Wednesday, July 23, 2014
There was plenty of room to spread out tonight at the new Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing as it began its shortened regular season with a performance by the Connecticut Ballet. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Members of the Connecticut Ballet take a bow tonight as the shortened Levitt Pavilion free concert nights got under way following Sunday’s grand opening with Jose Feliciano. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Westport Safer Homes Task Force, the anti-hoarding team, met today at Town Hall with Judith Dicine, supervisory prosecuting attorney for housing matters for the Connecticut’s Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. Dicine addressed procedural and legal questions dealing with the issue of hoarding within the community, according to Westport Fire Lt. Brett Kirby, a member of the task force. He said she has extensive experience in dealing with this issue and has worked with mental health experts in the field of hoarding. Dicine spent almost three hours answering questions and giving advice to the task force. Representatives of Weston and Wilton joined in the session, the second meeting to include representatives from the three towns, Kirby said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Garelick & Herbs, the upscale culinary market, will open soon at 580 Riverside Ave. in Westport’s Saugatuck Center, in space vacated last month by CM Gourmet Market after eight months. Co-owner Jason Garelick, who announced last year that his store at 1799 Post Road East was relocating to Southport (see WestportNow July 26, 2013), said he has always had an interest in having a store in the Saugatuck area. “We’re expanding our base because most of our customers in the Post Road East store live nearer to that end of town and including Fairfield customers,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Willam B. Mervine of Westport died July 4 at home. He was 93.
He was born in New York City on Oct. 15, 1920, son of Arthur E. and Ruth Weaver Mervine. Soon after, the family moved to Scarsdale. He attended Peddie, then graduated from Wesleyan University in 1947 and received an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.
He enlisted in the U.S. Eighth Army Air Force after two years at Wesleyan. He was promoted to tech sergeant and completed 35 missions over Germany and German occupied territories in the 92nd Bombardment Group, the oldest heavy bombardment group in England.
He was awarded the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and the Presidential Citation for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained bomber combat.
John (Jack) Munroe Lillis of Saint Johns, Fla,, a former Westport resident, died July 16 at Baptist South Hospital in Jacksonville. He was 69.
He was born on May 4, 1945, in Greenwich to James (Jim) and Vera Lillis. He grew up in Westport, graduating from Staples High School in 1963. After high school, he attended Syracuse University and received a Bachelor of Science degree.
He worked in various sales positions and started a manufacture rep business in Denver that specialized in giftware and Christmas decorations.
He married Karen Rogers in 1976 in Denver and were happily married for 38 years.
By Judy Szablak
It’s no secret that that Westport’s real estate market is down from last year, however there are a few bright spots in an otherwise less than brisk sales atmosphere.
Our Multiple Listing Service identifies 11 separate neighborhoods (or areas) in town, and if we assume this data is correctly input into the system, which it generally is, then trending information on specific areas can easily be determined.
Only a few areas in town continue to be above the town’s average on a sales performance basis.
The Hunt Club area is the clear standout in town, with 29 homes available, 15 under some stage of deposit, and 49 sales within the last year. The average list price here is just over $2.04 million, which is $200,000 less than the town as a whole.
After years of planning, town approvals, court battles, fundraising and perseverance, the new $38.5 million Westport Weston Family Y will officially open the doors to its new facility at 14 Allen Raymond Lane on Friday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 a.m., Y officials announced today.
The opening of the 54,000-square-foot complex at its Mahackeno summer camp property along the Saugatuck River follows a scheduled ribbon cutting ceremony set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, to be attended by staff, volunteers and a number of local and state officials, according to Scott Smith, Y spokesman.
This first day of operations beginning at 5:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29 will be reserved for Y members, and the facility will be open free of charge to all members of the community over the Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, Smith said.
“Having served the community for the past 90 years at our original location in downtown Westport, at long last we are poised to begin the next chapter in our Y’s history in our modern new home,” said Rob Reeves, Y CEO and president.
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Westport Library - BOOKstravaganza: The Annual Gigantic Summer Book Sale (free)
9 a.m. - Noon - Westport Library - July Maker-in-Residence Joseph Schott: Un-Making!
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Tinker Camp
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - July Maker-in-Residence Joseph Schott: Un-Making!
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Connecticut Ballet
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Nora”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
By James Lomuscio
Of the 3,143 Westporters who took took the Downtown Steering Committee’s (DSC) online survey, not to mention the hundreds who took park in two visioning workshops last month, the majority want flood ready parking and buildings, a pedestrian bridge across the Saugatuck River, a waterfront park and crosswalk improvements.
What they do not want are modern looking buildings, parking meters, awnings along the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, diagonal parking in front of set back stores and a community center.
These findings were unveiled tonight in the Town Hall auditorium as DCS officials and representatives from the RBA Group hired to devise the downtown master plan presented the results of community input to an audience of about 50.
Three more specific downtown workshops will be held; July 28 on the Westport Library and the Levitt Pavilion, Aug. 6 on the Bedford Square project and the Kemper-Gunn House move, and Aug.11 on the Westport Cinema Initiative, according to Melissa Kane, DSC chairwoman.
