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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lawmakers Set Aside Partisanship to Back Bioscience Industry

By Keith M. Phaneuf

While partisan politics has bogged down many state legislative debates, Democratic and Republican leaders announced today they can agree on how to better support and plan the growth of Connecticut’s bioscience industry.

Top leaders in the Senate and on the Commerce Committee highlighted three bills that develop a strategy to elevate Connecticut to a national leader in biomedical research.

“Connecticut is locked in a global competition to create good-paying jobs and support high-growth industries,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said. “… Connecticut possesses all of the ingredients to capitalize on the exponential growth that is set to occur in precision medicine and biomedical research.”

“We have an incredible workforce in our state and Connecticut should always be looking at new ways to support those workers and to grow new job opportunities,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tem Len Fasano of North Haven.

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03/28/17 04:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Crucial Time

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

This is a crucial time for those looking to either by or sell a home in Westport. Image
Featured Home: This home at 25 Edgemarth Hill Road is listed at $2,945,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis-Southport

There is a need to review the market very carefully, as it continues to shift toward favoring sellers.

Specifically, certain “price pockets” are full of activity, and others are not at all.

It could be that some properties are priced beyond their value and are positioned in an incorrect price range, which would certainly contribute to a lack of movement.

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03/28/17 02:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

Westport real estate price changes over the past week:

21 Hale St.                  $459,000->$449,000
33 Pumpkin Hill Road           $789,000->$769,000
90 Old Road                     $849,500->$799,000
6 Silent Grove                   $998,000->$935,000
68 Bulkley Ave. North   $1,158,000->$1,058,000  
5 Bayberry Ridge Road     $1,249,000->$1,199,000
33 Colony Road             $1,299,000->$1,249,000  
156 North Ave.          $1,399,000->$1,375,000
75 Old Hill Road             $1,749,000->$1,695,000
11 Old Hill Road             $1,799,000->$1,749,000
19 Dover Road             $1,975,000->$1,875,000
7 Tranquility Lane           $2,399,000->$2,095,000
10 Winding Lane             $2,299,000->$2,195,000
55 Morningside Drive South     $2,695,000->$2,495,000
—Judy Szablak


03/28/17 01:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

CT Mirror Names New CEO, Publisher

The board of directors of The Connecticut News Project, publisher of The Connecticut Mirror and its sister websites TrendCT and CT Viewpoints, announced today that it has named Bruce Putterman as its chief executive officer and publisher. Image
Bruce Putterman: takes over April 10. Contributed photo

The Connecticut Mirror is a nonprofit online news publication covering state and federal government, public policy, and politics. WestportNow is a partner of The Connecticut Mirror.

“Connecticut residents can depend on the CT Mirror to keep them informed, making government and policymaking more transparent,” Ulysses B. Hammond CNP’s board president said.

“To be accountable to our mission and audience, this means CNP needs to be agile and cutting edge. Our board was very impressed by Bruce’s leadership skills, record of innovation, business experience, collaborative style, and knowledge of Connecticut. His combination of skills is just what we need to advance our mission.”

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03/28/17 12:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

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 Canceled
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

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Spring Pop Up Art Show Set for April 6

Winners Announced in PTA Reflections Arts Program


Lawmakers Set Aside Partisanship to Back Bioscience Industry

CT Mirror Names New CEO, Publisher


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Human Services Gets New Director

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Winners Announced in PTA Reflections Arts Program


Lawmakers Set Aside Partisanship to Back Bioscience Industry

Sessions Immigration Threat Could Cost CT Millions in Federal Grants

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Real Estate Report: Crucial Time

Westport Real Estate Price Changes


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