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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Staples Principal: Homecoming “Very Negative Experience”

At least five students at Westport’s Staples High School became intoxicated during Saturday’s homecoming celebration, prompting a plea from the school’s principal to parents to help him do something about Image
John Dodig: makes plea to parents. WN file photo

“We can’t ignore…that portions of Homecoming have evolved into something very negative and potentially dangerous to our students,” John Dodig wrote in an e-mail Tuesday to all Staples parents.

“That is the part I cannot ignore or accept. Let’s make something positive out of a very negative experience.”

Officers tended to at least five intoxicated students—all females—in the Staples and adjacent Bedford Middle School parking lots prior to Saturday’s football game against Norwalk High School, according to police.

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09/30/09 11:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Fresh Market to Open Oct. 14 Image
The Fresh Market opens its first store in Connecticut on Oct. 14 at 605 Post Road East in the space formerly occupied by Shaw’s. According to an official at the company’s Greensboro, N.C. headquarters, the Westport store will be its 92nd and in its 18th state. Workers today were putting the final touches on the renovation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/30/09 11:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

U.S. Postal Service Sets Westport Hearing for Oct. 22

Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff said today that the U.S. Postal Service has notified his office that it will hold a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Westport Town Hall auditorium to discuss the move of the Westport Post Office.

“I encourage all interested Westport residents to attend this forum,” said Joseloff. 

“This is an opportunity for residents to express their concerns regarding not only the main post office, but also the closure of the Saugatuck station.”

The Postal Service “suspended service” at the Saugatuck station on Sept. 5 and said it was seeking another location.

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09/30/09 09:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Author Kate Walbert Traces Five Generations of Women Image
Author Kate Walbert discussed her latest book, “A Short History of Women,” at a Westport Public Library appearance today. The novel follows five generations of women from the British suffrage movement through 1970s consciousness-raising to the age of Facebook as they struggle against oppression. “Unlike most authors who research and research and research and write detailed outlines before writing a book, I do not do that,” she said. “When I start I usually don’t have a clue.  Instead, I write and write and let my characters emerge.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


09/30/09 09:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

State and Town to Honor World War II Vets on Saturday

The State of Connecticut and the Town of Westport will honor Westport World War II veterans Saturday in a ceremony at Bedford Middle School.

The 11 a.m. event in the school auditorium is part of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz’s Public Service Awards program. It honors vets “for their exemplary service and unwavering courage.”

The state and town compiled the invitation list after researching state and local archives. More than 275 invitations have been sent to individuals, families, relatives, and friends, said First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff.

The Office of the Secretary of the State Public Service Awards Program began in 2001. Since then, the office has honored thousands of Connecticut residents for their commitment to public service.

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09/30/09 09:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Sets Community Open House Oct. 24

The Westport Country Playhouse will present a special community open house, “Our Town, Your Playhouse,” on Saturday, Oct. 24, offering activities for children, families, teens and Image
“Our Town” aired on Showtime and PBS. Contributed photo

The 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. event will include a screening of the Playhouse’s 2002 production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” with Paul Newman in the role of the Stage Manager, at 7 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.  Reservations are necessary for workshops and the “Our Town” film by calling 203-227-4177.

Children’s events, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will feature storytelling with books from the Playhouse’s 2010 Family Festivities series, including “Laura Ingalls Wilder” and “Charlotte’s Web”; bean-bag toss; face-painting; and “Design Your Own Set” coloring table.  An artist will draw caricatures from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

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09/30/09 08:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday is Household Hazardous Waste Day

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards today reminded residents that Westport has scheduled a household hazardous waste collection day for Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Westport Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane.

“This is an opportunity for residents to clean out their basements and garages of general household hazardous materials,” said Edwards.

The department issued a list of common items found in households that can be disposed of on Saturday:

Garage: degreasers, gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits, oil-based paints, paint strippers, paint thinners, solvents, stains, turpentine, varnishes, wood preservatives, etc.

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09/30/09 08:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Carole J. Picard

Carole J. Picard, of Milford, formerly of Westport, and wife of William Smith, passed away Monday, Sept. 28 at Connecticut Hospice, Branford.

Carole was born in Norwalk, daughter of the late Thomas and Bertha (Bogdansky) Cotroneo and had resided in Westport for many years before moving to Milford 30 years ago.

She was the co-owner of the Finishing Touch Gift Shop in Fairfield for many years.

Survivors in addition to her husband include one Aunt, several cousins and many devoted friends.

Family and friends are invited to attend a graveside service on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. in Willowbrook Cemetery, 395 Main St.

The Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, is assisting the family with the arrangements. Memorial contributions in memory of Carole may be made to Conn Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford CT 06405. 


09/30/09 08:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Jane (Dolly) L. Wilcox, 80

Jane (Dolly) L. Wilcox, 80, of Westport, wife of Anthony L. Wilcox, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Mrs. Wilcox was born July 9, 1929 in Norwalk and has been a lifelong resident of Westport. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Mrs. Wilcox also loved music and was a fan of western films.

Survivors in addition to her husband of 59 years, include two daughters, Nancy A. O’Neill of Westport, and Mary C. Purcell and her husband Thomas of Westport; two sons, David P. Wilcox and his wife Kimberly of Norwalk, John A. Wilcox of Westport, two brothers, Joseph Izzo of Westport, Peter Izzo of Strafford, Pa., 11 grandchildren, six great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. The funeral will leave the funeral home at 9:40 a.m. and go to Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave. for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms.

Contributions in memory of Mrs. Wilcox may be made to Eternal Word Television Network, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL 35210


09/30/09 08:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Gone: 7 Otter Trail Image
A workman was on site today following the demolition of 7 Otter Trail off Imperial Avenue. Built in 1951, the one-story ranch had 1,308 square feet and was situated on a one-third-acre lot. The owners plan to rebuild on the site. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Aug. 30, 2008. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/30/09 08:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Set for October

First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff will proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Westport on Monday.

A brief ceremony will take place on the front steps of Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. followed by refreshments in the lobby, an announcement said.

The public is invited to attend.


09/30/09 08:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thieves Hit John’s Best

Some fast-moving thieves broke into John’s Best Pizza & Grille on Westport’s Post Road West early today and made off with a safe containing cash, police Image
John’s Best Pizza & Grille: burglars made off with safe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) File photo

The burglary at the newly renovated restaurant at 361 Post Road West not far from the Norwalk line was discovered following a similar break-in at a nearby Norwalk restaurant, according to detectives.

Police said Westport officers alerted to the Norwalk burglary on nearby Westport Avenue in Norwalk made an immediate check of Westport businesses in the vicinity and came upon a forced entry at John’s Best at about 5:30 a.m.

They said they had found evidence the burglary had occurred only a short time before. The thieves also took an undetermined amount of cash from a register.

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09/30/09 05:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

“If a Child Loves Learning, They Will be Happy” Image
A team of two entrepreneurial educators, Michele Isenberg (l) and Dawn Matera, who mentor children and adults with learning disabilities, told the Westport Rotary Club Tuesday that “if a child can love to learn, they will be happy the rest of their lives.” The couple stressed that “everyone learns differently and that our society tends to assess children against a more limited traditional measure”—often outside the skill area of those who frequently possess above-average intelligence. Matera and Isenberg, both certified teachers, are the founders of the Westport-based A Way to Learn, LLC, an organization created to meet the growing need for educational support services. The organization’s Web site,, details its philosophy and programs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/30/09 01:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Up, Up, and Away Image
James Marion of Westport takes to the air while kite surfing off Compo Beach in 20 to 25 mile per hour winds on Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


09/30/09 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Aggregate: Art and Architecture—a Brutalist Remix”
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Kate Walbert, “A Short History of Women”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Breath of Life” preview


09/30/09 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Staples Boys Soccer Wins Sixth Straight

Two goals by Greg Gudis, off a pair of Mike White assists, paced the Staples boys soccer team to a 4-0 home win over Fairfield Ludlowe today at Loeffler Image
Dylan Evans rounds the corner against Fairfield Ludlowe in today’s 4-0 Staples victory. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Carl McNair for

After a close first half, the Wreckers broke open the game with three goals in a 10-minute span. Andrew McNair and Alan Reiter registered the other scores.

“It was a good Fairfield Ludlowe team,” Staples coach Dan Woog said. “It’s a big step forward for us. I wasn’t pleased with the first half, but they stepped up in the second half, which was nice to see.”

The Wreckers move to 6-0-0, while Fairfield Ludlowe (3-1-2) suffered its first loss of the year. Staples travels to Stamford on Thursday for a 4 p.m. match.


09/29/09 11:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for Weekend Sherwood Mill Preserve Planting Image
Final plans were made today for this weekend’s all-volunteer planting of Westport’s Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve. Geoff Middeleer (l) who helped create the landscape design with Silvia F. Erskine, and Sherry Jagerson, chairman of the Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve, discussed the logistics of the planting effort. Volunteers are still needed on Saturday and Sunday. Call Cathy Talmadge at (203)221-0220 or donate funds through the town’s Web site, clicking on the Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve link.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Wendy Crowther for


