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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Burying Hill Bleak Image
Westport’s Burying Hill Beach on Monday as temperatures were in the 20s.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


03/04/14 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

7:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Team Westport
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Jobseekers: Energize Your Job Search
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Susan Malloy: In the Studio” & “Abstract Notes”
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
2 p.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - BOE Health Insurance Fund Review Committee
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Arduino Workshop
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Gabriel Sherman, “The Loudest Voice in the Room”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Assessment Appeal Hearings
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 -  RTM Environment Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - BOE Special Meeting

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/04/14 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Fairfield GMO Activist Becomes Candidate

By Mark Pazniokas

No one quite captured the zeitgeist at the State Capitol last year like Tara Cook-Littman. The founder of GMO Free CT used Facebook and Twitter to rally foodies, environmentalists and consumer activists behind a successful crusade for the nation’s first state law addressing the labeling of genetically modified foods. Image
Tara Cook-Littman: GMO activist seeks Fairfield House seat. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Now, Cook-Littman, 38, a self-described food blogger and PTA mom from Fairfield, albeit one who used to be a prosecutor in New York City, is trying to replicate that grass-roots mojo in another difficult campaign: She is a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in a district redrawn after 2010 to the advantage of Republicans.

“It’ll be an uphill battle,” said Cook-Littman, whose allies on the labeling law included prominent Republicans, including the man she hopes to succeed, Tony Hwang, and their state senator, John P. McKinney. “I really am a nonpartisan person. I worked with everybody.”

Her interest in running was set in motion by McKinney’s gubernatorial ambitions: Hwang is expected to run for McKinney’s open Senate seat, giving Cook-Littman a shot at Hwang’s open House seat in the 134th District of Fairfield and Trumbull.

Click here for more of story


03/04/14 02:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: TBI Computer to Norwalk Image
TBI Computer, an authorized Apple computer sales and service provider at 52 Post Road West for more than 21 years, according to founder and owner Judy O’Meara, has relocated to 181 Westport Ave., Norwalk, across from Splash Car Wash.  Store manager Kelly Denton said, “Our new shop is twice the size of our former one. We’ve expanded our service area to a state of the art status. It’s phenomenal. We’re sure we can now decrease the turnaround time.” She also said the company plans to expand its range of classes starting next month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/04/14 01:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Patricia Ann Curtis, 84

Patricia Ann Curtis, a Westport resident for almost 30 years, died March 2 in Gainesville, Fla. She was 84. Image
Patricia Ann Curtis: 30-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born July 12, 1929 in Belmont, Mass. to the late Catherine Ann and Frank McDermott, she was raised in Belmont with her Irish cousins.

She attended Simmons College, majoring in merchandising in 1944. She met and married Roger Arnold Curtis in 1949, a marriage that lasted until her death.

She had three children—Lee Ann, Steve and Reina (Tina)—while living in the Boston area. The family moved to Wilton in 1960, then moved to Westport’s Saugatuck Shores area in 1983.

More "Patricia Ann Curtis, 84"


03/04/14 01:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Has Two ‘Unofficially’ on Forbes Billionaire List

Westport did not show up officially on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires released today, but two of them might be called unofficial Westport entries. Image
Marc Lasry , No. 1,047 on the Forbes list, addresses a Westport Public Library audience in 2010. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Ray Dalio, a Greenwich resident who heads Westport-based Bridgewater Associates hedge fund, was No. 69 on he list with an estimated worth of $14.4 billion.

And Marc Lasry, also a hedge fund titan who owns a waterfront home in Westport’s Greens Farms section, came in No. 1,047 with an estimated worth of $1.7 billion. Forbes listed his residence as New York, where he has a Manhattan apartment (and where he hosted a fundraiser for President Obama).

The Town of Westport recently listed Lasry and his wife Cathy as No. 8 on its list of top 10 taxpayers in town. (See WestportNow Jan. 31, 2014)  Most of the Connecticut billionaires on the Forbes list live in Greenwich. See the complete list here.


03/04/14 01:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Promoting Fairfield County Giving Day March 7

To the Editor:

I’m writing to encourage my neighbors and friends to join in supporting the first-ever Fairfield County Giving Day on Friday, March 7. Whether you give $10, or $100 or even $1,000, you’ll be helping to support the work of local nonprofits making a real difference in the community – and helping them compete for prizes and matching funds.

Giving is fast and easy through the secure website, and you may donate anytime between 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on March 7.

Our local nonprofits feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, strengthen our schools and arts and cultural programs, protect our environment, train the unemployed for new jobs, and more. But they need our support to continue strengthening the community we call home.

