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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Westport Parking Tickets Get New Look Image
The new look tickets will be issued beginning Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
There will be a new look to Westport parking tickets and the daily parking fee tickets at the railroad stations beginning Friday.

The Westport Police Department announced today that the present handwritten tickets with built-in envelopes are being replaced with tickets generated by handheld ticket writers.

The computer-generated violation tickets and daily parking fee tickets are part of the department’s new parking ticket and payment system, said Deputy Chief Dale Call.

He said the system by Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Complus Data Innovations, Inc., will allow three images per ticket to document violations and also can be used to electronic “chalk” tires in timed zones.

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04/28/11 09:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Homes With Hope Gets $50,000 Federal Grant

Westport’s Homes With Hope will receive almost $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it was announced today.

HUD Regional Administrator Barbara Fields said the Westport agency formerly known as Interfaith Housing Association will receive $49,693 as part of $1.2 million granted to Connecticut to support 11 homeless programs across the state.

The award to Homes with Hope was specifically targeted to its Supportive Housing Program which offers housing and supportive services to allow homeless persons to live as independently as possible. 

Today’s announcement marks the first-ever grants to local projects that provide critically needed housing and support services to homeless individuals and families, Fields said.


04/28/11 08:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Training Today at Baron’s South

The Westport Police Department said today its members as well as those belonging to the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team are conducting a training exercise at the Baron’s South property today.

“Although training is taking place well off the roadways residents may notice officers wearing tactical uniforms and some large police vehicles entering the property,” a news release said.

“There will be no live fire or any kind and should not be any excessive noise.

“Neighboring residents were already notified by letter of the training exercise, but all town residents are being advised to alleviate any possible safety concerns caused by the increased police activity in the immediate area.”


04/28/11 06:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thunderstorm Watch, Flood Advisory Issued

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 4 p.m. today for the Westport area as well as an urban and small stream flood advisory until 2:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service said at 1:53 p.m. the heaviest rainfall was moving east into western Connecticut.

One half to one inch of rain has occurred over the region so far this afternoon.

It said the ponding and possible hydroplaning will gradually subside on area roadways along with minor flooding along small streams the remainder of the afternoon.


04/28/11 06:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Forbidden Westport’ Set for Saturday Night

Many of Westport’s decision makers will be watching and performing in Saturday night’s “Forbidden Westport,” back after a seven-year hiatus, and sponsored by Westport Sunrise Image

There is one performance only at 7:30 p.m. at Bedford Middle School. Tickets are $55, students $20.

A talented crew of Tony-nominated writers and Broadway-seasoned performers have aided producer John Franklin in creating the show. In addition to Franklin, contributors include Bill Brown of “The Wiz” fame, columnist and author Judith Marks White, Andra Vebell, Fred Stroeppel, Jeff Wieser and David Rogers, who also stars in the show.

Performers on stage include singer and actress Cindy Vaccaro of “3 Chicks Who Sing,” along with Karen Parrella and Sue Broudy, Suzanne Tanner, Eva Raweiszer, Bill Hall and Chilton Ryan, along with Katie Sparer, Nadine Willig, Gary Betsworth and Kevin Long, with a special musical presentation by musicians Richard Epstein, and Bob Lasprogato of “Uptown Jazz.”

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04/28/11 05:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 7 Pumpkin Hill Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 7 Pumpkin Hill is in process. Built in 1958, the one-story split level has 2,063 square feet and is situated on a 1.01-acre property. Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (Editor’s note: an earlier version of this picture showed the incorrect house. WestportNow regrets the error.) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/28/11 04:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honoring a Westport Marine

By Dave Matlow Image
Members of Charles Rochlin’s family pose with nursery owner Tony Palmer before the newly dedicated flagpole. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for
More than 100 invited friends and relatives of the late Westport Marine Charles Rochlin gathered Wednesday at a newly opened Westport business to honor him two years after he was killed in a car crash.

There was a brief ceremony and reception at Anthony’s Nursery, 492 Main St. that included dedication of a plaque and flagpole in honor of the memory of the lance corporal, 24, who died in the accident on Westport’s Greens Farms Road on Dec. 27, 2009. (See WestportNow Dec. 28, 2011)

Tony Palmer, owner of the nursery, said he and Scott Rochlin, Charles’ father, have been close friends since they were in junior high school in the early 1970s and were then neighbors “when Charlie was just a baby.”

