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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back to a Relaxing Summer Image
After the recent heat wave and then occasional rains on Monday, it was back to a “normal” summer today at Westport’s Compo Beach with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. However, there was a severe thunderstorm watch for the area until 10 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/26/11 08:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Westport and area until 10 p.m.


07/26/11 07:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

First Selectman Reports to Rotary Image
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff told the Westport Rotary Club today “the town is in pretty good shape, especially considering the overall economic climate.”  He attributed its fortunate status to several factors including that the town is still an exceedingly desirable community that attracts newcomers. He said town employee pension and health care costs were becoming increasingly expensive and eventually would impact the town’s ability to meet its obligations and provide quality services. He disclosed that he had reached a tentative new labor contract with the fire union outside of the current arbitration process. He said he plans to bring the contract to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) in September. The RTM last November rejected an earlier settlement with the fire and municipal employee unions (see WestportNow Nov. 10, 2010). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/26/11 07:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘We’re From Metro-North and We’re Here to Help’ Image
With morning delays occurring early today, Metro-North sent workers to Westport’s Greens Farms station to help commuters. Tamara Costa of Metro-North’s White Plains office and Stuart Moore of the New Haven office wore bright orange vests to identify themselves. “We’re assisting commuters, answering questions,” Costa said. “Customers have been confused; we want to make sure they’re on the right train and have the correct information.” Moore said Metro-North had buses on standby as a breakdown of a train in Fairfield disrupted operations. It was the Greens Farms station that was the focus of attention last week as a train packed with several hundred commuters stalled nearbyfor up to an hour in triple digit heat. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/26/11 07:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Metro-North Has Buses at the Ready Image
Metro-North had CT Transit buses at the ready at Westport’s Greens Farms station today after problems with a disabled train at Fairfield disrupted service, causing delays of up to 40 minutes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/26/11 06:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Haven Line Delays

UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line trains are now operating on or close to schedule after earlier delays due to a disabled train in the vicinity of Fairfield.


07/26/11 04:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Norwegian in Westport Laments Terror Attacks

By Dave Matlow

A Norwegian journalist living in Westport says he is grateful for the outpouring of support shown to him and his family by Westporters over the terror attacks in Norway that left 76 people Image
Morten Aanestad: “Everyone in Norway knows someone who has been affected by this tragedy.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“We received phone calls from over a dozen people who expressed their sorrow and outrage,” said Morten Aanestad, 44, a journalist for the Norwegian Business Daily (Dagens Naeringslid). An 18-year veteran of the paper, he is nearing the end of a one-year U.S. assignment reporting on economics, finance and politics.

Aanestad said that he and his wife, Kristin, a lawyer and former prosecutor in Norway’s judicial system, “need to explain to our children what’s happening—it’s a discussion at home every day now.” 

The Aanestads’ three children—Lars, 17, a Staples High School student, Martin, 12, who has been in Norway for the past few weeks visiting his grandparents, and daughter Oda, 8—have all been affected emotionally by the events.

More "Norwegian in Westport Laments Terror Attacks"


07/26/11 09:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Looking for Lunch Image
An egret looks for some lunch on Monday at Westport’s Burying Hill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/26/11 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning & Zoning Downtown Subcommittee Group 3
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Christo and Jeanne-Claude Exhibition
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit, “Back to Our Roots”
1 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Pension Investment Committee
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Tech Tuesdays in July
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 - The Connecticut Ballet
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Lips Together Teeth Apart”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/26/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Enjoying ‘Grease’ Image
The nonprofit Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI), whose goal is to bring a move theater back to Westport, held a screening of “Sing-A-Long With Grease” tonight at the Saugatuck Elementary School. The film was supposed to be shown outdoors at the Levitt Pavilion but last week’s performance as well as today’s rain date fell victim to the weather. Tonight’s showing included cutout figures from the film, surrounded by WCI members (l-r) Sandy Lefkowitz, Doug Tirola, Jonathan Steinberg, and Larry Perlstein. In the cutouts are Elle Faiga, 6, Rena Patten, 7, both of Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


