Friday, September 20, 2013
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 9 Harding Lane, off Hillspoint Road, is in process. Built in 1960, the two-story colonial has 2,692 square feet and is situated on a 1.05-acre property. The property changed hands this month at $1,237,000. 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 WestportNow.com
The Westport owner of a Porsche heard a cat crying on Saturday but didn’t know where it was coming from. Two days later, fortunately without the car being moved, she tracked it to the car’s engine compartment. With help from Westport Animal Control and a mechanic, who had to disassemble part of the car, the estimated 5-week old kitty was rescued and taken to Schulhoff Animal Hospital where he was treated, gratis, and remains until he can find a new home. Westport Animal Shelter Advocates, which relayed news of the kitty rescue, said anyone interested in the Porsche survivor should contact Christian Benyai at Schulhoff Animal Hospital at (203)226-1231. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photos
She La La, a fashion and accessories shop, will open in October at 281 Playhouse Square, in the space formerly occupied by Body Talk, according to Dave Crow who co-owns the business with his wife Sheila, Wilton residents. Crow said it is their second store, the other is located on Main Street, New Canaan which opened in May 2012. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport’s unemployment rate in August was 5.8 percent, down from 6.2 percent in July, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.
The department said the number of Westport unemployed in August was 733, down from 796 in July.
The August labor force in Westport numbered 12,609, a drop from 12,879 in July.
There were 12,609 employed in August, up from 12,083 in July. A year ago in August, Westport’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.
Paving work was under way today on Woods Grove Road, part of the town’s annual pavement management program. According to Damion Vassel, a Town of Westport employee, the temperature of the freshly spread milling is 290 degrees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Sept. 2 - 6, 2013:
Gloria Levinson to Carol N. Gluckman, 226 Lansdowne, $725,000
Michael A. and Stacy L. Moeller to Robert A. and Dana L. Cutler, 100 Partrick Road, 4.1% Interest, $1,336,879
Carol N. Gluckman Trust to Charles Dockter and Lee Michele Goldstein, 31 Greenlea Lane, .9786 Interest Westport, $1,412,500
Komac Holdings LLC to Joel P. Whidden, 47 High Point Road, $3,000,000
9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 - Commission for Senior Services
3:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 – Downtown 2020
4 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Meet Tumblebooks!
6 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Opening reception for “Home Sweet Home”
7 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples football vs Wilton (homecoming)
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “The Prisoner of Second Avenue”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
By James Lomuscio
Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) tonight gave a unanimous nod to Downtown 2020’s request for $204,000 to hire an outside consultant to come up with a master plan for the downtown in the face of major developments planned or under way.
The P&Z’s work session vote came despite more than a year of contention between the commission, an elected body, and Downtown 2020, an advisory group appointed by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. The P&Z support was contingent on the advisory group undertaking a town wide, base line traffic study, not just one that would address traffic downtown.
Chairman Catherine Walsh said the P&Z turnabout came following a meeting she had earlier in the day that included Joseloff, Lou Gagliano, chair of the Downtown 2020 Commiittee, and David Lapping, principal in RBA Group, the selected consultant.
“Many moving parts are coming together,” she said. “I’m happy about it.” She said that the approval with a town wide, base line traffic study included would “address immediate needs.”
By James Lomuscio
Despite arguments that a negative vote would condemn the historic Kemper-Gunn House to the wrecking ball, Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in a work session tonight voted 4 to 2 with 1 abstention to issue a negative report against moving house built in 1885 to the Baldwin parking lot.
The negative report to be issued to First Selectman Gordon Joseloff can only be reversed by a two-thirds vote of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
The proposal to relocate the house from 35 Church Lane to 35 Elm St. was made by Bedford Square Associates, the company scheduled to redevelop Church Lane and the existing Westport Weston Family Y buildings. To save the home rather than raze it, Bedford Square offered to move it and even pay for a foundation in the parking lot property owned by the town.
The goal was not only to save the house, but for the town to commercially lease it at more favorable rents to encourage mom and pop businesses to return to the downtown.
