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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

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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09/01/15 11:05 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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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09/01/15 02:27 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Last Sunset of August

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Monday night’s sunset, the last of August, as seen from Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015


8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - TEAM Westport
10 a.m. - Westport Library: Book Chat
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”
Noon - Town Hall Room 309 - Arts Advisory Committee
1 p.m. - Westport Library - How to Produce and Air Your Program on Public Access TV
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - MakerSpace: Community Chess Piece
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Bedroom Farce”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals
7:30 p.m. - Saugatuck Elementary Auditorium - Lend Your Voice to the Superintendent Search

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

09/01/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, August 31, 2015

BOE: Whoa to $21.2 Million Staples Expansion

By James Lomuscio

Click here for PDF of study

Westport’s Board of Education tonight found an architect’s feasibility study to expand Staples High School by 36,320-square feet to the tune of $21.2 million to be more than they had expected.

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An artist’s rendition of a recommended Staples High School expansion module. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Fuller D’Angelo P.C. graphic

Members seemed surprised by the proposal. They said they thought the $20,000 study they had commissioned would address different ways to accommodate Staples’ swelling student population that is 100 students over capacity this fall—not full blown plans for a new building with a hefty price tag.

“The enrollment is the driver, and I’m just afraid that it’s two steps further than where we are now,” said board member Karen Klein.

“We need to fully vet all the other choices,” she added, saying that things, such as modular classrooms, larger class size and course tradeoffs, should be part of the study, even though she is not in favor of them. “We need to do our due diligence before we get to that point.”

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08/31/15 11:29 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Denis McCarthy Named Fairfield FD Chief

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UPDATE Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy (l), who retired as Westport fire chief in 2005 after a 26-year career here before taking the Norwalk position, was appointed Fairfield fire chief tonight. McCarthy, seen at a joint Westport-Norwalk training exercise July 24 with Westport Deputy Chief Bob Kepchar, was given a five-year contract beginning Oct. 1. He succeeds retiring chief Dick Felner. McCarthy is a 38-year resident of Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/31/15 08:11 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Balloons Blamed for Parker-Harding Crash

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A pickup driver who said his vision was restricted by birthday balloons in his vehicle clipped two cars late today in Westport’s Parker-Harding Plaza, sending one of the cars into the front window of the Washing Well. A female driver in one of the cars was transported to Norwalk Hospital by Westport EMS for minor injuries. The pickup driver told police he was taking balloons from his father’s house where there was a birthday celebration to his home for his children. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/31/15 06:03 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Vision Restricted by Birthday Balloons

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A pickup driver who said his vision was restricted by birthday balloons in his vehicle clipped two vehicles late today in Westport’s Parker-Harding Plaza. One vehicle went into the window of the Washing Well, breaking the window. A woman in a second vehicle complained of neck pain and was taken to Norwalk Hospital. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/31/15 05:58 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Brooklawn Drive Transformer Fire Knocks Out Power

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A transformer fire today on Brooklawn Drive off Easton Road in Westport’s Coleytown area knocked out power to the area. Firefighter Ben Racho looks at the transformer near 8 Brooklawn Drive. Eversource Energy said 60 Westport customers were affected. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/31/15 04:46 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 39 Compo Parkway

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 39 Compo Parkway, off Compo Road South, is in process. Built in 1920, the two-story colonial has 2,308-square feet, is situated on a .65-acre property and last changed ownership in August 1990 for $615,000, according to the Town Assessor database. 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

08/31/15 04:19 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Online Survey Aids in Schools Super Search

A community survey to help discern what Westporters want in a new school superintendent is now available at www.ecrasurvey.com/westport or can be linked to from the Westport Public Schools’ home page, Board of Education Chairman Michael Gordon said today. The survey will remain open until Sept. 18.

Gordon also said that the first community forum on the search to replace Superintendent Elliott Landon, who is retiring after 17 years at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, is scheduled for Tuesda, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium. 