07/26/11 03:02 AM Comments () • Permalink

John Travolta Fan Image
Artist Sooo-z Mastropietro of Westport shows off her John Travolta tattoo at tonight’s showing of “Sing-A-Long With Grease” at the Saugatuck Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)


07/26/11 03:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Dancing in the Aisles to ‘Grease’ Image
Some audience members danced in the aisles at tonight’s showing of “Sing-A-Long With Grease” sponsored by the Westport Cinema Initiative at Saugatuck Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


07/26/11 03:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 10 Stony Brook Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 10 Stony Brook Road, in the Old Hill section, is in process. Built in 1938, the 1 3/4-story cape has 3,091 square feet and is situated on a 2.06-acre property. 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


07/26/11 02:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, July 25, 2011

Westport Presses for Meeting on Stalled Train

By James Lomuscio

The Town of Westport today pressed for a meeting with state and Metro-North railroad officials following Friday’s stalled train that left more than 300 passengers in 103-degree heat for up to an hour near the Greens Farms Image
Passengers from the 1:34 p.m. train from New York arrive at Greens Farms on Friday where they were met by Westport emergency personnel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Westport fire officials, in an unusual move, complained publicly after the incident about delays in communications from the railroad as well as an erroneous report that no one was aboard the train—despite a number of 911 calls from passengers to the Westport Police Department.

“On the tapes from our dispatcher to the Metro-North dispatcher, you hear Metro-North saying, ‘That’s the one in Stratford,’ and then our dispatcher was put on hold with four minutes of dead air,” said Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried. “Then we hear him say, ‘I don’t think there are any people on that train.’

“Adding insult to injury, the Westport Police Department is getting calls from passengers, and Metro-North knows nothing about it,” he added.

More "Westport Presses for Meeting on Stalled Train"


07/25/11 11:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Metro-North Meltdown

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Friday, July 22, was the hottest day I can ever remember. The pavement in Manhattan was 147 degrees, and I could tell that my commute home was going to be awful. Luckily, I wasn’t on the 1:34 to New Haven.

That train was on time with three of its cars lacking good air conditioning, so the remaining cars were standing room only. Just past the Westport station, an aging pantograph snared the overhead catenary (power) line, sagging in the heat, and the train lost power. No electricity meant no AC, no radio and no PA system. Image

Eyewitnesses on the train tell me people started panicking as the temperature rose. They asked a conductor to open a window or door, but he refused. Finally, two passengers opened emergency evacuation windows, pried open the doors, jumped out and walked down onto the tracks.

Realizing that they faced an emergency and with no aid or communications from the conductors, people pulled out their phones and dialed 911. The railroad wasn’t going to rescue them, so maybe the police could. People were crying, fainting, throwing up.  At least three pregnant women were in distress.

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07/25/11 11:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honoring Our Heritage: 16 Woodside Ave.

By Bob Weingarten

Lynn Carlson Popat and Vijay Popat are honoring Westport’s heritage by displaying a Westport Historical Society plaque identifying their home at 16 Woodside Ave. as a house designed and built by architect Charles Cutler in 1922. Image
The house at 16 Woodside Ave. was built in 1922. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Weingarten for

Cutler was a well known Westport architect who designed residential and commercial properties including the Westport Bank & Trust Company building, currently occupied by Patagonia.

He was recognized by the federal government as two of his designed properties, the Green’s Farms Elemantary School and a Tudor house at 12 Old Hill Road, have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Popats purchased the property at Woodside Avenue in 2004 and considered demolishing the house and building a new house but reconsidered after a discussion at a P&Z meeting. 

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07/25/11 08:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Sing-A-Long With Grease’ Moves Indoors

The Westport Cinema Initiative’s “Sing-A-Long With Grease” scheduled tonight at the Levitt Pavilion has been moved indoors to the Saugatuck Elementary School, 170 Riverside Ave., due to weather.

