Saturday, February 28, 2015
An overflow, standing room only crowd gathered today at the Westport Library McManus Room to hear Mimi Sheraton, 89, award-winning author, grande dame of food journalism and former restaurant critic for The New York Times, discuss her newest book, “1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover’s Life List.” She was in a conversation with Westport-born Matt Storch, partner and chef of both Match Restaurant in Norwalk’s SoNo District and The Chelsea in Fairfield. Sheraton said in 1983, her last year with the Times, she had dinner at home only five times that entire year. Her opinion of today’s food critics? Many of them focus too much on the writing than the food, she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
It was a standing room only crowd today at the Westport Library for a talk by renowned food critic Mimi Sheraton. Asked about her favorite comfort food, she replied “fried eggs—I’ve been making my own since age 7.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe took part today in a purple ribbon-tying ceremony outside David’s Tea, 135 Main St.. to kick off Westport’s first “Paint the Town Purple Awareness Blitz.” The purple ribbon bows around the trees lining Main Street are to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease. The weekend marks the two-week countdown to the Alzheimer’s Association’s fundraiser event March 13 at the Fairfield Theater Company. Joining Marpe in the ribbon-tying were Westporter Jeff Ruden, a board member of the Norwalk-based Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and Eleanor Tornatore-Mikesh, CEO of the organization. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Kris Nash, a Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services CPR instructor, and a member of the Westport Library staff, gives instructions today on hands-only CPR at the Westport Library. On Thursday, students at Westport’s Staples High School will have an opportunity to learn the life saving skill for free during their lunch waves. The Staples classes have been organized by senior and WVEMS volunteer Reni Forer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Westport area for snow and freezing rain. It is in effect from 10 a.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday.
It said to expect snow accumulation of 2 to 6 inches along with up to around a tenth of an inch of ice. Visibilities will be one-quarter to one-half mile at times.
The Weather Service said snow will develop beginning late Sunday morning over the western portions of the tri-state, then expand over the remainder of the advisory area Sunday afternoon.
The snow will mix with or change to freezing rain across New York City, and other areas including coastal portions of Fairfield County Sunday evening. The precipitation will taper off from west to east after midnight Sunday night.
The newest recipients of an historical plaque from the Westport Historical Society (WHS) are the owners of the 1915-built house at 111 Kings Highway North, John Koren and his partner Patti McGovern, who acquired the house in 2012. The plaque was presented by Bob Weingarten, WHS house, plaque historian. In 2014, the Historic District Commission (HDC) awarded Koren and McGovern a preservation award for the house in recognition of “the meticulous restoration of this previously abandoned house.” Pictured are (l-r) Weingarten; Koren’s son Jonathan; Koren; John’s partner Patti McGovern; Koren’s daughter, Georgia, and Jonathan’s wife, Anna, holding their daughter Olivia, eight months. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport firefighters today assisted at a house fire in Wilton. Engine 2 and Car 3 with five personnel responded to 266 Range Road where the unoccupied house was fully ablaze. The Westport units were on scene for approximately four hours until the fire was brought under control, said Assistant Chief John Plofkin, Jr. He assisted Wilton Capt Kevin Czarnecki with accountability and incident command while Lt. Brett Kirby supervised the Westport firefighters. New Canaan, Weston, Georgetown, West Redding and Norwalk also provided help. Cause of the fire is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Capt. John Lynch/Wilton Police Department photo
Nicholas J. Huydic of Fairfield, son of Edward and Mary (Gerosa) Huydic, died Feb. 26. He was 31.
Edward Huydic retired in May 2014 after 34 years as girls varsity basketball coach at Staples High School in Westport, where he is also a guidance counselor.
Born in New Haven, Nick was a graduate of Fairfield High School, Class of 2002, and Sacred Heart University with a B.S. in business.
He was a marketing executive with LDC Sleep Management Center. He worked previously at the Connecticut Humane Society in Westport where he rescued animals and often brought them home.
David Paul McGoldrick of Fairfield, a former golf professional at the Birchwood Country Club in Westport, died Feb. 26 after a long battle with cancer. He was 51.
Born in Bridgeport, he was the son of the late Charles P. McGoldrick, Jr. and the late Grace McGoldrick. A 1982 graduate of Roger Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, he attended Centenary College in Shreveport, La. on a golf scholarship.
An avid athlete, he earned his status as a golf professional in 1984 when he became a Class A1 member of the PGA. He played the mini-tour circuit in Florida and later held positions as assistant or head pro at local Connecticut courses including The Country Club of Fairfield, Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course and Birchwood Country Club in Westport.
He also coached both the men’s and womens’ golf teams at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. He most recently worked for Maritime Motors in Fairfield for several years. A devout Catholic, he was a member of Our Lady of the Assumption Church.
Florence T. Lee of Fairfield, a former waitress at the The Clambox restaurant in Westport, died Feb. 26 at home. She was 91.
Born in Shenandoah, Pa., she was a longtime Fairfield resident. Prior to her retirement in addition to working at The Clambox, now Bertucci’s, she was a waitress at the 19th Hole in Fairfield.
