Westport Country Playhouse presents ROMEO & JULIET, October 31-November 19
Westport Young Woman's League CraftWestport, November 4-5, Staples High School
Quick Center at Fairfield University
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday,  June 21, 2014 - Summer Begins

6:15 a.m. - Northern Hemisphere - Summer Solstice
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Saugatuck River at Jesup Green - Westport Sunrise Rotary 2014 Great Duck Race
10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Fairfield County Hunt Club - June Benefit Horse Show with $25,000 Fairfield Grand Prix at 1:30 p.m., free admission to public
Noon - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Scents & Soles”
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. - 10 Stone Drive - Solar Open House sponsored by Green Task Force
3 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Sing for Your Shakespeare”
4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - A Conversation with Lee Lorenz
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Fighting Static w/ Chronic Rhythm
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Arcadia”
8 p.m. - Unitarian Church - Voices Cafe “Summer Solstice Samba” featuring Brazilian jazz

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/21/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Westport Unemployment 5.1 Percent in May

Westport’s unemployment rate in May was 5.1 percent, up from 4.6 percent in April, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.

The rate increase came as the town’s labor force increased to12,870 in May from 12,566 in April. The number of unemployed in May was 655, up from 577 in April.

There were 12,215 employed in May, up from 11,989 employed in April.

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


06/21/14 01:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Feds to Send Team to Inspect Walk Bridge

By Ann Radelat


Washington – The Federal Railroad Administration is sending a team of inspectors to Connecticut next week to assess the conditions of all of the state’s five movable railroad bridges, including the Norwalk River’s Walk Bridge, whose recent malfunctions have snarled commuter traffic.

FRA spokesman Michael England said a team of agency inspectors would stay in Connecticut for about a month so they could fully inspect the aging structures, but he said he “couldn’t say” if the deployment was prompted by the problems of the Walk Bridge, which was stuck in an open position twice in the past month.

“We do sweeps like this from time to time,” England said.

The FRA last inspected the Walk Bridge in 2011, but the state has inspected it twice last year.

Click here for more of story


06/21/14 12:56 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, June 20, 2014

Art and Opera Tonight at Westport Arts Center

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Members of the Opera Singers Initiative, prepare and tune the piano for tonight’s evening of Art and Opera at the Westport Arts Center. New young talent will be singing operatic excerpts and art songs by 20th century American composers. The evening runs from 7-9 p.m. with cocktails and light snacks. Pictured (r-l) are Artistic Director Deborah Lifton, senior musical coach Charis Dimaras, and Quick Center Liaison Camile Gomes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/20/14 09:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Grads Urged to Live in Present With Eye to Future

By James Lomuscio

The banner suspended from the ceiling of the field house, where 5,000 family and friends had gathered for the 127th commencement exercises at Westport’s Staples High School, spoke of the future.

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Frank Corbo, who is retiring after almost 50 years as a Westport educator, led the academic procession. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“The future belongs to those who believe in the power of their dreams,” read the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.

Valedictorian Eliza Clare Llewellyn, however, asked her 462 fellow graduates to focus on the present, especially today.

“We live more in the future than in the present,” she said. “Today there is so much to celebrate, not in the future, but in this moment.”

More "Staples Grads Urged to Live in Present With Eye to Future"


06/20/14 08:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Day to Remember for Class of 2014

Scenes from today’s Staples High School graduation. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 08:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

End of a 49-Year Heller Family Run in Westport Schools

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UPDATE Grant Heller, Staples class of 2014, poses with grandparents Garson and Velma today following the graduation ceremony. Garson said that Grant’s graduation ends a 49-year period during which a member of the Heller family either attended Westport schools or was employed there. Grant’s father, Grant, Sr. who attended Westport schools from kindergarten through high school, graduated from Staples in 1978 as did his three children, Bonnie, 23, Katie, 20 and now Grant, 18. The youngest sibling of Grant Sr. graduated from Staples in 1984 while Velma was working in the Westport Public Schools. She retired in 2001 and now serves on the Representative Town Meeting as deputy moderator. Garson has served on the Board of Assessment Appeals for more than three decades. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Important to Have a Vision of Ourselves’

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Eliza Clare Llewellyn, valedictorian, addresses the Staples High School class of 2014 at the graduation ceremony today. “It is Important for us to have a vision of ourselves,” she said. “I feel as along as long as we move forward with a perception of what we want to be….we will have less trouble navigating what is to become.” More than 5,000 persons attended the event in the Staples field house that saw 463 students graduate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 06:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers June 2 - 6, 2014

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period June 2 - 6, 2014:

Rose Anne Preston Revocable Trust to Roger J. and Carol L. Schwanhausser, 1 Stony Point Road, $1,725,000WNproperty.jpg

Stein Family L. P. Ltd. to Westport Apts. LLC, 8 Cross St., $800,000

Bartholomew K. and Marilyn E. Casey to SIR-7 Rocky Acres LLC., 7 Rocky Acres Lane, $940,000

Penny P. Wickey to Barrie and Lily Sanderson, 28 Pequot Trail, $1,470,000

More "Westport Property Transfers June 2 - 6, 2014"


06/20/14 04:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Great Day for a Car Wash

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Today is the 14th annual Good Neighbor Day at Westport Wash & Wax, owned by Scott and Craig Tiefenthaler, 791 Post Road East. All receipts today go to Westport’s Homes With Hope, formerly Interfaith Housing Association. The day-long fundraiser, which runs until 6 p.m., supports Homes with Hope programs and services designed to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in the community. Pictured (l-r) are Craig and Scott Tiefenthaler with Jeff Wieser, Homes With Hope president and CEO. Said Craig:  “Today’s fundraising addresses a problem that every town has. We’re fortunate in Westport to have leaders like Jeff (Wieser).” The program has raised more than $70,000 for the nonprofit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 04:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Melissa Kane Takes Over Downtown Steering Committee

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe announced today that Melissa Kane will take over from Dewey Loselle as chair of the Downtown Steering Committee. Loselle has been appointed the town’s operations director. Kane, a former member of the Representative Town Meeting for two years, ran as the unsuccessful Democratic second selectman candidate in November’s election with Selectman Helen Garten. Pictured with them at a special meeting of the committee is Larry Bradley (l), Planning and Zoning director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Suspicious Package at Fairfield Shuts Down Train Service

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Police released this photo of the suspicious object which turned out to be part of a middle school project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Fairfield Police photo

UPDATE A suspicious package at Fairfield that turned out to be part of a middle school student’s school project shut down New Haven Line service for three hours today, delaying thousands of commuters.

Metro-North said service resumed at about 8:25 a,m. with residual delays of one to two hours after state police were called in to investigate and deemed it harmless. Service was operating from Westport to Grand Central Terminal during the shutdown. At 10:10 a.m. Metro-North said service was on or close to schedule.

A Fairfield police spokesman, Lt. James Perez, said a Public Works Department employee discovered the package at about 5:30 a.m. on the Unquowa Road Bridge over the Metro-North tracks, not far from the Tomlinson Middle School.

Perez said Fairfield and MTA police decided to shut down train service “in an abundance of caution.”

More "Suspicious Package at Fairfield Shuts Down Train Service"


06/20/14 02:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honors for Westport’s Conservation Director

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Westport’s Director of Conservation, Alicia Mozian, on Thursday accepted a Women Inspiring Conservation in Connecticut Award at a Hartford ceremony. Pictured (l-r) are Lisa Coverdale, state conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service; state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport; Bryan Hurlburt, USDA Connecticut Farm Service Agency state executive director; Alicia Mozian, and Julie Belaga of Westport, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. Mozian was among six women honored for their efforts toward conservation and agriculture in the state. Motivated by the theme of this year’s National Women’s History Month, the Natural Resources Conservation Service established the Women Inspiring Conservation in Connecticut Award. Nominations were solicited from conservation partners and the general public. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/20/14 01:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday,  June 20, 2014

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - Downtown Steering Committee Special Meeting
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Scents & Soles”
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. - Staples High School - Graduation ceremony
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Learn to Program in C
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - A Night of Art and Opera
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Acoustic Night: James Kerr, Alex Retter, Jack Kerns, & Previn Edwards
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Arcadia”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Sing for Your Shakespeare”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/20/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Do you know this cat?

Found Cat
This friendly feline was found in the downtown Westport area today, Thursday 6/19.  He - or she - was very hungry and thirsty.  Please send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 203-557-0361 if this your pet.


