Saturday, November 23, 2013
About 80 persons gathered at Westport’s Bedford Middle School today to give input on the future redesign of Compo Beach. The session was hosted by the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee, which is developing a master plan for the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Looking over suggestions for improving Compo Beach at today’s Bedford Middle School session were (l-r) Selectman Avi Kaner, state Rep. Gail Lavielle, and First Selectman Jim Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Scenes from today’s Bedford Middle School meeting on improvements at Compo Beach. Attendees were asked to pen sticky notes on must have items, those nice to have, those that could be take it or leave it, and things to remove. The ideas will go toward developing a master plane for Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com and WestportNow.com photos
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. - Bedford Middle School (88 North Ave.) – Compo Beach Master Plan Community Charrette
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilberties Herb Garden (7 Sylvan Lane) - Westport Winter Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - St. Luke Parish (49 Turkey Hill Road North) - Harvest Fair
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Town Hall - 2013 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center -“Chuck Close: About Face”
2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - Staples - Staples Players: “Thoroughly Modern Millie”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Framing the Past, Present, and Future” and “Walt Reed’s Illustrator in America”
4 p.m. - United Methodist Church (49 Weston Road) - Westport School of Music Faculty Chamber Music Concert
7:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Greens Farms Academy: “Fiddler on the Roof”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
A special guest at tonight’s opening of the Westport Arts Center’s exhibition, “Chuck Close: About Face” was Robert Elson of Westport. He stands next to a portrait of himself created in 1973-74 by Close, whose wife was a close friend of his in junior high school. Elson said the charcoal print had never been shown before to a large crowd. It is a smaller version of “Robert/104,072,” a much larger work by Close now at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The title refers to the 104,072-square grid to which Close painstakingly applied tiny black dots to create the work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Guests view one of many works by artist Chuck Close tonight at the Westport Art Center’s opening reception for its “Chuck Close: About Face” exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Westporter Melissa Newman performed some jazz vocals tonight at the Westport Arts Center at the reception for the opening of “Chuck Close: About Face.” She was joined by Helen Klisser During, the Center’s director of visual arts, who curated the exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (l) and his successor, Jim Marpe, were among guests at tonight’s opening reception for the Westport Arts Center’s “Chuck Close: About Face” exhibit. It runs until Jan. 12. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Andrew F. McGrade, president of the Westport Arts Center, tonight addresses a VIP reception at the opening of the Center’s “Chuck Close: About Face” exhibit. He said his employer, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, was pleased to sponsor the show as part of the bank’s commitment to support the arts. Curator Helen Klisser During, WAC director of visual arts, wove together silkscreens, woodcuts, linocuts, etchings, relief prints, color Polaroids, and charcoal drawings from five different Connecticut and New York collections. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Scenes from a reception tonight at the Westport Arts Center for the opening of its “Chuck Close: About Face” exhibit, which runs to Jan. 12. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com and contributed photos
Friday, November 22, 2013
A book launch party was held tonight at SoNo Studios in Norwalk for Westporter Suzanne Krauss to mark publication of her first book, a memoir, “To Vegas and Back,” about her childhood as the daughter of a Las Vegas showgirl in the 1970s. Published by Changing Lives Press, it went into eBook release earlier this month and the hardback is set to be published in January. Proceeds from tonight’s event benefits Westport’s Project Return. Pictured is Suzanne Krauss (2nd r) with friends. For more information, visit www.tovegasandback.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Nov. 4 - 8, 2013:
ECP Westport LLC to Greens Farms Centre Associates, 1835 Post Road East, $3,475,000
Stuart D. Farnworth to Anthony H. and Jessica Hill, 5 Spicer Road, $999,000
Dorothy Schaeffer to Robert J. Parisi, 18 Center St., $605,000
Sumner Jules Glimcher Trust to Ronald S. Friedson, 10 Crescent Park Road, $290,000
By James Lomuscio
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe has named longtime Westporter Bob Zappi—a business marketing executive and former head of the Republican Town Committee (RTC)— operations manager for the Selectman’s Office.
