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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Board of Selectmen: Under New Mangement

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Westport’s Board of Selectmen held its first meeting today with new members Republican First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Avi Kaner and Democrat Selectwoman Helen Garten. Under the town charter, the winning team in the election is joined by the losing first selectman candidate. Marpe promised more frequent meetings—Kaner said that could include weekends—and said the board would welcome real-time input from citizens using social media, email, and texts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


11/21/13 03:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporters on the Run in Philadelphia

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The recent 20th Philadelphia Marathon included Westport’s Team Pink Aid which raised more than $18,000 on behalf uninsured women diagnosed with breast cancer. Running the 26.2-mile event were (l-r) Kenneth Olson, Karin Sawyer and Richard Nadel. They were cheered on by honorary team captain Pamela Olson (not shown). For more information and to contribute or volunteer contact Pink Aid, 670 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880, Attn: Andrew Mitchell-Namdar, (203)682-PINK or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


11/21/13 01:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Longshore View

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Wednesday’s sunset as seen from the E.S Strait Marina at Westport’s Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


11/21/13 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013

8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Framing the Past, Present, and Future” and “Walt Reed’s Illustrator in America”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - “Downton Abbey,” Season 3
7 p.m. - Bedford Middle School - Education Mandate Relief Public Hearing
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Will Schwalbe, “The End of Your Life Book Club”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - The Storytelling Circle
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Westport Youth Commission

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


11/21/13 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Saugatuck Congregational Rising from the Ashes

By James Lomuscio

John Walsh remembers two years ago tonight when flames shot higher than the steeple on the 180-year-old Saugautck Congregational Church.

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Firefighters battle flames at the Saugauck Congregational Church on Nov. 20, 2011. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Walsh, chairman of the church’s building committee, recalled tonight a surreal scene as Westport firefighters on the ground and high up on ladders pumped water into the rear of the historic structure.

“The fire had been going for such a long period of time that when they opened the front doors of the church, the smoke shot out and on to the lawn,” he said. “And in the back, where they had been pouring all the water down into the rear of the building, it just flooded out into the parking lot.”

“It was an awful night indeed,” Walsh added. “What struck me was the magnitude of the loss and the fear that we would lose the entire building. It was awfully hard to comprehend. You said it can’t be happening. This church had been here 180 years, and it was hard to believe we might lose it.”

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11/21/13 01:11 AM Comments () • Permalink

Five Stars for Westport Library

The Westport Library has earned Five-Star Library status from Library Journal, the nation’s premier publication for libraries, it was announced today.

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Maxine Bleiweis: ranking reflects intellectual curiosity in Westport. Contributed photo

The annual ranking is a reflection of how a public library is used by its community. Only 3.5 percent of public libraries nationally received Star Library status, according to a Library announcement, and fewer than 1 percent earned five stars.

Westport ranked second in the $5-9.9 million budget category, with Greenwich coming in sixth (a total of 86 nationally received five stars).

The Journal measures libraries on a per capita basis on how many times they are visited each year, how many people attend programs, the number of sessions logged on library computers and how many items are borrowed.

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11/21/13 12:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Westport Police Warn About Scams Targeting Elderly

Going into the holiday season, the Westport Police Department today warned residents of recent scams that have affected Westport as well as surrounding areas, particularly scams that have been targeting the elderly. They include:

Bargain Home/Vehicle Repair Offers

In these scams, the suspect will approach an elderly resident at his or her home or in a parking lot and quote them a bargain amount for a service such as dent pulling, chimney sweeping, or driveway paving that may otherwise be expensive. 

After partially completing the service, the suspects may request additional money from the victim to complete the work.  Many times these cons use shoddy materials and unskilled workers and may end up causing more damage than they were supposed to repair. 

To protect themselves, consumers should make sure the company is registered with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection. Anyone offering home improvement services should hold a valid Home Improvement Contractor’s license.

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11/20/13 11:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cash Has Been Adopted

Cash. Westport Animal Control

Cash (short for Johnny Cash) comes to Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA) foster program via a Westport connection now living in Texas. This handsome boy, approximately 12 to 15 months of age, was originally found as a stray in Texas.  He is a very sweet fellow who gets along well with other dogs and people of all ages.  He is completely housebroken and is learning his basic commands, he came to us walking very well on a leash.  Cash is neutered and up-to-date on his vet care.  Cash needs to go to a home where he will not be left for prolonged periods of time and with someone willing to work on his separation issues.  He is a wonderful boy that is certainly worth the extra effort to make him a part of your family.  For additional information about Cash, please send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 203-557-0361


11/20/13 11:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Rebukes White House Over Obamacare

By Mark Pazniokas


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today delivered a calculated rebuke to the White House for the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, an issue threatening to dog Malloy and other Democrats facing re-election in 2014.

