Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tackling Unrealistic Body Images and Their Toll

By James Lomuscio

Dustyn Levenson, a senior at Westport’s Staples High School, recalled how the onslaught of media pressure to have an unrealistic body grabbed hold of her as early as elementary school.

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The Staples students participating in Reshaping Reality. Dustyn Levenson is at bottom row, center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“I remember being affected in the fourth grade, and in middle school it was worse,” she said. “I was vulnerable and insecure, and you don’t know who to look to for direction, and you look to the media.”

What stared out as a diet, became an obsession that developed into anorexria nervosa by seventh grade.

“I was a competitive ballet dancer, and it obviously started out with a weight thing, but it ended as an obsession,” she said.

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04/24/14 11:43 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

New Cherry Trees Replace Diseased Town Hall Apple Tree

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Four cherry trees have been planted on the front lawn of Westport Town Hall as a diseased apple tree was removed. (See WestportNow April 9, 2014) The fourth tree is not seen here as it is behind the photographer.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/24/14 11:34 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Party Time: U.S. Coast Guard Taxed by L.I. Sound Galas

By Ann Radalet

www.ctmirror.org
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Last year’s fireworks at Compo Beach attracted watchers on land and water.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Pogue for WestportNow.com

Washington – When it comes to parties along Connecticut’s coast, the sky is not the limit for those who can afford it.

Every year, dozens of private events are held on Long Island Sound, many involving fireworks, that tap the resources of the Connecticut-headquartered U.S. Coast Guard.

Some of those “marine events”—like the July 4th fireworks many coastal towns hold every year—are open to the public.

But often the Coast Guard is deployed to enforce a safety zone for a private party.

Click here for more of story

04/24/14 11:24 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tonight’s Westport Train Forum 7P Start Sted 7:30P

Tonight’s Westport train forum with Metro-North’s new president, Joseph Giulietti, will start at 7 p.m. instead of the previously announced 7:30 p.m.

It will take place in the eastbound station house at the Metro-North Westport station in Saugtauck.

In addition to Giuleltti, it will feature Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, members of the General Assembly Transportation Committee, and members of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council.

Commuters coming from Grand Central are invited to drop in and join the conversation, said John Hartwell of Westport, vice chair of the Commuter Rail Council.

04/24/14 10:52 AM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Burying Hill Takeoff

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Atlantic Brants take off from Westport’s Burying Hill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

04/24/14 12:15 AM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Thursday,  April 24, 2014


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 2014”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
2 p.m. - Westport Library - “April in Paris” Movie Series: “Jules et Jim”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)]
7 p.m. - Westport Train Station (Eastbound Station House) - Train forum with Metro-North president, DOT commissioner Time change
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Youth Commission General Meeting
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Parks & Recreation Meeting

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Now Two Compo Concepts: One With, One Without Beachfront Cars

By James Lomuscio

Not wanting a repeat of the shouting matches that marked the last Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee meeting, chair Andy Moss tonight set the ground rules early for the public.

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It was a full house at tonight’s Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee meeting, but the public had little input as it was a working meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“This is our time to discuss what we heard last week,” Moss told the approximate 40 persons who crowded Room 201 at Town Hall.

Some of those present were still champing at the bit to speak against a conceptual proposal in the beach master plan in progress to eliminate parking in front of South Beach, rerouting it to a parking lot. At the last meeting, the public loudly protested, arguing that a long walk would place hardships on the elderly, the handicapped and families with young children.

“We heard that,” Moss said. There’s no need to retread that.”

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04/23/14 08:57 PM Comments (5) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Boys Volleyballers Host Autism Fundraiser Friday

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Getting ready for Friday (l-r) Staples Co-Captain Todd Goldstein, KHS student Ethan Walmark, Staples Co-Captain Lucas Grevers, and in front Eliza Walmark. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Staples High School boys volleyball team will host its first fundraiser to benefit Autism Speaks on Friday at 7 p..m. when it plays Darien at home.

The event will include a prize drawing for four Yankees tickets.

Winner must be present to claim prizes.

The National Anthem will performed by Ethan Walmark, 8, a Kings Highway Elementary School student on the autism spectrum and musical prodigy.

