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Thursday, February 28, 2013

North Avenue Bridge to Close Six Months for Repairs

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The long-awaited rehabilitation of the North Avenue bridge over the Aspetuck River will get underway in early March, Westport Public Works Director Steve Edwards announced today. The contractor intends to begin demolition operations on March 18, Edwards said. Demolition and reconstruction will require closing the bridge to traffic for a period of approximately six months, through the summer and into early fall. Detours will be posted on both sides of the bridge, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/28/13 10:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Terry Farewell

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Friends and colleagues, including Maxine Bleiweis (l), director of the Westport Public Library, said farewell today to Terry Giegengack, assistant director of Westport’s Department of Human Services, at a Town Hall gathering.  After 23 years of service to the department, town, and Westport residents, she is leaving to become director of human and social services for the Town of Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/28/13 08:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Chamber Members Get Primer on School Violence

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Clinical Forensic Psychologist David Bernstein told members of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce at its Leadership luncheon series today that the three biggest profile components in mass violence events include backgrounds in bullying, depression and access to weapons. Speaking at Westport’s HSBC facility, 19 Post Road East, Bernstein said there are two types of threats: internal—violence committed at the school by current students—and external, which is impossible to predict. He said that schools need to start with policies and procedures that include a central reporting system into which information on students is provided from a variety of sources so that individual patterns can be documented. Bernstein, who recently testified before the state legislature’s school security working group, said that FBI records indicate 95 percent of school shooters are affiliated with the school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/28/13 08:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Bridge Closings Set for Monday and Tuesday

The Town of Westport has been notified that the Bridge Street bridge, formally known as the William J. Cribari Bridge, will be closed for part of Monday and Tuesday for repair work.

The swing bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff.

He said the contractor, Cianbro Construction Co., will be making repairs to the mechanical and electrical components of the bridge.

Signs and markings for detour routes will be posted, Joseloff said.


02/28/13 07:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

A. Reid Cross, 85

A. Reid Cross, a longtime resident of New Canaan and member of a number of community bands, including Westport, died of lymphoma on Feb. 26 at Smilow Cancer Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was 85.

He was born Dec. 31, 1927 in Stamford, the son of Arthur Reid Cross and Marjorie Davidson Cross of Darien. He attended Darien schools, graduating from Darien High School in 1945. He entered Bowdoin College, and after his freshman year he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Italy.

He returned to Bowdoin and graduated in 1950. Recalled to active duty in the army, he attended Officer Candidate School. Upon completion of this tour of duty he went to work for Pitney Bowes in Stamford.

In 1955, he married Nancy Bechert of Stamford. Taking a leave of absence from Pitney Bowes in 1965, he joined the U. S. Agency for International Development in Washington D.C. where he served as Kenya Desk Officer and also attended Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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02/28/13 04:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Girls Lacrosse Hosts Clinic

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The Staples High School girls lacrosse team on Wednesday hosted more than 60 Westport girls first through eighth grade for a lacrosse skills clinic. The event raised money for planned improvements to the girls lacrosse and field hockey field at Staples. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/28/13 03:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Lights

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Lights along the Riverwalk outside the Westport Public Library at dusk on Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


02/28/13 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, February 28, 2013

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “William Wegman: The Traveler”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Treasures Revealed: The WHS Archives & Collections” & “Inside Story”
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Just Out on DVD: “The Bourne Legacy”
7 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen Zombie Club
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – RTM Finance, Parks & Recreation, Public Works, Education and Public Protection Committees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/28/13 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Overflow Crowd for 136/Bayberry Traffic Meeting

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There was an overflow crowd tonight for a meeting to discuss potential improvements to the intersection of Bayberry Lane and State Route 136, (Easton Road). A traffic consultant outlined possible short and long-term solutions to be considered by the state Department of Transportation. During the meeting, a couple that owns a house at the intersection pledged to work with the town to cut back trees that limit the visibility when exiting Bayberry Lane Extension on to Easton Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/28/13 02:51 AM Comments () • Permalink

Town Posts RFP for Downtown Consultant

By James Lomuscio

With major development projects set for its downtown, the Town of Westport has posted an RFP (request for proposals) on its website for a consulting firm to plan for those changes as they pertain to parking, streetscape, traffic, the need for public restrooms and making better use of Saugatuck River views.