Malloy, who was a campaign surrogate for President Obama during the 2012 campaign, stepped away from the president and aligned himself with consumers frustrated by the implementation of the health care law.

“I understand this frustration,” Malloy said. “I’m frustrated. I think the federal government has messed up big time. This couldn’t have been a worse rollout, except in the states that embraced what we’re trying to do. In Connecticut, we’re signing up people left and right.”

Malloy spoke at midday, hours before his insurance commissioner, Thomas B. Leonardi, was to meet at the White House on behalf of insurance regulators. Last week, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, state Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney of Fairfield, made Obamacare a gubernatorial issue by challenging Malloy to call a special legislative session to deal with the issue of policy cancellations.

Click here for more of story


11/20/13 09:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

The Cause Of It All

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Workers clean up today on I-95 southbound at Exit 14 in Norwalk where a tractor-trailer dump truck spilled its scrap aluminum load after hitting a bridge abutment. Norwalk Deputy Fire Chief Gino Gatto said the cause is under investigation, but according to the State Police, the dump trailer malfunctioned and began to rise up, hitting the bridge, causing the tractor-trailer to roll over. The accident shut down the highway southbound for almost four hours, causing massive backups on I-95 and nearby roadways.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Norwalk Fire Department photo


11/20/13 08:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Alternating Lane Traffic on Weston Road

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Roadwork in the area of Weston Road and Lyons Plains Road has traffic down to alternating lanes from 8 a.m. to 4 pm. today and Thursday. The work will be completed by the end of Thursday, according to an official on site. He said the work involves replacement of expansion joints on the river overpass. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


11/20/13 08:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Traffic Snarled Throughout Westport by I-95 Crash

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Closure of I-95 southbound and the diverted traffic on to Westport local roads caused traffic jams throughout town today. This was the scene on Main Street near Willowbrook Cemetery at about 3 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


11/20/13 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink


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UPDATE Westport’s Post Road was jammed with southbound tractor-trailers today after I-95 southbound was shutdown at Exit 14 because of an accident involving a tractor-trailer carrying scrap metal. Westport police advised motorists to avoid the Post Road. I-95 southbound was shut down for more than three hours before it was reopened at about 2:15 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


11/20/13 06:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tractor-Trailer Crash Closes I-95 in Norwalk

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UPDATE A tractor-trailer accident in Norwalk closed I-95 southbound in late morning today, causing some of the traffic to divert on to Westport’s Post Road where additional backups occurred. The tractor-trailer was carrying scrap aluminum that spilled on to the highway near Exit 14.The roadway was closed from about 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. The Norwalk Fire Department said the driver was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated by firefighters. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening, the Fire Department said. View is from a traffic camera looking southbound near Exit 17 in Westport. DOT photo


11/20/13 05:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Stay Cool Program Donates to Warm Up Fund

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Stay Cool Westport, a Green Task Force initiative to increase residential energy efficiency measures, today presented a $3,000 check to Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe. The funds are earmarked for the Department of Human Services Westport Warm Up Fund, which provides heating assistance to eligible Westport residents. Co-pays for state-sanctioned Home Energy Solution (HES) visits were donated by the HES providers, New England Smart Energy and New England Conservation Services. Pictured (l-r) are David Mann, chair, Green Task Force; Susan Stefenson, program specialist, Department of Human Services; Pippa Bell Ader, member, Green Task Force: First Selectman Jim Marpe; Stephanie Weiner, founder, New England Smart Energy; Brent Borgnine, New England Conservation Service, co-president, and Diana McCarthy-Bercury, Clean Energy Communities program administrator. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


11/20/13 04:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 14 Prospect Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 14 Prospect Road, off Greens Farms Road, is in process. Built in 1960, the one-story ranch has 2,328 square feet and is situated on a 1.01-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 WestportNow.com


11/20/13 03:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Taking Flight

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Ducks take flight at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com


11/20/13 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Framing the Past, Present, and Future” and “Walt Reed’s Illustrator in America”
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Beautification Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


11/20/13 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

First Day Leaves Marpe Feeling ‘Energized’

By James Lomuscio

Jim Marpe, Westport’s new first selectman, walked into Town Hall today at 8 a.m., and after 9 p.m., he was still in the office.

