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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Y’s Men Photo Expo Award Ceremony Set for Friday Image
First Selectman, Gordon Joseloff, artist Leonard Everett Fisher and artist/graphic designer Miggs Burroughs chose 24 winners from more than 100 photographs submitted in the 10th annual Y’s Men Camera Club Photo Expo. Award winners will be announced Friday at 4 p.m. at the Westport Center for Senior Activities where all submissions will be on exhibit until Jan. 2. The public is invited. “This is a very exciting show—the best I’ve seen,” said Fisher. “It is very professional and there were so many good photographs, it was very difficult to judge.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


10/23/13 06:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

North Avenue Bridge to Reopen on Saturday Image
The North Avenue Bridge, at Coleytown Road, will open on Saturday, according to the NJR Construction Company site superintendent Dennis Costante (l). He said the bridge needs an asphalt covering and the installation of a temporary concrete Jersey barrier, which will be completed by the end of Friday. He added that on Monday “box bean guide rails” will be installed which will require alternate lane traffic passage during the day. The North Avenue Bridge over the Aspectuck River which has been undergoing reconstruction since March. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


10/23/13 06:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 4 Old Orchard Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 4 Old Orchard Road, off Maple Avenue North, is in process. Built in 1951, the 1 1/2-story cape has 1,169 square feet and is situated on a 1.3-acre 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


10/23/13 04:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Pompanoosuc Mills to PRW Image
Pompanoosuc Mills, the Vermont-based handcrafted furniture store previously located in the Barnes and Noble shopping center for 10 years, has moved to a new location of 222 Post Road West, former home of Capel Rugs.  A fixture in Westport for more than 25 years, Pompanoosuc Mills was initially located on the Post Road East across from the former main post office. The new space in Post Plaza also hosts a number of other design stores including Capel Rugs, which moved to the second floor, J. Pocker frames and prints, Artee Fabrics and Bel Mondo. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


10/23/13 02:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

View from Burying Hill Beach Image
Tuesday night’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Burying Hill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


10/23/13 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Framing the Past, Present, and Future” and “Walt Reed’s Illustrator in America”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - 2013 Group Members Exhibition: “Home Sweet Home”
Noon - Westport Arts Center - Fall Plein Air Painting with Judy Katz
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Westport Weston Health District Live Well Workshop
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Room Service”
7 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Sen. Toni Boucher and Rep: Gail Lavielle: Town Hall Meeting

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


10/23/13 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

RTM Votes to Move, Thus Save Kemper-Gunn House

By James Lomuscio

After more than two hours of impassioned pleas from the public to save a historic house from the wrecking ball, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight voted unanimously to overturn a negative Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) report, thus allowing the Kemper-Gunn House to be moved across the street, not to be razed. Image
Members of the Representative Town Meeting voted unanimously tonight to overturn a Planning & Zoning Commission denial of a request to move the 1885-built Kemper-Gunn House to save it from demolition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The vote brought a round of applause from the members and many in the audience who spoke in favor. Only two members of the public spoke in opposition.

Built in 1885 and located at 35 Church Lane next to the Westport Weston Family Y, the Queen Anne-styled Victorian stands in the way of a major redevelopment of the Family Y building being undertaken by Bedford Square Associates.

David Waldman, a principal of Bedford Square and who spoke at tonight’s meeting, has proposed moving the house to the town-owned Baldwin Parking Lot on Elm Street to save it.

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10/23/13 03:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Voting to Preserve Westport History

Scenes from tonight’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) session at which the legislative body voted unanimously to overturn a Planning and Zoning Commission denial of a request to move—and thus save from demolition—the 1885-built Kemper-Gunn House. Dave Matlow for


10/23/13 03:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Boys Soccer Readies for FCIAC Image
Michael Reid leads a pack of Westhill Vikings upfield today as the Staples boys soccer team lost its final regular season match 2-0. Now it’s time to gear up for the FCIAC playoffs. The Wreckers have all but sewed up the fourth seed, with a 10-4-2 record, which means they would host a quarterfinal match on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kim Lake for