Pre-screening entertainment at 7:30 p.m. will include availability of “Grease” character tattoos, an opportunity for picture taking with character cutouts, and the sounds of “KinkSlip,” organizers said. 

The screening will take place at 8:30 p.m.


07/25/11 01:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Missing Man Found After Six Hours

A 64-year-old man missing from the Westport Health Care Center was found after six hours at the homeless shelter in Norwalk, Westport police said today.

Police began looking for Erol Shaw, a patient at the facility at 1 Burr Road, after he was reported missing at 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, said Lt. John Pitoniak.

A state police K-9 unit assisted in the search. Police were able to determine he was at a Dunkin Donuts at 458 Westport Ave., in Norwalk shortly after 11p.m.but the police dog could not pick up his trail.

At 3:45 a.m., Norwalk police informed Westport police he had turned up at the Norwalk homeless shelter, Pitoniak said. Shaw was taken to Norwalk Hospital for observation, he said.


07/25/11 10:16 AM Comments () • Permalink

Pretty Hot Image
The sun sets as seen from Westport’s Compo Beach after a recent scorcher. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


07/25/11 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, July 25, 2011

9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Westport/Weston Health District - Wellness Clinic, adults and children
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Christo and Jeanne-Claude Exhibition
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit, “Back to Our Roots”
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - “Who Knows You Better than Your Dog?”
7:30 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion Saugatuck Elementary School (170 Riverside Ave.) - Westport Cinema Initiative: “Sing-A-Long with Grease”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/25/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Westport Teen Unhurt in Alaska Bear Attack Image
A map shows the location of the Talkateena Mountains north of Anchorage where the attack occurred (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Google map
UPDATE A Westport youth was among seven students attacked by a grizzly bear with her cub as they were participating in a survival skills course in remote wilderness in Alaska, state troopers said today.

Samuel Boas, 16, was uninjured in the attack, but two others were badly mauled, suffering life-threatening injuries, according to Alaska state police. Four others suffered lesser Image
Sam Boas: aided fellow campers. Contributed photo

Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said Boas had emergency medical training and helped care for the others while they awaited evacuation. He was with the most seriously injured when they were finally evacuated about 10 hours after the attack, she said.

Boas had just completed emergency training at Westport EMS where he is a member of the high school Explorer post, according to EMS officials. His mother, Carol, has been a longtime volunteer with Westport EMS.

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07/25/11 03:16 AM Comments () • Permalink

Hot New Restaurant Draws Fire Response Image
Alarm bells sounded tonight at Tarry Lodge Enoteca & Pizzeria, Westport’s newest Italian eatery from celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali, and the Westport Fire Department responded as the Saugatuck eatery was evacuated. After investigation, firefighters said a faulty detector in a rooftop unit was the cause. Patrons and employees were permitted back inside after a short period. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


07/25/11 03:02 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Historical Society Honored for Barn Survey Image
The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation today cited the Westport Historical Society with its ‘Most Active Community” contribution to a statewide survey of historic barns.  Todd Levine, architectural historian and statewide survey director, presented the award to WHS President,Dorothy E. Curran at a “hoedown” in Hamden. Westport Barn Survey Team members include Maggie Feczko, Betsy Wacker, Katie Chase, Andrea Cross, Peter Jennings, Joni Andrews, Jack Fanning, Ed Gerber, Linda Gramatky-Smith, Sal Porio, Larry Untermeyer, Mary Lee Clayton and Lorraine Feliciano. “Barn Again,” featuring a map of the almost 250 Westport barns surveyed, is on display in the WHS foyer as part of its “Back to Our Roots” exhibit which runs through Sept. 2.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


07/24/11 11:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Well Known Restaurateur ‘Jocko’ Saltus Dies at 53

UPDATE Donald “Jocko” Saltus III, a longtime Westport restaurateur whose properties included Mansion Clam House and Tavern on Main, died today in Stonington, Conn. after a brief illness, his brother Matt said. He was Image
Jocko Saltus: well known on Westport restaurant scene. Contributed photo

“Everybody knew him as Jocko, and he was very colorful, gregarious and had a great sense of humor,” Matt, 47, said. “He loved his restaurants, he loved his customers, and he loved the challenges of opening new restaurants.”

