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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Malloy Recommends Layoffs, $54M Cut in Town Aid

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has recommended almost 5,500 state employee layoffs, elimination of 1,000 other vacant positions and a $54 million cut in municipal aid to help offset the unrealized savings from the failed union concession deal.

It was unclear from limited details released late this afternoon how much savings could be achieved over the next two fiscal years from the 6,466 recommended job cuts.

Malloy spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan wrote that commissioners and other agency heads will be charged with finding the $700.7 million in savings needed to balance finances in the $20.14 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, and another $901.2 million in the $20.4 billion budget for 2012-13.

And though the governor’s budget agency, the Office of Policy and Management, “thinks the number of suggested layoffs will help them get there,” Flanagan wrote, “some commissioners might choose to lay off more people” to achieve their savings target. “Some might choose to lay off a lower number and find additional savings elsewhere.”

Click here for more of story


06/28/11 11:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Slow Go Through Westport Image
A morning rush hour accident on I-95 southbound in Westport sent much traffic spilling over on to the Post Road today and heavy traffic continued throughout the afternoon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


06/28/11 10:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Shake Shack Nearing Completion Image
Westport’s newest burger entry, Shake Shack at 1849 Post Road East on the Fairfield line, is nearing completion. Restaurant officials told the Planning and Zoning Commission they aimed to open in July, but the exact date is not known. A worker at the site would not be more specific saying, “I can’t leak any information.”  Serving hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and milkshakes, Shake Shack has six locations, five in New York and one in Miami. The first Shake Shack opened in July 2004 in New York City’s Madison Square Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/28/11 09:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy: Legislature May Have to Force Change

By Mark Pazniokas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today he will explore legislative options to curtail what he called state government’s unsustainable, long-term health and pension costs, but he refused to say if he will seek a curb on collective-bargaining rights for state employees.

“We attempted to do that through negotiation. That has failed,” Malloy said. “The people of Connecticut still need systemic change and still need to have a sustainable relationship with their employee base, which is a way of saying there is more than one way to get that done.”

But exactly how he does propose to get that done?

Under repeated questioning by reporters, Malloy was unwilling or unable to be more specific, just as state union leaders failed Monday to specify how they might salvage a tentative labor savings deal rejected last week, even as they promised to try.

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06/28/11 09:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tonight’s Levitt Pavilion Concert Moves Indoors

Based on forecast of possible thunderstorms this evening, the Levitt Pavilion show featuring the Westport Community Band has been moved to the Saugatuck Elementary School at 170 Riverside Ave., the pavilion’s official rain location.

According to Freda Welsh, the pavilion’s executive director, the show will begin at 8 p.m., and admission is free. For further information, visit the Levitt Pavilion website


06/28/11 07:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

UPDATE: Benny Was Reunited with His Family Image
This beautiful black dog with white markings escaped getting hit on Compo Road South and ventured into my yard. No collar but definitely someone’s pet. UPDATE: Thank you to Benny’s rescuer for helping him find his family after Benny’s Big Adventure.


06/28/11 07:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Katie Has a New Home

Katie. Westport Animal Control
Katie is a gorgeous husky of about 3 years of age that recently arrived at Westport Animal Control after being spotted running along Greens Farms Road.  Not only was she abandoned but she was abandoned with an eye that was in danger of rupturing due to glaucoma.  Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA) arranged for Katie to have the surgery she needed with the “bad” eye removed and a prosthetic eye put in its place.  Katie is currently recuperating at Cornell Veterinary Hospital in Stamford.  She has been a sweet and very affectionate dog throughout her painful ordeal. Katie is housebroken and walks well on a leash.  Like most huskies, she is charmingly vocal and just a great girl.  For additional information about Katie, please send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (203)557-0361.


06/28/11 06:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Emma Got Her Second Chance

Emma. Westport Animal Control
Emma was found by a Westport resident after being tossed by a car or truck into bushes along Long Lots Road.  She is receiving ongoing care for severe puncture wounds on both sides of her face and along her body as well as abrasions from being tossed.  While she is severely under-weight, we are happy to report that she is steadily gaining weight.  Her limp from a bite to her tendon is lessening each day.  During her rehabilitation at Westport Animal Control, she will need ongoing veterinary care and evaluation.  Short walks and gentle strokes are received with sad, gentle eyes but she is beginning to wag her tail and happily welcomes all the attention she is receiving.  We are determined to give her a second chance.  For more information about Emma or to contribute to her medical care, please email [email protected] or call (203)557-0361.