Sold out and with a waiting list of more than 30, the Westport Center for Senior Activities today had a very festive celebration of the Chinese mid-autumn moon festival, the second most important festival after Chinese New Year. It is when moon is the brightest and most round. The event was co-sponsored by Friends of Westport Center for Senior Activities and the Organization of Chinese Americans, Fairfield County Chapter. The Chinese dinner was catered by Westport Chinese Takeout, 67 Saugatuck Ave. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Thursday, September 19, 2013
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
The state Labor Department today threw some cold water on Connecticut’s optimistic job outlook.
The department not only reported a 6,000-job decline in August, but scaled back the 11,500-job gain it announced in July by more than 16 percent.
Despite the job losses, Connecticut’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in August at 8.1 percent. That’s because the number of people actively seeking employment also fell last month.
A 7,500-position decline in government-sector jobs in August, particularly in education, drove the latest job loss totals. [The state reported the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk labor market area with a job loss of 1,100, or -0.3 percent, lost the most jobs in August in magnitude and percentage, the Labor Department said.]
Click here for more of story
By Judy Szablak
New construction is plentiful in town, but older homes in Westport have their very own type of appeal. Judging by this year’s upswing in antique home sales, these older homes have a solid place in town as well.
Currently, there are just 17 antique homes on the market, and they are listed at an average price of just over $2.1 million. Another 22 vintage homes are also listed for sale at an average price of just over $2 million. According to our local MLS (Multiple Listing Service), the oldest property currently on the market in town was built in 1750.
The history of some of these older homes is quite appealing to some, and the inherent charm that an older home has is very difficult to recreate.
Limited supply is also a factor in their marketability and value. Twenty-eight antique homes have sold year to date, and there have not been this many sales in the category since 2007.
UPDATE The Granola Bar, a pure food and coffee cafe, will open around Thanksgiving at Playhouse Square in the 2,000-square foot space formerly occupied by Silver Ribbon Jewelers, according to owners Julie Gaines and Dana Noorily. The Westport residents produce Oats Granola, which is sold in more than 80 stores, including Whole Foods markets. “We selected Westport for the Granola Bar because we know the community and know it needs this type of place,” said Noorily. “Our private label business has expanded too. We now cook thousands of pounds of granola.” She said the entrepreneurs will also launch a food truck in October to sell bakery products at soccer fields and other events. The two moms had high aspirations from the start, as they told WestportNow almost two years ago (see WestportNow, Dec. 8, 2011) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Marion Gertzoff of Westport, wife of the late Donald Gertzoff, died Sept. 18. She was 94.
She was an area resident for 72 years.
She is survived by her daughter Arline P. Gertzoff of Westport; her nephew Stephen R. Gertzof and wife Linda of Scituate, Mass.; her great-nephews Mark K. Gertzof of Chicago; Kenneth Gertzof Bean and his wife Susan of Boulder, Colo.; two great-great nephews Daxton D. Gertzof of Chicago and Zachary Gertzof Bean; a great great niece Molly Elizabeth Bean, all of Boulder. Additionally she was predeceased by her son Stuart H. Gertzoff.
She was a very private person whose life centered on her family and the town of Westport. “Westport was very good to us” she always said, according to her family.
Snip Doggy Dog, an upscale grooming salon for dogs, will open in late November at Westport’s Sconset Square, 15 Myrtle Ave., according to managing director, Frank Ciambriello. Ciambriello said the Westport location will be its third, the flagship shop having opened in Old Greenwich in August and an upcoming one in Fairfield that opens several weeks prior to the Sconset Square spot. He said the 1,000 square feet salon offers four groomers, a dog boutique and “we are hopeful for a dog day care capability down the road a bit. The personalization of the salon features glass walls so our clients can view the grooming process.” He said the business founders are comprised of a group of Old Greenwich residents. The space was previously occupied by Cursive, a New York-based retailer of fine paper, jewelry and home and personal accessories. (See WestportNow May 29, 2013) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 69-71-73 Post Road West is in process. Built in 1942, the one-story wood frame clapboard house has 1,850 square feet. 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
UPDATE Westport will receive a state grant of $261,083 to upgrade school security, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has announced. The grant is contingent on town approval to spend $1.25 million on the upgrades.
