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Monday, January 26, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

RTM P&Z Committee to Review 8-30g Housing Statute

The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) Planning and Zoning Committee will hold a public informational session Tuesday on the controversial state statute 8-30g affordable housing law.

The 7:30 p.m. session in the Town Hall auditorium will include presentations by Ira Bloom, town attorney, Larry Bradley, director of the Planning and Zoning Department, and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport.

“8-30g and how it affects our community is one of the biggest issues facing our town,” said Matthew Mandell, chair of the RTM committee, who called the meeting.

“We need our residents to fully understand what is happening, the rules and regulations surrounding this situation.”

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01/17/15 11:54 AM Comments (3) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Fire Department Tips on Cold Weather Wood Heating

As the cold weather sets in, the Westport Fire Department has issued some fireplace safety reminders:

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A chimney fire Sunday damaged a home on Jackie Lane, off of Ferry Lane East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Burn only seasoned wood; have a protective barrier to keep curious children from touching flames or hot glass; never leave a fire unattended and call 911 and get everyone out of the house if trouble arises.

Have your chimney inspected by a qualified chimney sweep annually. Recently a Westport family’s home suffered damage due to a chimney fire.

Once the fire is out, let the ashes remain in the fireplace as coals can stay hot for four to five days.

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01/17/15 11:43 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day:  7 Compo Beach Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 7 Compo Beach Road is in process. According to Town Assessor records, the 1-1/2 story cape was built in 1820, has 1,863-square feet, and sits on a .6-acre property, which changed ownership in November for $1,700,511. 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

01/17/15 11:27 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

On Thin Ice

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Seagulls walk on ice on the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center. Temperatures dipped to 11 degrees in Westport early today, according to unofficial readings, with the forecast calling for a high in the 20s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

01/17/15 11:12 AM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday,  January 17, 2015


10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s (7 Sylvan Lane) - Winter Farmers Market
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Workshop in Engineering Design using “Solidworks”
4 p.m. - Christ & Holy Trinity Church (75 Church Lane) - WCI/WPL WestportREADS Movie: Talkback & Special Screening, “The Dead”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Open Mic & Karaoke Night

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

01/17/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, January 16, 2015

Library Exhibit Features Norma Minkowitz Works

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Westport artist Norma Minkowitz talks to attendees tonight about her intricate pen-and-ink drawings at a reception held to celebrate an exhibit featuring her works in the Westport Library’s Great Hall. Called “Drawn to the Edge,” the exhibit runs through March 25. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

01/16/15 08:32 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Teardown of the Day: 4 Crooked Mile Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 4 Crooked Mile Road, off Newtown Turnpike, is in process. Built in 1945, the one-story ranch has 2,396 square feet, is situated on a one-acre property and changed ownership in October for $880,000. 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

01/16/15 03:47 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Property Transfers Dec.  29, 2014 - Jan. 2, 2015

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan. 2, 2015:

Bernard S. Pollack Estate to Karen J. and Bradley T. Schwartz, 61 Regents Park, $735,500WNproperty.jpg

40 Danbury LLC to Helen Stefan Moreau, 40 Danbury Ave., $2,397,500

HSBC Bank USA N A-TR to Stephen A. Eaton Jr., 29 North Ave., $318,450

Lynne Delossantos to Tanja S. Feldmeier, 30 Maple Lane, $612,500

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01/16/15 10:45 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Susan Granger’s At the Movies: ‘Selma,’ ‘Taken 3’

By Susan Granger

Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated “Selma” about the voting-rights struggle of 1965 is not only timely but relevant, given the continuing racial turmoil over the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

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The historical drama begins with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) receiving the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, then meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), whom he urges to support passage of a national Voting Rights Act.

To underscore the need for change, King and his Southern Christian Leadership advisors travel in March, 1965, to Selma, Ala., for a peaceful, nonviolent protest -– then boldly march 50 miles from Selma to the state’s capital of Montgomery.

Stressing that raising white America’s consciousness is as crucial as organizing black communities, King outlines his three principles of protest: “Negotiate, demonstrate, resist.” 

