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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Letters: Westporters Speak Out on Proposed Coyote Ordinance

To the Editor:

As a Westport voter, I take pride that we ban hunting and trapping. We are the only town in Connecticut that does, due to special statutory authority granted many years ago.

Other towns should be able to ban hunting trapping if they so choose. I was happy to hear that this year, for the first time, a bill was introduced that would allow municipalities to ban trapping.

The bill, proposed by a Fairfield County Representative, the Honorable Fred Camillo, was blocked from even having a public hearing by DEEP, and now DEEP is working hard right here in Westport to try to overturn our community’s long-standing ban on trapping.

The head of DEEP’s trapping program even showed up at our last ordinance committee meeting (in his DEEP uniform), despite the fact that this meeting provided no opportunity for his input.

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08/23/17 10:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Scene Image
Compo Beach scene early Tuesday afternoon as temperatures climbed into the 90s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/23/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - Board of Selectmen (live on cable channel 79, Frontier channel 99, &
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SELECTS Artist Member Exhibition”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The High School That Rocked!” & “Magical Thinking”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - HTC Vive Virtual Reality Demo
2 p.m. & 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Appropriate”
3 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - P&Z and ZBA Subcommittee
4 p.m. - Westport Library - DeweyKnit: Grade 4 to Adult
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. - Westport Astronomical Society (182 Bayberry Lane) - Public Star Party (if skies are clear)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/23/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Library Collaborates with WHS to Safeguard Files

The Westport Library announced today it is collaborating with the Westport Historical Society (WHS) to transfer and protect the library’s historical files during its transformation project. Image
Westport Historical Society volunteers Eve Potts (l) and Marion Morra (r) at work sorting through archival documents and photos in the Westport Library’s collection. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The 18 to 21 months of construction is set to begin Sept. 14.

Select materials will be moved to the WHS, library officials said, where they will be on long-term loan during the renovation project.

“The library is fortunate to have a wealth of unique records that provide an unparalleled look back into Westport’s history,” said Library Executive Director Bill Harmer.

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08/22/17 09:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Cone and Phone Image
On a hot (upper 70s) muggy summer night tonight, many Westporters headed out for some ice cream. This customer at Sunny Dae’s, 30 Riverside Ave., balanced her cone and phone. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/22/17 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Legislators to Propose New Budget Plans to Break Gridlock

Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

With the state budget standoff nearing two months, Democrats and Republican legislative leaders announced plans today to unveil revised budget proposals soon.

Majority House Democrats remain focused on a sales tax hike to mitigate severe hits to cities and towns proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, and will unveil their latest budget plan Wednesday, said Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin.

And GOP leaders in the House and Senate, who were unable to block a labor concessions deal they still argue will hurt Connecticut in the long run, said they’re also developing a new budget that accepts the labor savings.

But after a nearly two-hour, closed-door meeting, top lawmakers said that while they still were working with the goal of adopting a new, two-year budget during the week of Sept. 11, they didn’t express any optimism this would happen.

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08/22/17 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘Logan Lucky,’ ‘Kidnap,’ ‘Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Let’s face it: crime capers are fun — and Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” may be his best. It’s a blast. Image

After a leg injury sidelined him from a football career, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) traded his helmet for a hard-hat. But now his limp means he can’t even hold a construction job.

Commiserating with his bartender brother Clyde (Adam Driver), whose forearm was blown off in Iraq, Jimmy comes up with an idea. They’re gonna rob North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway — with a bit of help from their hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough, Elvis’ granddaughter).

Jimmy’s worked underground at the Speedway and has inside information about the complex pneumatic tubing system that sluices cash from the souvenir and concession stands into the speedway’s vault. Seemingly dimwitted Jimmy is a man with a plan.

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08/22/17 07:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Second Arrest in TD Bank Robbery

Officers today arrested a second suspect who admitted to being the getaway driver in the July 2 robbery of TD Bank at 111 Post Road East, police said. Image
Loang Manpign: held on $100,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Loang Manpign, 24, of Bronx, N.Y was arrested at Norwalk Superior Court on a warrant and charged with conspiracy to commit robbery second degree and conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny, according to Lt. Jillian Cabana.

Held on $100,000 cash only bond, he was arraigned following his arrest, Cabana said.

Manpign’s arrest follows Tuesday’s arrest of Alpha Jalloh, 24, in Norwalk Superior Court on robbery, conspiracy and larceny charges for the TD Bank robbery.

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08/22/17 06:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

And So It Begins Image
Construction crews today laid the first steel girder of the new Saugatuck Island Bridge. The $2.65 million project replaces the 1929-built timber bridge heavily damaged in 2012 by Super Storm Sandy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Irene Penny for


08/22/17 05:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Humane Society Steps Up Opposition to Trapping Ordinance

With the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) scheduled to hear an amendment Tuesday, Sept. 5, that would allow the trapping of coyotes, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) today ramped up its opposition, calling leg-hold traps cruel.

“Trapping is cruel, ineffective and indiscriminate,” said Annie Hornish, senior state HSUS director. “Using trap-and-kill methods is the wrong approach for managing human-wildlife conflicts. Indeed, using lethal control methods, such as trapping, can often make the problem much worse.

“The Town of Westport should reject this ill-advised proposal,” she added.

The amendment is the result of a petition from Charcoal Hill Road residents concerned about an influx of coyotes in their neighborhood. Resident Art Buckman launched the petition after a pet dog being was attacked and killed.

