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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If a Tree Falls and There’s No One There to Remove It ...”

By James Lomuscio

For Larry Perlstein of Westport’s Highwood Lane, getting a fallen tree removed from blocking his private road since last Thursday’s storm has been an exercise in frustration. Today was day six, and he was still Image
The downed tree on Highwood Lane that fell last week and only was removed today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Perlstein for

But by 2 p.m., he noticed the tree leaning on wires was finally gone, the road clear.

“It’s been removed, amazingly,” he said. “The truck came in and out without us seeing who it was.”

He assumes it was AT&T, but he is not sure. The reason—no one initially would take responsibility for the tree, he said, a matter exacerbated by the fact his road is off Newtown Turnpike which straddles Westport, Wilton and Weston.

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07/28/10 10:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Firefighters to Cover Bridgeport During Funerals

Ten Westport firefighters will help cover Bridgeport on Friday as that city’s fire department and thousands of others attend funeral services for two Bridgeport firefighters who died in the line of duty on Image

Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried said Westport’s Engine Co. 2 and Rescue Co. 3 from headquarters—each with four firefighters—will be deployed to Bridgeport firehouses and Assistant Chief Andy Kingsbury and an aide will act as the city’s safety officers.

All of the Westport firefighters are donating their services for the assignments, he said.

Scores of off-duty Westport firefighters and volunteers as well as thousands of firefighters from around the region are expected to attend the services for Lt. Steven Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik. They died fighting a house fire on Elmwood Avenue. (See WestportNow July 24, 2010)


07/28/10 07:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Brooks Brothers Fleece Children’s Store Opens Thursday

Just in time for back to school shopping, Brooks Brothers announced today it will debut its highly anticipated children’s line in the company’s first freestanding Brooks Brothers Fleece for Boys and Girls store in Westport on Thursday. Image

The new children’s store is located at 136 Main St. in space formerly occupied by Crabtree & Evelyn in the Brooks Corner shopping complex and next door to the longtime Brooks Brothers traditional store.

The store will feature more than 700 square feet of sportswear created by Brooks Brothers’ guest designer Nikki Kule.

The new location will also mark the introduction of Brooks Brother’s first ever girl’s collection of sportswear, party dresses, blazers and accessories all bearing a whimsical version of the brand’s iconic signature sheep label, an announcement said.

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07/28/10 05:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Police Urge Residents to Get ‘Nixled’

Forget Twitter or Facebook if you want real-time information from the Westport Police Department. Instead, think Nixle. Image

That is the name of the social networking service the department announced today will launch on Sunday enabling Westporters to access the latest bulletins from police.

“The service, created by Nixle, LLC delivers trustworthy and timely neighborhood-level public safety and community event notifications by Web, e-mail and text message,” an announcement said.

“This service will be used for general information and incidents which do not necessarily rise to the level of a CodeRED activation, although both can be used together.”

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07/28/10 05:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Steinberg Receives Public Funding in State Rep Race

Democrat Jonathan Steinberg announced today that his campaign for state representative from the 136th District which includes most of Westport has received $26,000 of public funding under the Connecticut Citizens’ Election Image
Jonathan Steinberg: will run campaign “on a budget.” Contributed photo

This funding was made available once the Steinberg campaign raised the required $5,000 from district residents and filed with the State Election Enforcement Commission certifying his eligibility for the funds, according to Allen Bomes, campaign treasurer.

“These funds will allow the campaign to begin putting our plan into action, and start us moving toward a Nov. 2 win.” Steinberg said. “And because the funds in hand are all I can spend, I must run my campaign on a budget, just as I will ask our state to do.” 

Steinberg, deputy moderator of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), will face either the endorsed Republican Party candidate Stephen Rubin, a fellow RTM member, or Nitzy Cohen, the challenger and loser in the state representative race two years ago, following the Aug. 10 Republican primary. They have also received public funding.

