Friday, April 27, 2007
Main Street properties comprised of Gap Kids and six adjoining retailers have changed hands for $24.2 million, evidence that despite a real estate downturn elsewhere, Westport’s Main Street continues to attract top dollar.
Gap Kids was one of the retailers involved in the $24.2 million Main Steet sale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Sale of the buildings at 33-51 Main St. was recorded Thursday in the Town Clerk’s office. The seller was 33-51 Main Street Associates Limited Partnership controlled by Westport developer David Waldman.
The buyer was WinWest 3351 Main, LLC, owned by Rye, N.Y.-based Win Properties. The group also owns the building housing Tiffany’s at Post Road East and Taylor Place as well as the old Westport Public Library, diagonally across the street and home to Starbucks and HSBC Bank.
In addition to Gap Kids at 35 Main St., the tenants of the 35-51 Main St. include Acqua Ristorante, 43 Main St.; Claire’s 45 Main St.; L’Occitane en Provence, 47 Main St., Lucky Brand Blue Jeans, 49 Main St., and Janie and Jack, 51 Main St.
Sherwood Island State Park celebrates its 70th birthday on Sunday, and a celebration is scheduled for Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic
On any given day at Sherwood Island State Park, people from all walks of life from a variety of urban and inland locations can be spotted sitting on the beach, fishing along the point or enjoying a nature walk.
For nearly 70 years, the state’s oldest park, which is nestled along Westport’s coast line, has provided people who don’t have access to an outdoor space or the beach a place to visit. The park will celebrate its birthday this weekend with a host of activities planned for Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
“It’s breathing space for people in cities,” said Marilyn Bakker, who compiled a history of the park for the Friends of Sherwood Island. “Although the park is in Westport, it draws people from Bridgeport and Norwalk. We have people who come from New York. It’s a getaway for them.”
Hope Hageman, who helped found the friends, said many people don’t realize Sherwood Island is Westport’s largest piece of open space at 235 acres.
The Rev. Ed Horne (l) of Weston-Westport United Methodist Church and the Rev. John Branson of Westport’s Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church told the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club this morning about their recent ecumenical trip to Israel. Also along on the 12-day journey in February were 12 Christian pastors from Connecticut and two rabbis, including Rabbi Robert Orkand from Westport’s Temple Israel. Several members of the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League also were in the group. The trip, which included visits to Biblical and historical sites and meetings with Jewish and Arab officials, was made to achieve a better understanding of the political and social climate of the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The National Weather Service Office in Upton, N.Y. today issued a flash flood warning for Westport and portions of the tri-state aea.
It said Doppler radar indicated moderate to heavy rain falling across the area and rainfall rates of up to 1 inch in one hour have been observed and locally higher amounts area possible. This will result in flash flooding of low lying areas and along small streams.
More than 2 inches of rain have fallen in Westport since midnight, according to local weather stations.
A mid-morning advisory said additional heavy rainfall trailing from central New Jersey will be moving into the warned area during the next few hours hours, continuing the threat for additional flash flooding of low lying areas and along small streams.
The nature walk at the Haskins Property sponsored by the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities scheduled for today has been postponed due to the weather.
The walk will now take place on Friday, May 25 at 2 p.m.
The walk will be facilitated by tree expert Don Snook.
For more information, call (203) 341-5099.
Temperatures didn’t reach 60 degrees in Westport Thursday, but the weather still drew people to Compo Beach to enjoy the scene or fly a kite. Rain is expected to fall throughout most of the day today, but the weekend is expected to be sunny and warmer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning & Zoning/Historic District Commission Subcommittee
7 p.m. - Earthplace - Green Earth Gala
7 p.m. - Bluefish Stadium (Bridgeport) - Westport Baseball Night
8 p.m. - Seabury Center - Composers Project: Paul Moravec & Trio Solisti
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “All About Us”
After months of hearings, deliberations and controversy, the Westport Conservation Commission tonight approved the Westport Weston Family Y’s application to construct a new facility at Camp Mahackeno.
The commission voted 6-1 in favor of the application with William Blaufuss voting against the project. Blaufuss voted against and in favor of the plan in two preliminary votes earlier this week.
The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) still has the right to review—and possibly overturn—both the Conservation Commission’s approval as well as the earlier approval by the Flood and Erosion Control Board if asked to do so within 30 days. The RTM must act within 90 days of receiving a petition for review from either two members or 20 electors.
Westport Weston Family Y officials are planning to move their facility from the corner of Main Street and Post Road East in the downtown area to Camp Mahackeno adjacent to the Merritt Parkway. The plans include a septic system—called FAST—that would handle 34,000 gallons of sewage and water per day. The plans now need Planning and Zoning Commission approval.
Cablevision News12 Meteorologist Paul Piorek gave a presentation today to children about weather at Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center to kick off Green Earth activities which run through Sunday. Highlights include the Green Earth Gala Friday night and the Green Living Fair Saturday and Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Westport building officials are reviewing an application to demolish the 1940 house at 5 Devon Road. The 3,550-square-foot house is on a 0.88-acre property in the Greens Farms area. Because the house is over 60 years old, the demolition application will be reviewed by the Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The seawall along Compo Basin and Compo Beach Road was significantly damaged during the recent nor’easter and needs immediate repair, officials said today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
By Jennifer Connic
Westport officials are working quickly to fix the seawall along Compo Basin, which was significantly damaged during the recent nor’easter.
Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said today the wall was in poor condition before the storm—which was April 15-16—and the storm deteriorated it to the point where it needs to be addressed immediately.
“It’s falling apart,” he said. “Significant sections have begun to collapse.”
Water is getting behind the wall during high tide, he said, and eroding the wall from behind.
Westport firefighters and state Department of Environmental Protection workers determined a purple substance on I-95 this morning was a dye and was not hazardous.
The hull of a boat at All Seasons Marine Works, 609 Riverside Ave., was one of 40 vessels at the business covered with purple residue from the dye. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said there was a powder on the bridge that prompted motorists to call the fire department around 8:30 a.m., and it stretched from Norwalk and through Westport.
“It appears to have been a leak from a vehicle,” he said. “We don’t know where it came from.”
The dye made a mess of the highway, but it didn’t need to be cleaned up because it was run into the road by the vehicles.
To the Editor:
The Westport Woman’s Club is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and deserves special recognition for all the “good” this civic organization has brought to Westport.
My association with Westport Woman’s Club is very recent. We just completed Build for the Cure™ supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure and our breast cancer programs. We turned to the Westport Woman’s Club for help with this major project in their community and without hesitation, they were there to help. They provided advice, committee volunteers, and house tour guides, and very importantly awarded a $10,000 Ruegg Grant to Komen for the Cure in Connecticut. We were honored to be selected as the recipient of such a prestigious award.
The Westport Woman’s Club embodies a strong commitment to volunteerism which is so vital to any community. In these times, it is increasingly difficult to keep this type of organization together and strong, but in Westport, these ladies have done an outstanding job.
I congratulate them on their 100th Anniversary and personally thank President Barbara Levy and Linda Clair for their leadership and assistance on our Build for the Cure.
Pauline R. Kezer
President, Komen for the Cure CT
Old Saybrook, CT
Workers are continuing to sod the final tees at Longshore Club Park, and the work is scheduled to be done this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic
Many golfers have been taking advantage of the recent warm weather at Westport’s Longshore Club Park to play early season rounds, but they are golfing around workers finishing the improvements to the golf course.
Crews are finishing sodding the final tees on the course, completing golf cart paths and seeding some areas, but the work is due to be completed in time for an official reopening of the course on Saturday, May 5. A number of events will take place starting at 8 a.m. that day concluding with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.
Crews have been working since October 2005 on the $2.3 million project to improve the course, and they only paused during last summer to allow for regular use of the course.
Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said the goals of the project were to increase tee space and improve the greens, renovate the existing bunkers that were “old and tired” and review and improve the strategy to play the course.
Hi, I’m Harris! Connecticut Humane Society
Harris (aka Harry) is a real fun little guy. He is a 2-year-old altered male corgi mix that has won the hearts of all at the CT Humane Society with his happy demeanor and just plain silliness. He wants to be the friend that will be by your side every day. He’s playful, very friendly and ready to be a part of your life. If you are looking for some added joy in your daily routine, then don’t look any further than this special guy, Harris.
Like so many great beauties of the world, Patches has to be seen in person to fully appreciate her beauty. Patches is a 3 ½-year-old spayed female Staffordshire terrier mix. This special girl can be found at the CT Humane Society (455 Post Road E., (203) 227-4137). She delights all those who meet her with her “smile” and gentle nature. She adores attention, walks well on a leash and knows her basic commands. Patches gets along well with other dogs as well. So, please stop by soon to meet our quiet beauty, Patches, and get ready to lose your heart.
Temperatures were cooler on Wednesday, but they were warm enough for an outside lunch at the Westport Public Library. Rain moved into the area Wednesday night. The sun is expected to return today, but temperatures will be cooler and in the 50s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Planning & Zoning Commission Affordable Housing Subcommittee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Conservation Commission Work Session (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:15 p.m. – Toquet Hall – Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Living Greener: How to Apply the Latest Scientific Knowledge to Everyday Living
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “All About Us”
Masha Hamilton spoke about her book, “The Camel Bookmobile,” at the Westport Public Library today. The book is based on an actual effort by Westerners to deliver books on camel-back to remote villages in Kenya. Hamilton read two passages and also had a video to illustrate what it was like for the villagers to pick library books. The Camel Bookmobile goes to different villages three times a week and returns to each village in two weeks when the books must be returned. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
The Westport Board of Selectmen tonight ruled a downtown property owner must pay for the replacement of a sidewalk in front of the property.
Public Works Department crews replaced the sidewalk in front of 35 Church Lane—which is owned by Trivalent Realty—last summer for $13,503.38.
Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said he tried to work out an agreement with the property’s owner, but no final resolution could be determined. A lien was placed on the property for the cost of the replacement, he said.