“Today’s dedication is one way to honor Scott’s son— what better way then to fly the American and U.S. Marine flags on a pole above a plaque that bears his name in memory,” he said.

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04/28/11 04:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Dandy Dandelion Image
An irrepressible cluster of dandelions adds a spot of spring color in a crack on the walkway in front of the brick wall outside Westport’s Compo Beach pavilion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


04/28/11 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 28, 2011

8 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Business Special: Profitopoly
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Hope in Haiti” & SHS “Dog Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition” and “Art From The Heart”
4:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Baron’s South Planning Committee
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Information Session with Miggs Burroughs: Rotary Poster Contest (Grades 6+)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM IT Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Beyond Therapy”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/28/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sol Brody, 86

Sol Brody of Norwalk, died April 25 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 86.

He was born on March 4, 1925 in Brooklyn of Esther and Aladar Brody. He served during World War II in the U.S. Army. In 1950 he graduated Cooper Union, New York City in metallurgist engineering.

He married Molly Joyce Zimmerman on March 12, 1952. Over the years he worked for companies such as Republic Aircraft, Norden Systems and Zell Semiconductors, and pioneered in technologies are now taken for granted.

In 1971, with Molly they opened up Molly Brody Miniatures, first in Westport, and then later in South Norwalk. After the death of his wife, he has been a companion with Joan Stern of Norwalk.

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04/28/11 03:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Committee OKs Restorations, But It’s Far from Over

By James Lomuscio

Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff got what he asked for tonight from the Representative Town Meeting’s (RTM) Finance Committee—a recommendation to restore $220,000 of the $342,500 cut by the Board of Finance from the overall $66.6 million municipal budget for 2011-12.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon and Board of Education Chairman Donald O’Day also received what they had hoped for—a recommendation to let the $250,000 cut from the school board’s $98.6 million budget stand with no further cuts. The school board had not sought any restorations.

While good news on the town side, Joseloff is not celebrating yet. The restorations will require a 70 percent vote from the legislative body when it meets on Monday. And if RTM Finance Committee votes are any indication on how the full RTM will vote, it could prove an uphill fight, Joseloff admitted.

The committee voted 7 to 2 to recommend restoring $75,000 to a salaried position in the Finance Department, 6 to 3 for restoring $50,000 to rehire a new personnel director, 8 to 1 for giving back $25,000 of the $75,000 cut from Information technology, and 5 to 4 to recommend restoring $70,000 from the Parks and Recreation Department to maintain two positions.

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04/28/11 03:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Playwright Sidney Michaels Dies at 83

Sidney Michaels, a playwright who was nominated for Tony Awards in three consecutive seasons in the 1960s, died Friday in Westport, The New York Times reported. He was 83 and had Alzheimer’s disease.

Michaels made a splash on Broadway in 1962 with his play “Tchin-Tchin,” an Americanized version of a farcical, bittersweet French comedy starring Margaret Leighton and Anthony Quinn.

Running for 222 performances, it was nominated for a Tony for best director in the spring of 1963, though it lost to Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

In 1964, Alec Guinness won his only Tony for his performance in the title role in “Dylan,” Michaels’s biographical portrayal of the poet Dylan Thomas. The play itself was also nominated. The winner that year was “Luther” by John Osborne.

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04/28/11 01:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport for Dummies Tour Image
The Westport Historical Society held its annual scenic bus tour of Westport today which it called “Westport for Dummies.” The tour was led by two longtime Westport residents, Town Historian Allen Raymond and former Police Chief Ron Malone. As the two-hour tour meandered around Westport and back to the Historical Society,  the passengers seemed to have gained an appreciation of what is so special about Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


04/28/11 12:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Helen B. Bourne, 85

Helen Blanchard Bourne, a former resident of Westport, died April 6 in Kingston, Mass. She was 85.

Born Helen Margaret Yockey on May 23, 1925, in Xenia, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late Paul Yockey and Anna (Dolphin) Yockey. She attended Oberlin College.

She moved east with her first husband, John Newsom, and eventually relocated to Westport with her two children. She later met and married the late Turner Blanchard, with whom she owned the former Westport Marine.

She was employed as secretary to the Westport police chief. They retired to Cape Cod where she was an active volunteer with her church.

