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Friday, April 30, 2010

Robber Holds Up Saugatuck TD Banknorth

Bank robbery suspect
Bank surveillance photo of the suspect. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

UPDATE: A lone male robbed the TD BankNorth branch in Westport’s Saugatuck area today, police said.

The robbery occurred shortly before 4 p.m. at the branch at 50 Charles St., detectives said.

The man, described as a heavy set white or Hispanic male, approximately 6 feet tall, was wearing a dark knit hat, gray hooded sweatshirt with dark hood and sleeves, and denim pants, police said.

They said he passed a note indicating he had a weapon but did not show one. The teller turned over an undetermined amount of cash and the suspect then fled the scene, according to police.

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04/30/10 08:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers April 12 - 16, 2010

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period April 12 - 16, 2010:

Mary Denise Petrakis Tr. to 17 Danbury Ave LLC, 17 Danbury Ave., $1,040,000WN property.jpg

Beverly K. Grushkin to 54 Weston Road LLC, 54 Weston Road, $650,000

Robert F. Meyer and James W. Irwin to FPW Harbor Rd LLC, 70 Harbor Road, $1,150,000

Christian E. and Susan L. Brandonisio to Dana Carney, 33 High Point Road, $735,000


04/30/10 06:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Copies of “Years in the Making” Archives Gifted Image
Filmmakers Martin West and Ann Chernow share a laugh with the audience today at a ceremony at Greens Farms Elementary School turning over copies of original interviews that made up their “Years in the Making: A Journey into Late Life Creativity” documentary. The film project features 50 Westport and Weston artists ages 70 and older and took four years to produce. Copies went to schools in Westport and Weston as well as to their libraries and historical societies. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


04/30/10 03:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Gift for Generations to Come Image
John Bayers, principal of Westport’s Greens Farms Elementary School, and two of his students today accept 50 DVDs containing copies of the original interviews that went into producing the “Years in the Making: A Journey into Late Life Creativity” documentary that features 50 Westport and Weston artists ages 70 and older. Filmmaker Martin West (l) and his team presented copies of the archive interviews to Westport and Weston schools and their libraries and historical societies in a ceremony at Greens Farms. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


04/30/10 03:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Going Down: Westport Florist, 553 Riverside Ave. Image
UPDATE Members of the Gault family watched the demolition today of Westport Florist, 553 Riverside Ave., to make way for the Saugatuck Center development. The building was the location of the Gault coal and oil offices when it moved there in 1923 from its prior location at 15 Riverside Ave., according to Bill Gault. Westport Florist moved across the street to 580 Riverside Ave. where it continues to be operated by Paul and Sheila Hefferan as it has been for 21 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/30/10 03:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Memories Image
Bill Gault and Judy Sterling view the demolition today of the building at 553 Riverside Ave. that holds many memories for the Gault family. According to Bill, it was the location of the Gault coal and oil offices when it moved there in 1923 from its prior location at 15 Riverside Ave. Later, it became a First National supermarket, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/30/10 03:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating Earth Day Belatedly by Walking to School Image
Earth Day was last week while Westport schools were on the spring break, so today some students and parents at Saugatuck Elementary School decided to have a “walk to school day.”  About 20 students and 10 moms are shown on the William F. Cribari Bridge over the Saugatuck River on the way to school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/30/10 02:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Plans for a Sweeping Energy Overhaul Emerge in Hartford

By Mark Pazniokas

A thaw in one of the General Assembly's chilliest relationships has produced a sweeping, 11th-hour proposal to overhaul Connecticut's electric regulatory structure and subsidize solar energy. Image

Setting aside three years of conflict, Sen. John W. Fonfara, D-Hartford, and Rep. Vickie O. Nardello, D-Prospect, are collaborating on what could be the biggest energy bill since deregulation in 1998.

The two co-chairs of the Energy and Technology Committee circulated drafts of their legislation this week, setting off a scramble by industry and environmental groups.

“It’s getting everyone in this building in a frenzy,” said Sen. Kevin D. Witkos, R-Canton, the ranking Republican on the committee. “This is huge, and it never had a public hearing.”

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04/30/10 01:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Students Learn Hatch and Release

By James Lomuscio

They are called fingerlings, trout that are just 3 to 4 inches Image
About 35 Staples High School juniors and seniors released 140 fingerling trout in the Saugatuck River at Keene Park in Weston on Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Christine Lomuscio for

Still, they caused a huge splash of excitement—and sentiment—for the 35 Staples High School students who released about 140 of them into the Saugatuck River at Keene Park in Weston on Thursday afternoon.

Many of the juniors and seniors who nurtured the trout since they hatched from eggs in November seemed sad to let them go. Farewells of, “Bye fish,” and “Have a nice life,” punctuated the ceremony of students acclimating the fish in cups of water to the river.

