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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

McKinney Calls for CT Education Chief to Resign

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Following backlash from teachers across the state surrounding the rollout of two education reforms, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney is calling for the governor’s education commissioner to resign. Image
Senate Minority leader John McKinney, whose district includes part of Westport, talks to reporters today in Hartford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

“They need a voice and a leader that they can trust, and it’s clear they have lost trust in him,” the Fairfield Republican who is seeking the nomination for governor said today of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor.

The state is in the process of requiring that every teacher be evaluated in accordance with state guidelines and implementing the new Common Core State Standards that will change what students are tested on each year.

Last week, state Democratic leaders decided to slow down the rollout of evaluations and set up a task force to help with implementation of the new standards.

Click here for more of story


02/04/14 07:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Inaugural Meeting of Downtown Steering Committee Image
The new Westport Downtown Steering Committee comvened its first meeting today with Dewey Loselle (c) as its chair. After a welcome from First Selectman Jim Marpe, members heard an update on a traffic parking study being conducted by consultant RBA Group and reviewed the planned Phase 2 of the consultant’s work. There was also discussion of the Village District project as well as plans for use of a $500,000 state grant for structural improvements in the Main Street area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/04/14 05:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

SRO for Baron’s South Committee Meeting Image
It was standing room only today for a meeting of Westport’s Baron’s South Commitee at Town Hall. The committee worked on plans for the senior housing facility at the town-owned Baron’s South property with developer Jonathan Rose Companies. Members discussed linking payments to the town’s mill rate as well as such details as shared use of a planned swimming pool with the community. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/04/14 05:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

BOF Audit Committee Reviews School Fund Shortfall Image
The Westport Board of Finance’s Audit Subcommittee today heard an update on control issues related to the external review of the Board of Education’s $1.9 million Health Insurance Fund shortfall. The shortfall is currently under review by a committee established by the Board of Education. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/04/14 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Backyard Scene Image
Monday’s snow created picturesque New England scenes in Westport, including in this yard not far from Old Mill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julie Hicks for


02/04/14 04:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Look at Longshore Image
Removal of 15 trees at the entrance to Westport’s Longshore Club Park has resulted in a new look as seen in this photo shot during Monday’s snowstorm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/04/14 03:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Souper Chowder Bowl

Overshadowed by the Super Bowl and then Monday’s snowstorm was the news that Westport’s Dunville’s was the winner in Sunday’s Chowdafest in Bridgeport in the new category dedicated to just Manhattan and Rhode Island clam chowders. Westport’s Mansion Clam House, which has won the classic New England clam chowder competition twice, finished fourth this year. And the first inductee to the new Bowl of Fame was Chef Pietro Scotti from Da Pietro’s in Westport. He was among celebrity chefs who did a live cooking demonstration at the event this year. Da Pietro’s was there when Chowdafest started six years ago in Westport’s Unitarian Church. See full results here. Contributed photos


02/04/14 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Grilled Cheese Eatery to PRE

By Dave Matlow

A new “mostly take-out and delivery” casual food establishment, Grilled Cheese Eatery, will open at 772 Post Road East this month, according to co-owner Ivanina Donneaux. Image
The upscale grilled cheese eatery is expected to open this month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The Westport space is located adjacent to just-closed Great Cakes.The owners, Belgian-born Henri and Bulgarian-born Ivanina Donneaux, opened their first Grilled Cheese Eatery at 57 Unquowa Road, Fairfield in October 2013, having converted their Cafe Lola space into the new food concept.

She describes the menu as “for the sophisticated palate, even though our basic offering is grilled cheese.”

“Our menu features short ribs with truffle sauce, Cuban sandwiches buffalo wings, barbecued ribs and even a mac ‘n cheese grilled cheese which customers often describe as ‘heaven in my mouth,’” Donneaux said.

More "Comings & Goings: Grilled Cheese Eatery to PRE"


02/04/14 01:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Turning Over the Controls ImageMadeline Schemel and Sage Vouse, juniors at Staples High School and members of the Wrecker Robotics Team, a FIRST FTC Robotics Team, turn over the controls of their robot to a young girl at Science on Saturdays sponsored by Yale University. Madeline and Sage and another Wrecker Robotics teammate, Parker Stakoff (not pictured), are the founders of the Wrecker Robotics GIRLS Program (Girls Inspiring girls in Robotics and as Leaders in STEM). Science on Saturdays is free and open to all residents of New Haven and beyond. It features a lecture by a Yale professor and multiple science demonstrations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/04/14 12:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Schools Open on Time

The Westport public schools will open on time today, said Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon.


02/04/14 10:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Storm Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Westport and area for snow and ice, which is in effect from midnight tonight to 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in effect.

This system will bring mainly snow along with some sleet and freezing rain.

Snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches is expected along with around a tenth of an inch of ice. Visibilities will be one-quarter to one-half mile.

Snow will begin late tonight through Wednesday morning, mixing with and changing to sleet and freezing rain later Wednesday.


