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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dog Days at the Beach Image
As the number of days that dogs will be permitted on Westport’s beaches dwindles down, many dogs and their owners are making sure to take advantage of beautiful spring days such as Friday. Sue Beagley, a dog trainer from Norwalk, brought along her two Bernese Mountain dogs, Sophie, 4, and Cubbie, 6. Bernese Mountain dogs were once used as carting dogs in Switzerland. Sophie and Cubby are cousins whose mothers were sisters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


03/28/09 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, March 28, 2009

9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Coleytown Elementary School - Westport Weston Cooperative Nursery School’s 4th Annual Touch-A-Truck fundraiser
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Public Library - The Library’s First Mini-Golf Tournament
10 a.m. - noon - Town Hall Auditorium - Forum on Connecticut budget with state Sen. Toni Boucher and Rep. Joe Mioli
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Green’s Farms School (17 Morningside Drive South) - Green’s Farms School Spring Market
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Presidents, Politicians & Popular Heroes”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Art of the Birdhouse”
12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Bedford Middle School - Connecticut Association for the Gifted and the Westport Public Schools sponsor “Minds in Motion”
6:30 p.m. - Unitarian Church - A Better Chance Dream Event fund-raiser
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Kristin Chenoweth benefit concert
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Senators Community Foundation “Cabaret Night”
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School Black Box Theatre - Staples Players, “12 Angry Men”


03/28/09 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Large Turnout for PAL Basketball Event Image
Westport’s Police Athletic League (PAL) hosted the Court Jesters at Staples High School tonight. The gym rocked with a sell-out crowd cheering on the Westport All Stars. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for


03/28/09 03:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport All Stars Image
The Westport All Stars representing Westport schools faced off tonight against the Court Jesters in a PAL basketball fund-raiser at Staples High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for


03/28/09 03:18 AM Comments () • Permalink

Cheerleaders Image
There were plenty of cheerleaders on hand for participants in tonight’s PAL basketball event at Staples High School where the Westport All Stars faced the Court Jesters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for


03/28/09 03:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Cans of Flammable Fluids Found at Fire in Woods

Westport firefighters tonight quickly extinguished a fire in a wooded area off Meadow Brook Lane where they found cans of flammable Image
One of the cans found in the woods near Long Lots Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Residents called 911 and said there had heard an explosion and then there was a fire about 300 feet into the woods behind Long Lots Elementary School.

“The explosion heard was apparently an aerosol can exploding which had been placed in the fire,” said Assistant Chief Larry Conklin.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames. A fire inspector found more than a dozen cans of flammable fluids in the immediate area, Conklin said.

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03/28/09 02:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 27, 2009

Update: Hershey the Cat is Home

Hershey is lost
UPDATE Hershey the cat reported lost March 27 is home safe and sound.

UPDATE The Himalayan Persian cat lost March 27 around the area of Imperial Avenue and Wakeman Place was found in the attic of a neighbor’s garage about three weeks later. The owner reports he is thin, matted, and had to be dehydrated at a vet. But he is recovering and wants to go back outside.


03/27/09 11:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Gets $904,000 for Rail Station Improvements

Westport will receive almost $904,000 in federal stimulus funds for maintenance, repair, and improvements to the Westport and Green’s Farms Metro-North New Haven Line Image
The funds will be used for repairs and improvements. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Of the $10.5 million in funds devoted to New Haven Line improvements, $571,724 will go to the Westport station and $332,164 to the Green’s Farms station.

First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff said he received details today from the Connecticut Department of Transportation about the program, funds for which were approved earlier this week by Gov. M. Jodi M. Rell’s Recovery Working Group.

“The funds will be used to repair ramps and stairs, as well as to clean canopies, including decking and structural framing, of rust and loose paint,” Joseloff said. “There will also be improvement to amenities, including repairs to platform shelters.”

