Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Second Night of Hanukkah Marked
The second night of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah was marked tonight with a lighting ceremony at a large menorah at Westport’s 400 Post Road East between Trader Joe’s and the Wells Fargo Bank. Following by one night the inaugural lighting of a menorah by four Westport synagogues at Post Road East and Main Street, this menorah has been lit at this location since 2005 by Beth Israel of Westport-Norwalk and The Schneerson Center for Jewish Life, CT. Rabbi Levi Stone (r) lights the menorah assisted by Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Celebrating Second Night of Hanukkah
Dredge We Must
Westport Financial Advisor Gets Year in Prison
A federal judge today sentenced a Westport-based financial advisor and former member of the Stamford Board of Representatives to a year in prison for defrauding clients of more than $190,000.
Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford sentenced Michael Lombardo, 38, of Stamford to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding more than 20 of his investment clients, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
He had pleaded guilty Sept. 11 before a federal court in Hartford to one count of wire fraud. (See WestportNow Sept. 25, 2014)
Prosecutors said Lombardo worked for Westport-based investment firm David Lerner Associates from approximately September 2011 to February 2014.
Power Outage Hits Long Lots School Area
UPDATE A power outage hit the area around Long Lots Elementary School today, police and fire officials said.
The school was reported without power shortly before 11 a.m. and traffic lights were out at Post Road East at Maple Avenue. Turkey Hill, and Morningside.
As of mid-day, Connecticut Light and Power Company said more than 150 Westport customers were without power. By 1:30 p.m. the number was 31 and an hour later full power was restored.
Long Lots Elementary operated on a backup generator during the outage, which provided limited service.
Selectmen Say No to Bridge Closure for Fireworks
By James Lomuscio
Westport’s Board of Selectmen today unanimously rejected a First Night Westport-Weston request to shut down the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge for a half hour to launch a seven-minute pyrotechnics display on New Year’s Eve.
The Board of Selectmen discusses the First Night request today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The request from First Night President Barbara Peason-Rac raised concerns among the selectmen and received wide criticism from the Police and Fire departments, saying the closure would hinder emergency responses when seconds count.
“I can’t imagine closing this bridge,” said Second Selectman Avi Kaner. “What if God forbid…”
Even though Pearson-Rac said the shut down would only be from 9:30 to 10 p.m. and that one lane would remain open for emergency vehicles, Fire Marshal Ed Zygmant called it “a logistical nightmare.” His sentiments were echoed by Police Capt. Sam Arciola.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Perception Illusion MAGIC”
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
5 p.m. - 400 Post Road East - Menorah lighting by the Schneerson Center for Jewish Life, CT and Beth Israel of Westport, Norwalk
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Earthplace - Earthplace Annual Meeting
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Parks & Recreation Commission
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Large Crowd Gathers for Community Menorah Lighting
Despite a constant drizzle, a large crowd gathered tonight outside the former Westport Weston Family Y building downtown for a Westport community menorah lighting on the first night of Hanukkah. The ceremony was led by the congregation leaders of Beit Chaverim, Chabad, Temple Israel, and The Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Weston and Wilton. The Schneerson Center for Jewish Life, CT and Beth Israel of Westport, Norwalk will light a menorah Wednesday at 5 p.m. at 400 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Lighting the First Candle
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe( r) lights the first Hanukkah candle tonight at the community menorah lighting with (l-r) Rabbi Yehuda Kantor of Chabad Lubavitch, Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn of The Conservative Synagogue, and Michael S. Friedman, Temple Israel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
A Wet Beginning to Hanukkah
Umbrellas were out to shield celebrants from a drizzle tonight as a Westport community menorah lighting took place on the first night of Hanukkah. Several area synagogues and Jewish organizations sponsored the new event with support from the Downtown Merchants Association and the UJA/Federation of WWWN. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that began at sundown and ends Dec. 24. It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “rededication” of the Temple in Jerusalem. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Posing in front of the menorah tonight were (l-r) Rabbi Greg Wall of Beit Chavrim of Westport/Norwalk; Rabbi Michael Friedman of Temple Israel; Melissa Kane; Rabbi Jeremy Weiderhorn of The Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Weston, Wilton; First Selectman Jim Marpe; state Rep. Gail Lavielle, Rabbi Yehuda Kantor of Chabad Lubavitch, and Cantor Luis Cattan of The Conservative Synagogue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Baron’s South Eyed Again for School Bus Parking
By James Lomuscio
Westport’s School Bus Task Force set out today to once again explore town-owned Baron’s South for parking and servicing 56 school buses.
Task force members confer on the Baron’s South property with consultants about school bus parking. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com
At the start, Michael Rea, a task force member as well as a member of the Board of Finance, said something others repeated throughout the tour: “We own it.”
“There are no neighbors, it’s on property we own, and it’s on a major thoroughfare,” he said about the 2.3 acres being eyed for bus parking.
The idea of parking school buses on Baron’s South is not a new one. It has been looked at repeatedly in past years as plans were proposed for a senior housing complex on the 23-acre site, a project now on hold.
Comings & Goings: Bagel Maven Back in Business
Westport First Selectman JIm Marpe was on hand early today with owner Alex Perdomo as Bagel Maven reopened at 538 Post Road East. It had closed in September after Perdomo said he was unable to come to terms with his landlord on a new lease. Although the business has been there since 1990, Perdomo has been the owner for only the past six years. Customers rallied to support him and the store was renovated prior to today’s reopening. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Once a Talk-Show Punchline, Busway Almost Ready to Roll
By Mark Pazniokaswww.ctmirror.org
It was a topic to avoid on the campaign trail, a $567 million punch line for much of his first term — “the busway to nowhere.” But now that he is re-elected and it’s nearing completion, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is embracing the rebranded “CT fastrak.”
On a tour by bus today over the 9.4-mile off-road “guideway” from Hartford to New Britain, a relaxed Malloy said he thinks he and others associated with bringing bus rapid transit to Connecticut will have the last laugh.
Click here for more of story
Making Progress at the New Sasco Creek Village
The new Sasco Creek Village, 1655 Post Road East, is taking shape. Demolition began in July of 33 mobile homes owned by the Westport Housing Authority that are being replaced with 54 new units. The $22 million makeover is projected for completion in November 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport