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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reminder: Liquor Stores Closed Mondays Dec. 26, Jan. 2

Connecticut’s Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein reminded residents today that liquor stores will be closed on the Mondays after Christmas and New Year’s Day this holiday season.

He said because both holidays fall on Sundays, no retail sales of liquor will be allowed on those two Sundays, as well as the following two Mondays.

There will also be no beer sales in food stores on those Mondays.

While there was an effort this year to repeal Connecticut’s ban on Sunday liquor sales, it failed in the General Assembly.


12/24/11 05:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Curran Demolition Preps Under Way

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Demolition preparations were under way today for a section of Curran Cadillac, 561 Post Road East. According to a worker, the building will be demolished next week. Plans are in process to replace the structure with a new one that will be the home of Terrain, a shop for eco-friendly growing supplies, home and garden décor, furniture, containers, gifts, personal care items, locally sourced and prepared artisan foods. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/24/11 04:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ready for Christmas Eve Shoppers

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Westport’s Main Street early today was ready for last minute Christmas Eve shoppers. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/24/11 02:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dark Clouds Over Compo

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Westport’s weather was cloudy with some showers Friday afternoon as seen from Compo Beach. While the forecast called for Christmas Eve sub-freezing temperatures tonight, it did not predict any snow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


12/24/11 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, December 24, 2011 - Christmas Eve

Westport Public Library: Closed
11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Longshore PAL Ice Rink - public skating
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society -  “At Home with Stone” & “The Wit & Wisdom of Frazier Forman Peters”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


12/24/11 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Friday, December 23, 2011

All Quiet on the Saugatuck

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While roads and stores were crowded with last minute holiday shoppers today, it was quiet along the Saugatuck River near Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


12/23/11 10:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

John B. Lawrence, Jr., 86

John (“Jack”) B. Lawrence, Jr. died Dec. 21. He was 86.

He was born in 1925 in Mount Vernon, N.Y., the son of Evelyn (McCullough) Lawrence and John B. Lawrence, and grew up in White Plains. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Brown University, where he belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. 

After college, he worked as a reporter and writer for daily and weekly newspapers in New Jersey and as an editor and writer for a weekly insurance/business trade journal in New York City.

He then embarked on a career in public relations, first at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., where he was a member of the technical staff, and later in the corporate communications department of General Telephone & Electronics Corporation (GTE) in New York City and Stamford.

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12/23/11 04:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Coastal Flood Statement Issued

The National Weather Service in Upton. N.Y. has issued a Coastal Flood Statement for Westport and area affecting the immediate coast bordering western Long Island Sound.

The alert said tidal departures around 1 foot above astronomical tides are expected around time of high tide between 9 and 10 a.m.

It said there will be brief minor tidal flooding in vulnerable coastal flood prone locations as surge approaches or touches respective minor benchmarks this morning.

High tide in Westport is at 9:23 a.m.


12/23/11 12:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

First Winter Sunset

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The sunset on Thursday at Westport’s Compo Beach—the first day of winter. Mild temperatures in the 50s did not make it feel like winter. The good news is that sunsets will gradually get later until June. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


12/23/11 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, December 23, 2011

Westport Town Hall Closed
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society -  “At Home with Stone” & “The Wit & Wisdom of Frazier Forman Peters”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “On Duty: Odermatt, Metinides and Weegee”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


12/23/11 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Police Nab Saugatuck Burglary Suspect After Foot Chase

Westport police tonight announced the arrest of a 24-year-old Westport man –- taken into custody after a brief foot chase in Fairfield –- in connection with one of several Saugatuck area burglaries of mostly electronic items, some occurring while victims were asleep in their homes.

The arrest came as Westport’s Detective Bureau was already hard pressed investigating the Dec. 8 murder of jeweler Yekutiel Zeevi, 65, in his Compo Shopping Center business. The suspect is still being sought.

Jamel Washington of 42 Hiawatha Lane was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, interfering with an officer, and criminal violation of a protective order, police said. He was held on a $60,000 bond for a Dec. 29 court date.

Also arrested was Lauren Yaeger, 20, of Stamford, who, police said, had accompanied Washington. She was charged with interfering with an officer and criminal trespass and held on $5,000 bond for a Jan. 3 court date.

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12/23/11 02:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Police Seek ‘America’s Most Wanted’ Help

Westport police, frustrated by the lack of solid leads in the Dec. 8 murder of jeweler Yekutiel Zeevi, are enlisting the help of television’s “America’s Most Wanted” in the search for the killer.

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“We’re trying to get the word out to as many people as we can and figure this is one way to do it,” Chief Dale Call said today.

He said he hoped the television show—which says its episodes have resulted in the arrest of 1,165 fugitives since it first aired in 1988—will help detectives identify and track down the killer of Zeevi, 65, in his Compo Shopping Center business.

