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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Feeding Time on Compo Road South

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An American Goldfinch pauses Tuesday at a bird feeder at a home on Westport’s Compo Road South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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04/26/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 26, 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)
9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Library, Museum, & Arts Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit: “The Danbury Raid”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Main Street to Madison Avenue”
Noon - Town Hall Room 307/309 - P&Z Affordable Housing Subcommittee
4 p.m. - Westport Library - DeweyKnit: Grade 4 to Adult
5:30 p.m. - 11 Franklin Avenue - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - The 1777 Danbury Raid & Battle of Ridgefield
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Mark Kurlansky, “Havana: a Subtropical Delirium”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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04/26/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Panel Discusses ‘Raising Children in Trump’s America’

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Westporter Rob Simmelkjaer (r) tonight moderated a Democratic Women of Westport-hosted panel discussion entitled “Raising Children in Trump’s America” attended by approximately 50 persons at Branson Hall, Christ & Holy Trinity Church. The discussion included commentary on policy shifts being felt in Fairfield County, how immigrant and refugee families in the local community are faring, the social impact of Trump’s rhetoric on schools and community, and how parents can talk to children in a way that is not fear-based but authentic. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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04/25/17 10:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Children in Spotlight at Democratic Women of Westport Event

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About 50 persons tonight attended the Democratic Women of Westport-sponsored discussion on “Raising Children in Trump’s America.” Panelists included Claire Dinshaw, editor-in-chief of Inklings, the Staples High School newspaper; Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, interim director of the Anti Defamation League; Tara Covais Varsov, a psychotherapist working with children and families, Karen Dahl of little m, a communications firm, and Claudia Connor, president and CEO of the International Institute of Connecticut. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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04/25/17 10:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Palmer: School Bus Driver Strike Possible on Thursday

For the third time in little more than eight years, the threat of a strike by Westport school bus drivers looms for Thursday, Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said today.

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Colleen Palmer: Schools will open as usual. Dave Matlow / WN file photo

In an email to the school community, she said workers employed by Dattco Transportation will go on strike if the drivers’ union fails to reach agreement on a new contract by midnight Wednesday. Schools will still be open, she said.

Her predecessor, Elliott Landon, sent a similar warning email to parents in September 2012 and in September 2008. Both times strikes were averted.

Palmer said the “only exception will be those special education students currently accessing specialized transportation, for whom the district will continue to provide transportation during the strike.”

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04/25/17 08:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

USN&WR: Staples High School No. 5 in CT

U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) has released its top public high schools list nationwide and Westport’s Staples High School is ranked No. 5 among 48 Connecticut high schools on the list.

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Nationally, Staples is No. 391 and No. 60 in STEM high schools. It also was among eight Connecticut schools receiving a gold medal.

Last year, Staples came in No. 14 in Connecticut in the US&NWR rankings. Nationally it was No. 574. (See April 20, 2016)

The magazine cited Staples for its 99 percent graduation rate, a college readiness score of 60.5, AP tested 65 percent, AP passed 91 percent, a 63 percent math proficiency, and 68 percent English proficiency. See the USNWR Staples profile HERE. Its methodology is HERE.

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04/25/17 07:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Divided Legislature Flubs a Dress Rehearsal on the Budget

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut saw a preview today of what a fiscal deadlock looks like in a closely divided General Assembly: A fragile Democratic majority unable to unite behind a spending plan, and a Republican minority unwilling to step into the void and share responsibility for a budget destined to be poison at the polls in 2018.

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Reporters and lobbyists surround Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and other Democrats after the Appropriations Committee adjourned without a budget vote. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas for CtMirror.org

With an eye on upcoming campaigns for governor and the legislature, leaders of the two parties blamed each other for the failure of the Appropriations Committee to vote on a spending plan, as well as the expectation that the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee won’t even attempt a vote on a tax package before its deadline Friday.

The fight left unanswered a key question: How will the General Assembly agree by its constitutional adjournment deadline of midnight June 7, or at least by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, on an unpalatable mix of spending cuts and new revenue to close a shortfall of about $1.7 billion in an annual budget of $20 billion?

To pass a budget in the evenly divided Senate, Democrats need the unanimous agreement of their 18 members, plus the tie-breaking vote of Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. In the 151-seat House, Democrats can afford no more more than four defections in a caucus that has five members who voted with Republicans against the budget last year.
tart to govern.”

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04/25/17 05:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

CT Budget Process Collapses Amid Dissension

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

UPDATE The General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee today failed to adopt a $41 billion budget proposal as Democrats were unable to hold together a paper-thin majority on the panel.

And as leaders from both parties blamed each other for the committee’s failure to act — two days before its Thursday deadline — everyone also acknowledged there was a chance the tax-writing Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee might not finish its work before its allotted time runs out on Friday.

Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague and Rep. Toni E. Walker of New Haven, the Democratic chairs on the appropriations panel, announced at about 3 p.m. that a vote would not be held.

“It was made clear that many of the people who were participating” in preparing the plan “were still voting no,” Walker said, referring to Republican members of the Appropriations Committee.

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04/25/17 04:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating Arbor Day

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Celebrating Arbor Day today, Westport Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay (2nd r) joined fellow Tree Board members at the entrance to Town Hall to hand out 300 free tree saplings comprised of 100 red oaks, 100 lilacs and 100 white dogwoods. Pictured (l-r) Dick Stein, Laurie Meinke, Peter Kolbrener, Lindsay and Ed Picard. On Green Day on Saturday, in conjunction with festivities at Earthplace, the Tree Board will be at the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum, 2 Woodside Lane, from noon to 3 p.m. for an additional giveaway of native saplings. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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04/25/17 04:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Parks and Rec Inundated by Online Emblem Applications

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With a Monday deadline looming for beach parking emblems being required, Westport’s Parks and Recreation Department (P&R) has seen an upsurge in applications, most of them online. Barbara Vornkahl, manager of the department’s customer service, today shows the stack of online applications received Monday, the day 24,000 email reminders went out to previous holders. “The overnight response was the largest in memory according to our veteran staff members,” said P&R Director Jen Fava. She said online purchases far outnumber walkins. To apply online, click HERE. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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04/25/17 02:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘The Lost City of Z,’ ‘The Promise’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Based on David Grann’s 2009 nonfiction best-seller, “The Lost City of Z” chronicles the incredible adventures of a status-seeking British soldier, Col. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who explored the Amazon River a full century ago.

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Dispatched in 1906 by the aristocratic Royal Geographical Society, Fawcett’s mission is to map the dangerous, uncharted realms of eastern Bolivia, where it borders with Brazil.

Thrashing through the South American rain forest with his Army comrades, Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) and Arthur Manley (Edward Ashley), plus requisite guides and porters, he discovers not only the source of the Rio Verde River but also tribal pottery and carvings, indications of an ancient city and long-lost civilization hidden somewhere in the dense foliage - And he is determined to find it.

Driven by this mystical, near-maniacal obsession, Fawcett learns a great deal about anthropology and endures an excruciating second expedition in 1911, accompanied by another explorer, scornful James Murray (Angus Macfadyen), who becomes a dangerous liability.

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04/25/17 01:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Drug Take Back Day Saturday

The Westport Police Department, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will conduct Drug Take Back Day on Saturday to remove potentially dangerous, controlled substances from homes, police announced.

Officers will be at the Westport Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so residents can bring expired, unused or unwanted medications for disposal, said Lt. Jillian Cabana.  Needles and sharps, however, will not be accepted.

Cabana said that the service is free and anonymous, “no questions asked.”

The national collaborative effort offers an opportunity for the public to surrender pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction, she said.

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04/25/17 12:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit: “The Danbury Raid”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Main Street to Madison Avenue”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series: “Elle”
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Tree Board Arbor Day Sapling Giveaway
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Earthplace - Adventures in Animal Hall
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Workshop with Riverwalk Hallway Exhibit Artist Leona Frank
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Parks & Recreation Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Finance & Education Committees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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04/25/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, April 24, 2017

Curtain Call for ‘Lunch Hour’ Reading

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The cast of “Lunch Hour” takes a bow tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse following the script-in-hand reading of the play written by the late Jean Kerr. Pictured (l-r) : Mark Shanahan, Kate MacCluggage, James Waterston, Rebekah Brockman, John Skelley and Peter Chenot, program directions. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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04/24/17 10:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Panel Focuses on Teen Domestic Violence

By James Lomuscio

The film clips were quick but deeply disturbing. All choreographed control and abuse under the banner of love, an abuse on track toward becoming teen domestic violence.

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Among participants in the discussion were (-r) Westport Police Lt. Jillian Cabana, Alison Roach, Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) attorney advocate, and Nicole Dodge, DVCC advocate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Produced by the One Love Foundation, the clips shown tonight in the Westport Library’s McManus Room dramatized the manipulation and coercion present in troubled teen relationships.

Using the line “Because I love you,” the actors justify jealousy over a lab partner, incessant phone calls and texts, and isolating a girlfriend or boyfriend from friends and even family.

In one scene a young man even threatens to smash his girlfriend’s phone because she did not answer.

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04/24/17 09:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

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CT Budget Process Collapses Amid Dissension

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USN&WR: Staples High School No. 5 in CT

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Children in Spotlight at Democratic Women of Westport Event

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