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Thursday, May 31, 2012

FBI Arrests Chris Donovan’s Congressional Fundraiser

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

The finance director for House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan’s congressional campaign was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents and charged with illegally concealing the source of $10,000 in campaign contributions, authorities said today.

Donovan fired the fundraiser, Robert Braddock Jr., and his campaign manager, Josh Nassi, and hired Tom Swan of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group to take over a campaign 10 weeks from the Democratic primary on Aug. 14.

Braddock Jr., 33, of Meriden, was arrested at his home on a criminal complaint that says he conspired with others to hide contributions from a person who wanted to kill a tobacco tax bill before the General Assembly. Nassi was not charged, but an unnamed campaign aide was implicated by the authorities.

The money came from an interest opposed to a proposal to tax roll-your-own cigarettes, according to an affidavit on file in U.S. District Court. The tax bill never came to a vote.

Click here for more of story


05/31/12 10:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Students Aid Bridgeport Gardeners Image
Four interns from Westport’s Staples High School visited Curiale School in Bridgeport today to work with students harvesting lettuce at their newly built edible garden. They then helped prepare and serve salad to all the students in the cafeteria. Ryan Lach, Anya Rosen, James Conroy and Melanie Mignucci are spending their senior internship in Bridgeport building, planting and harvesting food at 11 completed edible school gardens. They are working with Westport-based GVI, a nonprofit which has committed to build edible gardens at all 36 schools in Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


05/31/12 08:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Italian Restaurant to Riverside Ave. Image
A new Italian restaurant, Arezzo, will open at Westport’s 5 Riverside Ave. “hopefully in late July,” according to Daniel Saat (above) who co-owns the business with Adele Dezlinnocenti, both New York residents. Saat said the restaurant, which will provide valet parking, will feature prime steaks, seafood and pasta with a northern Italy influence and a full wine list. The 3,200-square feet location will have seating for 80 diners inside and 24 diners outside “with a river view,” he added. “We always wanted to open a restaurant in Westport,” Saat said. “We could have opened in South Norwalk but Westport is where we want to be.”  The prior occupant was Napoli Sul Fume which closed in December 2010. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/31/12 08:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Slow Recovery

By Judy Szablak

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices show that all three headline composites ended the first quarter of 2012 with new post crisis lows. But prices were up in March from February for the first time in seven months—perhaps the latest evidence that the troubled housing market is beginning a slow recovery. Image
This home at 10 Norwalk Ave. in Westport’s Compo Beach area is listed for $2,095,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Fingelly Real Estate-Westport/Barbara Gruning & Associates

“While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

Although the headlines in the March numbers were disappointing for the two composites and national index, which came up flat or went down to new lows,  it is somewhat encouraging to look at the details in a different way.

While all three composites and five cities hit new lows, if you look at these same indices on a city by city basis,  there are peaks and valleys for all 20 cities, and the valleys aren’t as low as they were.

More "Real Estate Report: Slow Recovery"


05/31/12 03:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Roadside Pesticide Spraying Set to Begin June 4

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards has announced that Westport will be performing the annual roadside pesticide spraying for weeds around guide rails and areas overgrown with invasive weeds during the week of June 4, weather permitting.

Residents with questions regarding locations or product being sprayed should contact the Public Works, Highway Division at (203)341-5085, an announcement said.


05/31/12 03:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Have You Seen Charlie?

Charlie has been missing as of 7:30 pm May 30th.  He’s got a black collar with white skulls on it and he’s approximately ten pounds.  There’s a reward.  Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


05/31/12 02:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for Saturday Dachshund Reunion Image
Westporters Sheila and John Weiss, proud owners of three “rescue Dachshunds,” get their dogs ready for the 14th annual Westport Dachshund Reunion Saturday 1-3 p.m. (raindate Sunday) on Jesup Green in front of the Westport Public Library.  There will be a silent auction, rescue dog parade, and games and events for participants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/12 01:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Boys Lacrosse Advances in State Tourney Image
The Staples boys varsity Lacrosse team (13th seed) traveled to (4th seed) Norwich Free Academy Wednesday to compete in the first round of the state playoffs. They came away with a 11-4 victory with six of the goals scored by Junior Joey Zelkowitz. Staples meets (5th seed) Fairfield Prep Saturday at 4 p.m. at Prep in the quarterfinal round. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ed Strauss for


05/31/12 12:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Mother at Maine Hearing on Fatal Crash Image
Tess Meisel: died in 2011 Maine crash. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The mother of a 12-year-old Westport girl killed last summer when her camp van was struck by a tractor-trailer said she will be at a Maine hearing today as the truck driver contests his three-year license suspension.

