Friday, April 25, 2014

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For all of your painting and wallpapering needs.

Call George now for a free estimate:
203-241-8922

Mention WestportNow and get 10% discount

Rex
Marine Center

It's cold. Great time to
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144 Water Street
South Norwalk
203-866-5555

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Westport Modular

Live Better at the Same Address in a Better-Built Home

Learn how modular homes are built
on your property.

Call 203-858-7198
westportmodular.com

Tear Down Specialists!

Westport Writing Workshops

Blocked?
How to Get Unstuck

Feb. 4, 9 am - Noon

Arcudi's Restaurant




 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Today is 237th Anniversary of British Compo Landing

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It was 237 years ago today on April 25, 1777 the British landed at Compo Beach with 1,800 men. They marched inland to Danbury and destroyed the military supplies there. They entered what is now Westport on April 28 and were engaged by the Colonials under the leadership of Gen Benedict Arnold and Brig. Gen.Gold Silliman. Loyalists guided the British down Red Coat Road where they crossed the Saugatuck at Ford Road and marched to Compo along Clinton Avenue and Compo Road. The Americans were fooled by this maneuver and pursued the escaping Brits towards Compo Hill after crossing Kings Highway North Bridge—the upper bridge, the only bridge that existed then. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Friday,  April 25, 2014 - Arbor Day


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 ... “
Noon - Westport Library - Michael Sims, “The Adventures of Henry Thoreau”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Lego Robotics Club
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Town Hall Front Driveway - Arbor Day Seedling Give-away
4:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Boys Volleyball Team Autism Speaks Benefit
6 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Sale of Original “New Yorker” Art
7:15 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Stand-Up Comedy w/ Jared Logan, Michael Mathis, & Lucein Formichella
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Souvenir”
8 p.m. - MTC MainStage Studio Theatre - “The Fantasticks”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

MNRR President : New Timetables More Dependable

By Bonnie Adler

Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giuletti told a Westport trackside train forum tonight that new timetables to be released May 11 will be more dependable and that 83 percent of morning peak trains on the schedule as a result will experience shorter trip times and better on-time reliability.

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Metro-North President Joseph Giuletti addresses tonight’s forum at the Westport train station. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

He spoke to several dozen persons -– most of them officials rather than commuters –- in the newly renovated eastbound station house at the Metro-North Westport station.

It was his first Westport visit since taking over the position in February and followed a disastrous series of events for Metro-North, including deaths, derailments, power outages and extensive delays. A blistering federal report last month said Metro-North’s emphasis on on-time performance came at the expense of safety.

Giuletti said continuing delays faced by commuters were in part due to signal system modifications that enable systems on board trains to enforce speed limits automatically. These systems delay trains by several minutes and make it impossible for conductors to make up the time on certain sections of the New Haven Line, he said.

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Meet-And-Greet With New MNRR President


Scenes from tonight’s Metro-North forum at the Westport train station. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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P&Z Postpones Action on Kemper-Gunn House Move

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The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission tonight postponed for a week action on a special permit and site plan application for relocating the Kemper-Gunn House from Church Lane to the Baldwin Parking Lot. Representatives of the developer, DC Kemper-Gunn, said because the town wants to widen Elm Street in front of the Baldwin lot, the house had to be pushed further back into the lot. This required a revision of drawings that were only filed today and subsequently raised questions among members about the building’s height. Pictured is Kyle Bogardus of New Haven-based Langham Engineering and Environmental Services explaining some site issues. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Westport Parents Celebrate House OK of Concussion Law

The state House of Representatives today unanimously approved a measure expanding Connecticut’s concussion policy for young athletes.The bill now heads to the Senate.

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On hand for the vote were (l-r) state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, Westport parents Diana Coyne, Diana Urban, and Pippa Bell Ader, and state Rep. Gail Lavielle. Contributed photo

Westport parents Diana Coyne, Pippa Bell Ader and Ann Sherwood, members of the Parents Concussion Coalition, were on hand after working for two years to update the state’s concussion law and bring it to the basic current standards of practice.

House Bill 5113 broadens a 2010 law regarding youth athletics and concussions by giving parents more information and power when their child suffers a potential head injury while playing sports.

