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Tuesday, July 28, 2015



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Comings & Goings: Old Town Hall Gets New Restaurant Image
The basement of Westport’s Old Town Hall, 90 Post Road East next to Restoration Hardware, is getting a new restaurant tenant. A rathskeller-type bar and restaurant, Rothbard Ale + Larder, will open by mid-September, “before Oktoberfest,” according to co-owner Joe Farrell, He and head chef Adam Roytman also co-own Walrus + Carpenter, a barbecue restaurant in Bridgeport, which opened in 2013. Farrell, who grew up in Westport and now lives in Stratford, said the 65-seat space would feature German, Belgian and Austrian beers and wines and a full dining menu. Real estate developer and landlord, Rob Haroun, described the eatery as having a “European beer garden” feeling. The space was formerly occupied by Tierra Restaurant, which opened in May 2014 and closed in March 2015 (see WestporttNow March 20, 2015). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 06:49 PM
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Real Estate Report: Inventory Absorption Rate Higher

By Judy Szablak

There appears to be a positive blip in the Westport real estate market over the last few weeks. Image
Featured Home: This home at 196 Hillspoint Road is listed at $2,199,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis- Westport.

Although next month is traditionally one of the slower months of the year due to planned vacations, and back to school preparations,  there is indeed more than a hint of promise for August.

Over time, statistics tell a very important story. Over the last few weeks, the absorption rate on inventory coming on the market and properties going under deposit has been higher than it has been for at least a few months.

A single-family market snapshot for the current period of today (less 90 days) shows that we have 10.26 months of inventory. The prior six to nine month report shows 13.06 months of supply. That’s a significant drop.

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Posted 05:12 PM
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The Rev. Pete Powell Tells Rotary Views on Religion Image
The Rev. Peter Powell, former head of Westport’s Homes With Hope, today addressed the Westport Rotary Club on the future of organized religion Powell, a former Rotary president, said there has been a marked decline in church attendance in the United States and contrary to many people believing Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, it is actually Christianity. Acknowledging he had numerous controversial beliefs, Powell, who sits on many church-related boards, outlined a number of them related to church and state: churches should pay property taxes, religious holidays should not be federal holidays, there should be no chaplains in the military, clergy should not be exempt from taxes, and clergy should not perform as an officer of the state, signing marriage certificates, for example, and “under God” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 03:04 PM
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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 6 Burnham Hill Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 11 Burnham Hill, in the Compo Beach section, is in process. Built in 1954, the two-story colonial has 3,577-square feet, is situated on a .4-acre property and changed hands last month for $1,118,700. 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

Posted 11:52 AM
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Birds, Boats, and Beauty Image
After Monday morning’s rain, the sun came out and Westport’s Compo Beach was another summer day to savor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for

Posted 12:15 AM
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Village District Steering Committee
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
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - CES Playground - Coleytown Elementary School Incoming Kindergarten Meet-up
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Critical Management Skills: Identify Employee Strengths to Assemble Dream Team
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Treehouse Comedy Club I
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Love and Money”
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, July 27, 2015

Ed Board Picks Search Firm for Landon Replacement

The Westport Board of Education tonight approved the hiring of search firm Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA) to help replace Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon set to retire next June after 17 years.

According to a school board statement, Hazard, Young and Attea is the Executive Search Division of ECRA Group, Inc. “with an extensive history of success in working with boards in high-performing districts throughout the Northeast and across the country to find candidates who will provide long-term leadership .”

School officials said that of the 328 superintendents hired with HYA’s assistance since 2000, 90 percent led their districts for several years.

“The selection of a new superintendent is the most important responsibility of any Board of Education,” said Michael Gordon, school board chairman.

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Posted 10:18 PM
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Dems List Candidates Prior to Tuesday’s Nominations

By James Lomuscio Image
John Hartwell: DTC head will seek finance seat. Contributed photo

John Hartwell, chairman of Westport’s Democratic Town Committee (DTC), tonight announced the slate of November’s candidates that the party plans to nominate for town boards and commissions Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Room 201 at Town Hall.

“There will be no surprises,” he said about the expected nominations following tonight’s announcement.

The party will put up Hartwell and Sheri Gordon, currently a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for the Board of Finance.

“I think there are a lot of interesting and important things going on right now, including Downtown Steering Committee’s Downtown Master Plan and the transportation initiative to get more people to use public transportation,” Hartwell said about his decision to run.

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Posted 09:59 PM
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Another Black Bear Sighting

Westport police tonight reported another black bear sighting, this one on Sunnyside Lane, off of Meeker Road between Bayberry Lane and Sturges Highway. Image
The sighting was on Sunnyside Lane off Meeker Road between Sturges Highway and Bayberry Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Google Map graphic

The report followed by three days a black bear appearing on the back deck of a home on Charcoal Hill Commons, less than a mile from tonight’s sighting. (See WestportNow July 24, 2015) It was followed by two other bear sightings in the area.

“This evening the Westport Police Department received a report of a Black Bear sighting in the area of Sunnyside Lane in a wooded area behind a residence,” a police news release said.

“According to the report the observer lost sight of the bear as it traveled through the woods. This sighting is not far from the area in which a black bear was seen over the past few days.”

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Posted 09:07 PM
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Talking Transportation: The Secrets of E-ZPass

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

As a college student in the early 1970s, I had a summer job as a toll collector on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Image

Boring job but great pay. But it was clear, even then, that toll collection would become automated, at first with special lanes with those baskets you’d throw your change into (assuming you had the correct change).

By the early ‘80s, New York and Pennsylvania toll authorities (which between them make up two-thirds of the nation’s $3 billion a year tolling industry) began experimenting with electronic toll tags, as much to reduce congestion at booths as to replace human collectors.

But it was Oklahoma that introduced the first electronic toll system, The Pikepass in 1991.

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Posted 07:11 PM
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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 11 Old Mill Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 11 Old Mill Road, in the Old Mill section of Compo Beach, is in process. Built in 1962, the two-story conventional has 1,436-square feet and is situated on a .1-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

Posted 06:13 PM
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Day is Done Image
Entrants in a Westport Cedar Point Yacht Club regatta race return home today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Irene Penny for

Posted 04:56 PM
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Malloy: New Haven Line Now Has All New Cars Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today used the platform of Union Station in New Haven to announce that the New Haven Line has totally replaced its old rail cars with the new modern M8 cars. The $1.2 billion project began in 2006 and 405 cars have been delivered, he said. Westporter John Hartwell (l), vice chair of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, joined the governor for the announcement. “We are thrilled with these cars and that there is a major transformation of the system under way,” he said. Contributed photo

Posted 04:09 PM
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Town to Establish Commission for Disabled

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe said today that he is working to establish a establish a Commission on People with Disabilities, “which will move beyond the requirements of the ADA and help those with disabilities participate more fully in community life.”

An estimated 10 to 15 percent of the town’s population reports having a disability, he said.

Marpe made the announcement on the today’s 25th anniversary of the signing of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

He said the planned commission aims to ensure that Westport “is a town where people with disabilities have the opportunity to enjoy full and equal access to lives of independence, productivity, inclusion and self-determination.”

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Posted 12:42 PM
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Rainy Monday But Work Goes On Image
Today’s morning intermittent rain did not stop work on the Bedford Square development in Westport’s downtown. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for

Posted 11:23 AM
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