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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Marching Through Westport

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Participants in today’s march through Westport move along Post Road East to the rally point at Veterans Green across from Westport Town Hall. The protest took place under cloudy skies in 40-degree weather. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/26/17 12:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Hundreds Take Part in ‘March to Defend Democracy’

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Several hundred persons today took part in a march through downtown Westport called “CT on the Move March to Defend Democracy — One Small State, One Big Voice.” Demonstrators walked from Jesup Green to Veterans Green across from Westport Town Hall for a rally. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/26/17 12:33 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Letter: BOF Members Say Tell State Westport Is Not Its Piggybank

(Editor’s note: The following letter is from six Board of Finance members. Member John Hartwell decided not to participate)

Dear Westport Resident:

Westport has worked hard to prudently manage its finances and tax base.  All branches of our town government, many elected officials and volunteers, have worked collaboratively, on behalf of all residents, to ensure we have a high quality of life at a cost all residents and businesses can afford.  Sadly, maintaining this balance will be more difficult in the future.   

Today we are faced with grim economic news from the State of Connecticut. This is not a one-off problem and it will continue for years to come. Because of our State government’s inability to manage their budget and to control spending resulting in a projected deficit of over $1.5 billion next year alone, Westport finds itself in a difficult position.  Instead of tackling a State government that has grown too large and too expensive for the residents of CT, the State is largely trying to solve its budget problems by shifting costs to towns.  First, the State is decreasing or totally eliminating payments it has made to Westport for either education or other services which equals $3m-$4m in 2018 alone.  We assume this revenue from the State, which directly supplemented our operating budgets, is permanently gone.  Second, the State is discussing transferring ongoing costs from the State budget to the town budget, in the form of teacher pension costs.  If it does not come in the form of teacher pension costs, we still believe transferred costs will come to us in another form.

The total impact in 2018 will be in the $8m range (based on the proposals currently on the table).  Rather than pass these costs directly on to Westport taxpayers with a big tax increase, approximately $800 per household, the Board of Finance asked our town to come together as a community to find ways to slow the growth of operational costs.  The Police, Fire Department, EMS, Public Works, Parks and Rec, Library and Town Hall staff did what they could and they reduced their initial operating budget submissions by 1.5%. We also asked the Board of Education to trim its submission by 1.5% or $1.7m. This actually results in an increase of 1.0% or $1m over the prior year education budget.

Now it is time for the Board of Education to join with the Westport community to do its part, as they have before.  This is not the time for pitting parents against the rest of the community.  We must all do what we can to try to provide the best services to everyone in Westport at the most reasonable cost.  As we have learned in the past, it is indeed possible to slow the growth in the education budget without significant pain and suffering. For example, in the aftermath of the Great Recession crisis, the School System proposed an extremely responsive budget, and even gave back a sizeable year end surplus, with minimal impacts to our children.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017


Noon - Jesup Green to Veterans Green - CT on the M.O.V.E. March
12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Family YMCA - St. Baldrick’s for TeamBrent: Brave a Shave for Kids with Cancer
1 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Family Art Day: Create Your Family’s Modern Crest
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Harvest Wine Bar - Uncorked Wine Tasting benefit for Whittingham Cancer Center

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

03/26/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Downtown Restaurant Busy in Pre-Opening

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Amis Trattoria, the Roman eatery from Philadelphia-based Vetri Family of Restaurants, was busy with customers tonight in the new Bedford Square development in Westport’s downtown. It doesn’t officially open until Friday, March 31, but the soft opening drew Saturday night crowds. Owned by Urban Outfitters, which also owns the adjoining Anthropologie, it features seasonally-driven small plates, handcrafted pastas, local seafood and antipasti selections from Executive Chef Brad Spence. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/25/17 08:12 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Working Late at Anthropologie

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Anthropologie employees were working late tonight to get the new store ready for its official opening on Friday, March 31. The company said 150 full and part-time workers were employed to get the new Bedford Square in shape for opening day.  The store, owned by Urban Outfitters, is the anchor tenant in the building that formerly was home to the Westport Weston YMCA. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/25/17 08:03 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Remembering ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ 49 Years Later

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Actor Keir Dullea chats today with WestportNow film critic Susan Granger following the Westport Cinema Initiative screening of “2001: A Space Odyssey” at Westport Town Hall. Dullea, 80, a Weston resident, is best known for the character of astronaut David Bowman, whom he portrayed in the 1968 Stanley Kubrick-directed film. He delighted the audience by reciting from memory a complicated dialogue from the film that was full of numbers and obscure words. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/25/17 07:37 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Video: Keir Dullea on Stanley Kubrick: ‘Always Aware in Presence of Genius’