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03/27/09 08:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Charles Lindbergh Cuseo, 80

Charles Lindbergh Cuseo, 80, of Richmond, Va.,  formerly of Westport, died peacefully on Feb. 9, 2009, at the Johnston-Willis Hospital, Image
Charles L. Cuseo: last of the 12 Cuseo brothers. Contributd photo

Born Jan. 30, 1929, in Fairfield, Charles Cuseo was the last surviving brother of the famous 12 Cuseo brothers of Westport who left their footprint in the written historical pages of our community.

Charles is survived by his wife of 57 years, Josephine Cuseo; daughter, Dr. Lisa Cuseo-Ott; son-in-law, Thierry Ott; and grandchildren, Matthieu and Gabrielle Ott; in addition to several nieces, nephews and in-laws in Connecticut and throughout the United States.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Lucy Cuseo; and siblings, Joseph Cuseo, Michael Cuseo, Frank Cuseo, William Cuseo, Nicholas Cuseo, Albert Cuseo, Angelo Cuseo, Anthony Cuseo, George Cuseo, James Cuseo, Robert Cuseo and Mildred Karen.

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03/27/09 07:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport to Get $30,000 in Law Enforcement Stimulus Funds

Gov. M. Jodi Rell today announced that Westport will receive $30,000 in federal stimulus funding to assist law enforcement efforts ranging from general police work to drug treatment and crime victim assistance programs.

Wilton and Weston got similar amounts. Norwalk and Stamford got $75,000 each and Bridgeport got $100,000.

Rell said the funds are part of $12 million in federal stimulus funding awarded to the state to support local and statewide law enforcement. Of the total, about $4.3 million is going directly to the state’s cities and towns.

The money can be used for a wide range of programs and initiatives, Rell said, including training, personnel, equipment and supplies, information systems, prosecution and court programs, prevention and education programs, drug treatment and crime victim support services and planning and evaluation services to improve existing programs.

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03/27/09 07:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers March 9 - 13, 2009

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period March 9 - 13, 2009:

Wanda P. Codoner to Scott D. and Nancy A. Bierfeldt, 25 Whitney St., $720,000 WN property.jpg

SIR 31 Reichert LLC to Lynne A. Nolan, 31 Reichert Circle, $1,425,000


03/27/09 06:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Imus Asks $30 Million for Westport Waterfront Mansion

Radio talk show host Don Imus has put his Westport waterfront property on Beachside Avenue on the market for $30 million—the same price he briefly asked almost four years ago before changing his mind about the Image
The Beachside Avenue home has 10,000 square feet and six bedrooms. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

The property includes a 10,000-square foot white clapboard Georgian Revival main house with six bedrooms as well as a new two-bedroom guest house and a renovated two-bedroom gate house, according to the listing by Darlene Letersky of Fine Homes Connecticut.

There are 10 garage spaces and 215 feet of private beach. Taxes on the property are almost $132,000 a year.

Imus, 68, bought the property in 1997 for $4.6 million and completed his home in 2000, according to the listing. He briefly listed the home in 2005 for the same price.

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03/27/09 02:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

New in Town: Another Pizza Restaurant—Julian’s Image
Across the street from the recently closed Conte’s Restaurant in Westport’s Saugatuck area, a new pizza and pasta restaurant, Julian’s Brick Oven Pizza, has opened at 539 Riverside Ave. The restaurant, owned by Mike Sias of Stratford, is located in the site formerly occupied by Arthur Avenue Italian specialties. There are two other brick Oven Pizza shops owned by Sias—the original shop in Bridgeport and one in Monroe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/27/09 01:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Foggy Links Image
The Staples High School boys golf team was out Thursday in the drizzle and fog practicing at Westport’s Longshore Golf Course. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


03/27/09 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 27, 2009

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Presidents, Politicians & Popular Heroes”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Art of the Birdhouse”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Eric Hnatow w/ Bluebird Handwriting, IN, Kid Ginseng
7 p.m. - Mitchells of Westport - Staples Cheerleaders Varsity Vogue Fashion Show & Auction fundraiser
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School Black Box Theatre - Staples Players, “12 Angry Men”