“I guess some kids were a bit nostalgic, but they’re teenagers,” said Mike Aitkenhead, Staples environmental science teacher who oversaw the project with Staples’ teacher Heather Morley.

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04/30/10 09:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Adding to a Colorful Westport Image
Lilacs are in bloom throughout Westport, including these on Old Mill Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/30/10 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, April 30, 2010

9:30 a.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtCafé
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Divine Comedy: Drawings by R. Crumb & Roz Chast”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Poetry Night
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Crumb” screening
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “She Loves Me”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/30/10 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Winds Down Trees, Power Lines Image
This tree came down across power lines on Cross Highway near the Fairfield line. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kelly Gipson for
UPDATE Winds gusting up to 43 miles per hour downed trees and power lines in Westport today, including a tree that fell on a car on the Merritt Parkway.

Connecticut Light & Power Company said 20 customers were without power as of 11 p.m. As many as 84 were in the dark earlier in the day.

Westport firefighters and EMS units responded to a report of a tree on a car at Exit 42 of the Merritt Parkway in Westport shortly before 4 p.m. The driver managed to escape with only minor injuries, according to fire officials.

At about the same time, a serious two-car accident occurred on Greens Farms Road near Hales Road, injuring two persons and causing closure of the road.

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04/30/10 02:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Special Delivery Image
A black lab lends a hand carrying a bag lunch for his owner today on Westport’s Post Road East at Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


04/30/10 01:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Presenting Readings and Poetry from Ancient Rome Image
Tonight the second in the Spoken Word Series at the Westport Public Library featured Edward Pleasant, an opera and musical theater performing artist, who presented “Sinners, Saints and Sages,” a program of readings and poety Ancient Rome. He explored the works of Sappho, the poet from the Isle of Lesbos, Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor who devoted his life to the study of philosophy and wise governmental leadership, and Catullus, the Roman poet from the first century BC. The next program is on Tuesday—“Art and Architecture of Rome” at 7:30 p.m.—and the last is on Thursday when the Theatre Artists Workshop performs “Metamorphoses” at 7:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/30/10 01:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Making Way for Saugatuck Center Image
Crews working on the Saugatuck Center development today cleaned up debris following the demolition of the buildings that housed DeRosa’s Restaurant, Riverside Barber Shop, and the Giunta storage workshop. Next phase will involve demolition of the building formerly occupied by Westport Florist (l) on Riverside Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/30/10 01:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westporters to Deliver 1,000 Books to Bridgeport School Image
Pictured (l-r) are Rachel Treisman, Renee Reiner, and Ally Hirsh with some of the donated books. Contributed photo
Three Westport seventh graders on Friday will deliver more than 1,000 donated children’s books to a Bridgeport elementary school.

Childhood friends Ally Hirsh, Renee Reiner, and Rachel Treisman lead a two-month book drive that will culminate with delivery of the books to the fifth grade class of the Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle School.

Each of the seventh-graders will be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah in May. The girls got together over dinner on a chilly January evening to brainstorm ideas for a local “mitzvah project” – a volunteer opportunity to give back to the local community. 

They quickly settled on the idea of supporting education and focused on organizing a book drive to collect children’s books for an inner-city school library or classroom.

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04/30/10 12:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Making Westport’s Thali Opening Official Image
Today was the official ribbon cutting for the opening of the Thali Indian cuisine restaurant at 376 Post Road East in the Compo Acres shopping center. The location was previously occupied by the Taipan restaurant. It is the fifth Thali location in Connecticut run by Indian chef Prasad Chirnomula (2nd r). Joining him in the ribbon cutting were First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff and Lisa V. Thygerson , executive director of the Westport/Weston Chamber of Commerce. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/29/10 10:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Two-Car Crash Injures Two, Closes Greens Farms Road Image
UPDATE A two-car head-on crash today on Westport’s Greens Farms Road near Hales Road sent two persons to Norwalk Hospital and caused closure of the road in the area for more than three hours. Police said Greens Farms Road was shut down for the accident investigation from Hillspoint Road to Valley Road. Initial investigation showed that a dog in a westbound Volvo (rear) jumped into the driver’s lap, causing him to swerve into the oncoming lane and collide with an Acura, whose driver, Geoffrey Reynolds, 70, later died. The dog, a Staffordshire terrier, suffered serious injuries and later had to be put down. Greens Farms Road was reopened shortly after 7 p.m. The driver of the Volvo, Brian Taplinger, 22, was later charged with negligent homicide. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/29/10 09:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Jumping Dog Leads to Crash Image
Westport police said preliminary investigation showed a dog jumping into a driver’s lap caused him to lose control of his Volvo on Greens Farms Road near Hales Road today and crash head-on into an Acura. The drivers were taken to Norwalk Hospital and the extent of their injuries was not known.  The dog was also injured and taken to a Norwalk veterinary hospital for emergency treatment, according to police. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/29/10 09:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Don’t Trash the Recycling” Effort Launches Friday Image
The Westport PTA Council Green Committee kicks off an effort in the Westport public schools on Friday aimed at improving recycling efforts. Called “Don’t Trash the Recycling,” the campaign has its own logo created by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs (c). Every elementary school child will get a sticker to take home on Friday to promote recycling and parents will learn about the initiative via a special e-mail announcement. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/29/10 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Construction Worker Injured in Saugatuck Accident Image
A construction worker was struck in the head with a 20-foot long metal drilling pipe (foreground) today at a construction site on Stony Point Road in Westport’s Saugatuck area. Co-workers had discovered the worker lying in mud alongside a geo-thermal well drilling rig, said Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury. Firefighters along with police and EMS administered care for transport to Norwalk Hospital. Police and fire officials remained on the scene while OSHA conducted a routine investigation, Kingsbury said. The worker was not identified and his injuries did not appear to be life threatening, fire officials said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/29/10 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rell Urges Residents to Report March Storm Damage

