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Friday, February 24, 2012

Harrison ‘Checks Out’ Westport Inn

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Harrison Bernstein, the Westport 8-year-old who runs his own food website (See WestportNow Dec. 20, 2011), spent the day at the Westport Inn today learning all about hotel operations. At the end of the day, Harrison, a third grader at Sagatuck Elementary School, presented a check to his favorite charity, Westport-based Save the Children. The funds raised on his website include payment for his day at the Inn. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/24/12 12:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Hands-On Experience

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Westporter Harrison Bernstein, 8, gets some hands-on experience today at the Westport Inn where he spent the day learning all about hotel operations. The third grader hopes one day to own a hotel or restaurant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/24/12 12:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Market

Today’s Westport Winter Farmers Market at Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens on Sylvan Lane South featured a variety of offerings. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


02/23/12 08:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Urban Outfitters Aiming at March Opening

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Urban Outfitters, the trendy clothing chain with the 18- to 30-year-old as its target customer, will open at 101-107 Post Road East—with a second entrance on Church Lane across from the Family Y (above)—around March 9, according to a worker on site. He said the shop is in the process of furniture deliveries and inventory stocking. The new outlet of the Philadelphia-based company which also owns Anthropolgie and four other brands, is part of the 11,600-square foot space at 101 and 107 Post Road East that was previously occupied by TDBanknorth. Urban Outfitters also has Connecticut stores in Greenwich, Farmington (Westfarms Mall) and New Haven (Yale campus.) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/23/12 06:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for Opening

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- Workers prepare the interior of Urban Outfitters which is scheduled to open next month with entrances on Post Road East and Church Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/23/12 06:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

David R. Robotham, 60

David Ray Robotham, a former Westport resident and Staples High School graduate, died Feb. 20 at his home in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.  He was 60.

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David Robotham: ran Westport lobster company. Facebook.com photo

He was preceded by his mother Peggy Manchester, father Gordan Robotham, and stepfather Paul Manchester. He is survived by half brother Richard Robotham.

Raised in Westport, he graduated from Staples High School in 1969. In Westport, he distinguished himself as a young Sea Scout and in starting a successful scuba salvage company, SOS.

He attended Roanoke College in Salem, Va. and earned a B.S. in biology. After returning to Westport, he started Sound Island Lobster Co., Bridge Square, fishing for lobsters, selling them in his seafood stores and restaurant.

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02/23/12 05:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Spring-like Sunset

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Friends gathered Wednesday at Westport’s Compo Beach to view a spring-like sunset. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


02/23/12 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Toy Stories”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Next Stop: Westport!” & “The Cold War in Our Backyard”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s (7 Sylvan Lane) - Westport Farmers Market Winter Market
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Movie: “Cowboys & Aliens”


02/23/12 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

CEO: Y Gets a Show of Support for Sewers

By James Lomuscio

The CEO of the Westport Weston Family Y said tonight’s informational meeting about its bid to hook up the planned facility at Camp Mahackeno to a sanitary sewer system “went overwhelmingly well with neighbors.”

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Consultant Pete Romano addresses tonight’s meeting at the Westport Weston Family Y. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“We had about 30 people there, and the 15 who spoke were overwhelmingly supportive of the fact the Y would bring a sewer line closer to their property,” Rob Reeves said of the meeting held at the Y’s downtown Bedford Building.

Y officials plan to run an eight-inch diameter pipe from their property, a pipe that will go under Lee’s Pond to a neighborhood on Calumet Road and Calumet Lane where residents seek sewers, Reeves said.

From there the line would continue to Clinton Avenue and head to the town’s sewage treatment plant, he said.

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02/23/12 04:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Renée E. Marguerite Paridaens, 88

Renée E. Marguerite Paridaens of Montreal, Canada, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 31 after a period of declining health. She was 88.

Born in Brussels, Belgium on Feb. 22,1923, she was the daughter of the late Dr. Robert and Berthe (Michel) Paridaens.

The youngest of four children, she was raised and educated in Belgium and was a graduate in archeology from Louvain University. 

