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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Haven Delays

UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line service is now operating on or close to schedule after earlier delays due to a person struck and killed by a train near the Fairfield Metro station.

05/27/15 08:47 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Hauhuth to End 24-Year Run at Positive Directions

Marty Hauhuth, former Westport First Selectwoman who has been executive director of Westport-based nonprofit counseling center Positive Directions since 1991, has announced her retirement.

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Marty Hauhuth: helping thousands “makes everything worthwhile.” Contributed photo

The board of directors of Positive Directions will celebrate her retirement and her contributions to the mental health and addiction counseling center on Wednesday June 3, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in Saugatuck Congregational Church’s Fellowship Room.

Members of the public are invited to attend. Please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Board members are also assembling a book of tributes to Hauhuth and those who would like to contribute are asked to send them to the same address.

In addition those who would like to honor her and her work can make a donation to Positive Directions, in her name. With state and federal funding for Positive Direction’s work diminishing each year, the board said it relies heavily on tax-deductible donations to make up the shortfall.

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05/27/15 08:40 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Weather Forces Delay in Staples Baseball FCIAC Semifinal

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Threatening thunderstorms forced the postponement tonight of the Staples High School varsity baseball team’s game against Trinity Catholic in the FCIAC semifinal at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. The game was rescheduled to 5 pm. Thursday at Harbor Yard. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Heli Stagg for WestportNow.com

05/27/15 08:32 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Studio Visit to ‘EAST Meets WESTport’ Artist in Bridgeport

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Staff and members of the Westport Arts Center (WAC) today paid a visit to Hungarian artist Márton Nemes (3rd r) at his temporary studio in Bridgeport. Works by Nemes are currently on display in the Project Space of WAC as part of its current member exhibit, “SOLOS 2015.”  He is the first artist in the new artist residency program sponsored by WAC and Quinnipiac University’s Central European Institute known as “EAST meets WESTport .” Developer Phil Kuchma donated studio and apartment space for Nemes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/27/15 05:06 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

The National Weather Service said a severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Westport and area util 7 p.m.

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Swimming for Nepal Relief Efforts

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Swim for Nepal got under way today at the Westport Weston Family YMCA. A collaborative effort by the Family YMCA’s Water Rat swim team and the Staples girls and Staples boys swim teams the five-hour event raised funds for Save the Children’s Nepal relief efforts, following the recent earthquake disaster. So far these local athletes have raised more than $30,000, and hope to match or exceed the previous totals of more than $40,000 raised to provide funds for previous disasters in the Philippines in 2013 and Haiti in 2010. To make an online donation, please visit http://www.crowdrise.com/swimfornepal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/27/15 04:10 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 3 Keenes Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 3 Keenes Road, off Morningside Drive North, is in process. Built in 1953, the two-story colonial has 2,452-square feet and is situated on a .33-acre property.  Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

05/27/15 03:11 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Pearl of Longshore to Replace Splash

Westport’s Splash Restaurant, which provided waterfront dining for 19 years at the Inn at Longshore before abruptly closing last October, will be replaced in mid-December by a new restaurant, Pearl of Longshore.

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Splash Restaurant & Bar had been a Westport waterside favorite since 1995 before it closed last October.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Board of Selectmen today approved the new subtenant of the town-owned inn property, which has been leased for more than 30 years to Longshore Associates of Westport Limited Partnership, owned by Rory Tagert. Tagert announced in January he had signed a letter of intent with the new operators. (See WestportNow Jan. 20, 2015)

The board was told that the new restaurant would have an emphasis on Mediterranean-style seafood fare in the summer, but add additional meat and game dishes in other months. It is owned by an investor group, BNG Partners LLC, headed by Marc Backon, a 20-year Westport resident with a background in healthcare and business ventures.

Backon said his partners include Antonio Ninivaggi, who took over Fairfield’s Osianna Mediterranean Taverna in January and is a former general manager of Tarantino Restaurant in Westport and Barcelona in Stamford. A third partner, Giovanni Gentile, operates a restaurant, bar, and crepes eatery in Stamford, Backon said.

