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Friday, September 04, 2015

Friday, September 04, 2015

Friday,  September 4, 2015


8 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Wash & Wax (791 Post Road East) - Good Neighbor Day Car Wash to benefit Homes with Hope
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtCafé: Andrew Bentley
11:45 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Senior Friday Social: Wellness Talk on Alzheimer’s
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Ripe w/ Pizza Dust, & Orbit
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Bedroom Farce”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

09/04/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Just Practice This Time

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Westport firefighters today practiced rescue techniques at the Bedford Square development site. It was the same platoon involved in last week’s response to two construction workers injured in a scaffolding accident at the site. (See WestportNow Aug. 26, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Up the Ladder

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The Bedford Square development construction site served as a practice venue today for Westport firefighters honing their rescue skills. The drill took place a week after a real rescue at the site involving two construction workers on a collapsed scaffolding.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 5 Country Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 5 Country Road, off Compo Road North, is in process. Built in 1950, the one-story ranch has 4,754-square feet, is situated on a 1.16-acre property and, according to Tax Assessor records, last changed ownership in 2004 for $2,225,000. 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

09/03/15 07:41 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Car Into Building at Bridge Square

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UPDATE A female driver today crashed her car into the front of a building at Bridge Square in Westport’s Saugatuck section. The woman and her front seat female passenger were not injured, but the building sustained damage. An official from the Building Department responded to check on the building’s structural integrity. The building houses several offices. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

09/03/15 04:36 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Checking the Damage

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Westport firefighters and a Building Department official today inspect damage to a building at 1 Bridge Square after it was hit by a car. Neither the driver nor her passenger was injured. After the building was shored up, it was turned over to the building owner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

09/03/15 04:31 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Reminder to Veterans on Tax Benefits

The Town of Westport Assessor’s Office has issued a reminder to all veterans (or widows/widowers of veterans) who have served during an active period of war for at least 90 days and have received an honorable discharge, to file their DD-214 in the Town Clerk’s Office prior to Oct. 1.

The exemption is $6,000 off an assessment and will be reflected in the July 2016 tax bill.

Veterans who have already filed and are receiving an exemption do not need to refile, an announcement said. The Town of Westport also offers a local option for an additional $20,000 off an assessment. 

The announcement said that this is an income qualifying program.  Maximum income is $59,600 for a single veteran and $67,200 for a married veteran.  Applications for this program are accepted prior to Oct. 1

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09/03/15 04:25 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Preparations Under Way for BBQ Fest

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Workers unload barrels today outside the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts as part of the preparations for this weekend’s Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

09/03/15 02:51 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Report: Couple Suing Cops Over Video Surveillance

A Westport couple is suing the town and several of its police officers for what they claim is unlawful video surveillance of their home, according to the Connecticut Law Tribune.

John and Alison Borg, both psychologists, said that a long-running dispute with a neighbor in their Sterling Drive neighborhood has led to video cameras being set up near their property to monitor potential criminal activity.

“This is a serious invasion of their privacy. It’s pretty disturbing,” their lawyer, A. Paul Spinella, of Spinella & Associates in Hartford, told the newspaper “It is our absolute position this is a fundamental Fourth Amendment violation and any surveillance of this type should be made with a warrant.”

The newspaper said Town Attorney Ira Bloom declined to comment on the suit and that it would be handled by an attorney for the town’s insurance carrier.

See the Connecticut Law Tribune story here.

09/03/15 01:59 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Artists’ Collective Sets Pop Up Exhibit

Fifteen local artists will be featured at the Westport Artists’ Collective 4th Pop Up exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 10 from 6-8 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center.

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Founding members of the Artists’ Collective at the spring pop up show. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The one-night event is free and open to the public. 

Artists participating include Amy Bock, Ivanilde Brunow, Trace Burroughs, Eric Chiang, Randi Davis, Niki Ketchman, Susan Lloyd, Day Moore, Olivia Munroe, Diane Pollack, Steve Pomerantz, Nancy Reinker, Jill Sarver, Norm Siegel, and Al Coyote Wiener.