04/23/14 05:59 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Outdoors: Via Sforza

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Via Sforza, 243 Post Road West, is today’s featured spot in our WestportNow series, Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months. According to owner/chef Dino Sforza (above), the restaurant opened at its current location on Sept. 1, 2005 and expanded with outdoor seating for 20-25 three years ago. He said that he serves many more customers at dinner (5 p.m. - 10 p.m.) than at lunchtime (noon - 3 p.m.). He describes the range of cuisine as “regional italian with a wood burning brick pizza oven to full dinners. Owner Sforza said prior to relocating to its current location, the restaurant was located at 250 Westport Ave., Norwalk, and closed in 2006. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/23/14 03:35 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Real Estate Report: Westport Again Defies U.S. Trends

By Judy Szablak

Despite a gloomy report out today nationally on March home sales, Westport’s March sales were off the charts with 29 closed single-family home transactions last month.

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This home at 4 Imperial Landing is listed at $1,497,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Remax Right Choice

Westport’s sales were up a whopping almost 80 percent from a month earlier.

This was in sharp contrast to the U.S. Commerce Department report today that sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dropping 14.5 percent.

The Westport divergence from national trends is not new. And Westport needs to do a bit of catch up work to equal last year’s sales at this time.

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04/23/14 02:23 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Drops to No. 9 in CT in U.S. News Rankings

Westport’s Staples High School came in No. 9 in Connecticut in the U.S. News and World Report best high school rankings released today. Nationally it was No. 303.

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A year ago in the survey, Staples was No. 7 in the state and No. 296 nationally. In 2012, Staples was No. 5 in Connecticut and No. 302 nationally.

Staples this year came in behind Fairfield County schools Weston, which was No. 3, Wilton, No. 6, and Ridgefield, No. 8.

The Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Hartford was rated No. 1 in Connecticut and No. 15 nationally.

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04/23/14 12:41 PM Comments (6) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Selectmen OK House Move That Will Cost 22 Baldwin Lot Spaces

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The Westport Board of Selectman today made it official by approving DC Kemper-Gunn, LLC as the successful bidder on a plan to move and renovate the 1895-built Kemper-Gunn House on to the town-owned Baldwin Parking Lot. The action was in response to a Planning & Zoning Commission complaint that no formal designation had been made. The board also approved modifications to the parking lot that will ultimately result in the loss of 22 spaces from the approximately 261 that exist there now. Karen Johnson, representing DC Kemper-Gunn, said new estimates put the cost of the move and renovations at $1.8 million, all to be borne by the developers. Selectman Avi Kaner (l) holds a computer rendering of the site while First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Helen Garten look on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlowfor WestportNow.com

04/23/14 10:50 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Sen. Murphy: ‘Putin Has Become a Bit Unhinged’

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U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a Westport breakfast today the Russian leader Vladimir Putin “has become a bit unhinged” in his actions against the Ukraine. Addressing invited guests from Westport, Weston, and Wilton at the Westport Woman’s Club, Murphy, who has visited the Ukraine twice in the past six months, said he expected the United States this week to announce new sanctions on Russia. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/23/14 10:12 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Murphy Recognizes Staples Young Democrats

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U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy today presented certificates of recognition to members of the Staples High School Young Democrats Club at a “pancakes and politics” breakfast at the Westport Woman’s Club, one of a series he is holding around the state. Murphy recalled that he was a member of the Young Democrats at Wethersfield High School and said it was instrumental in launching his political career. He said he would have been happy to present similar certificates to Young Republican Club members at Staples but was told no such club exists.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/23/14 10:07 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Murphy Says He is Pushing Northeast Rail Investment

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U.S. Sen Christopher Murphy (D-CT) (c) told a Westport breakfast meeting today that included local leaders that he is trying to build a new coalition in Congress to find innovative ways to increase funding to passenger service in the Northeast rail corridor. He said the key to Connecticut’s economic recovery is improved rail service to New York and Boston. He posed with guests (l-r) Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein, and Westport Selectman Avi Kaner.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/23/14 10:02 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Early Tax Returns Diminish Hopes for Big CT budget Surpluses

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

As the April 15 tax deadline approached, speculation at the Capitol was that tax receipts would rise. The only question was, Would they grow modestly, or explode?

But early tax returns have weakened hopes for any explosion, and raised the specter of something worse: Are tax receipts on the decline again?

This helps explain why the launch of keno gaming in Connecticut remains very much under consideration by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration and the General Assembly.

Through Monday, projected income tax receipts for April were running below budgeted levels by almost $108 million, or 10.2 percent.

