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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Anonymous Option Offered on White Privilege Essay

Because of harassment messages received about its white diversity high school essay contest, TEAM Westport today announced that applicants would be allowed to remain anonymous to the public if they desire.

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TEAM Westport Chair Harold Bailey appeared on CNN on Feb. 11 to discuss the white privilege high school essay contest. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow photo from CNN

The contest, sponsored with the Westport Library, received national and international attention after The Associated Press wrote about it last month. (See WestportNow Jan. 31, 2017)

An announcement said the widespread coverage “has provoked verbal and written harassment of some committee members and Town of Westport employees and personnel. 

“The majority of this type of correspondence appears to have originated from out of town and, generally, from out of state,” the committee said.

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02/22/17 04:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Working on the Railroad

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Metro-North workers were on the tracks today at the Westport station repairing a rusty catenary and replacing wiring, according to one of the workers. He said it will require the rest of week to complete. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/22/17 03:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Himes: More Than ‘Words That I Use, Often Imperfectly’

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U.S. Rep. Jim Himes stopped by the Westport Arts Center today to make his declaration and have his portrait taken by “As We Are!” exhibition photographer Xenia Gross. The exhibition features portraits of people who have contributed personal material to express their individual views and experiences with labels and the power of words. In response to the prompt, “I am more than___,” Himes wrote:”...the words that I use, often imperfectly.” The Himes photo will be added to the exhibition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Leslie LaSala for WestportNow.com

02/22/17 03:24 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

More Words from Jim Himes

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The back of the “I am more than___” form filled out today by U.S. Rep. Jim Himes at the Westport Arts Center and now included in its current exhibit, “As We Are!”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

02/22/17 03:19 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Large Turnout for Mike Connors Service

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A large crowd today attended a memorial service at Saugatuck Congregational Church for Michael R. Connors of Stratford, longtime bartender at Westport’s Black Duck, former Syracuse University and Staples High School football player and Staples coach who died Feb. 15 at Bridgeport Hospital at age 58. (See WestportNow Feb. 19, 2017) Among tributes was this from one attendee: “Mike was the only guy I ever knew who could insult you and make it feel like a compliment.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/22/17 01:53 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Coach P: ‘Mike Had Charisma’

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Staples High School football coach Marce Petroccio was among speakers at today’s Saugatuck Congregational Church service for Mike Connors, former Staples player and coach, former Syracuse University player, and longtime bartender at Westport’s Black Duck Café. “Mike had charisma,” he said of Connors, who died Feb. 15 at age 58. “He could even make the worst player on a team feel like he was the best player on the team. Mike loved Staples High School football. The only thing in life he liked more was his family.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/22/17 01:48 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Gallery: Mike Connors Service


Scenes from today’s Saugatuck Congregational Church Service for Mike Connors of Stratford, a well known local bartender, Staples and Syracuse University football player, and Staples coach. He died Feb. 15 at age 58. His sister, Kelli-Connors-Gower of Maine, sang “You’ve Got a Friend,” a tribute to her brother. Kyle Connors, his brother, said: “Mike was charismatic and kind ... It was fun to go anywhere with him. Wherever you go, someone says, What’s up, big Mike?’ Everyone knew him.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/22/17 01:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Steinway to Host Concert Fundraising Gala

From Schubert to Brahms, a classical music festival is set for Wednesday, March 1, at 8 p.m. at Steinway & Sons of Westport, 501 Post Road East, organizers announced.

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Igor Pikayzen, concert violinist and 2005 Staples High School graduate, teaches a master class last month to Staples students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The concert is major fundraiser for Edelio, a nonprofit, first time, four-concert series scheduled at different locations throughout town this summer.

The series will feature classical, jazz, contemporary and final master classes by Staples High School students, according to Igor Pikayzen, a violinist, event organizer, and 2005 Staples graduate.

Pikayzen said the March 1 Steinway gala will include works by Schubert, Chausson, Feygin, Waxman and Brahms. It will feature Pikayzen on the violin, Tatyana Pikayzen on the piano and Caleb van der Swaagh on cello. A reception will follow.

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02/22/17 08:56 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/As We Are”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport School Days 1703–Present”
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Library - Red Cross Community Blood Drive
2 p.m. - Westport Library - February Vacation Film: “Storks”
4 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportMAKES: a Stop-Motion Movie with Jhonny Parks
4 p.m. - Westport Library - DeweyKnit Grade 4 to Adult
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
6:30 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

02/22/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Real Estate Report: Acreage Size Matters

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

There are not many homes in Westport that include significant acreage. In fact, only 3 percent of homes have more than 2.5 acres of property.