The 15 artists who exhibited at this year’s spring Pop Up elected the 15 participating artists. In turn, the artists in this Pop Up will each select an artist to exhibit in the spring 2016 Pop Up, creating an ongoing cycle of artists selecting artists.

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09/03/15 01:12 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Old Mill Scene

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Wednesday sailing on Long Island Sound provided an idyllic backdrop to drinks on Old Mill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Robin Fellows for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, September 3, 2015


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
1 p.m. - Westport Library - Maker Series for Seniors: Soft-circuit Bracelet
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Drink n’ Draw September
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Bedroom Farce”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

09/03/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Finance Board Approves Sale of McLaury House

By James Lomuscio

Despite a plea from former Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member Richard Lowenstein that the town not sell its 1921-built Emily McLaury House at 99 Myrtle Ave. but lease it to Homes With Hope (HWH) for $1 a year, Westport’s Board of Finance voted unanimously tonight to recommend its sale.

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Former Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member Richard Lowenstein addresses the Board of Finance tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

A main reason was that the town already has a binder on the house for 5 percent more than the $589,000 listing price, according to Selectwoman Helen Garten, who has been coordinating the sale. HWH, a Westport-based nonprofit that serves the homeless, was not among the bidders.

The matter now goes to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for boundary adjustment on the .7-acre parcel, and following ZBA approval, the sale will be finalized, Garten said. The pending sale already has a positive 8-24 report from the Planning and Zoning Commission and a nod from Historic District Commission.

“We’re very, very pleased with how this process has gone,” said Garten.

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09/02/15 11:17 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘No Escape,’ ‘Meru,’ ‘War Room’

By Susan Granger

The taut thriller “No Escape” focuses on an American family accidentally caught in geopolitical crossfire, just after the prime minister of an unnamed Southeast Asian country is assassinated.

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Exhausted after flying from Austin, Texas, to take a new corporate job, jet-lagged Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson), his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and their two young daughters (Sterling Jerins, Claire Grace) cannot find their assigned driver at the airport.

That’s where they’re befriended by Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), a garrulous British ex-pat who’s also staying at the posh Imperial Lotus Hotel. Several hours after Hammond and his genial taxi-driver buddy deliver them to their rooms, armed rebels begin a violent rampage through the city, determined to kill all Americans.

Trying to survive amid a parent’s worst nightmare, Jack, Annie and the girls run to the hotel’s rooftop, where they’re trapped. Desperate, Jack convinces Annie to jump to an adjoining roof and, literally, throws their daughters across a gap for her to catch.

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09/02/15 09:29 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Having Fun at Long Lots El Beach Party

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The annual Long Lots Elementary School back to school beach party today at Westport’s Compo Beach provided plenty of fun, food and games for all. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

09/02/15 05:41 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Creating Memories

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Some of the participants in today’s Long Lots Elementary School back to school beach party at Compo Beach posed for a group shot for their scrapbooks. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

09/02/15 05:36 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunoco Station Leasing Service Bays

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Passersby on Post Road East seeing a “For Lease” sign in front of the Sunoco service station, 322 Post Road East, understandably thought the whole property was for lease. In fact, owner Mike Devino, president of family-owned, Waterbury-based Mercury Energy, said the service station will remain. But he said the service bays, unused since the property was acquired in 2008, are available for a retail business such as a coffee and donut shop or a convenience store. “We use the bays for storage,” Devino said. “The space is underutilized.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

09/02/15 03:20 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Bedford Square Concrete Pouring Will Cause Street Closing

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Work continued today on the foundation of the Bedford Square project as Town Hall announced new street and parking lot closings because of the work. It said on Thursday the town-owned Elm Street Parking Lot will be closed to accommodate construction vehicles and from about 4 a.m., Church Lane from Elm Street to Post Road East will be closed as concrete pouring continues. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

