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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Volunteer Dog Walkers Needed

The Connecticut Humane Society in Westport (455 Post Road East, 203-227-4137) is in need of help from the Westport community.  Volunteer Dog Walkers are needed at the shelter for regular once-a-week / 2 hour block schedules to make sure the dogs get out for play time. If interested, please stop by or call the Connecticut Humane Society.  Thank-You.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

2009 In Pictures

Once again, WestportNow presents as a New Year’s gift to our readers a review of the past year through the eyes of Westporters who contributed photos, video and illustrations to WestportNow in 2009.

The year 2009 was unusually busy, and we are pleased to have been your No. 1 source for breaking and ongoing news coverage of Westport for the seventh successive year.

Dozens of persons contributed news stories, photos, and illustrations to WestportNow over the past year. The 2009 review, with video and drawings for the first time, includes almost 350 entries and represents the work of 30 photographers by name and one illustrator.

In 2009, WestportNow continued to record remarkable growth. This last week alone, while unusually busy, WestportNow had more than 90,000 page views and more than 15,000 unique visitors. No other Westport news source, print or online, delivers as many daily or weekly readers to its advertisers.

We urge you to patronize our advertisers and spread the word about WestportNow. We continue to be grateful for the public trust shown in us and look forward to continuing to serve Westport in 2010. Best New Year wishes to all WestportNow readers.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

At 95, Ed Vebell Still Drawing on History

By James Lomuscio

The setting seemed cinematic, fictitious even—a worldly, wizened 95-year-old keeping two 18-year olds rapt and continually amazed, so much so that they would keep coming back to hear more.

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Ed Vebell: at 24, he drew Nazis at Nuremberg while thinking of his Paris girlfriend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

But that was the scene last week at the Compo Beach area home of legendary illustrator-photographer Ed Vebell as he hosted the teens—Wellington Baumann, a 2016 Staples High School graduate, and Aren Heitmann, a recent Fairfield Ludlowe High School graduate.

Baumann and Heitmann, history buffs who will attend Gettysburg College in the fall, are interning with Vebell for the summer in his loft studio. They seemed a good fit.

After all, Vebell, a World War II Army sergeant, was the key artist in Europe and North Africa for Stars & Stripes, the American newspaper reporting on matters affecting the U.S. Armed Forces. He was also the only artist allowed to cover the 1945, post-war Nuremberg, Germany war trials, which prosecuted members of the Nazi leadership.

More "At 95, Ed Vebell Still Drawing on History"

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2016”
1 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Race the Clock
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Buyer & Cellar”
3 p.m. - Westport Center for Senior Activities - Farewell reception for retiring Human Services Department Director Barbara Butler
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Children’s Series: Dirty Sock Funtime Band

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Comedy at Saugatuck

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Tina Giorgi of Long Island, a former school teacher, was one of three Treehouse Comedy Club standup comedians who entertained tonight at the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium, an alternate venue when the Levitt Pavilion schedule is threatened by forecasts of inclement weather. The other two stand-up acts were Joseph Anthony and Paul Bond whose performance featured guitar musical parodies. According to Brad Axelrod, founder of Treehouse Comedy Club, Bond will headline an evening’s entertainment in August at the Westport Inn. The Comedy Club, which traces its origins to 1983 in Westport, is Connecticut‘s original and first full-time comedy showcase. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 09:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Laugh Time

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It was laugh time tonight for the audience at Westport’s Saugatuck Elementary School watching the Treehouse Comedy Club performers. The show was moved from the Levitt Pavilion due to the threat of rain. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 09:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New State Budget Threatened Before it Starts

By Keith M.Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

With Connecticut’s new fiscal year set to begin Friday, serious issues — involving both spending and revenue — have arisen in recent weeks that challenge state government’s new spending plan before it’s even begun.

And a major Wall Street credit rating agency questioned Monday whether Connecticut’s fiscal house is in order, If not, the state could face its third consecutive year of deficits.

“With weak tax collections likely to carry over into fiscal 2017, the state has limited flexibility to maintain a balanced budget,” Moody’s Investors Service wrote in its latest Credit Outlook newsletter.

“Budget reductions are especially challenging to achieve in Connecticut, where fixed costs — the sum of pension contributions, retiree health contributions and debt service payments — claimed more than 25 percent of the state’s own-source governmental revenue in fiscal 2014.”

Click here for more of story

06/28/16 07:02 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Truck Causes Tree to Fall on Sylvan Lane House

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UPDATE A tractor-trailed hit a large tree on Westport’s Sylvan Lane today, causing it to fall on to a house at 10 Sylvan Lane.  The owner, Niall O’Oconnor was not at home at the time. He said damage to the house appeared to be minimal. Police talked to the driver before he was allowed to go. A tree crew worked to clear the tree as Sylvan Lane was shut down in the area of Post Road West. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 05:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Cleaning Up

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A tree crew works on Sylvan Lane today to clean up a tree which was struck by a tractor-trailer, causing it to fall on to a house at 10 Sylvan Lane. The owner, who was not at home at the time, said damage to the house appeared to be minimal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 05:05 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Updated Website Focuses on Implementing Downtown Plan

Just like the town launched a website two years ago to gather ideas to formulate the Downtown Master Plan, today it announced a website relaunch to implement the plan, www.downtownwestportct.com.

