Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Starting in the late afternoon today, trick or treaters and neighbors in the Gault Avenue area began gathering on the lawn in front of Keith Kaplan’s house on Sandhopper Trail, an annual tradition that began on Halloween in 1999. According to Kaplan, this was the second year of the party expansion which included a truck that baked fresh New Haven pizza on site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Green’s Farms Elementary School parents Sally Cadoux, Roann Markel, Darcy Hicks and Sandy Willis promote switching to green energy and energy efficient light bulbs at today’s Halloween parade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ann Melhuish for WestportNow.com
Westport’s Green Energy Task Force Tuesday night unveiled its new logo during a Westport Public Library event discussing global warming. The logo was designed by Westporter Miggs Burroughs with input from the committee. The group’s new Web site is still under construction. The library event was one of about 70 around the nation this month discussing global warming causes, impacts and solutions. Contributed photo
Westport building officials received an application for a permit to demolish the home at 57 Center St. in the Greens Farms area. Built in 1900, the 1-3/4 story colonial-style clapboard house has 1,891 square feet and is located on a 0.55-acre property. The Historic District Commission must review the application because the house is more than 60 years old. The HDC can vote to delay demolition for 90 days. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
As Westporters mark Halloween today, the Public Safety Division of the Westport Police Department offered a number of suggestions to make trick or treating safer for children and parents.
Motorists are urged to drive with extra care as ghosts and goblins will be walking streets and neighborhoods late today and into the evening.
The Westport Police Department will have extra evening patrols that will concentrate on increasing motorists’ awareness to slow down and watch for children along the roadways, as well as deterring acts of vandalism.
Parents or other responsible adults should accompany all elementary school-age children in their travels, the department said.
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – International Hospitality Committee
1:15 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Talking About Music: conductor Diane Wittry
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Wild Oats - Halloween Healthy Trick or Treat Kids’ Event
By Jim CameronSpecial to WestportNow
If misery loves company, riders on Metro-North often delight in tales of their commuting woes. Here are a couple of recent incidents that are real doozies.
On Sept. 27, the 4:50 p.m. Shore Line East Silver Streak from Stamford to New Haven made it just past Norwalk before the engine gave out.
After 15 minutes, the conductor told passengers they were “working on” the diesel and that if it couldn’t be fixed, a replacement would be sent.
An hour after the breakdown, word came “a new engine is on its way.” After another hour (the delay now totaling two hours and 15 minutes), the engine arrived from New Haven and the train lumbered as far as Bridgeport before further inexplicable delays.
The Westport Weston Health District is sponsoring an educational forum on MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Intermediate School Cafetorium, 24 School Road, Weston.
MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that causes skin infections and cannot be treated with certain antibiotics.
It has as been in the news spotlight over the past several weeks as a cause of serious infections. Westport and Weston each reported a MRSA case in recent weeks.
The panel, led by Dr. Stuart Steinman, medical adviser to the District, will discuss MRSA infections, treatment, and prevention.
Westporter Andy Kaplan, chief financial officer of DonorsChoose.org, told the Westport Rotary Club today about innovative ways to improve classroom education in Bridgeport and around the country by allowing teachers to become entrepreneurs and individual citizens to become philanthropists. At www.donorschoose.org, donors can search by area of interest, learn about classroom needs in low income communities, and bring to life the project they find most compelling. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Richard Epstein for WestportNow.com
State lawmakers today overwhelmingly approved a revised bonding bill that includes $1.85 million for Westport projects.
The bill, which passed after months of failed negotiations, authorizes slightly less borrowing than a bill the governor vetoed last month.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell said she will sign the revised bill into law, calling the compromise a victory for fiscal responsibility.
As with the vetoed bill, the revised measure authorizes $1 million for the Levitt Pavilion, $600,000 for the Westport Historical Society, and $250,000 for The Saugatuck senior housing project, according to Rep. Joe Mioli of Westport, a Democrat.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A 19,000-square foot building known as Riverside Corners at the southeast corner of Westport’s Post Road West and Riverside Avenue has been sold for $7.5 million.
Dating to the 1800s, Riverside Corners houses retail outlets and apartments. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport-based HK Group, the broker in the transaction, said the buyer was Phat Development of Greenwich. The previous owner was Abbey Road Advisors of Westport.
Built some time is the 1800s and originally known as the Hunt & Downs building, the property houses five retail outlets, including the Napoli Restaurant, and nine second-floor apartments which overlook the Saugatuck River.
Matthew Keefe, president of HK Group was the only broker involved in the transaction. Property Manager Peter Jennings, also of HK Group, has been handling Riverside Corners for the seller, and will continue with the new ownership.
The Westport View Corporate Center on Wright Street overlooking Westport’s center has changed hands for $32,250,000.
One of two office buildings sold for $32,250,000 on Wright Street. File photo
The Prescott Group sold the 81,349-square foot property at 8-10 Wright St. to an institutional buyer, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield. The sale was originally listed on the WestportNow property transfers on Oct. 25.
Westport View Corporate Center consists of two buildings, 8 Wright St., which contains 55,285 square feet of office space on three floors, and 10 Wright St., which contains 26,064 square feet of office space on two stories.
Built in 1977, the property has been extensively renovated over the past five years, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
A group of 4-year-olds from Westport’s Conservative Synagogue visited Westport Fire Headquarters today and got a lesson on hose techniques from Firefighter Matt Zaremski. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The new owner of the Westport Inn said today that the 115-room facility will undergo a major renovation to make it environmentally friendly.
