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Friday, March 06, 2015

Friday, March 06, 2015

Contrasts

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Beech tree leaves hang amid the snow Thursday on Westport’s Ford Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Friday,  March 6, 2015


9 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Curio Cottage (44 Imperial Ave.) - Westport Woman’s Club Annual Tag Sale Fundraiser
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Coney Island: Side Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
Noon - Westport Library - Jimmie Holland & Mindy Greenstein: “Lighter as We Go”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Middle School Book Club
7 p.m. - Mitchells of Westport (670 Post Road East) - Near & Far Aid Spring Gala
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Stand Up Comedy w/ Dan Boulger, Michael Mathis, Nick Ribolla, Justin Cheng, & Lucien Formichella
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre staged free reading: “Lofty Larceny”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Deck Collapse Sets Off Propane Gas Leak

A rear deck at a home on Westport’s Silent Grove North collapsed, severing a propane gas line and causing a leak, the Westport Fire Department said tonight.

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A damaged propane tank can be seen just below a line marking where the collapsed deck had been attached to the house. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Firefighters responded at 5:59 p.m. to a returning homeowner reporting an odor of gas outside and inside the residence, said Assistant Chief Brian Meadows.

While responding to the scene, Westport Dispatch received another call from the homeowner reporting a rear deck collapse in the area of a propane tank.

First arriving personnel found that an approximately 20-foot by 15-foot deck had completely collapsed off of the rear of the house, coming in contact and damaging the 50-pound propane tank that was underneath the deck, Meadows said.

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Comings & Goings: Readying Newest SoNo Baking & Café

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SoNo Baking Company & Café will open at Westport’s 44 Church Lane this month, according to an employee at the bakery’s Norwalk location. The Norwalk-based business operates in South Norwalk at 101 Water St., in Westport at AJ’s Farm Stand, 1680 Post Road East, and in Darien, 49 Tokene Road. The space was most recently occupied by Java Coffee and Café, until it closed on Dec. 31, 2014, 11 months after it opened. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries’

Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday at 2 a.m., and the Westport Fire Department strongly urges everyone to “change your clock, change your batteries.”

A statement from Fire Marshal Edward Zygmant said a National Fire Protection Association report found that three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

No smoke alarms were present in 37 percent of home fire deaths, and in 23 percent, smoke alarms were present but did not operate, he said.

Of the main reasons why smoke alarms failed to operate, 47 percent had missing or disconnected batteries, and 24 percent had dead or discharged batteries, Zygmant said.

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NWS Update: Roads ‘Treacherous for Travel’

UPDATE The National Weather Service said the bulk of the accumulating snow has ended across the Westport region.

“Any leftover snow will result in little to no accumulation,” it said in a statement.

“Many roads remain snow covered and icy, especially secondary roads.

“With temperatures falling into the single digits and lower teens overnight, untreated surfaces will continue to be treacherous for travel. Use extra caution if you must travel tonight.”

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Westport Inn Sold, 8-30g Housing Threat Gone

UPDATE The Westport Inn changed hands Wednesday, selling for $14.5 million to a Stamford-based real estate investment group that plans to maintain it as an inn. WestportNow.com Image
Westport Inn owner Sheldon Stein, seen in this 2010 photo, sold the property for $14.5 million. He bought it in 2007 for $13.1 million and put in $2.5 million in improvements. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

The sale to Building and Land Technology (BLT) was announced tonight by the real estate investor, developer, and operator. Last June, it purchased the Nyala Farm Corporate Center in Westport for $130 million. (See WestportNow June 30, 2014)

The sale puts an end to the threat of the site being developed into a five-story, 200-unit rental housing complex using the state’s controversial affordable housing statute 8-30g.

An earlier report quoting town officials said the sale price was $12.3 million.

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On Guard

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Westport’s Minute Man remained on guard today as snow swirled around him. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Snowy Saugatuck

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It was rough going on Westport’s Riverside Avenue today in the Saugatuck area as more snow fell on the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

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Metro-North Explains Morning Commute Problems

UPDATE Metro-North today said power problems in the vicinity of 79th Street in the Park Avenue Tunnel caused morning delays on its lines to Grand Central Terminal.

Hours after its announcement, the railroad reported delays of 20 minutes in the evening commute due to “weather-related power issues in the vicinity of Pelham and Mount Vernon East.”

“Shortly before 8 a.m., a third rail insulator failure knocked one of four tracks in the area out of service, creating train congestion and delays,” an announcement said explaining the morning problems.

“This condition was caused by the effects of roadway deicing salt contaminating the electrified third rail insulators. This failure requires us to shut off power, which enables crews to safely repair the condition.

