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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Picky, Picky

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Alex Rosado, head chef at Westport’s Post 154 restaurant in the former post office at 154 Post Road East, inspects heirloom tomatoes today at the New Milford-based Fort Hill Farm stall at the Westport Farmers Market. Rosado said one of the favorite salads on his menu is heirloom tomatoes with burrata, which he describes as the freshest form of mozzarella. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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07/30/15 12:37 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Stocking Up

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Westporter Ann Rully, buying squash and cucumber at New Milford-based Fort Hill Farm stall, was among the many shoppers today at the weekly Westport Farmers Market in the Imperial Avenue parking lot. Rully said she is a regular visitor to the market “about every other week” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Pine Killer Beetles Confirmed in Westport

The Southern Pine Bark (SPB) beetle, which destroys the Eastern White Pine, the fifth ranking species by volume in Connecticut, has been found in Westport where the trees are plentiful, Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay announced today.

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Evidence of the beetle presence is a popcorn-like blob on the bark. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) University of Florida photo

It is the first confirmed case of SPB attacking Eastern White Pine in Connecticut, he said.

Lindsay said nine pines in the town’s right-of-way on Cross Highway recently had to be removed after the state Agricultural Experiment Station Entomology Unit in New Haven confirmed the beetles’ presence in samples provided.

He said local arborist Ben Sykas of The Care of Trees contacted him about the location and potential presence of the SPB beetle.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Level Up Village: Global Villagers TinkerShop
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Sizzling Summer Film Series: “The Thin Blue Line”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Mill River Band
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Love and Money”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,’ ‘Trainwreck,’ ‘Paper Towns’

By Susan Granger

“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” begins with a spectacular, pulse-pounding stunt in which IMF agent Ethan Hunt climbs aboard a huge A-400 cargo plane as it’s taking off.

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Yes, that’s really Tom Cruise! And the thrill-ride fun is just beginning…

Ethan’s on a mission when he discovers that a stealthy terrorists, known as The Syndicate, led by sinister Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), are working discredit the IMF by insidiously recruiting former intelligence operatives to destabilize countries and ‘eliminate’ major international figures.

Problem is: no one believes him, particularly incoming CIA chief, Alan Huntley (Alec Baldwin), who discredits him and the entire operation.

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Showing Off

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Members of the Westport Artists Collective gathered tonight on the deck of the Westport Arts Center on Riverside Avenue prior to their monthly meeting at which selected artists show off their works. In little more than a year, the group has grown to more than 150 members and held three “pop-up” shows. It meets every last Wednesday of the month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Show and Tell

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Westport artist Katherine Ross shows off a watercolor portrait of her daughter tonight during a “show and tell” at the monthly meeting of the Westport Artists Collective at the Westport Arts Center. Five artists are invited to show off their works in five-minute presentations at the meetings. Ross’s work is from her current show “Katherine Ross: COMMON GROUND” at the Westport Library featuring collage, oil paintings, watercolors, paper weavings and 3-D objects, all visually exploring how we are connected, generation to generation, through our maternal heritage. The dhow continues through Sept. 30. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

07/29/15 07:20 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘Sweet Sounds of Summer’ Finds Temporary Home

There will be an encore after all for the Saugatuck “Sweets Sounds of Summer.”

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The Silver Steel Band performs at an earlier “Sweet Sounds of Summer” concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Al DiGuido, co-owner of Saugatuck Sweets, 575 Riverside Ave., said today there will be a concert by the Silver Steel Band Saturday, Aug. 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 96 Franklin St., “thanks to the amazing generosity of the Shepard & Girden families.”

The address is a daily parking lot at the Westport Metro-North station belonging to Saugatuck Grain & Supply next to Luciano Park.

The series in the courtyard outside of Saugatuck Sweets was abruptly canceled on Friday due to noise complaints from neighbors. (See WestportNow July 24, 2015)

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 2 Placid Lake Lane

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 2 Placid Lake Lane, off North Avenue, is in process. Built in 1956, the 1-1/4 story cape has 2,876-square feet and is situated on a 1.56-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

07/29/15 03:17 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Comings & Goings: Home Care Services Agency Opens in Saugatuck

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Companions & Homemakers, a home care services agency, opened a branch at 16 Ketchum St. in Westport’s Saugatuck section and celebrated the occasion today with an open house welcome to the public and a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local dignitaries. Its Westport location is the 11th in Connecticut for the 25-year-old business privately owned by Linda Grigerek of Farmington, according to regional manager, Jonathan Hunt.  Companions & Homemakers specializes in affordable home care services to clients and their families. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/29/15 02:26 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Brush Fire Near RR Tracks

Westport firefighters today quickly extinguished a small brush fire near Compo Road South that forced a brief slowdown on the Metro-North tracks.

A crew from Saugatuck Engine Co. 4 requested the slow down as they put out the flames near Elaine Road, site of the Westport wastewater treatment plant and animal control shelter.

Firefighters also reported a “popped transformer’ in the area of the nearby Eversource Energy substation. It was not clear whether the fire and power problems were related.

Eversource Energy said power was knocked out briefly to customers in the area.

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Gas Line Leak Forces Evacuation

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Workers at the Westport Housing Authority;s Sasco Creek Village project, 1655 Post Road East, apparently caused a gas leak today, forcing evacuation of residents. The leak was repaired after about 45 minutes and residents were allowed to return to their homes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Paddling Home

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Out with the outboard motor, in with the paddles. Several teens out for an evening on an inflatable skiff Tuesday were in for some exercise as their outboard motor appeared to stop working. They broke out the paddles and made it back to Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach just before dark (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Level Up Village: Global Villagers TinkerShop
Noon - Westport Arts Center - Plean Air Painting with Judy Katz
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Love and Money”
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Reality Hackers Discussion Group
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Conservation Commission Special Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Open Meeting: Saugatuck Senior Co-op Talk
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Suzi Shelton

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/29/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Few Surprises with DTC Nominations

By James Lomuscio

Tonight’s Democratic Town Committee (DTC) nominating convention for November’s elections went as expected with the slate announced Monday getting unanimous endorsements.