In the new post, Zappi, who was Marpe’s campaign manager, will be the full-time, self-described “go-to person” acting on behalf of the administration, working with department heads and on myriad projects.
“He will be acting on my behalf, doing additional analyses, helping department heads look at their processes, making them more efficient and effective, making sure we are in the right collaborative environment,” Marpe said today.
According to Marpe, the position, which he said has a $125,000 a year salary, is authorized in the Town Charter, and previous administrations had similar posts. Marpe’s salary is $101,475.
Volunteer Judy Wanat today sets up for the “Chabby Chic” boutique at the annual Harvest Fair at Westport’s St. Luke Parish, 49 Turkey Hill Road North, which gets under way Saturday and continues on Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. The Fair will feature vendors offering holiday gift items including jewelry and gift baskets, and holiday baked goods. Admission is free and all proceeds will benefit charity. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe has ordered that all U.S., State of Connecticut and Westport flags at town facilities be flown at half-staff today, the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
“Like so many Westporters of my age, I remember this day from 50 years ago and its impact on the nation and the world as if it were last week,” said Marpe in a news release.
“One of my favorite quotes from JFK is: ‘Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future,’” he added.
Marpe, who has often reiterated that his administration will be “citizen centric,” is the first Republican to hold the top spot in 16 years.
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 45 Owenoke Park in the Compo Beach area is in process. Built in 1920, the two-story colonial has 3,161 square feet, is situated on a .71-acre waterfront property and changed ownership last month for $5,455,000. 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
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy—one of those historic moments when people always remember where they were when they heard the news.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the event in 2003, WestportNow asked Westporters where they were on that fateful Nov. 22, 1963. Here is what they said (feel free to add your own experience in the comments section):
That momentous Friday 40 years ago, I was a college student at NYU and was walking along sedate Madison Avenue browsing at the lovely shops lining the street.
Suddenly I became aware of the bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral chiming solemnly and noticed clusters of people at parked cars listening to their radios.
I learned quickly why Madison Avenue had changed and knew that our world had changed as well.
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. - 4 p.m. - Westport Library - Westport Weston Health District Flu Shots
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Coffeehouse: Suzanne Sheridan and Ralph Adams
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Opening Reception: “Chuck Close: About Face”
7:30 p.m. - Staples - Staples Players: “Thoroughly Modern Millie”
7:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Movie Night: “The Hunger Games”
7:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Greens Farms Academy: “Fiddler on the Roof”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
More than100 persons gathered at the Bedford Middle School auditorium tonight for a public meeting that encouraged comments on state mandates that may be detrimental to teaching and learning in Connecticut’s public schools. State Rep Gail Lavielle, (R-143) who represents Westport, Norwalk, and Wilton and is a member of the task force created by the state legislature to identify areas where schools should seek relief from state mandates, organized and led the meeting. She stressed that the process is “truly bipartisan” as she prepares a legislative proposal for the 2014 session which opens during the first week of February. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
State Rep. Gail Lavielle (l) (R-143) was joined by Colleen Palmer, superintendent of the Weston Public Schools, as she led tonight’s discussion at Bedford Middle School about mandates impacting Connecticut schools. Both are members of a legislative task force studying the issue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon told a meeting at Bedford Middle School tonight on state mandates impacting education that mandates in special education and educator evaluation should be reduced, eliminated, or modified. This would enable Westport educators to serve children in the Westport school system in the most effective manner possible, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, in response to a proclamation issued tonight by President Barack Obama, has directed U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to fly at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Friday in recognition of a national Day of Remembrance for President John F. Kennedy.
“Half a century after his assassination, President John F. Kennedy’s call to action for every citizen to better our great nation and serve our fellow man continues to inspire generation after generation of Americans,” Malloy said.
“We should all take a moment today to pay tribute to this extraordinary public servant and reflect on how we each can do our part to carry on President Kennedy’s legacy.”