Gov. M. Jodi Rell today urged state residents and business owners in Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham counties who experienced property damage from the March storms and flooding to report those damages to the state’s free Infoline, 2-1-1.

“We are appealing the federal government’s rejection of financial assistance for individuals and businesses severely affected by last month’s heavy downpours, high winds and flooding. We need residents and businesses to help the state make its case,” Rell said in a statement.

“Part of our appeal to President Obama and FEMA must include damage data in addition to what has already been collected.

“So from now through May 14, we need residents to call 2-1-1 and report their damages. Please do so even if you have reported your damages before. The information you provide can help us change the federal government’s decision.”

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04/29/10 08:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Poetry in Motion in Fourth Grade Classroom Image
Students in Nancy Giglio’s fourth grade classroom at Westport’s King’s Highway Elementary School today hosted a “Poetry Café” for parents. Each student wrote and recited their own poem. Many children chose an “I am” theme, sharing their achievements, talents, and love of family, but also concerns about parents, grandparents, global warming and even the economy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/29/10 08:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Treasure Hunters Image
Today’s temperatures got into the upper 60s and even though there were gusty winds in excess of 40 miles per hour, some visitors to Westport’s Old Mill Beach spent time looking for treasure along the shoreline. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/29/10 07:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Norman D. Harris, 58

Norman D. Harris, of New Milford, previously of Danbury, a U.S Postal Service employee in Westport for 30 years, died Tuesday, April 27, in Kent, Conn.

Husband of Neuza (Candida), Harris was born in Danbury Dec. 26, 1951, a son of Anita (Hubbard) Harris and the late Pearly Harris, Jr.

He attended Danbury schools and in addition to being a U.S Postal Service employee for 30 years in Westport, he was a part-time employee of Costco of Norwalk.

In early years, Mr. Harris was employed at Amphenol of Danbury. He enjoyed bowling, golf and was the “life of any gathering, a very giving man.”

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04/29/10 02:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Yogurt Store Opening on PRE Image
Another sign that summer is around the corner is the opening of the Top This Frozen Yogurt shop in the location of the departed Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at 14 Post Road East in Westport’s center. Top This will be located not far from Sunny Daes on Riverside Avenue and down the street from Baskin-Robbins at 180 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/29/10 02:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Empty Compo Image
Westport’s Compo Beach was virtually deserted on Wednesday as cool temperatures in the 50s, overcast skies and breezy winds kept most people away. The forecast is for a warming trend by the weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/29/10 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 29, 2010

10 a.m. – Earthplace – Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Divine Comedy: Drawings by R. Crumb & Roz Chast”
12:30 p.m. – Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane – Septic Maintenance Public Education Task Force
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - SpokenWord—Sinners, Saints, and Sages: “Readings & Poetry from Ancient Rome,” Edward Pleasant
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “She Loves Me”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/29/10 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Offering Political Cartoon Tips Image
Pulitizer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies, a graduate of Westport’s Staples High School, was guest tonight at the first of the Westport Arts Center’s cartoon lab series that also includes lab partners Ina Chadwick and Simon Billig. Davies explained the world of political cartooning, saying that “working against a deadline is an essential part of the creative process.” Behind him is a chalk wall drawn by The New Yorker staff cartoonist Roz Chast whose drawings along with those of R. Crumb are currently on exhibit at the Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/29/10 01:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Trying Their Hand at Political Cartooning Image
Participants in tonight’s cartoon lab at the Westport Arts Center try their hand at writing words in political cartoons under the tutelage of Pulitizer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies, who grew up in Westport and attended Staples High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/29/10 01:52 AM Comments () • Permalink

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