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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Staples Student Selected for MIT Internship

Staples High School student Zach Effman has been selected for an internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Research Science Institute, the Westport schools office has announced. Image
Staples High School teacher Nicholas Morgan with Staples junior Zach Effman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

He is one of just 80 students selected from a worldwide pool for the prestigious internship at MIT, an announcement said. He will spend six weeks working one-on-one with a professor, developing and carrying out an intense research project. Many students enter their work in the Intel Science Talent Search.

As a Staples freshman, Zach heard Nicholas Morgan talk about the Authentic Science Research course he co-teaches.

Over the next three years, he learned he could hone in on an important topic, discover how to truly research it, then follow it through the many inevitable highs and lows of hands-on science.

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03/25/14 01:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Trying to be Spring Image
Spring buds make an appearance on Westport’s Imperial Avenue despite the un-spring like temperatures. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for


03/25/14 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
10:30 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Talk by Westport Probate Judge Lisa Wexler
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Library - New Technology for People with Visual Impairments and Dyslexia
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/25/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Emotional Pleas to Retain Anti-Bullying Program Image
Linnea Jagenberg, 10: program has made her “less shy and more confident.” photo from School Television

UPDATE Parents and students made emotional pleas to the Westport Board of Education tonight to retain the Kool To Be Kind (K2BK) anti-bullying program for third graders.

A high school mentor in the program told of being bullied in elementary school and having his lunch stolen every day. Another said his tormentor made “Greens Farms Elementary School my own living hell.” They both said they gained immense satisfaction helping today’s third graders cope with bullying.

Linnea Jagenberg, 10, a fifth grader at Long Lots Elementary School, said the program “has made a great impact on my life” and taught her “many ways to stand up for people and myself.”

“It has made me less shy and more confident,” she said. “I don’t feel I will get bullied for standing up for what is right. I’ve started to look at my life at a different point of view after third grade.”

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03/25/14 02:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Downtown Committee Moves to Phase II

By James Lomuscio

With its Phase I, town wide, baseline traffic and parking study completed, Westport’s Downtown Steering Committee (DSC) met today to kick off Phase II focusing on infrastructure and aesthetic improvements in the wake of current and planned development downtown. Image
Dewey Loselle (l), chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, said the emphasis today was about getting community involvement, (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“We have a lot of opportunities to build on something that’s good and to make it great,” said Dewey Loselle, chairman of the 14-member DSC.

In addition to committee members, present at the meeting were Mark Keener and Victor Minerva, planners for the RBA Group, the Norwalk-based consultant hired by the town to come up with a master plan of development for the downtown. RBA was engaged by the Downtown 2020 Committee, the DSC’s predecessor advisory group formed by the previous town administration.

Loselle said results of RBA’s traffic and parking study will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at its April 10 meeting. Phase II should be completed by late summer he said.

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03/25/14 12:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 24, 2014

Metro-North Says It Completed Signal Upgrades

Metro-North Railroad said today it has completed permanent changes to its signal system to ensure automatic speed enforcement at five critical curves and five moveable bridges in New York and Connecticut, including one in Westport, more than five months ahead of schedule. Image
Metro-North employees work on the Saugatuck Bridge earlier this month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for

It said with the completion of work at the Devon Bridge in Stratford on Thursday, all the signal modifications ordered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in December are now complete, well before the Sept. 1, 2014 FRA deadline.

“The complete implementation of the requirements of the FRA’s Emergency Order 29, issued on December 8, 2013, brings us another step closer to a safer railroad, which is our number one goal,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, who started on Feb. 10. “We will continue to take all necessary steps to restore Metro-North to greatness.”

Signal engineers first designed modifications to the circuitry at each location by calculating where and when speed limits should be reduced, Metro-North said. Then signal maintainers had to reconfigure wiring along the tracks that sends the signal to the train to control its speed. Finally, extensive testing was then performed to confirm that the changes were working as designed.

