Wednesday, April 27, 2005
The kite surfers returned to Westport’s Compo Beach today. The temperature reached 63F under sunny skies at Bedford Middle School but only got into the upper 50s near the water. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrea Maritzer Fine for WestportNow.com
The Westport Center for Senior Activities and the boy’s and girl’s golf teams from Staples High School recently teamed up for the Friendship through Fitness golf tournament to raise money for the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities. All proceeds will go toward maintaining the fitness room at the center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport’s Kowalsky Brothers construction company today worked on a beautification project at the intersection of Post Road East and the Sherwood Island Connector. The planting project will include a sign welcoming visitors to Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
Former Westporters Vic Arrington and Peggy Arrington pose with their son, composer and Staples grad Devin Arrington, 27, at a reception Monday Night at New York’s Carnegie Hall following the world premiere performance of Devin’s chamber music piece “Jerusalem” by the New York Youth Symphony. Devin performs regularly with the Westmoreland Symphony in Greenburg, Pa., and teaches violin and composition in Pittsburgh His parents recently moved to Hilton Head S.C. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Rick Benson for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Outgoing Westport Fire Chief Denis McCarthy (l) congratulates Deputy Chief Chris Ackley on today’s announcement that Ackley, a 26-year veteran of the department, will succeed him. Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell said she will swear in Ackley at 2 p.m. Friday. McCarthy has been named chief in Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
An 1800s barn on the former Allen’s Clam House property � now town-owned—on Hillspoint Road at Old Mill came down today. The Historic District Commission gave its approval to the demolition at its April 12 meeting. (See WestportNow April 12, 2005) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A Westport noise ordinance submitted by residents and scheduled to be considered at next week’s session of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) has been postponed until June at the residents’ request.
They asked for the postponement during a meeting Monday night of the RTM Ordinance Committee, the first committee to consider the suggested ordinance. The proposed measure imposes tighter restrictions on construction and other activities.
The Ordinance Committee recommended that other RTM committees, including Public Protection, Environment and Planning and Zoning, consider the proposal and that the town attorney’s office then revise it based on committee and public input.
The measure will be taken up again at the RTM’s June 7 meeting, according to RTM Moderator Gordon Joseloff. The RTM’s May 2 and 3 meetings are mainly devoted to annual budget matters but non-budget items will be considered as well.
(Editor’s note: The Moderator of the RTM is also editor of WestportNow.com.)
The Westport Public Library Monday night honored its youth and “Reading to Rover” volunteers. Children’s librarian Lynn Perrigo oversaw the 700 hours of work put in by 67 children. Frances McCabe and her lab Onyx were one of 10 owner and dog teams who enjoyed many hours listening to children read aloud to them. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Arts Advisory Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Public Works Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - Youth Commission Underage Drinking Subcommittee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals
By James LomuscioWestportNow Special Correspondent
Are McMansions a well-heeled homeowner’s right or a neighborhood blight that threaten Westport’s charm and, ultimately, its quality of life? These and other big house concerns are expected to be aired at two public meetings next month, the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission’s Big House Committee decided today.
Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Eleanor Lowenstein (2nd r) addresses the P&Z’s Big House Committee today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The meetings slated for Tuesday, May 17, at 10 a.m. and Wednesday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium will set the stage to see if any changes to the town’s residential zoning regulations are in the wings, officials say.
“Once we get information, we will have the time to sit down and study them,” said Eleanor R. Lowenstein, P&Z chairman. “The next time around it will be a public hearing on (residential zoning) changes.”
Katherine Barnard, Planning and Zoning Department director, said the planned meetings sprung from numerous resident concerns both for and against the proliferation massive homes.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Charlie Moffat, who served on the staff of the Westport/Weston YMCA for 37 years as a member services representative, custodian, health center attendant, and chief of laundry operations, has died at the age of 68, the YMCA announced today.
Paul Newman was among those paying tribute to Charlie Moffat on his retirement in 1998. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Moffat, known for his cheery “Have a nice day!” greeting, died Thursday after a long illness.