03/27/09 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Celebrating the 75th Birthday of the Curry Frescoes Image
Students gathered in the auditorium of Westport’s King’s Highway Elementary School to mark the 75th birthday of two frescoes painted in the auditorium by John Steuart Curry. Diane Yormak, a volunteer working with the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection, described the history of the frescoes. Art teacher Tim Soper devised a project to introduce his students to the fresco technique. The two Curry frescoes, “Comedy” and “Tragedy,” each measuring 15 feet high by 8 feet wide, still reign as the crown jewels of the schools’ art collection. In 1934, during the Depression, Curry, a Westport artist, offered to paint frescoes in the newly built school’s auditorium. Curry donated his services and, although money was tight, the town raised the $1,000 needed for the materials and to pay a technician to apply the plaster. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/26/09 10:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Landon Recommends Schools Seek $1.3 Million Restoration

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has recommended that the Board of Education ask the Board of Finance to restore $1.3 million cut from its 2009-10 budget. He said the cut will harm present and future Image
Elliott Landon: Cut will harm schoolchildren. Dave Matlow/WN file photo

The Board of Education will discuss the recommendation at its Monday meeting.

In a memo to the board released today with the agenda packet, Landon said the schools had found $100,000 in savings. Thus, he said he was not seeking the full $1.4 million removed from the budget by the finance board on March 18. (See WestportNow March 18, 2009)

The original $96 million requested education budget represented a 2.01 percent increase over the current year.

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03/26/09 10:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 19 Stony Point Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at 19 Stony Point Road is in process. Built in 1960, the 8,400 square feet one-story custom contemporary is situated on a 2.1-acre waterfront property. It changed ownership in December 2008 for $10 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/26/09 09:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Anderson Reportedly GOP Choice for First Selectman Race Image
A published report said today that Westport Republicans will nominate Gavin Anderson, a former Board of Finance member, as its candidate for first selectman in November along with Kristin LaFleur, a Board of Education member. Anderson (l) is pictured withe First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff in August 2007 inspecting a place where mold had been found in the King’s Highway Elementary School gym. Democrat Joseloff, who has not formally announced his intention to run for re-election but has made clear he intends to do so, appointed Anderson to head a special committee investigating parental complaints about air quality at the school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/26/09 08:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Conte’s Closes in Saugatuck, Possibly Moving to Westport Inn Image
UPDATE In another indication of changing times, Conte’s Restaurant & Grill at 540 Riverside Ave. in the Saugatuck area has closed. A sign on the front door said the restaurant will relocate to the Westport Inn at 1595 Post Road East. But John C. Hunt, Jr., general manager of the Westport Inn, said: “The plans for a restaurant have not been solidified. We’ll have a better idea in mid-April.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/26/09 06:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Train Nuts

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Folks in the railroad industry refer to rail fans as “foamers” because they supposedly foam at the mouth when they see any kind of train.

When they move in groups, radio scanners on their belt and cameras at the ready, they seem to be harmless practitioners of an eccentric hobby.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I love trains. But I don’t “spot” them, recording car numbers in a small book. I read rail magazines, but I don’t know the number of axles on an FL9 locomotive or the running time of The Broadway Limited in 1942.

For me, trains are a means to an end, a transportation option, not a hobby.