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Featured Home This home at 45 Beachside Ave. is listed at $9,490,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Halstead Property Westport

Sixty-one percent of our homes are on less than one acre, and just about one-third of our single-family housing stock is on half-acre land parcels.

According to our tax records, only 257 single family homes out of approximately 8,200 households can claim at least 2.5 acres of property. Less than 9 percent of these homes are currently on the market, and while the prices are significantly higher than the median price in town, they are well worth it for the privacy.

The 23 properties that are available as of now have an average price of $4,963,319, and an average lot size of 4.05 acres.

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02/21/17 10:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

Westport real estate price changes over the past week:

23 Old Road           $685,000->$640,000
132 Regents Park     $739,000->$736,500
6 Fermily Lane         $793,000->$749,000
6 Berkeley Hill         $860,000->$840,000
3 Ivy Knoll             $1,178,000->$1,128,000
(increase) 37 Center St. $1,299,000->$1,410,000
93 Roseville Road     $1,529,000 ->$1,424,900
1 Canning Lane         $1,795,000->$1,695,000
25 Maple Ave. North   $2,225,000->$2,185,000
7 Northfield Drive     $2,300,000->$2,280,000
56 Maple Ave. North   $2,499,000->$2,395,000
7 Tranquility Lane     $2,750,000->$2,399,000
3 Hillside Road       $4,499,000->$4,199,000

—Judy Szablak

02/21/17 10:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Himes Addresses Large Town Hall Meeting in Norwalk

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UPDATE U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addressed a wide range of issues tonight before a packed Town Hall meeting at the Norwalk Concert Hall. Himes promised to do all within his power to ensure that the Permanent Committee on Intelligence, of which he is a member, carries out a full investigation into what U.S. intelligence agencies have said were Russian attempts to influence the presidential election. However, he said the “right way” to investigate this is by an outside, nonpartisan panel. So many people turned up for the more than two and a half hour meeting that police shut down access once the auditorium was filled. The audience gave Himes a standing ovation on his entrance, prompting him to quip: “I’m living my fantasy of being a rock star.” The meeting, which the congressman said was his largest Town Hall gathering since he was elected in 2009, was streamed live on Facebook. Himes will hold another one Wednesday night at Bridgeport City Hall at 6:30 p.m. Facebook.com photo

02/21/17 08:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wrong Way

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The driver of a pickup truck late today backs up after realizing he is going the wrong way on Main Street. A police officer on duty at a utility repair site talked to the driver after he turned around. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/21/17 04:18 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Town Seeks Opinions on Website

The Town of Westport is upgrading its website and wants user input.

The site, http://www.Westportct.gov, was last upgraded in 2011 and since then new standards have been developed that make websites easy to use no matter the platform – desktop, tablet, or smartphone, said Eileen Zhang, Information Technology director.

Westporters and other users have an opportunity for feedback on the current website and suggestions for the future by completing a brief online survey of seven questions at http://www.westportct.gov/websurvey, an announcement said.

A Town Website Redevelopment Steering Committee will participate in the process and offer guidance and oversight from vendor selection through website implementation and rollout, said First Selectman Jim Marpe.

Zhang said she hopes to launch the new website by the end of the year.

02/21/17 03:09 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Expert Warns of Cybersecurity Threats

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In a Westport talk, Gary Tiger of Brookfield-based Southridge Technology today warned about cybersecurity threats to laptops and desktops. He told the weekly meeting of the Westport Rotary Club that 90 percent of passwords can be broken into in seven seconds. He urged attendees to create 8-to-10 character passwords that include at least one capital letter, numbers and at least one symbol. “Such complex passwords can take 20 years, rather than seven seconds, to decipher,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/21/17 02:42 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Closed for Water Main, Gas Line Repairs

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A segment of Westport’s Old Hill Road at the intersection of Kings Highway North is closed today due to the repair of a water main break and repair of a damaged gas line struck during the process, according to a Southern Connecticut Gas Company worker.  It was not immediately known when the road segment would reopen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/21/17 10:55 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunset Watch

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A bird’s eye view of Monday’s sunset at the Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

02/21/17 12:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Saugatuck TOD Steering Committee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/As We Are”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport School Days 1703–Present”
11 a.m. - Westport Library - PageTurners: “Ethan Frome” & “Zeena”
1 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - February Vacation Film: “Kubo & the Two Strings”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportMAKES: a Stop-Motion Movie with Jhonny Parks
7 p.m. - Westport Library - New Hospice Care Legislation
7 p.m. - 323 Main St. Bar - Westport Library Let’s Get Quizzical: Pub Trivia Night
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Green Task Force
8 p.m. - Westport Astronomical Society (182 Bayberry Lane) - Wilson Cauley: Planet or Star?

