Saturday, March 22, 2014
Team members celebrate as Bedford Middle School placed third in today’s Connecticut Science Olympiad Competition held in Farmington. The Science Olympiad is a nationwide organization dedicated to promoting science education through conducting competitive science tournaments. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Gail Barzilay, a Westport resident for more than 30 years, died March 7 at home. She was 69.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Alexander and Shirley Yorinks, both of Brooklyn.
She spent her first several years in Brooklyn, and then lived on Long Island, N.Y. until graduating Hofstra University with a degree in English. Upon graduation, she moved to Manhattan.
In New York City, as a fiercely independent young woman, she pursued a career in publishing, working for Look magazine and Simon and Schuster among other publishers.
Westporter Robin Tauck is so enamored with her two electric vehicles that she encouraged First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Avi Kaner to test drive her vehicles for one week. The handover took place today in front of Town Hall. Marpe (r) will drive the Tesla Model S Sedan and Kaner will drive the Roadster model. Leo Cirino, head of the Westport Electric Vehicle Car Club, also on hand, thanked Tauck for helping promote electric cars and reminded everyone that the 2014 club rally is set for May 4. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
A two-vehicle crash involving a Toyota pickup truck and a Honda Accord at Westport’s Wilton Road at Newtown Turnpike today sent the female driver of the car to Norwalk Hospital. The male driver of the pickup said the collision occurred as he was traveling south on Wilton Road and she was turning right from Newtown Turnpike on to Wilton Road. The bumper of her car (rear right) is in the foreground. The pickup is on the tow truck. No passengers were involved. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Mary Nero Cranner, known as “Venie,” a former Westport resident, died March 18 in Louisiana. She was 79.
She was born Oct. 25, 1934 in San Bernardo, Calabria, Italy to Francesco and Vincenzina Costanzo Nero and came to the United States as a young girl.
Part of a large Italian family, she grew up in Danbury and was graduated from Danbury High School in 1952.
After high school, she went to nursing school at the New York Foundling Hospital.
This week’s fifth anniversary of passage of Westport’s ban on plastic bags at retail was celebrated by members of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) who led the effort and two District 4 constituents who suggested the ban—Don Wergeles (far left) and Mel Sorcher (far right). Pictured with them are (l-r) Liz Milwe, Jeff Wieser and Jonathan Cunitz. Gene Seidman is absent. Wieser, the only one who remains on the RTM, said, “With the co-sponsorship of Steve Rubin, Lois Schine, John McCarthy, Anne-Marie Flynn and Joyce Colburn, the RTM passed the ordinance by a vote of 28-5-1. Since that time, it is estimated that Westport has kept more than 10 million plastic bags out of the waste stream.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Library is seeking candidates to apply for one or more vacancies on the Library Board of Trustees.
The appointment(s) will be for a four-year term beginning July 1. There are 20 members on the Library Board, half of whom are appointed by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and half of whom are appointed by the Library Board itself.
More information about the role of the Library Board is available on the Library’s website at http://www.westportlibrary.org. There also is a link to the Library’s Strategic Plan, which guides the Library in decision-making and budgeting.
Freshii, the health-oriented restaurant chain that opened last year at 1 Main St., Westport, with entrance from Parker Harding Plaza, has announced an alliance with Free the Children, an international charity founded in 1995 that provides schools with healthy foods and clean water. Store owner Jonathan Blob, 34, said his store is selling green bowls for $5, 100 percent of which is donated to the Free the Children organization, which earmarks the funds for Kenyan school children. “Every year, 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone,” he said. “What attracted me to the Freshii business is its broad commitment to healthy foods, thus this new alliance with Free the Children.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Exploring the rocks at Westport’s Compo Beach on Friday, the first full day of spring, was a chilly exercise. There were sunny skies but wind gusts up to 24 miles an hour made the temperature in the 40s seem a lot colder. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Susan Malloy: In the Studio” & “Abstract Notes”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Maker Space Special: Fashion Design Workshop
3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players: “Avenue Q”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
The Staples Players cast takes a bow tonight following the opening night performance of “Avenue Q - School Edition” before an overflow crowd at the Staples High School auditorium. The musical will be performed three more times this weekend, Saturday matinee and evening and Sunday matinee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Founders of the Westport Arts Center’s new Pop Up Art Show series met today to plan for the inaugural one-night show on June 5. The show, featuring local artists, will be held between scheduled gallery exhibits. Members of the WAC Artist Collective are (l-r) Duvian Montoya, Nina Bentley, Miggs Burroughs, Tammy Winser, and Helen Klisser During, WAC’s director of visual arts who conceived the series. Jahmane West is missing from the photo. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marina White for WestportNow.com
Friday, March 21, 2014
The Westport Historic District Commission (HDC) and real estate developer David Waldman will be jointly honored by the Connecticut Trust at a ceremony in Hartford on April 9 for preservation and reuse of the 1808-built Sherwood House, now home to the Spotted Horse restaurant and offices. “Not only does this project represent the successful reuse of an historic building, it shows some of the potential for historic district commissions to make a contribution beyond the boundaries of local historic districts—a valuable model for other communities,” the state group said in its notification about the Award of Merit. Pictured are (l-r) Bob Weingarten, HDC member, who submitted the nominaton; Ed Gerber, president of the Westport Historical Society, First Selectman Jim Marpe, Randy Henkels, HDC chairman, Rick Hoag, architect and David Waldman, developer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Lori A. (Brown) Traczyk of Westport died March 15. She was 43.