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07/28/10 03:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Sets “Perfect Proposal” Contest

In conjunction with Westport Country Playhouse’s production next month of “I Do! I Do!,” the musical about marriage, the theater is hosting “The Perfect Proposal Contest.” 

Participants are requested to write, in 300 words or less, how they were asked, or asked someone else, to say, “I Do!”  Photos are welcomed, but not required.  Deadline for entries is Tuesday, Aug. 10 at noon.

The top five finalists will receive two complimentary tickets to the Playhouse’s second annual Date Night on Friday, Aug. 13, when the contest winner will be announced.

Date Night includes 6 p.m. pre-show reception with light fare by Da Pietro’s Restaurant, select beverages, sweets, romantic music and 8 p.m. performance of the musical “I Do! I Do!”

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07/28/10 03:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Heading Home Image
Frankie and Malcolm Davies get ready to launch her kayak in deeper water Tuesday night at Westport’s Compo Beach. They were among members of the Y’s Men of Westport Weston and their families who attended the group’s weekly summer night out at the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/28/10 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Kids’ Wall” 10th Anniversary
10 a.m. - Temple Israel (14 Coleytown Road) - Mah Jong
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Ronica Dhar, “Bijou Roy”
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Selectmen Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and
4:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Selectmen/Water Pollution Control Authority Special Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Downtown Plan Subcommittee
7 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Jobseeker Special: “Adapting Your Skills to a New Career,” Ian Kennedy
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Tom Chapin and Band

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/28/10 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Main Street Smoke Odor Traced to Faulty Dehumidifier Image
A smoke odor at Achorn’s Pharmacy and adjacent Eileen Fisher on Westport’s Main Street today was traced to a faulty dehumidifier in the Eileen Fisher basement. Firefighters checked the roof air conditioning units and other mechanical units before discovering the cause. One lane of Main Street was closed while firefighters were on the scene. Pictured (l-r) are Assistant Chief Andy Kingsbury, Chief Christopher Ackley, and Assistant Chief Robert Kepchar. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


07/27/10 10:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cause of the Smoke Odor Image
Westport Fire Lt. Richard Stone examines a dehumidifier unit in the basement of the Eileen Fisher women’s clothing store on Main Street late today after a smoke odor was traced to the unit. A thermal imaging camera showed part of the unit was extremely overheated. There was no damage and no injuries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


07/27/10 09:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Readying New Homes for Westporters

Work was under way today on the expansion of Hales Court, the post-World War II housing development operated by the Westport Housing Authority. The development is being expanded from 40 units to 78 units. Demolition began in December on the first 17 homes that are being 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 new units will be reserved for senior citizens 62 and older. The $24 million project funded by federal and state grants will also include a 2,000-square foot community center. The first of the new units are scheduled to be completed in September. Dave Matlow for


07/27/10 05:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 5 Lyndale Park Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 5 Lyndale Park, off Weston Road, is in process. Built in 1958, the one-story ranch has 1,704 square feet and is situated on a one-acre property. The resident said that she has lived in the house for 40 years, now plans to possibly sell it to a builder, that it’s time to find a smaller place with less upkeep and wishes to remain in Westport.  Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/27/10 02:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Grad’s First Play Plays to Full House in New York

By James Lomuscio

Amy Holson-Schwartz, a 2002 graduate of Westport’s Staples High School, seems to be living every aspiring playwright’s wildest, if not unrealistic, Image
Amy Holson-Schwartz: always fascinated with religion. Contributed photo

Even she has a hard time comprehending the fact that the first full-length play she ever wrote has been playing to a sold out audience every performance since it opened July 17, on Broadway, no less.

“Actually it’s considered Off-Off Broadway since it’s a nonunion theater with only 99 seats,”  she says about “Can I Really Date a Guy Who Wears a Yarmulke” playing at the Beckett at Theatre Row on 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.

The romantic comedy, which choreographs tensions between religiously observant and nonobservant Jewish partners is being shown as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. Its last performance is Friday at 8 p.m.

