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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Generating Concerns: Kingsbury Urges Caution

By James Lomuscio

There are been three incidents of generator caused carbon monoxide buildups in Westport since Sunday, one so severe that two children had to be hospitalized, Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury said today.

Kingsbury, the town’s emergency management director, cautioned the 23 percent of townspeople still without power following Hurricane Irene to be extra careful when using generators, particularly portable ones that have not been professionally installed.

“Be very careful and make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working because those that are wired may not be with the power down,” he said. “If they need assistance, we can provide it with metering in a nonemergency mode. That means we won’t be arriving with sirens blaring.”

Kingsbury stressed that homeowners should never run generators in a house, a basement or garage even if the door is open. Operating a generator outside but close to one’s home is no guarantee against a carbon monoxide buildup either, he said.

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08/31/11 11:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for School Opening Image
In preparation for the new school year, workers at Long Lots Elementary School on Westport’s Hyde Lane apply finishing touches today on safety and directional markings on crosswalks and parking areas. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/31/11 11:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Abraham Rothenberg, 80

Abraham Rothenberg, noted Westport architect, died Aug. 28 from complications from a stroke he suffered eight years ago. He was 80. Image
Abe Rothenberg: noted architect. Contributed photo

A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic and Princeton University in architecture in the early 1960s, he worked for Curtis and Davis Architects in New York City where his major projects included the award-winning Worcester Public Library and the James Forrestal Building in Washington, which today houses the Department of Energy.

In the late 1960s, he worked for Pomerance Breines Architects where he designed the John F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation in the Bronx, and the NYU College of Dentistry.

He established his own firm in Westport in the 1970s, where his major projects included the Museum of Modern Art Bookstore II in Manhattan, the Spector Playground in Central Park, the Sofia Building on the Upper West Side, the Memphis/Evans Tower on the Upper East Side, the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library in Long Island.

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08/31/11 11:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Joseloff to Westporters Without Power: ‘Hang in There’

Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today sent the following CodeRed emergency notification to residents:

“Late today, Westport’s emergency management team informed Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon he had authorization to reopen schools on Thursday.

“Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, the town’s Emergency Management Director, said it is imperative that parents closely supervise their children to and from bus stops.

“If you encounter downed utility lines, they are to be considered energized. Please stay 10 feet away. If you are uncomfortable sending your children to school, don’t.

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08/31/11 10:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Country Curtains Hit Image
A Westport woman stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake today and crashed her late model Lexus ES 300 into Country Curtains, 1011 Post Road East. Arriving units found that the car had hit the right front of the building, said Assistant Chief Robert Kepchar. The driver was evaluated at the scene for possible injury by firefighters and Westport EMS, and she refused transport to the hospital. A representative from the Building Department evaluated the structural stability of the building and deemed it safe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/31/11 09:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Schools Will Reopen Thursday

UPDATE Westport Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon today issued the following statement on the reopening of Westport schools on Thursday:

“All Westport Schools will open for students, teachers and support staff on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 - the start of the 2011-12 school year.

“Parents are strongly urged to accompany their children to their assigned bus stops and to supervise them prior to the arrival of the bus in the morning and after the return of the bus in the afternoon. 

“There will be work crews continuing their efforts throughout the day, and caution should be exercised when approaching them.  Parents and students should always assume that downed wires are energized. If you have any questions about safety issues, go to

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08/31/11 08:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Beaches Open for Swimming

The Westport Parks and Recreation Department announced today that effective immediately all beaches are open for swimming.

Compo Beach will have lifeguard service weekdays and weekends through Labor Day. Lifeguard services may be reduced based on availability of staff.

Burying Hill Beach will have no lifeguards on duty on weekdays.  Burying Hill Beach will be staffed on the weekends through Labor Day.

“All patrons and particularly those with small children should swim where lifeguards are present,” said Parks & Recreation Department Operations Supervisor Dan DeVito.


08/31/11 06:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Maria “Riet” Theresia Ehrismann, 88

Maria “Riet” Theresia Ehrismann, wife of Harry Sebastianus Ehrismann, died Aug. 28 at home in the company of her family. She was 88.