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04/27/11 10:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

$100 Annual RR Parking Fee Increase Approved

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE Concern over commuter sticker shock squared off against covering personnel and maintenance costs tonight as the Westport Board of Selectmen, after more than an hour’s discussion, voted 2 to 1 to raise railroad parking annual fees by $100 to $325 and to increase the daily parking fee from $4 to $5 effective July Image
Deputy Chief Dale Call (l) and Chief Al Fiore of the Westport Police Department answer questions about railroad parking fees at today’s Board of Selectmen meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The annual fee increase is $75 lower than the $400 that had been requested by the Police Department’s Railroad Parking Division.

Acting as the Traffic Authority, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Second Selectwoman Shelly Kassen voted for the increase, with Selectman Charles Haberstroh dissenting.

“We definitely need to cover our costs,” said Joseloff, who had initially sought to adjust the fee to $350. “But at the same time we have to be concerned about what effect a major increase will have on our commuters.”

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04/27/11 10:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Blockbuster Closing Sunday Image
Westport’s Blockbuster, 1505 Post Road East, is closing on Sunday, according to a store employee. All DVDs, video games and store fixtures are for sale but rentals are no longer available.  Blockbuster, the movie and video game rental company filed for bankruptcy in September 2010 having operated under increasing losses for some time. Increasing competition came from companies like Netflix and Redbox, and, more recently, online streaming video services. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/27/11 09:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ines Amalia “Mollie” Donovan, 84

Ines Amalia “Mollie” Donovan, devoted volunteer in Westport’s arts and preservation community, advertising executive, and medical and technical writer, died April 27 after a long battle with cancer. She was Image
Mollie Donovan: devoted volunteer. Dave Matlow for

Born in Hamden, on July 11, 1926, Mollie was the matriarch of a loving family.  Her humor, insight, passion, energy and creativity were a gift to all who knew her. 

A committed mentor of the Westport arts scene, Mollie was co-chairman of the Westport Historical Society’s Exhibit and Programs Committee, the curator of the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection and a committee member of the WPA Art Rescue which restored 32 large artworks produced as part of the WPA Arts Project.

She was recently honored as Volunteer of the Decade by the Westport Historical Society for her three decades of exemplary and tireless leadership, loyalty, vision, creativity and passion.

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04/27/11 08:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

P&Z Reschedules Downtown Session to May 12

A public meeting by the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss revitalization of Westport’s downtown has been rescheduled to Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium.

P&Z Director Larry Bradley, who announced the May 5 meeting a week ago (See WestportNow April 20, 2011), said a conflict with another public event that evening caused the change.

The schedule and list of presenters will be finalized next week, said Bradley.

Among topics to be discussed are creating incentives for a movie theater, the establishment of mixed use (commercial/residential) developments in the Parker Harding Plaza parking lot, parking improvements, streetscape enhancements and sidewalk cafes, he said.

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04/27/11 07:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Mollie Donovan, Longtime Arts Advocate, Dies at 84 Image
UPDATE (adds memorial service on Sunday) Ines M. “Mollie” Donovan, a longtime member of the Westport Arts Advisory Committee whose many activities also included the Westport Historical Society and the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection, died today after a lengthy illness. She was 84. In September 2009, the Arts Advisory Committee at its annual ceremony surprised her by inaugurating “The Mollie Award” in her honor and said in the future it would be presented annually to a dedicated volunteer for the arts. A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 1 at 11 a.m. at the Westport Historical Society/Veterans Green across from Westport Town Hall. Click here for full obituary. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/27/11 04:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Turtlemania Image
A day after a snapping turtle turned up in the Westport Arts Center parking lot, WestportNow reader Lauretta Carl sent in this picture of another turtle spotted today in the vicinity of Marion Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lauretta Carl for


04/27/11 01:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: 14 New Home Listings

(Editor’s note: WestportNow today begins a new weekly feature with the latest Westport real estate statistics by veteran Realtor Judy Szablak.)

By Judy Szablak

The median list price in Westport is $1,265,000. The market here is performing nicely. Image

There are 331 homes actively on the market for 104 days and are listed at an average of $2,150,960. Fourteen new listings came on the market this week, and two homes came back on the market after being under deposit. 

