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Friday, November 21, 2014

Longshore Ice Rink Opening Postponed a Day Image
The Longshore Club Park Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) ice rink was scheduled to open today but did not. Workers on the site said it will open up Saturday at about mid-day. They said the ice was not ready yet and the see-through partitions along the border have to be installed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for

Posted 04:25 PM
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Sunrise Rotary Honors Student of the Month Image
The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club today honored Staples senior Ben Rogers as Student of the Month for his contributions to his school and his community. He is a math geek, an athlete, a tutor, and a member of the Staples League of Boys (SLOBs). He is also a trombonist, including in the pit for the current Staples Players production of “Hello, Dolly!” He and fellow members of Staples’ Tri-M Music Honor Society taught music in a Bridgeport elementary school. He plays baseball and also manages the basketball team. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Hal Levy for

Posted 03:43 PM
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Comings & Goings: Top Drawer to Close After 37 Years Image
Top Drawer, a women’s boutique at 1537 Post Road East, is closing. Owner Joan Rotman (above) and manager Mickey Kleefield and their staff have delivered personalized service to Westport customers for more than 37 years. A closing sale is in progress, and Rotman said she plans to be out before the end of the year. “It’s time,” she said, adding that she and her staff will miss their many customers with whom they have developed very close ties over the years. “Thank you for all your loyalty, caring and friendship,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Posted 02:31 PM
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Westport Property Transfers Nov. 3 - 7, 2014

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Nov. 3 - 7, 2014:

SAJ Ventures LLC to Christopher and Andriene Johnson, 6 Cardinal Lane, $2,499,500WNproperty.jpg

Kristin R. Harvey to SIR-14 Peaceful LLC, 14 Peaceful Lane, $670,000

7 Turtleback Lane LLC to Brian S. Mass and Felise G. Cooper, 7 Turtleback Lane, $2,350,310

Wendy P. Harris to Kevin D. and Leslie A. McNiece, 8 Cross Brook Lane, Tax paid in Norwalk, $590,000

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Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Whiplash,’ ‘Rosewater,’ ‘Dumb and Dumber To’

By Susan Granger

Writer/director Damiel Chazelle draws on memories of his music student days to create “Whiplash,” a compelling, coming-of-age drama about a prodigy who yearns to be a celebrated drummer. Image

Enrolling at a prestigious Manhattan conservatory, Andrew (Miles Teller) impresses embittered Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), an impatient, sadistic perfectionist who belittles his pupils and pits them against one another. Succumbing to Fletcher’s monstrous “practice” imperatives, Andrew relinquishes all semblance of a normal life.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Whiplash” is an abusive yet electrifying 8, defining the parameters of artistic sacrifice.

On a three-month hiatus from Comedy Central, Jon Stewart made “Rosewater,” adapted from Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari’s memoir, “Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.”

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Tunnel Walk Image
A man makes his way Thursday through the tunnel linking Westport’s Main Street to Parker-Harding Plaza. Westport artist Miggs Burroughs created the art installation, “Tunnel Vision,” which was unveiled last May. It features 16 lenticular images (Images that change when viewed from different angles) of the hands of Westporters. A website,, shows the images along with portraits of those whose hands are featured along with brief biographies. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for

Posted 12:15 AM
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Friday,  November 21, 2014

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Commission for Senior Services
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Perception, Illusion, Magic”
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Woman’s Club (44 Imperial Ave.) - Curio Cottage Thrift Shop-wide Half-price Sale
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
3:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Minecraft Meetup
4 p.m. - Westport Library - ChessClub (grades K-12)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Opening reception for annual juried members exhibition “Perception, Illusion, Magic”
7 p.m. - Barnes & Noble -  Linkee Trivia Tournament
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - The Next Generation w/ Alec Chambers
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players, “Hello, Dolly!”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Posted 12:05 AM
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama Actions Help Some CT Immigrants, But Not Others

By Ann Radalet

Washington – President Obama’s controversial move announced tonight to stop the deportation of millions of immigrants will help thousands of undocumented people living and working in Connecticut, but bypasses thousands of others.

The president said his use of executive action to change immigration regulations would help as many as 5 million migrants. The number of immigrants that would be helped in Connecticut is difficult to determine.

Connecticut has a diverse immigrant community with peoples from South America, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and Africa. Many are here legally, but an estimated 55,000 to 100,000 are undocumented.

Of those undocumented, the largest group that will be helped belong to “mixed families,” where some members are citizens or legal residents and others are not.

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Posted 10:16 PM
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Volunteers Sought for Thanksgiving Feast

More than 160 volunteers are preparing to serve hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners at Westport’s 44th annual Thanksgiving Day Community Feast. Image
Volunteers serve at last year’s Thanksgiving Feast. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

It will be held on Thursday, Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m and again be held at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 75 Church Lane, while Saugatuck Congregational Church completes its reconstruction from a November 2011 fire.

