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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Comings & Goings: Savannah Bee to Bedford Square

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Savannah Bee Company, known for its premium artisanal honeys, honey-based health and beauty products, and mission to educate people about the wonders of the Honeybee and preserving the art of beekeeping, will open in Bedford Square this summer. The Savannah, Georgia-based firm will offer daily honey tastings and an extensive health and beauty section featuring luxurious products made with ingredients straight from the hive, according to the company. The Westport boutique will be Savannah Bee’s first store in the Northeast. To date, it has four locations in Georgia, one in Florida, and two in South Carolina, with three more locations opening this summer, including Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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04/27/17 06:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

GOP Offers Alternative Budget — But Has Much Work Still To Do

By Keith M. Phaneuf, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Republican legislators today unveiled a two-year budget plan that rejected controversial proposals to pass teacher pension costs onto towns and to expose nonprofit hospitals to local taxation.

But the GOP plan, which also would eliminate a program to share sales tax receipts with municipalities, is out of balance by more than $1 billion because of recent, massive erosion in state income tax receipts.

The budget Gov. Dannel P. Malloy offered in early February and the proposal majority Democrats on the Appropriations Committee crafted but did not vote on this week also face similar massive shortfalls.

Still, Republicans insisted their $35.7 billion plan offers a valuable template legislators could follow to close a major projected deficit — probably approaching $4.7 billion over two years — while minimizing impact to taxpayers.”

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04/27/17 06:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

It’s a Setup for Woman’s Club Art Show

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Installation was underway today for the weekend Westport Woman Club’s Art Show fundraiser. Curator Miggs Burroughs (2nnd r) worked with participating Westport area artists (l-r) Julie Leff, Dorothy Robertshaw and Nina Bentley for the event, which runs on Saturday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (opening reception) and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. This year’s show is dedicated to the memory of recently deceased local artist Naiad Einsel and features multiple works by 14 artists across an array of media. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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04/27/17 04:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

CT Tax Revenue in Free Fall, Adding $1.1B in Red Ink for Next 2 years

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Plummeting state income tax collections are experiencing their worst decline since the last recession, falling $450 million below anticipated levels for April — one-and-a-half times the free fall projected just one day ago.

More importantly, the escalating erosion means income tax projections for the next two fiscal years must be downgraded by $500 million and $600 million, respectively, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration said today.

That adds $1.1 billion to an already daunting $3.6 billion deficit forecast, all but shattering hopes of avoiding tax increases or big municipal aid reductions in the next budget.

The new trend also means the state probably will close its third successive fiscal year in deficit and deplete its $235.6 million emergency budget reserve.

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04/27/17 04:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Palmer Seeks to Assure Parents on Bus Driver Strike Situation

Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer sought to assure Westport parents today that the threat of a bus drivers’ strike is not imminent.

In an afternoon email, she said, “We continue to keep our lines of communication open with Dattco regarding the status of their negotiations with their drivers. 

“We are pleased that there was no disruption to service today, and we have assurances from Dattco that this level of service should continue as both sides continue to negotiate next week.”

A contract with the drivers, represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371, expired at midnight Wednesday. Negotiations are set to continue on Monday.

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04/27/17 03:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

In 1950s and ‘60s Fashion

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It was a 1950s and ‘60s look today at a Westport Arts Center (WAC) fashion show. Models walked the runway wearing vintage dresses and accessories provided by Vintage Virtuosa and Vintage by Sue Harmon, in preparation for the Westport Arts Center’s Martini Madness gala on May 20. The backdrop for the event was the “Main Street to Madison Avenue” exhibition focused on the advertisers and designers of the time period. Pictured (l-r) Price Snedaker, Dana Harmon, Lisa Lampert, Erika Miller, WAC Executive Director Amanda Innes, Orly Angerthal, Leslie LaSala, Deborah Murphy, Xenia Gross and Silvia Durno. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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04/27/17 02:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 2 Harding Lane

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 2 Harding Lane, off Hillspoint Road, is in process. Built in 1958, the 1-1/4 story conventional has 2,131-square feet and is situated on a 1.02-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

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04/27/17 12:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Palmer: No Bus Driver Strike Today

Westport Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said enough school bus drivers reported to work today despite their contract expiring at midnight Wednesday.

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A school bus makes a stop today on Wilton Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“We have confirmed with Dattco this morning that they are able to provide normal bus transportation for our students today,” she said in an email to parents.

“Please follow your regular transportation plans for the day. All before and after school activities will take place at their regularly scheduled times.”

On Wednesday, she said the bus driver union leadership was not promoting a strike today, but how many drivers show up for work would not be known until this morning.

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04/27/17 06:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 27, 2017


9 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - CSA Enhancement Committee
9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit: “The Danbury Raid”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Main Street to Madison Avenue”
Noon - Westport Arts Center - Martini Madness Vintage Fashion Show
1 p.m. - Westport Library - Workshop on Pruning
5:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Throwback Thurdsday—Build a Diorama
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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04/27/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Malloy Seeks Bipartisan Summit to Tackle Eroding CT Income Tax Receipts

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today asked legislative leaders to meet with him next week to plan a bipartisan response to state income tax receipts declining by “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The governor did not identify how severe the decline is likely to be before his budget staff and nonpartisan analysts complete their latest assessment, which is due Monday.

But the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis — which prepares a daily update on income tax collections after the April 18 filing deadline — notified lawmakers today that receipts for April were running $293 million below originally anticipated levels.

That’s a revenue shortfall of 20.4 percent.

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04/26/17 09:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

High-Income CT Taxpayers Hit by Trump Tax Plan

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington — The new tax plan released by the Trump administration today would slash taxes for corporations and eliminate the estate tax, double the standard deduction and reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three.

The federal tax code overhaul, which the Trump administration calls the first of its kind since 1986, also would eliminate many deductions used by those who don’t take the standard deduction to lower their taxable income — including deductions for state and local taxes that would disproportionately impact high-income states like Connecticut.

But the Trump plan would keep the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable donations deduction in place. Trump’s plan also would boost the tax break for child and dependent care expenses.

But the proposal is only an outline, lacking key details, including the income levels that would be subject to the pared-down tax brackets of 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. White House officials say they haven’t specified which income levels would hit the higher tax brackets because that’s part of ongoing discussions with Congress.

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04/26/17 08:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Here’s What Westport Would Have Received Under Failed Budget Proposal

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Here’s what Westport would have received under the failed compromise budget proposed Tuesday, according to the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) CtMirror.org graphic

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04/26/17 07:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

School Aid: Westport Would Have Received $408,108 Increase in ECS Grant

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

Democrats say the state budget plan they released Tuesday was put together in the hope it would generate some Republican votes on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, but when they didn’t materialize Democrats were unable to hold their slim majority together to pass the plan.

Here’s what their so-called “compromise budget” would have provided in state education aid, according to data provided to some legislators by the Office of Fiscal Analysis.

Greenwich was the biggest winner for education aid. Its Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant -— the state’s main tool for distributing aid to local school districts -— was slated to increase by $1.25 million. Lisbon was the biggest loser, taking an ECS hit of $155,279. School aid for troubled school districts was boosted slightly — with Bridgeport, Hartford and Waterbury each scheduled for a $500,000 increase next fiscal year.

[Westport would have seen a $408,108 increase in its ECS grant and $59, 617 increase in special ed funding.]

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04/26/17 07:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Palmer: Union Leadership Not Promoting Bus Driver Strike

Westport Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said today the bus driver union leadership is not promoting a strike on Thursday, but how many drivers will show up for work will not be known until morning.

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School buses at the Dattco lot on Post Road East today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

In an email to parents, she said a federal mediator, with urging from her office and the Dattco bus company, reached out to the drivers’ union to ask the union leadership to encourage its members to come to work on Thursday. Their contract expires at midnight tonight.

“We have been informed that this did occur and that union leadership is not promoting a strike,” Palmer said. She added that negotiations with representatives of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371 are set to continue on Monday.

“We will not know the status of the drivers who plan to work tomorrow until shortly after 6:00 a.m. when they begin to report for work,” Palmer said.

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04/26/17 05:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Blumenthal, Murphy Say White House Briefing on North Korea Revealed Little

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington — Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy on today joined all of their Senate colleagues on a bus to the White House for a classified briefing on North Korea, but they and other senators from both parties said they left without learning much new.

“While we weren’t presented with any new information today, it’s clear that North Korea is a serious threat that must be dealt with immediately,” said Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Murphy said ending the threat posed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who “wants a nuclear weapon, and he wants to put it on a ballistic missile that can reach the United States,” is a national security priority.

“Unfortunately, the inconsistent and bellicose rhetoric from the Trump administration isn’t helpful, and it risks a miscalculation by either side that would cost lives and potentially lead to war,” said Murphy, one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s foreign policy in Congress.

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04/26/17 05:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

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Arts & Leisure

Comings & Goings: Savannah Bee to Bedford Square

It’s a Setup for Woman’s Club Art Show

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Comings & Goings: Savannah Bee to Bedford Square

GOP Offers Alternative Budget — But Has Much Work Still To Do

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Palmer Seeks to Assure Parents on Bus Driver Strike Situation

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GOP Offers Alternative Budget — But Has Much Work Still To Do

CT Tax Revenue in Free Fall, Adding $1.1B in Red Ink for Next 2 years

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Comings & Goings: Savannah Bee to Bedford Square

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 2 Harding Lane

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