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Friday, July 22, 2016

Power Outage Hits Hillspoint, Compo Areas

UPDATE As temperatures soared into the 90s, electrical transformer malfunctions today knocked out power at one point to more than 1,300 Westport customers, Eversource Energy said.

At about 1:30 p.m., police and fire units responded to the Hillspoint Road and Greens Farms area on a report of loud explosions, accordng to dispatchers.

A crew from Eversource Energy soon arrived on the scene. Initially, the utility said 242 customers were without power but as the crews worked to restore service, at one point 1,325 customers were out.

The outage lasted a little more than an hour for most customers, according to Eversource. It said by 4:20 p.m., 105 customers still had not been restored.

07/22/16 03:45 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Malloy Proposes 5% Rail Fare Increase

Westport commuters will pay 5 percent more for their New Haven Line tickets beginning Dec. 1, under a proposal announced today by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT).

An announcement said the fare increase was necessary to help close a $37 million reduction in transportation spending in the fiscal year that began July 1.

CDOT said on the New Haven Line, the increase would be combined with a 1 percent previously scheduled fare increase that supports the purchase of the new M-8 rail cars that the state put into service beginning in 2010.

The agency said there will be public hearings on the proposal before the increases go into effect.

07/22/16 02:09 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘Cooling Center’ Open

Human Services Director Sarah Heath announced today that the Westport Center for Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Ave., will be open to the public as an officially designated “cooling center” until 4:30 p.m. today.

She said it will also be open on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition, the air-conditioned Westport Library welcomes visitors until 6 p.m. today and on Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Heath said.

07/22/16 01:25 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Two Arrested in Cooking Oil Theft

Acting on a tip from a witness, Westport police arrested a Yonkers, N.Y. couple for allegedly stealing cooking oil from the Five Guys Restaurant, police said today.

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Jonathan Garces (l) and Alondra Aracil: caught in act. Westport Police photos

They were observed Monday at about 10 a.m. siphoning cooking oil from the tank behind the restaurant, 534 Post Road East, police said.

Arrested were Alondra Aracil, 19, and Jonathan Garces, 22, police said. Both were charged with larceny sixth-degree and conspiracy to commit larceny.

In addition, Aracil was charged with criminal impersonation after she gave a fake name and date of birth as well as interfering with an officer, police said.

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07/22/16 01:01 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Police: Female Stalker Arrested

Officers arrested a Monroe woman for stalking and harassing her ex-boyfriend, even mailing him photographs of his new girlfriend’s home, police said today.

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Margaret Hyman: ignored police warning.  Westport Police photo

Margaret Hyman, 36, turned herself in on an active warrant Monday, was held on a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Thursday, July 28.

“Several times in June of 2016, Hyman contacted her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend after being told by the police to have no contact,” said Lt. David Farrell.

“Hyman mailed photographs to her ex-boyfriend with photographs of his new girlfriend’s residence,” he added.

07/22/16 12:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Held After Restaurant Scuffle

Police arrested a Westport man Thursday night for creating a disturbance at the Pearl of Longshore Restaurant.

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Neil Bhatia: held on $10,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Police said they were called to the restaurant at Longshore Club Park after an off-duty Stamford policeman observed Neil Bhatia, 39, of Compo Parkway, push a woman against a wall in the restaurant.

The off-duty officer escorted Bhatia outside as Westport officers arrived.

“Bhatia was belligerent and uncooperative with the officers and was intoxicated,” said Lt. David Farrell.

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07/22/16 12:38 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Property Transfers July 4 - 8, 2016

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period July 4 - 8, 2016:

Mark R. and Cathy A. Guglielmi to Lida Saw, 203 Hillspoint Road, $1,225,000WNproperty.jpg

Betsy Pollack to First Niagara Bank NA, 6 George St., $540,000

Maria G. Economos to Kimberly and Travis Pauley, 2 Viking Green, $1,480,000

Sara L. Letourneau to Jason K. Alford, 4 April Drive AKA 7 April Drive, $1,350,000

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Friday, July 22, 2016


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. - Westport Arts Center - SOLOS Artist Talks
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Anyone Can Use ... Intro to Streaming Media
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6:30 p.m. - Saugatuck Sweets - Acoustic Concert: Mike Messer
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Jesse Terry
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Invisible Hand”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/22/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Latin Sound at Levitt

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The Goza Latin Jazz Band, specializing in Latin America rhythms on violin, guitar, horns, percussion and vocals, entertained tonight at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/21/16 09:21 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Back Home

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Guitarist David Giardina, a 1970 Staples High School graduate, was back home tonight leading the Goza Latin Jazz Band in a performance at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

07/21/16 09:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Latin Jazz Moves

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Guests at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Pereforming Arts dance tonight to the Goza Latin Jazz Band. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

07/21/16 09:11 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wineberry Foraging and Cocktails

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Veronica Swain. a naturalist educator at Westport’s Earthplace, tonight leads a group on a foraging expedition to look for wineberries and other edibles found on Earthplace trails. The event was followed by a sampling of Swain’s wineberry cocktails. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

07/21/16 07:26 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Honoring Our Heritage: 79 Myrtle Ave.

