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Friday, May 31, 2013

Comings & Goings: The Hair Place is Closing

By Dave Matlow

The Hair Place, 625 Post Road East, in the shopping center anchored by The Fresh Market, will close by July 31, after almost 44 years in the same location, according to owner Betty Cabral. Image
Betty Cabral:  “We love this town, we love this community,” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“Our rent has gone up and, for the first time, they’re adding common charges for parking, shrubbery and things like that,” she said. “So this is my time to stop. But this is my home, this is my family, it’s where I come every day.

“We have loyal, long time clients, some who are now in the third generation. We cut their grandchildren’s hair.”

Long relationships are not just with customers, she said. “One of our stylists, Lynn, has been here for 35 year,” she said. “She’s a grandmother now.”

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05/31/13 11:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

High Temps Delay New Haven Line

UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line trains are operating at reduced speeds.

Customers should anticipate 5-10 minute delays due to the high temperatures and the potential impact on the line’s catenary system.


05/31/13 10:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Seeking Relief from the Heat Image
With temperatures edging into the 90s fro the second successive day, many Westporters today headed to Compo Beach to seek relief from the heat. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/13 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Robert Wachsler, 79 Image
Robert Wachsler: 48-year Westporter. Contributed photo

Robert Wachsler, a 48-year resident of Westport, died May 25 in Portland, Ore., of complications due to Parkinson’s. He was 79.

Born in Bronx, N.Y. in 1934, he was educated at City College of New York and earned a Ph.D. in aviation psychology from Ohio State University.

He had a distinguished career at General Motors, BBD&O and was a well respected marketing consultant to CEOs of many of the world’s largest corporations.

He was an adjunct professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and Columbia University Business School.

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05/31/13 08:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Donahue Sells Beachside Estate for $20M to Neighbor Image
The celebrity couple built the house in 2007 and put it on the market a year ago for $27.5 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photos

Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas have sold their 7.56-acre Greens Farms estate overlooking Long Island Sound for $20 million, $7.5 million below their asking price, according to a filing recorded today in the Westport Town Clerk’s office. The sale was to a Beachside Avenue neighbor.

The celebrity couple—he is best known as a longtime TV talk show host, she for her “That Girl” TV series—bought the property at 120-122 Beachside Ave. in 1998. They put it on the market a year ago. (See WestportNow May 19, 2012)

The buyer was fellow Westporter Andrew Bentley who paid $20 million in November 2010 for three adjoining lots at 124, 126, and 128 Beachside Ave. (See WestportNow Nov. 1, 2010) Three years earlier, it had been listed for $37.5 million.

The sale came six weeks after radio host Don Imus and his wife, Deirdre,  sold their 106 Beachside Ave. estate for $14.4 million, The four-acre property was listed in 2005 and 2009 for $30 million, in 2011 for $24.95 million, and the most recent price was set at $19.9 million. (See WestportNow April 12, 2013)

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05/31/13 08:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 14 Bonnie Brook Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 14 Bonnie Brook Road, in the Coleytown area, is in process. Built in 1961, the one-story ranch has 2,022 square feet, is situated on a 1.53-acre property and changed ownership last month for $1,050,000. 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


05/31/13 06:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers May 13 - 17, 2013

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period May 13 - 17, 2013:

John A. Thompson Est. and Marie A. Thompson to Westport Building Co. LLC, 22 Jennings Court, $875,000WN property.jpg

John Brett to Adam S. and Christin E. Weberman, 2 Ivy Knoll, $930,000

Adam T. and Kerrie S. Weisman to Koenraad Bostoen and Groenen Daalse, 15 North Ridge Road, $1,725,000

Barbara S. Stalling to Sheng-Hui Chou, 29 Hickory Drive, $370,000

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05/31/13 06:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Waiting for Food Delivery Image
Three baby sparrows await food from mom or dad in a birdhouse overlooking Westport’s Round Pond off of Compo Road South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/13 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 31, 2013

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “5 Generations of Yankee Ingenuity: The Gault Family” & “Tracy Sugarman, Citizen-Artist”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2013”
8 p.m. - Temple Israel - Erev Shabbat Service in honor of retiring Rabbi Robert Orkand

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


05/31/13 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

GOP Balks, Dems Listen on Fate of Independent Party

By Mark Pazniokas

The Independent Party will survive. Now, attention turns to whether the same can be said of sweeping campaign finance reforms passed in 2005 as Connecticut watched a former governor go to prison.

With Republicans threatening an end-of-session filibuster, Senate Democrats have given up on trying to force a name change in a party that cross-endorsed GOP candidates in 2012.

“It was decided yesterday in about five minutes,” Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said tonight.

As for the rest of the bill, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said the parties may disagree, but there is nothing as provocative as stripping the Independent Party of its name.

Click here for more of story


05/31/13 02:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

The Plan for An Improved Intersection Image
The Department of Transportation tonight presented this diagram of intersection improvements at Westport’s Main Street and Compo Road North, Routes 57 and 136 respectively. The plan calls for widening the east side of Main Street for about 1,000 feet. North Compo Road will be widened also to include a left turn lane, realigning the through lane to Clinton Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/31/13 02:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

DOT Takes Aim at “Skewed” Intersection

By James Lomuscio

William Britnell, principal engineer for the state Department of Transportation (DOT), tonight called the intersection of Westport’s Main Street and Compo Road North, Routes 57 and 136 respectively, “skewed geometry.” Image
DOT officials David W. Harms (c) and William Britnell (r) answer questions at tonight’s meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

In other words, the intersection does not exist as a vertical line crossing a horizontal one. It is more like two opposite tree branches, one higher or lower than the other, with Compo off the to left of Clinton Avenue that is across Main.

Britnell made his comments prior to a DOT public information session held in the auditorium at Town Hall about the state’s plan to add lanes to improve safety at the intersection, the site of 93 accidents, 25 involving injuries, from 2007-11. A couple of dozen citizens, many who lived in the area, showed up.

“It’s definitely needed,” said Ed Picard, a resident of Loren Lane. “I live off Clinton Avenue, and it’s very hazardous to turn there.”

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05/31/13 02:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Main Street Crowd Image
Hundreds crowded Westport’s Main Street tonight for the Art About Town street party sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


05/31/13 01:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Warm, Festive Evening for Art About Town

By James Lomuscio

Despite summer humidity and temperature climbing into the 90s, hundreds turned out tonight for Art About Town, a Downtown Merchants Association annual event transforming Main Street and surrounding roads into a continuous art gallery with working artists, musicians, performers and food vendors. Image
The Shiny Lapel Trio performs tonight at the foot of Main Steet at the Art About Town street party. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“The weather’s beautiful, and it’s a great day,” said Marc Iacobellis, base player for the Shiny Lapel Trio, who said he likes it hot. His band came all the way from Deep River to perform at the foot of Main Street which had been closed to traffic

Not far from the band was Josa Weathermax of East Hampton working on a series of wood and acrylic impressionist paintings.

“I think it’s very nice that it makes art approachable, and that the kids are involved,” said Weathermax. “They’re never allowed in the galleries.”

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05/31/13 01:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Dancing on Main Street Image
There was music, dancing, eating, and drawing on Westport’s Main Street tonight at the (postponed from last week) Westport Art About Town opening night street party sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association. Hundreds of persons packed the street to enjoy three hours of celebrating the arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


05/31/13 12:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Artist at Work Image
Bridgeport artist Aisha Nailah was among artists painting and showing ther works on Main Street tonight. She said the advantage of working at Art About Town is that “you get to see a lot of people coming through.” “I think it’s great,” she said. “If you’re in a studio, you’re in a studio.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/13 12:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Outdoor Dining in Summer-Like Weather Image
There was plenty of outdoor dining tonight on Westport’s Main Street in summer-like weather with the temperature in the 80s. The street party for Art About Town sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association attracted hundreds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/13 12:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

Hula Hoop Girl Image
Stella Libman, 6, of Westport, a student at Coleytown Elementary School, was among those trying her hand at hula hoops tonight at the Art About Town street festival on Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


05/31/13 12:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

It Takes a Village to Do Art Image
The Westport Arts Center constructed a mini-village on Main Street tonight for youngsters to draw on as well as on the street. The “It Takes a Village” theme was part of the Art About Town opening night street party sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/13 12:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Picture Perfect Image
Artists set up easels all along Main Street tonight as part of Art About Town. Portrait artist Alain J. Picard of Southbury said, “With all the hustle and bustle of the crowd, the excitement of artists painting, live dance performances and music, it really was an amazing experience.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


05/31/13 12:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Main Street Creatures Image
Some youngsters were apprehensive but many others were delighted by the creatures that appeared on Westport’ s Main Street tonight as part of the Art About Town street party. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


05/31/13 12:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Fun on Main Street

Scenes from tonight’s Art About Town street party on Main Street sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association. Phyllis Groner for


05/31/13 12:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Exotic Dancing Art Image
Dancing of all kinds was evident on Westport’s Main Stret tonight for Art About Town. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


05/31/13 12:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, May 30, 2013

RFP Approved for Compo Beach Improvements

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s new Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee today approved an RFP (request for proposals) asking architectural and engineering company bidders to come up with a beach design and improvement plan. Image
Today was the first public meeting of the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The RFP is scheduled to go out Friday and responses are due June 20, with candidate interviews scheduled the week of July 8, said Stuart McCarthy, Parks and Recreation director and committee ex-officio member.

“It’s a whole site design, and we want to look at it with an open mind to get fresh ideas to maximize utility for an important town property,” said Andy Moss, committee chairman.

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards, who sat in on the meeting, noted that the committee could expect upwards of 15 respondents to the RFP.

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05/30/13 10:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Haven Delays

Metro-North said trains traveling inbound and outbound from Grand Central Terminal are experiencing delays of 5 to 10 minutes due to earlier track repair work in the Park Avenue tunnel.


05/30/13 09:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wilton Road Partially Closed

A truck that took down wires on Wilton Road at Merritt Parkwy Exit 41 has caused a partial closure of the busy roadway, police said.

Southbound traffic was being detoured at Wilton Road and Newtown Turnpike. Northbound traffic was being rerouted around the incident scene via Red Coat Road.

A utility worker on the scene estimated repairs could last well into the evening.


05/30/13 09:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Leisure Fitness to PRE Image
The attraction of physical fitness businesses to the Westport area has expanded with the opening of Leisure Fitness, the fitness equipment store, at 877 Post Road East in the shopping strip near the Sherwood Island Connector ( ).  According to store manager Paul Maggiotto, the Westport location is the first in Connecticut for the Newark, Del.-based company that has 27 other store location mainly in Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. Maggiotto describes its offerings as “commercial and residential specialty fitness equipment” with a selection that ranges from $1,000 to $9,000 and up to $20,000 for special needs equipment.  Phone (203)557-8050. The 2,600 square-foot facility was the prior location of Consign-Mart. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/30/13 08:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Main Street Closed for Art Street Festival Image
Westport’s Main Street was closed to traffic in early afternoon today in afternoon in preparation for the Art About Town street festival beginning at 5:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


05/30/13 07:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

On Assignment at Venice Biennale 2013 Image
The center of the art world this week is Venice where the world’s oldest and most prestigious international art festival, the Venice Biennale, is previewing exhibits of the almost 90 countries participating. Helen Klisser During, visual arts director of the Westport Arts Center and contributing WestportNow photographer, is among those getting a sneak peek ahead of Saturday’s official opening. She is pictured at the German pavilion where Chinese artist Ai Weiwei created complex towers constructed out of 886 three-legged wooden stools. Called “Bang,” the installation touches upon Chinese tradition and cultural values through the use of the stools, which are often passed down from generation to generation. Watch for Klisser During’s photo tour of Venice Biennale 2013 soon on WestportNow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


05/30/13 07:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ali W. Mirza, 19

Ali Wallace Mirza of Westport died May 17 of heart complications at Claremont McKenna College in California, where he had just completed his sophomore year. He was 19. Image
Ali W. Mirza:  2011 Staples grad. Contributed photo

Born June 13, 1993, he was the son of Liz and Mustafa Mirza of Westport. He is survived by his brother Akbar and grandmother Anis,

He is also survived by his many aunts, uncles, and cousins including Susan Mirza and her children Alexander, Christina and Sean of Greenwich, Salman and Neelum Amin and their children Raza and Yawer of Rye, N.Y. Samina Noorani of Stamford, Munawar Noorani and Fareed and Maria Ameen and their daughters Natalia and Sophia of London, Veronica and Marcus Casserd and son Zack of Bellingham, Wash., Ronald Cairns of Fremont, Calif., and many other friends and family members.

He was a class of 2011 graduate of Staples High School where he was an avid volleyball player and a dedicated member of the Staples varsity volleyball team. He was also on the Claremont Colleges club volleyball team.

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05/30/13 07:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

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