The bill requires schools to give parents a consent form regarding the school’s concussion education plan. A coach or principal must notify a parent within 24 hours after a student athlete is pulled from a game for a suspected concussion.

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Town Employees’ Children Tour Town Departments

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe poses today with children of Town of Westport employees who toured town departments as part of the national Bring Your Children to Work Day. The students, ranging in age from second grade to high school, had a pizza lunch with the first selectman at Town Hall and heard him explain his duties and how town government works. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Learning About an Ambulance

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Westport Paramedic Mike Salvatore and EMTs Myra Goldberg and Andrea Harman explain equipment carried on an ambulance to children of Town of Westport employees today. The youngsters took part in the town’s inaugural Bring Your Children to Work Day.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

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Tent is Up for Mini Maker Faire

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The tent is up on Westport’s jesup Green for Saturday’s third annual Westport Mini Maker Faire (http://www.westportmakerfaire.org) from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The main tent will include 3D printers from small desktop ones to larger ones and attractions include Sikorsky’s HeliVenture, build and launch foam rockets, a fleet of quadcopters, and a paper airplane contest. Pictured are (l-r) Ben Jia, MakerSpace coach at the Westport Library; Bill Derry, event co-chair; Braden Smith, eighth grader at Bedford Middle School and technology coach for the Library’s Tech Help sessions;  Allison Schartz, fourth grader at Long Lots Elementary School and inventor of a stress bracelet and MakerSpace coach at the Library, Nick Mathias, third grader at Saugatuck Elementary School and quadcopter builder and pilot, and Mark Mathias, event co-chair. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Comings & Goings: Grilled Cheese Eatery Opens

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Grilled Cheese Eatery has opened at 772 Post Road East adjacent to the recently closed Great Cakes. The owners, Belgian-born Henri and Bulgarian-born Ivanina Donneaux, opened their first Grilled Cheese Eatery at 57 Unquowa Road, Fairfield in October 2013, having converted their Cafe Lola space into the new food concept. The menu categories include soups, salad bar, gourmet grilled cheese assortments with dipping sauces and sandwich add-ons. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. every day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Red Flag Fire Warning

The National Weather Service said a Red Flag warning is now in effect until 10 p.m. for southern Connecticut.

Winds will be northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph, diminishing this evening. Relative humidity will be as low as 11 percent.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected or occurring.

A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels will create explosive fire growth potential.

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Freeze Warning Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for Westport and area from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday.

It said temperatures will be around freezing.

A freeze warning means below freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely.

These conditions will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation, the Weather Service said.

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‘To the Tables Down at Mory’s…’

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One of Yale University’s most celebrated traditions, the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best known collegiate a cappella group, performed today at the Westport Weston Y’s Men meeting at Westport’s Unitarian Church. Joining them was a former member, state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport (third right). Selections included Paul Simon’s “The Boxer,” two Cole Porter numbers, “Night and Day” and “Too Darn Hot,” Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer,” and the Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection,” before closing with “When the Saints Go Marching In” and their own “Whiffenpoof Song.” Every year, 14 senior Yale men are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs. Founded in 1909, the “Whiffs” began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at Mory’s Temple Bar, the famous Yale tavern. This summer, they will travel to more than 20 countries on a world tour. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Tackling Unrealistic Body Images and Their Toll

By James Lomuscio

Dustyn Levenson, a senior at Westport’s Staples High School, recalled how the onslaught of media pressure to have an unrealistic body grabbed hold of her as early as elementary school.

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The Staples students participating in Reshaping Reality. Dustyn Levenson is at bottom row, center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“I remember being affected in the fourth grade, and in middle school it was worse,” she said. “I was vulnerable and insecure, and you don’t know who to look to for direction, and you look to the media.”

What started out as a diet, became an obsession that developed into anorexia nervosa by seventh grade.

“I was a competitive ballet dancer, and it obviously started out with a weight thing, but it ended as an obsession,” she said.

