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Thursday, February 05, 2015

After the Collapse

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A view of the collapse today of a construction scaffolding at Westport’s Green’s Farms Academy. Four workers were injured, three of whom were transported to Norwalk Hospital for evaluation, according to fire officials.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

02/05/15 12:26 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Califano Draws SRO Library Crowd

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Westport resident Joseph A. Califano Jr. drew a standing room only audience at the Westport Library’s McManus Room tonight. He talked about his book “The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years.” Originally published in 1991, it was republished this week with a new introduction by Califano that updates Johnson’s impact on America today. Califano said contrary to the depiction of Johnson in the film “Selma,” he and Martin Luther King Jr. formed a partnership to champion civil rights—“two guys who knew what they were doing.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Beach Valentine

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It was just a rehearsal, a dry run, so to speak.  Paul and Charlotte Crotty of Weston went to Compo Beach Saturday to stage a practice set-up of their planned Valentine’s Day card. Their props were three different sized inflated white beach balls with the word “love” printed on each ,and they attracted quite a bit of attention and a great many smiles. The balls are called “Big Love Balls” and were ordered from a website of the same name. The final edition, which they plan to assemble Sunday, will include their 3-year old son, Shepherd (wearing a bow-tie for the occasion) and their two dogs.  The couple moved to Weston from Texas in August and are enjoying their life in Connecticut. Said Paul of his wife, “She’s the creative one.  I just go along.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Westporter Headed to Westminster Dog Show

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Westport resident Anita M. Lopker and her and her Japanese Chin, Fleur de Passy Dauphin, whose call name is Valentino, will be competing next week in the 139th annual Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York City. More than 3,000 dogs will take part in the events of Westminster Week, which includes the iconic all-breed dog show and its second annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster. Lopker, who bred Valentino, is a psychiatrist who has had a practice in Westport since 1987. This is the second time she has presented a dog at the Westminster competition. In 2013, she entered Valentino’s mother but did not bring home an award. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Westporter Visits Paris on Jewish Solidarity Mission

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Linda Russ of Westport, president of UJA Federation of Westport-Weston-Wilton-Norwalk, joined 40 associates for a National Jewish Federation Solidarity Mission to Paris this week. The group of Jewish leaders from across North America got an on-the-ground look at the challenges facing the French Jewish community in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher murders last month. She is pictured outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, where a terrorist killed four Jewish hostages. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gray’s Creek Sunset

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Tuesday’s sunset as seen from Gray’s Creek between Longshore Club Park and Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

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Honoring a Firefighter

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Black bunting is draped across Westport Fire headquarters today in honor of Westport firefighter Horace B. Lanute who died Saturday at age 77. A lifelong area resident, he attended Staples High School, the University of Connecticut School of Agriculture and Dairy Production and served as a Westport firefighter for 37 years.  A Mass of Christian Burial was held today at the Church of the Assumption, 98 Riverside Ave. (See obituary here) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tyler Hicks Takes 2nd Place, Again, in World Photo Contest

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For the second year in a row, Westport’s Tyler Hicks, a New York Times staff photographer, has taken second place in the spot news category in the World Press Photo competition. An announcement today in Amsterdam said Hicks won for his photo taken after Israeli ordnance struck a beach in Gaza City, July 16, 2014. Organizers said the 2015 contest drew 97,912 images submitted by 5,692 press photographers, photojournalists, and documentary photographers from 131 countries. Last year, Hicks won second place in the spot news category for his coverage of the shootings at the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. (See WestportNow Feb. 14, 2014) Hicks is based in Kenya for The Times. (See complete list here.)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

02/12/15 06:00 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Main Street Sign of the Times

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Writing on a store window on Westport’s Main Street is getting some droubetakes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Richard Epstein for WestportNow.com

02/12/15 11:37 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

New Baron’s South Proposal Presented

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Representatives of Jonathan Rose Companies and its partners today presented a revised proposal for a senior housing complex on the town-owned Baron’s South property to the Baron’s South Committee (BSC). They said the third revision to its proposal, incorporating 75 independent units and 90 assisted living/memory care units, responds to Planning and Zoning (P&Z) input, maintains the core essence of the BSC’s intent, enhances the amenity center for public use, increases affordability, requires no text amendment, contributes to the town’s 8-30g moratorium, supports open space and historic preservation initiatives, and addresses traffic concerns. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