06/20/14 03:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Senior Housing Text Amendment Fields Criticism

By James Lomuscio

There was a mixed reception tonight at a Westport Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing to a requested text amendment affecting the planned construction of senior housing on the town-owned Baron’s South.

A number of speakers objected to a request to reduce the number of affordable units from 60 to 20 percent.

First Selectman Jim Marpe, who submitted the amendment, noted that changes to a regulation passed in 2011 would affect a total of 13 town-owned properties in Westport.

He was following up on his commitment to expand senior housing in town, an initiative begun during the administration of former First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Selectwoman Shelly Kassen.

More "Senior Housing Text Amendment Fields Criticism"


06/20/14 03:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Smiles and Entertainment at Staples Baccalaureate

By Dave Matlow

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Salutatorian Melissa Beretta addresses fellow classmates tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

There were plenty of smiles and entertainment at the baccalaureate ceremony tonight at Staples High School on the eve of Friday’s 2014 class graduation.

Salutatorian Melissa Beretta, who will attend Duke University in the fall, told classmates: “No matter where you go or what you become, you will always know where you’ve come from. It will always be with you.” 

“Westport breeds innocence and worldliness,” she added.

Beretta differentiated high school life in Westport with a TV show she saw where the valedictorian went into labor during the graduation ceremony.

Looking into the audience, Beretta said, “I can guarantee that it’s not so, mom and dad. You’re welcome.”

More "Smiles and Entertainment at Staples Baccalaureate"


06/20/14 02:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

‘Simply Choose Happiness’

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Staples High School senior Kelsey Shockey, who presented the “Happy Tip of the Week” on the Staples channel 78 TV show “Good Morning Staples,” presented her final tip to the class of 2014 at tonight’s baccalaureate ceremony. “Happiness is a choice,” she said. “You can deal with anything that comes your way. Simply choose happiness.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 02:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Entertainer Elliott

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Schools Superintendent Elliot Landon was among those featured in a video of Pharrell Williams “Happy Song” made by senior Kelsey Shockey, aided by Arin Meyers and Jim Honeycutt, shown at the end of tonight’s Staples High School baccalaureate ceremony. See the video here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 02:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Graduation Eve

Scenes from tonight’s Staples High School baccalaureate ceremony. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/20/14 02:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Mid-Century Homes Popular

By Judy Szablak

Few true mid-century modern homes exist in Westport, and they are enjoying a new height in popularity.

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Featured Home: This home at 76 Sylvan Road North is listed at $1,250,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Westport-Riverside/ M & D Properties

Increasingly difficult to find, there are currently only eight of these homes on the market right now in Westport, and their average list price is just over $1.7 million.

The architectural design was indicative of the stylistic modern homes built in the 1950s, and these houses have a much different character than their later contemporary-styled counterparts.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, and Finland’s Eero Saarinen were a few well known architects who designed many noteworthy homes in what is now commonly referred to as mid-century modern style.

More "Real Estate Report: Mid-Century Homes Popular"


06/20/14 12:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Marpe Honors Staples Boys Tennis

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today formally commended the Staples Boys Tennis Team for its undefeated season and regional and state championships at a ceremony on the Town Hall steps. The last time Staples won the FCIAC and state LL championships in the same season was 1982. Pictured with Marpe in the first row is Coach Kris Hrisovulos (Staples ‘00). Others are (second row): Griffin Haymes, Will Andrews, Max Berger, Max Zimmerman, Jay Mudholkar; (third row) Josh Moskovitz, Jason Chaskin, Baxter Stein, Jack Reardon; (back row) Sterling Price, Zack Levin, Luke Foreman, Connor Mitnick, and Charles Sonenclar. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/19/14 09:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ruth T. Bedford, 99

Ruth Thomas Bedford of Westport, daughter of Frederick T. and Lucie Thomas Bedford and the last surviving grandchild of Westport philanthropist Edward T. Bedford, founder of the Westport Weston Family Y, died June 15 at her Greens Farms home. She was 99.