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The home page of the updated website of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Town officials say the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee (DPIC) website is an extension and continuation of the master plan public outreach effort which began in the summer of 2014.

“I am excited about the launch of the new website,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe. “I have stressed that we did not want a master plan that was just going to ‘sit on the shelf,’ but rather a comprehensive plan that was actually going to be implemented.

“The implementation process is where the real work begins, and the new website is an important part of that effort,” he added.

More "Updated Website Focuses on Implementing Downtown Plan"

06/28/16 04:54 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Compo Storm Clouds

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Storm clouds on the horizon kept visitors away from Westport’s Compo Beach today. Forecasters say the clouds will clear with good weather predicted for the Thursday night Independence Day fireworks at the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Meredith Holod for WestportNow.com

06/28/16 03:23 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Woman’s Observations Lead to Indeceny Arrest

Officers arrested a Bridgeport man on indecency charges after a woman said she observed him on two occasions masturbating in his car at a Westport shopping plaza, police said today.

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Gabriel Zayas: tracked through license plate . Westport Police photo

According to Lt. David Farrell, Gabriel Zayas, 39, was in his car in the parking lot at 606 Post Road East on Friday. The strip mall includes Earth Animal, UPS Store, Dunkin Donuts and Wish List.

The woman said she observed him inside his car, masturbating as she entered a store. On the way out 20 minutes later, she looked again and saw him doing the same thing.

Zayas was tracked down via his plate number provided by the woman.

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06/28/16 03:14 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Weather Wiz: U.S. Lags in Forecasting

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Jacob Meisel, a 2013 Staples High School graduate and rising senior at Harvard University, today told the Westport Rotary Club that the U.S. National Weather Service is lagging behind other world forecasters because of insufficient investment. Meisel, who has legions of area followers for his accurate forecasts of school closings and delays through his personal website, www.swctweather.com, is working this summer for a Harrison, N.Y. commodities firm where his forecasts aid traders in predicting movement of natural gas futures. His talk focused on how private industry is making forecasts more useful to individuals and small businesses while also determining how broader weather risk ties into climate change and is being increasingly used in the financial world. WestportNow.com photo

06/28/16 02:44 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Levitt Performance Moved Indoors

Due to the threat of thunderstorms, tonight’s Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts Treehouse Comedy Club performance at 7 p.m. has been moved into the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium, 170 Riverside Ave., organizers announced.

Food and beverages are not allowed, with the exception of water.

06/28/16 02:25 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Talking Transportation: Why Ferries Aren’t the Answer for CT Commuting

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Recently, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $325 million plan to re-introduce ferry boat service to the five boroughs charging the same fare as subways. The mayor says these boats could carry 4.5 million passengers a year.

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So why don’t we have ferries in Connecticut? There are several reasons:

Speed: In open water, fast ferries on the Sound could make 30 knots (35 mph).  But if they must sail up inlets to the downtown areas of Bridgeport, Norwalk or Stamford, that speed is cut to 5 knots, extending travel time.

Docking: To keep to their competitive speeds, docks would have to be located close to the Sound. That’s expensive real estate. And what about parking at those docks, and drive-time on local roads to reach them? Again, more travel time.

More "Talking Transportation: Why Ferries Aren’t the Answer for CT Commuting"

06/28/16 10:47 AM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 63 Turkey Hill Road South

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 63 Turkey Hill Road South is in process. Built in 1900, the two-story contemporary has 4,689-square feet and is situated on a 3.01-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

06/28/16 10:13 AM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Human Services Commission
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2016”
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Library - June WestportMAKES: Build Telescopes Together
Noon - Town Hall Room 309 - Arts Advisory Committee
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series:  “Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Ordinance Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Buyer & Cellar”
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion Saugatuck Elementary School (170 Riverside Ave.)  - Levitt Pavilion presents Treehouse Comedy Club
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Cluster Funk, The Breadsticks, The Queen of Late
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

06/28/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, June 27, 2016

Enthusiastic Reception for Playhouse Play Reading

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There was an enthusiastic reception tonight for the cast at the Westport Country Playhouse following the script-in-hand reading of the family art caper comedy “The Late Christopher Bean” which is set in the 1932 era. Pictured (l-r)  Martha Stout, stage directions, David Staller, Ross Bickell, Jeff Biehl, John Skelley, Deirdre Madigan, Michael McCormick, Clea Alsip, Kristen Hahn and Mary Bacon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/27/16 10:24 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Farewell to Library’s Kelle Ruden

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Westport Library staff members and friends gathered tonight to bid farewell to Kelle Ruden (c), director, programs and book discussion leader since June 2013. Prior to joining the library, she was with Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

06/27/16 08:45 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Comings & Goings: French Bistro to Sconset Square