Whatever your favorite cause, I hope you’ll join in helping Fairfield Giving Day – presented by Fairfield County Community Foundation in cooperation with Bank of America – reach the goal of raising $1 million to benefit hundreds of local nonprofit organizations in only 24 hours! 

Michael Lubell
Mortgage Loan Specialist, Bank of America


03/04/14 01:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 03, 2014

Talking Transportation: MNRR Tarnishes Gold Coast

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Even if you never ride Metro-North, the railroad’s current problems are hitting your pocketbook. This “winter of discontent” shows signs of becoming a chronic problem, bleeding our state’s resources, human and monetary.  Here’s why: Image

At the “Commuter Speakout” in mid-February in Southport, almost 200 angry riders turned out to confront the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Metro-North officials, sharing their horror stories of longer rides, unheated railcars and stranded trains But they did more than complain—they threatened to move away.

Several real estate agents told the crowd they had lost closings when folks moving up from New York City got wind of the Metro-North problems. Others already living in Connecticut said they were moving closer to their Manhattan jobs, to towns with dependable, cheaper mass transit. 

If people move out of Connecticut, they take with them their taxes, both local (property) and state (sales and income). Reduced demand for real estate lowers property values. Your town’s grand list shrinks and taxes must rise to fill the gap, creating a vicious cycle. The Gold Coast is losing its luster.

More "Talking Transportation: MNRR Tarnishes Gold Coast"


03/03/14 10:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Relief for NYC Visitors: Posh Stow and Go

By Bonnie Adler

Who hasn’t wished for a safe place to stash heavy or bulky bags while on a day trip to New York? Or longed for a clean, comfortable bathroom roomy enough to allow you for a change of clothing? Image
Potty-plex: an architect’s rendering of a new Posh Stow and Go facility. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Or perhaps you just need a pleasant place to sit down and recharge both yourself and your cell phone before the trip home?

A Fairfield man thinks he has the answer –- a new private day storage and luxury bathroom facility business called Posh Stow and Go. It will be opening in two locations in Manhattan this summer, one near Pennsylvania Station and one near Grand Central Terminal.

It will offer visitors, tourists and commuters a safe, secure place to “stow” belongings like backpacks, shopping bags, and luggage, and “go” to the bathroom in luxury restroom facilities, which are equipped with showers, baby changing tables and handicapped accessible features.

More "Relief for NYC Visitors: Posh Stow and Go"


03/03/14 09:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Landon Tops School Salaries—State’s, Too

By James Lomuscio

As in previous years, Westport Schools Superintendent Elliot Landon, who earned $290,418 for 2013, leads the list of the school systems’ top 10 salaried employees, according to information released today by the Westport Public Schools. Image
Elliott Landon: highest paid CT superintendent. Dave Matlow for

Landon taking the top spot comes as no surprise since he is the highest paid of Connecticut’s 155 superintendents, according to the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS).

“He’s been holding that status for a long time,” said Donna Finello, executive administrator for CAPSS.

The average school superintendents’ salary in Connecticut is around $165,000, but CAPPS Executive Director Joseph Cirasuolo cautions against making comparisons. Cirasuolo has served as superintendent in Clinton and Wallingford.

More "Landon Tops School Salaries—State’s, Too"


03/03/14 09:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 5 Blue Coat Lane Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 5 Blue Coat Lane, off North Avenue, is in process. Built in 1963, the two-story colonial has 2,002 square feet, is situated on a .93-acre property and changed ownership in August 2013 for $749,999. 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


03/03/14 06:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

CT Getting New Area Code: 959

Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) announced today that a new area code will be introduced later this year in Connecticut, in the calling region currently served by the 860 area code.

Because of continuing local demand for telephone numbers, remaining unassigned telephone numbers in the 860 area code are expected to be exhausted by the end of 2014, an announcement said.

Current plans call for the new 959 area code to go into effect Aug. 30. After that date, customers requesting new service, an additional line, or in some cases, moving their service may be assigned a number in the new 959 area code, the agency said.

The 860 area code went into service in August 1995, covering northwestern, central and eastern Connecticut. Connecticut also had a 475 area code assigned in 2009 for new customers in the 203 area code, which includes Westport.


