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Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Hartwell Steps Down as Dem Town Committee Chair

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John Hartwell (l), chair of the Westport Democratic Town Committee, announced tonight at a Democratic potluck dinner at the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach that he has stepped down to concentrate on his race for the Board of Finance. Taking over is Keith Stein (r), vice chair.  Hartwell said while he has enjoyed serving as town chair, there was a need now to focus on Democrats regaining control of the finance board. The other Democratic nominee for the board is Sheri Gordon, currently serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Incumbent Democrat Janis Collins is not seeking reelection.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Nicholas Pisarro, Jr. for WestportNow.com

07/31/15 09:11 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Firefighters Extinguish Gas Grill Fire

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Westtport firefighters today extinguished a rear yard gas grill fire on Janson Drive. While stretching a hose to the flames, the 15-pound propane tank “vented,” sending flames about 10 feet from the valve connection, said Assistant Chief Larry Conklin.  The fire was quickly put out and the remaining propane vented using a fog spray from the fire hose, he said.  Conklin advised homeowners to keep propane-fueled gas grills away from the house, and, if possible, to keep the valve connection facing away from the residence.  Contributed photo

07/31/15 06:32 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Getting to Know You

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today welcomes Bill Harmer, the Westport Library’s new executive director, to Town Hall for their first monthly review meeting. Harmer, director of the Chelsea District Library in Chelsea, Michigan, was selected the Westport Library’s new executive director replacing Maxine Bleiweis, who retired after 17 years.(See WestportNow June 2, 2015)  Harmer assumed his duties in Westport on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/31/15 04:58 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Grand Larceny

By James Lomuscio

Westporter Stephen R. Krawitz, a New York personal injury lawyer charged with stealing more than $600,000 in settlements from more than a dozen of his firm’s clients, pleaded guilty on six counts in New York Supreme Court Wednesday, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

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Stephen Krawitz: to be sentenced Sept. 29. Westport Police photo

Krawitz, who was arrested at his Ludlow Road home in December, pleaded guilty to four counts of grand larceny in the second degree, two counts of scheme to defraud in the first degree, a spokeswoman for Vance said.

Judge Melissa Jackson promised him a sentence of four to 12 years, though Vance’s office had sought a five- to 15-year sentence, the spokeswoman said.

Krawitz, who has been held since his December arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept 29, at which time the court will also be issuing restitution judgment orders, she said. His bail had been set at $1 million. After pleading guilty, he was remanded until sentencing, according to court officials.

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Westport Police Seek Larceny Suspect

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The Westport Police Department today requested the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect in this surveillance photo. On Sunday,  a customer accidentally left his wallet on the side counter at the Country Store, 332 Wilton Road. After leaving the store, he realized that he had left it there and returned. While reviewing the surveillance video with the manager, they observed that the male customer behind him had picked up his wallet and then left the store. The suspect in the picture is described as a Hispanic male in his late 30s Anyone who may have information about the identity of the suspect is requested to contact the Westport Police Department Detective Bureau at (203)341-6080. Westport Police photo

07/31/15 03:07 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Spanning Generations, Same Look for New Bridge

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s North Avenue bridge spanning the Merritt Parkway today looked bareboned, much of its concrete deck jack hammered out, exposing steel ribs hidden for more nearly 80 years.

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The North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway as it looked today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

As the wind of rushing vehicles moved rhythmically below, Shalal Hussein, project engineer for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT), said it was one of four Merritt Parkway bridges under reconstruction. The others are the ones at Chestnut Hill Road and Perry Avenue, both in Norwalk, and Main Street in Stratford.

Like all of the Merritt’s 69 original bridges, each with a unique architectural design representing 1930s styles, the North Avenue bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“It’s a very gorgeous bridge,” Hussein said as he walked sections of the 1939 art deco structure, for years set apart by its black stone and parapets with fiddle-fern and flower motifs.