She is survived by her son, Robert E. Lee, Sr., a grandson, Robert E. Lee, Jr. of Shelton; three great-grandchildren, Robert E. Lee, III, Dylan H. Lee and Kaia F. Lee; and her dog, Sparky. She was predeceased by her husband, Henry G. Lee and her partner, Kenneth Lynch.
All services are private. Donations may be made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 200 Executive Boulevard, Southington, CT 06489-1058.
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s (7 Sylvan Lane) - Winter Farmers Market
Noon -3 p.m. - Westport Library - Learn Hands-only CPR from Westport Volunteer Emergency Services
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
Noon - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Coney Island: Side Show”
3 p.m. - Westport Library - Mimi Sheraton in Conversation w/ Chef Matt Storch
6:30 p.m. - Inn at Longshore - ElderHouse Dancing With the Stars benefit
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Friday, February 27, 2015
By Judy Szablak
Some semblance of real estate normalcy and rising homeowner equity has returned to Westport. It appears that there are only a few remnants that still exist of the so-called real estate meltdown from the last couple of years.
According to the Greater Fairfield County CMLS, which includes information on recorded liens and public notices, there were no initial filings this year.
In fact, initial filings were down 35 percent in 2014 from the 75 lis pendens (from the Latin, meaning suit pending) recorded in 2013, and last year’s figure is the lowest it has been for the last five years.
There are no upcoming court-ordered foreclosure sales in town, only two bank-owned homes available for sale, and two others that have been disclosed to need short sale approval.
The Westport Blight Prevention Board, formed last year, has issued its first citation to the owner of the house at 1 Strathmore Lane near the intersection of Kings Highway South. According to Steve Smith, Westport blight enforcement officer, the offense incurs a penalty of $100 per day until the identified violation items are abated. Board records show violations include a collapsing or missing roof. The owner may contest the citation within 10 days of issuance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
John R. (Jack) Fennell of Alamo, Calif., a former Westport resident, died Feb. 21 in Walnut Creek, Calif. He was 83.
He was born on March 10, 1931 to Elizabeth J. and John M. Fennell in San Francisco.
He graduated in 1949 from St. Ignatius College Preparatory, and in 1953 from the University of San Francisco with a B.S. and then in 1955 a M.S. in chemistry.
He spent over 35 years with Stauffer Chemical Company starting in their R & D Laboratory in Richmond, Calif. During his tenure in R & D he invented a catalyst that was used worldwide for over 25 years in the commercial manufacture of the plastic, polypropylene.
Westport artist Susan Malloy, who celebrates her 91st birthday on Saturday, was surprised with a cake today at the Westport Art Center’s ArtCafé. It featured a Renaissance lecture on Michelangelo by Westport art historian Fiona Garland. WAC’s Jill Sarver served up the cake. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
To the Editor:
March 5 is Fairfield County’s second-annual online Giving Day, and I’m writing to encourage my neighbors and friends to participate. The goal is to raise $1 million in 24 hours through online donations for approximately 400 local nonprofit organizations.
Presented by Fairfield County Community Foundation with Bank of America as the lead sponsor, Giving Day encourages us all to “give where you live.” Last year, more than 9,000 people donated over $750,000 to 267 nonprofits serving Fairfield County – in 24 hours! This year, we can do even better.
Whether you give $10, $100 or even $1,000, you’ll be helping to support the work of organizations making a real difference in the community – and helping them compete for cash prizes and matching funds. Giving is fast and easy through the secure website http://www.fcgives.org, and anyone age 18 or older may donate between 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on March 5.
Our local nonprofits feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, give books to children, train the unemployed for new jobs, protect our environment, and more. But they need our support to continue strengthening the communities we call home.
Whatever your favorite cause, I hope you’ll join me in supporting Fairfield County Giving Day 2015!
Mortgage Loan Specialist, Bank of America,
Ten Staples High School seniors have been named finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. Each will have a chance to earn one of 8,000 National Merit Scholarship awards, together worth more than $35 million. Final scholarship winners, chosen from a group of more than 15,000 finalists, may be notified as early as March. “Having 10 National Merit Finalists and the fact that all nine semi-finalists became finalists is a visible sign that we have an outstanding student body,” said Staples Principal John Dodig. Pictured are (front row, l-r) Shelby E. Cataldo and Zachary N. Effman; (back row) Abigail G. Lustig, Megan R. Root, Everett W. Sussman, Kelly W. Pogue, Nicholas D. Massoud, Ian Cole Palmer, and Jake A. Atlas. Missing from the picture: Claudia Frances Landowne. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
As part of the transformation of the former Westport Weston Family YMCA to a retail and residential complex, workers today began removing the front walkway from the 1923-built building at 59 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
Gabby Lantier of Westport will celebrate her 11th birthday today at the PAL ice skating rink at Longshore Park (where her dad is manager) and has asked that in lieu of gifts, donations be made to Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA). Gabby is pictured with her dog Cece, a 2010 rescue from the Bridgeport Animal Shelter by WASA, who was subsequently adopted by the Lanier family after seeing Cece’s picture on WestportNow. A few years later, another WASA foster, Jaeger, a young owner-surrender German Shepherd, was added to the Lantier family. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 9 - 13, 2015:
James E. Schwartz to Frank Marini, 14 Sunset Road, $510,000
13 Turkey Hill Drive LLC to Stuart and Courtney Stakoff, 13 Turkey Hill Road North, $1,555.000
Allan J. Schwartzman Revocable Trust to Roshni and Sunny S. Adalja, 4 Big Pines Road, $760,000
Alan P. Kassan Revocable Trust to Ian Edward and Jane Green Warburg, 16 Owenoke Park, $2,670,000
The Staples Wreckers Swim Team placed fourth overall at the FCIAC Championship Thursday night at Greenwich High School.