Born Feb. 6, 1971, she attended schools in Chapel Hill, N.C., and most recently was a senior vice president with Richard Rubenstein Public Relations, Inc., in New York.
An announcement by the firm last August said she had returned to the company after a public relations career spanning more than 20 years, the majority of which was focused in luxury lifestyle, travel and tourism, real estate and entertainment, including prior affiliation with Rubenstein Public Relations.
She was preceded in death by her father, Thomas Brown of Chapel Hill, N.C. She is survived by her husband, Frank, two children, Thomas 5, and Pernille 3, mother, Gloria of Chapel Hill, brothers, Thomas, of Chapel Hill; Curtis of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Craig of Palatine, Ill, Also, by nieces and a nephew.
UPDATE (adds police comment) A reporter for the New Haven Register today disputed a Westport police explanation as to “what may have occurred” when he requested a copy of an arrest log during a Freedom of Information Act compliance survey.
The newspaper gave Westport an “F” grade on the survey after the reporter said he came away empty-handed after making the request. (See WestportNow March 19, 2014)
Police Capt. John A. Calka, in a letter to WestportNow on Thursday said, “We have conducted an investigation as to what may have occurred. It appears that our emergency dispatchers were approached by someone during a busy time asking for an arrest log. Our dispatcher told them to wait until they could clear the emergency calls. The requester did not wait.”
But J. Brian Charles, a New Haven Register reporter, in an email relayed by Michelle Tuccitto Sullo, the Register’s investigations editor, said that was not what happened.
Westport firefighters today had to extricate a Westport woman from her car after it flipped over on Post Road West next to a shopping strip opposite Whole Foods. Police said she overshot a parking space and slammed into the front door of the Waxing Spot, 420 Post Road West, backed out of the space quickly, went over a curb and into the buttress behind, causing the vehicle to roll over. She was taken to Norwalk Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Emergency personnel today tend to a woman driver who was trapped in her vehicle at 420 Post Road West after it rolled over when she lost control attempting to park. She suffered non life-threatening injuries and was taken by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. There was some damage tot the front door of the Waxing Spot. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period March 3 - 7, 2014:
Jonathan J. and Joan S. Polayes to Russell J. Maloney and John W. Schmidt, 15 Over Rock Lane, Segment X, $4,000
Castro Living Trust, Jose Maria and Luciana R. Castro Trusts to Robert Q. and Lisa Berlin, 5 Longview Road, $3,000,000
Onewest Bank FSB to EPL Enterprises LLC, 48 Clinton Ave., $475,000
Stephen E. and Sally R. K. Fisk to Donald and Kristen Butts, 299 Main St., $600,000
The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club today recognized Wyatt Davis, Staples senior, as the club’s Student of the Month at its weekly breakfast meeting at Bobby Q’s. Dennis Wong, president-elect, presented Wyatt with a Certificate of Accomplishment and a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card. “As part of the club’s Rising Young Voices program, he was recognized for his extraordinary accomplishments as a person, student and the Wy-Master (DJ) on the Staples radio station WWPT-FM,” said Wong. “Wyatt is an inspiration to all at Staples and in our Westport Community.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Hal Levy for WestportNow.com
The Longshore Ladies 9-Hole Golf Association got an update on the Longshore course status at it pre-season meeting at the Westport Library.
Speakers included Ryan Segrue, golf course superintendent; John Cooper, PGA pro, and Fred Hunter, chair of the Golf Advisory Committee.
“Once the weather breaks we will begin to do a traditional spring clean up around the course,” said Segrue.“We will also be performing aeration, topdressing and over seeding of the greens which will take a few days. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature when it comes to this so I cannot say when the course will open at the moment.”
Cooper urged the anxious golfers to “be patient,” adding, “Longshore is and still will continue to be a fun place to play. I’m confident that ValleyCrest will turn us around.”
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 46 Coleytown Road is in process. Built in 1951, the one-story ranch has 1,967 square feet, is situated on a one-acre property and changed ownership in August 2013 for $762,375. 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
9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Commission for Senior Services
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Susan Malloy: In the Studio” & “Abstract Notes”
1 p.m. - Westport Library - March Maker-in-residence Ed Kalin: Create an All-Sky Camera
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6:45 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Fighting Static w/ Stargroves, Broadcast Hearts, Sarah Barrios, Alex Retter & James Kerr
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players: “Avenue Q”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
By James Lomuscio
After two hours of debate and public input, Westport’s Board of Finance tonight approved by a 4 to 3 vote the Board of Education’s proposed $109,202,984 operating budget for 2014-15.
