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Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Crowded Saugatuck

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Scullers were out in force Thursday on the Saugatuck River near the Saugatuck Rowing Club.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

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Friday,  August 28, 2015


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - 10 p.m. - Luciano Park - Jam Theory & Miss Suzy’s Opus
7:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Stand-Up Comedy w/ Ryan Conner, Nick Ribolla, & Justin Cheng
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Brightside
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Bedroom Farce”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

BOE to Review $21.2M Staples Expansion Study

By James Lomuscio

A Westport Board of Education commissioned feasibility study to expand Staples High School by 36,000-square feet to the tune of $21.2 million to accommodate a swelling student population will go to the school board Monday night, Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said today.

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An artist’s rendition of a recommended Staples High School expansion module. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Fuller D’Angelo P.C. graphic

He said the $20,000 study was commissioned by the board in May and was done by Elmsford, N.Y.-based architects Fuller D’Angelo P.C., the same firm hired for the expansion of the 1958-built school transformed to 465,000 square feet in 2005 at a cost of $73 million. The feasibility study was presented to school board members today, Landon said.

The current building was designed for 1,800 students even though the administration had pushed for a building with a 2,000 capacity but had to cut back for budgetary reasons, Landon said. He had said earlier that this year’s Staples enrollment was about 1,900 and that the school has been overcapacity for several years. (See WestportNow Aug. 24, 2015)

According to the report, Landon and school administrators favored the architects’ Concept B, which would add 36,320-square feet to the current building. It includes 15 new classrooms for math, languages, computer engineering, robotics, health and physical education, lectures, dance, conference rooms, teacher work rooms, special education and cafeteria expansion, as well as infrastructure upgrades.

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Country Music Salute at Levitt

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Tonight’s country music performance by Gunsmoke at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts included a tribute to the Grand Ole Opry artists in Nashville. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

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A Touch of Fall in the Air

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There was a touch of fall in the air tonight with jackets and some sweaters in order in the mid-60s temperature as the country music band Gunsmoke performed at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

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Entertaining at the Playhouse

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A cross-dress impersonator of Joan Crawford, Hollywood screen legend, entertained a “Bedroom Farce” pre-show audience tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) night. The impersonator recently filmed with Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” has performed her original parody songs on The Bushnell and the Shubert Theater stages, and regularly appears with the Connecticut Gay Men’s Chorus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) TYPE NAME for WestportNow.com

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Malloy Picks Landon for State Committee

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy appointed Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, who is retiring after 17 years at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, to the state Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR), Landon learned in a letter today. His term runs though August 2017.

The ACIR is a 24-member agency created in 1985 to study the state and local government issues “and to recommend solutions as appropriate,” according to the state website. Its membership represents state legislative and executive branches, municipalities and other local interests, as well the public.

“I’m very excited, and I hope I can contribute,” said Landon, who added that he was recommended by members of the Connecticut Association of Public Schools Superintendents (CAPSS).

According to state statute,  the ACIR, which is supported by the Office of Policy and Management has four charges: to serve as a forum for consultation between state and local officials; to conduct research on intergovernmental issues; to encourage and coordinate studies of intergovernmental issues by universities and others; and to initiate policy development and make recommendations to all levels of government.

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Looking Good

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The Kemper-Gunn House was getting a new coat of paint today at its new home on Elm Street. One tenant has so far been announced for the house—Serena & Lily, which describes itself as “a home and lifestyle brand with a fresh, California point of view.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

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Former State GOP Chair Gets Year in Kickback Case

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut’s former Republican state chairman, George Gallo, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Hartford to a year and a day in prison for taking kickbacks on campaign mailings he arranged as chief of staff to the state legislature’s House GOP caucus.

Judge Vanessa L. Bryant told Gallo he abused his state employment by accepting $117,000 from a Florida direct mail company, a sum equal to 10 percent of the business Gallo sent the company in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 campaign cycles.

“It siphoned public resources for personal gain, and it is a betrayal of the public trust,” Bryant said.

The mailings all were provided to candidates who accepted public financing under the Citizens Election Program, a reform passed in 2005 in response to the bid-rigging scandal that forced Gov. John G. Rowland from office in July 2004.

Click here for more of story

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Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The End of the Tour,’ ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl,’ ‘Hitman: Agent 47’

By Susan Granger

“The End of the Tour” documents the final five days of David Foster Wallace’s 1996 book tour for his epic 1,079-page novel “Infinite Jest” by ambitious Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky.

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Jason Segel is Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg is Lipsky. They chat about a variety of subjects, the most interesting of which is how reclusive Wallace has tried to adjust to his sudden fame and celebrity.