Born Oct. 27, 1922 in Rotterdam, Netherlands the daughter of the late Antonius and Huberdina (Vissers) Stoopman, she has been a resident of Weston for 38 years. She was a member of both the Weston Senior Center and Westport Senior Center, the Westport YMCA where she swam for exercise for more than 30 years.

Riet was also an amateur oil painter, enjoyed beading, cooking and baking and won several awards for rug hooking.

Survivors include three sons, Anthony W. Ehrismann and Francis P. Ehrismann of Norwalk, and Paul C. Ehrismann of Weston. Seven grandchildren, one great grandchild and several nieces and nephews. She was also predeceased by two sons, Harry Ehrismann and Lawrence Ehrismann.

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08/31/11 05:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Schoolbus Snags Wire on Test Run Image
A schoolbus with only the driver aboard making a test run on Westport’s Park Lane today snagged a communications wire. A firefighter removes the wire from the axle. The buses were out surveying roads and bus stops to see if conditions were safe enough to open school on Thursday, two days later than scheduled. A decision will be made later today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/31/11 04:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Bogey’s Closes Image
Bogey’s Grille & Tap Room, 323 Main St., has closed its doors after 17 years. A sign on the door says: “After 17 years of being in business, we regret to inform you that we have officially closed our doors. We had a great run and will miss serving all of you. Thank you very much for your patronage and loyalty over the years.” A Westport institution, Bogey’s was the last of a succession of restaurants on that corner starting with Crossroads, Oliver’s and A Stone’s Throw. It was under the ownership of Jim and John Stablein. Westporter Brendan Donahoe, who once was a bartender at Stone’s Throw, said, “No one knew about this. No one knew it would close.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/31/11 02:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Important Information to Homeowners

The Westport Building Department has issued the following statement for homeowners regarding power restoration:

If your electrical service was damaged by a fallen tree on your own property, you should call your own Connecticut-licensed electrician and have any damage down the side of the house inspected and repaired if necessary. 

The electrician should then contact the Westport Building Department and we will contact the power company to authorize them to re-energize your service.  Do not go near any downed wires assumed to be dead, they may become energized at any moment.

If your home sustained water damage affecting the electrical system including the circuit breaker panel, electric appliances, or outlets you should contact an electrician to evaluate your wiring prior to the power company activating your neighborhood. 

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08/31/11 02:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Guidelines on Well Water, Frozen Foods

The Westport Weston Health District (WWHD) has issued some guidelines for residents on well water in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene as well as information about frozen foods.

Mark A.R. Cooper, director of health, has warned residents who obtain their potable water from their own private wells that they may be contaminated if they were flooded. Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. Do not assume that the water in a flood-affected area is safe to drink.

The Environmental Health Section of the State Department of Public Health also recommends that homes with private wells flooded or damaged by the hurricane should be assumed to be contaminated.

Additionally, private wells with water that is unusually discolored or has a different odor than normal may have been compromised by surface water and may also be contaminated. Wells suspect of contamination should be flushed, disinfected and tested for bacteria before use.

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08/31/11 02:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Sign of a Return to Normalcy Image
Some Compo Beach visitors Tuesday spent time cannon sitting as swimming was banned. With a return to school delayed at least another day because of Irene and many homes still without power, the beach was a popular destination. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


08/31/11 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Suddenly Last Summer”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/31/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Power Coming Back Slowly; School Opening Delayed

By James Lomuscio

Two days after Tropical Storm Irene slammed into Westport, the town was slowly recovering today but not fast enough to get 5,000 schoolchildren back to their classrooms. Image
Dunkin’ employee Julio Arces on restoration: “It’s good because no power, no work, no money.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for

As power and lights flickered on to key business areas and some neighborhoods, Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, acting in his capacity as Emergency Management Director, ordered schools closed for at least an additional day for safety reasons.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, in a CodeRed emergency telephone notification late in the day to all residents, said power restoration was slow but steady.

“We don’t know when full power will be available,” he said. “We hope it is only days.”

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08/31/11 02:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunning as Beach Repair Continues Image
Visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach enjoyed sunny, 80-degree weather today—even though swimming was banned—as work continued to repair and restore the boardwalk near the pavilion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


08/31/11 12:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Joseloff Hopes Power Restoration ‘Will Be Days’

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today issued the following CodeRed emergency telephone notification to Westport residents:

“We are in day three of this emergency and are making slow but steady progress in getting power restored to Westporters. We don’t know when full power will be available. We hope it is only days.