Saltus was best known for his ownership of Mansion Clam House and Tavern on Main in Westport.

“His biggest love was the Mansion, which he opened in 1987 and sold in 2005,” said Matt about the Mansion Clam House, a town mainstay overlooking the Saugatuck River since the 1950s that Saltus bought and to which he added his own touch.

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07/24/11 10:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Man Who Awoke to Home Invader: ‘Lock Your Doors’

By James Lomuscio

The Westport homeowner who awoke to a home invader 10 feet from his and his wife’s bed early today is urging Westport residents to lock their doors and to use an alarm system.

“Just make sure you keep your doors locked,” said the owner of the 20 Manitou Road home near Longshore Club Park.

The man, who asked not to be named, said he and his wife were lucky that there were not injured in the incident and that the would-be burglar took off.

“We usually lock our house at night, but Saturday we had company over, and they were in and out of the French doors to the back patio to the pool,” he said. “They use our bedroom as a pool house. I guess someone forgot to lock the door.

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07/24/11 06:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Insider Arts: Real Drama Caught in Anachronisms

By Ina Chadwick

New York City today was holding a lottery for same-sex couples who want to get married on the first day the newly passed law regarding same sex unions goes into effect. Image

And at the Westport Country Playhouse there is another performance of “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” where the ‘80s and ‘90s terror of AIDs, along with the family losses of loved ones who were “different,” is center stage.

Today’s climate no doubt is different, more accepting, and even if you don’t feel that way about gays and lesbians, you dare not admit it in our sophisticated circles.

That is why the high wire stretching between two mountains that every playwright must walk when they write relevant “of the moment” plays is loose on one side of the mountain. It’s a shaky carabiner.

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07/24/11 05:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Burglar Invades Longshore Area Home

A burglar invaded a Manitou Road home adjacent to Westport’s Longshore Club Park early today but was scared off by the homeowners, police Image
The home at 20 Manitou Road is adjacent to the Longshore Club Park golf course. Google map

Police said they were called at 1:40 a.m. to 20 Manitou Road where the homeowners, asleep in a first floor master bedroom, were awakened by sounds of the bedroom door opening.

“The homeowners reported that an individual with a flashlight then entered the bedroom,” said Lt. John Pitoniak. “Upon startling the homeowners, the individual exited the home then fleeing towards the Longshore Golf Course which borders the homeowner’s property”

Police said the homeowners described the individual as approximately 6-foot-3, wearing a white or light colored polo-type shirt and dark colored pants.

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07/24/11 11:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Mellowing Out at the Levitt Image
The extreme heat did not deter a throng of music fans from converging on the Levitt Pavilion Saturday night to mellow out to the music of Buskin & Batteau. The versatile team of David Buskin (l) and Robin Batteau (center) —both singers, songwriters, soloists—combined talent, humor and showmanship to entertain the large audience with a versatile range of musical instruments.  Buskin plays guitar and keyboard while Robin Batteau plays guitar, violin and mandolin, along with a percussionist. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/24/11 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, July 24, 2011

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Saugatuck Congregational Church (245 Post Road East) - Sunday Farmer’s Market
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Christie’s Country Store (161 Cross Highway) - Farmers’ Market
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Christo and Jeanne-Claude Exhibition
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Author Katharine Weber
3 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Lips Together Teeth Apart”
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Incendio

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/24/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Christo Returns to Westport Image
Artist Christo returned to Westport tonight for a sold out lecture at the Westport Arts Center which is hosting an exhibit of collages and drawings of his two works in progress. They are “Over the River,” involving laying fabric panels along 42.4 miles of the Arkansas River in southern Colorado, and “Mastaba,” involving building a giant pyramid of oil barrels in the desert of the United Arab Emirates. He was also here for the June 30 exhibit opening. With him is Helen Klisser During, the Center’s director of visual arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


07/24/11 02:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

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