Westport is among 36 school districts in the state that will receive funds in the first round of the Competitive Grant Program for school security as part of part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act, Malloy’s office announced.
State funding of $5 million will be used to reimburse municipalities for a portion of the costs associated with security infrastructure improvements made in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the announcement said.
Westport submitted an application detailing $999,559 in school security costs, according to the announcement.
The newly cleared area bordering the grounds of the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts is reflected Wednesday in the Saugatuck River in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. lot - Westport Farmers Market
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Documentary Series: “Eyes on the Prize”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A - Planning & Zoning Work Session (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 307/309 – Westport Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen Zombie Club
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Citizens Transit Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Nelson DeMille, “The Quest”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
More than 75 persons tonight attended the inaugural “Juice—Connecting Food Startups, Mentors, and Investors” event at the new Westport Innovation Hub (see WestportNow July 29. 2013), 20 Ketchum St., organized by Janis Collins, an early stage venture adviser. Owners of five successful business start-ups in the field of food innovation addressed the group, including Ryan Fibiger (r), founder and owner of Saugatuck Craft Butchery in Saugatuck Center. He told the group of his experience in transforming the old-fashioned butcher shop concept into a profitable business. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Janis Collins, a former company start-up specialist at JPMorgan Chase (and member of Westport’s Board of Finance), was organizer and host of tonight’s “Juice—Connecting Food Startups, Mentors, and Investors” event at the new Westport Innovation Hub at 20 Ketchum St. “This ‘pilot’ event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs in the field of food innovation to meet with business mentors and venture investors—all in the same location at the same time,” she said. Collins added, “The high level of receptivity at this initial gathering encourages me to schedule another one in the near future.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Following tonight’s “CT Food Start-up, Mentor and Investor” event at the new Westport Innovation Hub participants attended a post-workshop reception at Saugatuck Craft Butchery’s new Saugatuck Center location. Ryan Fibiger, owner of Saugatuck Craft Butchery, addressed the workshop, saying he drew on his background in finance and consulting in explaining basic issues in food business start-ups. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Staples boys soccer team today roared back from a 1-0 deficit against Ridgefield at Loeffler Field, grabbed a 2-1 lead, but then settled for a 2-2 draw.
The Tigers were a preseason pick as a top two team in the FCIAC, but Staples proved today they belong there too.
After surrendering an early goal on a corner kick, the hosts drew even when co-captain Diego Alanis slammed home Joe Pravder’s corner kick three minutes before halftime.
Seven minutes after intermission, George Kokkalis redirected Yousef Shahin’s corner kick, for the lead.
Scenes from Westport magazine’s 15th anniversary celebration tonight under a tent on Jesup Green. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Rob Reeves, CEO of the Westport Weston Family Y, welcomes guests to today’s street party marking the Y’s 90th birthday. The Y was founded in 1923 by Edward T. Bedford, who died in Westport in 1931 at age 82. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
There were street performances, music, games for children, a high tea, birthday cake and speeches today as Church Lane was blocked off for a 90th birthday celebration of the Westport Weston Family. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Descendants of Westport Weston Family Y founder Edward T. Bedford were among those celebrating the Y’s 90th birthday today on Church Lane. They were State Sen. John McKinney, Bedford’s great great grandson, and his mother, Lucie McKinney, Bedford’s great granddaughter. To honor the Bedford family, the Y announced that the new home of the Y at Camp Mahackeno will have a sign over the entrance declaring it the Bedford Family Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff told today’s Westport Weston Family Y 90th birthday celebration that he knows personally that the Y has been a positive influence in town for at least the 60 years since he was an 8-year-old making his first visit to the building. “I remember riding my bike to the Y and parking it in a bike rack outside the building on Main Street,” he said. He said he hoped youngsters attending today’s celebration would also attend the opening of the new Y at Camp Mahackeno next year and be able to recount the occasion to their children 90 years from now. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com