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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Special 75th Candlelight Pre-concert Gala Set

Next month’s 75th anniversary of the Staples High School Candlelight Concert will include a special pre-concert event to celebrate the milestone. Image
Adele Cutrali-Valovich, director of orchestral music at Staples, congratulates a student at last year’s Candlelight Concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for

The three free performances are Friday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. with the alumni performance at 8 p.m. There is free admission but tickets must be obtained in advance on the music department website at

An anniversary gala reception will be held at the Westport Inn on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. before the 8 p.m. alumni performance, organizers announced.

The cost is $75 per person and includes a reserved seat at the alumni concert, food, drinks, and music. On sale at the gala will be 75th anniversary logo wear and a four-CD musical retrospective of the concert’s 75 years.

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Posted 09:51 PM
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Assessor: Revals Set to Arrive Soon

Westport homeowners will receive initial revaluation notices for the Oct. 1, 2015 revaluation in the upcoming weeks,  Assessor Paul Friia announced today. Image
Assessor Paul Friia (at recent Y’s Men talk): Reval notices due out soon.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

“Every 10 years, the State of Connecticut mandates that the Town of Westport perform a physical property revaluation which includes inspections of each parcel of real estate,” Friia said about the revaluation done in conjunction with Vision Government Solutions.

“The purpose of the revaluation program is to develop accurate and uniform assessments based on fair market value as of Oct. 1, 2015.” he added. “This, in turn, will generate an equitable tax base throughout the town, distributed among Westport taxpayers.”

Friia said it important that property not apply the current tax rate, also known as the mill rate, to new assessments since it will result in an inaccurate tax calculation.

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Posted 08:28 PM
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Magazine Honors Ann Chernow

Westport artist Ann Chernow has been recognized as a Distinguished Professional in her field through Women of Distinction Magazine. Image
Ann Chernow: Distinguished Professional. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

She will be featured in the forthoming edition of the magazine, an announcement said.

With more than 50 years of practical experience as an artist, Chernow began her career at the age of 22.  Founding her art business as a way to promote and sell her artwork, Chernow’s website includes more than 300 print images of her work.

They are all based on specific impressions related to movies from the 1930s and ‘40s and refer to actual films, studio publicity material, fan magazines, and other memorabilia.

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Posted 06:38 PM
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Metro-North Sets Thanksgiving Schedule

Metro-North’s special Thanksgiving holiday timetable is in effect Thursday through Sunday, the railroad announced. Image
Extra trains are set for Thanksgiving holiday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Also, on Wednesday, there will be early getaway trains departing Grand Central beginning at 12:58 p.m. See a regular timetable for details.

Because of reduced ridership, some evening trains may be canceled or combined, an announcement said.

On Thanksgiving, additional inbound trains for those heading to the Macy’s Thanksgiving holiday parade.

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Posted 04:13 PM
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WYWL Donates Chemo Kits Image
The Westport Young Woman’s League (WYWL) collected, packaged and donated more than 60 chemotherapy kits for women receiving chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at The Smilow Family Breast Health Center at Norwalk Hospital. Lori Snow, WYWL community service committee chairperson, presented the kits to breast cancer survivor Janet Kiehn who accepted the gifts on behalf of all breast cancer patients that will start chemotherapy in the coming year. Pictured (l-r) Katherine Soto, coordinator, Norwalk Hospital Foundation; Richard Zelkowitz, medical director, The Smilow Family Breast Health Center; Janet Kiehn; Lori Snow, and Mary Heery, breast health specialist, The Smilow Family Breast Health Center at Norwalk Hospital. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 03:19 PM
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Sue H. Padula, 95

Sue Hays Padula of Westport, wife of Andrew Padula for more than 72 years, died in Norwalk Hospital. She was 95.

Born in Lynnville, Ky. to the late William and Esther (Dick) Hays, she was one of eight siblings.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her two children, John Padula of Fairfield and Andrea Padula of Westport. She was predeceased by her three brothers and four sisters.

She was an avid reader and loved gardening, interior design and art.

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Posted 01:22 PM
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Frank L. Richards, 75 Image
Frank Richards: Navy veteran. Contributed photo

Frank “Larry” Richards, husband of Helga Richards and longtime Westport resident, died Nov. 23 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 75.

He was born on April 13, 1940 in Detroit Mich. and was the son of the late Paul and Virginia (Torkola) Richards. He grew up in Detroit and spent summers visiting family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Family was the most important thing to him. He attended Northern Michigan University and was part of the ROTC program. He earned his degree in liberal arts and upon his graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy to become an air navigator.

He served his country during the Vietnam War and was a hero, receiving many accolades for his heroism. He met his wife Helga, while in the service and they had an international romance until they married in 1967.

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Posted 10:02 AM
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Winning Season for Boys Red U9 Travel Soccer Image
The Westport Boys Red U9 travel soccer team recently beat Fairfield or FUSA 7-1 to complete a 9-0 fall soccer season.  Coached by Jose Zito Corte, it was one of five teams out of 52 in the competition to go undefeated. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 09:39 AM
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Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Creed,’ ‘Room,’ ‘Love the Coopers’

By Susan Granger

With “Creed,” writer/director Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) has not only revived “Rocky” nostalgia but also introduced an entirely new character: Adonis (“Donnie”) Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), son of legendary boxing champion Apollo Creed. Image

Born out of wedlock to a mother who died, then shuffled through foster care and juvenile detention, adolescent Adonis is adopted by Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), who knows he’s her late husband’s illegitimate son.

Raised and educated in L.A.’s posh Baldwin Hills, Donnie lands a cushy corporate job but spends weekends prize-fighting in Tijuana - until he goes to Philadelphia to track down his father’s fabled nemesis/friend, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).

Still tending Adrian’s restaurant (named after his late wife), Rocky is reluctant at first but soon relents, patiently teaching and training Donnie. Problem is: Donnie’s determined to use his own name, which turns off ambitious promoters.

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Posted 08:49 AM
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Staples Player in Senior Soccer Bowl Image
Daniel Perez Elorza (2nd r) was Staples’ representative to the Senior Bowl played Monday at Middletown High School. The striker started for Region 4 (southwestern Connecticut, primarily FCIAC and SWC players). His side beat Region 3, 4-0. Selections for the Senior Bowl are made by the Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association. Others are (l-r) Max Atkinson (Westhill), Harry Allers (Wilton), Stathi Panagiotidis (Brien McMahon), Jack Brandt (Wilton), Andrew Mathew (Darien), and Patrick Prinner (Wilton). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 07:21 AM
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Sunday Sunset Hard Act to Follow Image
After a spectacular sunset Sunday, Monday’s looked pretty tame as seen over Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Meredith Holod for

Posted 12:15 AM
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

10 a.m. - noon - Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Dreamscapes”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - New Noteworthy Documentaries: “Dior and I”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
5:30 p.m. - Staples Field House - Westport Youth Collaborative Dodge-a-Cop 2015 benefit
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

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Posted 12:05 AM
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Monday, November 23, 2015

BOE to Seek $290K for Coley El Air Conditioning

After much discussion over the method of financing, the Westport Board of Education voted tonight to seek $290,000 to air condition the cafeteria and gymnasium at Coleytown Elementary School.

It is the only school among eight in the district that does not have air conditioning in these key areas. The issue has been in the capital project list since at least 2005 for the school, which opened in 1953.

At issue was whether the board should fund the project from its Capital Expenditure Offset Account and the Food Service Capital Account, as recommended by Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, or go to the town funding bodies with a capital project appropriation request.

A lengthy debate ensued, with member Mark Mathias summing up: “It’s a capital project. The Board of Finance as far as I know has always approved a request we’ve had for capital projects … This is the way it should be done.”

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Posted 10:50 PM
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Residents to State: Restore but Preserve Historic Bridge

By James Lomuscio

The message to Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) officials tonight from the 70 Westporters in the Town Hall auditorium was clear: preserve the historic quality of the Bridge Street Bridge when rehabilitating it. Image
About 70 persons turned out for tonight’s meeting about rehabiitating the William F. Cribari Bridge over the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for

“One of the things extremely heartening to me is the number of people here who want to keep the bridge the way it is or pretty near the way it is,” said Martha Hauhuth, a former first selectman. “Do we have a very good case of keeping the bridge as a historic structure?”

Timothy D. Fields, CDOT principal engineer, did not make any promises. Instead, he would like to reserve comment until further investigation. One of the state’s five options, the most severe one, is to replace the bridge with another one upstream.

The 1884-built bridge, formally known as the William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge spanning the Saugatuck River, is Connecticut’s oldest, surviving, moveable, hand-cranked swing bridge and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Posted 10:33 PM
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Board of Ed Told $630K Needed for School Bus Seat Belts

UPDATE The Westport Board of Education tonight was told it would cost $630,000 to add three-point seat belts to the district’s 41 school buses. Image
The use of three-point seat belts on school buses was discussed at tonight’s Board of Education meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The board asked for more information about the issue and put off any action until a future meeting.

The discussion about seat belts followed a memo to the board from Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon. He said he was raising the issue in light of a recommendation for use of the belts by Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Three-point seat belts, just like the ones installed on automobiles, are the preferred type of equipment for school buses,” he said in the memo and repeated to the board tonight.

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Posted 04:50 PM
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