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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting Ready for March Library Book Sale

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Westport Library volunteers are busy in the lower level sorting room in anticipation of the spring book sale on March 14-17.  According to volunteer Dick Lowenstein (c, book donations fill the drop-off bins daily. He said the books, categorized into mystery, sci-fi, gardening, cooking, nonfiction, self-help and both trade and regular paperbacks are boxed and transported for storage by Homes With Hope personnel, to the Baron’s South Golden Shadows facility which has recently been cited for an Historic Landmark status application. “There are 40 all-year round volunteers dedicated to used book and vinyl record sorting. pricing, categorizing, labeling and boxing,” he said . With him are Bill Gluckman (l) of Norwalk and Pat Skelly of Southport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:17 PM
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Raymond J. Orr, Pearl Harbor Survivor, 92

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Raymond J. Orr of Westport, who as a 19-year-old seaman first class survived the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Jan. 16. He was 92. The grand marshal of Westport’s Memorial Day parade in 1996, Orr frequently visited Westport schools with other veterans to recount his war experiences (above in 2009, pointing to his ship, the USS Bagley). In 2005, he told WestportNow he was still shaken by the loss of 2,300 sailors on Dec. 7, 1941, adding: “and, as a matter of fact, not to be maudlin, when I die, my ashes are going to be spread over Pearl Harbor. It’s some spiritual thinking that I’ll join them.” See full obituary here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 11:35 AM
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Red Oar

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A kayaker makes his way in waters off of Westport’s Compo Beach.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

Posted 12:15 AM
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Thursday,  January 22, 2015


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - WestportREADS: Discuss “Dubliners”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Overcoat Film Series: “20 Feet from Stardom”
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Palliative Care: Team Approach in Caring for Those with Serious Illness
7 p.m. - Blue Lemon - WestportREADS 2015 Dine Around Town: Dublin! at Blue Lemon
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. - Room 307/309 - RTM Finance, Public Works, Parks & Recreation, Public Protection, & Education Committees
8 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Education

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Posted 12:05 AM
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

They Came to Fight a Housing Complex But Wrong Battle

By James Lomuscio

Many of the approximate 100 persons who turned out at Westport Town Hall tonight to fight a proposed five-story, 200-unit housing complex at the site of the Westport Inn, seemed to have picked the wrong battle.

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The Conservation Commission tonight considered an application by developers of a proposed five-story, 200-unit housing complex at the site of the Westport Inn. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Conservation Commission’s purview, as chairman W. Fergus Porter noted at the outset, was to look at the effects of the proposed development at 1595 Post Road East on wetlands and watercourses.

But those who spoke talked about noise, light pollution, zoning violations, strains on the sewage treatment plant, increased hydrocarbons from cars, the placement of generators—even West Nile.

“These are serious concerns, but this commission can only focus on issues within its jurisdiction,” said Town Attorney Ira Bloom.

More "They Came to Fight a Housing Complex But Wrong Battle"

Posted 11:36 PM
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Rotarians Briefed on Emergency Volunteer Duties

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Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury tonight briefs members of Westport’s two Rotary clubs who have volunteered to support Westport emergency management during emergencies. It was the first of three training sessions for approximately 40 members of the clubs taking part in the initiative. First Selectman Jim Marpe, who was present at the session at Fire Department headquarters, said,  “I’m both the First Selectman and a Rotarian and am elated to see the two Rotary clubs join together to support the emergency management team.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 08:04 PM
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Ice Jam

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The Saugatuck River near the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts was jammed with ice late today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:03 PM
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The Ice Rink to Themselves

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There were only a few skaters on the P.A.L. ice rink at Westport’s Longshore Club Park late today, allowing for unencumbered skating. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 05:38 PM
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Westport Baseball & Softball Preparing for New Season

Westport Baseball & Softball is getting ready for its new season.

It will hold a parent informational meeting on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Bedford Middle School cafeteria, an announcement said.

The meeting will allow attendees to meet the board of directors, officers, commissioners and program directors to learn about Westport’s baseball and softball programs.

Parents interested in registering their child for a spring baseball or softball program are encouraged to attend, the announcement said. 

