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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cold Weather Boosts Polar Ice Sales

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The cold weather helped sales of outerwear at Polar Ice Software Design of Island Heights, N.J. today, one of more than 150 exhibitors at the 33rd annual Creative Arts Festival at Westport’s Staples High School. The event sponsored by the Young Woman’s League of Westport continues on Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

11/22/08 11:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Full House for Newman “Our Town” Tribute

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There was a full house today for the Westport Country Playhouse afternoon tribute to Paul Newman and the showing of him starring in the Playhouse 2002 production of “Our Town” in which he played the stage manager. The event, which included a “community gathering” in a tent outside with refreshments, was one of five held by the Playhouse. Today’s two-performance schedule was expanded to three earlier gatherings because of the demand for tickets, which were free. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

11/22/08 10:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

NY Times Twice Cites WN’s Teardown Feature

The Sunday Connecticut section of the New York Times cites WestportNow’s Teardown of the Day feature in two stories about teardowns.

“Zoning battles have erupted in town meetings throughout the area, most notably in Westport, where fierce postings accompany the now-infamous photo feature on WestportNow.com, Teardown of the Day,” the Times said in a front page story under the headline “Today a House, Tomorrow a Teardown.”

The feature by photographer Dave Matlow is also mentioned in an accompanying story headlined “Connecticut Towns See the Effect on the Community.”

In August, the Times also cited the Teardown of the Day feature in a Connecticut section regional roundup of suburban news and personal Web pages (See WestportNow Aug. 9, 2008), and a Times editorial in July said WestportNow’s Teardown of the Day feature was important in raising public awareness of issues raised by the proliferation of teardowns. (See WestportNow July 1, 2008)

   

11/22/08 09:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 47 Woodside Ave.

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Various Westport officials are reviewing an application for a permit to demolish the house at 47 Woodside Ave. in the Old Hill section. Built in 1930, the two-story conventional house has 1,939 square feet and is situated on a .46-acre waterfront property on Nash’s Pond. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

11/22/08 09:44 AM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Set for Today’s Ice Rink Opening

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With chilly temperatures to help speed things along, Tony Lantier, director of the Westport PAL Ice Rink at Longshore Club Park, spent much of the day Friday adding layers of ice to the rink. Within an hour the surface froze and he then applied another layer, building the surface until he was satisfied that the ice would be perfect for today’s opening. The rink will offer free skating and skate rentals fom noon to 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com>

   

11/22/08 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, November 22, 2008


9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Staples High School - WYWL 33rd Annual Westport Creative Arts Festival
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Earthplace - Pet Info Day
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Connecticut Humane Society (455 Post Road East) - “Fall In Love” event, $5 pet photos, $5 dog baths, turkey raffle, bake sale, and adoptions
11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Unitarian Church (10 Lyons Plains Road) - Used Bike Drive to benefit St Charles Urban Center Food Pantry
Noon - 8 p.m. - Longshore Club Park - PAL Ice Rink opens with free skating and skate rentals
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Optimism”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Not All Rubber Ducks Look Alike”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Unique Perspectives: Photography by Six Westport Artists”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “WestportNow Photographers: The Best From the Best”
1 p.m. and 6 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Community gathering/“Our Town” screening in honor of Paul Newman (waiting list only)
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Women of Mystery: Rosemary Harris, Jane K. Cleland, and Hank Phillippi Ryan
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Senators Community Foundation Dance
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players: “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying!”

   

11/22/08 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Friday, November 21, 2008

Newman Left Assets to Wife, Foundation

Paul Newman, who died Sept. 26 at the age of 83, provided in his will that his collection of race cars be sold off and his Oscars and other awards go to his foundation, The Associated Press reported today.

The actor, who was also a competitive racer, asked for his airplane and sports cars to be sold and the proceeds to go to his estate, according to the will signed April 11, the AP said.

He left his personal property, including his Westport estate and art collection, to his wife, Joanne Woodward.

His Oscars and other awards, and his interest in Newman’s Own and Salad King, will go to Newman’s Own Foundation.

   

11/21/08 11:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Nov. 3 - 7, 2008

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Nov. 3 - 7, 2008:

Thomas W. and Amanda S. Mason to Jerry W. and Margaret D. Walker, 5 Heritage Court, $516,000 WN property.jpg

MBMVest LLC to Steven Minkowitz, 8 West Branch Road, 75.45% Westport, $750,000

Michele Knapp and Jules Jonckheer to Jay A. Dirnberger and Marilyn S. Alger, 40 Whitney St., $2,025,000

Thomas D. and Theresa A. Prangley to Jeff Jaffe, 2 Easton Road, $750,000

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11/21/08 10:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Derma Clinic to Close Dec. 7

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Derma Clinic: Playhouse Square mainstay for 29 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
UPDATE Westport’s Derma Clinic European Day Spa, a mainstay in Westport’s Playhouse Square shopping center for 29 years, announced today it will close on Dec. 7.

Patricia O’Regan Brown, founder and president, said in a statement it was with great regret that she was facing the reality that she must close the clinic. She cited the downturn in the economy and her current fragile health.

On Dec. 31, Derma Clinic filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, listing assets of $50,000 to $100,000 and liabilities of $100,000 to $500,000.

“When Derma Clinic opened its doors 29 years ago, it was the first and only Day Spa in Westport,” O’Regan Brown said.

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11/21/08 07:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Two Escape Serious Injury in Greens Farms Road Crash

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Two drivers escaped serious injury in a two-car crash today in front of 159 Greens Farms Road. Westport firefighters said a fire hydrant was struck and began leaking water after one car crashed into the other and hit the hydrant. Both drivers declined transport to the hospital.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

   

11/21/08 07:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Long Shadow

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A photographer casts a long shadow at Westport’s Compo Beach on Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

11/21/08 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, November 21, 2008


9:30 a.m. – Westport Center for Senior Activities – Commission for Senior Services
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Unique Perspectives: Photography by Six Westport Artists”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “WestportNow Photographers: The Best From the Best”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Not all Rubber Ducks Look Alike”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Optimism”
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Community gathering/“Our Town” screening in honor of Paul Newman (waiting list only)
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Swimming With Dolphins w/ Goot, Standard of Living, and Vivacity
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players: “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying!”
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. - Westport Astronomical Society (182 Bayberry Lane) - WAS: The Next Generation astronomy club for kids grades 3-8

   

11/21/08 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Former Firefighter Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

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Eric Fine: pays $7,158 in restitution. WN file photo/Dave Matlow
A former Westport firefighter pleaded guilty today in Norwalk Superior Court to reduced charges that he had illegally used a union credit card while union treasurer.

Eric Fine, 49, of Shelton, who retired April 1 as the fire department’s communications specialist, pleaded guilty to fourth degree larceny and two counts of illegal use of a credit card. He initially had been accused of second degree larceny. (See WestportNow April 23, 2008)

Judge Burton Kaplan ordered him to pay $7,158 in restitution and gave him a suspended three-year prison sentence and two years of probation.

Fine was arrested following a complaint by the executive board of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1081, Westport Professional Firefighters. It alleged that Fine had misused a union credit card while treasurer from April 2004 through June 2007.

   

11/21/08 12:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Smokin’ at Bogey’s

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Westport firefighters responded to Bogey’s Retaurant, 323 Main St., today after smoke was reported in the building. Upon arrival, firefighters found that employees had extinguished a small fire in landscaping material at the restaurant’s side that burned some shingles on the building. While no cause was cited, Assistant Chief Gene Maloney said patrons who go outside to smoke a cigarette are urged to discard the butts in a container provided for the purpose and not carelessly discard them in the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

11/20/08 11:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Y Downtown Files Appeal of P&Z Family Y Approval

The Town of Westport received notification today that the Y Downtown group is appealing the Planning and Zoning Commission approval of plans to build a new Westport Weston Family Y at the Y’s Mahackeno property.WestportNow.com Image
Planning and Zoning commissioners approved the Y application at their Oct. 23 meeting by a vote of 5-2. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The appeal was filed at Superior Court in Bridgeport by attorney William J. Kupinse, Jr. on behalf of the group and Leanne Bell, 29 River Lane; Elizabeth Flint, 38 Rices Lane; Marsha Darmory, 22 Rices Lane; Daniel Gross, 17 Twin Falls Lane, and Barbara Neiman, 9 Rices Lane.

