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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Marching Through Westport

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Participants in today’s march through Westport move along Post Road East to the rally point at Veterans Green across from Westport Town Hall. The protest took place under cloudy skies in 40-degree weather. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/26/17 12:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hundreds Take Part in ‘March to Defend Democracy’

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Several hundred persons today took part in a march through downtown Westport called “CT on the Move March to Defend Democracy — One Small State, One Big Voice.” Demonstrators walked from Jesup Green to Veterans Green across from Westport Town Hall for a rally. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/26/17 12:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: BOF Members Say Tell State Westport Is Not Its Piggybank

(Editor’s note: The following letter is from six Board of Finance members. Member John Hartwell decided not to participate)

Dear Westport Resident:

Westport has worked hard to prudently manage its finances and tax base.  All branches of our town government, many elected officials and volunteers, have worked collaboratively, on behalf of all residents, to ensure we have a high quality of life at a cost all residents and businesses can afford.  Sadly, maintaining this balance will be more difficult in the future.   

Today we are faced with grim economic news from the State of Connecticut. This is not a one-off problem and it will continue for years to come. Because of our State government’s inability to manage their budget and to control spending resulting in a projected deficit of over $1.5 billion next year alone, Westport finds itself in a difficult position.  Instead of tackling a State government that has grown too large and too expensive for the residents of CT, the State is largely trying to solve its budget problems by shifting costs to towns.  First, the State is decreasing or totally eliminating payments it has made to Westport for either education or other services which equals $3m-$4m in 2018 alone.  We assume this revenue from the State, which directly supplemented our operating budgets, is permanently gone.  Second, the State is discussing transferring ongoing costs from the State budget to the town budget, in the form of teacher pension costs.  If it does not come in the form of teacher pension costs, we still believe transferred costs will come to us in another form.

The total impact in 2018 will be in the $8m range (based on the proposals currently on the table).  Rather than pass these costs directly on to Westport taxpayers with a big tax increase, approximately $800 per household, the Board of Finance asked our town to come together as a community to find ways to slow the growth of operational costs.  The Police, Fire Department, EMS, Public Works, Parks and Rec, Library and Town Hall staff did what they could and they reduced their initial operating budget submissions by 1.5%. We also asked the Board of Education to trim its submission by 1.5% or $1.7m. This actually results in an increase of 1.0% or $1m over the prior year education budget.

Now it is time for the Board of Education to join with the Westport community to do its part, as they have before.  This is not the time for pitting parents against the rest of the community.  We must all do what we can to try to provide the best services to everyone in Westport at the most reasonable cost.  As we have learned in the past, it is indeed possible to slow the growth in the education budget without significant pain and suffering. For example, in the aftermath of the Great Recession crisis, the School System proposed an extremely responsive budget, and even gave back a sizeable year end surplus, with minimal impacts to our children.

More "Letter: BOF Members Say Tell State Westport Is Not Its Piggybank"

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03/26/17 11:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Noon - Jesup Green to Veterans Green - CT on the M.O.V.E. March
12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Family YMCA - St. Baldrick’s for TeamBrent: Brave a Shave for Kids with Cancer
1 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Family Art Day: Create Your Family’s Modern Crest
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Harvest Wine Bar - Uncorked Wine Tasting benefit for Whittingham Cancer Center

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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03/26/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Downtown Restaurant Busy in Pre-Opening

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Amis Trattoria, the Roman eatery from Philadelphia-based Vetri Family of Restaurants, was busy with customers tonight in the new Bedford Square development in Westport’s downtown. It doesn’t officially open until Friday, March 31, but the soft opening drew Saturday night crowds. Owned by Urban Outfitters, which also owns the adjoining Anthropologie, it features seasonally-driven small plates, handcrafted pastas, local seafood and antipasti selections from Executive Chef Brad Spence. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/25/17 08:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Working Late at Anthropologie

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Anthropologie employees were working late tonight to get the new store ready for its official opening on Friday, March 31. The company said 150 full and part-time workers were employed to get the new Bedford Square in shape for opening day.  The store, owned by Urban Outfitters, is the anchor tenant in the building that formerly was home to the Westport Weston YMCA. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/25/17 08:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Remembering ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ 49 Years Later

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Actor Keir Dullea chats today with WestportNow film critic Susan Granger following the Westport Cinema Initiative screening of “2001: A Space Odyssey” at Westport Town Hall. Dullea, 80, a Weston resident, is best known for the character of astronaut David Bowman, whom he portrayed in the 1968 Stanley Kubrick-directed film. He delighted the audience by reciting from memory a complicated dialogue from the film that was full of numbers and obscure words. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/25/17 07:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Video: Keir Dullea on Stanley Kubrick: ‘Always Aware in Presence of Genius’


Actor Keir Dulllea tells a Westport Town Hall audience today how director Stanley Kubrick selected him for his most famous role as astronaut David Bowman in Kubrick’s 1968 now cult classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Asked what it was like working with Kubrick, Dullea said: “You were aware you were in the presence of genius.” He appeared with WestportNow film critic Susan Granger following a screening of the film by Westport Cinema Initiative WestportNow.com video

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03/25/17 07:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

The Port Prison Penguins on the Move

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Members of the Port Prison Penguins from the Bridgeport Correctional Institute take part today in the Special Olympics Connecticut annual penguin plunge at Compo Beach. The plunge supports more than 13,000 athletes of all abilities who participate in sports training and competition year-round.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/25/17 02:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Head First

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One of the participants in today’s Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach goes in head first in the water.  Temperatures in the 50s under overcast skies made the plunge a little more palatable this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/25/17 02:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

In Action

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Members of Kohl’s Associates in Action were among those taking part in today’s Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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03/25/17 02:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Taking the Plunge

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Participants run to the water today at Westport’s Compo Beach as part of the Special Olympics Connecticut annual fundraiser. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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

Gallery: Special Olympics Penguin Plunge


Scenes from today’s Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach. WestportNow.com photos

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03/25/17 01:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Marina Sunset View

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Friday’s sunset as seen from the Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

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03/25/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, March 25, 2017


10:30 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Daniel Hemphy: “Irish Potato Famine & Effect on American Immigration”
11:15 a.m. - Westport Library - MathsAmazing - A Comedy Duo
1 p.m. - Compo Beach - Special Olympics Connecticut penguin plunge
4 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Cinema Initiative “2001” screening & talkback with Keir Dullea
6:30 p.m. - Birchwood Country Club - Dream Event: A Better Chance of Westport
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players: “Urinetown, The Musical” (last show)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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03/25/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

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Letter: BOF Members Say Tell State Westport Is Not Its Piggybank

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