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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Westport Taxes Due Jan. 1

Westport Tax Collector Peggy Klein reminded residents today that third quarter real estate taxes, personal property taxes, and sanitary sewer use and assessment charges are due Jan. 1.

Taxpayers have until Feb. 1 to pay taxes without penalty. Accounts will be subject to an 18 percent (1.5 percent/month) penalty charge if paid late.  Minimum interest charge is $2.

Failure to receive a bill does not abate the charges or interest.

Real estate taxes,  personal property taxes, and sanitary sewer use and assessment bills may be paid by credit card, debit card or direct withdrawal from a checking account online at http://www.westportct.gov.

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12/08/16 04:45 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 281 Compo Road South

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 281 Compo Road South, across from the Minute Man Monument, is in process. Built in 1961, the two-story colonial has 3,870-square feet, is situated on a one-acre property and last changed ownership, according to Town Assessor records, in August 2007 for $2,428,000. 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

12/08/16 04:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Old Mill Clouds

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Threatening rain clouds covered most of the horizon late in the day Wednesday as seen from Westport’s Old Mill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

12/08/16 12:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, December 8, 2016


9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Art to the Max”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/#Iammore Exhibition”
10 a.m. - Town Hall, Rear Parking Lot - Career Coach Beginning 2007 Word Class
1 p.m. - Town Hall, Rear Parking Lot - Career Coach Intermediate 2007 Word Class
5 p.m. - Westport Library - #ThrowbackThursdays
5:30 p.m. - Saugatuck Plaza - Christmas Tree Lighting & Santa Claus
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Fall Celestial Viewing with Maker Kevin Green
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Dinitia Smith in Conversation with Sybil Steinberg
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - P&Z Work Session
7 p.m. - 515 Post Road East - Public Site & Building Commission
7:30 p.m. - 515 Post Road East - Blight Prevention Board

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

12/08/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

BOF OKs $50,000 for Signs Study

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After much debate, the Westport Board of Finance tonight by a 4-2 vote approved $50,000 for consulting services “to improve the Wayfinding System for motorists and develop directional and informational signs for pedestrians.” First Selectman Jim Marpe said signage in Westport was a “hodgepodge” and Melissa Kane, chair of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee, showed several slides (above) to illustrate the point. She estimated it could take $350,000 to $400,00 to do the recommended work, which would also include design of mobile apps to aid visitors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

12/07/16 11:28 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Budget Woes Nearly Sink Dredging Plan

By James Lomuscio

In the wake of rough fiscal waters, a $1.265 million request tonight to the Board of Finance to dredge sand from the Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach and its channel seemed as grounded as a centerboard hitting bottom.

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The Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach and adjacent channel were last dredged in 1993. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

The reason: the town, fearful of financial uncertainty due to the state’s economic malaise, seemed queasy.

Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava said that 80 percent of the funds would be paid by boat slip holder fees over 20 years, the rest by the town. It was a matter of safety for boaters who might run aground, she said.

But with zero-based budgeting being the catchphrase of the night, her pitch to dredge 20,727 cubic yards of sand—the first such dredging since 1993—was not good enough.

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12/07/16 11:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Post Road East Rear-Ender Sends One to Hospital

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A rear-end accident involving two cars westbound in front of 371 Post Road East tonight sent one driver (in car at right) to Bridgeport Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, officials said. Several children were in the car at left, but were in child restraint seats and were not injured, they said. Traffic was tied up in the area until both cars could be towed.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

12/07/16 07:41 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

One Injured in Post Road East Accident

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One person was injured tonight in a rear-end accident involving two westbound cars in front of 371 Post Road East near the intersection with Compo Road. His injuries were non life-threatening, according to emergency workers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

12/07/16 07:39 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Officials Praise RTM Approval of Saugatuck Study Grant

By James Lomuscio

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member Matthew Mandell today lauded the RTM’s unanimous approval Tuesday night of a $440,000 appropriation for a Saugatuck transit oriented district master plan.

Of the money, which is 100 percent reimbursable from the state, $265,000 will go to the study and $175,000 for preliminary design work of specific projects.

“I appreciate the unanimous support of the RTM for this important project,” said Marpe. “The Saugatuck area is an important part of Wesport’s heritage, but also a critical part of our future because of its location as a transportation hub. Its revitalization has made it both a destination and place to live.”

Mandell, who represents the Saugatuck district, said that if the study aims at maintaining Westport’s small town identity and not making it into a transit hub area like Norwalk and Bridgeport, “it’s going to be a great project.”

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12/07/16 06:32 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Trying Their Luck

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Two fishermen tried their luck today at Westport’s Old Mill Beach with storm clouds overhead. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

12/07/16 04:41 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Real Estate Report: ‘For Sale’ Signs Can Be Deceiving

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

For sale signs are not necessarily indicative of the state of the market in Westport, nor do they represent all homes for sale in town. 