Actor Keir Dulllea tells a Westport Town Hall audience today how director Stanley Kubrick selected him for his most famous role as astronaut David Bowman in Kubrick’s 1968 now cult classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Asked what it was like working with Kubrick, Dullea said: “You were aware you were in the presence of genius.” He appeared with WestportNow film critic Susan Granger following a screening of the film by Westport Cinema Initiative WestportNow.com video

03/25/17 07:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

The Port Prison Penguins on the Move

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Members of the Port Prison Penguins from the Bridgeport Correctional Institute take part today in the Special Olympics Connecticut annual penguin plunge at Compo Beach. The plunge supports more than 13,000 athletes of all abilities who participate in sports training and competition year-round.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Head First

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One of the participants in today’s Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach goes in head first in the water.  Temperatures in the 50s under overcast skies made the plunge a little more palatable this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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In Action

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Members of Kohl’s Associates in Action were among those taking part in today’s Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Taking the Plunge

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Participants run to the water today at Westport’s Compo Beach as part of the Special Olympics Connecticut annual fundraiser. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Gallery: Special Olympics Penguin Plunge


Scenes from today’s Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach. WestportNow.com photos

03/25/17 01:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Marina Sunset View

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Friday’s sunset as seen from the Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

03/25/17 12:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, March 25, 2017


10:30 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Daniel Hemphy: “Irish Potato Famine & Effect on American Immigration”
11:15 a.m. - Westport Library - MathsAmazing - A Comedy Duo
1 p.m. - Compo Beach - Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge
4 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Cinema Initiative “2001” screening & talkback with Keir Dullea
6:30 p.m. - Birchwood Country Club - Dream Event: A Better Chance of Westport
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players: “Urinetown, The Musical” (last show)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

03/25/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, March 24, 2017

Community Barn Dance Benefits Wakeman Town Farm

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Westport’s Wakeman Town Farm tonight hosted a community barn dance at the Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Ave. The event featured contra dance caller Bill Fischer and The Fiddleheads, who provided the music. All proceeds benefit the classroom and kitchen addition to the farm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Oliver Gaffney for WestportNow.com

03/24/17 09:09 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Fire Assists at Weston House Fire

UPDATE Westport fire units tonight provided mutual aid to Weston at a fire in a house under renovation.

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Flames were shooting out from the rear of the house on arrival of the first firefighters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Weston Volunteer Fire Department photo

The alarm came in shortly after 8 p.m. for the fire at 8 White Birch Road just over the Westport line in Weston.

No injuries were reported.

Weston fire reported heavy fire on the second floor of the structure on their arrival.

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03/24/17 08:42 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Police: Weston Man Stalked, Violated Protective Order

Westport officers arrested a Weston man for violating a protective order and stalking, police said today.

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Thomas Gionis: free on $300,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Thomas Gionis, 60, was arrested Wednesday night following a report of possible stalking at Pearl Restaurant, 260 Compo Road South.

“The victim of this incident has a full, no contact restraining order and protective order against a Thomas Gionis, stemming from a previous case involving the stalking of this victim by Gionis,” Lt. David Farrell said.

He said that Gionis was seen outside the restaurant while the victim was inside.

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03/24/17 03:29 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Arrests in Subway’s December Smash and Grab, Deli Burglary Attempt

Two Bridgeport men who used a cinder block to smash the glass door of Subway at 940 Post Road East were arrested Wednesday, police said today.

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Keron Nixon (l) and Roman Nieves: held on $50,000 bond each. Westport Police photos

Lt. David Farrell said Roman Nieves, 37, and Keron Nixon, 34, had been arrested for similar burglaries in other towns.

Detectives followed up with Seymour, Stratford, Ansonia and Milford Police departments where the same type of burglaries occurred.

The suspects were interviewed and confessed to the Dec.17 Subway burglary in which a cash drawer containing $400 was taken, Farrell said.

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Police: Woman Charged With Credit Card Fraud

Officers arrested an Oceanside, N.Y. woman Thursday for racking up $27,000 in fraudulent charges on a Westporter’s credit card, police said today.

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Rachael Alexander: held on $85,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Rachael Alexander, 39, turned herself in on a warrant at Police Headquarters on a variety of larceny, conspiracy, identity theft and illegal use of a credit card charges that date back to November 2014 when the victim filed a report.