“I am attending the hearing with some of the campers and counselors involved in the crash,” Suzanne Tanner, mother of Tess Meisel, said in an email. She believes the three-year license suspension is insufficient.

“The State of Maine adjudicated that his driving used ‘imprudent speed’ (41.4) in a 30 mph zone,” Tanner said.

The driver, Charles Willey, plans to challenge the suspension at a Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles administrative hearing in Augusta.

More "Westport Mother at Maine Hearing on Fatal Crash"


05/31/12 11:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 a.m. – Earthplace – Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Imperial Avenue Commuter Lot - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Sound & the Saugatuck” & “Watershed Moments”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - SOLOS Exhibition and “Guide to Paris: Sketches by Susan Malloy”
5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Live Well in Westport Workshop
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Jazz Jam Thursdays
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


05/31/12 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Star-Studded Salute to Levinson at Library

By James Lomuscio

Tonight’s 14th annual Booked for the Evening Westport Library Award honoring Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson drew hundreds to the library’s Great Hall where star-studded accolades celebrated the filmmakers’ contributions to American culture. Image
Director Barry Levinson accepts the Booked for the Evening Award from Maxine Bleiweis, library director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Actors Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry lauded Levinson’s storytelling genius. So did film critic Michael Sragow, who noted that Levinson writes and directs “in the spirit of play making his complex movies from “Diner” to “Justice for All” to “The Natural,” “Bugsy” and “Rain Man,” for which he won the Academy Award “seem effortless.”

Prerecorded tributes came in from Hollywood’s heavy hitters, as well, including Robert DeNiro, who quipped he was sorry he could not be there, “I wasn’t invited,” to Danny DeVito, who starred in Levinson’s “Tin Men” to Robin Williams, who had the leads in “Good Morning Vietnam” and Levinson’s “Man of the Year.”

In praising Levinson, Williams also made a pitch for supporting the library.

More "Star-Studded Salute to Levinson at Library"


05/31/12 02:51 AM Comments () • Permalink

Honored by the Library Image
Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson addresses tonight’s Booked for the Evening benefit event at the Westport Public Library.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


05/31/12 02:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Honoring an Oscar Winner

Highlights of tonight’s Booked for the Evening at the Westport Public Library honoring film director Barry Levinson. Larry Untermeyer for


05/31/12 02:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Motorcyclist and Car Collide on Riverside Avenue Image
A motorcyclist and a car collided late today on Westport’s Riverside Avenue near Sylvan Road South. It was not know if there were any injuries.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


05/30/12 11:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Slow Go on Riverside Image
Traffic was slow along Westport’s Riverside Avenue today after an accident involving a car and a motorcycle. A witness said the cyclist was able to get up and walk around following the crash.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


05/30/12 11:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Baron’s South Focus of School Bus Subcommittee

By James Lomuscio

With the goal of using town land to park 46 school buses instead of renting space for $250,000 a year, the Westport school board’s School Bus Subcommittee met at Town Hall today with town officials, engineers and a bus company executive. Their focus—1.2 acres of the 32- acre town-owned Baron’s South property. Image
Buses lined up at the DATTCO school bus depot on Westport’s Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The Baron’s South location topped the list of 10 alternate sites that the subcommittee, working with Michael Rea of the Board of Finance and Allen S. Bomes of the Representative Town Meeting, had examined.

“There are a lot of possibilities, but this is the best one you have because you own the land,” said Rea.

“Trying to save the taxpayer money in the key, ultimate goal,” Elaine Whitney, who serves on the bus subcommittee with school board member Mark Mathias, reminded the group.

More "Baron’s South Focus of School Bus Subcommittee"


05/30/12 11:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Checking Out the Bijou for Film Festival Image
Staff members from the Westport Arts Center traveled to Bridgeport today to visit the Bijou Theatre, 275 Fairfield Ave., to check out the venue for Saturday’s Westport Youth Film Festival (WYFF). Evan Neidich WYFF director, looks over the audience accommodations. Tickets available at or the Bijou box office. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


05/30/12 07:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Closed Readying for Booked for the Evening Image
The Westport Public Library is closed today so workers can set-up for the annual Booked for the Evening benefit. tonight. It will honor Barry Levinson, the Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter. He was awarded Best Director for the multiple award-winning “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, and nominated for 10 Academy Awards for directing and producing “Bugsy.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/30/12 05:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thunderstorm Brings Power Outages

A fast-moving line of thunderstorms passed through Westport Tuesday night, bringing down trees and power lines.

Connecticut Light & Power Co. said 57 Westport customers were in the dark at 9:40 a.m. today.

The utility said at mid-morning all customers had been restored.


05/30/12 01:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Photo Fun Image
Some visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach on Tuesday have some photo fun. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/30/12 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Library Closed All Day in Preparation for Booked for the Evening event
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Sound & the Saugatuck” & “Watershed Moments”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - SOLOS Exhibition and “Guide to Paris: Sketches by Susan Malloy”
7 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Benefit: Booked for the Evening, Barry Levinson
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Deer Management Subcommittee B
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Green Task Force

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


05/30/12 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

UPDATE The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Westport and area until 9:15 p.m.

The Severe Thunderstorm Watch continues until 10 p.m.


05/30/12 01:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Old Post Office to Become Spacious Restaurant

By Dave Matlow

UPDATE (adds additional broker information) A new restaurant in Westport’s old post office at 154 Post Road East will feature a sweeping bar, banquet rooms, and outdoor dining, according to broker Franco Fellah. Image
The new restaurant will feature a sweeping bar on the main floor, outdoor dining, and private basement banquet rooms. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Fellah, executive vice president of Westport’s HK Group, said the deal was completed last week for the 4,650-square foot main floor and 4,200-square foot lower level.

Fellah represented the landlord, Ansley Westport Partners, LLC, and Sharon Maddern of David Adam Realty represented the tenant, 154 Post LLC. Construction is expected to take at least six months.

Fellah did not identify the restaurant principals or the type of restaurant planned for the 1935-built structure. Ansley Westport Partners, an Atlanta-based investment group, purchased the property last May for $2.35 million. A representative said after the purchase he hoped it would “enhance” Westport’s future. (See WestportNow May 21, 2011)

More "Old Post Office to Become Spacious Restaurant"


05/29/12 11:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Earning a Badge Distinction Image
Andrew Berry of Westport’s Boy Scout Troop 100 helped out at the Minute Man Yacht Club annual flag ceremony marking the opening of the boating season. His efforts allowed him to earn a distinction for his Citizenship and Community Merit Badge.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Gina Berry for


05/29/12 10:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gabriel Is Home

Found Spaniel
Gabriel was reunited with his family with the help of WestportNow, Dr. Charles Noonan and the Westport Police Department. Thank-you!


05/29/12 09:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rotary Hears Downtown Plans Image
Lou Gagliano, chairman of Westport’s Downtown 2020 Committee appointed by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today told the Westport Rotary Club that among its goals is to “make Westport’s downtown more vital, livable and pedestrian friendly” and “to create more recreational opportunities without making the downtown a parking lot.”  “We want to make downtown Westport the place to be,” he said. “That includes preserving the historic fabric without getting in the way of responsible development.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/29/12 07:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 19 Bayberry Lane Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 19 Bayberry Lane is in process. Built in 1949, the 1 1/2-story cape has 1,376 square feet, is situated on a contiguous 2.14-acre property (includes 17 Bayberry Lane), and changed ownership in April for $1,775,000.  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


05/29/12 05:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Robert F. Melville, 82

Robert F. Melville died May 25 at OceanView Retirement Community in Falmouth, Maine. He was 82.

Born in The Hague, Holland, as Robert Augustus Henry Richard John Melvill van Carnbee, he was the son of Henry John and Virginia (Etnier) Melvill van Carnbee. He emigrated to the United States as a young boy in 1935 and was naturalized as Robert Frederic Melville.

Raised in Westport, he attended South Kent School and then Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard Class of 1951 with a degree in government.

He was a U.S. Army veteran having served in the Korean War.

More "Robert F. Melville, 82"


05/29/12 03:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hazy End to Memorial Day Weekend Image
It was a somewhat hazy end to the long Memorial Day weekend on Monday. View is at the Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/29/12 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Downtown 2020 Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Sound & the Saugatuck” & “Watershed Moments”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - SOLOS Exhibition and “Guide to Paris: Sketches by Susan Malloy”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall - RTM Finance Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


05/29/12 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

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