After World War II, she was married on May 21, 1948 to Stefan Ferdynand Hawlena in England and emigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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02/23/12 03:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 20 Church St. South

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 20 Church St. South, located between Post Road East and the Greens Farms Congregational Church, is in process. Built in 1936, the two-story colonial has 1,092 square feet and is situated on a .26-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 WestportNow.com


02/23/12 01:44 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Police Dog Lola and Handler Heinmiller Honored

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Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today presented an official commendation to Police Service Dog Lola and handler Officer Marc Heinmiller on Lola’s retirement after 10 years of service to the Westport Police Department. “The big question now is ‘Does whatever Lola wants, Lola gets’?,” asked Joseloff. Heinmiller responded that she may get an extra dog bone. The department is seeking $10,000 from public donations to get a replacement for Lola.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/22/12 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Goodwill Aiming for March Opening

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Workers today prepared the interior of the new Goodwill building at 1700 Post Road East, Westport, site of the former Peppermill Restaurant.  According to Dot Viets, Goodwill community relations director, “We are shooting to open on March 23.” But she added: “We cannot commit to that date because we don’t want to disappoint anyone. We should know soon.” Goodwill Industries of Western Connecticut purchased the property in January 2011 for $3 million. Goodwill is moving from its present location at 1572 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/22/12 09:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Oil Analyst Warns of Higher Gas Prices in State

Motorists should be aware of the likelihood of a sharp rise in gasoline prices in the next few days and through the weekend in Connecticut, an oil analyst said today.

“I expect stations to increase prices as much as 5-20 cents per gallon by the conclusion of the weekend with some stations starting to raise prices immediately,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst.

DeHaan warned that a refinery fire in Washington state is boosting prices significantly throughout the entire West Coast region, and rising spot prices in Great Lakes area are boosting prices 30-45 cents per gallon today in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky.

Prices have also been reportedly rising fast in elsewhere in New England, Florida, and areas of the East Coast.

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02/22/12 06:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cooking Oil to Go

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Westport police released this photo of a van seized Tuesday following arrest of a Yonkers, N.Y. man accused of stealing cooking oil from Balducci’s Restaurant on Post Road East. He was also charged in a similar crime at a Norwalk restaurant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police photo


02/22/12 05:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Greasy Theft: NY Man Nabbed Stealing Cooking Oil

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Andrew Carnegie: held on larceny charge. Cablevision News-12 photo

UPDATE Westport police said today a 38-year-old Yonkers, N.Y. man arrested Tuesday after he was spotted stealing cooking oil from a Westport restaurant confessed to siphoning off used cooking oil from Connecticut eateries over the past two months.

Officer Sean Kelley pulled over Andrew Carnegie in his white van on Post Road East, responding to a Norwalk police report of a cooking oil theft at Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Westport Avenue not far from the Westport border, police said.

Westport police soon learned that the suspect’s vehicle was seen that day leaving Balducci’s on Post Road East where an undisclosed amount of used cooking oil was also stolen, according to Capt. Sam Arciola.

Private contractors typically buy the used oil, selling it to companies that recycle it for energy use, he said.

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02/22/12 04:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Caught in Oil Theft

Westport Police released these photos of a van it said was used by a Yonkers, N.Y. man to carry out theft of cooking oil from Balducci’s Restaurant Tuesday on Post Road East. It said Andrew Carnegie, 38, confessed to similar thefts in the area over the past two months. The cooking oil is sold to companies which recycle it for energy use, police said. Westport Police photos


02/22/12 04:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Catholics Mark Ash Wednesday

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Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable feast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter.  Today, Ash Wednesday is observed at masses and services of worship, where ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful. The priest, minister, or in some cases officiating layperson, marks the forehead of each participant with black ashes in the sign of the cross, which the worshiper traditionally retains until it wears off. Pictured at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., is the King family of Bellingham, Mass. Elizabeth King (purple jacket) said she is visiting her mother, Judy Mack of Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/22/12 04:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Slow Start to 2012

By Judy Szablak

This year the Westport real estate market is off to a slower start than 2011, something especially notable in view of the inclement weather of early last year and its impact on buyer activity.

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This home at 16 Surf Road is listed at $5 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of the Higgins Group - Tracy/Studwell.

The 31 sales reported in the first 45 days of this year slightly edge out last year by just one sale. With the unusually mild weather this year, sales should be more brisk.

Town-wide sales volume is down in this crucial 45-day year-over-year period by almost 25 percent. Inventory is up by almost 25 percent.

While the spring market is already upon us, don’t push pricing and don’t anticipate any seasonal price increases just yet. Stage your home properly to effect a sale in this still somewhat unsettled market.

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02/22/12 03:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

WN on the Scene: ‘One of the Most Influential Artists’

A preview of an exhibit of works by Cindy Sherman, widely recognized as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary art, drew crowds Tuesday night to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Bringing together more than 170 photographs, this retrospective survey traces the artist’s career from the mid 1970s to the present. “She’s undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of our time,” said Eva Respini, associate curator of photography at MoMA, who has spent the last two years organizing Sherman’s retrospective. The exhibit opens to the public on Sunday. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


02/22/12 11:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Deserted, Cool Compo

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Westport’s South Beach at Compo Beach was deserted late Tuesday as winds made the temperature in the 40s seem much colder. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


02/22/12 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Toy Stories”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Next Stop: Westport!” & “The Cold War in Our Backyard”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/22/12 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

RTM Committee Explores Future Projects

By James Lomuscio

A five-year financial plan for the Town of Westport, downtown revitalization and future uses of town-owned property led the list of 20 possible projects the Representative Town Meeting’s (RTM) Long-Range Planning Committee explored at Town Hall tonight.

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School vacation week limited member attendance at tonight’s RTM Long-Range Planning Committee meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“A lot of these are my imagination going wild,” quipped Jonathan A. Cunitz, committee chairman. “But I want to get a sense of which ones we would like to coordinate.”

With only five of the committee’s nine members present, Cunitz stressed that there would be no voting on which projects to present to the full RTM, just discussions. In addition to Cunitz, in attendance were Lois Schine, who presented a several page report on town-owned properties, Jack Klinge, Allen S. Bomes, and Dewey Loselle.

Regarding the financial forecast, Cunitz said the committee would have to coordinate with the Board of Finance and the RTM’s Finance Committee.

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02/22/12 04:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tyler Hicks Remembers Colleague Anthony Shadid

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Westport native Tyler Hicks, a prize-winning photographer, spoke today as family, friends and fellow journalists gathered on the campus of the American University of Beirut to pay homage to Anthony Shadid, the New York Times journalist and author who died in Syria last Thursday. Hicks was with Shadid when he suffered a fatal asthma attack and carried his body across the border into Turkey. (See WestportNow Feb. 17, 2012)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from Nytimes.com


02/22/12 02:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Teachers Unions Say ‘No’ to Malloy’s Tenure Plan

By By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Uma Ramiah


The state’s teachers unions may have reached agreement on how their members should be graded weeks ago, but today union leaders came to the state Capitol complex to display buyer’s remorse.

Calling it a “leap of faith,” when they signed on to the historic teacher evaluation framework, Phil Apruzzese, head of the state’s largest teachers union, told Education Committee members that he has second thoughts.

“We run the risk of losing good teachers, of evaluation becoming a ‘gotcha’ practice, and of establishing a culture of fear, rather than collaboration in our schools,” he said, describing the evaluation as “based on shaky factors” and “very subjective.”

The evaluations—which would be based largely on student performance, peer reviews and classroom observations—are the cornerstone of an education agenda proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who was a late addition to the list of public-hearing witnesses.

click here for more of story


02/22/12 01:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Himes: U.S. ‘Still in a Lot of Trouble’

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U.S. Rep. Jim Himes told the Westport Rotary Club today that the the nation “is still in a lot of trouble” but “the resiliency the American economy and the American people are starting to take hold.” Speaking about last week’s House passage of legislation banning insider trading by members of Congress, the two-term Democrat, a former Goldman Sachs banker, said it was long overdue. “It’s awful that legislation had to be passed,” he said. “You would think that adults would know better.” He cautioned, however, that he believes conflict of interest rules in Congress are still not tight enough. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/21/12 09:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ruth J. Schwindeman, 88

Ruth Bertha Johnsen Schwindeman of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 18 at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Bridgeport after a fall at home. She was 88.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was the daughter of George M. Johnsen and Elnora Zillah Ives. She was the widow of W. Richard Schwindeman.

She was a graduate of Saratoga Springs High School, where she established a record for speed typing. She later worked for the General Electric Co. in Schenectady and worked for many years in Stamford.

She lived for many years in Westport and was a member of the Weston Field Club. She was an avid tennis and bridge player and enjoyed many kinds of needlework and sewing. She adored the challenge of the New York Times crossword puzzle and was a lover of great books, her family said.

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02/21/12 07:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Oh, There They Are

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A pair of reading glasses was spotted dangling from a standpipe outside the former Cafe Manolo on Westport’s Church Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


02/21/12 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Conservation Commission Wetlands Boundary Map Verification Subcommittee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Toy Stories”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Next Stop: Westport!” & “The Cold War in Our Backyard”
10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - PageTurners: “Room” by Emma Donoghue
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Long Range Planning Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/21/12 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, February 20, 2012

Police Investigate Break-In at Mitchells

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Westport police today were investigating a break-in at Mitchells on Post Road East. Police responded Sunday night to a call that a private security firm was on the scene of a smashed front window at the store on Post Road East. A purse was reportedly found outside the store. A Mitchells spokeswoman said it was unclear what happened, but a source at the store said some merchandise had been taken. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/20/12 11:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

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