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07/27/10 09:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Take Out Take Off Image
A gull fetches a tasty snack from the waters off of Westport’s Compo Beach on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


07/27/10 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Stop & Swap summer reading club for adults
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Kids’ Wall” 10th Anniversary
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Suzanne Sherman Propp & Friends
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Longshore 50th Anniversary Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/27/10 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

At the Library: Tale of Love in Cuba Image
Oscar Hijuelos, an American novelist born to Cuban immigrant parents who in 1990 was the first Hispanic to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, addressed a Westport Public Library audience tonight. He read excepts from his new book, “Beautiful Maria,” a sequel of sorts to his famed book, “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.” It’s the examination of the life of the muse of that novel as she moves from childhood to the fast lane in mid-20th century Cuba. As he read some paragraphs which were quite sexy, Hijuelos paused, looked at the audience and said, “My wife is sitting in the back and is embarrassed.” Hijuelos was the recipient of the Booked for the Evening Award from the Westport Library two years ago. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/27/10 02:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, July 26, 2010

Westporter Frank Deford Talks About New Novel at Library Image
Westport sports writer and author Frank Deford was at the Westport Public Library today to talk about and autograph copies of his latest novel, “Bliss, Remembered,” a touching story of a failed Olympic athlete in love. “I patterned parts of one of my characters after Eleanor Holm (corrected from Holmes in an earlier version), Olympian swimmer, a real beauty,” he said. “She was not allowed to compete because of some misbehaving before the Olympics.” He said he met her again in the 1990s when she was in her 80s, still beautiful. “We were at a party at the White House,” he said. “She spent most of the evening trying to flirt with President Clinton.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/26/10 08:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 26-28 Church Lane Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at 26-28 Church Lane in Westport’s center is in process. Built in circa 1820, the two-story Federal-style house and shed have 1,917 square feet and are situated on a .32-acre property. Known as the John Sherwood Mansion House, it is listed on the town’s Historic Resources Inventory list. According to an official of the Historic District Commission, property records indicate that a third level was removed in 1923. The structure was moved to its current site from a prior location on Post Road. The records documenting the date of the property’s relocation was not available. The application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/26/10 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Still Cleaning Up Image
Tree crews were busy throughout Westport today still cleaning up after last Wednesday’s thunderstorms that left more than 4,000 Westport customers in the dark. Power was restored to the last customer on Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/26/10 08:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: The AC-DC Railroad

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

A few weekends ago, service on Metro-North and Amtrak was thrown into chaos when two trains ripped down portions of the overhead caternary (power line).  Trains were canceled, weekend riders stranded. Image

Metro-North’s service in Connecticut is made all the more challenging by a technological quirk of fate. Ours is the only U.S. commuter railroad that operates on three modes of power—AC, DC and diesel.

On a typical run from, say, New Haven to Grand Central, the first part of the journey is done “under the wire,” the trains being powered by 13,000-volt AC overhead wires, or catenaries. 

Around Pelham, in Westchester County, the pantographs are lowered and the conversion is made to 660-volt DC third rail power for the rest of the trip into New York. Even diesel engines must convert to third rail, as their smoky exhaust is banned in the Park Avenue tunnels.

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07/26/10 03:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Mother Nature’s Best

The rains cleared and many people headed to Westport’s Compo Beach Sunday night to enjoy another special summer evenng. Helen Klisser During for


07/26/10 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, July 26, 2010

9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Westport/Weston Health District - Wellness Clinic, adults and children
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Kids’ Wall” 10th Anniversary
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Frank Deford, “Bliss, Remembered”
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Stop & Swap summer reading club for adults
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Oscar Hijuelos, “Beautiful Maria of My Soul”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/26/10 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

William A. (Bill) Hoffman, 81

Dr. William A. (Bill) Hoffman died July 23 from pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

Born in Yonkers, N.Y., on Oct. 14, 1928, he was the son of the late Sidney and Teresa Hoffman. He attended New York University, graduating in 1949.