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The owner of the house at 79 Myrtle Ave. is the newest recipient of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to Nick Visconti who acquired the house in March and is the process of renovating the five-apartment dwelling. According to Weingarten, the 1913-built house, known as the Berrell-Borden House, was built by Rose B. Berrell for Hope Lewis Borden. Visconti said he is also the owner of two historic properties, built in the 1700s, at 85-87 and 104 East Ave., Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/21/16 05:49 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

After Three Hours, No Decision on Saugatuck Sewer

By James Lomuscio

After more than three contentious hours—including conflict of interest accusations—Westport’s Board of Selectmen today postponed a vote on a controversial Saugatuck sewer extension.

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Developer Felix Charney addressing today’s meeting: “I know what it means to need housing.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Acting in its capacity as the town’s Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA), the board, meeting in an unusual and sparsely attended 8:30 a.m. Town Hall auditorium session, postponed to next week a vote on an application to build the 1,500-foot extension.

Opponents have said approval of the extension,  the needed first step in developer Felix Charney’s plan to construct 155 rental housing units on Hiawatha Lane Extension in the Saugatuck section, would destroy the character of old Saugatuck.

At issue for the WPCA was the status of the area’s sewage pump station, which Public Works Director Steve Edwards says cannot handle the flow. Even more critical, says Edwards, is the failing sewage line that runs under the Saugatuck River.

More "After Three Hours, No Decision on Saugatuck Sewer"

07/21/16 01:03 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Lifeguarding: A Dream Job That’s ‘Very Serious’

By Emily Weyrauch

For Steve Siecienski, it’s the ultimate dream job, one likely to outshine all other future employment—lifeguarding at Westport’s Compo Beach.

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Steve Siecienski, 23, says being a Westport lifeguard “probably the best job I’ll ever have,” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Weyrauch for WestportNow.com

Following in the footsteps of generations of Westport lifeguards, he started working at Compo, which is just down the road from his home, at age 15.

Now, the 23-year-old recent Southern Connecticut State University graduate with a degree in graphic design works as one of the town’s assistant waterfront directors.

“I was a kid when I started working here,” said Siecienski, a member of the Staples High School class of 2011. “I feel like I’ve gone through a lot of experiences that have changed my perspective on a lot of things.

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07/21/16 01:30 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, July 21, 2016


8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Water Pollution Control Authority (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
9 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Center for Senior Activities Enhancement Committee
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2016”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Sizzling Summer Film Series: “Shane”
3 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - #ThrowbackThursdays
6:30 p.m. - Earthplace - Wineberry Foraging & Cocktails
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Drink n’ Draw
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Invisible Hand”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Goza Latin jazz band

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/21/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Interviewed at Playhouse

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In conjunction with the Westport Country Playhouse production of “The Invisible Hand,” engineer, writer, academic and Staples High School graduate Haris Durrani was interviewed tonight at the Playhouse by Staples teacher Cathy Schager about his new novel “Technologies of Self.” The book is about a young Muslim man finding his way in New York City after 9/11. Durrani, who is attending Columbia Law School, holds a master’s in history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s in applied physics from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marcia Logan for WestportNow.com

07/20/16 08:10 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Painting Penguins at Le Penguin

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Antoine Bleth today paints a mural at the entrance of his new restaurant, Le Penguin, a French bistro that opens late next month at 15 Myrtle Ave., Sconset Square, in space formerly occupied by Blue Lemon. “I’m an artist and musician primarily but have been in the restaurant business for 35 years,” he said.  Co-owner of other prominent restaurants with business partner Anshu Vidyarthi, Blech said he sometimes plays piano in his jazz band named Antoine Bleck. “I’m a crooner too in the style of Charles Aznavour and other popular French singers,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/20/16 07:08 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Melania’s Speechwriter: A Westport Connection

UPDATE Meredith McIver, who today acknowledged she wrote Melania Trump’s Cleveland GOP convention speech that included passages from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama, has a Westport connection—her sister lives here.

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Meredith McIver: says she wrote speech. File photo

Although there is no record of her owning property here or having registered to vote here, several internet record searches show she used her sister’s Westport Beachside Avenue address in the past.

Several reports today said McIver currently lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and that she is a registered Democrat.

Town records show Karen McIver, 69, also a registered Democrat, owns the Westport property used in the past by Meredith McIver, 65. The New York Times reported that Karen McIver is Meredith’s sister.