Not so coincidentally, Lipsky’s own first novel, “The Art Fair,” was just published when he convinced his Rolling Stone editor (Ron Livingston) that he felt a genuine kinship with Wallace, although what comes across in his profile is a curiously intoxicating combination of envy and adulation.

Lipskey journeyed to Bloomington, Indiana, to meet Wallace in his ranch-style home. They go to a bookstore and do a Minneapolis-based publicity jaunt, where Joan Cusack is their no-nonsense driver.

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Coley the Colt Greeting

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Coley the Colt, mascot of Westport’s Coleytown Elementary School, greeted youngsters today on the first day of school. Assistant Principal Kim Ambrosio looks on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Welcome to Coleytown El

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Janna Bell Sirowich, principal of Westport’s Coleytown Elementary School, welcomes a kindergartner today on the first day of school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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August School Start Feels Like Fall

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Students at Westport’s Bedford Middle School make their way to classes today as school began on an August day that was crisp and clear, feeling more like fall than summer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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As Promised, Bridge Open for First Day of School

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A Westport school bus crosses the North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway today on the first day of school. Connecticut Department of Transportation and town officials worked out a plan to open one lane of alternating traffic on the bridge in time for school opening. The bridge will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and closed weekends while work continues with a completion date now projected for late October.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Back to the Routine

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Students and parents at the Oak Ridge Park at Imperial Avenue school bus stop today as Westport students returned to school.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Back to School


Scenes as Westport students went back to school today. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, August 27, 2015


Westport Public Schools: first day of school
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
1 p.m. - Westport Library - Maker Series for Seniors: Turtle Art
2:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Planning & Zoning Citation Hearing
5 p.m. - DownUnder Kayaking (575 Riverside Avenue) - Sunset Paddle To Support Earthplace Harbor Watch
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Westport Youth Commission
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Gunsmoke: A Night at the Opry
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Bedroom Farce”

See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fire Interrupts 81st Birthday Party

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Westport firefighters at the scene tonight of a second floor bedroom fire at 6 Leslie Lane. A family member said the blaze broke out while the family was downstairs celebrating the 81st birthday of the homeowner. All escaped unijured. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Now the Clean Up

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Westport fire officials confer with family members tonight after extinguishing a second floor bedroom fire at 6 Leslie Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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On the Scene

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Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury and Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar supervise firefighting operations late tonight at a house fire on Leslie Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Westport Firefighters Douse House Fire on Leslie Lane

UPDATE Westport firefighters tonight quickly doused a second floor bedroom fire in a home on Leslie Lane. It broke out while the family was downstairs celebrating the 81st birthday of the homeowner.

Everyone escaped from the home at 6 Leslie Lane without injury, according to firefighters.

A family member said someone heard a fire alarm go off on the second floor at about 11:30 p.m. as the family was downstairs celebrating the 81st birthday of homeowner Marion McAdoo.

One of the family went upstairs to investigate, saw a curtain on fire, screamed, and all fled the home, he said.

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Pakistani Film Scene Set for Friday

A Pakistani film company will film a moving car scene Friday on the William F. Cribari Bridge, better known as the Bridge Street Bridge, it was announced today.

ARY Digital USA said it would be filming a moving vehicle scene on the bridge for Pakistani director Mehreen Jabbar’s feature film “Dobara Phir Se” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The bridge will remain open to traffic; however motorists may encounter short periods of congestion and should expect delays in the immediate area of Bridge Street, an announcement said.

The Westport Police Department will provide officers to assist ARY Digital USA with traffic control, it said.

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Back to School Children’s Concert at Levitt

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Jay & Ray and their Back to School special concert headlined at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight. Special guests included Pete Francis, co-founder of Dispatch, and Randy Funke. It was the final concert in the Melissa & Doug Children’s Series.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Packed Crowd for Levitt Children’s Finale

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There was a packed house tonight for the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Arts Melissa & Doug Children’s Series finale with Jay & Ray’s Back to School concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Surprise! CT Traffic Among Worst in Nation

By Ana Radalet

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – Connecticut has some of the worst traffic in the nation, with snarls that cost drivers about 20 gallons of wasted fuel and dozens of hours of lost time each year — and things are likely to get worse, a new report says.

Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the traffic monitoring firm INRIX say the Bridgeport-Stamford area is the second-most congested area of its size in the nation, and motorists there spent an average of 49 hours in traffic tieups each year.

Among similar, medium-sized cities, only Honolulu had worst traffic, the study said. The “Urban Mobility Scorecard,” released today, said Hartford was the fifth most congested medium-sized city in the nation, with drivers’ spending an average of 45 hours a year in traffic delays. New Haven came in 11th, with an average of 40 hours a year in traffic jams.

Among large metropolitan areas, Washington, D.C., and its suburbs topped the list of the most congested cities, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., and the San Francisco metropolitan area.

Click here for more of story

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