10/23/13 12:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Stop Signs at Coleytown Road and North Ave. Image
Westport police today advised drivers that new stop signs that have been installed at the intersection of Coleytown Road and North Avenue, making it a three-way stop. The Board of Selectmen approved installation of the signs on Oct. 9 (See WestportNow Oct. 9, 2013). Police Chief Dale Call said over the past 12 years, there have been about 25 accidents at that location “either right at the stop sign of 100 feet from the intersection.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


10/22/13 11:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Margaret A. Geoghegan, 92

Margaret Anna Geoghegan, a former employee of Hall-Brooke Hospital in Westport, died at her Pittsboro, N.C. home Oct. 12 after a brief illness. She was 92. Image
Margaret Geoghegan: worked at Hall-Brooke Hospital. Contributed photo

Born April 26, 1921 to John and Margaret Chittick, of Philadelphia, she was the last surviving member of the Chittick family, her brother, John, and sister, Jean, having predeceased her.

She spent many of her happiest years at her Weston home where she lived for more than three decades.

A graduate of Columbia University from which she received a Masters of Social Work degree at the age of 56, and magna cum laude graduate of the University of Bridgeport, she worked at Hall-Brooke Hospital in Westport and the Yale-New Haven Hospital before establishing her own successful family therapy practice.

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10/22/13 10:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Mildred O. Van Sack, 94

Mildred O. Van Sack, a former Staples High School teacher formerly of Trumbull and Fairfield, died Oct. 19 at Good Shepherd Hospice Center in Port Jefferson, N.Y. She was 94.

She and her late husband Lawrence met at age 12 while attending Bassick Junior High School in 1931. Their storybook union spanned 70 years, including 60 years of marriage that ended with his death in 2001.

Like many of her generation, she had incredible emotional fortitude, her family said. She was fiercely independent, active, and always ready to laugh.

She was born in Bridgeport, daughter of the late George and Helma Verrelle. She and her family resided in the tight-knit community of Country Road in Fairfield, where friendships and hijinks were never in short supply. An excellent cook, she was the consummate entertainer, known for her love of parties and holiday gatherings.

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10/22/13 08:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Seasonal Slowdown Arrives

By Judy Szablak

The fall season is upon us, and with it comes a seasonal slowdown in the Westport real estate market. Image
This home at 19 Greenbriar Road is listed at $1,645,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis/Westport

Home sales certainly won’t grind to a halt, but if you haven’t put your best foot forward to sell your home, your chances to move by the end of the year are less and less.

Consider this—there are more than 280 properties available for sale as of today, and history shows us that we can reasonably expect that less than 20 percent of what is on the market today will close in the next two months.

In order for your home to be sold by year’s end, it must stand out from the crowd—that is, it needs to be priced correctly, present itself well, as well as be available for last-minute showings.

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10/22/13 07:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cornelius H.  Kelleher, 91

Cornelius Hayes “Neil” Kelleher of South Hadley, Mass., a former Westport resident, died Oct. 13. He was 91.

He was born Dec. 15, 1921, in Waterbury and lived briefly in nearby Naugatuck. From 1930 he grew up in the Saugatuck section of Westport, where he graduated from Staples High School.

He attended St. Michael’s College in Vermont and enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942, training as a radio operator and aerial gunner. After 30 combat missions over Germany as a T/Sgt. in the 8th Air Force, 388th Bomb Group B-17s, he volunteered for advanced radio school.

After graduating and awaiting assignment to the Pacific, the war ended. An honorable discharge followed in October 1945.

