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Westport Country Playhouse presents ART/RED, May 3-29, 2016
Westport Dog Festival, Sunday, June 5, Winslow Park, 10-4
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Volunteer Dog Walkers Needed

The Connecticut Humane Society in Westport (455 Post Road East, 203-227-4137) is in need of help from the Westport community.  Volunteer Dog Walkers are needed at the shelter for regular once-a-week / 2 hour block schedules to make sure the dogs get out for play time. If interested, please stop by or call the Connecticut Humane Society.  Thank-You.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

2009 In Pictures

Once again, WestportNow presents as a New Year’s gift to our readers a review of the past year through the eyes of Westporters who contributed photos, video and illustrations to WestportNow in 2009.

The year 2009 was unusually busy, and we are pleased to have been your No. 1 source for breaking and ongoing news coverage of Westport for the seventh successive year.

Dozens of persons contributed news stories, photos, and illustrations to WestportNow over the past year. The 2009 review, with video and drawings for the first time, includes almost 350 entries and represents the work of 30 photographers by name and one illustrator.

In 2009, WestportNow continued to record remarkable growth. This last week alone, while unusually busy, WestportNow had more than 90,000 page views and more than 15,000 unique visitors. No other Westport news source, print or online, delivers as many daily or weekly readers to its advertisers.

We urge you to patronize our advertisers and spread the word about WestportNow. We continue to be grateful for the public trust shown in us and look forward to continuing to serve Westport in 2010. Best New Year wishes to all WestportNow readers.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Out On A Call

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A Westport police marine unit makes its way out of the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach Monday night to answer a distress call. It turned out to be in another jurisdiction. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Two Steps Forward: Contemporary Cuban Art”
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Woman’s Club - Curio Cottage Half-price Sale
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series:  “The Hateful Eight”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Art”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Finance & RTM Education Committees
7:30 p.m. -  Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. -  Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Klaus Soennichsen, 69

Klaus “Sandy” Soennichsen of Westport died May 22. He was 69.

Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1947, he immigrated to the United States in 1950.

He grew up in Weston and graduated from Staples High School in 1965. After joining the Air Force during the Vietnam War, he later finished his college degree at AIC before eventually settling in Westport in 1979.

Since retiring as a high stakes supervisor at Foxwoods Casino, he enjoyed spending any time he could with his family, and having coffee with his friends at Oscar’s in Westport. 

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05/23/16 09:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Talking Transportation: Infrastructure – Dangling by a Thread

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

The recent fire under the Park Avenue viaduct in Harlem, which disrupted commutes of a quarter million Metro-North riders got me thinking:  our aging, crumbling and vulnerable transportation infrastructure is close to collapse, and the effects of such failure could be catastrophic. Consider this track record:

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June 1983: Inadequate inspections and repairs cause the collapse of the Mianus River Bridge on I-95 in Greenwich. Three people were killed and three others injured. For almost five months, 80,000 daily vehicles had to detour through city streets.

March 2004: An oil tanker crashes on I-95 in Bridgeport and the ensuing fire is hot enough to melt steel supports on the Howard Avenue overpass. Traffic was disrupted for a week.

September 2013: Con-Ed plans to replace a crucial electric feeder cable for Metro-North in the Bronx. The railroad decides to forgo the $1 million cost of a temporary backup cable and the main cable fails, disrupting train service for weeks, both on Metro-North and Amtrak.

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05/23/16 08:42 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Family Time

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Some Compo Beach residents enjoy family time today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

05/23/16 07:33 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Beach Gathering

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Young volunteers associated with Westport’s Department of Human services and some town officials gathered today at Compo Beach for a celebration. Representatives included those involved with the Westport Youth Commission, Teen Awareness Group, Toquet Hall Governing Board, the Mentor Program, Kool to Be Kind, and Safe Rides. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

05/23/16 05:38 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Woman’s Club Presents Grant to Project Return

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At Westport’s Project Return today, the Westport Woman’s Club’s Ruegg Committee stopped by to present their 2016 Ruegg Grant, in the amount of $10,000 for use in repainting the group’s facility, a historic house on Compo Road North, Project Return’s Laura Bard, development director, and Tessa Gilmore-Barnes, interim director, (front row,l), receive the check from WWC Community Services Chair Mary Gladden, and Jo Luscombe (front row r). Looking on, (back row):  the WWC Ruegg Committee’s Dorothy Packer and Nancy Saipe flank Dorothy E. Curran, WWC president. Missing from photo: Barbara Stemmer, WWC, second vice president, finance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/23/16 04:40 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Nancy Lou Mickune, 78

Nancy Lou (Pardon/Paul) Mickune of Westport, wife of Dermott Mickune, died May 22. She was 78.