06/28/11 05:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bridge Beautification Shovel Ready

By James Lomuscio

Windswept and overgrown, the 20-year-old gardens on the east side of Westport’s Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge have become an Image
A groundbreaking ceremony today launched the renovation of the “Gateway Gardens” at the east end of the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

But with the groundbreaking today of “Gateway Gardens,” that image is poised to improve as a makeover of the gardens commences next week on both sides of the Post Road.

With shovels in their hands, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Nancy Carr and Angela Trucks, co-chairs of the Westport Beautification Committee, and principals of Wilton-based The LaurelRock Company, landscape architects, held a ceremonial groundbreaking with nine others near the bridge. The project will be completed by July 17, Joseloff said.

“We’re going to have a low hedge along the border with some ornamental grasses and a lot of color, waves of color with perennials and annuals,” said Bert DeMarche, who owns LaurelRock with his father Dickson DeMarche. Their company is funding the project.

More "Bridge Beautification Shovel Ready"


06/28/11 05:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Piccolino Has Found A Home

Piccolino. Westport Animal Control
Piccolino is the newest arrival to Westport Animal Control.  He is a handsome little Shih Tzu of approximately a year and a half old.  He is affectionate and knows his basic commands.  He appears to get along well with other dogs and loves attention.  He’s just an adorable little fellow that will make a wonderful pet.  For additional information about Pic, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


06/28/11 05:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Maxwell Has A Home

Maxwell. Westport Animal Control
Okay, don’t laugh – but you can smile.  Max certainly makes the staff and volunteers smile every time we take him for a walk.  He is a little challenged in the pedigree department but the combination (we’re thinking Jack Russell-corgi) is delightful.  Maxwell is friendly, cuddly and playful.  He loves to go on walks and chase a tennis ball.  Max is good with children too.  For additional information about Max, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


06/28/11 05:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Morning Rush Hour Crash Ties Up I-95 Image
A two-car rear-end accident on I-95 in Westport southbound between Exits 18 and 17 during the morning rush hour today sent three persons to the hospital and caused massive traffic backups. Two Westport ambulances transported the injured, who suffered minor neck and back injuries, to the hospital, said Assistant Chief William Dingee. The accident occurred in the center lane just south of the Hales Road overpass, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/28/11 03:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Thank You to Friends

To the Editor:

Thanks to all my friends for bearing with me on the latest batch of news about the domestic abuse incident that made national news.

I would like to state the following truths to correct the misinformation that was put in the paper and on WestportNow regarding the published domestic abuse case: I had been living in the home with my children for three months and had legal rights to be in the house and to see my children.

I was assaulted with my own iPhone while I was lying on my bed reading a book. I fought to get my iPhone back because I had an audiophile from earlier that evening of David treating me horribly in front of my children. I called 911.

He lied to the police, telling them that I was not supposed to be in the house and that he was acting in self-defense—not that he assaulted me first. Because we both hurt each other, we both had charges against us by the state, which have now been dropped.

More "A Thank You to Friends"


06/28/11 05:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Police Investigate Circling Boat

UPDATE A Westport police marine unit early today investigated an unmanned boat circling in the Saugatuck River off Westport’s Owenoke Park between Compo Beach and Longshore.

Police responded after someone reported hearing shouting or screaming in the water shortly after midnight, according to reports from the scene. A second boat was seen leaving the area.

Police contacted the circling boat’s owner who lives on Saugatuck Shores who confirmed his 17-year-old son had been out on the water, the reports said.

Police later spoke to the son who told them he and his two friends were okay, the reports said.

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06/28/11 05:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Swan Gathering Image
A swan family gets together along the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Administrative Review Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit, “Back to Our Roots”
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen Animé Night
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion Saugatuck Elementary School (170 Riverside Ave.) - Westport Community Band (moved indoors due to weather forecast)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/28/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Downtown Theater Moving ‘Beyond Talk’

By James Lomuscio

All the stars seems to be aligned tonight as Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI) officials gave a report detailing the progress made toward their goal of bringing a movie theater back to Image
State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg tells of progress at tonight’s Westport Cinema Initiative meeting at Bobby Q’s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“I’m very pleased to say we are beyond the talking stage,” state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, WCI president, told about 20 people who had assembled in the rooftop beer garden at Bobby Q’s Restaurant downtown.

“We’ve been showing movies for months, we have three potential sites for a permanent venue and we now have 501C3 status.”

The latter will allow the WCI to solicit tax deductible donations when it begins its campaign to raise between $3 and $4 million in about three months. That money, said Jerry Minsky, who is heading up the campaign, will go to building the two-screen theater, operating expenses and starting an endowment.