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North Avenue Bridge Repairs Under Way


Scenes today of the repair and reconstruction of the 1939-built North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway. Engineers hope to complete the work by Aug. 17. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com and CDOT photo

07/31/15 02:42 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New and Used Shoes Wanted

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe was Westport’s first donor of a pair of shoes to the Soles4Souls collection box today in the Town Hall lobby. Westport Attorney G. Kenneth Bernhard announced the collection box is available for shoe donations through the month of August.  Bernhard said another collection box is available at the Center for Senior Activities. Bernhard, who led a similar humanitarian campaign in Westport in 2011, said more than 700 pair of shoes were donated in the one-month collection period. The shoes go to people in need in the United States and abroad. (See WestportNow May 27, 2011) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/31/15 01:45 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Salon Theft Suspect Arrested

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Karla Malerba: released on $5,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Westport Police arrested a Derby woman on a warrant Thursday for stealing from the Post Road East salon where she had been employed, police said today.

According to Capt. Samuel Arciola, Karla Malerba, 31, turned herself in after learning about the warrant stemming from a larceny complaint by her employer back in January.

“From the complaint received, it is alleged that Malerba, while working for a local business, had stolen company money over a period of time,” Arciola said.

Charged with third-degree larceny, Malerba was released after posting a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Monday, Aug. 10.

07/31/15 01:02 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Cops Nab Suspected iPad Thief

Westport Police arrested a West Haven man Tuesday for stealing an iPad from a local business in April. Two other suspects had already been arrested.

According to Capt. Samuel Arciola, Sean Amendola, 41, turned himself in after learning there was a warrant for his arrest in connection with the theft at 877 Post Road East.

“Video surveillance of the crime was captured at the scene, which assisted in identifying suspects,” Arciola said. “Amendola was one of three suspects arrested in this incident.”

Charged with sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny sixth degree, Amendola was held in lieu of a $2,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Friday, Aug. 7.

07/31/15 01:02 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Property Transfers July 13 - 17, 2015

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period July 13 - 17, 2015:

Christopher Cocco to Brooke L. Coniglio, 2 Keenes Road, $700,000WNproperty.jpg

William C. Shope Jr. to Thomas L. and Jennifer C. Hassell, 68 Patrick Road, $900,000

Clorinda Fiorentino to Gregory W. MacCordy, 6 Lamplight Lane, $920,000

Jeffrey and Barbara Heil to John and Amanda Wilson, 3 Feather Hill Road, $2,325,000

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Friday,  July 31, 2015


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Level Up Village: Global Villagers TinkerShop
Noon - Westport Library - Travel Photography Tips from Alison Wachstein
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Jake, Max Garcia Conover, & Bonya Kleinman
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - The Sweet Remains
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Love and Money”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/31/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Driver Escapes Injury in Car Into Tree Crash

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A college-age male driver escaped injury tonight when his SUV hit a tree in front of 1 Terhune Drive off of North Avenue. He was the only one in the vehicle. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/30/15 09:02 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tonight’s Levitt Pavilion Performance Canceled

Due to the weather, tonight’s Levitt Pavilion performance by the Mill River Band has been canceled and will be rescheduled, organizers announced.

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Wet But Passable

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A late afternoon downpour today caused minor flooding in the railroad underpass on Compo Road South but did not impede traffic. The underpass has been the site of frequent flooding during previous heavy rains. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/30/15 06:05 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Coming Your Way: Another Crackdown on Hand-Held Cell Phone Use

Watch out hand-held cell phone drivers. Another police crackdown is on the way.

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Westport Police announced today the next wave of the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign against hand-held cell phone use, including texting, while driving will take place Aug. 3 to Aug. 16.

The new campaign follows a similar one in April that police said resulted in an 8 percent drop in mobile phone use by drivers at observation locations throughout municipalities where police conducted enforcement. 

“The drop in observed use is encouraging to law enforcement agencies, and demonstrates the need to reinforce to motorists that mobile phone use while driving is both dangerous and illegal,” said Capt. Sam Arciola.

