Thursday, January 12, 2017
Westport residents tonight got their first chance to give input on updating the town’s 2007 Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD). In a two-hour session hosted by the Planning and Zoning Commission, audience members identified issues of concern and suggested priorities and strategies for the updated Plan. These included maintaining Westport’s small town character, avoiding over development, preserving and expanding open space, adding more and safer sidewalks, dredging and using the Saugatuck River more, and encouraging use of solar in homes, and electric vehicles on the road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tonight’s community workshop in the Town Hall auditorium on updating the 2007 Plan of Conservation and Development—required by state law every 10 years—was led by planner Glenn Chalder, president of Avon-based Planimetrics. He said there will be two additional such sessions for the public to speak out about the plan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Upon entering the Town Hall auditorium tonight, participants in a community workshop on updating the town’s 2007 Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) were given an opportunity to priortize some of their concerns. Mary Young (r), Planning and Zoning director, welcomed guests and explained the process. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
First Selectman Jim Marpe was among attendees tonight at a Planning and Zoning Commission-hosted workshop on updating the town’s 2007 Plan of Conservation and Development. Required by the state once every 10 years, the plan is a blueprint for how the town wants to develop over the next 10 to 20 years. It is a guide to local decision making in areas such as natural resources preservation, economic development, housing, land use, and public services. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
A large crowd tonight attended a Pop Up art show at the Westport Arts Center featuring works by members of the Westport Artists Collective. Some of the artists will appear Friday at a 10 a.m. talk at the Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Xenia Gross for WestportNow.com
Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, told the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston today that “business is good in Westport,” citing expansion of the commercial property grand list. He noted there have been some “bumps in the road,” pointing to the recent closings of Sperry, Chico’s and Neat. However, he said the chamber and the Downtown Merchants Association are working on ways to promote downtown in “new and unique ways.” Looking ahead, he said two pending issues could impact the Westport business community —- construction of a new shopping mall at I-95 Exit 15 in Norwalk and the potential rebuilding of the William F. Cribari Bridge in Saugatuck. Preserving the bridge will keep 18-wheel trucks off Westport roads and is “both a safety issue and one that could harm the businesses in Saugatuck,” Mandell said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Westport resident Mike Greenberg, one-half of one of the longest-running partnerships in sports radio, is moving to television, SI.com reported today. Quoting multiple sources, it said that ESPN executives are moving forward with the plan to shift Greenberg, a partner in the “Mike & Mike” radio show on ESPN Radio with Mike Golic since October 1998, into a new role as the lead host of a television show that would air in the mornings on ESPN. The new show will have elements of “SportsCenter,” which currently airs at that time, as well as a traditional morning show. It is expected to be based in New York City with the transition taking place sooner than later, the report said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images
By Ana Radelatwww.ctmirror.org
Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal said today that he will oppose the confirmation of fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General because his colleague from Alabama has a record that “reflects a hostility and antipathy and downright opposition to civil rights.”
Blumenthal is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held its confirmation hearing on Sessions this week and may vote on the candidacy next week. He announced his opposition to Sessions shortly after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said he also will vote against Sessions’ confirmation because he has concerns about whether the nominee would be a sufficient check on President — elect Donald Trump.
In a floor speech in the Senate Thursday, Blumenthal said the U.S. Attorney General’s powers are “awesome,” and he has witnessed this as Connecticut’s attorney general.
“In most cases there is no recourse to overrule his decision, unless there is political interference,” Blumenthal said.
Today’s winter thaw—temperatures reched 61 in early afternoon in Westport—also brought a rainboar visible over Harbor Road in the Saugatuck Shores area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Irene Penny for WestportNow.com
By James Lomuscio
Once again, police and firefighters working overtime, holidays and doing outside jobs dominated the top 10 list for the town’s highest wage earners, according to Gary Conrad, Westport’s finance director.