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Featured Home: This home at 22 Silver Brook Road is listed at $1,498,000.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Higgins Group Westport

When one drives around Westport looking for properties, they are apt to see many more homes that appear to be available for sale, but actually are not.

Conversely, there are also many homeowners that choose not to have a sign in the front yard.

Consider the fact that there are currently 280 homes for sale, and another 48 homes under some stage of deposit. Oftentimes, the for sale sign remains up until the time of closing, and there is not always a rider that makes it clear that the home is in fact under deposit.

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12/07/16 01:38 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

CT Lawmakers Torn Between Funds for Subs and Waiver for Mattis

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – A stopgap measure to fund the federal government would allow work to continue on a new Connecticut-built ballistic missile submarine while also expediting the controversial nomination of retired Gen. James N. Mattis as the next secretary of defense.

That spending bill, which must be approved by Friday to avoid a shutdown of the federal government, poses a tough choice for Connecticut’s lawmakers torn between huge local military contracts and concerns over Mattis’ appointment.

For the most part, the $1.07 trillion “continuing resolution” would hold funding of the federal government at fiscal year 2016 levels. But the Pentagon’s budget has been boosted by $8 billion.

The resolution also contains other provisions aimed at winning Democratic support, including $170 million in aid to rebuild water systems in Flint, Mich., and $500 million for states to respond to the opioid abuse crisis.

Click here for more of story

12/07/16 12:34 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 Years Ago and a Westporter Who Survived

In the days before today’s 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, word came of a special ceremony honoring a Westport survivor of the attack who died last year.

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Raymond J. Orr: Pearl Harbor survivor. Contributed photo

The Y’s Men of Westport Weston circulated a notice that the ashes of Raymond J. Orr were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, Honolulu, during a ceremony on Aug. 1.

Orr, who died on Jan. 16, 2015 at age 92 (see WestportNow Jan. 22, 2015), was president of the Y’s Men in 1993-94. He served as grand marshal of Westport’s Memorial Day parade in 1996.

The August ceremony had some serendipitous occurrences, according to Jim Orr, Ray Orr’s youngest son.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016


8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Maintenance Study Committee
9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Pension Investment Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Art to the Max”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/#Iammore Exhibition”
11 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Lisa Wexler: Probate Judge Lecture
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Dewey Knit: Grade 4 to Adults
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Quality Control Using Six Sigma Methodology
6 p.m. - Westport Weston Family YMCA - Healthy Living: The Medicinal Benefits of Tea
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Shellfish Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 212D - Board of Finance Executive Session
7:30 p.m. - 5 Canal Park - Housing Authority
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

12/07/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Real Westport Appears in ‘American Housewife’

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The real Westport appeared—briefly—tonight in the ABC-TV sitcom “American Housewife,” set in Westport. Until tonight’s episode “The Cotillion,” all exterior shots of the town were Hollywood make believe. But tonight there was brief glimpse of the real Inn at Lonsghore in Westport, the result of a film crew visiting Westport seveal weeks ago to film real Westport exteriors. “American Housewife,” which premiered Oct. 11, originally had been called “The Second Fattest Houswife in Westport,” before the later name change. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo from ABC-TV

12/06/16 09:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

RTM Re-Elects Flug, Heller in Leadership Spots

Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight re-elected Eileen Lavigne Flug as moderator and Velma Heller as deputy moderator.

The leadership elections are held annually for the legislative body, whose members serve two-year terms. The last RTM member election was in November 2015.

Flug was elected with one member opposed – John Suggs of District 5. Heller’s election was unanimous.

Flug and Heller have served in their respective positions since 2013 following the resignation of Hadley Rose, who resigned after six years as moderator because he was moving to Simsbury.

12/06/16 08:41 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Party Time

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Almost 100 members of the Westport business community attended a holiday mixer tonight hosted by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce at The Boathouse in Saugatuck. The crowd included both Westport Business Network International groups, many members and others. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Conributed photo

12/06/16 08:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Toy Collection Box Ready for Donations

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The Westport police holiday toy drive does not officially begin until this weekend (see WestportNow Nov. 26, 2016), but there is already a toy collection box set up at Westport Police Headquarters, 50 Jesup Road. Donors are asked to bring new, unopened, and unwrapped toys to the collection point as well as on Saturday and Sunday, and next weekend as well, at ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

12/06/16 05:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Steinberg: Bipartisan Efforts Needed on CT Financial Woes

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136), just re-elected to his fourth term, today painted a pessimistic picture of state finances in a talk to the weekly Westport Rotary Club meeting.

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg addresses the Westport Rotary Club today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

He said “cutting won’t be enough” to improve Connecticut’s financial woes and the only solutions must be bipartisan ones.

“We got into this mess together,” and the need is to come up with solutions both sides can agree on, said Steinberg, who presented a detailed slide show on state finances.

He said it would be “suicide” to make moves to raise the sales tax, for example, and warned that Westport should not expect much in state aid and will likely see additional cuts to educational cost sharing.