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05/27/15 12:45 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Staples Principal Finalist Withdraws From Consideration

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Shelly Somers (at Tuesday meeting): “I realized how important Central and Greenwich are to me.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

UPDATE Shelly Somers, the Greenwich middle school principal who as finalist for the Staples High School principal position met with Staples community members on Tuesday, today announced she is no longer a candidate and plans to remain in Greenwich.

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon later confirmed Somers’s withdrawal, saying she called him Tuesday night to inform him but said she did not give a reason.

“After a long day yesterday at Staples High School, I have withdrawn my name for consideration for the principal position,” Somers said in an email to parents, which was first reported by greenwichfreepress.com. “As I talked with the various groups of stakeholders in Westport, I realized how important Central and Greenwich are to me.

“I look forward to working to create a safe and challenging environment at Central Middle School that meets the needs of all of our students. I feel certain that in collaboration with you, my leadership team, and my teachers and staff, Central will continue to grow and to thrive.”

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05/27/15 10:25 AM Comments (2) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New Dump Trucks, Plows for Next Winter

Westport’s Board of Selectman today unanimously approved a $814,502 Department of Public Works request to purchase five dump trucks fitted with plows and sanders for next winter.

The amount had already been approved by the Board of Finance and the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

The trucks from Freightliner of Hartford, one of three bidders, have a 10-year expected lifetime, “and we typically get 14 years,” said Public Works Director Stephen Edwards.

The purchase is part of a 10-truck acquisition that the department hopes to have finalized by next year. 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015


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. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
9:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Downtown Steering Committee Special Work Session
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
3:15 p.m. - Westport Weston Family YMCA - Water Rats/Staples Swim Team “Swim for Nepal” for Save the Children
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board Canceled
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Transit Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Library Board of Trustees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

05/27/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

‘SOLOS 2015’ Juror Gives His Perspective

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Richard Klein (l) an artist, curator, and writer who has been exhibitions director of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield since 1999, tonight provided his perspective and insights on the works he selected for the Westport Arts Center’s current member exhibit, “SOLOS 2015.” He is describing a work by artist Michael Kozlowski (r) of Trumbull. The exhibit runs through June 27. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

05/26/15 08:47 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

It’s Meet the Parents for Staples Finalist

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE As Marjorie Almansi rushed toward the front door of Westport’s Staples High School today and the cafeteria where principal candidate Shelly Somers was about to be vetted by parents, she questioned the entire review process.

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Shelly Somers: Staples principal finalist acknowledges 20 years ago “I made a mistake” involving a child left sleeping on a bus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“This is harsh,” she said. “I think it’s an impossible venue for any candidate to be interviewed by the public for a job when she’s not running for public office.”

Finalist Somers, principal of Greenwich’s Central Middle School, came prepared, explaining her past and bearing her soul for the penultimate judgment before the school board meets in executive session tonight to discuss her candidacy with a vote to come at a public meeting on Monday, June 1.

And she began by explaining what happened in March 1996 when she owned and operated Cornflakes Daycare Center in Granby. A child was left sleeping on the bus, while children attended a performance at the University of Hartford.

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05/26/15 12:12 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Community Meets Staples Principal Finalist

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Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon was all smiles today as he introduced Shelly Somers, the finalist candidate to succeed John Dodig as Staples High School principal. Somers, principal of Greenwich’s Central Middle School, met with parents and members of the Staples community in the Staples cafeteria. Her appointment was announced prematurely last week by Greenwich school officials, who later apologized to Landon and the Westport community. (See WestportNow May 20, 2015) Dodig is retiring at the end of the school year after 11 years at Staples. (See WestportNow Dec. 1, 2014)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

05/26/15 11:17 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tough Audience

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Shelly Somers, principal of Greenwich’s Central Middle School who is the finalist candidate to succeed retiring Staples principal John Dodig, met with members of the Staples community today in the school cafeteria. Members of the Board of Education, who must approve her appointment, were in the front row. They will meet in a special executive session later today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

05/26/15 11:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Staples Players Present ‘The Laramie Project’

In a production not only meant to entertain but inform, the Staples Players will tackle “The Laramie Project” for its major Black Box production this week.