It named the Town of Westport as well as the Westport Weston Family Y as defendants and set a Dec. 9 date for a response. The P&Z approved the plan with conditions on Oct. 23 by a 5-2 vote. (See WestportNow Oct. 23, 2008)

The suit contends that in approving the application, the P&Z “acted illegally, arbitrarily and in abuse of the discretion vested in it” because a majority of the members had “prejudged the application and were predetermined to grant the application regardless of the substantial evidence presented at the public hearings.”

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11/20/08 08:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Listening is an Act of Love”

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Five years ago. radio documentary producer David Isay launched his StoryCorps project to record an oral history of America with the voices of everyday people. He set up recording booths in various places, including Grand Central Terminal. To mark the 10,000th interview, he published a book “Listening is an Act of Love” with excerpts from the interviews and today addressed a Westport Library audience to discuss the book and his work. By now, 30,000 people have shared their life stories, with many of the interviews broadcast on National Public Radio. Fairfield NPR station WSHU co-sponsored his appearance. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

11/20/08 08:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Train Delays, Late E-Mail Notifications Rile Riders

New Haven Line commuters experienced their second morning rush hour delays in four days today, a problem exacerbated by late e-mail notification of the delays.

Beginning at about 6:30 a.m. commuters began e-mailing each other about delays, caused by a disabled train in the vicinity of Norwalk, but it was not until 8:05 a.m. that the railroad sent out a mass e-mail reporting the delays.

Commuters irate about the delays—which followed similar delays on Monday—and the delayed notification messaged Metro-North customer service and in return got an apology.

“Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience or difficulty,” said one Metro-North representative. “There is no question that this has been a trying week for many New Haven Line customers, and we very much regret that. 

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11/20/08 07:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bysiewicz Says She Favors Abolishing Electoral College

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In her second Westport appearance in a week, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today addressed the Westport Weston Y’s Men. She said the Nov. 4 vote was conducted without any problems and with no recounts. She said she favored abolishing the Electoral College and seeking a popular vote of the president. And she said she was pursing Connecticut having a form of “early voting” possibly through mail-in voting or “no excuse” absentee voting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

   

11/20/08 06:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Alan Fontaine, 92

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Alan Fontaine: 40-year Westport resident. Contributed photo
Alan Fontaine, photographer, artist and 40-year Westport resident, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 9 at Westport Health Care Center. He was 92.

Born in New York City, Fontaine became interested in photography at Brown University and also attended the Rhode Island School of Design.

After graduating from Brown in 1938, he enrolled in the New York School of Modern Photography, and while there soon assembled a portfolio of experimental photos.

In 1945, he showed this material to Town & Country’s then fashion editor, Kay Sullivan, winning Fontaine his first commercial assignment, photographing the actor Yul Brynner.

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11/20/08 02:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Catching the Rays

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Some visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach paused to get a little sun on Wednesday despite the chilly weather that saw morning lows in the 20s.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

11/20/08 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, November 20, 2008


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Unique Perspectives: Photography by Six Westport Artists”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “WestportNow Photographers: The Best From the Best”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Optimism”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Not all Rubber Ducks Look Alike”
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: David Isay, “Listening is an Act of Love”
7 p.m. – Westport Police Department – EMS Task Force
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Westport Youth Commission
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Community gathering/“Our Town” screening in honor of Paul Newman (waiting list only)

   

11/20/08 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

PAL Ice Rink at Longshore to Open Saturday

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The Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) Ice Rink at Longshore Club Park will open Saturday—earlier than usual. Tony Laniter, director of the rink, said while the rink has traditionally opened the day after Thanksgiving, the recent cold weather will permit the earlier opening. To celebrate, the rink will be open from noon to 8 p.m. with free ice time and free skate rentals. The rink will continue to operate daily after Saturday. For additional information visit the rink Web site or call (203)226-RINK (226-7465). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

   

11/20/08 03:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Adding a Little Color

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Tony Lantier, director of the Westport PAL Ice Rink at Longshore Club Park, added some white paint to the rink surface today as part of the preparations for Saturday’s early opening. All ice time and skate rentals will be free on Saturday when the rink will be open from noon to 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

   

11/20/08 03:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Westport Housing Starts Drop Along With National Statistics

New housing starts are down in Westport along with those in the nation.WestportNow.com Image
Of this year’s 64 Westport housing starts, 15 of them were part of the Bradley Lane development, shown here, in the Saugatuck area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

So far this year, there have been 64 new housing starts in Westport, according to the Building Department, down almost 21 percent from a year ago when there were 81 in the comparable period. But even that figure is misleading.