She enjoyed anything that involved her faith, family and her friends. She was active in many groups within Assumption Church and was a past president of the Women’s Guild.  She loved spending summers at Hidden Acres with Derm and their many lifelong friends there.

Survivors in addition to her husband include six children; Kyle Mickune-Santos, Kim Sparano, Lisa Wheaton, Kevin Mickune, Sean Mickune and Nancy Mickune, 12 grandchildren: Brooke VanDeusen, Mike Calise, Christy Calise-Hall, Raelyn Santos, Keanna Santos, Johnny Sparano, Jamie Sparano, Sierra Santos, Morgan Columbo, Mack Columbo, Maddie Mickune, Katie Mickune and six great-grandchildren: Austin, Madison, Wyatt, Trae, Oliver and Niyah.

Viewing hours will be held on Wednesday, May 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Harding Funeral Home 210 Post Road East. Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Thursday May 26 at 10:30 a.m. in Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., for a Mass of Christian Burial.

05/23/16 04:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

25th Annual Hidden Garden Tour June 12

The Westport Historical Society’s (WHS) 25th annual Hidden Garden Tour is set for Sunday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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One of the gardens on last year’s tour. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

It will feature “six spectacular, not-to-be-missed gardens” in Westport and in Fairfield in the Greenfield Hill and Southport sections, event planners said

“Each garden has been carefully selected in honor of this 25th Anniversary of the Hidden Garden Tour,” said Edward F. Gerber, event chairman.

He said that several of the gardens were favorites of past tours, and are back by popular demand to showcase how they have evolved.

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05/23/16 10:36 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Landon Looking Back: ‘I’ve Been Lucky’

By James Lomuscio

On a recent afternoon, Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, 76, discussed how much the physical appearance of the Westport Public Schools has changed since he first arrived in 1999.

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Elliott Landon on eve of retirement: his greatest achievement is people. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

The Greens Farms School, which had been shuttered and used as studio space for artists in the 1980s, was reclaimed and a three-story wing added during his first year.

The former Nike missile site on North Avenue was reclaimed with the Bedford Middle School opening there in 2004.

The old Bedford Middle School on Riverside Avenue was totally gutted, becoming what is now the Saugatuck Elementary School.

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Marina Sunset

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

05/23/16 12:15 AM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, May 23, 2016


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Two Steps Forward: Contemporary Cuban Art”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Woman’s Club - Curio Cottage Half-price Sale
6 p.m. - Staples Room 333 - Board of Education Executive Session
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

05/23/16 12:04 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Saugatuck View

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A view from Westport’s Saugatuck Island tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for WestportNow.com

05/22/16 08:19 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friends of Sherwood Island Add Board Members

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Five new board members were elected today at the annual meeting of Friends of Sherwood Island State Park and later posed for a group picture with other board members and Park Supervisor Jim Beschle. Pictured (l-r) are Sheila O’Neill, Erica Caldwell, Park Supervisor Jim Beschle, Don Lord, Cathy Talmadge, Gene Borio, Liz-Ann Koos, Alison Rivard, Chris Scofield, Luise Bianco, Michele Sorensen, Nicole Dienst, Julie Wheeler, and Craig Patton. Not present: David Bliss. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/22/16 07:53 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Harbor Watch Director Talks About Sea-Level Rise

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Sarah C. Crosby, director of Harbor Watch at Westport’s Earthplace, today addressed the annual meeting of Friends of Sherwood Island State Park. Her subject was “Salt Marsh Development and Persistence with Sea-Level Rise.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/22/16 07:48 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Mets Welcome for Staples Freshman Team

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Staples High School Freshman baseball coach James Jordan took his team to Citifield today where they got a scoreboard greeting and watched the Mets defeat the Brewers 3-1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/22/16 06:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Letter: PAL President Explains June 30 Fireworks Date

To the Editor:

Fellow Westporters, I would like to clear up any confusion as to how the date of Thursday, June 30 was chosen for our fireworks display this year. There many considerations that must be taken into account.  The fireworks are always held on a weekday evening. We cannot shut down the beach on a weekend. The high cost of overtime is one factor and criticism from the public is another.

The logistics of clearing Compo Beach prior to opening it back on a weekend is also part of the calculation. If there is a rain delay the financial cost to the Westport P.A.L. runs into the tens of thousands of dollars a day.  A rainout on a Friday, postponed until Monday could cost upwards of $30,000.

The fireworks are the primary fundraising event of year for the Westport Police Athletic League.  We use those funds to provide scholarships to Westport students in college, the Halloween Parade, the Holiday Children’s Party, and the support of many other local causes. Our boys and girls athletic programs serve over 2,000 children annually. Please remember, at the heart of Westport P.A.L., “It’s all about the kids.”

