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Thursday, April 03, 2014

David L. Thorpe, 76

David Leroy Thorpe of Vero Beach, Fla.,a former commodore at Westport’s Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club, died March 31, after battling prostate cancer. He was 76.

He was born in Southport amd attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania where he received a B.A. in political science. Upon graduation, he joined the Eveready Battery Products Division of Union Carbide Corporation as a sales and marketing executive in upstate New York where he rapidly advanced through successive management positions requiring multiple relocations, including a two-year assignment with the family in Geneva, Switzerland.

Toward the end of his 26-year career at Union Carbide, Dave became corporate vice president of marketing during which time he oversaw the creation and launch of the well-known energizer bunny advertising campaign which is still widely used today.

Upon his retirement from Union Carbide in 1984, he and four other partners formed Interim Management Corporation (IMCOR) a highly specialized interim management executive search firm based in Stamford. Over the next 10 years, he played a key role in growing the firm to 36 principals with offices in six states. The firm was sold in 2000 and he and his wife retired to Vero Beach.

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04/03/14 08:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Westporters on the Move

A new list of where new New York City residents come from shows Westport among the top 20 places –- barely, it’s No. 20 on the list. Image
This graphic shows where new Westport residents come from, according to (CLICK TO ENLARGE) graphic

And a similar list of where new Westport residents come from has, surprise, surprise, New York, N. Y. as No. 1.

The list was compiled by White Pages-style search engine Spokeo, which tracked migration patterns via cell phone numbers. It said when people relocate, they tend to hold on to their mobile numbers. So it analyzed phones registered in a particular city to create a ready-made data set of who is moving from where.

As for New York City’s registered numbers, it found most new residents are coming from the states of New Jersey and Connecticut with cities Washington, D.C. as No. 1, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark, and Montclair, N.J. Westport was No. 20 on the list.

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04/03/14 06:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Stanley L. Englebardt, 88

Stanley L. Englebardt of Westport, a former roving editor for Reader’s Digest and a prolific writer, died March 31 after a brief illness. He was 88. Image
Stanley L. Englebardt: interviewed in 2010 on PBS. photo

A Westport resident for more than 55 years, Englebardt authored more than 800 magazine articles, many for Reader’s Digest but others for The New York Times, Family Circle, Women’s Journal, Popular Science, Mechanix Illustrated, Argosy, and many more.

Englebardt’s expertise in the medical and science fields led to his most successful writing.

His nine nonfiction books included “How to Get in Shape for Sports” (1976), “The Nibbling Diet: the Natural Way to Lose Weight and Keep it Off” (1978), “Kids and Alcohol: the Deadliest Drug” (1975), “How to Avoid a Heart Attack” (1974), “Miracle Chip: the Microelectronic Revolution” (1979), and “Strategic Defenses” (1966).

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04/03/14 06:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Is Your House a Teardown?

By Judy Szablak

Many Westport homes are again headed for the WestportNow Teardown of the Day feature. However, making that determination as an average homeowner is more complex than one might think. Image
This 1956-built home at 160 Compo Road North sold for $325,000 on Feb. 4. Remodeling candidate or teardown? (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

There are a few important factors that will distinguish a home from being one to remodel, rather than a dwelling to tear down. It all depends on the “highest and best use” of the property in an investment sense.

A real estate agent can not only help you determine if your home fits the category, and proper pricing, but many of us work alongside a number of developers as well, making the process and transaction that much more simplified and streamlined.

The price of the property is important, but the feasibility of building a new and larger home has to be there as well. Zoning restrictions, conservation concerns, and neighboring home values all play a very important part in the decision.

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04/03/14 03:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Warming Up to Baseball Season Image
The Bridgeport Bluefish mascot made a visit to Westport’s Greens Farms Elementary School in a reminder that baseball season is here. The Bluefish open their season away on April 24 against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The home opener is April 30 against the Sugar Land Skeeters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/03/14 03:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday,  April 3, 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 ... “
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food
2 p.m. - Westport Library - “April in Paris” Movie Series: “Tous Le Matins du Monde (All the Mornings of the World)”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - Coleytown Company’s “Shrek the Musical”
7:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Anna Raimondi
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Probate Judge Lisa Wexler: Guardianships
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Annabel Monaghan, “Double Digit”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

$200,000 for High Security School Locks Approved

By James Lomuscio

Fifteen months after the Newtown school shootings, Westport’s Board of Finance tonight unanimously approved School Superintendent Elliott Landon’s request for $200,000 to replace each school’s interior door locks with high security ones, as recommended by Kroll Security Advisors.