A second second forum is set for Thursday, Sept. 10 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

Finding a replacement for Landon will also be the first item at tonight’s Board of Education meeting, as the search firm Hazard, Young & Attea offers a presentation of the superintendent search process.

More "Online Survey Aids in Schools Super Search"

08/31/15 02:34 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

In Its New Home

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Work was completed today on the installation of a donated sculpture to Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center. The 1991 work, “The Couple (Adam & Eve),” by William King (1925-2015), was a gift by the late artist Susan Rabinowitz Malloy, who died April 14 at age 91. The man is 12-feet tall, the woman, 10-feet. Looking over the work are (l-r) Tony McDowell, Earthplace executive director, Ann Sheffer, Malloy’s niece, Mark Hawes and Susan Holcombe of Bethany-based Hawes & Holcombe Conservation, and Kathie Bennewitz, curator, Town of Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

08/31/15 12:25 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New Artwork Installed at Earthplace

WestportNow.com ImageMark Hawes, of Bethany-based Hawes & Holcombe Conservation, today puts the final touches on installation of the 1991 artwork “The Couple (Adam & Eve)” by William King at Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center. The work was a gift from the estate of Westport artist Susan Rabinowitz Malloy, who died April 14 at age 91. (See WestportNow April 14, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kathie Bennewitz for WestportNow.com
08/31/15 12:06 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Joy of Summer—Being a Scooter Commuter

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It was standing room only today at the designated motorcycle and scooter parking “lot” at Westport’s Saugatuck train station. Sixteen of these two-wheeled vehicles (and one three-wheeler) fit neatly in an area that would barely accommodate three or so cars—one of the joys and benefits of scooter commuting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Joshua Prince for WestportNow.com

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Waiting

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Today starts the first full week of school for Westport students after Thursday’s opening. This gang waited for the school bus on Saugatuck Shores.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larysa Bemko for WestportNow.com

08/31/15 09:01 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Breach of Peace, Child Endangerment Arrest

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Ariel Aparicio-Jarro: held on $1,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Officers arrested a Westport man at 1:30 a.m. today for breach of peace and two counts of risk of injury to a child after he left his children alone while banging on a neighbor’s door to get inside, police said.

“Westport officers responded to a Sniffen Road residence on a report by the homeowner that someone was banging on his door and yelling to let them in,” said Capt. Samuel Arciola. “Officers located the suspect walking around the exterior of the house.”

Arciola said investigating officers reported that Ariel Aparicio-Jarro, 49, of 1 Sniffen Road, seemed to be intoxicated and that it was later learned he had left his 9- and 3-year-old children at home and unattended.

Aparicio-Jarro was remanded after being unable to post a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Thursday, Sept. 10

08/31/15 08:31 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Owenoke View

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The view of Sunday’s dusk from Westport’s Owenoke Park between Compo and Longshore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Meredith Holod for WestportNow.com

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Monday, August 31, 2015


9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
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”
7:30 p.m. - Staples Cafeteria B - Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and www.westport.k12.ct.us)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Levitt Closes Out Summer Season

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Chris Berardo & the DesBerardos tonight closed out the Westport Levitt Pavillon for the Performing Arts summer season.  More entertainment, however, will utilize the Levitt stage in September, including the eighth annual Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival next weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

08/30/15 09:45 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Large Crowd for Levitt Finale

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The closing act of this year’s Levitt Pavilion season in its new home tonight featured Chris Berardo & the DesBerardos. The Levitt opened the season of 50 nights of free entertainment on June 28 with Orleans. Ticketed events include “Don Felder – An Evening at the Hotel California” and the Little Rivrer Band.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

08/30/15 09:40 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Levitt Last Dance

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The last dance of this summer’s Levitt Pavilion season tonight was to the sounds of Chris Berardo & the DesBerardos. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

08/30/15 09:35 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon
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