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New Cherry Trees Replace Diseased Town Hall Apple Tree

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Four cherry trees have been planted on the front lawn of Westport Town Hall as a diseased apple tree (stump in front of second tree) was removed. (See WestportNow April 9, 2014) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Learning from a Photojournalist Pro

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Award-winning photojurnalist Spencer Platt, returned to Staples High School Wednesday where he was a member of the class of 1989 to to meet with staff members of Inklings, the school newspaper, and advanced journalism and photography students. He is a colleague at Getty Images of Win McNamee, the brother of Julia McNamee of Staples who invited him to discuss his career and answer student questions. The journalism classroom now features photographs from the Westport schools permanent art collection by Platt and his fellow Staples alums Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Party Time: U.S. Coast Guard Taxed by L.I. Sound Galas

By Ann Radalet

www.ctmirror.org
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Last year’s fireworks at Compo Beach attracted watchers on land and water.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Pogue for WestportNow.com

Washington – When it comes to parties along Connecticut’s coast, the sky is not the limit for those who can afford it.

Every year, dozens of private events are held on Long Island Sound, many involving fireworks, that tap the resources of the Connecticut-headquartered U.S. Coast Guard.

Some of those “marine events”—like the July 4th fireworks many coastal towns hold every year—are open to the public.

But often the Coast Guard is deployed to enforce a safety zone for a private party.

Click here for more of story

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Tonight’s Westport Train Forum 7P Start Sted 7:30P

Tonight’s Westport train forum with Metro-North’s new president, Joseph Giulietti, will start at 7 p.m. instead of the previously announced 7:30 p.m.

It will take place in the eastbound station house at the Metro-North Westport station in Saugtauck.

In addition to Giuleltti, it will feature Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, members of the General Assembly Transportation Committee, and members of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council.

Commuters coming from Grand Central are invited to drop in and join the conversation, said John Hartwell of Westport, vice chair of the Commuter Rail Council.

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Dem Governors’ Group Challenges CT Campaign Finance Restrictions

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

The Democratic Governors Association, which expects to heavily advertise this fall to support the re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of how Connecticut regulates independent campaign expenditures.

The association seeks an injunction barring the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the chief state’s attorney’s office and the attorney general from enforcing what it says are overly broad rules that could expose the group to an accusation of illegal coordination with the Malloy campaign.

In part, the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, is a pre-emptive move against any claim that Malloy’s fundraising for the group should be construed as illegal coordination under state law, which could either keep the association, the DGA, on the sidelines in Connecticut or expose it to prosecution.

“DGA has been forced into a constitutionally untenable choice: it can avoid the protected speech in which it seeks to engage; it can forego the support and participation of Connecticut’s citizens in raising the funds that it needs to maintain a robust national program; or it can entertain the very real threats of investigation, fines and criminal prosecution,” the lawsuit states.

Click here for more of story

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Burying Hill Takeoff

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Atlantic Brants take off from Westport’s Burying Hill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Thursday,  April 24, 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 ... “
2 p.m. - Westport Library - “April in Paris” Movie Series: “Jules et Jim”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)]
7 p.m. - Westport Train Station (Eastbound Station House) - Train forum with Metro-North president, DOT commissioner Time change
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Youth Commission General Meeting
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Parks & Recreation Meeting

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Now Two Compo Concepts: One With, One Without Beachfront Cars

By James Lomuscio

Not wanting a repeat of the shouting matches that marked the last Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee meeting, chair Andy Moss tonight set the ground rules early for the public.

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It was a full house at tonight’s Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee meeting, but the public had little input as it was a working meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“This is our time to discuss what we heard last week,” Moss told the approximate 40 persons who crowded Room 201 at Town Hall.

Some of those present were still champing at the bit to speak against a conceptual proposal in the beach master plan in progress to eliminate parking in front of South Beach, rerouting it to a parking lot. At the last meeting, the public loudly protested, arguing that a long walk would place hardships on the elderly, the handicapped and families with young children.

“We heard that,” Moss said. There’s no need to retread that.”

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Staples Boys Volleyballers Host Autism Fundraiser Friday

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Getting ready for Friday (l-r) Staples Co-Captain Todd Goldstein, KHS student Ethan Walmark, Staples Co-Captain Lucas Grevers, and in front Eliza Walmark. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Staples High School boys volleyball team will host its first fundraiser to benefit Autism Speaks on Friday at 7 p..m. when it plays Darien at home.