Former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff cuts the ribbon late today on a new electric vehicle charging station in Westport’s center at the Tri-Town Teachers Federal Credit Union on Jesup Road. The facility, partially paid for by a $2,000 state grant and powered by solar roof panels, will allow simultaneous charging of two cars. Joseloff, who made energy conservation a top priority during his just ended eight years in office, said he looked forward to also installing an EV station at the Green’s Farms Metro-North station. There already is a charging station at the Saugatuck station also powered by rooftop solar panels. With Joseloff are (l-r) state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg; Leo Karl of Leo Karl Chevrolet, New Canaan, a sponsor of the station; John Coniglio and David Ritch of Tri-Town; Steve Smith, Westport Building Official, and Leo Cirino, president of the Westport Electric Vehicle Car Club. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, November 21, 2013
After almost 20 years of service on the Connecticut Metro-North Commuter Rail Council, the last four as its chairman, commuter advocate Jim Cameron said today he is moving on.
“While I have resigned from the Commuter Council, I’m not quitting my advocacy for improved commuter rail service,” said Cameron. He will continue to author his twice-monthly “Talking Transportation” column on WestportNow and other media outlets as well as his blog of the same name.
“It is clear to me now that the best way to make change is to organize at a grassroots level, giving voice to the 120,000 daily riders on Metro-North at a volume that cannot be ignored,” said Cameron.
During his tenure on the Connecticut Metro-North Commuter Council, Cameron led the effort to order long overdue new rail cars, increase service on the branch lines, introduce “quiet cars” to rush-hour trains and rehab dilapidated rail stations under the “Fix My Station” campaign.
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
The state’s unemployment rate cracked the 8 percent barrier for the first time in more than four years in September and October, falling to 7.9 percent despite more than 4,000 jobs lost, the Department of Labor reported today.
That’s down from an 8.1 percent jobless rate in August. Connecticut still lags the nation, which has a 7.3 percent unemployment rate.
Connecticut, like other states, did not report labor statistics for September one month ago. Those reports were blocked by the unavailability of key job data during the federal government shutdown.
“The September and October reports are sending mixed signals about Connecticut’s labor markets,” Andy Condon, director of the state labor department’s Office of Research, said. “The weeks leading up to the federal government shutdown, evidently, led to increased economic uncertainty and hiring indecision across the state. On a positive note, the state’s unemployment rate has declined for two months in a row.”
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Westport’s Sasco Creek Village on Post Road East, which is planning a major makeover, is among 13 affordable housing developments to receive a new round of state aid, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today.
In all, the state has awarded approximately $18,335,000 in grants and loans to help fund the 13 affordable housing developments in the state-sponsored housing portfolio, Malloy said.
Sasco Creek Village at 1655 Post Road East, referred to as Sasco Creek Apartments in the state announcement, is run by the Westport Housing Authority (WHA) and managed by Millenium Real Estate Services. It comprises 33 individual mobile homes built in 1985.
The WHA has been working for more than three years on a $15 million project to redevelop the units into to 54 new apartments in three-story buildings and new infrastructure. The proposed project will retain the existing 39 townhouse-style residences that were built in 2003 in the rear of Sasco Creek known as Hidden Brook.
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 91 Clapboard Hill Road in the Green’s Farms area is in process. Built in 1900, the two-story contemporary has 4,258 square feet and is situated on a 1.89-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
By James Lomuscio
After a year’s hiatus, fireworks will return to First Night Westport-Weston, but the bursts will be smaller than they used to be.
Westport’s new Board of Selectman today unanimously approved the use of the town-owned Imperial Avenue parking lot as a launch site Dec. 31 at 10 p.m., but with 3-inch gauge fireworks shells instead of the 6-inch gauge ones used in the past.
The reason for the choked spread of exploding glitter is that the Imperial lot is closer to the Westport Woman’s Club and homes than the previous riverfront launch site on the Levitt Pavilion grounds.
In the past, fireworks crews set off skyrockets from the Levitt property, but the construction of a new pavilion which was scheduled to commence in 2012 scrapped last year’s fireworks, replacing them with a laser show deemed a dud by newly installed First Selectman Jim Marpe.