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07/20/16 05:33 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Not So Wise Owl

WestportNow.com ImageAn owl was found entangled today in a net at the Westport Wakeman Fields off Cross Highway. A call to Earthplace brought Christine Peyreigne, a raptor specialist and wildlife rehabilitator in Weston at Christine’s Critters. She took the bird back to Earthplace for food, water, and rest. Peyreigne said she would release the bird, a juvenile most likely hatched in January, at Wakeman tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Carl McNair for WestportNow.com

07/20/16 12:52 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

RTM OKs Senior Center Expansion Design Funds

The planned expansion of the 12-year-old Westport Center for Senior Activities got a significant boost Tuesday night.

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The lobby of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, which opened in 2004. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) unanimously approved a $57,375 appropriation request for schematic designs to the expand the center’s footprint.

The design aims to address the need for more classroom space, fitness rooms, locker and shower facilities and other additions to the complex on the 22-acre, town-owned Baron’s South property.

The design is the first phase of a capital expenditure estimated to cost about $3.9 million.

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07/20/16 10:25 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Rehearsing Playhouse’s ‘The Invisible Hand’

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The cast of the Westport Country Playhouse production of “The Invisible Hand,” a riveting and relevant new thriller by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, author of Broadway’s “Disgraced,” rehearses for Tuesday night’s first preview performance. The play, a recent off-Broadway production, is based on an American futures trader who finds himself kidnapped and held hostage in Pakistan, knowing the only way to get home is to do what he does best: play the market like his life depends on it. “The Invisible Hand” opens on Saturday and runs through Aug. 6. Pictured (l-r):  Eric Bryant, Jameal Ali and Fajer Kaisi. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

07/20/16 10:09 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Granger at the Movies: ‘Captain Fantastic,’ ‘The Infiltrator,’ ‘Ghostbusters’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Taking ‘helicopter parenting’ to a new extreme in “Captain Fantastic,” Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six children off-the-grid in the Pacific Northwest forest.

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Ten years ago, Ben and his Buddhist wife, Leslie (Trin Miller), became survivalists, teaching their kids to be self-sufficient, stalking and killing game and homeschooling them in philosophy, history, literature, science and five languages.

Subjected to strenuous exercise, they sleep in a yurt, do chores in adjacent tree houses and teepees, and play musical instruments around a campfire at night. Unconventionally counter-cultured, they ignore Christmas, celebrating Noam Chomsky Day, honoring the leftist ‘60s icon.

Each child has a unique name: Bodevan (George MacKay), Kielyr (Samantha Isler), Vespyr (Annalise Basso), Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton), Nai (Charlie Shotwell), and Zaja (Shree Crooks).

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07/20/16 10:02 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2016”
10:30 a.m. - Westport Library - Ethnobotanist Hayden Stebbins: Eat Your Weeds!
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Haris Durrani, “The Technologies of Self”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Josh & the Jamtones
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Invisible Hand”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Parks & Recreation Commission
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Library Board of Trustees
8 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportMAKES Program: Celestial Viewing

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

07/20/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nike Historic Status Put on Hold

Historic landmark designation for the former Nike Missile Radar Site on Bayberry Lane has been put on hold until the Westport Historic District Commission (HDC) comes up with a revised plan for the former Cold War relic.

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The HDC/Golden Shadows and Nike Missile Radar Site Study Subcommittee visited the Nike site last fall.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

That was the consensus of a 13 to 10 vote by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight after the HDC met resistance from RTM members concerned that historic status would hamstring the town from using the 8.25-acre property for future community needs.

The site at 180 Bayberry Lane currently is home to the Westport Weston Health District, the Westport Astronomical Society, and the town’s brush dump. In the 1950s it housed a Nike missile complex protecting munitions-related factories in Bridgeport.

Selectwoman Helen Garten put forth the motion for historic designation calling the Nike site “an iconic Cold War symbol,” despite the fact the cinder block buildings are not considered “beautiful historic monuments.”

More "Nike Historic Status Put on Hold"

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Property Transfers
property transfers

Westport Property Transfers July 4 - 8, 2016

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Obituaries

Barbara A. Lasher, 77

Former Westporter Killed by Lightning

Arts & Leisure

Cracked Ice at Levitt

Honoring Our Heritage: 22 Crooked Mile Road

Business

Comings & Goings: Pet Supplies Plus Closes

Comings & Goings: Arby’s Out, Starbucks In On Post Road East

Community

‘Reader’s Theatre’ at Green’s Farms Congregational

Kolbe Cathedral to Honor Mitchell & Kuroghlian

Health & Fitness

Making History, RTM Approves Disabilities Commission

Senate Poised to Quash CT GMO Food Labeling Law

Education

Barbara A. Lasher, 77

Chinese Students Visit Bedford Middle School

Politics

Amid Democratic Discord, Malloy Takes Reins of Party Platform Committee

Senate Poised to Quash CT GMO Food Labeling Law

Real Estate

Comings & Goings: Pet Supplies Plus Closes

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 28 Hillspoint Road

Sports

Off on Another Summer Run

Compo Basketball Action

Special Reports
Special Reports

At 95, Ed Vebell Still Drawing on History

WN on the Scene: Frieze NY 2016 Art Fair

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