The event will include a prize drawing for four Yankees tickets.

Winner must be present to claim prizes.

The National Anthem will performed by Ethan Walmark, 8, a Kings Highway Elementary School student on the autism spectrum and musical prodigy.

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Westport Outdoors: Via Sforza

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Via Sforza, 243 Post Road West, is today’s featured spot in our WestportNow series, Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months. According to owner/chef Dino Sforza (above), the restaurant opened at its current location on Sept. 1, 2005 and expanded with outdoor seating for 20-25 three years ago. He said that he serves many more customers at dinner (5 p.m. - 10 p.m.) than at lunchtime (noon - 3 p.m.). He describes the range of cuisine as “regional italian with a wood burning brick pizza oven to full dinners. Owner Sforza said prior to relocating to its current location, the restaurant was located at 250 Westport Ave., Norwalk, and closed in 2006. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Real Estate Report: Westport Again Defies U.S. Trends

By Judy Szablak

Despite a gloomy report out today nationally on March home sales, Westport’s March sales were off the charts with 29 closed single-family home transactions last month.

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This home at 4 Imperial Landing is listed at $1,497,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Remax Right Choice

Westport’s sales were up a whopping almost 80 percent from a month earlier.

This was in sharp contrast to the U.S. Commerce Department report today that sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dropping 14.5 percent.

The Westport divergence from national trends is not new. And Westport needs to do a bit of catch up work to equal last year’s sales at this time.

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Staples Drops to No. 9 in CT in U.S. News Rankings

Westport’s Staples High School came in No. 9 in Connecticut in the U.S. News and World Report best high school rankings released today. Nationally it was No. 303.

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A year ago in the survey, Staples was No. 7 in the state and No. 296 nationally. In 2012, Staples was No. 5 in Connecticut and No. 302 nationally.

Staples this year came in behind Fairfield County schools Weston, which was No. 3, Wilton, No. 6, and Ridgefield, No. 8.

The Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Hartford was rated No. 1 in Connecticut and No. 15 nationally.

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Selectmen OK House Move That Will Cost 22 Baldwin Lot Spaces

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The Westport Board of Selectman today made it official by approving DC Kemper-Gunn, LLC as the successful bidder on a plan to move and renovate the 1895-built Kemper-Gunn House on to the town-owned Baldwin Parking Lot. The action was in response to a Planning & Zoning Commission complaint that no formal designation had been made. The board also approved modifications to the parking lot that will ultimately result in the loss of 22 spaces from the approximately 261 that exist there now. Karen Johnson, representing DC Kemper-Gunn, said new estimates put the cost of the move and renovations at $1.8 million, all to be borne by the developers. Selectman Avi Kaner (l) holds a computer rendering of the site while First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Helen Garten look on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlowfor WestportNow.com

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Sen. Murphy: ‘Putin Has Become a Bit Unhinged’

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U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a Westport breakfast today the Russian leader Vladimir Putin “has become a bit unhinged” in his actions against the Ukraine. Addressing invited guests from Westport, Weston, and Wilton at the Westport Woman’s Club, Murphy, who has visited the Ukraine twice in the past six months, said he expected the United States this week to announce new sanctions on Russia. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Murphy Recognizes Staples Young Democrats

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U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy today presented certificates of recognition to members of the Staples High School Young Democrats Club at a “pancakes and politics” breakfast at the Westport Woman’s Club, one of a series he is holding around the state. Murphy recalled that he was a member of the Young Democrats at Wethersfield High School and said it was instrumental in launching his political career. He said he would have been happy to present similar certificates to Young Republican Club members at Staples but was told no such club exists.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Murphy Says He is Pushing Northeast Rail Investment

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U.S. Sen Christopher Murphy (D-CT) (c) told a Westport breakfast meeting today that included local leaders that he is trying to build a new coalition in Congress to find innovative ways to increase funding to passenger service in the Northeast rail corridor. He said the key to Connecticut’s economic recovery is improved rail service to New York and Boston. He posed with guests (l-r) Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein, and Westport Selectman Avi Kaner.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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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.

Click here for more of story

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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 Canceled
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

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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

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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.

More "Staples Lacrosse Hosts Sticks for Soldiers Saturday"

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