“Here in very short-hand form is some information I want you to know:

“School opening, originally scheduled for today, has been delayed to at least Thursday because of unsafe conditions on roadways.

“CL&P asks if you are without power, please call 1 800 286-2000 to tell them, even if you have called previously. Do not assume they know. Again that number is 1 800 286 2000.

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08/30/11 10:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Beaches Closed to Swimming Until Further Notice

The Westport Weston Health District today ordered Westport beaches continue to be closed to swimming until further notice because of untreated sewage spills into local waterways and Long Island Sound.


08/30/11 07:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cycle Officer Hurt in Accident Image
UPDATE A Westport police officer, Craig Bergamo, suffered minor injuries today in an accident on Long Lots Road near Bayberry Lane, police said. The officer, a five-year veteran, was traveling eastbound on Long Lots Road when he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on Bayberry Lane, police said. Several witnesses said the vehicle pulling out of Bayberry Lane did not stop for the stop sign, police said. The incident happened near Hyde Lane and Long Lots Elementary School where many parents were attending pre-opening school activities, creating heavy traffic in the area. Police said the cycle suffered some damage in the crash. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/30/11 07:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Historical Society Offers Free WiFi

The Westport Historical Society said today it is offering free WiFi “indoors or outdoors” to Westporters who need Internet access because of loss of power at home.


08/30/11 07:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Trying to Clear Roseville Image
Utility crews worked on Roseville Road near Lehn Farm Road trying to clear the major roadway. CL&P said it had a dozen crews working to clear what the Public Works Department estimated were more than 100 trees down, not all of them involving wires. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/30/11 07:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fire Chief: Schools Will Remain Closed for ‘Safety Reasons’

UPDATE Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, the town’s emergency management director, today ordered Westport schools remain closed on Wednesday for safety reasons. Image
Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury and Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff check out a downed tree on Clinton Avenue today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“After a review this morning of the general conditions of Westport’s roads with electrical wires and trees still in a dangerous condition, I have determined, in consultation with Acting Police Chief Dale Call, that it would be unsafe to open schools as we hoped on Wednesday,” Kingsbury said in a letter to Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon.

“Although we have worked hard to try to get to a point where we are confident about the safety of having a school opening, it is clear on an updated evaluation that we are not there yet. The risk of danger to anyone is not worth taking a chance.

“As to Thursday, we will continue to evaluate conditions and invite your continued attendance at our daily Emergency Operations Center meetings, including 4 p.m. today and 8 a.m. on Wednesday.”

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08/30/11 05:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Family Y Offers Hospitality

The Westport Weston Family Y is open until 9:30 p.m. , offering Westporters the ability to shower, work out, connect to WiFi, and charge electronic equipment.


08/30/11 04:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Town Extends Transfer Station Hours

Westport Public Works Department said today the Sherwood Island Connector Transfer Station hours have been extended to 5 p.m. daily through Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.


08/30/11 12:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Water Views Got Closer Image
The water views of residents along Westport’s Compo Beach Road got a lot closer during Irene’s Sunday visit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


08/30/11 04:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Kayaking Along Compo Beach Road Image
Kayakers made theri way along Compo Beach Road during Sunday’s storm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


08/30/11 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Suddenly Last Summer”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/30/11 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Gains Made in Restoring Power

Crews worked through the night and day to restore power to the thousands of Westport customers in the dark as the result of Tropical Storm Irene.

At 11:30 p.m., CL&P said 4.545 customers or 36 percent of those in Westport were still without power.

This represented a gain of slightly more than 2,000 customers restored in three hours tonight.


08/30/11 03:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Row in for a Drink Image
Water lapped up to the front of the Black Duck in Westport’s Saugatuck area as Tropical Storm Irene slammed into the area on Sunday. WestportNow will be publishing some of the many pictures of the storm over the next few days as submitted by WestportNow contributing photographers and readers. We are grateful for your contributions. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tim Luciano for


08/30/11 12:51 AM Comments () • Permalink

More Trees Fall

Westport police and fire units closed off Kings Highway South tonight after a tree fell near No 36.


08/30/11 12:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

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