Police would not disclose any details of the investigation other than to say they continue to follow leads in the Philadelphia area where the suspect was videotaped a week before the Westport murder visiting several stores on “Jeweler’s Row.”


12/23/11 12:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Month Later, a Close Up of Church Fire Damage

By James Lomuscio

The extent of the devastation from the Nov. 20 Saugatuck Congregational Church fire became public today as church officials for the first time allowed news media to tour the interior of the 1832-built structure.

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A piano sits in a fire-damaged choir room of the Saugatuck Congregational Church today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

A web of rusted BX cable hung down from the charred rafter in the choir room, its roof breached by flames that shot higher than the steeple on that Sunday night little more than a month ago.

Nearly everything appeared lost in this top floor room, from the Palladian window’s blown out glass to the Steinway baby grand, its wood, the color of soot though doused by hours of fire hoses that night and the following day. Bowed and gray, a number of the piano’s ivories had shifted away from the wood keys.

“This was the hub of music,” said John Walsh, chairman of Saugatuck Congregational’s Board of Trustees. “Where that blue tarp is, there’s no floor underneath,” warned Betsy Gillespie, a church trustee.

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12/22/11 10:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Heartbreak Damage at Westport Church

The Saugatuck Congregational Church today for the first time allowed news media to see the interior devastation caused by the Nov. 20 fire. Westport fire investigators say they are still working to try to determine the cause. Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 10:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Graduation Day

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It was graduation day today for Westport firefighter John Nixon who completed 14 weeks of training at the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks. Nixon, who was sworn in last July to fill a position created by retirements, was one of 46 firefighters from 24 departments who have been undergoing intensive daily training since September focusing on developing knowledge, skills and abilities needed for entry level firefighters. Joining him for the ceremony were Deputy Chief Jon Gottfried (l) and Chief Andrew Kingsbury. Nixon is the son of Tom and Tracie Nixon. Tom, a deputy chief in the Greenwich Fire Department, grew up in Westport and graduated from Staples High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bernie Meehan Jr. for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 10:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

R.I.P. Barney

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Westport’s Earthplace today announced the death of Barney, a popular Burmese python who resided in its Animal Hall for more than 26 years. “Records indicate that Barney came to Earthplace before 1985 when he was too large for his owner to manage,” a news release said. It said in his prime, the snake was 12 feet long and weighed more than 80 pounds. It asked for donations to in his memory to provide food and supplies for all the animals at Earthplace. To donate, visit http://www.earthplace.org or contact the Development Office at 203-227-7253, ext. 102. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 09:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Party Time

It was holiday party time at Westport Town Hall today as town employees, elected officials, volunteers, and friends came together to celebrate the season. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 09:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Selectmen Approve New Actuarial Firm

Westport’s Board of Selectmen today unanimously approved in a special meeting a three-year a contract with Milliman, Inc., a nationally known consulting and actuarial firm, as the town’s new actuaries.

Finance Director John Kondub recommended the firm, which had also been chosen by a special committee made up of First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Second Selectwoman Shelly Kassen, two Board of Finance members from each party and a former member of the Representative Town Meeting.

According to Kondub, Milliman has extensive experience handing municipal pension and OPEB (other post employment benefits) matters. Nearby clients include Weston, Norwalk, and Ridgefield.

Milliman, based in Seattle and with offices nationwide, including Hartford, will take over from White Plains, N.Y.-based Pentegra Retirement Services. Pentegra has come under fire over the town’s OPEB liabilities estimated to be between $77 and $122 million over 30 years.

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12/22/11 08:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Low Power Lines

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Traffic on Westport’s Kings Highway South, between No. 50 and 50A, was reduced to one lane this afternoon due to a low hanging utility line which caused a neighborhood power outage. Officer Scott Morrison facilitates traffic patterns.  Police asked motorists to avoid Kings Highway South from Post Road West to Treadwell Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 08:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Longshore Golf Course Open Through Christmas Eve

Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy announced today that the Longshore Golf Course will close for the season at the end of play on Saturday, Christmas Eve.

“On behalf of the Town of Westport, Golf Professional John Cooper, Superintendent Dan Rackliffe and the entire staff at Longshore, we are happy to have been able to extend the season through Christmas Eve and wish all of our loyal Longshore golfers a Happy and Healthy New Year,” said McCarthy.

“We look forward to seeing you in the spring.”


12/22/11 07:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Colin A. Rankine, 47

Colin Alexander Rankine died Dec. 11. He was 47.

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Colin Rankine: 1981 Staples graduate. Contributed photo

Born in 1963, he spent the early years of his life in New York and Massachusetts. His family moved to Westport in 1967 where he went through the Westport school system, graduating from Staples High School in 1981.

After attending Duke University, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1985. He also earned an M.B.A. in finance and international business from New York University, where he was one of only two candidates awarded recognition as a Stern Scholar for Academic Excellence.