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Ruth Bedford: Edward T. Bedford’s granddaughter. Contributed photo

She would have celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 8. Her death had been announced Monday at the Y’s 90th annual meeting. (See WestportNow June 16, 2014)

Her death followed by more than a month that of her niece, Lucie C. McKinney, a fellow Greens Farms resident, who died May 10 at the age of 80. (See WestportNow May 11, 2014)

She attended Foxcroft School in Virginia and upon graduation worked in social services. She served with the American Red Cross in the European theater during World War II. She had a great interest in the New York theater and worked for Rodgers and Hammerstein as a stage manager on several Broadway shows.

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06/19/14 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Future High School Basketballers Wanted

The Staples High School Girls basketball program has announced that all girls entering fifth grade and up are invited join current freshmen, junior varsity and varsity Wreckers for a youth basketball clinic to be held June 26 and July 17 at Staples from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Team members and freshman Coach Jeremy Thompson will offer instruction in ball handling, shooting, defensive footwork, rebounding, passing and conditioning, officials said.

According to Thompson, the clinic is designed to give youth the opportunity to interact and play with current Staples basketball players, as well as the freshmen coach. The cost is $20 per student per clinic, and students may attend both, said Thompson, adding that every girl receives a t-shirt for participating.

Those interested can email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  with contact information and the dates on which they plan to attend.


06/19/14 08:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 7 Tupelo Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 7 Tupelo Road, off Sturges Highway, is in process. Built in 1958, the 1-1/2 story cape has 4,360 square feet, is situated on a 1.53-acre property and changed ownership in January for $723,650. 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


06/19/14 03:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wayne G. Atwell, 80

Wayne George Atwell of Odessa, N.Y., a former Westport resident where he served on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), died June 17. He was 80.

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Wayne G. Atwell: former RTM member. Contributed photo

Born in 1933 in Dupont, Pa. to George and Charlotte Atwell, he graduated from Corning Free Academy in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Army Security Agency from 1954 to 1956, stationed in West Germany.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. in 1961. He spent 25 years working for GTE in Stamford, retiring as director of benefits.

In Westport, he served on the RTM from 1976 to 1981. At Christ & Holy Trinity Church, he was a member of the vestry and a lay reader. He loved sports cars and raced lightning sailboats at Cedar Point Yacht Club.

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06/19/14 02:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Cool Spot

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There were cool spots along the Saugatuck River near Westport’s Ford Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com


06/19/14 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday,  June 19, 2014

10 a.m. - noon - Westport Town Hall - CTWorks Career Coach: beginning Microsoft Word 2007
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Scents & Soles”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 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. - Westport Library - June Maker-in-Residence: Makey Makey with Josh Burker
1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - CTWorks Career Coach: intermediate Microsoft Word 2007
4:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Learn to Program in C
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - RTM Education and Finance Committee Joint Meeting
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Drink n’ Draw June
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Sing for Your Shakespeare”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/19/14 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Beach Master Plan Refined and Ready for Public

By James Lomuscio

Closure was the theme of tonight’s Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee, as the tweaked conceptual plans got a once over by an oftentimes vocal group of 20 persons in the Town Hall auditorium.

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Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee members listen to comments at tonight’s meeting. They are (l-r) Chris Urist, Skip Lane, Andy Moss, chair, and George Franciscovich. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The overall cost of implementing the site plan, as well as constructing a raised new bathhouse, concession stand and pavilion would top $7 million, more than $4 million of it for the bathhouse, according to Andy Moss, committee chairman.

The earliest any construction could possibly take place is within 15 months, he said.

But before any of that can happen, there will be a Parks and Recreation Commission public hearing “in early July,” Moss said, though no date is set. A Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) review will follow.

More "Beach Master Plan Refined and Ready for Public"


06/19/14 12:52 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mural on the Move

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Today was moving day for the 1969 Robert Lambdin Saugatuck mural; from the private home where it was temporarily stored to the conservation studio of Joseph Matheis, a mural expert. Donated by TD Bank from its now closed Saugatuck branch location, the mural will be restored this summer and make a fall debut at the Westport Historical Society before being permanently installed at Town Hall. A project of the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, the restoration is partially funded by a gift from the Betty R. And Ralph Sheffer Foundation. Assisting with the move are Denis Franta from Matheis Conservation, Town Curator Kathie Bennewitz, and Arts Advisory member Miggs Burroughs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/18/14 11:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

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