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Le Penguin, a French bistro, will open in August at 15 Myrtle Ave. in Sconset Square in the space formerly occupied by Blue Lemon, which closed in April after 13 years (see WestportNow March 14, 2016.)  According to office manager Leslie Aguirre, the owners, veteran restaurateurs Antoine Blech and Anshu Vidyarthi, also own two other restaurants –- the highly acclaimed Le Penguin, 61 Lewis St., Greenwich, and Le Fat Poodle, 20 Arcadia Road, Old Greenwich. Blech’s career has taken him from Spago and L’Orangerie in Los Angeles, and Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia to Le Bilboquet, Le Comptoir, Le Colonial, and Orienta in New York. He also co-owned Opia in Manhattan. Vidyarthi has more than 20 years of restaurant and customer service knowledge, becoming well known to Fairfield County patrons as the director of operations of l’escale restaurant bar in Greenwich. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/27/16 04:41 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Ready for Tonight’s Playhouse Play Reading

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The cast of tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse Script in Hand reading of Sidney Howard’s ”The Late Christopher Bean” takes a break during a rehearsal today. The play reading, directed by Anne Keefe, curator of the play reading series, is a comedy about paintings left to a family by a deceased artist suddenly skyrocketing in value. Pictured with Keefe (l) are (standing from 2nd l) David Staller, Ross Bickell, John Skelley, Michael McCormick, Jeff Biehl, Deirdre Madigan, Kristen Hahn, Clea Alsip and Martha Stout, stage directions. Seated: Mary Bacon. The reading begins at 7 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/27/16 03:49 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Making a Commercial at Sherwood Island

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It was a perfect beach day today to film a JBL waterproof sound system commercial at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The crew of about 60 included a water safety team to ensure the safety of cast and crew. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mary Ann West for WestportNow.com

06/27/16 02:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sconset Square Special Delivery

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Westport’s Sconset Square was overflowing today with artifacts, antiques, and European goods as another 40-foot container was unloaded for the Bungalow store. The store gets a container a few times a year and empties the store’s contents to make room. The goods are selected by Bungalow owner Wende Cohen who makes frequent buying trips to Europe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

06/27/16 02:17 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Despite Mill Rate Drop, Most Westporters’ Taxes Are Up

By James Lomuscio

Westport taxpayers this week are receiving their new tax bills and despite a slightly lower mill rate, more than half will find their taxes have gone up, Tax Assessor Paul Friia said today.

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Westport taxpayers are receiving their new tax bills in the mail this week. WestportNow.com photo

He said 59 percent of the 10,300 residential and 508 commercial property owners will find their taxes have increased from a few dollars to several thousand—even if they made no changes to their property.

The remaining 41 percent will see no change or reductions in their taxes, Friia said. The reason: properties where the values are higher than average usually see a higher tax bill.

Taxpayers have until the end of July to pay without incurring a late fee.

More "Despite Mill Rate Drop, Most Westporters’ Taxes Are Up"

06/27/16 01:14 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sherwood Island Lifeguard Coverage Reduced

Due to budget cuts, beginning after July 4, lifeguards only will protect the Sherwood Island State Park beaches in Westport from Wednesday through Sunday.

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After July 4, there will be no lifeguards on Mondays and Tuesdays at Sherwood Island. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

The beaches will remain open without guards on Mondays and Tuesdays, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

It also announced lifeguard reductions at other Long Island Sound beaches and said it will close three campgrounds and slash operations at other attractions, such as Gillette Castle.

Days and hours at museums and nature centers also will change after July 4.

06/27/16 11:02 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Touring the Nike Site

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Members of Westport’s Rpresentative Town Meeting (RTM )today took a tour of the Nike site, the Westport Weston Health District and the Rolnick Observatory, in preperation for pending designation of the Nike area and the Golden Shadows mansion on Baron’s South as historic properties. The RTM Planning and Zoning Committee and RTM Finance Committee meet tonight at 6:30a p.m. in Town Hall room 309 to discuss the issue. The full RTM ote will take place at the July 5 RTM meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

06/27/16 10:41 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, June 27, 2016


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2016”
6:30 p.m. -  Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance & P&Z Committees
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Planning & Zoning Commission Senior Housing Subcommittee
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Script in Hand Playreading: “The Late Christopher Bean”
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. - Westport Library - June WestportMAKES Program: Celestial Viewing

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gallery: Opening Night of the Levitt Pavilion


Scenes from tonight’s opening of the 43rd summer season of the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts with Desert Highway – A Tribute to the Eagles. Dave Matlow and J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com and WestportNow.com photos

06/26/16 10:02 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Levitt Opens 43rd Summer Season

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It was a packed crowd tonight as the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts launched its 43rd summer season with Desert Highway – A Tribute to the Eagles. Freda Welsh, executive director, said although tickets were free, they quickly sold out as the band made its second appearance in two years at the venue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

06/26/16 09:31 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

In the Swing

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A couple dances to the sounds of Desert Highway – A Tribute to the Eagles tonight as the Westport Levition Pavilion for the Performing Arts opened its 43rd summer season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

06/26/16 09:25 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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