02/04/14 09:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Scene Image
The Westport Library’s Riverwalk provided a pretty winter scene during Monday’s snowstorm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


02/04/14 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

7:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 - Team Westport
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 - Baron’s South Committee
9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 - Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 307/309 - Downtown Steering Committee
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “On the Wire: Veiled Rebellion” by Lynsey Addario
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Maker-in-Residence Gar Waterman: Designing & Building a Mobile Office
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Arduino Workshop
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Joanne Lipman & Melanie Kupchynsky, “Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher & the Gift of Great Expectations”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 - Historic District Commission & Architectural Review Board Joint Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium - Representative Town Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. - Town Hall - Probate Office Open to Public

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/04/14 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

New Haven Delays

Metro-North said New Haven Line service is now operating on or close to schedule.


02/04/14 02:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Storm Watch Update

The National Weather Service said a Winter Storm Watch remains in effect for the Westport area from late Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon. The Winter Weather Advisory has expired.

Snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches is expected along with up to one tenth of an inch of ice. Visibilities will be one-quarter to one-half mile.

There will be snow late Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, mixing with and changing to sleet and freezing rain later Wednesday.

The snow and ice on roads will create hazardous travel.


02/04/14 12:44 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, February 03, 2014

Snowy Bridge Image
Westport’s Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge during today’s snowstorm, which dumped 5 to 6 inches on Westport, depending on location. Motre snow is predicted for late Tuesday night into Wednesday and then again next weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


02/03/14 11:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tough Walk Image
A pedestrian makes his way along Westport’s Taylor Place today during the snowstorm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


02/03/14 11:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Waiting for a Bus Image
It was a cold wait for a bus today on Westport’s Post Road East near the corner with Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


02/03/14 11:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Let It Snow

WestportNow readers were out having fun in the snow today and many submitted pictures. You can add your pictures to the collection by sending them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Contributed photos


02/03/14 10:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

On the Rails Image
Metro-North reported delays during the morning and evening rush hour due to a disabled train and power issues. View is of Metro-North tracks near Greens Farms Road in Westport.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


02/03/14 09:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Plowing Greens Farms Road Image
A Town of Westport snowplow makes its way along Greens Farms Road today. Most main roadways were passable with the National Weather Service predicting the snow would tape off this evening. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


02/03/14 09:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Battling the Snow on Westport Roads Image
Secondary roads such as Hales Road (above) were snow-covered at mid-afternoon today as Westport plows struggled to keep main roads passable. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


02/03/14 09:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Gloom… Image
A mail carrier makes a pick up on Westport’s Main Street during today’s snowstorm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/03/14 09:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Snow Explorer Image
This coyote was spotted today in a backyard on Hillspoint Road. “It walked from the backyard to the front yard, looked both ways and then crossed Hillspoint Road,” said a resident. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lock Pawlick for


02/03/14 08:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

NWS: Snow to Taper Off by Evening Rush

In a Special Weather Statement, the National Weather Service said today snow in the Westport area should begin to taper off by the evening rush hour.

Despite these improving conditions, many roadways still remain snow covered and motorists are urged to exercise caution while traveling this evening, it said.


02/03/14 07:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Closing at 6 P.M.

The Westport Library will be closing today at 6 p.m. due to the weather.


02/03/14 07:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Y Youth and Adult Classes Canceled But Gym Play Okay Image
The Westport Weston Family Y remains open today. However, all youth and adult classes have been canceled and the Y’s Early Learning Center and after school program at Saugatuck Elementary School are closed. But the Upper Gym is open where a group of seventh graders today took advantage of the school closing—and the free one-year membership offered to all seventh graders—to shoot hoops. For more information about the Family Y’s seventh grade membership Initiative, call (203)226-8981. Visit for schedules of open gym and swim times. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/03/14 05:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sherwood Mill Pond View Image
A Hooded Merganser today on Westport’s Sherwood Mill Pond. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for


02/03/14 05:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lawmakers: Metro-North Needs Help From Feds

Saying problems on Metro-North are at a crisis point, members of the legislature’s Transportation Committee today called for federal intervention in running the railroad. Image
State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26), whose district includes Westport, addresses today’s news conference in Hartford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“The mounting problems that have plagued the Metro-North Railroad over the course of the last two years have reached a crisis point,” said the letter, signed by the committee leadership. It was addressed to state and federal representatives as well as railroad executives.

“A series of failures arising from mismanagement, negligence, and aged railroad infrastructure have resulted in the injury and death of a number of commuters,” the letter said. “Equipment breakdowns have considerably slowed train traffic or brought it to a halt.

“Rail commuters have reacted to this steadily worsening situation with an outcry for help. The level of frustration and safety concerns on the part of commuters is unprecedented. This has also been accompanied by expressions of concern and alarm from the general public.”

More "Lawmakers: Metro-North Needs Help From Feds"


02/03/14 05:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Haven Delays

UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line service is now operating on or close to schedule after earlier delays.


02/03/14 04:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

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