There were six properties that had a price change. Eight properties have gone under the initial deposit stage, which we call CTS, and 10 properties went into pending status, which means that the conditions have been satisfied, and the property is scheduled to close.

Closings: seven properties sold this past week, and they had an average price of $1,616,000 and were on the market an average of 90 days. There were 59 status changes in the last week.

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04/27/11 01:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Enjoying the Sun Image
This snapping turtle took a break from warm temperatures Tuesday to sun itself in the parking lot of the Westport Arts Center. A wildlife expert helped release him back on the banks of the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Alyssa Crouse for


04/27/11 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

9:45 a.m. - Westport Historical Society - Westport for Dummies: Historical Tour of Westport Neighborhoods
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Hope in Haiti” & SHS “Dog Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition” and “Art From The Heart”
Noon - Westport Public Library - Author Caitlin Kelly
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Selectmen Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
4 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - CyberALLY Workshop on Cyber-bullying, Middle School
6 p.m. - Westport Woman’s Club (44 Imperial Ave.) - “An Update on Lyme Disease” by Brian Fallon, MD
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Movie: “Waiting for Superman”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Library Seminar Room – Westport Public Library Board
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Beyond Therapy”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/27/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Local Legislators Weigh In on Governor’s Budget

By James Lomuscio

The state legislators representing Westport, in a show of nonpartisan unity, tonight described the state’s fiscal crisis as Image
State Sen. Toni Boucher addresses tonight’s Senior Center meeting while state Reps.Jonathan Steinberg and Kim Fawcett listen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Addressing an audience of several dozen at the Westport Center for Senior Activities, their consensus—with 54,000 employees, the state government is bloated while private companies are leaving Connecticut and the state’s population has remained flat for 22 years.

State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) gave the presentation which had been prepared by the Republican caucus. She invited state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-126) and Rep. Kim Fawcett (D-133) to participate and comment.

All three expressed some concerns with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s $39.9 billion budget aimed at closing a $2 billion budget deficit.

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04/27/11 03:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Storytellers Image
The Westport Art Center tonight hosted the final presentation of the season’s “Awake After Dark Storytelling.” The six presenters each given 10 minutes to tell a story included (l-r) Peter Pastorelli, Blake Schnirring, Jeep Ward, Dee Andrian, Bonnie Block Levison and Alan Berman. The series produced by Ina Chadwick resumes in the fall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


04/27/11 02:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Arts Center Closes Out Storytelling Season

Scenes from tonight’s final storytelling evening of the season at the Westport Arts Center. Larry Untermeyer for


04/27/11 02:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Passing Clouds Image
Fast moving clouds coming in from the water partially obscured the setting sun tonight at Westport’s Compo Beach.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


04/27/11 12:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wind Watching Image
A kite surfer watches the wind late today at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


04/27/11 12:08 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Previews Open Tonight of Playhouse’s ‘Beyond Therapy’ Image
The Westport Country Playhouse opens its 2011 season and its 80th birthday year tonight with previews of “Beyond Therapy,” a comedy by playwright Christopher Durang. The play, directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, runs through May 14.  The comedy looks at the days and nights of the young and single. Nicole Lowrance (l) and Jeremy Peter Johnson are featured and also performing are Trent Dawson, Nick Gehlfuss, Kathleeen McNenny and Stephen Wallem. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/26/11 09:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Autopsy: ‘Nothing Suspicious’ in Broker’s Death

By James Lomuscio

A weekend autopsy by the Concord, N.H. medical examiner’s office found “nothing suspicious” in the death of the missing Westport real estate broker whose body was discovered Friday in Portsmouth, police said Image
Art Reinhart: toxicology reports could take weeks. Contributed photo

“There was nothing conclusive about the cause of death, and there was nothing suspicious,” said Portsmouth Police Lt. Michael Maloney about the results of the autopsy performed Saturday on Arthur Dean Reinhart, 50.

“But they’re not going to be able to tell exactly how he died for several weeks until all of the toxicology reports come in from the medical examiner’s office,” he added. “Until we get them, we will not have a definite cause of death.”

Reinhart, a Fairfield resident who worked at the Westport Prudential Realty office on Post Road East, had last been heard from via a text message sent April 2 from Provincetown, Mass. where he had stayed at a hotel.

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04/26/11 08:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

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