Click here for more of story

04/23/14 09:18 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Matthew Mandell to Head Chamber of Commerce

Breaking with tradition, the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce announced today it has picked a community leader, not a businessperson, as its new president and executive director—Matthew Mandell.

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Matthew Mandell: “great opportunity” to make Westport better. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

A longtime Westporter currently serving his fifth term representing District 1 on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), Mandell has been a familiar, outspoken presence at RTM and myriad town meetings, championing causes the business community favors.

“Matthew has shown a rare ability to advocate and lead,” said Jonathan Baron, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors. “He’s imaginative and processes the right social and technical skills to break new ground in the changing landscape of business in our community.”

Baron said that Mandell caught the organization’s eye two-and-a-half years ago “with how he created the Slice of Saugatuck Festival to promote local businesses and his influence to promote what is now a new restaurant district on the west side of the river downtown.”

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04/23/14 08:00 AM Comments (7) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Selectman Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 2014”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
2 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Kemper-Gunn Advisory Group
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - Beautification Committee
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
5:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Public Works Committee Canceled
7 p.m. - Westport Library - World Book Night, Shakespeare’s Birthday, & Play With Your Food!
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Education & Employee Compensation Joint Committee Meeting
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Minecraft Grades 6-12

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

04/23/14 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting Ready for Beach Season

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A bulldozer was parked at Westport’s Compo Beach today to do some final sand work prior to the beach season’s official opening May 1; After that date, all cars must have an emblem to enter the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 10:01 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Lacrosse Hosts Sticks for Soldiers Saturday

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The Staples High School Boys Lacrosse team will hold its annual Sticks for Soldiers event on Saturday as the team hosts the Trumbull Eagles.

The Sticks for Soldiers charity raises funds to assist and support wounded veterans and their families. Its main fundraiser is a high school lacrosse tournament held in November.

On Saturday, there is a suggested, optional donation of $5 for admission with funds raised to support the fall tournament

Pre-game activities begin at 11:45 a.m. with a “shoot out” by grade for all PAL boys lacrosse players.

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04/22/14 09:01 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Wind Siting Regulations Approved, But May be Too Late

By Jan Ellen Spiegel

www.ctmirror.org

After nearly three years with wind energy development in Connecticut at a standstill – siting regulations for wind turbines have finally been approved. But how quickly or energetically wind will move ahead is still a question.

It took five tries before the Regulation Review Committee approved the Connecticut Siting Council proposal that establishes setbacks and heights for turbines, noise and “flicker” from their turning blades, decommissioning and other contentious details. While some tweaks had been made over time, the provisions have largely stayed intact.

But what has changed is that the key federal incentive for wind development—known as the production tax credit—has expired, and that may mean even with siting regulations on the books in Connecticut, nothing may happen with large-scale wind projects.

“It could be too little, too late possibly,” said Paul Michaud, executive director of the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Business Association and a lawyer whose clients have included wind developers.

Click here for more of story

04/22/14 08:13 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Girls Varsity Golf Beats Ridgefield in Season Opener

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The Staples High School varsity girls golf team won its season opener today at their home Longshore course, defeating Ridgefield High School 169-217. Senior tri-captain Faith Garcia led the Wrecker victory with a 3-over-par 40 while freshman Alex McMahon, playing her first match, shot a 42. The Staples team ended up last year with a 17-2 record, finishing second in the FCIAC behind Greenwich, which accounted for both Staples losses. Pictured before today’s play are (l-r)  Marie McHugh, Analise Brown, Faith Garcia, Mary Bennewitz, and Alex McMahon. Said Patty Kondub, assistant coach: “We are starting our run for the championship.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

The

04/22/14 07:38 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Outdoors: Arezzo Ristorante

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Arezzo Ristorante on Westport’s West Bank of the Saugatuck River at 5 Riverside Ave. is today’s featured spot in our new WestportNow series,Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months. Named after a city in central Italy, Arezzo Ristorante, open since the summer of 2012, offers Tuscan specialties in a rustic classic riverfront setting. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 03:11 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Arts Center to Honor Ann Sheffer at Saturday Gala