03/03/14 06:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Arts Advisory Committee Honors John Simon Image
Members of the Westport Arts Advisory Committee (WAAC) took a break from its monthly Town Hall meeting to celebrate the 85th birthday of one of its founding members, John Simon (c). Established in 1994 by the late artist and educator Bert Chernow, WAAC is is committed to preserving Westport’s artistic heritage and to increasing awareness of the town’s cultural treasures—its artists, artworks and arts institutions. In its 20-year history, WAAC has honored the lifetime achievements of established artists, and recognized the future potential of young artists such as Tyler Hicks, Lynsey Addario, and Justin Paul, who have gone on to achieve success in their chosen pursuits. Contributed photo


03/03/14 06:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

BOF Audit Committee Works on School Insurance Report Image
The Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee met today with Scott Bassett, representing McGladrey LLC, the town’s outside audit firm, to clarify guidelines for the formal audit report on the Westport school insurance audit which will be presented soon.  Bassett said the report will recommend a new line item budget to actual reporting structure and provide actuals vs. budget information that can be monitored from month to month.  Committee Chair Brian Stern said he expects the report will clarify how a $400,000 double counting happened and how such errors can be avoided in the future. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/03/14 05:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Memorial Service Set for Michael Goodgame

(Editor’s note: The following obituary was provided by the family of Michael Goodgame.)

A college student and athlete from Westport, Michael David Goodgame, died on Feb. 28 in an automobile accident just outside Northfield, Minn., where he was studying political science at Carleton College. Image
Michael Goodgame: memorial service set for Thursday. Contributed photo

Michael, age 20, was a member of Carleton’s Ultimate Frisbee team which, despite the college’s small enrollment and remote location, placed third in the country last year. He and three teammates were en route to the Minneapolis airport on Friday afternoon, where they were to fly to a tournament in Palo Alto, Calif. Their SUV skidded on an icy road in snowy conditions, and slammed head-on into a large truck. Two of Michael’s teammates also died in the accident. A third teammate is hospitalized in stable conditions, as is the driver, who is also a Carleton student.

According to the state police, neither alcohol nor speeding played any role in the accident, and all five occupants of the car were wearing seat belts.

Born in Washington, D.C., Michael Goodgame moved to Westport with his family at age four. He attended public schools, where he was known as a diligent and curious student, an engaging writer, a respected leader, and an accomplished athlete. At Staples High School, he was elected president of the Student Assembly and co-captain of the men’s swimming and diving team. He also enjoyed competing on the Water Rats club swim team, and in the recreational basketball league.

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03/03/14 04:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday Skate Image
The P.A.L. Ice Rink at Westport’s Longshore Club Park was a busy place Sunday as temperatures that reached into the upper 30s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


03/03/14 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 3, 2014

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
10 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Senior Center Policy & Planning Board
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Susan Malloy: In the Studio” & “Abstract Notes”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Anti-Semitism Today
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen: Maker Mondays
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Maker-in-Residence Ed Kalin: Create an All-Sky Camera
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Edmund Levin, “A Child of Christian Blood: Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - RTM Public Protection Committee Canceled
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Green Task Force
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Golf Advisory Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/03/14 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Champs Again Image
The Greens Farms Academy boys varsity basketball team this weekend competed in the NEPSAC (New England Prep School Athletic Council) Class C Tournament and won for the second year in a row. Today they defeated Hyde Woodstock 56-45, playing at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. GFA junior Zach Baines (above), who scored 25 points, was named game MVP for the second year in a row.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/03/14 03:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Emily’s Design a Winner Image
Emily Desser of Coleytown Elementary School Troop 50137 designed the winning patch for today’s Westport Girl Scouts annual Thinking Day held at Bedford Middle School. More than 300 Girl Scouts received Emily’s winning design to add to their vests and sashes. This year’s theme was “Everyone in Education.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/03/14 01:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Timely Discussion of Slavery at Westport Library

By Bonnie Adler

With “12 Years a Slave” a hot Oscar contender tonight, a discussion and showing today of Stephen Spielberg’s film “Amistad” at the Westport Library was timely. Image
A scene from Stephen Spielberg’s 1997 Oscar-nominated film “Amistad.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dreamworks photo

The event was co-sponsored by Saugatuck Congregational Church, Wilton Congregational Church, and TEAM Westport, the town’s multiculturalism and diversity committee.

Hosting were the Rev. Arnold I. Thomas of Wilton Congregational Church, the Rev. Alison J.B. Patton of Saugatuck Congregational Church, and Harold Bailey of Team Westport.

The1997 Oscar-nominated historical drama depicts the 1839 mutiny of captured Mende slaves, their imprisonment in Connecticut and the trial to determine whether they should be regarded as slaves or free.

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03/02/14 11:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating Oscars at Oscar’s

By James Lomuscio

Along with pastrami on rye, tuna sandwiches, lox and bagels and an array of deli food, movie trivia was being served up to a packed audience at Oscar’s on Main Street today, as the Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI) held its third annual n’Oscars (Not the Oscars). Image
Leading the Oscar triva contest were (l-r) critic Susan Granger, actor Scott Bryce, and Sandy Lefkowitz of Westport Cinema Initiative. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

A warmup for movie lovers as they wait for tonight’s 86th Annual Academy Awards, n’Oscars drew a substantial number town and state officials including state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, a WCI prime mover who donned a tuxedo with a red cummerbund for the event.