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Then First Selectman-Elect Jim Marpe visits Conservation Department staff at Westport Town Hall on Nov. 6 following his election victory the day before. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

“I’m not quite out of here yet,” said Marpe, the first Republican to hold the top spot in 16 years. “There’s a lot of catching up, a lot to read and a lot of people to talk to.”

Asked if he felt tired after a 13-hour day following his inauguration Monday night with running mate Avi Kaner, second selectman, and Selectwoman Helen Garten, a Democrat, Marpe responded to the contrary..

“I feel energized,” he said. “I had a great day.”

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11/20/13 03:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

For Child Care, No Room at the New Y

By James Lomuscio

Samantha Kelley said she had learned about the Westport Weston Family Y’s Early Learning Child Care Program in April, months before she and her husband Brendan moved to Westport from Denver.

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Rob Reeves, president and CEO of the Westport Weston Family Y, shows off a rendering of the new aquatic center during an October tour of the new Y now under construction. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The child care program, she admits, was an added incentive to move to town.

“It’s an amazing program,” she said, noting that it has worked well for her 2-year-old son Liam.

But last week Kelley said she learned the program, run by the Y for more than 20 years, would shut down in June, with an official announcement about its closing to be made in January.

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11/20/13 12:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Real Estate Report: Contemporary Style is Hot

By Judy Szablak

Westport’s single family home inventory is down, as is much of the nation, however contemporary-styled homes for sale are particularly scarce.

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This home at 82 Morningside Drive South is listed at $3,575,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Higgins Group/Christie’s Great Estates—Westport

For example, in Fairfield County, there are more than 3,900 single family properties for sale according to our local Multiple Listing Service. Countywide, less than 10 percent of these homes are either contemporary in interior or exterior styling, and Westport has just 39 homes actively listed fitting the description.

As we have watched our overall market improve, this segment has also performed well over the last few years. Sales data is consistent in both 2012 and 2013, with 39 homes sold last year, and 35 closings year-to-date, with another four pended and scheduled to close. Average sale prices are up more than 8 percent year-over-year.

Market Stats

There was a significant drop of nearly 13 percent from last week’s inventory, and there are now just 249 homes that are actively on the market which is partly seasonal. The average list price of these available homes is $2,340,273, and these properties have been listed for average of 125 days, with a cumulative market time of 203 days. The median price is currently at $1,785,000.

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11/19/13 11:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Himes Seeks Applicants for Service Academies

Congressman Jim Himes has announced that the deadline to apply for a nomination from his office for the nation’s service academies is Dec. 2.

“I invite any highly motivated, well-rounded, successful student to consider applying to these prestigious schools,” he said. “Our nation’s service academies develop students physically, ethically, and intellectually as they build the foundation for a challenging and rewarding career as a military officer.”

He said the deadline applies to nominations from his office to the Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy in Annapolis, the Merchant Marine Academy in New York, or the Air Force Academy in Colorado for the 2014 school year.

The Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut does not require a nomination, Himes said, but asked those applying to the Coast Guard Academy and who would like to be considered for a nomination to also submit materials by the Dec. 2 deadline.

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11/19/13 10:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Annetta M. Matheson, 79

Annetta McCartney Matheson of Westport, wife of the late Craig Matheson, founder of Staples Players, died Nov. 15 in Norwalk Hospital.  She was 79.

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Annetta Matheson:  Westport teacher. Contributed photo

Born March 25, 1934 in Mineola, N.Y., she was the daughter of Canadian immigrants the late Dr. Harold S. and Annetta (Pedlow) McCartney.

She received her Bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University and did her graduate work at Hofstra University. She was a teacher on Long Island and in Westport. 

She lived in Westport since 1961 with her late husband of 52 years, Craig, who died in August. She was a member of the Saugatuck Congregational Church since 1961 and was involved in many charitable organizations.