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Nominated Democratic candidates tonight include (l-r) Mark Mathias, Michael Gordon, both Board of Education; Paul Liebowitz, Planning and Zoning Commssion, Sherri Gordon and John Hartwell, Board of Finance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Board of Education Chairman Michael Gordon and member Mark Mathias, both incumbents, received resounding support after Mathias and Gordon nominated each other.

“He’s fiscally savvy, but he puts the needs of students first,” Mathias said of Gordon, adding that the one of the challenges the board will face this year is hiring a new superintendent for the first time in 17 years.

When Gordon nominated Mathias, who has already served three four-year terms, he said that his colleague “sets the bar high for everyone on the board.”

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Comings & Goings: Positano Opens at New Location

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Positano Ristorante, a mainstay at its Compo Mill location on Hillspoint Road for 15 years, has reopened at its new home next to the Westport Country Playhouse. The space was most recently occupied by The Dressing Room restaurant, the culinary venture of the late Paul Newman and chef Michel Nischan. Positano owner Giuseppe Scarpati (l) posed tonight with his son and co-chef Fernando. Postiano closed Dec. 31, 2014 at Old Mill and had hoped to open in February. (See WestportNow Dec. 31, 2014).(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Rachel Konstantin for WestportNow.com

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Now With a Patio

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The exterior of Positano Ristorante, which has opened next to the Westport Country Playhouse in space most recently occupied by The Dressing Room Restaurant.  The restaurant includes patio dining, something it did not have at its Old Mill Beach location. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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A Little Bit of Italy Opens Next to Playhouse

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Interior view of the front room and bar of the newly opened Positano Ristorante next to the Westport Country Playhouse. There is also a back room dining area as well as a patio. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Comings & Goings: Old Town Hall Gets New Restaurant

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The basement of Westport’s Old Town Hall, 90 Post Road East next to Restoration Hardware, is getting a new restaurant tenant. A rathskeller-type bar and restaurant, Rothbard Ale + Larder, will open by mid-September, “before Oktoberfest,” according to co-owner Joe Farrell, He and head chef Adam Roytman also co-own Walrus + Carpenter, a barbecue restaurant in Bridgeport, which opened in 2013. Farrell, who grew up in Westport and now lives in Stratford, said the 65-seat space would feature German, Belgian and Austrian beers and wines and a full dining menu. Real estate developer and landlord Rob Haroun describes the eatery as having a “European beer garden” feeling. The space was formerly occupied by Tierra Restaurant, which opened in May 2014 and closed in March 2015 (see WestporttNow March 20, 2015). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/28/15 06:49 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Real Estate Report: Inventory Absorption Rate Higher

By Judy Szablak

There appears to be a positive blip in the Westport real estate market over the last few weeks.

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Featured Home: This home at 196 Hillspoint Road is listed at $2,199,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis- Westport.

Although next month is traditionally one of the slower months of the year due to planned vacations, and back to school preparations,  there is indeed more than a hint of promise for August.

Over time, statistics tell a very important story. Over the last few weeks, the absorption rate on inventory coming on the market and properties going under deposit has been higher than it has been for at least a few months.

A single-family market snapshot for the current period of today (less 90 days) shows that we have 10.26 months of inventory. The prior six to nine month report shows 13.06 months of supply. That’s a significant drop.

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The Rev. Pete Powell Tells Rotary Views on Religion

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The Rev. Peter Powell, former head of Westport’s Homes With Hope, today addressed the Westport Rotary Club on the future of organized religion Powell, a former Rotary president, said there has been a marked decline in church attendance in the United States and contrary to many people believing Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, it is actually Christianity. Acknowledging he had numerous controversial beliefs, Powell, who sits on many church-related boards, outlined a number of them related to church and state: churches should pay property taxes, religious holidays should not be federal holidays, there should be no chaplains in the military, clergy should not be exempt from social security taxes, and clergy should not perform as an officer of the state, signing marriage certificates, for example, and “under God” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/28/15 03:03 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 6 Burnham Hill

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 11 Burnham Hill, in the Compo Beach section, is in process. Built in 1954, the two-story colonial has 3,577-square feet, is situated on a .4-acre property and changed hands last month for $1,118,700. 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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Birds, Boats, and Beauty

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After Monday morning’s rain, the sun came out and Westport’s Compo Beach was another summer day to savor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Village District Steering Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Level Up Village: Global Villagers TinkerShop
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - CES Playground - Coleytown Elementary School Incoming Kindergarten Meet-up
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Critical Management Skills: Identify Employee Strengths to Assemble Dream Team
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Treehouse Comedy Club I
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Love and Money”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Ed Board Picks Search Firm for Landon Replacement

The Westport Board of Education tonight approved the hiring of search firm Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA) to help replace Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon set to retire next June after 17 years.

According to a school board statement, Hazard, Young and Attea is the Executive Search Division of ECRA Group, Inc. “with an extensive history of success in working with boards in high-performing districts throughout the Northeast and across the country to find candidates who will provide long-term leadership .”

School officials said that of the 328 superintendents hired with HYA’s assistance since 2000, 90 percent led their districts for several years.

“The selection of a new superintendent is the most important responsibility of any Board of Education,” said Michael Gordon, school board chairman.

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