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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Exhibit: “MORE Than Words: As We Are!”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series: “Loving”
3:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - EK Theater Video Game Puppetry Class
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Westport Library - Artist Reception for “Leona Frank: iDraw!”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Fire Department Strategic Planning Steering Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - RTM Education Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Transit District
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/28/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sessions Immigration Threat Could Cost CT Millions in Federal Grants

By Ana Radelat

Washington — Attorney General Jeff Sessions today threatened to strip Justice Department law enforcement grants from states and cities that do not cooperate completely with federal immigration authorities, which could put millions of dollars received by Connecticut and several of its cities at risk.

The state, and cities including Hartford and New Haven, do not comply with all federal “detainers” — requests to keep jailed immigrants detained for 48 hours after their scheduled release so federal immigration officials can pick them up for deportation. Connecticut law enforcement also has been told by Gov. Dannel Malloy they don’t have to ask those apprehended or detained about their immigration status.

Sessions said these “sanctuaries” for immigrants could also see a “clawback’” of policing money that already has been distributed by the Justice Department. The Office of Justice Programs gives out more than $4 billion in grants every year, including tens of millions of dollars to the state of Connecticut and its cities and towns.

“I urge our nation’s states and cities to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and to rethink these policies,” Sessions said at a White House news conference. “Such policies make their cities and states less safe, and put them at risk of losing valuable federal dollars.”

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03/27/17 10:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: Town ‘Remains Committed’ to Providing Excellent First Responder Pensions

(Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to one earlier today from the wife of a Westport firefighter who, in turn, was responding to a letter from Board of Finance members.)

To the Editor:

The Town of Westport respects the important and challenging role that its firefighters play in keeping our citizens safe.

Unfortunately, in the face of recent, unprecedented increases in pension and retiree health insurance costs in recent years, the town had to ask the fire union to consider adjustments to several pension provisions that appear to go beyond what is typically found in a municipal fire pension. 

At the same time, the fire union also sought enhancements to its pension. After months of negotiations, the town and fire union were unable to reach agreement.

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03/27/17 07:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Spring Pop Up Art Show Set for April 6

The Westport Arts Center will host a spring pop up art show by the Westport Artists Collective on Thursday, April 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the entries will be on view through Saturday, April 8 until 1 p.m.

All 150 members of the Collective have been invited to showcase a work of art with entries ranging from mixed media to sculpture to paintings, an announcement said.

For more information on the pop up show or the Westport Artists Collective, contact the Westport Arts Center at (203)222-7070 or visit the Arts Center website at


03/27/17 05:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Winners Announced in PTA Reflections Arts Program

The Westport schools today announced student winners of the 2016-2017 PTA Reflections Art Program, a nationwide arts contest sponsored by the PTA that provides students with the opportunity for artistic creative expression and positive recognition for their efforts.

This year’s winners from Staples High School included: Literature “We Will Break Through” by Natasha Johnson; Film: “Moments” by Antonia Sousa; Photography: “Growing - An Upward Spiral” by Sarah Barnett; Dance: “Close to the Sun” by Colin McKechnie, and Visual Arts: “Sophie Elizabeth” by Sophie Driscoll.

Coleytown and Bedford Middle School winners include :Visual Arts: “My Piece” by CMS student Sophie Alcyone, and Dance: “Ballerino” by BMS student Jamie Mann. These students and their work will now move on to the national level for judging.

Additional Westport Public School students receiving recognition include: 

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03/27/17 03:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Human Services Gets New Director

After eight months on the job, Sarah Heath has resigned as Westport’s director of human services and First Selectman Jim Marpe has named Assistant Director Elaine Daignault to the position, he announced today. Image
Elaine Daignault: 18-year department veteran. Contributed photo

Heath, who took over from Barbara Butler July 1, 2016 and who has been a department employee for nine years, has accepted a position in another town effective April 4 and that will be the date of Daignault’s appointment, Marpe said.

“I want to thank Sarah for her many contributions to the town and the Human Services Department,” he said.

Heath said in her time with the town, “I have been fortunate enough to work with amazing, dedicated, and caring professionals and volunteers … I am happy that Elaine will continue as director of the department. Westport is in very capable hands.”

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03/27/17 03:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Music Students to Perform in Hartford

Westport music students are going to Hartford to participate in the 71st Annual Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) All-State Conference on March 31, the school system announced today.

They include three ensembles comprised of 45 students from the Long Lots Elementary School Pan Island Express Steel Drum Band, the Westport Middle School Percussion Ensemble, and the Bedford Middle School Jazz Ensemble.

