Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Qdoba Opens to Rave Reviews from High Schoolers
Four Staples High School juniors enjoy Mexican cuisine today at Qdoba Mexican Grill at Playhouse Square, 275 Post Road East, in the space formerly occupied by Pierre Deux, the first day the restaurant is open to the public. The 16-year-old students said they each ate at Qdoba in the past few days when attending one or more private events sponsored by Qdoba. “This stuff is great,” according to Reece Armstrong. They are (l-r) Mike Cusa, Reece Armstrong, Ben Hamer and Ryan Baer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Access Health CT Chief Leaving for Fed Job
By Arielle Levin Beckerwww.ctmirror.org
Kevin Counihan: led Access Health CT through a relatively smooth launch. Ctmirror.org photo
Kevin Counihan is resigning as the chief executive of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange to lead the once-troubled federal Obamacare marketplace, officials announced today.
As CEO of the federal exchange, Counihan will assume responsibility for the HealthCare.gov insurance marketplace, a crucial piece of the Affordable Care Act that is used to enroll people in coverage in nearly three dozen states.
The federal exchange’s launch last fall was considered disastrous, and Counihan’s appointment comes less than three months before the Nov. 15 start of the second open enrollment period for private insurance.
Counihan will also run the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a part of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that plays a key role in implementing the health law.
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Newman’s Own Launches Salad Dressing Contest
Newman’s Own—the Westport-based brand that donates all profits to charity—today announced a Newman’s Own Salad Dressing “Greens for Good” Recipe Contest.
An announcement said the competition empowers salad aficionados to share their favorite salad recipe/dressing pairing and nominate a nonprofit organization to receive another kind of green: a $35,000 donation.
Beginning today, consumers can visit www.facebook.com/NewmansOwn and click on the Greens for Good tab to enter their original salad creation and Newman’s Own Salad Dressing pairing.
“Making good food and pursuing the common good have been at the core of Newman’s Own mission since Paul Newman mixed up his very first batch of great-tasting Newman’s Own salad dressing,” said David Best, executive vice president, Newman’s Own, Inc.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Himes Tours Westport’s Innovation HUB
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes today visited the Westport Innovation HUB in Saugatuck as part of his 17 towns in 17 days congressional break tour.
Congressman Jim Himes (2nd l.) meets today with entrepreneurs at Westport’s Innovation HUB, including founder Howard Steinberg (3rd r). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
He toured the facility and met with local entrepreneurs and small businesses based at the center’s shared workspace at 20 Ketchum St.
The HUB is home to more than 25 small business operators and its members assist each other with capital, local resources and expertise. A core group of six members are actively looking at investing and supporting startups in southwest Connecticut.
“The HUB is harnessing the entrepreneurial energy that is vital to creating jobs and keeping southwest Connecticut at the forefront of innovation,” Himes said.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Westporter John Akers, former IBM Head, 79
UPDATE John F. Akers of Westport, chief executive of IBM for eight years during the company’s struggle to shift from the mainframe to the personal computer era, died Aug. 22 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 79.
John F. Akers: led IBM in turbulent times. Contributed photo
A spokesman for IBM said the cause was a stroke, The New York Times said. Akers was a 39-year Westport resident, making his home on Sturges Highway. The family also has a summer home in Nantucket.
He was born in Boston on Dec. 28, 1934, to the late Kenneth F. and Mary J. (Reed) Akers. Kenneth Akers headed the Boston office of the National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford. John Akers graduated from Yale University in 1956, was an All-Ivy League hockey player and received Yale University Athletics’ George H.W. Bush, Lifetime of Achievement Award in 2001.
Following Yale, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as a carrier pilot from 1956 to 1960 attaining the rank of lieutenant.
Friday, August 22, 2014
CT Mirror Names New Editor
G. Claude Albert has been named editor of The Connecticut Mirror and The Connecticut News Project, Inc.
G. Claude Albert: 37 years at The Hartford Courant. Contributed photo
Albert is a former managing editor of The Hartford Courant, where he held a variety of leadership posts overseeing most aspects of the newsroom.
He also took a leading role in adapting the skills and culture of the newsroom to digital publishing. He has extensive experience editing in-depth journalism and leading initiatives focused on strategic planning, diversity and staff development.
“Claude’s commitment to journalism excellence is unparalleled in this state, and we’re thrilled to have him join us as we enter the next phase of growth,” Mirror CEO/Publisher Brett Orzechowski said. “His journalism career has always been mission-driven, which makes him a perfect fit for our organization.”