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06/28/11 03:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Christo and Jeanne-Claude Exhibit Image
A team at the Westport Arts Center today installed collages and drawings by internationally acclaimed artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude which opens Thursday. Pictured (l-r) are Vladimir Yavachev, Catherine Sippin, Adam Blackbourn, and Helen Klisser During, the center’s director of visual arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Katie Hacala for


06/27/11 09:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Library Picked to Pilot E-Books

The Westport Public Library is one of 10 sites nationwide selected to inaugurate Freading (free reading), a system for checking out e-books, to begin later this year, the American Library Association (ALA) announced today at its annual meeting in New Orleans. Image

Westport was chosen to participate by Library Ideas, LLC, a Virginia-based film and media distributor. The system is based on its popular and successful system for downloading music through libraries, called Freegal. The announcement was at the ALA meeting by Brian Downing, co-founder of Library Ideas.

When Freading goes online, Downing said, it will offer 20,000 copyrighted titles from 16 publishers. The titles will use Adobe Digital Editions and will work on every major device except the Kindle.

With Freading, library patrons can download books for a two-week loan with a two-week renewal option, Downing said.

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06/27/11 08:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

10,000 Expected at Fireworks Friday

Stuart McCarthy, director of Westport’s Parks and Recreation Department, expects a crowd of more than 10,000 at the Compo Beach fireworks scheduled for Friday at Image
The Parks & Recreation Department discourages cordoning off beach spots for the fireworks and leaving chairs and tables unattended. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

“It’s supposed to be a beautiful night,” said McCarthy. “During the day I’m looking at sunny in the 80s. So if they want to buy a fireworks ticket, they better buy it now.” Tickets are on sale at the Parks & Recreation office and police headuarters.

McCarthy predicts the 2,000 available tickets selling at $30 each per car to be sold out before Friday. All of the money raised will go to the Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) which is sponsoring the fireworks launched from a barge off Compo.

McCarthy also stressed that all guests “show consideration for other beach goers by not trying to reserve huge swaths of beach for themselves or guests.”

More "10,000 Expected at Fireworks Friday"


06/27/11 05:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Landon’s Global Perspective and Local Retrospective

By James Lomuscio

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon says that professionally “I’ve had the best best of all worlds,” and that at 71, he has no intention of Image
Elliott Landon: Westport Education 2025 is a main reason he is staying on. Dave Matlow for

“Retire? No,” said Landon in a wide ranging interview at the end of the school year. “What’s interesting about it is that I’ve hired everyone one of the principals that we have and some of our best administrators and teachers.

“The thrill of working is that I can work with these people. They are bright, dynamic, young, and for me, working in that kind of environment makes it so exciting.”

Having taken the helm in 1999, Landon is already the most senior schools superintendent in Fairfield County, not an easy feat in a town that seems to prize education first and keeps all eyes on the person at the top.

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06/27/11 09:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Green Scene Image
Isabella Goldstein, 7, and brother Lucas, 5, of Westport giggle over their green Popsicle tongues. They were at Compo Beach on Sunday with their mother, Barbara Salinas, a Westport photographer.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


06/27/11 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, June 27, 2011

8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – P&Z Downtown Initiative Committee
9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Westport/Weston Health District - Wellness Clinic, adults and children
9:15 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – P&Z Downtown Initiative Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit, “Back to Our Roots”
3 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen: Drop-In Book Discussion
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Author Joseph Finder, “Buried Secrets”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/27/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Getting Into the Music Image
Julie McNamee of Westport enjoys tonight’s Beatlemania concert at the Levitt Pavilion. “The Cast of Beatlemania” was the Levitt season opener which include free nights of concerts through August.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Dreyfuss for


06/27/11 01:54 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sgt. Pepper Medley at Levitt Image
Tonight’s Beatlemania concert at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion included selections from the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s collection. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Dreyfuss for


06/27/11 01:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Overflow Crowd for Levitt Season Opener Image
An overflow crowd turned out tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for its Beatlemania season opener. Late arrivals had to be turned away from entering and many set up chairs in the Westport Public Library parking lot. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/27/11 01:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Listening But Not Watching Image
The crowd for tonight’s season opening Beatlemania concert at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion was so large that some people could not get in and had to make do by listening to the concert from outside in the Westport Public Library parking lot. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/27/11 01:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Beatles Look and Sound Image
The Beatlemania concert tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion included the look as well as the sound of the originals. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/27/11 01:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Levitt at the Levitt Image
Mimi Levitt, philanthropist and patron of the arts, makes her way through the crowd tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion which presented “The Cast of Beatlemania” as its season opener. Mimi Levitt’s late husband Mortimer was a millionaire businessman/patron of the arts and benefactor of the Levitt Pavilion (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/27/11 01:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Dancing to the Beatles Image
Despite the packed crowd at tonight’s Westport Levitt Pavilion Beatlemania concert, some could not resist getting up in dancing in front of the stage. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/27/11 01:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

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