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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

RTM Approves Funds for Compo Makeover Plan

By James Lomuscio

Acknowledging that Westport’s Compo Beach needs a makeover, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) by a vote of 29 to 1 with 1 abstention Tuesday night approved a request for $50,000 to hire an outside consultant to come up with a master plan for making it more functional and attractive.

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Andy Moss, chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission, answers a question Tuesday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Andy Moss, chairman of the Parks & Recreation Commission, said the Compo Beach Improvement Committee (CBIC) has selected Lothrop Associates of White Plains, N.Y. to design the master plan, focusing on internal and external traffic flow, pedestrian walkways, as well as its park like fields and athletic courts.

“You really can’t be against it,” said RTM member Jack Klinge. “But, it leaves out a part that needs major surgery, the bathhouse, the lockers and the bathrooms.”

Instead of doing a separate design plan focusing on the bathhouse, Klinge said, the bathhouse should be incorporated into the one plan.

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09/04/13 10:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

League of Women Voters Sets Candidate Debates

The League of Women Voters of Westport next month will host two evenings of debates involving candidates running for public office in Westport in November, the group announced.

On Monday, Oct. 7, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the League will host debates for candidates for selectman, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., there will be debates involving candidates for Board of Education, Board of Finance, and probate judge.

Both evenings will take place in the Town Hall auditorium and broadcast on the town cable channel and streamed on the Internet.


09/04/13 09:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Calls for New Taser Laws Following Latest Death

By Grace Merritt


Civil rights groups are calling for new laws to regulate the use of Tasers following the death of a New Britain man subdued by a stun gun Tuesday. It was the second Taser-related death in Connecticut since June.

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Police used a Taser similar to this one on a New Britain man shortly before his death. Contributed photo

The ACLU and the NAACP of Connecticut want police to get training in Taser use and the NAACP wants a moratorium on Taser use until new regulations are written.

“It’s clear that we have a problem in the state of Connecticut and that the state legislature needs to do something,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the NAACP state conference.

In the latest incident, a New Britain man died shortly after he was subdued with a Taser by a New Britain police officer in a third-floor apartment on Broad Street early Tuesday morning.

Click here for more of story


09/04/13 07:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Preparing Levitt Site for Construction

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Work began today at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts site in preparation for the start of construction of a new Levitt, scheduled to be completed in time for next summer’s season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


09/04/13 07:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Save These Trees

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An orange fence sets off trees to be saved as workers today prepared the Levitt Pavilion site in Westport for construction of a new Levitt. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


09/04/13 07:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Encircling the Levitt Pavilion Site

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A fence went up today in the Westport Library upper parking lot bordering the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts site as preliminary construction work began on a new facility. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


09/04/13 07:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Anne E. McKenna, 86

Anne Elizabeth McKenna died Aug. 31 at her daughter and son-in-law’s Westport home. She was 86.

She was born in Lawrence, Mass. on Jan, 25, 1927.  She traveled the country as a military wife, raising two children and later working for more than 20 years at the University of New Hampshire as a chef.

She adored her students, all 1,700 of them, and had a warm smile and welcoming way for all who met her, her family said.

Her last years were spent happily in Westport with her daughter’s family. Prior to that, she lived more than 40 years in Exeter, N.H. and later with her sister Angie DiSalvo and her daughter and son, Grace and John, again in Lawrence Mass., her birthplace.

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09/04/13 05:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gloomy Day

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Clouds made for a gloomy morning Tuesday over Sherwood Mill Pond in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrew Colabella for WestportNow.com


09/04/13 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Maintenance Study Committee
8:15 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Downtown 2020 Committee
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 - Plan Implementation Committee
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 - U.N. Hospitality Committee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Bird’s-Eye View”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Oblivion”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Flood & Erosion Control Board

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/04/13 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

With Concerns, RTM Approves Blight Ordinance

By James Lomuscio

Some called Westport’s proposed blight ordinance an answer to health, safety and quality of life concerns caused by dilapidated homes. Others called it punitive, based on snobbery and intolerance.

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The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) passed the blight ordinance tonight after two hours of debate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

And after two hours of debate and tweaking it with amendments, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight voted 26 to 3 with 2 abstentions to approve the ordinance allowing enforcement officers to inspect such homes, and if deemed blighted, imposing $150 a day fines until the building is restored or razed.

The ordinance sponsored by RTM member Lou Mall, who represents District 2, received strong support from most RTM members, as well as some members of the public who spoke. They included Jim Marpe, Republican candidate for first selectman, Helen Garten, Democratic candidate for first selectwoman, and Art Schoeller, president of the Greens Farms Association.

“This is one area where we are behind the curve,” Marpe said about Westport not having a blight ordinance while other municipalities do.