“The Feast is a wonderful expression of community,” said Frank Basler, Feast coordinator. “Ecumenical partners plan and manage it together. Local businesses donate goods and financial support.”

He said more than160 persons volunteer their time and talents, and the diversity of the guests who attend is extraordinary.

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Posted 08:30 PM
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Malloy’s Emergency Budget Cuts Fall on Social Services, Education

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today ordered almost $48 million in emergency budget cuts, imposing the deepest cuts on social services, education and culture and tourism promotion.

The cuts, which do not require legislative approval, whittle the nearly $100 million deficit Malloy projected last week down to $52 million.

The governor also asked the Legislative and Judicial branches, whose budgets he cannot reduce unilaterally, to accept another $6.9 million in cuts. If granted, those potential reductions, along with $66,000 in reductions volunteered by the state’s watchdog agencies—which also are exempted from mandatory rescissions—would lower the deficit to $45 million.

And while the remaining shortfall represents only one-quarter of 1 percent of the state’s general fund – which covers the bulk of operating costs in this year’s overall $19 billion state budget, the potential for more red ink remains.

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Posted 05:46 PM
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Despite GOP Opposition, Senate Confirms New CT Judge

By Ann Radalet

Washington – New Haven Corporation Counsel Victor Allen Bolden was confirmed by the U.S. Senate today to a federal judgeship in Connecticut on a narrow 49-46 vote. Image
Victor Bolden: former ACLU lawyer. New Haven Independent photo

All Senate Republicans opposed the nomination of Bolden, 49, who has served as an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Four moderate Democrats also voted “no” on the nomination. They were Sens. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Heidi Heitcamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana.

Bolden’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut had been controversial since it was considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. All eight Republican members of the committee voted against Bolden’s nomination, all 10 Democrats on the panel, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., voted for it.

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Posted 04:37 PM
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CT Gains Jobs in October but Unemployment Rate Remains Fixed

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Connecticut’s jobless rate remained fixed at 6.4 percent in October, despite the addition of about 3,600 new jobs, the state Department of Labor reported today.

The agency’s latest report also downgraded job growth estimates it had released two weeks before Election Day. Back on Oct. 20, labor officials said Connecticut gained 11,500 jobs in September, it’s single-largest monthly gain since April 1994. But Thursday it revised the September gain downward by 1,000 jobs to 10,500.

“Connecticut’s job market continues to steadily add jobs this year at its best pace since the recovery began, and that growth seems to be drawing more people into the labor force,” said Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research.

“These numbers are another sign of progress,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today.  ” ... We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure Connecticut remains on a path towards an economic revival.  By working with the business community on expanding their operations or relocating to our state, we are putting Connecticut on the path to long-term prosperity.”

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Posted 01:27 PM
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Carol V. Caldwell, 78

Carol V. Caldwell, wife of Thomas W. Caldwell Jr. and 30-year resident of Easton, died Nov. 18 at Bridgeport Hospital. She was 78. 

She was born in Norwalk on Aug. 5, 1936, the daughter of the late Henry and Alice (Bard) Vornkahl.

She was an upbeat and optimistic person and remained so during her illness, her family said. She was a folk art painter and her family and friends have many remembrances of her through her artwork. 

She was also an avid reader and instilled in her children and grandchildren her love of art and literature. She also was a diehard New York Yankees fan, even when that was not popular. She will be especially missed by her dog Winston. 

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Posted 12:39 PM
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Renee H. Cooper, 92

Renee Haas Cooper of Richmond, Va., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 12. She was 92.

She died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, where she had volunteered for 25 years, after surgery to remove blood clots from her legs, said her son, Philip Millstein of Princeton, N.J.

She was the daughter of Burton Franklin Haas and Essye Voltter Haas, of Plainfield, N.J. and Manhattan.

She studied art at the University of Wisconsin and Hunter College. Upon graduation at age 20, she turned down a job offer from Walt Disney so that she could design ships for the U.S. Navy and serve as an air raid warden during the war.

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Posted 11:44 AM
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Saint Luke Parish Hosts Annual Harvest Fair

The annual Harvest Fair at Saint Luke Parish in Westport will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The Fair will feature vendors with a variety of products including holiday gift items such as jewelry and gift baskets, holiday baked goods, a “Shabby Chic” boutique, as well as a cafe. Admission is free and all proceeds will benefit charity.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. Saint Luke Parish Harvest Fair is located at Saint Luke Church, 49 Turkey Hill Road North.

For more information, call (203)222-0478 or visit

Posted 10:15 AM
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