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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Celebrities Shine on Playhouse’s 85th Anniversary

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Among those seeing tonight’s performance of Michael Urie in “Buyer & Cellar” at the Westport Country Playhouse were (l-r) Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist; actors Chris Sarandon and Joanna Gleason; “Buyer & Cellar” playwright Jonathan Tolins; and 2016 Tony Award winners Stephen Karam (“The Humans” playwright) and Thomas Kail (“Hamilton” director). Gleason was in a New York production of Karam’s play “Sons of the Prophet.” Today marks the Playhouse’s 85th anniversary.  Co-founders Lawrence Langner and wife Armina Marshall opened the first show at the Playhouse on June 29, 1931. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Don Rebar for WestportNow.com

06/29/16 09:01 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tickets Still Available for Fireworks

There are about 300 vehicle tickets left for Thursday night’s P.A.L. fireworks display at Compo Beach, a Westport Parks and Recreation (P&R) Department employee said today.

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An estimated 10,000 persons attended last year’s Compo fireworks display. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for WestportNow.com

In all, 2,000 tickets, at $35 each, were made available for the event, said Emily Kristy, assistant to P&R Director Jennifer Fava.. When those are gone, about 50 shuttle tickets from Longshore Club Park will be sold for same price, she said.

The weather forecast is for clear skies during the day with a high of 86. Rain date is Friday.

Meanwhile, Westport police issued a fireworks traffic advisory, as well as caveats for those who walk to the event.

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06/29/16 06:00 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Barbara Butler Honored at Retirement Party

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In an often emptional ceremony, Westport bid farewell today to Barbara Butler, who is retiring Thursday after 27 years as Westport’s director of the Depatment of Human Services. First Selectman Jim Marpe led tributes to Butler at a reception at the Westport Center for Senior Activities and presented her with a commendation. Other speakers included Selectman Helen Garten, former First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, former Selectman Shelley Kassen,  Representative Town Meeting Moderator Eileen Flug, and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, who presented Butler with a commendation from the state legislature. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

06/29/16 05:01 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

A Moment With the Boss

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Retiring director of the Department of Human Services Barbara Butler shares a moment today with Sue Pfister, direcor of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, at a retirement party for her at the Center, Pfister kept a box of tissues close at hand as she and others paid tribute to Butler, who retires Thursday after 27 years at the helm. Butler said she she decided on retiring confident the department will continue its stellar ways under new director Sarah Heath. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

06/29/16 04:56 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

All Smiles After 27 Years

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It was an emotional farewell today to Barbara Butler, retiring director of the Department of Human Services, at a party in her honor at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. Butler said any success she had was due to her staff at what one speaker said was the gold standard for a human services department that is the envy of other community in the state. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

06/29/16 04:51 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Construction Crew Shears Off Propane Tank

UPDATE A construction crew today sheared off the mechanism on an underground propane tank on Bermuda Road in Westport’s Saugatuck Shores area, according to fire officials.

A Gault Energy crew managed to quickly stem the leak, which was reported shortly after 1 p.m., they said.

The tank involved was said to be a 500-pound one.

Fire units left the scene at 1:40 p.m.

06/29/16 01:25 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Brush Fire Forces Road Closure, Train Slowdown

UPDATE A brush fire that broke out near the Metro-North overpass on Compo Road South forced a brief closure of the roadway today and a slowdown on the New Haven Line, authorities said.

The fire was reported at about 1 p.m. and the closure and slowdown lifted about a half hour later.

The fire, caused by a downed power line, was in the area of the town’s sewage treatment plant on Elaine Road. Metro-North initiated a slowdown on three of the its four tracks; the other track was already shut down because of construction.

One train was halted at the Green’s Farms station where some of its passengers disembarked, according to dispatchers.

06/29/16 01:11 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Constuction Contract Approved for Commuter Lot

After a spirited discussion, the Board of Selectmen voted 2-0 today to approve awarding of a controversial construction project contract to renovate commuter parking Lot No. 1 at the Metro-North Westport station at Saugatuck.

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Lot No. 1 often is at full capacity with 321 spaces. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Avi Kaner voted in favor of the award to Norwalk-based Deering Construction Co. while Selectman Helen Garten abstained, saying, “Maybe we should have a broader discussion.”

The project generated much controversy earlier this month when, after almost three hours of discussion, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) on a 24-2 vote with three abstentions approved a $1.5 million appropriation. (See WestportNow June 8, 2016)

The controversy arose over an original plan to reduce the lot’s five exits to one as some commuters and RTM members feared this would add additional time to exit the lot. But after a real-time test on the eve of the vote, a second exit was added to the plan.

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06/29/16 11:27 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Improved Wi-Fi Service for Compo Beach

Visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach will experience improved Wi-Fi service under an agreement approved today by the Board of Selectmen.