02/12/15 12:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, February 13, 2015

Backyard Visitor

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Westporter Lyn Hogan spotted a Bobcat in her backyard today on Cross Brook Lane, off of Wilton Road. “It’s big for a Bobcat—about the size of a 70-pound dog,” she said. “This is the third time I’ve seen one in the area since I moved in 15 years ago, but is the closest I’ve gotten to one and it actually stood still (sort of) long enough for me to get some photos.” Lyn Hogan for WestportNow.com

02/13/15 02:58 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Top Dog 2015

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Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA) today named Sadie, a 2-year-old Golden Doodle, as Westport Top Dog 2015 at a Town Hall ceremony. Owner Beverly Bailey (r) posed with her daughter, Jeanette , holding Aidan, 2 months, and Sadie. Runners-up were Roxie, a chocolate lab-pitbull mix rescue from South Carolina, Poni, a Shetland Sheepdog, Tyr, a shepherd mix, and Lola, an 8-year-old black lab rescue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/13/15 05:40 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow, Ice Hamper Response to House Fire

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Westport firefighters tonight advance a hose line to fight a first floor fire at a home at 12 Weathervane Hill, off Wilton Road. Hampered by snow and ice in accessing the home, Westport called on Weston, Wilton, Norwalk and Danbury units for help, said Assistant Chief Mike Kronick. “Due to access issues, snow and ice, fire apparatus were unable to get close to the house, necessitating the need to stretch 850 feet of hose from the closest fire hydrant to the house to attack the fire,” he said. “Once the hose line was in place the fire was quickly extinguished.” The occupants of the house safely evacuated after discovering the fire on the first floor, he said. Cause was under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Deputy Chief Terry Blake/Weston Fire Department photo

02/18/15 10:19 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Addario to Boyfriend: ‘Date Someone Else’ If He Minded Her Job

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Asked by an audience member at a talk and book signing today at Westport’s Barnes & Noble how her husband feels about her often dangerous work, award-winning photographer Lynsey Addario, a native Westporter, said she met her husband in 2005 and started dating in 2006. “He knew what I did, and I told him if he minded it, then he ought to date someone else,” she said. She and husband Paul de Bendern, a Reuters journalist, have a son, Lukas, 3, born Dec. 28, 2011. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/21/15 04:50 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Red Carpet Out at Oscar’s for the Oscars

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The red carpet was out at Oscar’s on Main Streeet today as the Westport Cinema Initiative, which is working to bring movie theaters back to Westport, held its fourth annual n’Oscars Party. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/22/15 02:34 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Arctic Compo

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Tuesday’s sunset at Westport’s Compo Beach looked Arctic-like. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sam Gault Shows Off His Dancing Energy

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Sam Gault of Westport, president of Gault Energy & Stone, shows off his dancing energy tonight with partner Anastasia Zhitova, dance instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Norwalk, at the Dancing With the Stars gala benefit at Westport’s Inn at Longshore for Norwalk’s ElderHouse, a not-for-profit adult day center. Gault won the Best Friend to ElderHouse as the most successful fundraiser. Other star dancers included Tony Aitoro, owner of Aitoro Appliance & Electronics, Norwalk; Andrea Coreau, senior vice president, head of retail banking, Fairfield County Bank, Westport; Tina Dragone, owner Tina Dragone, Westport; Terri Polley, president and CEO, Financial Accounting Foundation, Norwalk; Steve Simmons, founding partner, Sideris Capital Partners, Stamford, and First Selectman Jayme Stevenson of Darien. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

02/28/15 11:06 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Eagle Has Landed

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This bald eagle was spotted at midday today near the Kings Highway North bridge over the Saugatuck River in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kevin Ludy for WestportNow.com

03/01/15 01:52 PM Comments (3) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, March 02, 2015

Herding Instinct

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A herd of deer gathered today in the backyard of a Westport home on Viking Green off of Cavalry Road. “In 20-plus years of living here we’ve never seen deer just hang out in one place like this for hours,” said resident Andy Yemma. “Our theory is the snow has forced them away from their food source and into this area — lucky for them they are on the other side of our dog fence so the dogs can’t do anything but bark at them.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andy Yemma for WestportNow.com

03/02/15 02:04 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Ansel Adams Look at Compo

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Contributing WestportNow photograper Andrew Colabella tried for the Ansel Adams look in this photo of blowing snow at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrew Colabella for WestportNow.com

