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Friday, April 27, 2012

P&Z Hears ‘Canopy’ and ‘Streamlining’ Amendments

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Planning and Zoning Comission (P&Z) heard a text amendment tonight that would make tents, canopies and fixed awnings exempted from building coverage provided that they have a storm water drainage plan approved by the Town Engineer.

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Attorney G. Kenneth Bernhard addresses tonight’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on behalf of Westport’s River House Restaurant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Text Amendment 649, submitted by Attorney G. Kenneth Bernhard on behalf of the River House Restaurant, seeks to modify the outdoor dining regulations amended by the P&Z last April.

“I think we’re enhancing the regulation,” said Bernhard, noting that the town’s Engineering Department helped craft the amendment.

He added that the restaurant has had an outdoor patio, which covers about 500 square feet, for more than 30 years, and that more people have been taking advantage of it since the canopy was installed.

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04/27/12 03:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Explaining the Downtown 2020 Committee Goals

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Lou Gagliano, chairman of the Downtown 2020 Committee appointed by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff updated the Planning & Zoning Commission tonight on his committee’s work. “It is important that we meet often with the P&Z,” Gagliano said of his committee’s sweeping goal of revitalizing the downtown.  Among the 2020 Committee’s goals are: improving river access, enhancing the streetscape, the addition of pocket parks, public restrooms, restructuring Parker Harding Plaza, rerouting traffic, a tiered parking garage, bike paths and walkways, all while preserving the town’s “character and historic fabric.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/27/12 03:08 AM Comments () • Permalink

Glenn D. Meeker, 85

Glenn Dale Meeker of Easton, a native Westporter and Staples High School graduate, died April 24. He was 85.

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Glenn D. Meeker: flew B17s and 747s. Contributed photo

The husband of Shirley Bulkley Meeker was born in Westport on July 24, 1925 to the late Ralph and Reatha (Gosnell) Meeker. He was a graduate of Staples High School and served as a second lieutenant with the Army Air Corp during World War II flying B-17s.

After 33 years, he retired as an airline captain flying 747s for Pan American World Airways.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, his daughter, Leanne (Donald) Pettit of Elkhart, Ind., his son, Russell of Manchester, and grandchildren Sarah (Luke) Dudley of Writtle, England, Kathryn (Thomas Mann) Meeker of London, England and Jeffrey (fiance Megan Caldwell) Meeker of Middlebury. He was predeceased by his brother George Meeker and sister Myrtle Miller.

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04/27/12 02:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

African Woman Tells of Village School Project

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A Kenyan woman who went from her small village to gain a U.S. education and promised to build a school for girls in her village made a return visit to Westport tonight. Kakenya Ntaiya, who last visited here in November 2008 (See WestportNow Nov. 17, 2008) addressed a meeting at Christ & Holy Trinity Church of the local chapter of the Vital Voices group which has conducted fund-raising for the school. She said the school opened its doors in 2009 and currently has 123 students enrolled, some seen on the screen behind her. Vital Voices is a not-for-profit organization launched by Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright to identify, train and empower women leaders around the globe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/27/12 02:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Teens Lend Support

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Kakenya Ntaiya, who has led efforts to build a school for girls in her native Kenyan village in return for being allowed to get a U.S. education, posed tonight with members of the Staples High School Teen Vital Voices group which has contributed funds for the project. They attended her presentation at a meeting of the local Vital Voices chapter at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. The high school group was started by Alexis Teixeira (2nd l.). Others are Kyra Hawrysh, Frankie Lynch, Datherine Lane,Taylor Hawes, and Jackie Appell. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/27/12 02:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

House Passes Sunday Liquor Sales

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas


The state House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved a bill legalizing liquor sales on Sundays and holidays starting July 1 and modestly easing liquor price controls—though far less than proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The measure, which passed 116-27 and now heads to the Senate, creates a new task force to study liquor pricing rules and also increases the number of package stores a permittee may own.

And a strange compromise was reached that still prohibits many convenience stores from selling liquor, but also scraps a plan to allow package stores to sell most snack foods.

The new legislation also would mean an extra $5.3 million in tax and fee revenues for the state’s coffers, which continue to face deficit forecasts.

Click here for more of story


04/27/12 12:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sailing in the Rain

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Today’s rainy weather did not stop these sailors heading out for a spin off Westport’s Compo Beach.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Goner for WestportNow.com


04/26/12 10:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

House Raises Minimum Wage, Presses Senate

By Mark Pazniokas


On a party-line, election-year vote, the House of Representatives voted 88-62 today for a compromise to raise the $8.25 minimum wage by 25 cents in each of the next two years, bringing pressure on a reluctant Senate to follow.

Ten Democrats joined all 52 Republicans in opposition, including Rep. William Tong of Stamford, a candidate for U.S. Senate, and Rep. Timothy Larson of East Hartford, the brother of U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, a Democratic congressional leader.

House Majority Leader J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, was out of state on private business and missed the vote.

To win passage, House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan, D-Meriden, a congressional candidate presiding over his last annual session, accepted a two-thirds reduction in his original proposal and abandoned an automatic cost-of-living provision.

Click here for more of story


04/26/12 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Family Y Launches TRX Suspension Training Classes

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The Westport Weston Family Y is now offering members a new workout option: TRX Suspension training classes. Developed for use by Navy Seals, the TRX concept is deceptively simple: dual straps with loops are connected to the ceiling or other anchor point. Users take hold of the loops or attach their feet to perform an array of movements, using gravity against their own body weight to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability. The Y’s first TRX session attracted a capacity crowd on Wednesday. “It was an action-packed class, and we all were challenged,” said Judy Samuels, who helped teach the class with Fitness Director Shelley Moll (c. in white top). “The great thing about both new workouts is the variety and countless different exercises—members will not get bored!” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/26/12 08:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Don’t Blame the Trucks

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Driving to Hartford the other day (no, you cannot really get there by train) I saw a beautiful sight: hundreds of trucks! What surer sign of an economic recovery?

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Yet, motorists hate trucks and mistakenly blame them for traffic congestion and accidents that cause hours of delays.

Readers of this column know I’m a “rail guy” and would love to see freight trains replace trucks, but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.  But as motorists we should not blame truckers for traffic woes of our own

Check the facts and you’ll find most highway accidents are caused by motor cars, not the trucks drawn into the incidents.

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04/26/12 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 108 Long Lots Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 108 Long Lots Road is in process. Built in 1959, the one-story split has 1,555 square feet and is situated on a secluded 1.04-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


04/26/12 07:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Pay Attention to Curb Appeal

By Judy Szablak

The spring market is upon us, and competition is becoming fierce. There are almost 140 homes available in Westport in the $1 million to $2 million range alone.

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Featured Home: This home at 19 Duck Pond Road is listed at $3,350,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of The Higgins Group/Westport

Sometimes the only stumbling block in getting a showing, and subsequent offer, on your home lies solely on how it appears from the outside.

The importance of one’s initial impression,  commonly referred to as curb appeal, cannot be overlooked—even when your home’s interior is superb in every way.

When most homeowners think about staging their property, they are primarily concerned with the interior, and may tend to forget about the exterior.

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04/26/12 06:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Two Police Officers Promoted

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Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff addresses today’s promotion ceremony at Westport Police headquarters which saw Sgt. David Farrell (l) promoted to lieutenant and Office Ryan Paulsson promoted to sergeant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/26/12 04:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Full House for Police Promotion Ceremony

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There was a full house in the Westport Police Department classroom today for the promotion ceremony of Officer Ryan Paulsson (l) to sergeant and Sgt. David Farrell to lieutenant. In the second row are Farrell’s family (l-r) wife Alison holding Jocelyn, 18 months, Olivia 4, and Farrell’s sister, Katie D’Amura. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/26/12 04:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Capturing the Moment

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Newly promoted Westport Police Sgt. Ryan Paulsson today poses with daughter Emmalyn, 6 months, as wife Jacqie captures the moment at the police promotion ceremony at Westport Police headquarters.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/26/12 03:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

House Votes to Legalize ‘Medical Marijuana’

By Mark Pazniokas


The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to legalize the production, distribution and use of marijuana as a palliative for the chronically ill, reviving Connecticut’s role in a national debate. The final vote was 96-51.

Seventeen Republicans joined 79 Democrats in support, while 17 Democrats joined 34 Republicans in opposition. If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor as proponents expect, Connecticut will join the ranks of states with a softening attitude toward the dangers and beneficial uses of marijuana.

[Reps. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136) of Westport and Kim Fawcett (D-133) of Fairfield, whose district includes part of the Greens Farms area of Westport, voted in favor.]

Debate circled around notions of mercy, limits of medicine and fears of abuse, but mainly questions of practicality: How can the state regulate the sale of a controlled substances whose production and sale are expressly prohibited by federal law?

Click here for more of story


04/26/12 09:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for Castles in the Sand

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Homes with Hope president Jeff Wieser poses with a lobster as Kowalsky Brothers equipment and operator smooth out the Compo Beach sand. The photo shoot was to remind Westporters that the Homes with Hope 11th annual Castles in the Sand sculpture competition fund-raiser will be held at Compo Beach on Saturday, May 12 from noon to 4 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/26/12 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 26, 2012

10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - iPad Workshop: Take Your iPad to the Next Level
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Next Stop: Westport!” & “The Cold War in Our Backyard”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - SOLOS Exhibition and “Guide to Paris: Sketches by Susan Malloy”
11 a.m. - Westport Police Classroom - Promotion ceremony
2 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey on the Big Screen
5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Live Well in Westport Workshop
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Just Out on DVD: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/26/12 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Malloy Signs Death Penalty Ban

UPDATE Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today signed legislation into law that abolishes Connecticut’s death penalty for future crimes, his office announced.

Malloy called it “an historic moment” as Connecticut joins 16 other states that have abolished capital punishment. He said it was a moment “for sober reflection, not celebration.”

About 30 invited guests crowded into the governor’s office at the state Capitol to watch him sign the bill, the Hartford Courant said. Among them were members of the clergy, legislative leaders, and people who have lost family members to homicide.

Gail Canzano, whose brother-in-law was murdered in Hartford in 1999, said the mood in the room was serious and respectful, the Courant said.

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04/25/12 09:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Jeannine M. Brady, 58

Jeannine M. Brady, a school nurse in Norwalk and wife of former Westport Deputy Schools Superintendent and Staples High School Principal John J. Brady, died April 25, at her Westport home after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 58.

She was born in 1954 in Worcester, Mass. to Alfred Gosselin and Beverley (Graton) Gosselin.

She is survived by her parents, three children, Christopher, his wife Andrea Villanti and their daughter Nora; Caitlin and her wife Marianne and Marissa; three siblings, Denise Healey of Worcester, Paul of Cambridge, Mass., and David of Lexington, Ky. and her husband of 38 years, John J. Brady, who recently retired as superintendent of schools for the Amity Regional School District. 

John Brady joined the district after 10 years in a variety of roles in Westport, including a three-year stint as deputy superintendent. He was principal at Staples from July 2002 when he replaced Gloria Rakovic to October 2004.

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04/25/12 07:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Take Back Day’ Drug Collection Set for Saturday

The Westport Police Department, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, on Saturday will provide another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs in what has become known as “Take Back Day.” WestportNow.com Image
Officers Bob Meyer (l) and Ned Batlin help collect prescription drugs at a previous “Take Back Day.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Residents are asked to bring medications for disposal to the rear of Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked, police said.

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. 

In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds—nearly 500 tons—of pills, the DEA said.

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04/25/12 06:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Close Call on Compo Road South

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An accident involving a meat delivery truck and two cars sent two persons to Norwalk Hospital today with non-life threatening injuries. A firefighter examines a car that collided with the truck as it attempted to turn left on to Thomas Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/25/12 03:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Multi-Vehicle Accident on Compo Road South

UPDATE An accident involving two cars and a meat delivery truck on Westport’s Compo Road South at Thomas Road today sent two persons to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and snarled traffic in the area.

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Westport firefighters work to extricate an accident victim today on Compo Road South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Fire Department had to use extrication tools to remove one of two persons from a car that ended up against a stone wall.

Witnesses said the car was making a left turn on to Thomas Road when it collided with a meat delivery truck. The car struck another vehicle at the stop sign on Thomas Road before going into the stone wall.

Police closed off portions of nearby streets while emergency personnel worked at the scene.

Dave Matlow contributed reporting.


04/25/12 02:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Town: Single Stream Recycling is Working, Saving Money

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Steve Edwards: “Single stream recycling is working.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said today that that since Westport began single stream recycling in July 2011, the tonnage of recyclables collected has soared 167 percent, resulting in about a $220,000 annual savings to the town.

From July 2010 through March 2011, a total of 937.26 tons of recyclables were collected in Westport, while in the last nine months (July 2011 through March 2012) a total of 2506.20 tons were collected—an increase of 1568.94 tons or 167 percent, Edwards said.

While the environmental benefits of recycling are obvious, the financial implications of removing almost 1570 tons of waste from the incinerator are just as substantial, he said.

Westport solid waste is currently disposed of at the Wheelabrator Incinerator in Bridgeport at a total cost (incineration, trucking, transfer station operation) of approximately $85 per ton, Edwards said.

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04/25/12 01:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Another Compo Beauty

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Tuesday’s sunset as seen from South Beach at Westport’s Compo Beach. The houses are on Owenoke Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/25/12 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Next Stop: Westport!” & “The Cold War in Our Backyard”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - SOLOS Exhibition and “Guide to Paris: Sketches by Susan Malloy”
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Bedford Middle School - 9th Annual Museum of Fine Artists Exhibition
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 307 – Deer Management Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Long Range Planning Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Public Works Committee
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Westport Public Library Board

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/25/12 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Westport2025: Preparing Students to Compete Globally

By James Lomuscio

Even with the Westport school system’s stellar reputation as a “lighthouse district,” school administrators are ratcheting up the curriculum here to prepare students to compete globally as thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

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Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon addresses tonight’s meeting at the Westport Public Library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

That was the thrust of “Westport2025: Meeting the Global Challenge,” a presentation that drew 40 parents, school board members and the curious to the McManus Room at the Westport Public Library tonight.

“We recognize that we in the United States are at a disadvantage when you look at countries like China and Finland,” said Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, who launched the Westport2025 initiative.

“But we are a lighthouse district,” he added, noting that other school systems often look to Westport to follow its lead on successful educational approaches.

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04/25/12 03:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Richard M. Crain, 61

Richard Miles Crain, DMD of Westport, died April 21 at.Norwalk Hospital. He was 61.

He was born in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., a son of the late Samuel and Sheila Crain, and was a graduate of Syracuse University. He received his doctorate degree from Tufts University School of Dentistry, and post doctorate degree from the University of Illinois.

He practiced dentistry for more than 30 years in Larchmont, N.Y., and taught at New York University Dental School.

He had a passion for skiing, art, piano, trumpet, cooking, and ice cream entrepreneurship.

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04/25/12 02:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thomas R. Long, Sr., 81

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Thomas R. Long, Sr.: 50-year Westporter. Contributed photo

Thomas R. Long, Sr., a Westport resident for 50 years, died April 19 in Norwalk Hospital of heart failure. He was 81.

Son of Roy and Charlena Clough Long, he was born in Albany, Vt. on Dec. 22, 1930. He grew up in Albany on the family farm. Educated in a one-room schoolhouse with no running water or electricity, he completed grades 1– 8 in seven years and graduated Orleans, Vt. High School (with honors).

He served one year in the U.S. Navy. He was married for life to Elaine Miles in 1949 and recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary.

He is survived by Elaine, his sons Edward, Thomas Jr., Dana Long, his daughters-in-law Andree, Melinda, Jacqueline, grand-daughters Samantha, Emma, Amanda Long and Elizabeth Thompson.

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04/25/12 02:18 AM Comments () • Permalink

Francis P. Bosco, Jr., 94

Francis P. Bosco, Jr., of Hollywood, Fla., formerly of Westport, son of the late Margaret and Francis P. Bosco, Sr., died April 9 in Hospice by the Sea, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., after a long battle with cancer. He was 94. 

He was born on July 5,1917, in White Plains, N.Y. and lived in Scarsdale, N.Y. until coming to Westport in 1928. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, where he was a “center” on the football team for four years, he attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Being tall and “rangy,” he tried out for crew instead of football, and was “stroke” of the freshman crew his first year, then stroked the varsity crew for his remaining three years. When on vacation, Frank, as he was called, was a familiar sight, quietly rowing from point to point at Compo Beach in his single “gig” which he kept at his parents’ house on Soundview Drive. 

He served in World War II as a Medical Supply Officer in the Pacific Theater of the war, from the spring of 1941 through autumn of 1945.

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04/25/12 02:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

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