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11/19/13 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Raymond: Lane Will Get Him Respect From Grandkids

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The Westport Weston Family Y today dedicated the renaming of Sunny Lane to Allen Raymond Lane in a ceremony at the Camp Mahackeno site where construction of the new Family Y is underway, “I’ll confess I’m awed by all this,” said Raymond, 90, long active in the Y and community affairs. “And it has come with an unexpected bonus—when I need respect from my grandchildren, I can actually drive them down Allen Raymond Lane.” Raymond also referred to the Gettysburg address which was delivered by President Lincoln 150 years ago today. He paraphrased the historical words this way: “Westporters will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but they will never forget what we did here.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


11/19/13 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Nevas Opens Nevas Law Group in Westport

Westport attorney Stephen E. (Steve) Nevas has announced the opening of the Nevas Law Group, 237 Post Road West.

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Steve Nevas: active in media law. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

He is the son of the late Bernard Nevas who, with the late Leo Nevas, founded Nevas & Nevas in Westport, where he practiced for many years. It lately has been known as Nevas, Capasse & Gerard LLC.

Nevas is co-chair of the Media and Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and concentrates on libel, slander, personal privacy and access to public information.

He represents business, publishers, producers, artists, writers and musicians to register and defend their copyrights and trademarks. His practice includes civil litigation and appeals as well as land use, zoning and real estate, the food industry and estate administration.

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11/19/13 08:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thomas J. Moran Jr., 85

Thomas J. Moran Jr. of Shelton, owner of TJ Moran’s restaurant in Westport for several years, died Nov. 15. He was 85.

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Thomas J. Moran Jr.: owned Westport restaurant. Contributed photo

He was born in Scranton, Pa. on Jan. 25, 1928, the son of the late Thomas J. Moran Sr. and Florence Riley Moran. A musical prodigy, he began playing the piano at age 5 and was invited to attend The Juilliard School.

At the age of 16, he began touring with the Dorsey Brothers, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman. He played in the Connecticut music scene as a regular band member with Frank Wojnarowski and Joey Zelle’s Casa Ritz Orchestra, the regular club orchestra at the Ritz Ballroom on Bridgeport’s Pleasure Beach.

He and Irene wrote and produced a number of musicals in Huntington where they raised their family. He was the owner of TJ Moran’s in Westport for several years, with his piano bar the center of the popular lounge at 36 Elm St., now home to Villa Del Sol since 1998.

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11/19/13 07:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Yvonne M. Jacobs, 83

Yvonne Coral Mironchik Jacobs of Ft. Myers, Fla. died Sept. 29 in Jacksonville, Fla. She was 83.

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Yvonne M. Jacobs: organist at St. Paul’s. Contributed photo

She was born July 2, 1930 in Appleton, Wisc. to the late Earl J. Umphrey and Gertrude H. C. Juneau.

She was predeceased by husbands, Edward Mironchik of Houston, and Frederick Jacobs of Ft. Myers and Norwalk. She and Fred travelled frequently and spent their summers in Connecticut.

She played the organ for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Westport and directed the youth choir. She enjoyed finding her clients Florida homes while working as a realtor with VIP Realty for almost 20 years.

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11/19/13 05:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Kenneth J. Macdonald, 86

Kenneth J. Macdonald of Westport and Surfside Beach, S.C. died Nov. 17 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 86.

Born June 19, 1927 in New Haven, the son of the late Joseph and Clara (Casper) Macdonald, he was the husband of Edna (Ianiri) Macdonald for 52 years.

A Naval veteran of World War II, he earned his Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in electronic engineering from Yale University and worked for Norden Systems.

Funeral services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (http://www.stjude.org)


11/19/13 04:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Taking Part in Cancer Research Study

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Enrollment in the American Cancer Society’s major new long-term research project was under way today at the Westport Weston Family Y, through noon. Known as the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), the research project is the nation’s largest study of the causes of cancers. Pictured is Y staffer Patty Kondub taking part in the study, which involves completing a brief written study and consent form, having your waist measured and giving a small blood sample. Those eligible to participate include anyone who is between 30 and 65 years old; has never been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer) and is willing to make a long-term commitment to the study, which involves completing periodic follow-up surveys at home. To enroll, visit http://www.cancer.org/cps3NE, or call 888-604-5888. Enrollment will also take place Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. at Bridgeport Hospital, Mill Hill B, 267 Grant St., Bridgeport.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


11/19/13 03:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police: Avoid Lyons Plains and Weston Roads

Westport Police today advised motorists to avoid the intersection of Weston Road and Lyons Plains Road due to ongoing roadwork from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday, and to expect delays.


11/19/13 02:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

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