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Posted 05:16 PM
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P&Z Chair Hosts Brown Bag Lunch

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Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) Chairman Chip Stephens (l) today hosted a brown bag lunch at Westport Town Hall for members of the Westport League of Women Voters (LWV). He used the occasion to urge greater turnout and interest in P&Z meetings “The frustration I feel is that not enough people attend meetings,” he said. “We hope people will attend and give their thoughts and suggestions.” He urged the the LWV to update its 1995 report on planning issues. “It would be a great help to the commission,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:36 PM
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Police K-9 Units Converge on Old Y Building

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Police K-9 units from Westport, Fairfield, Norwalk and Stamford converged today on the former Westport Weston Family Y building on Post Road East for a training exercise. They parked their vehicles on the site of the now-moved Kemper-Gunn House on Church Lane. Westport developer David Waldman, part of the Bedford Square Associates group redeveloping the former Y building, said the group has made the building available to Westport police for training exercises. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:34 PM
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Real Estate Report: Time to Prepare for Spring Market

By Judy Szablak

It may seem a bit early to prepare for the spring market in Westport, but don’t let this valuable time pass you by without taking full advantage of the forthcoming busy real estate season. It will happen upon us sooner than you might think.

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Featured Home: This home at 15 Apple Tree Trail is listed at $2,975,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis/Westport Beach (+) Country Homes

If you are selling your home, consider hiring a building inspector to uncover any unforeseen issues that a buyer would inevitably uncover, and fix them prior to your home going on the market. This could save you a lot of lost time, not to mention money. 

It is also a good idea to take this opportunity to de-clutter your home in preparation for going on the market, and among other things, paint if necessary.

There is nothing worse than becoming painfully aware that you were ill-prepared for the perfect time to place your home for sale, and then coming to the realization that your lack of action has wound up placing your home just “behind the market.”

More "Real Estate Report: Time to Prepare for Spring Market"

Posted 01:14 PM
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Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘American Sniper,’ ‘Inherent Vice,’ ‘Paddington’

By Susan Granger

Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated “American Sniper” pays tribute to the late Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL acclaimed as the most deadly sharpshooter in U.S. military history.

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Set in Iraq, the opening scene is riveting, as Kyle (Bradley Cooper) must decide whether to shoot a woman and a young boy. The same pivotal scene is repeated midway through the story -– at a time when it’s better understood. 

Prior to that, there’s the conventional biography. Where Kyle came from (Texas), how he met his wife (Sienna Miller) and why he nobly embarked on four tours of duty. Apparently, it all went back to Kyle’s father’s dictum that the world is divided into three types: sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.

Devoted to God, country, and family (in that order), Kyle envisioned himself as a sheepdog, protecting others, while his expertise earned the nickname “The Legend.” But when he eventually returned home, Kyle suffered post-traumatic stress, like many other soldiers.

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Posted 12:29 PM
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10:30 a.m. - Norwalk Transit District (275 Wilson Ave., Norwalk) - Westport Transit District Directors Budget Meeting
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Business Special: Taming Time Management
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Library Board of Trustees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Posted 12:05 AM
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

For the Community, a Close Look at 8-30g

By James Lomuscio

Westport Town Attorney Ira Bloom did not pull any punches tonight when he talked about the state’s affordable housing statute 8-30g that allows developers to override local zoning laws if a town does not have 10 percent of its housing stock deemed affordable—which Westport does not.

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Concerns about proposed multi-family housing complexes brought more than 100 to Town Hall tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“There are many examples throughout the state where a developer who’s been turned down comes back with an 8-30g application,” he said. “It’s legal. They’re using this process to make money.”

Bloom was the first to speak at tonight’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Committee meeting that drew more than 100 to the Town Hall auditorium.

The topic of 8-30g has been at the forefront over the past several months as two multi-family housing complexes—a 200-unit, five-story one at the site of the Westport Inn and a 186-unit one at Hiawatha Lane Extension in Saugatuck—have been subjects of P&Z attention.

More "For the Community, a Close Look at 8-30g"

Posted 10:29 PM
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