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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Riding the Waves

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Shaun Keating of Norwalk, a kiteboarding and surfing instructor, takes to the waves off of Westport’s Compo Beach late today in heavy rain and high winds.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

   

04/30/14 11:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Airborne

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High winds and high surf made for good kitesurfing off of Westport’s Compo Beach today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

   

04/30/14 11:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Working on Kitesurfing Gear

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Don Miro (l) of Westport and Shaun Keating of Norwalk work on their kitesurfing gear at Westport’s Compo Beach late today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

   

04/30/14 11:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

GOP Gov Hopefuls Want More State Worker Concessions

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Stamford—Four of Connecticut’s Republican gubernatorial contenders indicated today that they would ask unionized state employees to grant concessions in 2015 -– for the third time in seven years -– to help balance the budget.

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GOP candidates for governor debated in Stamford. They are (l-r) Mark Lauretti, Martha Dean, John McKinney, Joe Visconti and Mark Boughton. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

Answering questions at a debate in Stamford, state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Avon attorney Martha Dean and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti all said the state’s worsening budget deficit requires more worker sacrifices.

And the fifth Republican at today’s debate at the Stamford Sheraton Hotel, West Hartford businessman Joe Visconti, didn’t say he would seek concessions. But he did say workers need to give back, and he predicted they would support concessions to stabilize the long-term future of their salaries and benefits.

Greenwich businessman Tom Foley, the GOP’s 2010 gubernatorial nominee and a candidate again in 2014, did not attend today’s debate, which was sponsored by the Business Council of Fairfield County, Cable News 12 and the Hearst Newspapers

Click here for more of story

   

04/30/14 09:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Royce Tribute An ‘Eloquent Elegy’

To the Editor:

When Linda Hall came from Westport to the City to write for New York Magazine, I wrote [she] “may be the smartest and most talented young woman to hit town since the young Joan Didion.”

And her eloquent elegy to David Royce (“Guest Opinion,” WestportNow, April 17, 2014) underscores my prescience.

Noel E. Parmentel Jr.
Greenfield Hill
Fairfield, Conn.

   

04/30/14 09:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

HDC Gets Update on Emily McLaury House

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Members of Westport’s Historic District Commission (HDC) today toured the town-owned and currently unoccupied Emily McLaury house, 99 Myrtle Ave., diagonally across from Town Hall. The visit was to get a perspective on its condition since its restoration and tenant occupancy in mid-2008. Morley Boyd, an HDC member during the renovation period, requested the tour and was accompanied by Wendy Crowther who, with Boyd, were overseers of the restoration of the 1920s-built structure. HDC Chairman Randy Henkels said the commission at its May 13 meeting would discuss and define the role of the HDC in “shepherding the property on a day-to-day basis.” At least one Board of Finance member, Tom Lasersohn, has advocated that the town sell the property. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

04/30/14 08:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Despite the Rain, Getting the Job Done

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Despite today’s rain, workers were putting last minute touches to South Moon Under, 14 Post Road East, in advance of Thursday’s 6-8 p.m. grand opening party. Westport is the first Connecticut location for the men’s and women’s fashion boutique, which had a ribbon cutting last month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

   

04/30/14 08:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tax Receipts Plunge, Next CT Budget $300M in Deficit

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Plummeting tax receipts have ripped a nearly $300 million hole in the next state budget, leaving legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy just one week to fix it, according to a new report today from fiscal analysts.

Meanwhile, proposed new spending for pre-kindergarten programs, the elderly and working poor, public colleges and universities, and for cities and towns hang in the balance –- as do tax breaks for teachers and consumers and the potential expansion of legalized gambling in Connecticut.

New projections from the administration and the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis also worsened the deficit in the first budget after the November election, pushing it close to $1.4 billion or 7.4 percent of annual operating costs.

Meanwhile, the $500 million-plus surplus Malloy touted just two months ago when he proposed a tax rebate has disintegrated to $43 million.

Click here for more of story

   

04/30/14 07:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Summer Has A Home

Summer
Summer. Westport Animal Control

Summer has been adopted.  She is rebounding nicely and enjoying her new-found freedom.  She knows her basic commands and was housebroken very quickly.  She has displayed no toy or food aggression and loves to chase the tennis ball.  She is becoming socialized in regard to meeting new people but still takes a few minutes to warm up to people.  However, she quickly accepts you into her circle and wants to follow you everywhere. 

   

04/30/14 06:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rain Station

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Commuters at the Metro-North Westport train station had their umbrellas out today as they awaited their trains. The forecast called for rain through today and into Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

   

04/30/14 01:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Social App Shut Down at Staples

By Bella Gollomp

Inklingsnews.com

Just when Staples students thought the harassment had come to an end, they were faced with yet another demoralizing app: Gaggle.

Within 24 hours, the administration had blocked the app, but students found they were able to access it outside the school’s network.

The app is described on iTunes as, “An anonymous local bulletin board to post messages to the people around you. It is a fast reliable way to share your thoughts, gossip and talk about things around you.” Essentially, it is the equivalent of Yik Yak, just with images instead of text.