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03/26/09 05:16 AM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Over Old Times in Westport Image
Talking over old Westport times at Compo Beach were (l-r) Helle Hardy, who said she fell in love with Westport when she first moved here in 1986 and still feels the same now; Lucia White, who moved here in 1930 and still thinks Westport is great, and Lee Greenberg, who came here in 1941 and loves it still. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


03/26/09 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 26, 2009

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Presidents, Politicians & Popular Heroes”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Art of the Birdhouse”
7 p.m. - Westport Public Library - MovieLine: “Vicki Christina Barcelona” (PG-13, 2008)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School Black Box Theatre - Staples Players, “12 Angry Men”


03/26/09 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Marking the 20th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Image
Actor James Naughton of Weston was at the Westport Public Library tonight to introduce his friend Riki Ott, author of “Not One Drop—The Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Today is he 20th anniversary of the devastating oil spill in Alaska whose damage to the environment is still much in evidence. Ott said ruefully, “Senator Stevens of Alaska promised that ‘not one drop of oil’ would fall on Alaska”—hence the name of her book. Ott is a former Prince William Sound fisherman and longtime activist around the 1989 oil spill. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


03/26/09 02:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

New in Westport: Integrated Training & Therapies

By Dave Matlow

Another entrepreneurial partnership business is opening in Westport despite the challenging economic climate. Image
Chris Kiera (l) shows prospective client Doug Shankman (c) of Weston the business’s equipment while Orlando Padilla looks on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Weston resident Orlando Padilla and Chris Kieras, a Shelton resident, are opening a physical fitness business called Integrated Training & Therapies at 38 Franklin St. in the Saugatuck section. The building formerly housed Westport Electric. 

Padilla who says that he has been in the fitness field for 18 years, owned One-on-One Personal Training at nearby 15 Franklin St. from 1991 to 2007 when a flood forced closure of his business. 

Kieras has been in the field for 12 years and previously operated US Sports Therapy at 1465 Post Road East. 

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03/26/09 02:13 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Going Down: 10 Cranbury Road Image
The house at 10 Cranbury Road, near the Westport-Norwalk town line, was demolished today.  Built in 1955, the 1-3/4 story Cape Cod-style house had 2,014 square feet and was situated on a 1.42-acre property. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Nov. 16, 2008.  As a measurement of a constricted real estate economy, this is only the second demolition of a Westport house in 2009. In 2005 through 2007 an average of approximately 100 houses were demolished each year. That figure dropped to 65 in 2008.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/25/09 06:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Life on Mar’s Image
Westporter Mar Jennings spoke at the Westport Public Library author series today about his book, “Life on Mar’s: A Four Season Garden.” The book is a photographic essay documenting the four seasons of his Westport garden. Among his gardening tips was one about hydrangeas: “Leave them alone until June and then trim and you will have an abundance of flowers….use charcoal from your grill, the plants love it.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


03/25/09 03:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Board of Finance Cuts Town Budget $1.7 Million Image
After a five-hour meeting that at times became acrimonious, the Westport Board of Finance early today voted to reduce the town’s proposed 2009-10 budget by $1.7 million to $58.2 million. The board had voted last week for a $1.4 million cut in the education budget. First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff (at podium) opened the meeting by saying he was offering $1.4 million in additional cuts that he said will impact services and result in layoffs. The three Republican members said they were seeking $3.9 million in reductions, a proposal that was rejected by the majority Democrats. The Board of Finance will hear any requests for restoration at its April 6 meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/25/09 05:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

Beach Time Image
Some Compo Beach visitors took a stroll on the rocks on Tuesday with only a week to go before the April 1 ban on dogs at the beach goes into effect once again. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


03/25/09 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

10 a.m. - [email protected] Library: Mar Jennings, “Life on Mar’s”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Presidents, Politicians & Popular Heroes”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Art of the Birdhouse”
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Westport Water Quality Initiative
11 a.m. -  Town Hall Room 307/309 – Food Service Advisory Committee
Noon - 2 p.m. - Earthplace - League of Women Voters National Popular Vote Compact Consensus meeting
3 p.m. - Staples High School Black Box Theatre - Staples Players, “12 Angry Men”
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7 p.m. - [email protected] Library: Riki Ott, PhD, “Not One Drop”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Board of Assessment Appeals
8 p.m. - Saugatuck Congregational Church (242 Post Road East) - “Making Peace Within and Without” by Dr. Rev. John Danner


03/25/09 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

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