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08/22/17 04:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Romanacci Pizza Bar to Railroad Place Image
Romanacci Pizza Bar will open at 50 Railroad Place in late September, according to Graziano Ricci, co-owner with his brother Maurizio.  The brothers currently own two eateries in Norwalk, Osteria since 2009 and Romanacci Pizza Bar since 2012. Since then, the Ricci brothers expanded to Monroe and Trumbull over the past two years. Graziano said the Westport shop, at the beginning, will offer pizza only on a delivery or takeout basis and said commuters can text order from the train and the pizza will be ready for pick up. “We are applying for a beer and wine license,” he said. The space, formerly occupied by Grana Pastificia fresh pasta, is connected to its neighbor Winfield Deli giving customers the convenience of picking up a morning coffee and, according to Breno Donatti, Winfield Deli owner, “selecting a breakfast pizza to complement the coffee that I serve.”  Graziano said Romanacci specializes in Roman pizza alla palla, square and crisp. Romanacci General Manager Anthony Devivo said the pizza will be prominently displayed in the window of the Railroad Place facility so that commuters can view its specialties. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/22/17 04:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

As Schools Open, Police Step Up Enforcement

With Westport’s first day of school set for Thursday, Aug. 31,  police will be out in force targeting traffic violators in school zones with a “Back to School” enforcement and education campaign, police said today.

Lt. Jillian Cabana said officers will target drivers using cell phones and speeding in school zones, near bus stops, “and those that disregard school bus signals in town.”

“The Westport Police Department is committed to protecting children from motorists who disregard the law, especially around school zones and bus stops where students congregate,” Cabana said.

“We urge commuters to allow for extra time as they will be sharing the roads with school buses making frequent stops, as well as children who will be walking and/or biking to school.

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08/22/17 02:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

J.D. Salinger Westport Letter Among Auction Items

UPDATE Westport’s University Archives is holding an internet-only auction on Tuesday, Aug. 29, including two signed letters by the famously reclusive and enigmatic “Catcher In the Rye” author J.D. Salinger, one of them written in Westport. In addition, there are two Salinger letters — both written in Westport — for sale at a fixed price. 

The catalog of autographed documents, manuscripts, books and relics is online at The auction will go live on Image
A 1950 letter written by J.D. Salinger in Westport is among items up for sale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

The Salinger letters were written to Joyce Miller, a lifelong friend and confidante. One auction item is typewritten (except for the signature) and dated 1950, about the time he was finishing writing “Catcher in the Rye” and living in Westport. The other auction item is a 1969 letter handwritten in New York.

The three letters written from Westport are all dated 1950 and come with the original envelopes, giving a return address of “Box 365, Westport, CT.” For years it was unknown exactly where in Westport Salinger lived, in 1949 and 1950, but research by Kenneth Slawenski in his book “J.D. Salinger: A Life” identified Old Road, off the Post Road, as the street, but the number is unknown, according to University Archives. (See WestportNow Feb. 13, 2011)

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08/22/17 10:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Days on Market Important Indicator

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

The average days on market for a home to sell in Westport has been slowly creeping up over the last six years. However, it is not cause for alarm. Image
Featured Home: This home on 10 Northgate Lane is listed at $1,499,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of The Riverside Realty Group-Westport

According to our Multiple Listing Service (SmartMLS), we currently are experiencing a market time of 121 days, with a low of 100 days in 2011, and a high of 134 days in 2009.

Agents and buyers seem to pay close attention to the days on market. It’s a clear hint as to pricing and perception of value from a buyer’s standpoint, as well as market performance.

Market time is measured in a few different ways; active listings and sold homes are two entirely different figures. The active days on market is current, and assists with market projection, where the sold figures establish a baseline.

More "Real Estate Report: Days on Market Important Indicator"


08/22/17 09:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

Westport real estate price changes over the past week:

319 Bayberry Lane           $650,000->$617,500
448 Riverside Ave.          $724,900->$694,000
10 Lockwood Circle           $775,000->$750,000
132 Regents Park             $759,000->$755,000
6 Brookside Place             $799,500->$779,000
1 Charcoal Hill Road         $945,000->$865,000
27 Drumlin Road             $958,000->$928,000
7 Stone Drive             $1,050,000->$1,000,000
4 Christmas Lake Lane   $1,065,000->$1,025,000
27 Fairfield Ave.          $1,200,000->$1,100,000
10 Mills St.                $1,269,000->$1,195,000
49 Reichert Circle         $1,399,000->$1,299,000
6 Linden St.              $1,649,000->$1,589,000
9 Dexter Road           $1,649,000->$1,619,000
15 High Point Road       $1,689,000->$1,625,000
10 Covlee Drive           $1,849,000->$1,745,000
14 Danbury Ave.        $1,945,000->$1,899,000
9 Pheasant Lane         $2,374,000->$2,249,000
19 Center St.            $2,475,000->$2,399,000
43 Red Coat Road       $2,499,000->$2,399,000
111 Harbor Road         $2,800,000->$2,700,000
21 Juniper Road         $2,849,000->$2,749,000
9 River Lane             $3,495,000->$3,395,000
—Judy Szablak


08/22/17 09:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

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Granger at the Movies: ‘Logan Lucky,’ ‘Kidnap,’ ‘Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’

J.D. Salinger Westport Letter Among Auction Items


Legislators to Propose New Budget Plans to Break Gridlock

Comings & Goings: Romanacci Pizza Bar to Railroad Place


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Legislators to Propose New Budget Plans to Break Gridlock

Marpe: ‘Disappointed” Over Trump Charlottesville Remarks

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Comings & Goings: Romanacci Pizza Bar to Railroad Place

Real Estate Report: Days on Market Important Indicator


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