Others officials included: First Selectman Jim Marpe accompanied by his wife Mary Ellen;  Dewey Loselle, who chairs the Downtown Steering Committee, state Rep. Gail Lavielle, former state Sen. Judith Freedman; and Board of Finance member Jennifer Tooker.

The crowd had its Oscar trivia tested by movie critic Susan Granger and actor Scott Bryce, both Westport residents.

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

Full House for n’Oscars Image
There was a full house at Oscar’s on Main Street today for the Westport Cinema Initiative’s third annual n’Oscars (Not the Oscars) event. Film critic Susan Granger (back to camera, r) and actor Scott Bryce (l) led a discussion about the nominees in tonight’s 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/02/14 07:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Greetings and a Warning about ‘Amistad’ Image
The Rev. Arnold I. Thomas of Wilton Congregational Church and Rev. Alison J.B. Patton of Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church today greeted viewers at the Westport Public Library and warned about the graphic nature of parts of the film, “Amistad,” being screened in the McManus Room. The1997 Steven Spielberg Oscar-nominated historical drama is about the 1839 mutiny of captured Mende slaves, their imprisonment in Connecticut and the trial to determine whether they should be regarded as slaves or free. The event was co-sponsored by Saugatuck Congregational Church, Wilton Congregational Church and TEAM Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bonnie Adler for


03/02/14 07:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Platform Extensions in Use Image
Platform extensions were in use today at the Metro-North Westport station as work was under way on the first rail. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bpb Eckman for


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

Warming Up for the Oscars at Oscar’s

Westporters today get a chance to warm up for tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony at the the third annual n’Oscars (Not the Oscars) at Oscar’s on Main Street. Image
A red carpet was rolled out for last year’s n’Oscars event at Oscar’s on Westport’s Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The 1 to 3 p.m. event at the famed Westport deli is sponsored by Westport Cinema initiative and will feature an Academy Award trivia contest, Westporter noted critic Susan Granger discussing this year’s nominees, plus an opportunity for guests to pick their Oscar choices.

Actor Scott Bryce, also a Westporter, will join Granger in a discussion about this year’s nominees.

The nonprofit Westport Cinema Initiative has leased space on Main Street behind the Tavern on Main restaurant where it hopes to build a multi-screen movie house.


03/02/14 03:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Taking Part in Tri at the Y Image
The second annual Mossman Indoor Tri was under way today at the Westport Weston Family Y with dozens of triathletes taking part in the friendly competition.The indoor triathlon consists of a 15-minute lap swim, 25-minute cycle on a spin bike and 20-minute run on a treadmill. Pictured are Westporter Barbara Ramsey (foreground) and her daughters Rachel and Laura during the run portion on treadmills in the Family Y’s Cardio Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/02/14 02:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

River Scene Image
Westport Library’s Riverwalk overlooking the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


03/02/14 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday,  March 2, 2014

8 a.m. - noon - Westport Weston Family Y - 2nd Annual Mossman Indoor Tri
Noon - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Susan Malloy: In the Studio” & “Abstract Notes”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Oscar’s (159 Main St.) - Westport Cinema Initiative n’Oscars
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Screening and Discussion of “Amistad”
3 p.m. - Pequot Library - Westport Arts Center: New Duke - Fairfield University Jazz Professors
3 p.m. - Westport Library - The Usual Suspects Mystery Book Discussion: “The Silver Pigs,” Lindsey Davis
4:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Staples Players: “Don’t Drink the Water”
5 p.m. - Christ &  Holy Trinity Church (75 Church Lane) - CHT and Trinity Episcopal Church Choirs: Evensong

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/02/14 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Dancing to the Top Image
Peter Tauck of Westport, co-owner of Tauck, Inc., was named top male dancer tonight in a “Dancing With The Stars” charity event attended by 280 persons at Westport’s Inn at Longshore benefiting Norwalk’s Elder House. He is seen performing a swing number with partner Gina Goethche. Cindi Bigelow, president, Bigelow Tea Company, was named top female dancer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/02/14 04:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

He Can Dance as Well as Cook Image
Westporter Pietro Scotti, owner of Da Pietro’s Restaurant, performed a foxtrot/mambo with dance partner Cristina Schlegel tonight in a “Dancing With The Stars” charity event at Westport’s Inn at Longshore benefiting Norwalk’s Elder House. He was among three Westporters in seven couples competing. Also competing was Westporter Kathryn Sirico, owner of Greg & Tony Salon, who performed a rumba/hustle with dance partner Matthias Kruschel. Westporter Peter Tauck won top male dancer.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/02/14 04:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

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