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10/22/13 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Preservation Award Winner: 69 Morningside Drive South Image
Among the nine winners of the Westport Historic District Commission 2013 Preservation Awards to be presented in a Town Hall ceremony at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30 is the house at 69 Morningside Drive South. The HDC said the award is being given to its owners, David Mayo and Carol Quinn, in recognition of its “reconstruction depicting the original.” It added: “Fortunately the new owners appreciated the importance of the character and style of the original John Couch House, c. 1859.  When planning their new home, which was significantly larger than the existing historic house, the owners chose to save the underlying structure and form of the original while expanding it with a large, compatible addition to the rear ...  The HDC applauds the owners for using the historic structure as an inspiration to retain the design of the house with its iconic porch and its significant presence in the Greens Farms neighborhood.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


10/22/13 03:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Morning Fog Image
The cold air and warm water created an early morning fog Monday on the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for


10/22/13 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

8:15 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 – Village District Steering Committee
10 a.m. - Westport Library - JobseekersL Energize Your Job Search
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Framing the Past, Present, and Future” and “Walt Reed’s Illustrator in America”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - 2013 Group Members Exhibition: “Home Sweet Home”
2:30 p.m. - Staples High School Football Field - Run/Walk benefit for Save the Children
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Yohuru Williams on the Civil Rights Movement
7:30 p.m. - Greens Farms Academy - Justin Hall-Tipping, Fall 2013 Visiting Scholar, nanotechnology & energy
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Zoning Board of Appeals
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Room Service”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


10/22/13 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Environmental Issues Focus of Selectman Forum Image
Candidates for Westport first and second selectman discussed environmental issues tonight at Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center. Democrats Helen Garten and Melissa Kane (l) faced off against Republicans Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner in a discussion moderated by Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member Matthew Mandell. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


10/22/13 02:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Forum: Gobal Warming & More

Scenes from tonight’s selectman candidates’ forum at Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center. The discussion covered a wide range of environmental issues from global warming and trees to deer population control and use of organic fertilizer. The event was preceded by a reception. Dave Matlow for


10/22/13 02:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sec. of the State to Moderate ‘Select’ Staples Debate

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill will join Staples High School’s Junior Statesmen of America, Young Democrats and Young Republicans to moderate a debate between the first and second selectman/selectwoman candidates Thursday at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

First and second selectman candidates respectively, Republicans Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner and Democrats Helen Garten and Melissa Kane, will answer student questions, and the event will be broadcast over Education Channel 78, event planners said.

“I’m so honored to be moderating this debate for the candidates of Westport, and very pleased to see young people so involved in bringing the candidates together,” said Merrill.

“Municipal elections are very important because decisions that will greatly impact our communities will be made by those we elect to serve in local office,” she added. “This debate is a great way to get young citizens civically engaged, and, hopefully, we’ll turn them into lifelong voters.”

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10/22/13 01:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, October 21, 2013

Staples Boys Soccer Falls to Fairfield Ludlowe Image
The Staples High School boys soccer team (Diego Alanis in front; Michael Reid, Jack Scott and Charlie Leonard backing up behind) fell 2-1 to Fairfield Ludlowe today at Loeffler Field. Joe Pravder put the hosts in the lead, banging in Patrick Beusse’s rebound, but the Falcons equalized five seconds before halftime, on a corner kick. The guests got the winning goal midway through the second period. Staples, now 10-3-2, travels to Westhill for a quick-turnaround match on Tuesday. The FCIAC playoffs begin Friday, with the Wreckers in the hunt for a home match. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kim Lake for


10/21/13 11:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s David Pogue Leaves NYT for Yahoo

Westporter David Pogue is leaving The New York Times as a personal technology columnist after 13 years and is joining Yahoo. Image
Westporter David Pogue was at The Westport LIbrary last week to introduce the premiere of the second season of his PBS science miniseries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Pogue announced the move in a column on Tumblr, an Internet blogging service that Yahoo acquired for $1.1 billion four months ago.

“Leaving The Times is a big deal,” Pogue said, adding:  “But 13 years is a long time to stay in one place; we all thrive on new experiences. So I was intrigued when Yahoo invited me to help build a new consumer-tech site.”

Pogue said he will be writing columns and blog posts each week and “making my goofy videos. But my team and I have much bigger plans, too, for all kinds of online and real-world creations.”

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10/21/13 09:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Select Candidates Face Off at Earthplace

Westport’s Democratic and Republican candidates for first and second selectman will face off today at 7:30 p.m. on environmental issues at Earthplace: The Nature Discovery Center located at 10 Woodside Lane.