Conrad, the only non-first responder on the 2016 top 10 list, came in sixth with a gross salary of $171,494, a $5,922 holiday shift bump from a base salary of $165,572.
Police Cpl. Howard Simpson took first place on the list with gross wages of $230,388, including his $80,381 base salary. He earned $86,120 in overtimes, $18,412 in holiday shifts and $41,775 in outside work, such a traffic detail at construction sites or private parties. Outside Jobs are paid for by the contracting vendor and is not an expense to the taxpayer.
The second spot went to Police Sgt. Sereniti Dobson whose gross pay was $218,911. Dobson’s base salary of $94,216 was augmented by $65,044 in overtime, $13,654 from holiday shifts and $45,977 from outside work.
9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
9 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - CSA Enhancement Committee
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food Lunchtime Theater Series
1:15 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: Introductory Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Overcoat Film Series: “To Catch a Thief”
5 p.m. - Westport Library - #ThrowbackThursdays
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Westport Artists Collective Pop Up Exhibition
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: Writing & Publishing Memoir
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Kickoff for 2017 Plan of Conservation & Development Update (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Fire Headquarters (515 Post Road East) - Public Site & Building Commission
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Youth Commission
9 p.m. - Town Hall
Room 201 Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Work Session
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The Staples High School Service League of Boys (SLOBS) tonight presented a check to Jimeale Hede, founder of the Brighter Lives for Kids Foundation, which aims to provide opportunities and experiences to children in Bridgeport. She spoke to the group tonight about the foundation, which was also the recipient of a SLOBS donation of school supplies made possible by a recent Ping-Pong and basketball fundraiser. SLOBS is the largest club at Staples and seeks to strengthen parent-son relationships and promote leadership development through community service activities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today offered worried municipal leaders no assurances they would be spared from cuts to local aid as he and the General Assembly grapple with another major deficit in the next state budget.
Addressing the annual meeting of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns at the Hartford Sheraton in Rocky Hill, the governor withheld specifics of the new two-year spending plan he will deliver to legislators on Feb. 8.
But Malloy hinted communities would not be shielded as state officials try to close a $1.5 billion projected deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, a gap equal to 8 percent of the General Fund.
And while municipal leaders pressed for fewer mandates and more control over their finances, Malloy noted COST member towns — 110 communities all with populations less than 30,000 — have more robust fiscal reserves than the state’s.
By Judy SzablakSpecial to WestportNow
We may have all thought that the 2016 Westport real estate market was a bit slower than the year before, and that is true. However, the difference is very slight, and values have remained constant.
According to the Consolidated Multiple Listing Service, the average price of the 366 single family home sales in 2016 was $1,527,565 with an average market time of 121 days. The average sales price to list price ratio was 95 percent, with three- and four-bedroom homes averaging slightly higher at 96 percent.
The prior year brought us 383 sales with an adjusted average price of $1,581,843. The difference of less than $55,000 is not alarming in the slightest, and does not raise any red flags. Considering that there were 17 more sales in 2015, and a few higher priced closed sales, a minor difference is a nonissue and of no concern.
The lowest recorded price last year was on Crescent Avenue at $345,000 and the highest sale reported was on Beachside Avenue for $8.8 million. The prior year was a little better for high-end luxury homes, whereas four sales were reported between $5-10 million, and two sales were reported over $10 million. Those two higher sales were omitted from 2015’s average price as noted.
Police arrested a Stratford women for allegedly stealing $12,000 from an elderly Westport woman for whom she worked as a health care aide.
Fantashia Best, 30, was accused of using the victim’s ATM card to withdraw money on multiple occasions for herself from October 2015 to April 2016, said Lt. David Farrell.
“Best was positively identified by the victim and Westport officers from the ATM camera footage from the Bank of America at 1815 Post Road East,” he said.
On Friday, Westport officers stopped Best and arrested her for the active warrant. She was held on a $12,000 bond for a Jan. 17 Norwalk court date, Farrell said.
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