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

02/21/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, February 20, 2017

Westporter Playing with the Globetrotters: ‘A Dream Come True’

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Westport resident Chris Dobransky (c), a physical education teacher at a New York City high school, warms up with Harlem Globetrotters today at New York’s Madison Square Garden before joining in as a guest player. Dobransky, 33, who has mastered an array of basketball trick shots, was surprised with the invite last week. (See WestportNow Nov. 13, 2017) “It’s the mecca,” he said of the Garden venue. “It’s a dream come true for any sports fan ... My heart’s still racing.” He brought along his kids, adding: “They’ve never been here — and the first time they see their daddy play, you can’t write a better story.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo from WNBC-TV

02/20/17 09:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Presidents Day is Dog Day at the Beach

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Dogs and their owners were out in force today on this Presidents Day holiday. The weather was not as warm as Sunday—only in the 50s—but that did not seem much of concern to the Compo Beach visitors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

02/20/17 04:17 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Slight Adjustment

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The run of winter warm weather attracted visitors of all ages to Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Danny Cohen for WestportNow.com

02/20/17 03:46 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Malloy Proposes Bill Reducing Liquor Prices

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has submitted a legislative proposal to the Connecticut General Assembly that will update an antiquated state law that currently forces the owners of certain retail stores to sell their products at artificial prices set by liquor wholesalers, resulting in unnecessarily high prices for consumers.

Connecticut is the only state in the country that has a law mandating that the retailers of alcoholic beverages sell their products at a minimum price above wholesale cost determined by the wholesaler industry, Malloy said in an announcement.

This means that – unlike everywhere else in the nation – these retailers cannot set the prices of the products that they put on the shelves in their own stores. he said.

As a result of this law, which the state adopted in 1981, the artificially determined prices typically end up being higher than the prices that these products sell for in nearly every other state in the country, forcing Connecticut residents to either pay more money or travel to a bordering state where the identical products are sold at a lower price.

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02/20/17 11:16 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Services Set for Mike Connors, 58

Services have been set for Michael R. Connors of Stratford, longtime bartender at the Black Duck Cafe in Westport, former Staples High Schoool football player and coach, who died Feb. 15 at Bridgeport Hospital. He was 58.

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Mike Connors: popular bartender, football player, coach. Contributed photo

Friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m., meeting directly at Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Rd. East, with The Rev. Alison Patton officiating.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East,

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial contributions to Staples High School Scholarship in his honor to Staples Gridiron Club, 606 Post Road East,, Suite 619, Westport, CT 06880. See obituary HERE.

02/20/17 09:56 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Earthplace Bloomer

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The American Witch Hazel plant at Earthplace is in bloom in the butterfly garden. The plant, which is known widely for its medicinal/healing purposes, has a varied bloom time and is commonly the only plant flowering during the northeastern U,S, winter and early spring seasons. The warm temperatures also brought along local honey bees, which were active Sunday throughout the region. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

02/20/17 12:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, February 20, 2017 - Presidents Day


Westport Town Hall, Library and Public Schools are closed.
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport School Days 1703–Present”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

02/20/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sal Gilbertie Honored on 80th Birthday

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Family, friends, and local politicians today honored Sal Gilbertie, (c) owner of Gilbertie’s Herbs and Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane, on his 80th birthday. The event was hosted by the founders of the Green Village Initiative, who noted his generosity and commitment to the environment and to sustainable agriculture and business practices. Gilbertie’s, a fourth generation family-owned business that has been operating in Westport for 90 years, provides certified organic products all over the Northeast. Contributed photo

02/19/17 08:11 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Artistic Pet

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Westport artist Nina Bentley today caresses one of her artistic animals from her “Adopt-A-Pet” collection on the final day of a three-artist exhibit at the Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan. The exhibit, “Flights of Fantasy and Games Changes” also includes works by former Westport resident Jane Lubin, and Kim Hanna of Delaware. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/19/17 07:06 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Helping Hand

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Fynn Cringle, 1 1/12,  got a helping hand today from him mom, Marissa Cringle, of Westport as they walked along the rocks on the jetty at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

02/19/17 06:15 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Beach Football

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Some late day visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach today tossed a football in the spring-like weather. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktari for WestportNow.com

02/19/17 05:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Daisy Shake

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Daisy, a Golden Retriever, shook herself dry today after an afternoon swim at Compo Beach.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

02/19/17 04:51 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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