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The Staples Players Black Box production will be performed for four performances beginning Thursday. Pictured are Colin McKechnie (l), Jacob Leaf, and Christian Melhuish in the background,(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Kerry Long

“The Laramie Project” is based on the story of Matthew Shepard—a gay Wyoming teen whose 1998 hate-crime murder was a dark milestone in tolerance and civil rights.

In a unique twist, next year the Players will produce the sequel to the first play, “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” part of what is considered “The Laramie Project Cycle.”

“We feel it’s crucial that students be exposed to—and involved in—theater that has something important to say, and that can cause change and enlightenment in the world,” said David Roth, director of the Staples Players. The Laramie Project continues to do just that, even over 15 years since Matthew Shepard’s death.”

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State Police Issue Holiday Weekend Enforcement Stats

Connecticut State Police patrolling highways and roads this Memorial Day weekend investigated two fatal accidents and issued more than 1,200 speeding tickets, according to a statement released early today.

From the period beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Monday, troopers used both traditional and non-traditional patrol cars. They focused on drunken driving violations, aggressive drivers, distracted drivers and speeding, the statement said.

Sobriety checkpoints and targeted DUI patrols were in place over the entire weekend.

The final statistics: speeding 1,254, seatbelt violations 1,454, other hazardous moving violations (unsafe lane change, following too closely, cell phone use, texting, etc) 549, DUI arrests 57, and accidents investigated 285 (with injury 49, fatal two).

05/26/15 12:30 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Compo Memorial Day Scene

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Sailing, walking, or sunning were among Memorial Day activities Monday at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015


9 a.m. - Staples cafeteria - Staples community meets principal finalist candidate
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Films: “Into the Woods”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
5:30 p.m. - Staples Room 1025C - Board of Education Special Executive Session
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Adults Read YA Fiction
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
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

05/26/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, May 25, 2015

Firefighters Put Out Discarded Coals Fire

Westport firefighters tonight extinguished a small fire at the end of a driveway on Harbor Road in the Saugatuck Shores area involving charcoal coals, paper products, trash and a plastic trash can, said Lt. Brett Kirby.

They quickly extinguished the fire, which was reported at 7:30 p.m., he said.

“We would like to remind all residents and visitors that it is vitally important to dispose of any coals in the correct manner,” Kirby said.

“Allow the coals to cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals.

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WestportNow Parade Photo Leads ‘ABC World News Tonight’

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A Westport Memorial Day parade picture today by WestportNow contributing photographer Lynn U. Miller showing Little Leaguer Grant Mandel, 7, greeting Westport veteran Larry Aasen was the opening image tonight on the “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir” story on Memorial Day celebrations around the country. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo from “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir.”

05/25/15 07:37 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport’s Memorial Day Parade: The Short Version


Just as he has for the past couple of years, Westporter Nick Pisarro, Jr. created a short video version of today’s Memorial Day parade that runs for a minute. Video by Nick Pisarro, Jr.

05/25/15 06:21 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Ribbon-Cutting at New Courtyard at Homeless Shelter

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There was a ribbon cutting today to celebrate the renovation of the 26-year-old courtyard at Westport’s Homes With Hope homeless shelter for single men and women at 45 Jesup Road. The renovation was planned by Eva Chiamulera of Ganim’s Garden Center & Florist in Fairfield and assisted by Jack Foley’s Eagle Scout project through Troop 100 at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. With the help of former board member Brooks Sumberg as project manager, Penna and Sons landscaping, Gault Stone, and Navarro Masonry, the courtyard took shape over the past few months. The Staples High School Service League of Boys (SLOBs) put the finishing touches on the picnic tables, and the Westport Garden Club donated plants to create a true community project. Pictured are Homes With Hope Board Chair John Walsh, Program Manager Rob Lockhart, and Homes with Hope President Jeff Wieser looking on as Jack Foley, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, Sam Gault, and Brooks Sumberg cut the ribbon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/25/15 05:34 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Reading Electronically at Compo

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A beachgoer at Westport’s Compo Beach today catches up electronically on some reading. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

05/25/15 05:12 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Dressed for Memorial Day

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Westport’s Minute Man statue today was draped in a flag in honor of Memorial Day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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