The agreement calls for Cablevision to install a Wi-Fi transmitter in the Joey’s at the Beach snack stand, said Eileen Zhang, the town’s information technology director.

She said the transmitter will supplement town Wi-Fi transmitters already installed at the beach as well as the Cablevision one installed at the Ned Dimes Marina.

The transmitter will also improve Wi-Fi service at the beach entrance, Zhang said, where the internet is used to process credit cards for non-permit holders.

06/29/16 11:12 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

At 95, Ed Vebell Still Drawing on History

By James Lomuscio

The setting seemed cinematic, fictitious even—a worldly, wizened 95-year-old keeping two 18-year olds rapt and continually amazed, so much so that they would keep coming back to hear more.

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Ed Vebell: at 24, he drew Nazis at Nuremberg while thinking of his Paris girlfriend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

But that was the scene last week at the Compo Beach area home of legendary illustrator-photographer Ed Vebell as he hosted the teens—Wellington Baumann, a 2016 Staples High School graduate, and Aren Heitmann, a recent Fairfield Ludlowe High School graduate.

Baumann and Heitmann, history buffs who will attend Gettysburg College in the fall, are interning with Vebell for the summer in his loft studio. They seemed a good fit.

After all, Vebell, a World War II Army sergeant, was the key artist in Europe and North Africa for Stars & Stripes, the American newspaper reporting on matters affecting the U.S. Armed Forces. He was also the only artist allowed to cover the 1945, post-war Nuremberg, Germany war trials, which prosecuted members of the Nazi leadership.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2016”
1 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Race the Clock
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Buyer & Cellar”
3 p.m. - Westport Center for Senior Activities - Farewell reception for retiring Human Services Department Director Barbara Butler
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Children’s Series: Dirty Sock Funtime Band

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

06/29/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Comedy at Saugatuck

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Tina Giorgi of Long Island, a former school teacher, was one of three Treehouse Comedy Club standup comedians who entertained tonight at the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium, an alternate venue when the Levitt Pavilion schedule is threatened by forecasts of inclement weather. The other two stand-up acts were Joseph Anthony and Paul Bond whose performance featured guitar musical parodies. According to Brad Axelrod, founder of Treehouse Comedy Club, Bond will headline an evening’s entertainment in August at the Westport Inn. The Comedy Club, which traces its origins to 1983 in Westport, is Connecticut‘s original and first full-time comedy showcase. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 09:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Laugh Time

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It was laugh time tonight for the audience at Westport’s Saugatuck Elementary School watching the Treehouse Comedy Club performers. The show was moved from the Levitt Pavilion due to the threat of rain. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 09:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New State Budget Threatened Before it Starts

By Keith M.Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

With Connecticut’s new fiscal year set to begin Friday, serious issues — involving both spending and revenue — have arisen in recent weeks that challenge state government’s new spending plan before it’s even begun.

And a major Wall Street credit rating agency questioned Monday whether Connecticut’s fiscal house is in order, If not, the state could face its third consecutive year of deficits.

“With weak tax collections likely to carry over into fiscal 2017, the state has limited flexibility to maintain a balanced budget,” Moody’s Investors Service wrote in its latest Credit Outlook newsletter.

“Budget reductions are especially challenging to achieve in Connecticut, where fixed costs — the sum of pension contributions, retiree health contributions and debt service payments — claimed more than 25 percent of the state’s own-source governmental revenue in fiscal 2014.”

Click here for more of story

06/28/16 07:02 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Truck Causes Tree to Fall on Sylvan Lane House

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UPDATE A tractor-trailed hit a large tree on Westport’s Sylvan Lane today, causing it to fall on to a house at 10 Sylvan Lane.  The owner, Niall O’Oconnor was not at home at the time. He said damage to the house appeared to be minimal. Police talked to the driver before he was allowed to go. A tree crew worked to clear the tree as Sylvan Lane was shut down in the area of Post Road West. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 05:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Cleaning Up

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A tree crew works on Sylvan Lane today to clean up a tree which was struck by a tractor-trailer, causing it to fall on to a house at 10 Sylvan Lane. The owner, who was not at home at the time, said damage to the house appeared to be minimal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 05:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Updated Website Focuses on Implementing Downtown Plan

Just like the town launched a website two years ago to gather ideas to formulate the Downtown Master Plan, today it announced a website relaunch to implement the plan, www.downtownwestportct.com.

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The home page of the updated website of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Town officials say the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee (DPIC) website is an extension and continuation of the master plan public outreach effort which began in the summer of 2014.

“I am excited about the launch of the new website,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe. “I have stressed that we did not want a master plan that was just going to ‘sit on the shelf,’ but rather a comprehensive plan that was actually going to be implemented.

“The implementation process is where the real work begins, and the new website is an important part of that effort,” he added.