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09/04/13 03:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Marc Danuszar, 84

Marc Danuszar of Westport died Sept. 2 at Masonicare of Newtown. He was 84.

He was the husband of Rosa (DeGrazia) Danuszar.

He was born in Newtown on March, 6, 1929, a son of the late Thomas and Mary (Washicko) Danuszar. He served in the Army during the Korean War, and worked for Francini Construction in Bridgeport for over 30 years.

In addition to playing with his grandchildren and being with family, his next love was cheering on his beloved Red Sox.

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09/04/13 03:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Bamboo Ordinance Petitioner Shows the ‘Enemy’

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Gabriele Kallenborn shows the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight an example of bamboo that she is seeking have declared a nuisance and its growing be regulated in Westport. Her proposed bamboo ordinance had its first reading tonight and will undergo committee review before coming back to the legislative body next month for a vote. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/04/13 01:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Congrats from a Big Fan

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Bill Meyer, a member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), congratulates the boys and girls Little League teams for their recent successes at tonight’s RTM meeting. Meyer said he has been a board member of the Little League in Westport for more than three decades. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/04/13 12:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Arts Centers Hosts Discussion of Contemporary Values

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The Westport Arts Center tonight collaborated with the Westport Country Playhouse to host an evening salon in conjunction with the WAC current exhibit “Bird’s Eye View” and the WCP production “Oblivion.” Entitled “Belief, Action, and Their Consequences in the 21st Century,” it examined how advances in computers, biotechnology, and the U.S. national security apparatus pose constant ethical challenges to society. Participants included (l-r) Helen Klisser During, WAC director of visual arts; Curt Naser, associate professor of philosophy at Fairfield University and a practicing bioethicist; Howard Stoffer, associate professor of criminal justice at University of New Haven; Terry Bynum, professor of philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, and David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jill Sarver for WestportNow.com


09/04/13 12:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Thomas R. Atkinson, 91

Thomas Roth Atkinson, a 54-year resident of Westport, died Sept. 2 in Meriden. He was 91.

He was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 1922, the son of Thomas E. and Florence Roth Atkinson.

A 1942 graduate of Denison University, Granville, Ohio, he served in the U.S. Army for two years during World War II. He graduated from the Ph.D. program in economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1951, where he met and married his wife Sue, a fellow student in the doctoral program.

After graduate school, he spent a year with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Riverdale, N.Y. where he rewrote his doctoral thesis into a book, “The Pattern of Financial Asset Ownership: Wisconsin Individuals, 1949,” which was published by Princeton University Press.

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09/03/13 09:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lembo Sees ‘Cautious Optimism’ in $400M State Budget Surplus

By Keith M. Phaneuf


State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo today announced a nearly $400 million surplus for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

But while Connecticut’s chief fiscal watchdog called that surplus “a sign of cautious optimism for the future,” he also noted some weaknesses tied to the state’s job market that remain to be resolved.

Though a final audited statement of the 2012-13 fiscal year won’t be completed until Dec. 31, Tuesday’s report effectively closes the books on the last budget year.

Lembo reported a $398.8 million surplus in the General Fund, which represents about 2 percent of the annual operating budget.

Click here for more of story


09/03/13 08:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Petitions for RTM Candidates Still Available

Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss reminded residents today that one week remains to petition to run for a seat as a member of the Representative Town Meeting, (RTM), the town’s 36-member legislative body.

“The deadline to file a petition is Tuesday, Sept. 10,” said Strauss.

“The process is rather simple. Residents interested in running for the RTM can pick up a petition at the Town Clerk’s office.

After gathering 25 signatures of registered voters in the petitioner’s district, return the petition to the Town Clerk by next Tuesday. District lists and maps will be supplied to you.”

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09/03/13 06:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Himes Meets With Startups in Westport

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Congressman Jim Himes met today with local entrepreneurs in Westport to highlight how they help boost Connecticut’s economy and discuss what federal initiatives will help startups continue to grow. Startups have proven to be a driver of economic growth in the United States, creating approximately three million jobs each year. The discussion, held at the offices of 360Alumni at 21 Charles St. was attended by 12 people associated with starting new businesses in the Westport area. 360Alumni, a Westport startup, is launching an alumni engagement and crowdsourced fundraising platform for higher education later this month, according to founder and CEO Christina Balotescu (2nd r). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/03/13 05:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sherwood Friends Shorefest Dinner Set for Friday

The Friends of Sherwood Island State Park on Friday will mark the 100th anniversary of Connecticut’s state parks at its annual Shorefest lobster dinner at the park’s Pavilion.