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Walking With Riley

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Westport Manitou Road resident Lauren Booth walks along Compo Road South today with mini Golden Doodle Riley, 7 months. Booth said she walks two to three miles a day with Riley but was cutting it down to 30 minutes today.  “Riley needs the walk,” she said. “He’s frisky, sociable and has lots of energy.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Library Closing at 5 P.M.

The Westport Library is closing at 5 p..m today due to the weather.

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Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting Canceled

Tonight’s meeting of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has been canceled and rescheduled for Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m.

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Snow Job

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Workers today remove snow from the roof at the former Splash Restaurant at Westport’s Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Gathering to Give on Fairfield County Giving Day

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The Westport Arts Center today hosted a brunch for supporters and staff and set up computers to allow them to participate in Fairfield County Giving Day, a one-day initiative to “give where you live.”  Nonprofits from throughout Fairfield County are participating in the event hosted by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and sponsored by Bank of America. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Answering a Call for Help

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A paramedic from Westport’s Emergency Medical Service makes his way up a snow-covered driveway off Wilton Road today to answer a medical call when the ambulance could not negotiate the unplowed steep driveway. Later, a four-wheel drive EMS vehicle was able to get up the driveway and transported the patient to the ambulance below. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Winter Wonderland

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Westport’s Ford Road took on a Winter wonderland look today as another snowstorm moved through the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

03/05/15 10:38 AM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Weather-Related Delays on New Haven

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UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line service today experienced delays up to 45 minutes due to weather-related power problems in the vicinity of Pelham and the Park Avenue Tunnel. (By 10:50 a.m. it said residual delays were 15 minutes.)  Commuters said many trains were stacked up waiting to enter Manhatan, and many of the trains lacked power and heat in frigid temperatures. View is of the 7:24 a.m. arriving at Westport six minutes late and two cars short. It was one of the trains caught up in the problems and was delayed an hour into Grand Central Terminal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Allan Siegert for WestportNow.com

03/05/15 09:26 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

BOF Hears Formal Budget Presentations

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Board of Finance Wednesday night gave town and school officials high grades for responsible, reasonably lean budget proposals for 2015-16, following formal budget presentations by First Selectman Jim Marpe and Michael Gordon, school board chairman.

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First Selectman Jim Marpe: pledges to keep any tax increase to minimum.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The two proposed budgets total $202,805,295, a 2.1 percent increase over the current fiscal year’s budget.

John Pincavage, finance board chairman, noted that the board will conduct formal follow-up hearings on March 17, 18 and 19 before its final vote, after which both budgets will go to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) for its consideration.

“Thank you for the countless hours you put into this,” said finance board member Michael Rea. “You both put in fine budgets.”

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Westport Senior Center Closed

The Westport Center for Senior Activities has canceled all programs today, including the congregate luncheon program .

Call (203)341-5099 if you have any concerns or questions.

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Westport Schools Closed

Westport public schools are closed today for students and teachers.

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Enjoying a Spring-Like Day

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A visitor to Westport’s Kings Highway North enjoys a spring-like day. Spring officially arrives march 21. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Thursday,  March 5, 2015 - Fairfield County Giving Day


Fairfield County Giving Day
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Coney Island: Side Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10:30 a.m. - Westport Library - Caring for Kids: Doctors Talk—Infant Sleep
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play With Your Food Lunchtime Theater
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Lantern Making for the Chinese New Year
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Board of Assessment & Appeals
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing Postponed to 3/12
7:30 p.m. - Staples Cafeteria B - Board of Education Postponed to 3/9

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

BOF Approves Wakeman Town Farm Rehab Funding

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Wakeman Town Farm (WTF) and Sustainability Center tonight harvested an appropriation that has been the focus of impassioned pleas, as well as objections, over the past month.

By 6 to 1 vote, the Board of Finance approved a $667,000 appropriation to rehabilitate key parts of the farm located at 134 Cross Highway.

Tom Lasersohn was the lone dissenter, arguing that the WTF Committee should be raising their own funds, not placing the burden on taxpayers.

The total amount requested by First Selectman Jim Marpe consists of three parts. It includes $261,000 put up by the town to repair and rehabilitate the 100-year-old farm house, a town-owned, historically designated building.

More "BOF Approves Wakeman Town Farm Rehab Funding"

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Winter Weather Advisory, 2 to 5 Inches

The National Weather Service in New York has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Westport area for snow, which is in effect until 7 p.m. Thursday.

It calls for snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches.

The Weather Service said rain will mix with sleet and snow before changing to all snow this evening.

Snow may be moderate at times late tonight through Thursday morning before tapering off late Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening, the Weather Service said.

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