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Early Morning Compo Fishing

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A fisherman engages in some dawn fishing in waters off of Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Friday,  January 16, 2015


9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Commission for Senior Services
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
Noon - Westport Library - Lunch & Learn: Refresh Your Exercise Regimen
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Robotics Users Group
4 p.m. - Westport Library - ChessClub (grades K-12)
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Artist Reception, Great Hall Exhibit: “Drawn to the Edge”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

01/16/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Downtown Master Plan Draft Goes to P&Z

By James Lomuscio

A draft of the long awaited, Downtown Master Plan made it to a Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) work session tonight, with consultants choreographing a downtown that “stretches out into other directions,” capitalizing on the town’s potential.

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The Planning and Zoning Commission gets a briefing tonight on the draft of the downtown master plan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The P&Z did not vote on the draft, but will pore over it, offering feedback.

Jackson Wandress, director of landscape architecture for RBA Group, Inc., the Norwalk-based consultant the town hired, described a downtown that includes brick paving sidewalks and crosswalks as well as European-styled “shared space streets,” where pedestrians and cars meander at the same pace.

He also spoke of a Jesup Green transformed into a village green extending to the Saugatuck River, complete with a fountain and play area, as the Taylor parking lot is eliminated and motorists find spaces along Jesup Road.

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01/15/15 10:29 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Staples Teacher Arrested for Sex with Student

UPDATE Westport Police tonight announced the arrest of a Staples High School math teacher for having “an inappropriate sexual relationship” with a female Staples student whom he was tutoring.

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Theron Kissinger: released on $50,000 bond. Westport Police photo

According to Capt. Vincent Penna, Theron Kissinger, 44, of Southbury was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, released after posting a $50,000 court-set bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Friday, Jan. 23.

His LinkedIn profile says he has been a Staples math teacher since 2011. But a staff directory shows him there in 2009.

Penna said that an investigation began after school officials contacted the department, saying that a student was possibly having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a tutor, who was believed to be a teacher at Staples High School.

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01/15/15 10:06 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportREADS Event Features Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

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Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos interviewed Ireland-born Pulitzer prize-winning author Paul Muldoon tonight as part of the Westport Library’s WestportREADS program this month featuring James Joyce’s “Dubliners.” Muldoon’s most recent book, “One Thousand Things Worth Knowing” was released Jan. 13. Muldoon, poetry editor of the New Yorker Magazine and who grew up in Ireland said, ”I’m predisposed to rhyme more then most writers today. Rhyme was influenced through my upbringing.” He lightheartedly referred to Ireland as always being behind the times and said he was unaware that poets had strayed away from rhyme as a poetry form. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/15/15 09:55 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westporter to Be Himes Guest at State of Union

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes announced today that David L. Levinson of Westport, president of Norwalk Community College (NCC), will be his guest at President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

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David Levinson: applauds Obama proposal. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

During an event today at NCC, Himes and Levinson voiced support for Obama’s new proposal to make the first two years of community college free for qualifying students.

“Dr. Levinson is one of Connecticut’s leading advocates for making college more affordable and accessible for all Americans, and I’m honored to have him join me at this year’s State of the Union address,” Himes said.

“America’s economic success and the strength of our middle class depend on a well-educated and well-trained workforce. If we want our nation to remain competitive, we must make college - including community colleges and vocational schools - more affordable.

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01/15/15 05:22 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

How Low Can It Go?

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Westport Sunoco at 322 Road East hit $2.29 a gallon for regular (cash price) today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

01/15/15 02:17 PM Comments (3) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Steinberg Named to Transportation Subcommittee Post

State Rep. Jonathan P. Steinberg of Westport has been named the House chair of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee by Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, it was announced today.

The chairman assists with determining the transportation infrastructure upgrade priorities for the forthcoming year.

“With transportation investment among the top priorities this legislative session, I’m excited to play a role in the approval of funding for projects,” Steinberg said.

“Maintaining and improving our transportation infrastructure is vital to our economy, and I’m confident in Rep. Steinberg’s ability to help us identify and prioritize these critical needs,” said Sharkey.

