. “We’re here to determine, if it were to become permissible, where it would be be.”

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Ten Westport Runners Finish Boston Marathon

Ten runners from Westport finished today’s 2014 Boston Marathon that saw more than 35,000 runners and an estimated one million spectators pay tribute to the victims of last year’s terrorist bombing.

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Staples grad Alicia Kaestli, 24, (pictured in an earlier race) was top female Westport finisher.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Twitter.com photo

For the first time in three decades, an American won the men’s race. Meb Keflezighi finished in 2 hours 8 minutes 37 seconds, a personal best and the second-fastest time ever for an American man at Boston.

According to official results, Ian L. Cadieu, 30, was the top Westport finisher, running the 26.2 miles in 2 hours 55 minutes 12 seconds, good for a 1506 overall place. The Yale graduate, who works at Westport’s Bridgewater Associates, was a three-year letterman in cross country at Great Neck North High School on Long Island, according to his Yale athletics biography.

Second best Westporter’s time was by Jason Martin, 41, with a time of 3 hours 5 minutes 7 seconds for a 3586 over place. And third was Kenneth C. Klegar, 44, in 3 hours 12 minutes 5 seconds for a 4562 place. Top female Westport runner was 2008 Staples grad Alicia Kaestli, 24, in 3 hours 12 minutes 47 seconds for a 4754 overall place. See all searchable results here.

 

04/21/14 06:38 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

New Lifeguard Chairs for Compo

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Workers today were building five new lifeguard chairs for Compo Beach. They said that the old ones are worn out and needed replacing. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

04/21/14 05:26 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Unemployment in March Unchanged at 4.7%

Westport’s unemployment rate in March was 4.7 percent, unchanged from February, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.

The last time Westport’s unemployment rate was lower was in August 2008 when it was 4.5 percent, just before the recession began to be felt. The rate hit 7.0 percent in June 2009.

The department said the number of Westport unemployed in March was 580, down from 583 in February. The March labor force in Westport numbered 12,361, down from 12,366, in February.  There were 11,781 employed in March, down from 11,783 employed in February.

A year ago in March, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

04/21/14 04:47 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Outdoors: Bar Taco Offers Casual Riverfront Dining

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Bartaco on Westport’s West Bank of the Saugatuck River at 20 Wilton Road is today’s featured spot in our new WestportNow series,Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months.This is the second outdoors season for Bartaco, which opened in June 2013 and quickly became a popular destination. Guests can enjoy tacos, tequila, and more at this casual dining spot overlooking the river. Open daily 11:30 a.m to closing.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/21/14 03:37 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Two Westporters Among Top GOP Gov Group Donors

Two Westporters are among a dozen Connecticut donors who gave a total of $800,000 to the Republican Governors Association in the first quarter of 2014, money the state GOP hopes will flow back to its campaign to unseat Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a vulnerable first-term Democrat.

With individuals and corporations able to make unlimited contributions, the money came from just six individuals and six companies, led by a $250,000 check from Linda McMahon, twice the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, according to a Connecticut Mirror analysis of IRS filings.

Westporter Thomas E. McInerney, the chief executive officer of Bluff Point Associates, a private equity firm based in Westport, gave $100,000. And David H. McCormick of Westport, the co-president of the Westport-based hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, gave $25,000 to the Republican group.

No one else from Bridgewater, including its billionaire founder, Ray Dalio, worth an estimated $14 billion by Forbes, gave to either the Republican or Democrat group.

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Drug ‘Take Back Day’ Set for Saturday

The Westport Police Department, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), on Saturday will provide another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft. 

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Sgt. Richard Frazier receives a bag of unused drugs at an earlier “Take Back Day” at Westport Town Hall.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The department will help rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs in what has become known as “Take Back Day.”

Residents are asked to bring medications for disposal to Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, police said.

It will be the eighth opportunity in three years for Westporters to avail themselves of the drug disposal facility.

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Household Hazardous Waste Day Saturday in Weston

Westport residents seeking to dispose of household hazardous waste will have an opportunity on Saturday when the Town of Weston holds its annual household hazardous waste collection day.

Westport residents must show proof of residency to dispose of the waste from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Weston Public Works Facility, 78 Old Hyde Road. Westport will hold its annual collection day in October.

The following waste materials will be accepted and where they are usually found:

Garage: degreasers, gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits, oil-based paints, paint strippers, paint thinners, solvents, stains, turpentine, varnishes, wood preservatives, etc.

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Two Injured in Connector Crash at Transfer Station

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A two-car crash today on Westport’s Sherwood Island Connector in front of the transfer station sent two persons to the hospital. Witnesses said one car was leaving the station and the other was entering when the accident occurred. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/21/14 10:37 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Head-On Crash Injures Two

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Two persons were injured today in a head-on crash at the entrance to the Westport Public Works Department transfer station on the Sherwood Island Connector. Witnesses said one car (foreground) was entering the facility and the other (rear) was leaving when the crash occurred. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/21/14 10:32 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Easter Sunday Sail

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Some sailing enthusiasts take an Easter Sunday ride in Long Island Sound off Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

04/21/14 12:15 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Monday, April 21, 2014


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 2014”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen: Maker Mondays
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Planning & Zoning Commission Subcommittee
6:30 p.m. - Staples Room 1028 - Board of Education Special Meeting
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Longshore Golf Meeting

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

04/21/14 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday Compo Fun

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Easter Sunday at Compo Beach was an outing enjoyed by many today in sunny but chilly weather in the 50s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

04/20/14 05:13 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Cannon Shot

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The cannons at Westport’s Compo Beach provided some Easter Sunday fun for these youngsters today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

04/20/14 05:05 PM Comments (2) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Free Easter Bagels

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Oscar’s on Westport’s Main Street was closed today for Easter. But it placed bags of free bagels in front of the deli for disappointed customers and passersby.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

04/20/14 03:24 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Outdoors: Java Coffee and Café

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With warm weather here (we hope), WestportNow begins a new series, Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months. One of the newest outdoor eating places is Java Coffee and Café at 44 Church Lane. With the arrival of warm weather, the eatery, which opened in January, has thrown open its large glass doors to allow for drinking and dining on its patio. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/20/14 11:55 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Celebrating Easter

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Westporters celebrated Easter today in special services at area churches, including Christ & Holy Trinity Church at 75 Church Lane. The church traces its origins to 1831 to 1835, the latter date when the Town of Westport was incorporated.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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