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06/28/16 04:54 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Compo Storm Clouds

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Storm clouds on the horizon kept visitors away from Westport’s Compo Beach today. Forecasters say the clouds will clear with good weather predicted for the Thursday night Independence Day fireworks at the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Meredith Holod for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 03:23 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Woman’s Observations Lead to Indeceny Arrest

Officers arrested a Bridgeport man on indecency charges after a woman said she observed him on two occasions masturbating in his car at a Westport shopping plaza, police said today.

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Gabriel Zayas: tracked through license plate . Westport Police photo

According to Lt. David Farrell, Gabriel Zayas, 39, was in his car in the parking lot at 606 Post Road East on Friday. The strip mall includes Earth Animal, UPS Store, Dunkin Donuts and Wish List.

The woman said she observed him inside his car, masturbating as she entered a store. On the way out 20 minutes later, she looked again and saw him doing the same thing.

Zayas was tracked down via his plate number provided by the woman.

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06/28/16 03:14 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Weather Wiz: U.S. Lags in Forecasting

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Jacob Meisel, a 2013 Staples High School graduate and rising senior at Harvard University, today told the Westport Rotary Club that the U.S. National Weather Service is lagging behind other world forecasters because of insufficient investment. Meisel, who has legions of area followers for his accurate forecasts of school closings and delays through his personal website, www.swctweather.com, is working this summer for a Harrison, N.Y. commodities firm where his forecasts aid traders in predicting movement of natural gas futures. His talk focused on how private industry is making forecasts more useful to individuals and small businesses while also determining how broader weather risk ties into climate change and is being increasingly used in the financial world. WestportNow.com photo

06/28/16 02:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Levitt Performance Moved Indoors

Due to the threat of thunderstorms, tonight’s Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts Treehouse Comedy Club performance at 7 p.m. has been moved into the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium, 170 Riverside Ave., organizers announced.

Food and beverages are not allowed, with the exception of water.

06/28/16 02:25 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Talking Transportation: Why Ferries Aren’t the Answer for CT Commuting

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Recently, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $325 million plan to re-introduce ferry boat service to the five boroughs charging the same fare as subways. The mayor says these boats could carry 4.5 million passengers a year.

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So why don’t we have ferries in Connecticut? There are several reasons:

Speed: In open water, fast ferries on the Sound could make 30 knots (35 mph).  But if they must sail up inlets to the downtown areas of Bridgeport, Norwalk or Stamford, that speed is cut to 5 knots, extending travel time.

Docking: To keep to their competitive speeds, docks would have to be located close to the Sound. That’s expensive real estate. And what about parking at those docks, and drive-time on local roads to reach them? Again, more travel time.

More "Talking Transportation: Why Ferries Aren’t the Answer for CT Commuting"

06/28/16 10:47 AM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 63 Turkey Hill Road South

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 63 Turkey Hill Road South is in process. Built in 1900, the two-story contemporary has 4,689-square feet and is situated on a 3.01-acre property. 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

06/28/16 10:13 AM Comments (3) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Human Services Commission
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2016”
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Library - June WestportMAKES: Build Telescopes Together
Noon - Town Hall Room 309 - Arts Advisory Committee
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series:  “Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Ordinance Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Buyer & Cellar”
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion Saugatuck Elementary School (170 Riverside Ave.)  - Levitt Pavilion presents Treehouse Comedy Club
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Cluster Funk, The Breadsticks, The Queen of Late
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

06/28/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, June 27, 2016

Enthusiastic Reception for Playhouse Play Reading

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There was an enthusiastic reception tonight for the cast at the Westport Country Playhouse following the script-in-hand reading of the family art caper comedy “The Late Christopher Bean” which is set in the 1932 era. Pictured (l-r)  Martha Stout, stage directions, David Staller, Ross Bickell, Jeff Biehl, John Skelley, Deirdre Madigan, Michael McCormick, Clea Alsip, Kristen Hahn and Mary Bacon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/27/16 10:24 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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Obituaries

John B. Cregan, 86

Frank J. Clark, 92

Arts & Leisure

Celebrities Shine on Playhouse’s 85th Anniversary

Comedy at Saugatuck

Business

New State Budget Threatened Before it Starts

Sconset Square Special Delivery

Community

Kolbe Cathedral to Honor Mitchell & Kuroghlian

Dodig Salutes Class of 2015 as ‘Fantastic’

Health & Fitness

‘Push Up Against Cancer’ Attracts Hundreds

Agency Head: Mosquito-control Funding Cut

Education

Yankees Honor for Orphenians

On the Field

Politics

New State Budget Threatened Before it Starts

Conservation Voters Honor Westporters

Real Estate

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 63 Turkey Hill Road South

Westport Property Transfers June 6 -10, 2016

Sports

Yankees Honor for Orphenians

On the Field

Special Reports
Special Reports

At 95, Ed Vebell Still Drawing on History

WN on the Scene: Frieze NY 2016 Art Fair

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