He graduated in 1953 from SUNY, Downstate Medical School and interned at Boston City Hospital, Harvard Division, from 1953-54. He served as a physician in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Montgomery, Ala. He completed his residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and was a Gastrointestinal Fellow from 1958-59.

Hoffman opened his gastroenterology practice in Fairfield in 1959. The practice evolved to a large internal medicine practice that included cardiology.

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07/26/10 03:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

John “Peter” Horosky, 66

John “Peter” Horosky died July 23, after an eight-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 66.

Horosky was born on March 8, 1944, in Norwalk, the son of the late John and Evelyn Weingartner Horosky. He graduated from Staples High School, Westport, in 1962 and Norwalk State Technical School in 1965.

He was in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Quonset Point, R.I. He served on the USS Wasp and the USS Essex.

Horosky was the owner of Practical Rent A Car in Norwalk for 10 years; worked at Young’s of Ridgefield as a rental and parts manager, and prior to his illness, worked as a salesman for Bethel Power in Bethel.

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07/26/10 03:52 AM Comments () • Permalink

Edward J. Turchan, 83

Edward John Turchan, 83, of Salem, the husband of Elva Rubright Turchan, died July 21, Beechwood Manor in New London. At one point in his career in education, he had been a guidance counselor at Staples High School.

Born June 23, 1927, in Trafford, Pa., he was the son of the late Michael and Emma Bucho Turchan. A Navy veteran of World War II, he was married Aug. 19, 1952, to Elva in Trafford, Pa.

He earned B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and his C.A.G.S. from Boston University. He was a teacher and guidance counselor in Youngsville, Pa., and guidance counselor at Staples.

Turchan also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Hope Center Drug Rehab in Bridgeport and trained at the Drug Dependence Institute at Yale University.

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07/26/10 03:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Modular Replacement at 10 Beechwood Lane

The house at 10 Beechwood Lane, off Westport’s Spicer Road, has been replaced with a modular home. A crane lifted the modular boxes into place on the property, which was WestportNow’s Teardown of the Day on May 19, 2010. By the day’s end, almost a dozen boxes manufactured by Epoch Homes of New Hampshire had been set in place. Jim Hines, owner of Westport Modular Homes, oversaw the house set and is the project manager for the job. Contributed photos


07/26/10 02:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Daschund-mix Puppies Millie & Marcy Looking for Homes

daschund-mix puppies are looking for a home
Millie and Marcy are daschund-mix puppies. Westport Animal Control

Millie and Marcy are two sweet little 12-week-old daschund-mix girls looking for forever loving homes. They were rescued by a WASA volunteer from a high-kill facility. They are very affectionate and great with children and other dogs. What a wonderful way to welcome spring with the addition of a new bundle of love. They are spayed and fully vetted. Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information and an adoption application. Millie and Marcy do not have to be adopted together.


07/26/10 12:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Celebrating the Return of the Spirits Image
The Stamford-based O-Tatsu Taiko drummers performed at today’s Bon Odori and Star Festival on Westport’s Jesup Green sponsored by the Japan Society of Fairfield County. The festival was postponed from two weeks ago when rain was forecast but did not occur and was cut short today when it did rain. The annual Bon Odori event, also known as Obon, is derived from a traditional Buddhist belief that deceased family members return for a visit once a year in the summer. The festival welcomes the spirits back. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/25/10 07:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Hosts Japanese Festival

The Japan Society of Fairfield Country today hosted its 17th annual Bon Odori and Star Festival on Westport’s Jesup Green. Postponed from two weeks ago because of a forecast of rain which did not happen, today’s event was cut short by a late afternoon rain. Phyllis Groner for


07/25/10 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued

The National Weather Service in Upton N.Y. has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Fairfield Country, including Westport, until 3:30 p.m.


07/25/10 06:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

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