The Westport Inn will undergo an extensive “green” modernization. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
New York-based Ranger Properties LLC also said it has retained the Meyer Jabara organization of Danbury, which has managed the property for the past four years, to continue to manage the hotel.
“The excellent staff at the hotel is expected to remain in place,” the company said in a news release.
The almost 4-acre property, Westport’s largest hotel and a mainstay on Post Road East for decades, was sold last week for $13.1 million (See WestportNow Oct. 29, 2007)
Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced that today’s agreement on a bonding bill means the $1 surcharge approved by the legislature two years ago as part of the governor’s $1.3 billion transportation package will be scrapped in favor of an alternative developed by legislators earlier this year at her request.
“Today’s bonding agreement means that the surcharge will be eliminated in favor of a more equitable system,” Rell said in a statement.
“The surcharge would have been burdensome for some intrastate commuters, particularly those who only ride between one or two stations and I am pleased that the alternative will now replace the surcharge.”
The surcharge was intended to help pay for Rell’s 2005 Transportation Initiative, which included about 340 new cars for Metro-North’s New Haven Line. The governor’s plan also provided new commuter buses and hundreds of millions of dollars for improvements on all of the state’s highway.
The Connecticut Light and Power Company has informed the town that it will conduct 36 hours of continuous operations beginning Wednesday in order to complete the first phase of its high voltage power line installation under the Saugatuck River, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced today.
“The power company made known in their application process many months ago that critical portions of the underwater drilling project would necessitate at times extending the work day for 24 hours or more,” Joseloff said. “This first such operation will commence Wednesday.”
The First Selectman said CL&P has informed residents in the Imperial Avenue and Lincoln Street areas that work on the “pullback” of the assembled pipe conduit under the river as part of the Horizontal Directional Drilling project will begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday and continue through Thursday at 7 p.m.
CL&P said the critical conduit pullback operation takes longer than 12 hours to complete and cannot be stopped once commenced due to the risk of collapse as the assembled conduit bundles are pulled into the drilled hole.
Westport will join a National Conversation on Climate Action tonight with a community meeting at 7 p.m. in the McManus Room of the Westport Public Library.
Co-sponsored by the town’s Green Energy Task Force and the Unitarian Church in Westport, the meeting is one of 70 involving local governments across the nation this month discussing global warming causes, impacts and solutions.
Among those speaking are First Selectman Gordon Joseloff; Carl Leaman, chairman of Westport’s Green Energy Task Force; Bob Wall of the Fairfield Green Energy Task Force, and Julie Belaga of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.
The National Conversation on Climate Action is sponsored by the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers.
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Jerry Labriola on “The Strange Death of Napoleon Bonaparte”
7 p.m. - Westport Public Library - McManus Room - Community Conversation on Global Warming
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – RTM Employee Compensation/Finance/Public Protection/Education Committees
Monday, October 29, 2007
Westport’s Main Street was crowded with Halloween revelers today at the Parks and Recreation Department, Downtown Merchants Association, and Police Athletic League sponsored the town’s annual Halloween parade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Westport Police Officer Craig Kupson shows off his motorcycle to a youngster dressed in similar gear during today’s Halloween parade on Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
The Westport Inn, Westport’s largest hotel and a fixture on Post Road East for decades, has been sold to a New York owner and developer for $13.1 million, according to a filing in the Town Clerk’s Office.
The new owners of the Westport Inn will undertake extensive renovations of the 115-room facility, according to a broker involved in the sale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) File photo
The 115-room facility at 1595 Post Road East occupies more than three acres and features an indoor pool, fitness facility, meeting space, and restaurant and lounge. It was bought by Ranger Properties LLC.
“The new owner plans to extensively renovate and reposition the inn, so the Westport Inn will be taken to an even higher level of accommodations and service,” said Joe McCann, president of Philadelphia-based Optimum Hotel Brokerage, the firm which represented the seller in the transaction.
McCann, a former Westport resident, added, “With Westport’s high land costs and prohibitive zoning restrictions, the hotel is situated at the epicenter of one of the highest barriers-to-entry markets in the country.”
The Westport Weston Health District (WWHD) announced today that 815 residents received their flu shots earlier this month at the Health District’s flu clinics.
The Health District collaborated with various town departments including police, fire, parks and recreation, EMS, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), as well as its own volunteers in the large-scale event.
“We plan these large clinics, not only to provide quick and easy access to our residents, but also to train our staff and volunteers on handling large-scale emergencies,” said Sue Jacozzi, Director of Health. “We are very pleased with the numbers this year. People realize the importance of being prepared.”
WWHD nurses vaccinated 526 persons at Westport’s Bedford Middle School on Oct. 20 with an average time of six minutes per person spent from their entry to the clinic to their exit. A second flu clinic took place at the Norfield Church,Weston where 289 residents were vaccinated.
Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss announced today that her office will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon to accommodate voters applying for an absentee ballot to vote in the Nov. 6 municipal election.
Absentee ballots are available at the Town Clerk’s office daily Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They will be available through Monday, Nov. 5 until 4:30 p.m., Strauss said.
Ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6 when the polls officially close.
The Town Clerk’s office is located in the Town Hall at 110 Myrtle Ave. in Room 105. Applications for absentee ballots can be downloaded from the town Web site at www.westportct.gov .