“What we have created here, ironically, is a public toilet stall on the Internet for everybody to see,” Principal John Dodig said. “it’s anonymous, and you can be as gross as you want.”

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04/30/14 12:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Burning Odor Forces Evacuation of Staples

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Staples students were evacuated to the field house when the fire alarm sounded. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Inlingsnews.com photo

UPDATE Westport firefighters today responded to a report of a burning odor at Staples High School and the building was evacuated as a result.

Fire officials said the odor was traced to a light fixture in second floor room 2035.

Fire units raced to the school at 7:15 a.m. just before the start of classes after a maintenance worker called 911. Buses had to drop off students at the north entrance because the main entrance was blocked by emergency vehicles.

When firefighters arrived, students and staff were congregated in the field house and the school’s fire alarm was sounding. Staff and students were allowed to return to classes just before the start of first period at 7:27 a.m.

   

04/30/14 11:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Daybreak Nurseries Closes

By Dave Matlow

After almost 73 years, Westport’s Daybreak Nurseries has closed and a builder who purchased the 2.2-acre property in a foreclosure sale says he plans to build four homes on the site.

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Daybreak Nurseries, opened in 1941, will become the site of four homes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Peter Greenberg, owner of Norwalk-based Able Construction, said he purchased the property at 500 Main St. for $1,350,000 as the highest bidder in a foreclosure settlement in February. 

He said the 2.2-acre property is comprised of four lots on which he plans to build four single-family homes limited to .5-acre each.

He said the zoning is grandfathered from the early 1940s for residential use with limitations. Greenberg said he is exploring other variations that may include a segment for commercial use.

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04/30/14 10:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Flooding at Saugatuck Shores

Canal Road in Westport’s Saugatuck Shores area was flooded early today at high tide, Westport police said.

Water was over the roadway, making passage impossible. High tide in the area was 12:21 a.m.

A newly installed water gauge on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge over the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center reported a reading of 6.06 feet at 11:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service had issued a Coastal Flood Advisory until 2 a.m. today and issued a similar one from 8 p.m. today until 2 a.m. Thursday.

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04/30/14 04:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Ideal Weather for Kite Surfing

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Heavy surf and rain Tuesday at Westport’s Compo Beach brought out the kite surfers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

   

04/30/14 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


10 a.m. - Westport Library - ReferenceUSA: Uncovering the Hidden Job Market
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 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 ... “
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Women and Finance: Financial Literacy
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - Planning & Zoning Landscape Subcommittee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201- RTM Public Protection Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Song at Twilight”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

   

04/30/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

RTM Approves $200,000 for Classroom Locks

By James Lomuscio

By a vote of 28 to 0 with 1 abstention, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight approved a $200,000 Board of Education request for the installation of 1,425 high security, classroom locks recommended by Kroll Security, Inc. in response to concerns generated by the Newtown school shootings nearly a year-and-a-half ago.

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Elio Longo, school business administrator, shows a lock to RTM members tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

According to Jack Klinge, who spoke on behalf of the RTM’s Education and Finance committees that unanimously recommended the appropriation, the $200,000 from the Capital and Nonrecurring Budget would be offset by a $40,000 state grant. Klinge said that the installation of the locks would begin this summer.

“This is our first hardware security measure district wide,” said Elio Longo, school business administrator, adding that other requests would be forthcoming.

RTM member Diane Cady, who represents District 1, abstained. Cady said earlier that she was “troubled with how long this has taken,” and expressed concern about front and side entrances.

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04/30/14 02:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CT Senate Passes Consumer Protections, But Advocates Balk

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

The Connecticut Senate today unanimously passed consumer protections for electric customers that advocacy groups say are inadequate and should be strengthened once the bill comes before the House of Representatives.

Legislators celebrated bipartisan passage of a bill that addresses a major source of constituent complaints, especially from the elderly: aggressive marketing by electric suppliers, some of whom entice customers with low teaser rates that jump with little warning.

“Maybe not everything that every advocacy group wants is in this bill, but this bill moves us forward in a giant way,” said Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr. , D-Brooklyn, who stood with AARP in January to pledge passage of the law.

But AARP, the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, ConnPIRG and the Legal Assistance Resource Center say the bill was too deferential to the interests of electric retailers in that it failed to cap variable rates. They were lobbying House members to make changes.

Click here for more of story

   

04/29/14 11:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Debuts Previews of Season Opener Tonight

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The Westport Country Playhouse kicks off its 2014 season tonight with previews of Noel Coward’s “A Song at Twilight,” a battle of wits, exploring the nature of passion, the cruelty of love, and the price of hidden secrets. It is directed by the Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos. Pictured are actors Brian Murray and Mia Dillon. Opening night is on Saturday and it runs through May 17. For more information and tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or visit www.westportplayhouse.org. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

04/29/14 10:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Family Y Construction on Target

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A workman attaches a baskeball hoop to a backboard in the gym of the new Westport Weston Family Y at its Mahackeno site. Pallets next to the hoop are pallets of hardwood maple flooring which are curing on-site to adjust to the building’s humidity levels before being set in place. A spokesman said the $38.5 million project is 80 percent completed and on budget. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