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The Westport Arts Center’s annual gala Saturday will honor Westport arts patron and philanthropist Ann Sheffer as “Queen of the Arts.” Called “WONDERland: A Mad Art Party,” the event will be held at the Gallaher Mansion, a limestone Tudor Revival built in 1930 by industrialist/inventor Edward Beach that sits in the 227-acre Cranbury Park in Norwalk. The evening will feature a performance by Juilliard-trained soprano opera singer and Westport native, Lucia Palmieri. To purchase tickets visit http://www.westportartscenter.org or call (203) 222-7070. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During photo

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Baron’s South Financials Still Unsettled With Developer

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Westport’s Baron’s South Committee, working on establishing a senior housing project on the town-owned land known as Baron’s South, was told today that progress has been made on a memorandum of understanding with developers Jonathan Rose Companies. But Selectman Avi Kaner (l, back to camera) said still unresolved are financial arrangements. He said the challenge is that it is a private/public partnership structure with a 98-year term. “It’s hard to see what can happen in the future,” he said. “For instance, say in 30 years from now the state of Connecticut changes a tax code from property tax to sales tax or something of that sort.” Meanwhile, he said, “We do not want to slow down the project.  We want to proceed simultaneously.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 11:15 AM Comments (4) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Taking Flight

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Cormorants take flight on Westport’s Saugatuck River near Riverside Avenue and Sylvan Road South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

04/22/14 12:15 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - Earth Day


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Baron’s South
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 2014”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
2 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Excavation and Fill Regulations Subcommittee
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 100 - Probate Judge Lisa Wexler: What Happens When You Die with a Will?
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium -  Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

04/22/14 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Monday, April 21, 2014

Golfers Meet New Course Maintenance Company

By James Lomuscio

Westporter Andy Kaplan said last July he had given up on golfing at Longshore Club Park, opting to go as far away as Farmington to play on decent links.

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Ryan Segrue, who is serving as ValleyCrest’s superintendent for the Longshore golf course, listens to golfers tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“The greens, they looked diseased,” Kaplan said. “It was like the surface of the moon, brown, discolored.”

Even pockmarked, he said.

But as Kaplan left a Town Hall presentation tonight by principals of ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, he seemed a bit more optimistic about returning to his hometown course this summer. Calabasas, Calif.-based ValleyCrest has a three-year contract with the town and aims to upgrade the 18-hole golf course while saving the town $755,450 attributed to personnel attrition over three years.

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Committee Mulls Medical Marijuana Dispensary

By James Lomuscio

Representatives of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary turned down by the Bridgeport Zoning Commission last week came to Westport tonight in the hope of convincing the Planning and Zoning Commission’s (P&Z) Medical Maijuana Subcommittee that a such a facility could work in town.

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Three-time cancer victim Angela Fiorini of Monroe displays her medical marijuana prescription card outside a P&Z Medical Marijuana Subcommittee meeting tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

But P&Z Chairman Chip Stephens, who chairs the subcommittee, insisted that the argument put forth by Ray Rizzio, attorney for Trumbull-based D&B Wellness, was premature.

Rizzio said that the company he represents was turned down by Bridgeport because of “hysteria.”

“We’re not here to judge,” said Stephens. “We’re here to determine, if it were to become permissible, where it would be be.”

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Ten Westport Runners Finish Boston Marathon

Ten runners from Westport finished today’s 2014 Boston Marathon that saw more than 35,000 runners and an estimated one million spectators pay tribute to the victims of last year’s terrorist bombing.

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Staples grad Alicia Kaestli, 24, (pictured in an earlier race) was top female Westport finisher.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Twitter.com photo

For the first time in three decades, an American won the men’s race. Meb Keflezighi finished in 2 hours 8 minutes 37 seconds, a personal best and the second-fastest time ever for an American man at Boston.

According to official results, Ian L. Cadieu, 30, was the top Westport finisher, running the 26.2 miles in 2 hours 55 minutes 12 seconds, good for a 1506 overall place. The Yale graduate, who works at Westport’s Bridgewater Associates, was a three-year letterman in cross country at Great Neck North High School on Long Island, according to his Yale athletics biography.

Second best Westporter’s time was by Jason Martin, 41, with a time of 3 hours 5 minutes 7 seconds for a 3586 over place. And third was Kenneth C. Klegar, 44, in 3 hours 12 minutes 5 seconds for a 4562 place. Top female Westport runner was 2008 Staples grad Alicia Kaestli, 24, in 3 hours 12 minutes 47 seconds for a 4754 overall place. See all searchable results here.

 

04/21/14 06:38 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon
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