“The forum is an excellent opportunity for Westporters to hear the candidates speak on environmental concerns that we all share,” said Tony McDowell, Earthplace’s new executive director. “The environmental theme and the community orientation of this event are aligned with the Earthplace mission, and we are proud to host it.”

Republicans Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner and Democrats Helen Garten and Melissa Kane, first and second selectman candidates respectively, will field environmental questions from Earthplace’s board of trustees, students in Staples High School’s AP environmental science class and the Westport Green Task Force, according to Sarah Ferrante, Earthplace spokeswoman.

The candidates will also get to answer questions from the public gathered during a 6:30 p.m. welcoming reception prior to the forum, she said.

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10/21/13 08:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Metro-North Explains Morning Delays

Metro-North said today morning rush hour delays of up to 30 minutes resulted from a number of unrelated signal and equipment problems that occurred throughout the morning peak period. These combined to cause significant train congestion.

These included a signal problem in the vicinity of Stamford that occurred shortly after 6 a.m.. “Although this was quickly resolved, delays were incurred early on in the AM Peak period,” the railroad said.

There was a track switch and signal malfunction around 8 a.m. at a vital interlocking (where trains can move from one track to another) at Mott Haven where all three lines converge, Metro-North said.

Around the same time, another problem developed in this area when the 6:52 a.m. train from Old Greenwich experienced a door light problem as it was crossing the interlocking. ”

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10/21/13 07:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Clifford S. Ely, Jr., 89

Clifford Seth Ely, Jr., 89, husband of Trinette Haase Ely of Norwalk, died Oct. 18, at Wilton Meadows, Wilton.

Born Feb. 24, 1924 in Norwalk, he was the son of the late Clifford and Helen MacKenzie Ely. He attended Norwalk High School before enlisting in the U.S. Navy where he served in the Central Pacific as a rated signalman.

He later opened his own retail paint and wallpaper store in Westport and retired in 1987 as the manager of The Paint Bucket.

In retirement he moved to Denton, then Easton, Md. where he was the founder of the Bay Country Chorus barbershop chorus. He had been an active member of Grace Episcopal Church in Norwalk and a Past-Grand of Our Brother’s Lodge #10, I.O.O.F. of Norwalk.

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10/21/13 07:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Joseph M. Matis, 80

Joseph M. Matis of Westport, husband of Bertha (Stahursky) Matis, died Oct. 19 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 80.

Born in Southport, he was a Westport resident for 49 years.

He was a U.S. Army veteran and was employed at Westport Bowling Lanes for more than 20 years. In his earlier years he enjoyed fishing, bowling and golf.

He was also an avid gardener and a fan of the UConn Women’s basketball team. He will be fondly remembered as a hardworking, yet soft spoken man with a big heart who always thought of others before himself, his family said.

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10/21/13 07:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Levitt Groundbreaking Image
About seven weeks after construction began on the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, a formal groundbreaking ceremony was held today on the former landfill. Dignitaries, board members, and those involved in the Levitt fundraising, operations, and construction were present on the dusty peninsula jutting out into the Saugatuck River for the occasion. Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, with a little help from patron Mimi Levitt, turned over the symbolic first shovel of dirt. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


10/21/13 05:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Delighted to Help Turn the Shovel Image
Mimi Levitt, 92, philanthropist and patron of the arts, was delighted today to help Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff turn the shovel at the official groundbreaking for the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. Looking on is Janet Plotkin, Levitt board chair. Joseloff told the groundbreaking ceremony: “Never have so many people waited so long and spent so much money to dig up a garbage pit. We are deeply appreciative of all of the donors. Nothing comes cheap, but this is the beginning of the dawn of the 21st century of cultural renewal in Westport.” Completion of the new Levitt, which sits on landfill, is scheduled before the its 41st season next summer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


10/21/13 05:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Levitt Groundbreaking: View from Across River Image
A view of today’s Levitt groundbreaking ceremony from across the Saugatuck River. Construction began about six weeks ago, including placement of several dozen large pilings drilled into the river bed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


10/21/13 05:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

After 40 Years, a New Levitt Will Rise

Scenes from today’s groundbreaking for the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. Dave Matlow for


10/21/13 05:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

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