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Qdoba Mexican to Open Monday; All Proceeds to ALS
Qdoba Mexican Grill will open Monday at Playhouse Square, 275 Post Road East, according to Qdoba Regional Manager Chris Pace (above). He said the restaurant, with seating for 55, will be open only from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the ALS Foundation. He said employees have already conducted their own bucket-of-cold-water ceremony on behalf of the ALS campaign. Founded in 1995, the company was acquired in 2003 by Jack In the Box. Westport is the third location in Connecticut with the others in Norwalk and Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, August 18, 2014
Max’s Readies for Aug. 31 Farewell
By James Lomuscio
With most of the store’s inventory gone and a closing date set for Aug. 31 after 59 years in Westport, owner Shirley Mellor sat at her desk today in the rear of Max’s Art Supplies, 68 Post Road East, and thought about the past and her future.
Shirley Mellor (c) earlier this year with longtime employees Jay Cimbak and Nina Royce. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Well wishes, nostalgia and raw sentiment from the few customers near the the register echoed off the pressed-tin ceiling to where Mellor sat surrounded by tangible memories, most of them framed.
One was a stately painting her her late husband Max Kaplan who founded the store, once an iconic meeting place for scores of nationally known artists. Also surrounding Mellor’s office was original artwork from syndicated cartoonists who 1979 wished Kaplan a happy 65th birthday, “Max’s coming of age party,” Mellor said.
And there was the huge 1981 black and white photograph of the once famed arts community’s legends in front of the store for its 25th anniversary.
Friday, August 15, 2014
WN Spotlight: Coffee ‘An
(Editor’s Note: This is another in our occasional series, WN Spotlight, featuring people and places that make our town special.)
By Larissa Lieberson
There’s nothing better than the smell of warm, freshly glazed donuts. Nothing, perhaps, besides the taste of them, especially when they are handmade each morning at Westport’s Coffee An’ Donut Shop.
Elias Vlandis took over ownership of Coffee ‘An from his father, George, who bought the shop in 1991. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larissa Lieberson for WestportNow.com
Located at 343 Main St. in a shopping strip that includes Ace Hardware and the Merritt Country Store, this old time donut shop has become a local legend. Daily, people from all walks of life seem to find their way to this rare sanctuary rich in unpretentiousness and a sweet sense of community.
From the moment one steps into the shop, one spies people reading newspapers, talking to each other across tables and the counter, and just letting their hair down.
Regulars credit George Vlandis and his family for the comfortable vibe. Vlandis took over the shop 22 years ago after selling his pizza restaurant in Fairfield. From pizza, Vlandis turned his focus on something sweeter – donuts, glazed, chocolate frosted, coconut, jelly, cinnamon and marble twists. Muffins, too.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Comings & Goings: Garelick & Herbs Opens in Saugatuck
Garelick & Herbs, 580 Riverside Ave., in the Saugatuck Center, opened today. Paola Garelick, who co-owns the business with her husband Jason, said, “We’re a gourmet shop that’s open for breakfast, lunch an dinner with a wide ranging family-oriented menu. We’re here for parents and their children.” Garelick & Herbs occupies the space vacated in June by CM Gourmet Market after eight months (see WestportNow June 17, 2014). Hours are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Open for Business
The new Garelick & Herbs Saugatuck opened today with co-owner Paola Garelick (l) behind counter. The store fills a spot vacated in June by CM Gourmet Market. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Comings & Goings: Ron’s Barber Shop to Main Street
After more than five years on Railroad Place in Saugatuck, Ron’s Barber Shop has moved to 190 Main St. in space formerly occupied by Sally’s Palace. Ron Provenzano, a Bridgeport native, opened the shop in Saugatuck in March 2009 and said at the time, “it’s always been a dream of mine to open a shop in Westport.” (See WestportNow March 23, 2009). The shop is open seven days a week: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sound of Music is Now Sound of Clippers
Where once music reigned, the sound is now that of clippers as Ron’s Barber Shop moved from Saugatuck to 190 Main St. in space formerly occupied by longtime music purveyor Sally’s Place. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, August 03, 2014
Marc Lasry Library Talk Draws SRO Crowd
Westporter Marc Lasry (l), hedge fund titan and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team since April, attracted a standing room audience today for a talk at the Westport Library. He was interviewed by fellow Westporter and award-winning journalist Dan Goodgame (2nd. l) and introduced by Arthur Levitt (r, at podium), also a Westport resident and former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Stock Exchange. Lasry told the audience he thought the U.S. economy was “doing great.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com