At a retirement tribute offered on the occasion of Moffat’s 61st birthday on March 26th, 1998, retired YMCA Executive Director Matt Johnson said that Moffat had been one of the most dependable and conscientious YMCA employees he ever worked with.
Johnson recalled fondly the Monday night men’s fitness group in which Moffat played volleyball at the YMCA.
The signs on the doors and window tell the story—Ship’s Corner Chinese Take Out, a downtown Westport presence for 20 years, is closing this week. Owner Johnny Wong said his landlord gave him notice last month and he is looking for another location after two decades at 23 Jesup Road opposite the Westport Public Library. The restaurant’s last day is Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photos
Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period April 18-22, 2005:
Joanne N. Harding to John F. and Ann Marie Fanning, 207 Compo Road South, $710,000
David A. and Elizabeth A. Forgash to Andrew F. and Linda G. Schwartz, 2 Ledgemoor Lane, $2,100,000
Normandy Riverside Investors LLC to Riverside Office 321-329 LLC, 321-329 Riverside Ave., $17,600,000
Normandy Riverside Investors LLC to Riverside Office 285 & 355 LLC, 285 & 355 Riverside Ave., $36,550,000
It was a long Sunday for Westport’s Dave Kashetta. The former Staples High School football standout and Boston College tight end was not among players chosen in the National Football League Draft.
But a short time later he signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins.
“I’m really excited,” he told reporters later. “I definitely feel I have a lot to prove now.”
The 2000 Staples grad, who is listed at 6 feet 3 1/2 inches and 247 pounds, last season made 22 catches for 218 yards with four touchdowns for the Eagles. He will join the Redskins at rookie camp this weekend in Washington.
The Westport/Weston YMCA’s plans to move from its downtown Westport location to its Camp Mahackeno facility will be the subject of two talks before the Y’s Men and Y’s Women groups this week and next.
Richard A. Foot, YMCA executive director and CEO and members of his staff will address the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston at the group’s weekly meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.
He will make a similar presentation on Monday, May 2, to the Y’s Women at their weekly meeting at 11 a.m. in the Board Room on the second floor of the YMCA’s Bedford Building, 59 Post Road East.
In both addresses, Foot will talk about the Y’s “Imagine the Possibilities” campaign to build a new full-facility Y to be located on the Y’s 32-acre Mahackeno campus and how it will serve the community now and in the future.
Foot will discuss the selection Robert A. M. Stern Architects to design the new Y and will present preliminary site concept drawings, according to announcements from the groups.
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Planning and Zoning Big House Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - RTM Long-Range Planning Committee
8 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Ordinance Committee
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Volunteers helped fix up the Compo Beach playground today to get it ready for the summer season. Many of the workers were from the original Compo Beach Playground Committee that worked to make the playground a reality in 1989. A new committee has been formed to update it next year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com
Among the volunteers helping to get the Compo Beach playground ready for the summer today were Toni Rubin (l) and Betsy Wacker. They both served on the original Compo Beach Playground Committee 16 years ago that built the present playground, which will undergo a makeover next year in a similar community-driven effort. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com
A nationwide memorial ride to honor bicyclists who have died or suffered severe injuries comes to Westport next month.
A “Ride of Silence” to remember and honor those who have been injured or killed on public roadways, will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, starting in the parking lot next to the Luciano Park ball field at the Westport railroad station.
The event is not a typical charity ride, according to organizer Tom Steinert-Threlkeld of Weston. In fact, there is no charity. There are no brochures, no T-shirts, no sponsors.
There is only silence. And a slow-paced ride on public roads, to demonstrate that cyclists care about fallen cyclists and how those who still are able to ride can peacefully share roadways with motorists, Steinert-Threlkeld said.
Sunday’s New York Times spotlights Westport’s special education controversy, saying school board meetings often explode into shouting matches between parents and administrators over the topic.