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Last year’s Shorefest dinner at Sherwood Island State Park attracted a large crowd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

The 6 p.m. event includes a silent and live auction, a serenade from a barbershop quartet, and a chance to pose for a picture holding a guest animal from the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.

The group will honor Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff with its “True Friend Award.”

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.friendsofsherwoodisland.org. Adults are $75 and children $8 (hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers) with additional charge for preferred seating and “surf and turf” prime rib addition.

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09/03/13 02:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Donald M. Denke, 51

Donald Michael Denke, a longtime Town of Westport Public Works Department employee, died Sept. 1 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport. He was 51.

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Donald M. Denke, longtime town employee. Contributed photo

He was born in Norwalk on Nov. 22, 1961, the son of late Frank and Marjorie (Miller) Denke. He was a graduate of Staples High School in Westport and Denver Automotive and Diesel College in Colorado.

He has been employed by the Town of Westport for the past 30 years with his most recent position as head mechanic. 

He was best known and will be remembered as the guy who won’t say no to anyone asking for help and having a big heart, his family said.

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09/03/13 02:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Promoting Lobster Fest

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A lobster, claws waving, was on Westport’s Main Street early today as Town of Westport workers hung a banner promoting the Westport Rotary Club’s Sept. 21 Lobster Fest at Compo Beach. Tickets for the 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.  event are available on www.westportrotary.org. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/03/13 01:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

7:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – TEAM Westport Committee
9 a.m. - Online - Parks & Rec fall program registraton begins online. Click here for the registration page
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Bird’s-Eye View”
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Book Chat
6 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Westport Country Playhouse Salon Night: “Belief, Action, & Their Consequences in the 21st Century”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Historic District Commission and Architectural Review Board Joint Public Meeting
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Oblivion”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/03/13 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, September 02, 2013

Comings & Goings: Touch of Europe Moving, But Not Far

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Touch of Europe, a bedroom linens, comforters and accessories store, will relocate from 291 to 279 Post Road East within Playhouse Square in about 10 days, according to owner Mikle Muller. Muller, who is known best by her first name—pronounced “Mik-lay”—has operated the business in Westport for 30 years, the last 15 at its current location and, prior to that, 15 years at 135 Main St. She said she will carry the same inventory but in a smaller shop with correspondingly lower rent. Muller said she has no intention of retiring. “I worked all day, six days a week (for the past year the store has closed Sunday and Monday) for 30 years,” she said. “What would I do?  My husband passed away two years ago. This is my life.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/02/13 10:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Parks & Rec Fall Registration Begins Tuesday Online

Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy announced that online fall program registration will begin Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Click here for the registration page.

Walk in, fax and mailed registration, along with online, will then continue at the Parks and Recreation Sales Office at Longshore beginning Monday, Sept. 9.

Business hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 


09/02/13 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Arrest Three Juveniles in Car Break-ins

Westport police said they arrested three juveniles early today after residents reported multiple vehicle break-ins in the Imperial Avenue area.

The juveniles, who were not identified because of their age, were from the Norwalk area, according to reports from the scene. At least one sought to escape police on a bicycle.

A Greenwich police K-9 unit was called in to help track down the suspects, the reports said.

Police said they received a report at about 3:50 a.m. of multiple motor vehicle break-ins in the Imperial Avenue area between Keyser Road and Bridge Street.

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09/02/13 07:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Slow Go Home

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It was a slow go home for Labor Day weekend travelers southbound on I-95 in Westport today. View is from the Hillspoinr Road overpass. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


09/02/13 06:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Kimberly L. Norris, 23

Kimberly Louise Norris of Norwalk, daughter of Liz and Harry Norris, died unexpectedly Aug. 31 in Westport. She was 23.

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Kimberly Norris: lifelong Norwalk resident. Contributed photo

A lifelong Norwalk resident, she was born on Oct. 24, 1989.  She went to Marvin Elementary School, Nathan Hale Middle School, and Trinity Catholic High School.

She held an Associate’s Degree in architecture. She was a student at the University of Connecticut, studying business technology and planned to graduate this winter. 

She was a gifted writer and artist with a great sense of humor, her family said, and was happiest when helping others.

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09/02/13 05:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Throwing Candy to the Crowd

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Westport Little Leaguers had fun throwing candy to crowds lining the street in Newtown for today’s Labor Day parade, the only one in Connecticut. See video here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/02/13 02:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Having Fun in Newtown

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There were cheers and applause for Westport Little Leaguers today as they marched in the Labor Day parade in Newtown. Contributed photo


09/02/13 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Westport is Proud to Support Newtown’

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Westport’s Little League World Series team marched in the Labor Day parade today in Newtown. They carried banners saying “Westport is proud to support Newtown.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/02/13 02:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

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