Monday, July 21, 2014
A group of middle school students from China, visiting Westport this week as part of the SPIRAL International Chinese/American Culture Exchange Program, visited the Westport Weston Family Y today. They toured the Y facility and enjoyed basketball in the gym and, for some of the students, a special dance class led by Danette Meigel-Cahr (r). The tour was organized by Kana Higuchi, a student ambassador for SPIRAL and high school advisory member of the Westport Weston Family Y board of directors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Forty visiting Chinese exchange students stopped at the Westport Arts Center today as part of their tour of Westport. Among them was Kong Xinyu, 14, from Anhui province, west of Shanghai, who focused on a shoe by Westport artist Nina Bentley. The shoes and watercolors of perfume bottles by photorealist Robert Cottingham are part of the Center’s current “Scents and Soles” exhibit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
The BP service station, 1510 Post Road East, will switch to the Exxon brand starting Tuesday, according to Helen Kronberg who, with her husband, are the owners. Kronberg cited several reasons for the change, including a reduction in the number of BP stations in this area, “we don’t get the same BP support as in the past, and Exxon offers us a better presence and better support, especially credit card support.” Meanwhile, the bear statue, a fixture on the BP property for years which last week was damaged in an act of vandalism, is being replaced, according to Kronberg. She said the person responsible for the damage has been identified and has agreed to pay for the bear replacement. “We await delivery of the new bear,” she said. (CLICK TOT ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Demolition of 33 mobile homes at 1655 Post Road East owned by the Westport Housing Authority is in process. Part of a $22 million makeover, they will be replaced with 54 new units. The existing 39 townhouse-style residences that were built in 2003 in the rear of Sasco Creek will remain. Completion of the redevelopment is projected for November 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Police arrested an intoxicated Easton man who became combative, causing facial injuries to a man who had tried to help him and his girlfriend Sunday night, police said.
According to the police report, Steven Batis, 57, of 205 Mile Common Road also became combative with officers trying to arrest him outside the old Town Hall at 90 Post Road East.
Held in lieu of a $5,000 bond, Batis is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Wednesday, July 30.
He will face charges of breach of peace, third-degree assault and interfering with an officer, police said.
UPDATE A Florida man arrested Friday night after striking his brother in the head several times with a flashlight causing injuries that required hospitalization is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court today, police said.
Charles Friedson, 53, of Fort Lauderdale is charged with second-degree assault, breach of peace and first-degree disorderly conduct for fighting with an instrument causing serious injury. Prior to appearing in court, Friedson was held in lieu of a $2,500 bond.
His brother, Ronald Friedson, 56, of 95 Bayberry Lane, was charged with disorderly conduct, police said. He was released on a promise to appear for a court date today as well, police said.
According to police, Charles Friedson struck his brother during a dispute over money.
The shell over the stage of the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts reflected various colors Sunday night as Jose Feliciano performed in concert on opening night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
9 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - BOOKstravaganza: The Annual Gigantic Summer Book Sale (half-price day)
9:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Tinker Camp
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Storytelling Live! Naughty & Nice in Literature & Life
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Downtown Visioning Survey Results
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Scenes from tonight’s opening of the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts.Helen Klisser During and Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com and contributed photos
Sunday, July 20, 2014
NIne-time Grammy Award winner Jose Feliciano performed tonight at the opening night of the new Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The Weston resident said he was honored to be chosen when so many artists live in the area and also could have been asked. The Levitt said he was donating his fee to the Levitt to continue to provide free concert nights. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Westport’s new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts made its debut today with an opening night concert by Jose Feliciano. More than 500 guests packed the new sloped lawn of the $9 million facility to watch a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a concert by the nine-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist, who resides in Weston. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com photo
The crowd at the new Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts gives a standing ovation tonight to Mimi Levitt, who with her husband, the facility is named after. At left is Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Mmi Levitt concentrates on cutting the ribbon tonight as she officially opened the new Levitt Pavilion for the performing arts named after her and her late husband Mortimer. With her are (l-r) Carleigh Welsh, marketing director for the Levitt, Fred Plotkin, Freda Welsh, executive director, former First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Mimi’s daughter Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch, First Selectman Jim Marpe, and Janet Plotkin, chair of the Levitt board. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Mimi Levitt reacts with delight tonight after cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The Mimi and Mortimer Levitt Foundation were major contributors to the $9 million renovation cost. Joining her were (l-r) Fred Plotkin, husband of Levitt Pavilion chair Janet Plotkin, Freda Welsh, executive director of the Levitt, former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch, Mimi’s daughter head of the Levitt Foundation, and current First Selectman Jim Marpe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
By James Lomuscio
Tributes, thanks, tears of joy and standing ovations marked the inaugural season of the new $9 million Levitt Pavilion tonight—and that was before headliner José Feliciano of Weston, donating his performance for free, even took to the stage.
The pavilion itself, named after the late Mortimer Levitt and his wife Mimi, who arrived on a golf cart, was the star, reborn after 40 years of providing free, riverfront summer concerts to more than 1.5 million persons.
A total of 1,800 first come, first served free tickets were made available for tonight; however, a much larger number seemed to fill the lawn between the new entryway replete with restrooms, a concession stand and storage and the new pavilion band shell, its cathedral roof looking like a boat’s sail and reminding some of the Sydney Opera House.
Some would-be concert goers had even set up beach chairs on the new walkway that runs along the perimeter of the peninsula in the Saugatuck River on which the Levitt stands.