In 1989, he married Dawn Sesto, his wife of 22 years. Together they raised three children –- son Alex and daughters Emily and Heather. The family resided in Darien where they were active in the community sports and the Darien High School Theater and Arts programs. They recently relocated to their new home in Ridgefield.

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12/22/11 05:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Harold E. Vogt, 93

Harold E. Vogt, husband of the late Elizabeth Vogt, died Dec. 15. He was 93.

Born Sept. 25, 1918 in Farmer City, Ill. son of the late Leo and Lora (Scott) Vogt, he had been a longtime resident of Westport.

During World War II. he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corp. Following the war, he was employed as a banker with Citigroup in New York.

He was an avid reader and treasured the time he spent with his grandsons, his family said.

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12/22/11 04:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Banner Holiday Greeting

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A banner across Westport’s Main Street proclaims holiday greetings from downtown merchants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, December 22, 2011

5:30 a.m. - Northern Hemisphere - Winter Solstice
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Pension Investment Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society -  “At Home with Stone” & “The Wit & Wisdom of Frazier Forman Peters”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “On Duty: Odermatt, Metinides and Weegee”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s (7 Sylvan Lane) - Westport Farmers Market Winter Market
3 p.m. - Town Hall Lobby - Holiday party
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Movie: “Super 8”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


12/22/11 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Jacob Goldman, Technology Pioneer, Dies at 90

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Jacob E. Goldman: Xerox chief scientist. Marconisociety.org photo

Jacob (Jack) E. Goldman, who as Xerox’s chief scientist founded the company’s vaunted Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) which invented some of the most important computer technology innovations in history, including the laser printer, the first personal computer, and Ethernet LANs, died on Tuesday in Westport, The New York Times reported today. He was 90.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his son Melvin said, according to the newspaper. A 40-year Westport resident, the physicist lived in a home overlooking Long Island Sound with magnificent views of both Compo Beach and Old Mill Beach.

Goldman played an important role both at the Ford Motor Company, during the 1950s, and later at Xerox in the 1960s and 1970s, in financing basic scientific research in an effort to spark corporate innovation, the Times said.

It was Goldman who urged Xerox to establish in 1970 an industrial park next to Stanford, University.

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12/22/11 04:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Unplanned Detour for Classic Car Show

By James Lomuscio

The co-founder of Westport’s celebrated summertime antique car show, the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance, today said he only learned two weeks ago the show could no longer be held at the Fairfield County Hunt Club.WestportNow.com Image
The grand prize winner in the 2007 show was this 1931 Duesenberg. Event co-founders Bill Scheffler (l) and John Shuck looked over the car. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

“The president of its Board of Trustees sent us a letter about two weeks ago stating that it was stressing the staff and the facility,” said John Shuck, who in 2004 co-founded the event with fellow Westporter Bill Scheffler, show chairman.

The annual four-day show, which started out Veterans Green across from Town Hall and moved to the Hunt Club in 2007, drew more than 10,000 visitors this past September.

“It kind of reached critical mass, and we had thought about downsizing it a bit because we had traffic difficulties and neighbors complained about parking,” Shuck said. “We had to have people park off site at St. Vincent’s (Behavioral Health Services) down the road, and we had shuttle buses.”

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12/22/11 02:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating Hanukkah

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A giant menorah was lit tonight, the second night of Hanukkah, in front of the Wells Fargo Bank, 400 Post Road East. First Selectman Gordon Joseloff looked on as Rabbi Levi Stone of Westport’s Schneerson Center for Jewish Life lit the candles.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 01:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Dancing for Joy

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Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht (l) of Beth Israel Synagogue of Westport/Norwalk joins in dancing tonight on Westport’s Post Road East as a giant menorah was lit to mark the second night of Hanukkah. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 01:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

First Night Still Needs Volunteers

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The First Night Committee met tonight to complete plans for the family, nonalcoholic event in Westport’s center on New Year’s Eve that will feature two fireworks shows. The committee said volunteers are still needed and urged anyone interested to call Bill Meyer at (203) 226-3704. Pictured (l-r) are Barbara Pearson-Rac, president; George Underhill; Nancy Sherter; Frank Rac; Allen Bomes; Robert Hauck and Bill Meyer. For more information visit www.firstnightww.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


12/22/11 12:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Callista D. Healey, 94

Callista D. Healey of Fairfield, a teacher at Westport’s Green’s Farms Elementary School for 33 years, died Dec. 19. She was 94.

The wife of the late George J. Healey, Jr., she was the daughter of Frank and Isabella Donlon and was born on Dec. 8, 1917 in Stratford.

She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was a graduate of Harding High School, Bridgeport Normal School, New Haven State Teacher’s College and received her Master’s Degree in education, Magna Cum Laude, from Columbia University.

She taught 33 years at Green’s Farms School and was active in many organizations both educational and charitable.

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12/21/11 11:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

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