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Picky, Picky

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Alex Rosado, head chef at Westport’s Post 154 restaurant in the former post office at 154 Post Road East, inspects heirloom tomatoes today at the New Milford-based Fort Hill Farm stall at the Westport Farmers Market. Rosado said one of the favorite salads on his menu is heirloom tomatoes with burrata, which he describes as the freshest form of mozzarella. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Stocking Up

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Westporter Ann Rully, buying squash and cucumber at New Milford-based Fort Hill Farm stall, was among the many shoppers today at the weekly Westport Farmers Market in the Imperial Avenue parking lot. Rully said she is a regular visitor to the market “about every other week” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/30/15 12:33 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Pine Killer Beetles Confirmed in Westport

The Southern Pine Bark (SPB) beetle, which destroys the Eastern White Pine, the fifth ranking species by volume in Connecticut, has been found in Westport where the trees are plentiful, Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay announced today.

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Evidence of the beetle presence is a popcorn-like blob on the bark. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) University of Florida photo

It is the first confirmed case of SPB attacking Eastern White Pine in Connecticut, he said.

Lindsay said nine pines in the town’s right-of-way on Cross Highway recently had to be removed after the state Agricultural Experiment Station Entomology Unit in New Haven confirmed the beetles’ presence in samples provided.

He said local arborist Ben Sykas of The Care of Trees contacted him about the location and potential presence of the SPB beetle.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Level Up Village: Global Villagers TinkerShop
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Sizzling Summer Film Series: “The Thin Blue Line”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Mill River Band Canceled
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Love and Money”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/30/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,’ ‘Trainwreck,’ ‘Paper Towns’

By Susan Granger

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” begins with a spectacular, pulse-pounding stunt in which IMF agent Ethan Hunt climbs aboard a huge A-400 cargo plane as it’s taking off.

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Yes, that’s really Tom Cruise! And the thrill-ride fun is just beginning…

Ethan’s on a mission when he discovers that a stealthy terrorists, known as The Syndicate, led by sinister Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), are working discredit the IMF by insidiously recruiting former intelligence operatives to destabilize countries and ‘eliminate’ major international figures.

Problem is: no one believes him, particularly incoming CIA chief, Alan Huntley (Alec Baldwin), who discredits him and the entire operation.

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Showing Off

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Members of the Westport Artists Collective gathered tonight on the deck of the Westport Arts Center on Riverside Avenue prior to their monthly meeting at which selected artists show off their works. In little more than a year, the group has grown to more than 150 members and held three “pop-up” shows. It meets every last Wednesday of the month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/29/15 07:25 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Show and Tell

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Westport artist Katherine Ross shows off a watercolor portrait of her daughter tonight during a “show and tell” at the monthly meeting of the Westport Artists Collective at the Westport Arts Center. Five artists are invited to show off their works in five-minute presentations at the meetings. Ross’s work is from her current show “Katherine Ross: COMMON GROUND” at the Westport Library featuring collage, oil paintings, watercolors, paper weavings and 3-D objects, all visually exploring how we are connected, generation to generation, through our maternal heritage. The dhow continues through Sept. 30. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/29/15 07:20 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘Sweet Sounds of Summer’ Finds Temporary Home

There will be an encore after all for the Saugatuck “Sweets Sounds of Summer.”

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The Silver Steel Band performs at an earlier “Sweet Sounds of Summer” concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Al DiGuido, co-owner of Saugatuck Sweets, 575 Riverside Ave., said today there will be a concert by the Silver Steel Band Saturday, Aug. 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 96 Franklin St., “thanks to the amazing generosity of the Shepard & Girden families.”

The address is a daily parking lot at the Westport Metro-North station belonging to Saugatuck Grain & Supply next to Luciano Park.

The series in the courtyard outside of Saugatuck Sweets was abruptly canceled on Friday due to noise complaints from neighbors. (See WestportNow July 24, 2015)

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 2 Placid Lake Lane

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 2 Placid Lake Lane, off North Avenue, is in process. Built in 1956, the 1-1/4 story cape has 2,876-square feet and is situated on a 1.56-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

07/29/15 03:17 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon
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