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03/24/14 09:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ill Will at Goodwill

A Norwalk man arrested last week for stealing $500 at Westport’s Goodwill in January was released after posting a $500 bond and is scheduled to appear on a charge of sixth-degree larceny in Norwalk Superior Court on Monday, March 31, Westport police said today.

Rony Gonzales of 11 Fern St. in Norwalk turned himself in on an active arrest warrant stemming from the January incident in which he allegedly removed $500 in cash from a coat that had been put down at the Goodwill store on Post Road East, police said.

According to Capt. Vincent Penna, video footage shows Gonzalez picking up the coat, trying it on and putting his hands in the pocket that contained the cash.

Gonzalez was processed with out incident, police said, and was able to post his bond in the amount of $500.


03/24/14 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Betty E. Ohlin, 84

Betty E. Ohlin of Harrisville, R.I. a former teacher in the Westport schools, died March 21 in Overlook Nursing Home, Pascoag, R.I. She was 84. Image
Betty Ohlin: former Westport teacher.  Contributed photo

Born in Fairfield, she was the daughter of the late Paul E. and Ruth A. (Nelson) Ohlin. She started as a teacher in Westport and then moved on to be a professor at Rhode Island College, retiring in 1991.

A graduate of New Milford (Conn.) High School, she received a BA from Bethel College, St. Paul, Minn., her Masters from SUI, Iowa City, Iowa and doctoral studies from Pennsylvania State.

She is survived by three sisters, Phyllis Gammons of Southport, Doryce Smelter of Shelton, Gail Osborne of Oakham, Mass., and 19 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a brother Paul E. Ohlin Jr., and two sisters, Pearl Juris and Ruth Steeves.

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03/24/14 06:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 6 Dexter Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 6 Dexter Road is in process. Built in 1946, the 1 1/2-story cape has 1,075 square feet and is situated on a .30-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


03/24/14 04:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Analysts: Malloy’s Budget Was Never Was Balanced

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Just one month from adopting the next state budget, legislators have learned the $19 billion spending plan they got from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has a $70 million hole in it, according to a new report from nonpartisan analysts.

Republican legislative leaders subsequently charged that this shortfall exists because the administration dismissed a warning about rising health care costs five months ago.

While the governor’s staff insisted Friday that its $19 billion proposal is balanced, the new deficit projection also sets up a showdown between Malloy and advocates for more spending on social services and education – with the constitutional spending cap at the center.

“It is clear now that the governor disregarded what people in his own administration presented to him in their budget requests last October and November, months before he put out his budget,” House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero, R-Norwalk, said. “We know now the budget was out of whack the moment he dropped it and exceeded the spending cap.”

Click here for more of story


03/24/14 03:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

No Animals at Beaches Effective April 1

Westport Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy today reminded beach goers today that as of April 1 the “no animals at the beaches” regulation will be in effect.  It includes Compo, Burying Hill and Old Mill beaches.

“Animals will not be permitted on any beach property, which includes all grass, sand, and the parking areas, except Soundview parking lot at Compo Beach, as well as the roads within the beach area,” said McCarthy. 

“This regulation will be in effect until Oct. 1.”

Parking emblems will be required on all vehicles entering town beaches beginning Tuesday, May 1.


03/24/14 02:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

12 Artists to Exhibit in ‘SOLOS 2014’ Image
Westport artist Melissa Newman’s porcelain heads are among the works scheduled for “SOLOS 2014.” Contributed photo

The Westport Arts Center (WAC) has announced the selection of 12 member artists to showcase in its “SOLOS 2014” exhibit April 4 to June 1.

It said it received a record-breaking 154 submissions Selections were made by Patricia Hickson, Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.

“Having to select an exhibition by reducing the number of submissions to fit the gallery space proved difficult,” she said. “This speaks to the high quality of submissions across all media.”

There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 4 from 6 – 8 p.m.