03/03/15 12:15 AM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Learning to Program Robots

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A youngster attending today’s inaugural meeting at the Westport Library of the Girls Robotic Club, open to youngsters 8 to 12, gets a close up view of one of the Library’s two robots. Melanie Kelly, a reference librarian, said the club’s goal is to encourage access to future job opportunities. “It’s a form of economic development,” she said. “Girls represent only about 12 percent of college graduates with computer science degrees.” The club plans to meet regularly, about every two weeks, she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/04/15 07:40 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Westport Inn Sold, 8-30g Housing Threat Gone

UPDATE The Westport Inn changed hands Wednesday, selling for $14.5 million to a Stamford-based real estate investment group that plans to maintain it as an inn. WestportNow.com Image
Westport Inn owner Sheldon Stein, seen in this 2010 photo, sold the property for $14.5 million. He bought it in 2007 for $13.1 million and put in $2.5 million in improvements. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

The sale to Building and Land Technology (BLT) was announced tonight by the real estate investor, developer, and operator. Last June, it purchased the Nyala Farm Corporate Center in Westport for $130 million. (See WestportNow June 30, 2014)

The sale puts an end to the threat of the site being developed into a five-story, 200-unit rental housing complex using the state’s controversial affordable housing statute 8-30g.

“I reached out to a number of sources I thought might be capable of purchasing The Westport Inn, and that included BLT,” First Selectman Jim Marpe told WestportNow.

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Friday, March 06, 2015

Staples Names Top Students

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Staples High School today named Everett Sussman as valedictorian at June’s graduation ceremony and Megan Root as salutatorian. “I never set out to be valedictorian,” said Sussman in a news release. He stars as Sweeney Todd in Staples Players spring production, captained the math team, and heads to Harvard University in the fall. Added Root, a gifted writer and All-FCIAC soccer player who will continue her athletic career at Amherst College: “Don’t look at grades. If you do that, it will affect your entire high experience. High school shouldn’t be a slog for grades. It should be about people and classes and memories.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Saturday, March 07, 2015

Robin’s Birds

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Alas, the penguins that turned up on Westport’s Old Mill Beach area turned out to be penguin replicas owned by nearby resident Robin Tauck. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

03/07/15 07:50 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Photographer at Work

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WestportNow contributing photographer Helen Klisser During was able to get a closeup view of the unusual sight at Westport’s Old Mill Beach area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/07/15 07:55 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Unusual Sight at Old Mill

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There was an unusual siight at Westport’s Old Mill Beach area.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

03/07/15 08:00 AM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Honored

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The Parents Concussion Coalition, an advocacy group consisting of three Westport mothers, Pippa Bell Ader, Diana Coyne and Ann Sherwood, received the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut (BIAC) 2015 Public Policy Award on Friday at the Brain Injury Alliance annual meeting at the Hilton Hartford. Also honored were the legislature’s Select Committee on Children Chairs Rep. Diana Urban and Sen. Dante Bartolomeo. They were recognized for supporting public policy that promotes the prevention or treatment of brain injury. Pictured (l-r) are Julie Peters, executive director of BIAC, Pippa Bell Ader, and Rep. Diana Urban. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/07/15 12:29 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Looking Like New

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The Saugatuck Congregational Church looked like new today as the community celebrated at a rededication service marking completion of repairs following a November 2011 fire which heavily damaged the church. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/08/15 04:53 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saugatuck Church Celebrates Rededication


Scenes from today’s rededication service at Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church marking the congregation’s return to the church following the disastrous November 2011 fire. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/08/15 04:58 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Risen from the Ashes, Saugatuck Church Rededicated

By James Lomuscio

At today’s rededication of the 181-year-old Saugatuck Congregational Church, John Walsh recalled how the night of Nov. 20, 2011 “really rocked us to the core.”

WestportNow.com Image
Members of the Westport Fire Department received a standing ovation at today’s Saugatuck Congregational Church rededication service. They included (l-r) Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, Assistant Chief Larry Conklin, and Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

That night flames leapt higher than the steeple. As Walsh watched firefighters try to save the building, he received a text from his daughter who was away at college, and who had read about the fire on WestportNow.

“I typed, ‘Fire bad. Damage extensive,’ ” Walsh said.

Then realizing how much the church meant to his daughter, he added, “Church will be okay.”

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