Greenwich took the overall team title for the 44th time in the past 45 years. Despite the dominance of the Greenwich team, there were multiple strong performances by the Wreckers’ swimmers.
Team co-captain Daniel Williams dominated the field in the 500-yard freestyle winning by over seven seconds in a time of 4:37.29.
Joining Williams on the podium for the 500 race were brothers Sebastian and Nico Ortega who finished fourth (4:51.68) and sixth (4:57.79), respectively. Williams also picked up a second place finish in the 200 IM (1:55.48).
10 a.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtCafé Renaissance Lectures: Michelangelo
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Coney Island: Side Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen Robotics Users Group
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Thursday, February 26, 2015
By James Lomuscio
Following complaints from two commercial landlords, Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) tonight decided to keep open, taking no action pending further review, a controversial text amendment requiring a tenant to get a zoning permit prior to occupying commercial space for the same previous use.
Longtime Westport landlord Michael Calise, as he did at the P&Z’s Jan. 23 meeting, decried text amendment 685 as placing “undue burdens” on commercial landlords, jeopardizing potential leases in the process.
He also called the amendment, proposed by Planning and Zoning Department staff to prevent violations, reactionary since the P&Z has been unable to cite specific violations.
Calise has argued the proposed regulation is so draconian that a psychiatrist going into an empty psychiatrist’s office would have to go to the P&Z Department, fill out forms, pay fees, submit floor plans and be “told to wait three weeks for a hearing.”
Repairs to Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church are almost complete following its devastating fire in November 2011. There will be a formal rededication and worship services on March 8. (See WestportNow Feb. 20, 2015) Services have already resumed and this week the nursery school reopened. John Walsh and Larry Aasen, church members, took WestportNow photographer Dave Matlow on a tour today. They noted new additions include a sprinkler system and a generator. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Staples Players were treated to a visit today by actress, musician, songwriter, and singer Lauren Molina who appeared as the cello-paying Johanna in the original cast of the 2005 critically acclaimed revival of “Sweeney Todd," the Tony award-winning Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. Staples Players are presenting “Sweeney Todd School Edition -- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” on March 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7:30 p.m. and March 15 at 3 p.m. in the Staples High School Auditorium. She is pictured with director David Roth. For further information, go to http://www.staplesplayers.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Library today announced a new robotics club for girls ages 8-12.
The club, for those who have taken the Library’s Level One robotics class, will meet beginning Wednesday, March 4, at 4 p.m., an announcement said.
Participants will learn robotics by practicing programming with the Library’s two robots.
Those joining are invited to bring programs they have created or work with others to make the robots walk, talk, dance and more, the Library said.
A gas-fueled fire today at a home on Lees Lane, off of Oak Street, prompted a Westport Fire Department reminder to homeowners about the dangers of ice and snow buildup on equipment.
Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar said firefighters responded to a fire out call at a residence on Lees Lane where the homeowner said that he had a fire on the outside of his boiler.
The homeowner said he had extinguished it with a portable fire extinguisher and also told firefighters the boiler had not been running properly, Kepchar said. He also reported the burner on his gas stove was not producing a full flame.
Firefighters shut off the emergency switch to the unit and shut off the gas meter in the rear of the home, he said. There they noticed that the pressure regulator on the gas meter was encased in ice from a dripping gutter above the unit.
By Susan Granger
When British director/producer Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass,” “X-Men: First Class”) wanted to make a James Bond movie, he was rejected by the Broccoli family that controls the franchise. So he made “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” spoofing the concept of dapper gentlemen involved in international intrigue.
In the prologue, British superspy Harry Hart (Colin Firth) - a.k.a. Galahad - is involved in a botched Middle East mission that costs the life of one of his cohorts. Seventeen years later, Hart comes to the rescue of that cohort’s son, Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton), a troubled South London street kid.
Hart is a member of an elite, super secret spy organization, known as Kingsman, based in a swank Saville Row tailor. They operate beyond the purview of any government, taking their code names from the legendary Knights of the Roundtable.
When a Kingsman dies, inscrutable Arthur (Michael Caine) holds a competition for his replacement. Hart nominates Eggsy. Vying with aristocratic snobs, Eggsy is tested by Merlin (Mark Strong), as a batty tech-billionaire (Samuel L. Jackson) launches a bizarre scheme to cull Earth’s population by offering free cellphone and Internet service.