The budget presented by Elaine Whitney, school board chairwoman, represents a 4.2 percent increase over the current year, and it is $1.8 million less than Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon’s $110.8 million budget initially submitted to the Board of Education.
A motion by finance board member Tom Lasersohn to cut the budget by $200,000, which he described as “one quarter of 1 percent,” was defeated by a 5 to 2 vote. Lasersohn made the motion, challenging the school board “to find that money without affecting programs.”
For the past few months health insurance costs have overshadowed school budget process due to what was described initially as a $2 million health insurance fund shortfall in the 2013-14 budget blamed on unexpected, exorbitant claims.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
What’s the fairest way for Connecticut to raise $15 billion in taxes each year? Who should pay more? Is $15 billion too much? Too little? And how does the tax system affect the state’s economic competitiveness?
These are just a few of the questions that might be tackled over the next two years in what some predict could be the most dramatic overhaul of the state’s tax system since the income tax was enacted in 1991.
The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee is expected to endorse a measure in the next few weeks that could launch a top-to-bottom analysis of how Connecticut taps taxpayers’ wallets. And there’s as much debate on what questions need to be asked as there are ideas to change the system.
“Every session there are more and more proposals to adjust or repeal or add different taxes,” said Rep. Patricia Widlitz, D-Guilford. This trend has intensified since Connecticut emerged from the Great Recession almost four years ago, she said. “It doesn’t make any sense to address all of these individually without looking at how the entire tax package fits together.”
Click here for more of story
To the Editor:
With regards to the story “Survey Grades Westport Police ‘F’ on FOI Compliance” (WestportNow, March 19, 2013), we have conducted an investigation as to what may have occurred. It appears that our emergency dispatchers were approached by someone during a busy time asking for an arrest log. Our dispatcher told them to wait until they could clear the emergency calls. The requester did not wait.
Our records system is computerized and an arrest log must be generated from our computer system. It is not a hard copy written log. Our records clerks were not approached and asked for this information. Had our clerks been approached they would have been able to obtain it for the requester. Our clerks and personnel receive FOIA training and we take our responsibility of complying with the law seriously.
As you pointed out in your story “The newspaper’s F grade to Westport came despite frequent distribution –- usually weekly but often several times a week—to local media of a complete list of all arrests, including motor vehicle infractions, with additional details provided in a synopsis of all criminal arrests.” We appreciate you pointing this out in your story. We make every effort to cooperate with the media and the public in providing information as required by FOIA. Our daily arrest log is available by e-mail to those who request it.
Capt. John A. Calka
Westport Police Department
Tired of waiting for federal funds for Storm Sandy devastated Connecticut shoreline properties, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today urged the General Assembly to fund his proposed Shoreline Resiliency Fund.
He has submitted legislation to provide an authorization of up to $25 million to support the launch of the fund -– a low-interest loan program that will help residents who are subject to coastal flooding to elevate their homes and flood-proof their businesses.
While start-up costs to administer the program were approved in January, the fund cannot begin helping residents and businesses until it receives financing.
“The frequency of severe weather has been increasing, putting homes and businesses near Connecticut’s historic and valued shoreline at risk,” said Malloy, who made the announcement at an event at East Haven’s Cosey Beach.The neighborhood suffered a significant amount of damage from recent severe weather.
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 33 Meeker Road, off Sturges Highway, is in process. Built in 1790, the two-story antique has 2,489 square feet, is situated on a 3.05-acre property and changed ownership in January for $1.1 million. 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
William F. Abbott, Jr., (Bill), a Westport resident for more than 50 years, died March 18.
Born in Salem, Mass., he was immensely proud of his Mayflower heritage dating back through many generations of the James family to Elder William Brewster, the fourth signer of the Mayflower compact.
A graduate of Salem High School, 1943, and Phillips Academy, Andover, 1944. he dominated in many athletic pursuits, especially in baseball, where he earned a contract to play with the Boston Red Sox farm team.
Although a wonderful prospect, he instead enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving as quartermaster 3rd. class. Upon honorable discharge, he attended and graduated from Duke University, class of 1950.
The newest recipients of an historical designation plaque from the Westport Historical Society are Jeremy and Tracy Benton. Bob Weingarten, house historian of the Westport Historical Society, presented the plaque, which signifies their 169 Newtown Turnpike house was constructed in 1839 by John Goodsell. The Bentons, parents of four boys under the age of 6, said they purchased the house in 2008 from the Gordon and Edna Manning Trust. Gordon Manning, who died in 2006, was a CBS News vice president in the early years of “60 Minutes” who later went on to NBC News. Prior to the Mannings, it was the home of New Yorker Magazine illustrator Tom Funk (1911-2003) and his wife Edna Eicke, also an illustrator, according to the Bentons’ research. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com