Each school year, CMEA hosts regional concerts that highlight students’ advanced achievement in music performance.

In March, CMEA hosts a statewide in-service conference for music educators and concludes with the All-State ensemble performances by high school students.

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03/27/17 02:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cops: Contractor Stole Designer Clothing from Home

A Milford home improvement contractor arrested for fraud in February was arrested again Sunday for stealing designer items from a Woodway Lane home, police said today. Image
Jeffrey Chirillo: held on $25,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Jeffrey Chirillo, 36, was arrested on a warrant at the Bridgeport Police Department where he was being held.

Lt. David Farrell said that while Chirillo was in custody for his February arrest, he was interviewed by detective and admitted to taking sunglasses and snow boots from the residence where he was working.

“Based on his confession, detectives served a search warrant on his home,” Farrell said. “Detectives located Sorel boots, a Northface jacket, Patagonia boots and Polaroid Aviator sunglasses in Chirillo’s home that belong to the victim of this incident.”

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03/27/17 01:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: Response to BOF Members Letter Re BOE Budget

Dear Board of Finance Members:

I’ve read your letter dated March 26 posted on I am … it’s hard to put into words. Disgusted? Confused? Disheartened? Although perhaps not for the reasons you would hope to have accomplished by publishing this letter.

I agree that Westport residents should not have to pay for the mistakes made by the state. That being said, do the Westport residents know the whole picture of what else is going on in our town? “Education” is a big trigger word for this town, for myself as well.

I have a child in the Westport Public School system, and am disheartened every year by budget cuts. I would get into the details regarding those disappointments, but that isn’t what this letter is about.

Do the residents realize what is happening with our local first responders? Do they know that this town, with all it claims to offer, is asking that the new contract for our first responders cancel benefits to their families in case of a line of duty death? And this is only one of many items listed.

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03/27/17 11:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Woodpecker Sighting Image
This Pileated Woodpecker was spotted Sunday at Westport’s Earthplace. One of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent, it is nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for


03/27/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 27, 2017

9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Exhibit: “MORE Than Words: As We Are!”
3:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - EK Theater Video Game Puppetry Class
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 104 - Board of Assessment Appeals Adjudication
7:30 p.m. - Staples Cafeteria B - Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/27/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Family Art Day Crowd at Arts Center Image
Families got creative together today at the Westport Arts Center’s bi-annual Family Art Day, designing family crests, personalized planters, and other hands-on projects. The Family Art Day: Create Your Family’s Modern Crest projects introduced artistic processes and techniques, helped youngsters explore their imaginations, and provided context for the Arts Center’s current exhibition. The backdrop for the event was the Arts Center’s “As We Are!” exhibition, on view through April 1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Xenia Gross for


03/26/17 05:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Shorn for a Good Cause Image
Aarti Khosla, owner of Le Rouge Handmade Chocolates by Aarti on Westport’s Main Street, was a last minute addition to today’s 13th Annual Team Brent St. Baldrick’s Celebration fundraiser at the Westport Weston Family YMCA. Khosla decided only three days ago to take part in the annual head shaving event to raise money for child cancer research. She said she raised $6,700. Contributed photos


03/26/17 04:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Democracy March Draws Hundreds, U.S. Legislators

By James Lomuscio

From Jesup Green to Veterans Green, today’s March to DefenDemocracy drew hundreds brandishing myriad anti-President Trump placards, a show of force from Democrats. Image
March organizer Darcy Hicks addresses today’s Veterans Greens rally as fellow organizers Nita Prasad, Lauren Soloff, and Lisa Bowman look on.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Unabashed, they appeared energized by Friday’s Trumpcare defeat, and they were cheered on at Veterans Green by U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, all Democrats, as well as by Republican First Selectman Jim Marpe.

DefenDemocracy was co-founded by Westporters Darcy Hicks, Lauen Soloff, Lisa Bowman and Nita Prasad, and the event drew support from Westport’s Democratic Town Committee (DTC).

“We founded this right after the march,” Hicks said referring to women’s Washington, D.C. march protesting the election and inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. “The reason for today is to unite the community and all the grassroots groups that have formed since the election to defend our democracy.

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03/26/17 03:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: Democracy March in Westport

Scenes from today’s democracy march in Westport. Bob Eckman, Lynn U. Miller, and Nicholas Pisaro, Jr. for, photos, and contributed photos.


03/26/17 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

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