Under the headline “Amid Affluence, a Struggle Over Special Education,” the newspaper reported:
“Special education is a hot topic here, with school board meetings exploding into shouting matches over what services children are entitled to under federal law and parents spending thousands of dollars on appeals to force the school district to provide those services for their children.
“The parents say they have no choice: the district, one of the state’s most affluent, is fighting just as hard to hold the line on skyrocketing special education costs.”
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Westport Volunteer Fire Department members conducted training operations today at Westport fire headquarters. Volunteer Michelle Reiner goes through a hose drill. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Friday, April 22, 2005
The fast pace of Westport teardowns was too fast for a Fairfield man. Westport police arrested him for demolishing a home without a permit.
Illegally torn down: 59 Crescent Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Christopher J. Taylor, 35, was charged Thursday with taking down a home at 59 Crescent Road without having received the proper paperwork, according to officials. He was released on his own recognizance for a court appearance May 2 and could face a maximum of a year in jail and/or a $500 fine.
The home, which sold last month for $470,000, was featured as WestportNow’s teardown of the day March 15.
The house was demolished last week. Upon learning of the action, Steve Smith, Buildings Department director, filed a complaint with police.
The number of demolition permits issued in 2004 in Westport jumped 43 percent—to 106 compared to 73 the year before, according to Building Department records.
Westport firefighters today quickly extinguished a fire in an electrical panel at a home on Laurel Lane.
Assistant Chief Robert Kepchar said units responded to report of a structure fire at 9:14 a.m. and upon arrival the homeowner told them there was a fire in the basement.
Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire in the main electrical panel and checked for fire extension with a thermal imaging camera, he said.
The fire was contained to the panel but smoke had to be ventilated from the rest of the house, Kepchar said. No one was injured in the blaze. The last unit left the scene at 10:17 a.m. Cause of the fire is under investigation.
Seven landmark office buildings on Westport’s Riverside Avenue that once housed Marketing Corp. of America have changed hands again, this time for $54 million, a 46 percent jump in price over the last sale two years ago.
Sold again: seven Riverside Avenue office buildings sold for $54 millioin. WestportNow.com file photo
A filing in the Town Clerk’s office showed the seller as Normandy Realty Partners of Morristown, N.J. and Lexham Private Investors of Stamford, Conn., and the buyer as New York-based Riverside Office 285 & 355, LLC and Riverside Office 321-329, LLC.
The seven-building office complex includes 285 Riverside Ave.; 321-329 Riverside Ave., which consist of five buildings; and 355 Riverside Ave. The complex totals 145,190 square feet of space and was originally constructed from 1981 to 1986.
New York-based pension fund TIAA Realty Inc., sold the properties to Normandy Realty Partners and Lexham Private Investors in April 2003 for $37 million. (See WestportNow June 15, 2003)
Police sought four persons in connection with the robbery of a Saugatuck convenience store early today.
The four—three men and a woman described as hispanics—robbed the Fast Stop store at 20 Saugatuck Ave. shortly before 7 a.m.
Police spokesman Jerry Shannon said the money was in a bag on a shelf and while a store employee was distracted, one of the four grabbed it and ran.
Reports said no weapon was displayed and the four made their escape in a car police believe may have been headed to I-95.
Detectives said the quartet made off with more than $1,000. Westport police alerted State Police of the robbery.
A Norwalk Superior Court judge has sentenced a Westport man to a 10-year prison term suspended after 3 1/2 years in connection with a 2003 crash that killed the man’s boyhood friend.
Judge John Kavanewsky Jr. sentenced Igor Bronov, 48, of 28 Hills Lane, on Thursday in connection with the death of Alexander Boyko, 46, in a crash early on April 5, 2003, on Westport Avenue in Norwalk. He died when Bronov lost control of his car and crashed into a utility pole.
The judge could have imposed a 10-year sentence suspended after any period between two and four years under a plea deal worked out last November. Bronov pleaded no contest to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence.