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Saturday, June 22, 2013

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 295 Saugatuck Ave.

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 295 Saugatuck Ave. is in process. Built in 1961, the two-story custom colonial has 8,594 square feet and is situated on a 1.31-acre waterfront 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


06/22/13 01:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Special Moon for Longest Day

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The longest day of 2013 was Friday—but this year, it comes with a twist. Friday night’s moon as seen over Westport was 98 percent visible, and it’s getting ready for the big event—the Super Moon, which is set to peak at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, delivering the biggest, brightest moon of the year. It will also be at its closest distance to Earth. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lorraine Feliciano for WestportNow.com


06/22/13 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, June 22, 2013

11 a.m. - 3 p.m. - 90 Main St. sidewalk - WASA’s Silent Auction & Lemonade Stand
11 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Parker Harding Plaza - Westport Sunrise Rotary’s “The Great Duck Race” (& other family events) benefit (race at 3 p.m.)
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “5 Generations of Yankee Ingenuity: The Gault Family” & “Tracy Sugarman, Citizen-Artist”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Bird’s-Eye View”
1:30 p.m. - Fairfield County Hunt Club - June Benefit Horse Show $25,000 Grand Prix (open free to public)
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen Maker Space Special: Demo by Staples Robotics Team
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Frost / Nixon”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Show-Off”
9 p.m. - Staples Field House - Levitt Pavilion presents Foreigner (benefit concert)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/22/13 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Library Honors Retiring Joan Hume

The Westport Public Library tonight hosted a reception to mark the retrement after 13 years of Joan Hume as its community relations director. Director Maxine Bleiweis said Hume was responsible for increasing the library’s 600-plus annual programs to more than 1,400 last year. The library presented her with a retirement gift after a series of tributes, including a word puzzle using her iniitials prepared by Will Shortz, New York Times puzzle editor. Hume and husband Marvin will be moving to Cincinnaiti, Ohio. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


06/22/13 01:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, June 21, 2013

Enjoying First Evening of Summer

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Many stayed late today at Westport’s Compo Beach enjoyig the first evening of summer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lorraine Feliciano for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 11:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Obama Nominates Westporter as Next FBI Director

President Obama today nominated Westporter James B. Comey as the next FBI director. His wife Patrice and five children were front row guests in the White House Rose Garden.

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James Comey of Westport addresses a White House Rose Garden audience today as FBI Director Robert Mueller (l) and President Obama look on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Whitehouse.gov photo

If confirmed by the Senate, the Greens Farms resident will replace outgoing director Robert Mueller III, serving for 10 years.

Obama praised Comey as a model of “fierce independence and deep integrity.”

“Jim is exceptionally qualified to handle the full range of challenges faced by today’s FBI,” the president said. “I am confident that Jim will be a leader who understands how to keep America safe and to stay true to our founding ideals no matter what the future may bring.”

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06/21/13 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport to the White House

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President Obama talks with Westporter James Comey (l) and FBI Director Robert Mueller in the Oval Office today prior to announcing Comey’s nomination to succeed Mueller as FBI Director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


06/21/13 09:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Front Row Seats

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Patrice Comey (2nd l) and her five children—Maurene, Katherine, Brien, Claire and Abby—had front row seats for today’s White House Rose Garden announcement of James Comey of Westport as FBI Director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo from White House video


06/21/13 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dodig Tells Graduates They’re Special

By James Lomuscio

This year as in the past, there were so many graduating seniors in the Class of 2013 at Westport’s Staples High School today—463—the Staples band had to play “Pomp and Circumstance” over and over to accommodate their march into the Field House.

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Valedictorian Madeline French Seidman addresses today’s Staples graduation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Field House, sweltering despite fans placed at strategic locations, was already packed with parents, family, friends and well wishers in to the point where all the 4,000 folding chairs put out for the 126th Commencement were taken. Clusters of onlookers stood.

Principal John Dodig, officiating at his ninth graduation, kicked off he ceremony with a nod to the faculty.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the faculty who worked so hard over the past four years to get your children where they are today,” Dodig said.

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06/21/13 08:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Graduation Smile

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A broad smile tells it all as this Staples senior prepares to receive her diploma today at the graduation ceremony.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/21/13 08:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Graduation at Last

Scenes from today’s Staples High School gradiation. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 08:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

An Honor for Popular Retiring Teacher

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Bruce Betts, the popular Staples High School teacher and volleyball coach, carried the honorary faculty mace at today’s graduation. He retires after 41 years as a Westport educator. Also among retires, Schools Superintendent Eliott Landon announced, is popular teacher and running coach Laddie Lawrence. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 08:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Faces in the Crowd

More scenes from today’s Class of 2013 Staples High chool graduation.Contributed photos


06/21/13 08:35 PM Comments () • Permalink


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Staples High School Class of 2013 graduates toss their mortarboards in the air today at the end of the graduation ceremony in the Staples Field House. The school handed out diplomas to 463 students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Kidnapping, Robbery Suspects ID’d

Calling the suspects armed and dangerous, the Westport Police Department’s Detective Bureau said today it is seeking community input to locate two wanted individuals they say kidnapped, robbed, assaulted and threatened to kill a man they gave a ride to early Wednesday from the East Norwalk train station and let him go in Westport.

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Westport Police are seeking Andrew “Drew” Frank (l),21, of Stamford, and Peter Ferraro Jr., 24, of Norwalk. Westport Police photos

Sought are Peter Ferraro Jr., 24, of 149 East Rocks Road, Norwalk, and Andrew “Drew” Frank, 21, of 99 Highview Ave., Stamford.

Both are charged with first-degree kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Ferraro is additionally charged with credit card theft, illegal use of a credit card, and sixth-degree larceny.

Police made no mention today of two females who were initially identified as accomplices in the incident, suggesting they might be cooperating with police.

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06/21/13 08:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers June 3 - 7, 2013

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period June 3 - 7, 2013:

Barbara W. Culp Est. to Margaret Yingling, 122 Harvest Commons, $725,000WN property.jpg

Greens Farms Centre Assoc. to 1701 Post Road East LLC, 1701- 1715 Post Road East, $4,850,000

Paul E. and Wendy White to Bret and Britt Sheiber, 9 Ferry Lane East, $3,300,000

John F. Lynch to Glenn and Rhonda Payne, 9 Boxwood Lane, $2,950,000

More "Westport Property Transfers June 3 - 7, 2013"


06/21/13 07:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Trees Victim of Gas Line Fire

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UPDATE Flames from a gas line singe trees on Westport’s Westfair Drive today after a construction crew was working on the line when it developed a leak and erupted into flames, said Assistant Fire Chief William Dingee. There were no injuries.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 03:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gas Line Fire Shuts Down Post Road East

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UPDATE A gas line developed a leak today while a construction crew was working on the line on Westport’s Westfair Drive, touching off a fire which sent flames 20 feet into the air. No injuries were reported and gas company crews arrived quickly to shut down the line. The fire singed some trees. damaged some construction tools, and a nearby parked pickup truck, said Assistant Fire Chief William Dingee. Police shut down Post Road East from Maple Avenue to Bulklley Avenue. The incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. and the road was reopened a little more than an hour later.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/21/13 03:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Keeping an Eye on the Flames

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Westport firefighters keep watch on a gas line fire today on Westfair Drive as they await gas company workers to shut down the line. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 03:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Shutting Down the Gas Line

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UPDATE A Southern Connecticut Gas Co. worker shuts down a gas line today that erupted in flames on Westfair Drive just in from Post Road East after it developed a leak while being worked on by a construction crew, said Assistant Fire Chief William Dingee. No one was injured and there was no property damage. Police shut down Post Road East in the area for little over an hour.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/21/13 03:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Closed to Traffic

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Police shut down Post Road East for just over an hour today after a gas main fire on Westfair Drive. The road was closed from Bulkley Avenue to Maple Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 03:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘So I Was Tanning Myself and Along Comes This HUGE Raccoon…’

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Westporter Alexandra Hooper, taking advantage of Thursday’s brilliant sunshine, decided to soak up a few rays when she got a start. “I was outside tanning in my backyard when I saw a HUGE raccoon and ran inside,” she said. “It stole my tanning spot and began sitting on my chair!” She managed to get a few photos of the pushy fellow to back up her story. Alexandra Hooper for WestportNow.com


06/21/13 04:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, June 21, 2013 - Summer Begins

1:04 a.m. - Northern Hemisphere - Summer Solstice
10 a.m. – Westport Senior Center – Commission for Senior Services annual meeting
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Bird’s-Eye View”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “5 Generations of Yankee Ingenuity: The Gault Family” & “Tracy Sugarman, Citizen-Artist”
2 p.m. - Staples High School Field House - Class of 2013 graduation ceremony
6 p.m. - 10 a.m. - Earthplace - Campout
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Summer Solstice Party & Farewell to Joan Hume
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Frost / Nixon”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Show-Off”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/21/13 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Finally, Bedford Square Goes to P&Z

By James Lomuscio

After seven years of planning and jumping through hoops with more than a half-dozen Westport boards and commissions, David Waldman, principal of Bedford Square Associates, tonight faced the group that will have the final say on his planned development of Church Lane—the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z).

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The new Bedford Square includes retail, residential, and an underground parking garage. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The final site plan special application to develop the Westport Weston Family Y buildings into 594,454 cubit feet of retail, restaurant and residential space replete with streetscape, a courtyard, widened sidewalks and underground parking off Elm Street had more than two hours of presentations and hearings.

The proposed development, which plans to maintain the English Tudor style of the Y’s historic Bedford Building with four more similar building up Church Lane to Elm Street, has already been approved by the Architectural Review Board, the Historic Discrict Commission, the Conservation Commission, Flood and Erosion Control Board, the Board of Selectmen and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Now the P&Z will have its final say on the buildings’ floor area rations, heights and the more than 4,200 extra square feet of space that had been requested.

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06/21/13 03:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Housing Amendment Called ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’

By James Lomuscio

Attorney Lawrence P. Weisman got a cold, if not hostile, reception from Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) tonight as he presented a text amendment to a zoning regulation promoting affordable housing in commercial areas.

As soon a Weisman began his presentation, asking that the current regulation be modified to allow a third driveway on corner lots for residents of mixed commercial and residential sites, P&Z Chairwoman Catherine Walsh scolded him.

“We’re not looking at a site plan,” she said. “This is a text amendment.”

The problem was that Weisman represents Joe Feinleib, owner of Coastal Construction Group under contract to buy Geiger’s Garden Center, a 2.5-acre site at 1135 Post Road East and Morningside Drive North. And Weisman came with a site plan on huge poster board of that property.

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06/21/13 03:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Real Estate Report: May Single Family Home Sales Soared

By Judy Szablak

Single family home sales in Westport are substantially ahead of the national real estate market averages on a year over year basis for the month of May.

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This home at 59 Cavalry Road is listed at $2,225,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis Real Estate/Westport

According to the National Association of Realtors latest report, which clearly denotes a unit sales increase of 12.9 percent over last May, Westport’s numbers come in significantly better—almost 69 percent. In May of last year, we saw 32 single family home sales, and May 2013 brought us 54 closings, as reported by our local MLS.

Just as prices are up nationally, prices are also up locally. The national sales price average has increased 15.4 percent, and locally, we’ve experienced an upsurge as well. The average sales price last month was just under $1.95 million, which would equate to an increase of more than $400,000 from the same time period in 2012, and that is excluding a significant property sale of $20 million.

But, does that mean that prices have truly gone up that much in town?  In short, don’t be so sure on that.

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06/20/13 10:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Showing Fine Form

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The Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show to benefit The EQUUS Foundation is under way this week and horses and riders were in fine form today under sunny skies. The show, which winds up Saturday, is the only national horse show in Fairfield County that is open to the public free of charge. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


06/20/13 09:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Great Day for a Horse Show

Scenes from today’s Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Show. The show continues through Saturday. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


06/20/13 09:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Obama to Nominate Westporter Comey to FBI Post Friday

President Barack Obama will announce Friday that he is nominating James Comey of Westport to be FBI director, an administration official said today. WestportNow.com Image
James Comey: Westporter goes to Washington (again). File photo

If confirmed by the Senate, the Greens Farms resident would replace Robert Mueller, who stayed on for two years after his 10-year term expired in 2011. Mueller plans to leave in September

Obama will make the announcement at the White House, said the official, who asked not to be identified.

Reports first surfaced three weeks ago that Obama would nominate Comey, a former deputy attorney general who moved to Westport in 2010 to join hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. (See WestportNow May 29, 2013).

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06/20/13 09:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday Marathon Will Impact Greens Farms Area

The Westport Police Department today advised residents that the Greens Farms area on Sunday will be impacted by the running of the Fairfield Half Marathon.

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The Fairfield Half Marathon will through part of Westport’s Greens Farms area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

Runners will enter Westport on Greens Farms Road at the Fairfield town line to New Creek Road to Beachside Avenue, exiting town into Southport, a statement said.

Through traffic will be stopped or severely limited while the largest groups of runners make their way through town, police said, adding to expect heavy delays. Race organizers told police that runners will enter town by 9 a.m. and be off Westport streets by 10:15 a.m.

The race route runs for three miles on Westport roads. Westport emergency personnel, including an ambulance, will be stationed inside the route area to respond to any emergencies with minimal delays, police said.

More "Sunday Marathon Will Impact Greens Farms Area"


06/20/13 07:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

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