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12/06/16 04:11 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Granger at the Movies: ‘Rules Don’t Apply,’ ‘Miss Sloane,’ ‘Bad Santa’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Watching “Rules Don’t Apply” reminded me of when Elizabeth Taylor died. I was chatting with another critic at a Manhattan screening when the twentysomething publicist asked, “Who’s Elizabeth Taylor?”

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After years of gestation, Warren Beatty has created an absurdly nostalgic farce about aviation tycoon/film producer Howard Hughes. But do moviegoers remember either of them?

Beatty’s story begins with “Never check an interesting fact,” a quote attributed to Howard Hughes, known for being the most eccentric, elusive executive in Hollywood, as shown in the 1964 prologue.

Flash back to 1958, when an aspiring actress, virginal Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), arrives in Hollywood from Virginia with her devoutly Baptist mother (Annette Bening). Marla soon discovers she’s only one of many starlets summoned by Hughes and paid $400 a week to ‘stand by’ for RKO Pictures auditions.

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12/06/16 03:03 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Fire Victim ‘Always Loved Animals’

By Sam Whiting

San Francisco Chronicle

Riley Fritz, a garage band bass player and art school graduate who was always trailed by a rescue dog, was confirmed dead Monday in the fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland.

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Feral Pines: 2005 Staples grad. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Fritz family

“A very soft, sensitive, caring person,” said her father, Bruce Fritz of Westport, Conn. “A very gentle soul. Never had a bad word to say about other people.”

Riley Fritz, who was 29 and also went by the name Feral Pines, was a transgender woman and one of several queer people to perish in the inferno.

She had moved from out of state to Oakland in September and was living with friends while raising a rescue dog named Grimma, said her father.

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12/06/16 02:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Celebrating the Christmas Season

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The Minute Man monument on Westport’s Compo Beach road is celebrating the Christmas season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016


8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - TEAM Westport
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Art to the Max”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/#Iammore Exhibition”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
1:15 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: Advanced Writing Class
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Workshop for December Artist-in-Residence Challenge: Draw Your Own Word Cloud
6:45 p.m. - Town Hall Room 212D - RTM Public Protection Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Joint ARB/HDC
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:45 p.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Healthy Living: Journey Dance

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

12/06/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, December 05, 2016

Malloy Re-Elected to a Second Term as DGA Chairman

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was re-elected today to a second one-year term as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, which lost ground in the 2016 elections, at the group’s winter meeting in New Orleans.

He will be succeeded in 2018 by Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also was elected to the DGA leadership team: He will serve as policy chair for 2017.

Democrats did poorly in 2016 when they defended more seats than Republicans. The GOP won open races for governorships that had been held by Democrats in Missouri, New Hampshire and Vermont, but Democrats unseated North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who didn’t concede the close race until today.

“Governor Malloy’s leadership in 2016 helped the DGA recruit strong candidates, set fundraising records and win the marquee governor’s race in North Carolina while protecting all three Democratic incumbents,” said Elisabeth Pearson, the executive director of the DGA.

Click here for more of story

12/05/16 10:46 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Educators, Town Officials Brace for Budget Woes

By James Lomuscio

A new state law requring total town budgets not be more than a 2.5 percent increase over the previous year beginning fiscal year 2018-19 took center stage tonight at the Westport Board of Education.

Joining the board in talks about the 2017-18 school budget were members of the Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) as well as First Selectman Jim Marpe.

The bottom line: such mandated fiscal belt tightening will increase budget woes as the town grapples with the state’s fiscal crisis, unfunded educational mandates, educational cost sharing (ECS) grant cuts, contractual obligations outpacing inflation and per pupil expenditures jumping 11 percent in the past three years, town and school officials said.

Towns where the total budgets, municipal and school, exceed 2.5 percent will be penalized in terms of state funding, according to the mandate. The total operating budget for the town and schools this fiscal year in $204 million.

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Property Transfers
property transfers

Westport Property Transfers Nov. 14 - 18, 2016

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Obituaries

Arleen B Allen, 77

John B. Travers, 57

Arts & Leisure

Real Westport Appears in ‘American Housewife’

Granger at the Movies: ‘Rules Don’t Apply,’ ‘Miss Sloane,’ ‘Bad Santa’

Business

Land Swap Dropped: ‘Economics Just Didn’t Work’

Staples Students Build Tesla App

Community

Group Think

Compo Sunset - 1

Health & Fitness

Flu Shot Clinics Underway

Comings & Goings: Fountain of Youth Closes Retail Outlet

Education

Educators, Town Officials Brace for Budget Woes

Staples Students Build Tesla App

Politics

CT Lawmakers Torn Between Funds for Subs and Waiver for Mattis

Steinberg: Bipartisan Efforts Needed on CT Financial Woes

Real Estate

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 281 Compo Road South

Real Estate Report: ‘For Sale’ Signs Can Be Deceiving

Sports

Getting Ready for Nationals

In the Arms of an Olympic Champion

Special Reports
Special Reports

Gallery: Update on Bedford Square

Key Lawmaker: Need to Talk About Raising Revenues

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