“Officers learned that $13,000 was charged to the victim’s credit card from a fraudulent company,” said Lt. David Farrell.

“As Detectives investigated this crime, they discovered multiple other fraudulent companies which were created by Rachael Alexander and a co-conspirator who has not been arrested as of this date.”

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03/24/17 02:46 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Arrest Follows Failure-to-Scan Scam

Westport officers arrested a Bridgeport woman employed at The Gap, 125 Main St. for ongoing, internal theft, police said today.

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Claudia Elliston: held on $5,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Claudia Elliston, 52, turned herself in on a warrant for fifth-degree larceny charges at Police Headquarters on Tuesday.

According to Lt. David Farrell, the investigation began with a report of internal theft on Nov. 12.

“Officers learned that Elliston was scanning the tags of purchased clothing for customers, then deleting the scans and removing the item from the customer’s bill,” said Farrell.

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03/24/17 02:39 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Police: Insider Stole Bridgewater Computer Data

Officers arrested a Hamden man working at Westport’s Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, for first-degree E-crime and the theft of computer services, police said today.

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Sankaranarayan Subramanian: posted $100,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Sankaranarayan Subramanian, 24, was arrested Thursday based on an investigation that began in November into the theft of confidential Bridgewater IT documents from the company’s headquarters at 1 Glendinning Place.

According to Lt. David Farrell, Subramanian was a consultant working on site when Bridgewater IT security determined that Subramanian had emailed himself, on several occasions, multiple confidential Bridgewater IT documents from his Bridgewater account to his personal account without authorization.

“Subramanian intentionally and without authorization made copies, in the form of print and email data transfer, of data residing in the Bridgewater Associates computer system and by taking data intended for the use by that computer system,” Farrell said.

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03/24/17 02:14 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Property Transfers Mar. 6 - 10, 2017

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Mar. 6 - 10, 2017:

Edward S. and Patricia Gutman to Jasper and Amanda Lewitton, 28 Little Fox Lane, $1,370,000WNproperty.jpg

Amalgamated Realty Co. LLC to Greens Farms Centre Assoc, 18 - 26 Imperial Ave., $2,650,000

1 Loretta Court LLC to Michael and Anita Hayes, 1 Loretta Court, $2,400,000

Tara Smith to James D. Akerson and Lisa M. Gustafson, 12 Hilltop Trail, $1,300,000

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03/24/17 01:00 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Dems Eyeing Sales Tax Increase

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

While Gov. Dannel P. Malloy continues to push spending cuts as the chief solution to Connecticut’s latest budget crisis, his fellow Democrats on one key panel say a more balanced mix of reductions and revenue might be unavoidable.

With more than $1.2 billion in uncertainties in each year of Malloy’s two-year plan, Democratic leaders of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee are exploring a sales tax increase to stabilize finances in the next two fiscal years.

“I don’t think raising taxes is anybody’s first choice,” said Rep. Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford. “But I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say we weren’t looking at some revenue.”

“From the beginning I said this was a three-legged stool,” Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, said. “We need to help the cities. That means we also have to help many of our towns. And we still need to balance the state budget.”

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03/24/17 12:52 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WHS Kicks Off Events Marking 1777 British Raid

The Westport Historical Society (WHS) on Sunday, April 2 kicks off events of American Revolution Month marking the 240th anniversary of the 1777 British raid on Danbury that began with a Compo Beach landing.

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The Westport Historical Society exhibit runs through May 29. Contributed graphic

Its new exhibit, “The British Are Coming,” opens with a 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. reception. The exhibit follows the 1777 landing of British troops at Compo Beach and their march north to confiscate or destroy Gen. George Washington’s supplies in Danbury. 

Returning to their ships, the British fought the Battle of Ridgefield, outwitted Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold at Old Hill and battled the Patriots at Compo Hill.

The exhibit will feature maps of British troop movements, accounts of firefights between Redcoats and Patriots, portraits of the principal commanders, and displays of uniforms, weaponry, documents and tents, the WHS said.

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Remembering ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ 49 Years Later

Video: Keir Dullea on Stanley Kubrick: ‘Always Aware in Presence of Genius’

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Letter: BOF Members Say Tell State Westport Is Not Its Piggybank

Working Late at Anthropologie

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CT Resident Dies From Tainted Cheese, Recall Ordered

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Letter: BOF Members Say Tell State Westport Is Not Its Piggybank

Dems Eyeing Sales Tax Increase

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Westport Property Transfers Mar. 6 - 10, 2017

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