This will be our 60th year of providing the fireworks display to the town. We hope that you will continue to enjoy what is truly a labor of love. I look forward to seeing everyone on June 30 at Compo Beach.

Edward J. Batlin
President,
Westport Police Athletic League
Westport

05/22/16 04:32 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Honored for Work With National Charity League

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Emily Rogers, a senior at Staples High School, was the leader in servicing the most philanthropy hours during her membership with the National Charity League, Inc.’s Westport chapter. The NCL mission is to foster the mother-daughter relationship in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. The Westport Chapter services 28 local philanthropies and its members worked 3,488 service hours this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/22/16 04:14 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Chabad Breaks Ground

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Chabad of Westport, which serves Westport, Weston, Wilton and Norwalk, broke ground today on a 14,000-square foot addition to its existing property, formerly The Three Bears Restaurant at 79 Newtown Turnpike. The project also includes completely renovating the 6,000 square feet of existing space. Taking part were (l-r)  Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, Rabbi Yehuda Kantor, Weston First Selectwoman Nina Daniels, and Westport Selectman Avi Kaner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/22/16 03:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Out for Sunday Ride

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Several thousand bicyclists today participated in the 2016 Bloomin’ Metric Bicycle Tour that started out from Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. Registrants had their choice of a 40-, 75-, or 100-kilometer course. Pictured are riders on Westport’s Morningside Drive South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

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Over the Bridge

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Riders in today’s Bloomin Metric Bicycle Tour make their way over I-95 at the start of the event which departed Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

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Look, No Hands

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A rider in today’s Blooming Metric Bicycle Tour demonstrates his riding skills. Several thousand participants were registered for the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

05/22/16 12:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Bloomin’ Start

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Riders in today’s Bloomin’ Metric Bicycle Tour set out from Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mike Joseloff for WestportNow.com

05/22/16 12:50 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WN on the Scene: Drone Racing in Hartford


Hartford’s Dillon Stadium on Saturday was the site of the Hartford UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Challenge involving a fast growing, grassroots movement of UAV (commonly known as drone) enthusiasts. They competed in various racing events to demonstrate their piloting skills. Among those attending the first such event in the Northeast was Westporter Mark Mathias, head of Westport’s Mini Maker Faire. “We plan on having some UAV events in Westport within the next year and hopefully something at the 7th annual Westport Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April 22, 2017,” he said. One aspect of drone racing on display was pilots wearing headsets that let them actually be “in” the drone so they’re piloting the craft as it is flying rather than watching it from afar. Organizers of the Hartford UAV Challenge said among its aims was promotion of Connecticut companies and individuals excelling in the development and application of this technology. WestportNow contributing photographer David Dreyfuss provided this photo report. David Dreyfuss for WestportNow.com

05/22/16 11:23 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, May 22, 2016


2 p.m. - Westport Library - Westport Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Recruiting Social
3 p.m. - Black Box Theatre, Staples - Staples Players: “The Laramie Project 10 Years Later”
3 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Art”
5 p.m. - Sherwood Island Nature Center - Friends of Sherwood Island Annual Meeting
7:30 p.m. - Unitarian Church (10 Lyons Plains Road) - Music on the Hill Jubilate Ringers Handbell Concert

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hiking in the Woods

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Local elementary school students hike to a river Friday for a picnic with the after school enrichment program at Westport’s Earthplace. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

05/21/16 12:58 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Talking NASA at Coleytown Elementary

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There was a special treat Friday for some youngsters at Westport’s Coleytown Elementary School. F. Richard Myers (r), a top official with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope project, visited the school where his sister, Annie Roesler (l), teaches kindergarten. He told the students about the scheduled 2018 launch of the telescope, successor to the Hubble Telescope and the largest and most sophisticated space telescope ever conceived. He later lunched with two children from every grade who were chosen based upon essays they wrote. Their questions included specifics about the James Webb Telescope, black holes, age of the sun and earth, and whether life will ever be found in outer space. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/21/16 12:13 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Music Scholarship Winner

Nicole Mathias, a senior at Staples High School, was awarded the first Joyce and Bernie Zimmerman Foundation Music Scholarship at this week’s Staples Choral Concert.

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Nicole Mathias: 2016 class awardee. Contributed photo

The scholarship is a special gift from the Zimmerman Foundation that is awarded to one male member and/or one female member of the Staples graduating classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 who plan to major in music.

Applications were subjected to a rigorous review process that included the evaluation of GPA in music classes; participation in various musical and civic experiences, and completion of an essay, an announcement said.

Nicole, who will attend Penn State majoring in music education, is the daughter of Kim and Mark Mathias. He is a Board of Education member.

05/21/16 09:08 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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