09/29/09 11:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hales Road Bridge Project Finally Under Way Image
The first concrete sign of federal stimulus money has come to Westport. The state Department of Transportation has established a field office for the $4 million in improvements to the Hales Road Bridge over the Metro-North Railroad tracks.  According to George Petrus, the project’s chief inspector, the site is now being mobilized with bringing in equipment and ordering of materials. He said actual construction will begin in about a month and take about 18 months. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/29/09 06:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Good Day for Golf Image
Today started out with clear blue skies after a rainy evening and the warm, sunny weather was perfect for a game of golf at Westport’s Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


09/29/09 03:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bench Talk Image
A couple relaxed at Westport’s Compo Beach on Monday as summer-like temperatures in the 70s and sunshine prevailed most of the day before rain arrived in early evening. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


09/29/09 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Aggregate: Art and Architecture—a Brutalist Remix”
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Marina Marchese, “Honeybee”
1:30 p.m. – Parks & Recreation Conference Room – 191 Hillspoint Road Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Breath of Life” preview


09/29/09 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Compo Beach Resident’s Return Makes Headlines

His Compo Beach area neighbors have known about it for some time, but the move back into the Westport neighborhood by former American International Group (A.I.G.) executive Joseph Cassano made headlines Image
Joseph Cassano: back home. File photo

Cassano, who was closely associated with A.I.G.’s collapse, “recently slipped back into the United States” where he faces investigations by the FBI and other agencies, Reuters reported.

The news agency, in a lengthy report on Cassano’s move, did not say when the son of a Brooklyn, N.Y. police officer returned to Westport, where he has been a registered voter since 1995. But neighbors told WestportNow late last month they noticed his return when they saw a moving van outside his home.

WestportNow, respecting his privacy, did not report his return. Cassano until recently had been living in London where he had run A.I.G. Financial Products.

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09/29/09 02:56 AM Comments () • Permalink

Nell Newman Promotes New Newman’s Own Organic Coffee Image
Nell Newman: selling coffee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) File photo
Nell Newman, a daughter of Paul Newman, went to a McDonald’s in Hartford today to promote the latest product in the Westport-based Newman’s Own Organics line—coffee.

“My father always found the whole McDonald’s business interesting,” said the 50-year-old Newman, casually dressed in slacks and sneakers as she posed for pictures and talked to customers who had stopped in for free food and coffee, reported the Hartford Courant.

“He never took us there because he thought the burgers he cooked on the grill were the best.”

An organic-food lover who became interested in natural foods as a youngster growing up in Westport, Newman has taken over the leadership of the company founded by her father and his friend and partner, A.E. Hotchner.

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09/29/09 02:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

With the Wind at His Back Image
Todd Reichel of Westport catches some wind and waves at Compo Beach today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


09/29/09 01:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Rizzuto’s Open for Business Image
Rizzuto’s Wood-Fired Trattoria and Bar, at 540 Riverside Ave. in the space formerly occupied by Conte’s Restaurant in Westport’s Saugatuck area, opened for business on Sunday night.  The owner, Bill Rizzuto, who also operates similar style eateries in Bethel and West Hartford, said, “We opened the doors and they started coming in.” He said the restaurant staff includes about 45, including a baking staff which comes in at 5 a.m. They bake sourdough bread using wild yeast which Rizzuto has dubbed “Saugatuck Sourdough.”  He said the restaurant will be open for dinner only until mid-October and then service will expand to lunch, dinner and “a special late night menu including a raw bar, wood-fired pizza, antipasto and more.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/29/09 12:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wires Down Image
A fallen tree pulled down power lines today at 13 Crooked Mile Road off Newtown Turnpike. The tree fell following recent heavy rains and windy aftermath that swept through Westport Sunday and today. Firefighters closed the road to vehicle and pedestrian traffic until a utility crew restores the scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/28/09 09:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Feeding the Hungry Image
Congregants of Temple Israel in Westport were given empty grocery bags at Rosh Hashanah and asked to fill them with hearty groceries for those needing some help and return them during Yom Kippur.  A temple member hands over a bag before today’s worship service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


09/28/09 06:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

X Marks the Spot Image
Almost a year after they were featured as WestportNow’s Teardown of the Day (See WestportNow Nov. 12, 2008), demolition is imminent for the Hales Court houses marked with a big, bold circled “X.” The houses will be replaced with new upgraded affordable units consisting of of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units serving families at or below 60 percent of area median income ($70,680) for a family of four. Twenty-five percent of the 78 units will be reserved for senior citizens 62 and older. The project will also include a 2,000-square foot community center. Development costs are anticipated to be $24 million. The existing 40 units were built in 1950. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/28/09 04:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rainy Sunday Image
Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church on Post Road East was wet and colorful Sunday as rain splattered falling leaves along its pathways. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


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

Monday, September 28, 2009

Westport Public Schools closed in observance of Yom Kippur
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Aggregate: Art and Architecture—a Brutalist Remix”


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

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