“It’s noteworthy when you realize that 15 of the 64 starts are the condos on Bradley Lane, leaving only 49 single family starts,” a Building Department official said. That makes the drop 39.5 percent for single family homes, slightly higher than the national average.

On a national level, the government reported today that home construction took its fourth tumble in a row during October, falling 4.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted 791,000 annual rate, after falling a revised 3.0 percent in September.

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11/19/08 09:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Y Building AKA Bedford Square Plans Unveiled

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Representatives of the developers of the current Westport Weston Family Y building in Westport center today unveiled plans for the property that include retail shops, restaurants, condominiums, and a piazza public space with fountain. The presentation before the town’s Plan Implementation Committee included display of a model of the new 110,000-square foot complex to be known as Bedford Square. Developer David Waldman of Westport estimated the project would add about $100 million in value to Westport’s grand list. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

11/19/08 03:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dark Clouds Sunset

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Dark clouds masked Tuesday’s sunset at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

11/19/08 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Plan Implementation Committee (PIC)
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Jobseekers Resource Seminar with Michael Shavel, CT Dept. of Labor
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Unique Perspectives: Photography by Six Westport Artists”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “WestportNow Photographers: The Best From the Best”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Optimism”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Not all Rubber Ducks Look Alike”
1:15 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - “Challenges of the New President” lecture by John Orman
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. - Westport Police Department Training Room - Westport CERT Emergency Shelter Management Class
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Special Board of Finance
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Community gathering/“Our Town” screening in honor of Paul Newman (waiting list only)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Levitt Pavilion (The New Pavilion) Canceled
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Library Board of Trustees
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - “The Status of Public Education in Bridgeport” panel discussion

   

11/19/08 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rooster Ban Ordinance Back Before RTM

The rooster ordinance is back before Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM).WestportNow.com Image
Compo Beach area neighbors want an ordinance that would silence this crowing rooster. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Seven months after they first sought the law, a group of neighbors in the Compo Beach area has renewed a request that the town’s legislative body approve an ordinance giving them relief from a crowing rooster owned by a fellow resident.

The initial request, made in April, was withdrawn to refine the wording of the proposed law. (See WestportNow April 21, 2008) The ordinance could be heard at the RTM’s Dec. 2 meeting and then referred to committee.

In a petition signed by 33 Compo residents, they seek approval of an ordinance declaring that “no person shall keep in the town any roosters in such location that the crowing thereof shall be annoying to any person occupying premises in the vicinity.”

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11/18/08 10:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Retiring State Sen. Freedman Addresses Westport Rotary

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Retiring State Sen. Judith Freedman today spoke of her 22-year career in the legislature in a talk before the weekly meeting of the Westport Rotary Club. She said she was especially proud of legislation she helped pass that improved health care, including requiring insurance coverage of mammograms, as well as numerous laws affecting special education needs. Freedman, a Republican, will be succeeded in the 26th District by Toni Boucher, currently a Republican state representative from Wilton. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

11/18/08 08:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Baron’s South Housing Plan Calls for 104 Units

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First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff today disclosed preliminary details of plans for senior and workforce housing on Baron’s South in a presentation at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. The plan calls for a total of 104 rental units, including a new building (“A) just south of the present Senior Center (“SC”) which will have 51 units for seniors. Another 23 senior units will be in new town houses and the existing Baron’s Mansion and expansion (“B”), and the balance of 30 units will be workforce housing (“1-4,” “C,” “D”). He said the plan is for minimal taxpayer funding for the project with financing to come from federal and state sources. Another presentation is set for Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium prior going to the Planning and Zoning Commission later for approval of the conceptual plan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

   

11/18/08 06:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

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