But the approval did not come without criticism over why it took so long to get to this point, since the Newtown shootings took place in December 2012.

“It just seems to me it took a long time,” said Michael Rea, finance board member, noting that the Stamford Public Schools has similar locks installed last summer.

“I would urge you to move as expeditiously as possible,” he added about other security measures.

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04/03/14 03:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Community Meeting on Baron’s South Senior Complex

By James Lomuscio

Town administrators tonight asked the standing-room-only crowd at the Westport Center for Senior Activities for their support in moving a planned senior housing complex on town-owned Baron’s South forward, so it can open in November 2017. Image
A Westport Center for Senior Activities audience tonight got an update on the Baron’s South senior housing proposal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

First Selectman Jim Marpe and Second Selectman Avi Kaner vowed their support for the 149 rental unit complex to be located on eight acres of the 22-acre parcel called Baron’s South.

Each also took the opportunity to thank the previous administration of First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Second Selectwoman Shelly Kassen, who were both present, for making the senior complex a key initiative of their administration.

In addressing the scores of senior citizens assembled, Kaner reiterated that the center’s mission is to offer Westport citizens who have contributed much to the town over the years the opportunity to age in place.

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04/03/14 01:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sold-Out Audience for Jane Green Book Talk Image
Westport bestselling author Jane Green drew a sell out crowd to the Westport Country Playhouse Sheffer Rehearsal Hall tonight for a discussion with Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos about her new novel, Tempting Fate,” which is set in Westport. Proceeds from the evening will go to benefit the writing workshop, Write Yourself Free. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/03/14 12:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Jane Green: Many Women Begin to Feel Irrelevant in 40s Image
Westport author Jane Green’s new novel, “Tempting Fate,” is set in Westport, where she discussed the work tonight with Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos (l). The book, her 15th, is about a betrayed marriage. “I’m now in my 40s, the age when many women begin to feel irrelevant,” she said in explaining characters in the novel. “I recall walking down Park Avenue toward Grand Central one dark evening in a sea of men in suits and ties. Not one looked at me. I was invisible.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/03/14 12:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Richard G. Helmig, 73

Richard Garrett Helmig of Wilton, a longtime sailor at Westport’s Cedar Point Yacht Club, died at his home on March 31. He was 73. Image
Gary Helmig: avid sailor. Contributed photo

Gary, as he was always called, was born on Sept. 21, 1940 in Dayton, Ohio and was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a Master’s degree in finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

After 25 years, he retired from IBM as director of business evaluation for the Data Processing Group. He joined Soundview Technology Group as managing director of research, retiring in 2004. He was married for almost 51 years to his wife, Nancy Quinn Helmig.

His passion was sailing. As a child he learned to sail on his parents’ sailboat that they raced on Lake Erie. At MIT, he was on the sailing team for all four years. He purchased his first boat in 1981 and joined Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport.

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04/02/14 09:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Going Down: 18 Westway Road Image
The house at Westport’s 18 Westway Road, off Greens Farms Road, was demolished today. Built in 1945, the two-story colonial had 2,174 square feet, was situated on a one-acre property and changed hands last month for $800,000. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Feb. 20, 2014. The Westport Fire Department utilized the house in mid-March for firefighter training exercises. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/02/14 07:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Levitt Work Progressing Image
Work is progressing on the new home of Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The new facility is scheduled to be ready for the summer season. View today is from across the Saugatuck River on Riverside Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


04/02/14 07:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples No. 1 in State Math Competition

The Staples High School math team Tuesday broke five years of domination by Greenwich High School, winning first place in the state math championship.

Greenwich led after round one, but Staples took the lead in round two and held it for a 119-108 win.

The competition was held in Hebron.

Greenwich High was seeking its sixth straight state title, after winning its fifth straight county competition last month.