   

04/29/14 07:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Vet Describes Nevada Nuclear Testing in 1950s

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Westport veterinarian Irwin Lebish told the Westport Rotary Club today about his experiences as a U.S. Army officer participating in above ground nuclear testing in Nevada during the 1950s. Lebish, who served on a Special Weapons project, was one of a group of veterinary pathologists who conducted research on the radioactive impact on 500 pigs placed at varying distances from “ground zero” where 29 thermonuclear devices were detonated over a one-year period. He described the detonations as “like a large flash bulb, first bright yellow, then orange, then red and then purple.” He noted that an international treaty in 1958 banned above ground nuclear testing. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

04/29/14 07:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

CT Measles Cases: 3 in Past Decade, 3 More in 2014

Connecticut has had three confirmed cases of measles this year—the same number of cases as in the previous 10 years combined, according to public health officials.

All three people have recovered, and none of the three cases appear linked, according to the state Department of Public Health. The third case, announced today, occurred in an adult in New Haven County. The first two occurred in Fairfield County in February. One patient was a child and one was an adult.

DPH is urging people who are not sure if they’ve been vaccinated for measles to check with their doctors. People who had the disease in the past are considered to be immune.

According to the health department, people who are not immune to measles and are showing symptoms of the illness should call their health care providers rather than going to a health care facility to avoid exposing others.

—Ctmirror.org

   

04/29/14 02:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Gaetano’s Deli to PRE

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Gaetano’s Arthur Avenue Style Deli will open at 1713 Post Road East in the space previously occupied by Westport Deli, which closed recently after 23 years at that location when the owners retired. According to Diana Ukehaxhaj, wife of co-owner Milanno Ukehaxhaj, her husband and his business partner Gaetano Catalano each worked for many years on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. She said they opened the first Gaetano’s Deli in Stratford in 1997 and then the Monroe shop in July, 2009. She said the Westport location, the third in their expanding business, “will hopefully open in about three months depending on the town’s approval process.”  She added, “For the past five years we’ve been voted No. 1 sandwich shop by Connecticut Magazine.”  For more information visit www.gaetanosdeli.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

04/29/14 01:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Health District Sets Free Skin Cancer Screening on Sunday

The Westport Weston Health District and Fairfield County Dermatologists will host its annual free skin cancer screening on Sunday from 9-11 a.m. at the health district, 180 Bayberry Lane. Screening is free and no appointment is necessary.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and is increasing in incidence, the Health District said.

The American Academy of Dermatology states that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. The most common types of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, can be cured if caught early and properly treated.

When melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. Dermatologists offer free skin cancer screenings because these screenings can help find skin cancers early when they most treatable and beatable.

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04/29/14 01:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Beach House

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Sunny skies and temperatures in the 60 was enough to prompt erection of a temporary beach house Monday on newly-raked Compo Beach . (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

   

04/29/14 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Abstract Notes” & “Solos 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 ... “
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Information Technology Committee
6:30 p.m. - Police Station Conference Room - RTM Transit Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Special Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 100 - Probate Judge Lisa Wexler: Changing Your Name
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Song at Twilight”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

   

04/29/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Parents, Students: ‘Don’t Cut Anti-Bullying Program’

By James Lomuscio

In the wake of a brief but painful cyber-bullying episode at Westport’s Staples High School last week caused by the phone app Yik Yak, more than a dozen parents and students begged the Board of Education tonight not to cut its anti-bullying program, Kool to Be Kind (K2BK).

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The Yik Yak app was disabled at Staples but not before it swept through the school last week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Proponents of the four-year-old, empathy-based K2BK program run in third grade classrooms by parent volunteers and Staples students spoke after school administrators presented nearly an hour’s overview of their own School Climate Committee’s effectiveness. It was the second time in little more than a month that the board had heard emotional pleas about the program from students and parents. (See WestportNow April 24, 2014)

“I heard a lot of words thrown around tonight, and I’m concerned,” Jessica Gross, a Staples junior, said about the administrative report that used terms such as “digital citizenship” and “social-emotional competence.”

“Bullying is an issue now,” she added, noting K2BK was more effective.

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04/29/14 03:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Calm

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Westport’s Compo Beach at dusk today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

   

04/29/14 12:36 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Staples Softball Team Home Field Dedicated

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After a two-year effort, the Staples High School girls softball team today dedicated a new home field at Wakeman Park. A pre-game ceremony thanked those involved In the “Got Field” project. Susan Jacobson, co-chair of the Got Field (l), noted that the new field is complete with dugouts, batting cage, press box and a renewed connection with the community. “Students can now walk to the field to cheer on the softball players,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

04/28/14 10:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘A Great Life Lesson’

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The new home field for the Staples High School softball team was dedicated today at Wakeman Park. Susan Jacobson co-chair of the Got Field effort, said, “This entire experience has been a life lesson for our girls. This field proves that with perseverance you can make a change for the better, as opposed to just wishing and waiting for things to be different. What a great life lesson.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

04/28/14 10:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

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