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03/24/14 02:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Purple Image
Sunday’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Saugatuck Shores area.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for


03/24/14 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 24, 2014

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Downtown Steering Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover ... “
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen: Maker Mondays
5 p.m. - Staples Room 1025C - Board of Education Executive Session
6 p.m. - Westport Library - March Maker-in-resident Ed Kalin: Create an All-Sky Camera
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - UCONN/Conservation Water Quality Presentation
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - RTM Public Protection Committee Meeting
7:30 p.m. - Staples Cafeteria B - Board of Education Public Meeting (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/24/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

New Yorker Cartoon Editor: ‘60 Minutes,’ Then Westport Image
Bob Mankoff, New Yorker cartoon editor, was on CBS’s “60 Minutes” tonight and will be at the Westport Library Thursday at 7 p.m. to talk about his new book, “How About Never—Is Never Good for You?” A New Yorker cartoonist himself, he became the magazine’s cartoon editor in 1997. More than 900 of his cartoons have been published in The New Yorker, including the best-selling New Yorker cartoon of all time from which the title of book comes—the harried businessman at his desk with a phone to his ear, reviewing his calendar and saying: “No, Thursday’s out, how about never. Is never good for you?” It’s now his job to sift through the 1,000 or so “idea drawings” (as they’re called within The New Yorker‘s walls) that are submitted each week — and decide upon the 17 or so that will make it into print. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo from “60 Minutes.”


03/24/14 02:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Large Turnout for WCI’s ‘Orchestra of Exiles’ Image
The Westport Cinema Inititave’s presentation of the 2012 film “Orchestra of Exiles” drew a large turnout today at the Westport Town Hall auditorium. It was held in partnership with The Conservative Synagogue Jewish Cultural Arts Council (JCAC). The documentary tells the story of the renowned Jewish violinist, Bronislaw Huberman, who set aside his career so he could help hundreds of Jews who were in jeopardy from Hitler’s Germany. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


03/23/14 11:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Orchestra of Exiles’ Director: ‘I Can’t Believe I Did It’ Image
Doug Tirola (l) on the board of Westport Cinema Initiative, moderated today’s talkback discussion with director Josh Aronson following the Town Hall screening of his 2012 documentary “Orchestra of Exiles.” The film is a suspenseful chronicle of how one man, Bronislaw Huberman, helped save Europe’s premier Jewish musicians from obliteration by the Nazis during World War II. Said Aronson of his work: “I look at the film now and can’t believe I did it…There were no books about Huberman so I found writings in German. I found an intern who translated the material into English. That took about a year. I decided to use reenactments with actors which is not as usual for a documentary. I just didn’t want to use still photos. I wanted it to be more alive.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


03/23/14 11:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honoring Senior Staples Players Image
There was a ceremony today honoring the senior Staples Players graduating in June following the final performance of “Avenue Q.” Pictured are Cara McNiff, Will Haskell, president of Staples Players, Nathan Francis, Robert Francis, Marjorie Watt, Madison Rozynek, Ryder Chasin, Katelyn Farnen, Sam Adelmann, Kelly Gore, Dustyn Levenson, and Kirk Melhuish. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/23/14 10:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Fun Image
Despite chilly temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s, some Compo Beach visitors today had fun in the playground. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckmaan for


03/23/14 09:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Entertaining at the Senior Center

A capacity crowd attended today’s Concert at the Center for Senior Activities featuring “The Return of Opera Artist, Jodi Keogan & Friends.” She performed songs and duets from the Great American and Italian Songbooks with Mark Watson as her singing partner. David Shatner accompanied them on the piano and also played the electronic violin—sometimes to the amazement of the audience, he played the violin and accompanied himself on the piano. The free concert was presented by the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, programmed by the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, and made possible by a grant from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation. Phyllis Groner for


03/23/14 09:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Seussical’ Sold Out at Playhouse Image
Two matinee performances of “Seussical,” charmed a sold out Westport Country Playhouse audience today in the final production of the Playhouse’s 2013-2014 Family Festivities Series. Adapted from the Broadway musical about Dr. Seuss’ stories the show was co-conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle and based on the works of Dr. Seuss, the play was produced by Theatreworks USA.  Angela Marroy Boerger, Playhouse education and community program coordinator, announced that the next season for the series will begin in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/23/14 07:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday Fun at Playhouse