04/02/14 07:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport February Unemployment Falls to 4.7 Percent

Westport’s unemployment rate in February was 4.7 percent down from 4.9 percent in January, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor.

The last time Westport’s unemployment rate was lower was in August 2008 when it was 4.5 percent, just before the recession began to be felt. The rate hit 7.0 percent in June 2009.

The department said the number of Westport unemployed in February was 583, down from 613 in January. The February labor force in Westport numbered 12,366, down from 12,423 in January. There were 11,783 employed in February, down from 11,810 in January.

A year ago in February, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.


04/02/14 07:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ralph I. Reis, 86

Ralph I. Reis of Sarasota, Fla., a former Westport resident, died March 31. He was 86.

Services will be held Friday, April 4 at 3 p.m. at Toale Brothers Colonial Chapel, 40 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota.


04/02/14 06:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Naomi W. Drabkin, 81

Naomi Weiss Drabkin, a resident of Westport for 43 years, died April 1 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 81.

Born in Norwich, a daughter of the late Harry and Mildred Drabkin, she maintained her practice of psychiatry in Westport and New York City for many years.

She attended Norwich Free Academy, Jackson College, received her Bachelor’s Degree from City College of New York, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, attended Columbia University, received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed her residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she was appointed clinical professor of psychiatry.

She was a former medical director at the New Haven Veterans Hospital psychiatric unit.

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04/02/14 05:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Winning Team in Dodge-a-Cop Image
About 100 Staples High School students joined members of the Westport Police Department Tuesday night in the fourth annual Dodge-a-Cop dodge ball competition. Organized by the Westport Youth Commission, the event is part of the Westport Police-Youth Collaborative efforts to create positive interactions between police and young people. “The Dodge-a-Cop event is a perfect vehicle for getting kids and policemen together in a nonlaw enforcing atmosphere,” said Officer Ned Batlin. The winning team included James Rubin, Steven Sobel, Jake Reiner, George Ingber, and Dan Boyce. They are pictured with Officer Samuel Sabin (r). Proceeds from the event went to Homes With Hope. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/02/14 03:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tick-Borne Disease Alliance Sets Sunday Walk-Run

Volunteers are readying for Sunday’s Sixth Annual Walk/Run to Bite Back for a Cure on behalf of the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance.

It will be held rain or shine at the West Beach at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park. Registration and check in will begin at 8:30 a.m.

The event will include three-mile and six-mile runs as well as a one-mile loop walk within the park. Runners will start at 9:30 a.m. followed by the walkers at 9:45 a.m.  An award ceremony for the runners and the highest fundraisers will be at 11 a.m.

Online registration will close at midnight Wednesday. Onsite registration fees are $35 per person and $80 per family. For more information and to register, visit or contact Orna Grand at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


04/02/14 03:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Going Down: First Blight Property at 71 PRW Image
The house at Westport’s 71 Post Road West was demolished today. Built in 1942, the one-story wood frame clapboard house had 1,850 square feet. The demolition application lists No. 71 as part of one parcel specified as 69-71-73 PRW. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day, Sept. 19, 2013. According to Steve Smith, Westport’s building official and blight officer, this is the first house to be demolished under the order of the Blight Prevention Board. All properties, from 57 to 79 PRW, are subject to the town’s anti-blight ordinance for which individual demolition permits are pending. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/02/14 02:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Baron’s South Panel Preps for Public Session Tonight Image
The Baron’s South Committee today reviewed the agenda for tonight’s 6:30 p.m. community information session at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. Second Selectman Avi Kaner, who has been assisting the committee in negotiations with developer Jonathan Rose Company, estimated the project will require 44 months to complete. “The 54 units of affordable housing and the project in general will reflect positively on the town,” he said. Tonight’s meeting will bring the community up to date on the status of the project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/02/14 02:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

April Fool Sunset Image
Tuesday’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Hales Court area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Maintenance Study Committee
8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Baron’s South Committee
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201A - United Nations Hospitality 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 ... “
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food
Noon - Westport Historical Society - A Primer in Political Action for Women
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Beautification Committee
4 p.m. - Westport Library - ChessClub (grades K-12)
6:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Baron’s South Community Meeting
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen LGBTQ Book & Film Group
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Jane Green and Mark Lamos discuss “Tempting Fate”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Flood & Erosion Control Board
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Finance Special Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

RTM Approves $350,000 for New Police Boat

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s identity as a shoreline community took center stage at tonight’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) session, first with an update from from the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee, next the unanimous approval of $350,000 for a new police boat. Image
Andy Moss, chairman of the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee, updates the RTM tonight on the committee’s work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The Police Department appropriation request made by Chief Dale Call—and already approved by the Board of Finance—was the RTM’s only agenda item.