09/02/15 03:01 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Foggy Start

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It was a foggy start today in Westport as the Department of Energy ad Environmental Protection issued an air quality alert for the area until 11 p.m. An air quality action day means that ozone within the region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards. View is across the Staples High School parking lot. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime BairaktarisJaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

09/02/15 08:44 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Hazy Morning

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September got off to a hazy start on Tuesday. View is looking across Sherwood Mill Pond toward Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matt Murray for WestportNow.com

09/02/15 12:15 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Maintenance Study Committee
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - UN International Hospitality Committee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Bedroom Farce”
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Beautification Committee
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance Executive Session
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

09/02/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Forum Airs Qualities Sought in Next Schools Super

By James Lomuscio

A fiscally responsible, digitally savvy, administrator willing to sit on the floor with elementary school children, and raise the district’s academic bar even higher while adding diversity were among the qualities a dozen Westporters tonight said they want in the next schools superintendent.

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Tonight’s session at Saugatuck Elementary School drew about a dozen persons. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

For more than an hour, the small crowd that had gathered in the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium shared concerns about the issues facing the Westport Public Schools—and the type of person best to lead as Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon retires at the end of this academic year after 17 years on the job.

It was the first of two community forums to be held by the Chicago-based search firm Hazard, Young, Attea (HYA) & Associates, hired by the school board. As second forum is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Town Hall auditorium

“Our process is really intense at this stage of information gathering,” said John Chambers, HYA senior associate, adding that the forum’s aim was “gathering information, gathering perspective from everyone who’s willing to talk to us.”

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Talking Transportation: Railroad History Repeats Itself

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Train crashes, passenger deaths, grade-crossing accidents, derailments. These are not just the recent history of Metro-North, but events dating back decades.

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A friend of mine loves reading the microfilms of our town’s weekly newspaper and has been feeding me clippings of all the stories about the New Haven line. The news reports sound all too familiar.

April 1939: Two lads on their way to hunt bullfrogs are almost killed crossing the railroad tracks near Noroton Heights.

January 1944: An empty train heading to New Haven smashes into a stopped local train at Darien, creating an explosion heard two miles away. The engineer is killed and 14 passengers are injured.

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09/01/15 09:07 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Coalition For Westport Picks Three P&Z Candidates

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CFW candidates: (l-r) Howard Lathrop, Glen Payne, and Denise Torve. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Coalition for Westport (CFW), a minority party that touts responsible growth as its goal and favored senior housing on Baron’s South, today announced its candidates for the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) in November.

The candidates are: Denise Torve, CFW chairwoman, Glenn Payne, CFW deputy chairman, and Howard Lathrop, party treasurer. Lathrop, a Democrat, had previously served eight years on the P&Z (2005-2013).

Already, the town’s Democratic Town Committee has nominated Paul Lebowitz to run for the P&Z in the hope of winning a majority, which now stands at four Republicans and three Democrats.

The Republican Town Committee has nominated four P&Z incumbents—Chairman Chip Stephens, Vice Chairman Jack Whittle, Al Gratrix and Catherine Walsh—for reelection.

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09/01/15 05:07 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Temple Israel Protester Granted Accelerated Rehabilitation

By Dave Matlow

A Superior Court judge in Norwalk today granted accelerated rehabilitation (AR) to one of two suspects who disrupted a May 12 luncheon at Westport’s Temple Israel, shouting about Palestinian rights.

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Daniel Fischer (at previous court appearance): must also do 25 hours of community service. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Judge William Wentzel granted AR to Daniel Fischer, 25, of New Haven for 18 months, including 25 hours of community service. He was also ordered to stay away from Temple Israel and not to contact anyone from the synagogue.  If the program is successfully completed, the charges against him will be dismissed.

Co-defendant Gregory Williams, 25, who was also charged with criminal trespass first-degree and breach of peace second-degree, has pleaded not guilty and will return to court on Oct. 15. Having a previous record, he is not eligible for the AR program.

An attorney for Temple Israel, Bruce Koffsky, who was present in court, submitted a letter from the Temple supporting Fischer’s AR request.

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