Prior to today’s 1 p.m. performance of “Seussical” at the Westport Country Playhouse, Westport resident Mina Hartong, a drama teacher for young students at Trumbull’s Regional Center for the Arts, leads a workshop in the Sheffer Rehearsal Hall for children, ranging from 3-9 years old. The workshop guided the children through animation of some characters from the famed Dr. Seuss books. Dave Matlow for


03/23/14 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Longshore Sunset Image
Saturday’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


03/23/14 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday,  March 23, 2014

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” (last day)
1 p.m. and 4 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Theatreworks USA: “Seussical”
2 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Jodi Keogan & Friends
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Author and Dog Trainer Jeff Morgan
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Final Presentation & Celebration: January Maker-in-Residence Melissa Slattery: A Collaborative Book Project
3 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players: “Avenue Q”
4 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Westport Cinema Initiative: “Orchestra of Exiles”
4 p.m. - Unitarian Church (10 Lyons Plains Road) - A Conversation About Hunger with Michel Nischan

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/23/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Lynsey Addario in Front of Camera in Car Commercial Image
Lynsey Addario, the Westport photojournalist who has won numerous awards for her work behind the camera, goes in front of the camera for Audi in its new ad campaign for the 2015 Audi A3 sedan. She is briefly featured in a 60-second TV commercial (click here to view) called “Dues,” along with comedian Ricky Gervais, celebrity chef David Chang, comedian Kristen Schaal, gold medal winning boxer Claressa Shields, and others.The spot focuses on the “uncompromised” nature of these trailblazers. “I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face,” Addario says in the commercial. Each character is also profiled in an online video series called “Uncompromised Portraits” on Audi’s YouTube channel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo from video


03/23/14 02:36 AM Comments () • Permalink

Lynsey Addario: ‘Uncompromised’

Westport’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario is featured in a commercial and online videos by Audi as it kicks off its ad campaign for the 2015 Audi A3 sedan. In addition to a brief appearance in a 60-second commercial—which caught the attention of Westporters watching NCAA basketball—Addario is profiled in an online video series called “Uncompromised Portraits” on Audi’s YouTube channel. In the narration, Addario says, “I’m there to provide an image of the reality on the ground and a picture, so if I can be that messenger and my pictures will have a purpose” She recounts some of her thoughts as she was held captive for six days in Libya in 2011 along with fellow Westporter Tyler Hicks and two video


03/23/14 02:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Cinema Initiative Presents ‘Orchestra of Exiles’ Image

The Westport Cinema Initiative, in partnership with The Conservative Synagogue Jewish Cultural Arts Council (JCAC), presents the film, “Orchestra of Exiles,” on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Westport Town Hall.

In the chaos that engulfed the early days of World War II, onlookers feared the loss of some of Europe’s most respected Jewish musicians to Nazi terror. The suspense-filled drama tells of those fearful days and what it took to rescue the musicians. 

In the end success turned primarily on the actions of one man, Bronislaw Huberman, who transformed himself from a world renowned violinist to a humanitarian racing against time. The film includes commentary by Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell and others.

Academy Award-nominated director Josh Aronson will be a special guest in a talkback at the conclusion of the 2012 film.

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03/23/14 12:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

March Madness Family Y-Style Image
The Westport Weston Family Y tonight hosted a special combined Teen and Youth Night, and about 100 fourth to eighth graders turned out for an evening of basketball, swimming, table games, bingo and other fun with their friends—a sort of March Madness, Family Y-style. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/23/14 12:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Another Sign of Spring: Joey’s Opens at Compo Beach Image
A sure sign that spring is here is the opening of Joey’s By The Shore at Westport’s Compo Beach. Joey’s was open today for the first time this season.  An employee said, “We’ll be open tomorrow and next weekend too if the weather is okay.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/22/14 11:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Winslow Park Fun Image
Dogs and their owners were out in numbers today at Westport’s Winslow Park enjoying the warmer weather. After April 1, the annual ban on dogs at Compo Beach comes into effect.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for


03/22/14 11:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

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