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 4 Blue Ribbon Drive

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 4 Blue Ribbon Drive, off North Avenue, is in process. Built in 1958, the two-story colonial has 2,878 square feet and is situated on a 1.02-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

01/15/15 01:46 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday,  January 15, 2015


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - Town Hall - CTWorks Career Coach: beginning PowerPoint
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food Lunchtime Play Reading
Noon - Westport Historical Society - WestportREADS 2015: History Lunch Break: Explore Irish Saugatuck
1 p.m. - Town Hall - CTWorks Career Coach: intermediate PowerPoint
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Overcoat Film Series: “12 Angry Men”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Planning & Zoning Work Session (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - WestportREADS:  Conversation with Irish Poet Paul Muldoon

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

01/15/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Landon: Staples Teacher Placed on Leave

Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon today informed parents that a Staples High School teacher had been placed on administrative leave after learning that he was under investigation by police.

In an e-mail to parents, Landon said: “Today the Westport Police Department informed us that a teacher at Staples High School was under investigation based upon information the school district gleaned from an outside source. 

“Upon receiving the information we immediately communicated the information to the Westport Police Department and the Department of Children and Family Services. 

“Upon learning of the investigation, we immediately placed the teacher on administrative leave and we will continue to cooperate fully with the Westport Police Department and other authorities here.”

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Bagel Maven Goes Kosher

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The newly reopened Bagel Maven, 538 Post Road East, today celebrated its official certification of selling kosher bagels, bakery products and other selected foods. Owner Alex Perdomo (4th l) said the kosher certification was a customer’s idea. “The customer told me that those who follow kosher dietary adherence often need to source kosher baked goods from out of town,” he said. Joining him in the celebration were (l-r) Rabbi Yaakov Mendelson of Congregation Bikur Cholim, Bridgeport, First Selectman Jim Marpe, and Westport rabbis Greg Wall of Beit Chaverim Synagogue, Jeremy Wiederhorn of The Conservative Synagogue, and Michael Friedman of Temple Israel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/14/15 07:03 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Himes Reappointed to House Intelligence Committee

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has reappointed Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, it was announced today.

The committee oversees the budget and activities of the 17 intelligence agencies of the United States.

“Congressman Himes’ service on the Intelligence Committee has been defined by thoughtfulness and professionalism,” Pelosi said. “The strength of his experience will continue to be a valued resource in the new Congress.”

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to continue serving on the Intelligence Committee,” Himes said in a statement.

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01/14/15 06:59 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Study Time at Library

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Staples High School juniors studied in the Westport Library’s Great Hall today for Thursday’s government mid-term exam. They are (l-r) Caroline Lane, Jojo Adler and Kristin Munley. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/14/15 05:49 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Comings & Goings: Saugatuck Fabrics to Saugatuck Ave.

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The Saugatuck Fabrics store opens at 47 Saugatuck Ave. in February, according to Leonora Silber of Norwalk, co-owner with Ida Boci of Fairfield. The space formerly was occupied by Cake Suite, which closed last month. Silber said the store will specialize in a range of fabrics for upholstery, window treatments and pillows and will perform the alterations in-house. “We both worked for others in the fabrics business for 18 years in Fairfield County and are now ready to open our own business,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/14/15 03:51 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Selectmen Clear Way for Geiger’s Redevelopment

By Dave Matlow

The Westport Board of Selectmen today cleared the way for redevelopment of the 2.5-acre Geiger’s Garden Center property at 1135 Post Road East into a commercial and residential complex.

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The 2.5-acre Geiger’s property at 1135 Post Road East, which will become a retail and residential complex with 12 housing units, two of them affordable. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

By a unanimous vote, the board approved expansion of the capacity of the existing sanitary service use to accommodate the redevelopment that would include two affordable housing units among 12 proposed. The matter next moves to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on Jan. 22.

The development would include a bank in the front, retail, and four buildings with eight two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units. The two affordable units would be a two-bedroom unit and a one-bedroom, David Ginter of Redniss and Mead, civil engineering consultants, told the board.

Cathy Talmadge, a neighbor on Morningside Drive North and a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), told the board the neighbors were very supportive of the project.

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