Call said the funds would go to replacing the current 1998 Boston Whaler Marine 1, which, despite its age, has remained on call year round, fielding 400 calls annually, more than eight during harsh winter months.

He said the new boat that the department plans to buy will be more durable with an aluminum hull instead of the current fiberglass one, and that it has an expected 20-year life span.

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04/02/14 01:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Democrats Meet Under New Leadership Image
Westport Democrats met tonight for the first time under new Democratic Town Committee Chair John Hartwell (standing). Among topics discussed was choosing delegates to state conventions next month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/02/14 12:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Jane Green in Playhouse Discussion Wednesday

Westport bestselling author Jane Green will be in discussion Wednesday with Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos about her latest novel, “Tempting Fate,” which is set in Westport. Image
Jane Green: new novel set in Westport. Contributed photo

The event in the Lucille Lortel White Barn Center Sheffer Studio begins at 7 p.m.

The $35 admission includes a copy of “Tempting Fate,” Green’s 15th book, which has been described as “a powerful portrayal of a marriage rocked by betrayal.”  Additional books will be for sale from Barnes & Noble, and there will be a book signing after the talk.

Proceeds from the evening will go to benefit the writing workshop, Write Yourself Free. Wine and other treats will be provided by Nothin’ But Premium Foods and Cocoa Michelle.To purchase tickets visit (community events page) or call the box office at (203)227-4177.


04/02/14 12:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Play With Your Food Closes Out Season Image
Westport’s “Play With Your Food” lunchtime play readings began its final series of performances of its 12th season today at Toquet Hall in Westport. Director Carole Schweid chatted with the actors during the post-performance talkback with the audience. Food service was by Terrain Garden Café of Westport. Tickets are still available for the Thursday performance at Toquet Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/01/14 11:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy: Rowland Should Be Taken Off Air

By Mark Pazniokas

Former Gov. John G. Rowland, who was identified in federal court Monday as a secret, illegally paid advisor to a congressional candidate in 2012, has abused his position as a radio talk show host and should be taken off the air by WTIC-AM, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today.

“He was not serving the public office, but he had the interesting position of trying to impact and influence political discourse on an afternoon radio show. That somebody would violate that trust as well is disturbing,” Malloy said in response to reporters’ questions.

But Rowland was at the microphone at 3:07 p.m., when traffic and weather ended, and a snippet played from his theme song, “Only in America.”

“Before I get the program going, I just want to make a quick statement. I am not going to be discussing the legal news and developments,” Rowland said. “I’m sure that you all understand, and I want to respect the process. First things first.”

Click here for more of story


04/01/14 11:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Banging the Closing Gavel at the NYSE—Again Image
A little more than three months after she gaveled a New York Stock Exchange session to a close (See WestportNow Dec. 26, 2013), Westporter Johanna Rossi (wielding gavel) did it again today. She was with SmileTrain CEO Susannah Schaefer and staff and supporters in anticipation of the organization’s one millionth cleft repair surgery in 15 years. Rossi, s senior trader at Alden Global Capital, has been an active volunteer for many years with the New York-based charity. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/01/14 10:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Francis du Pont Jewelers Opens in New Home Image
Francois du Pont Jewelers opened at 6 Sconset Square today after almost 32 years on Main Street. Owner Noel du Pont said of his new 800-square foot location, “I’m ecstatic. It’s a new home and it’s mine.” The jewelry store and neighboring Westport Pizzeria moved from Main Street to make way for Athleta, a division of GAP Inc., which is also taking the space formerly occupied by Kate Spade located on the other side of the former Francois du Pont Jewelers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/01/14 10:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

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