Colin Gunn, who represents the owner, said they were willing to repair the sidewalk and not replace it.
Westport’s Levitt Pavilion band shell, home to popular outdoor summer concerts for 34 years, has deteriorated so much that it is unsafe. But a temporary stage will take its place so shows can continue for the next two seasons until a permanent replacement can be built.
The Levitt Pavilion stage will be replaced by a temporary structure until a permanent replacement can be built. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com file photo
The Board of Selectmen today approved a measure to allow for the temporary stage that will be used this summer and in 2008 at the town-owned facility behind the Westport Public Library overlooking the Saugatuck River.
Building Department Director Steve Smith said a study of the current building determined it cannot be used because it’s not safe.
In order to keep the shows going for the next two years, he said, the Public Site and Building Commission and Levitt Pavilion officials decided to take down the current building and replace it with a temporary stage and two temporary support buildings.
By Madeleine Roche
The Staples varsity boys volleyball team tonight defeated archrival Trumbull 3-1. The win improved the Wreckers to 10-0 for the season.
Staples improved to 10-0 on the season with tonight’s victory over archrival Trumbull at Trumbull. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lauren Siegert/staplesvolleyball.com
The match at Trumbull went to a fourth game, which Staples dominated with a score of 25-14. They had won the first game, lost the second, clinched the third and then completely controlled the fourth.
Many spikes and kills were made by hitters Will Richardson, Ben King, Ari Sinay, Charlie Wieser, Jackson Lesser, and Peter Hlawitschka.
All of the assists were made by setters Austin Seigert and Peter Hlawitschka.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
David Halberstam: will be honored May 27. Contributed photoDavid Halberstam will continue to be who the Westport Public Library honors at its Booked for the Evening fund-raiser in May, library officials said today.
Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was killed in a car crash near San Francisco on Monday (See WestportNow April 23).
Booked for the Evening is scheduled for Sunday, May 27 at 4-7 p.m. in the library’s Great Hall.
The tribute during the event will honor Halberstam’s words, ideas, and work.
For more information, visit www.westportlibrary.org or call (203) 291-4800.
The results of an autopsy ruled the death of a Westport garbage collector accidental, police said today
Police Lt. Dale Call said the preliminary autopsy for Ronald Booth, 50, of Bridgeport, ruled his death was accidental.
“It confirmed what we believed about the incident,” he said.
Police continue to investigate Booth’s death at a Greens Farms Road residence on Monday (See WestportNow April 23).
Westport firefighters pause during a training session on Richmondville Avenue today. Firefighters spent a part of their day training on a live fire situation that involved rescuing a victim. The house, which was donated by the Chapman family, will be demolished later this week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport firefighters spent today and Tuesday training in live fires on Richmondville Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic
and Dave Matlow
Dark gray and black smoke billowed out of the windows of the house at Westport’s 81 Richmondville Ave. today signaling fire inside.
The smoke could be spotted from several blocks away, and firefighters rushed inside to save the “victim” who was trapped on the second floor.
But there was no one truly in peril and the fire itself was controlled by several safety officers inside the building. It was part of a training session for Westport firefighters that began Tuesday and continued today.
On Tuesday, 30 off-duty firefighters were training, and today about 20 were at the house donated by the Chapman family, who plan to tear down the house this week.
(UPDATE) Service on Metro-North’s New Haven Line resumed close to normal today after thousands of commuters had their morning rush hour disrupted by downed catenary wires near Greenwich, the railroad said.
Commuters gather around a television newly installed by the town in Westport’s Saugatuck train station to get the latest news on today’s New Haven Line delays. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A railroad spokeswoman said the line expected full service to be restored in time for the evening rush hour. Service was shut down by the wires problem for almost three hours until shortly after 8 a.m. for the 37,000 commuters who normally ride the New Haven Line.
In the early morning hours, frustrated commuters at Westport’s Saugatuck train station gathered around a television newly installed by the town in the waiting room to watch news reports about the delays, including helicopter aerial shots of the downed wires.
When the first trains finally rolled through the station at about 8:15 a.m., many of the waiting commuters were unable to board because of the crowded train entry ways.
Robert J. Ellwanger, a longtime Westport resident and businessman, died Monday at his home in Naples, Fla., his family said today. He was 77.
The husband of Margaret W. Ellwanger, he was born in Queens, N.Y., on April 19, 1930, to the late John and Daisy Ellwanger.
Ellwanger graduated from Bayside High School and the Pohs Institute of Insurance & Real Estate.
He moved to Westport in 1973 from Fairfield, where he had been employed by Real Estate Insurance Management. He founded Ellwanger Insurance Consultants at 12 Avery Place before moving the business to 180 Post Road East.
Commuters faced delays and crowded trains on the New Haven Line today after partial service resumed following suspension of service earlier this morning because of downed wires in Cos Cob. Pictured is a Westport commuter trying to board a train at Saugatuck shortly after restoration of some service to Grand Central. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Many were enjoying the weather at Westport’s Compo Beach on Tuesday. Temperatures reached 75 degrees and are expected to stay warm through most of the week. Rain is expected to move into the area on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com