The RFP was made at the request of the Downtown 2020 Committee started more than a year ago by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff.

Projects include: Bedford Square, relocating the Westport Weston Family , a movie theater on Main Street, redevelopment of National Hall, rebuilding the Levitt Pavilion, the possible redevelopment of Save the Children, and the relocation the Westport Arts Center from Riverside Avenue to a 10,000-square-foot building adjacent to the library on Jesup Green.

According to the posting, the submission deadline for the RFP is March 14, and the proposal will be awarded by March 31. The selected firm will be charged with developing a Master Plan for Development and Implementation (MPDI) for the downtown.

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02/28/13 02:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Woman’s Club Welcomes Prospective Members

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The Westport Women’s Club held a prospective member wine and cheese reception tonight at its historic home at 44 Imperial Ave. Club president Mary Lee Clayton, in the second year of her three-year term, reminded the attendees and prospective members of the upcoming major fundraisers for the philanthropic service organization, including the Yankee Doodle Fair and plant sales in May. The club, founded in 1907, now boasts of 270 members. Enjoying the evening are WWC members (l-r) Leah Sherzer, Lina Mak-Chin, prospective member Pat Vezendy, Rose Jordan and Bobbie Herman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/28/13 01:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Firefighter in Dog Rescue: ‘It’s Our Job’

By Dave Matlow

UPDATE Firefighter Tobias Ostapchuk, who rescued a 9-year-old dog named Huckleberry from the icy waters of a Westport pond today, did not think for a moment that he was doing anything for praise.

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Westport Firefighter Tobias Ostapchuk: dog rescue was a team effort. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“No one does this for any type of recognition,” he said. “It’s our job.” 

Ostapchuk, who has been with the Westport Fire Department eight years, said the rescue at about 10:30 a.m. behind a house at 16 Hales Road was a team effort.

“There were 10 firefighters involved to support this effort in some way or another,” he said. “But this was the first time I was the guy who physically removed the animal from the water.”

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02/27/13 11:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

High Winds Bring Power Outages

UPDATE A storm brought high winds overnight and caused mid-day coastal flooding today as well as downed trees and scattered power outages in Westport.

A tree down with wires on Burr Farms Road trapped a school bus with about 15 to 20 children aboard for about an hour. No injuries were reported. Police and firefighters walked the children around the tree to a replacement bus.

Connecticut Light and Power Company said at 9:25 p.m. that two Westport customers were without power. As many as 902 customers were out this morning.

HIgh winds sent a tree into a house on Timber Lane, causing major structural damage, firefighters said. No injuries were reported.

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02/27/13 10:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Clearing Burr Farms Road

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A crew restores power lines today in front of 9 Burr Farms Road. The falling tree earlier today pulled down power lines and also blocked the path of a school bus filled with children on their way to Long Lots Elementary School. Another bus took the children to school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 10:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Donations Buy a New Ambulance

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Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today accepted on behalf of the town keys to a new, state-of-the-art ambulance paid for by community donations to the Westpot Volunteer Emergency Medical Service (WVEMS). Handing over the keys at Town Hall were Marc Hartog (l), deputy diirector, Westport Emergency Medical Service, and Martin Iselin, WVEMS president. Joseloff, a longtime volunteer with WVEMS, noted that the value of the donation was more than $200,000 and urged Westporters to continue to support the annual WVEMS fundraising efforts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Roy Fuchs for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 08:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Judges Select Westport’s Top Dog 2013

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Westport’s Top Dog for 2013 has been selected from photos and essays submitted to Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA) with the winner to be announced soon at a Town Hall ceremony. Taking part in the judging Tuesday were (l-r) Patricia Strauss, Westport Town Clerk, Kathleen Suchy, Animal Control assistant, and First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. The five finalists were Cheerio Jaffe, a 12 ½-year-old golden retriever, Uli Lynch, a 12-year-old English Staffordshire bull terrier, Malcolm Bennewitz, a 12-year-old West Highland terrier, Kim Pactor, a 10-year-old yellow lab and Bosco Paluch, a 7-year-old golden retriever.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photos


02/27/13 08:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Awaiting Rescue

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A golden retriever named Huckleberry awaits rescue today after falling through the ice in a pond off of Westport’s Hales Road. Westport Firefighter Tobias Ostapchuk brought him to safety. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/27/13 06:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Fire Department to the Rescue

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UPDATE The Westport Fire Department today rescued a dog named Huckleberry that fell through the ice on a pond at the rear of 18 Hales Road. Firefighter Tobias Ostapchuk of Engine Co. 4 donned a cold water rescue suit and retrieved the 9-year-old golden retriever. Huckleberry was taken to a veterinarian where he was given a hot bath and sent home, said Assistant Chief Rob Yost. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/27/13 06:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hanging On

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Hucklberry, a 9-year-old golden retriever that fell through the ice at the rear of 18 Hales Road today, hangs on while Westport Firefighter Tobias Ostapchuk gets him under control. All Westport firefighters train repeatedly in cold water rescue drills.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/27/13 06:13 PM Comments () • Permalink


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Westport Firefighter Tobias Ostapchuk shares a moment with Huckleberry after the rescue today. Huckleberry belongs to the Frey family who live on nearby Hillspoint Road. Contributed photo


02/27/13 06:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Out Safely

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UPDATE A dog rescued today at the rear of 18 Hales Road after falling through the ice on a pond makes it to safety with the help of Westport Firefighter Tobias Ostapchuk. The 9-year-old dog named Huckleberry was taken to Schulhof Animal Hospital where he was given a hot bath and sent home to the Frey family who live near the pond. Contributed photo


02/27/13 06:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

High Water

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Water came up to the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge over the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center at mid-day today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 05:49 PM Comments () • Permalink


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A sign advised tenants of a Riverside Avenue office building today that the parking garage was subject to flooding during high tide. Most heeded the warning.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 05:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Just Ducky on Canal Street

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Ducks found the flood waters near Westport’s Canal Park housing complex on Canal Street today an ideal place for a swim. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 05:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wet Parking

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The Saugatuck River overflowed today into the parking lot behind the Westport Arts Center on Riverside Avenue. It was among numerous low-lying areas flooded a the mid-day high tide. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 05:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Flooding Closes Burying Hill Beach

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UPDATE Westport’s Burying Hill Beach was closed today because of flooding on the roadway. The National Weather Service issued a Coastal Flood Advisory in advance of high tide at about noon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 04:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tree Damages Timber Lane Home

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A tree that came down on Timber Lane off Roseville Road today caused major damage to a house. No one was at home at the time, but firefighters did find a dog who was moved to safety.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 04:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

What a Falling Tree Can Do

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Damage was extensive today to a home on Westport’s Timber Lane off Roseville Road after a tree fell during high winds. No one was at home at the time. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 04:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bridge Street Bridge Closure Postponed

The Town of Westport has been notified that weather conditions have postponed the scheduled closure of the Bridge Street bridge, formally known as the William F. Cribari Bridge, for Thursday and Friday, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said. 

The bridge closure will be rescheduled for next week, he said.

Repair work for damage that occurred during Storm Sandy will continue through early April, the Department of Transportation said.

Most of the work is being done at night but some daytime closures will occur, the DOT said.


02/27/13 03:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fence Down on Roseville

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A fence at 56 Roseville Road near Marc Lane was a victim of today’s high winds.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/27/13 03:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

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