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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday Shopping in the Snow

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Snow did not seem to bother shoppers on Westport’s Main Street today. Snow began falling in early afternoon with 3 to 7 inches predicted before it ends. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/21/15 04:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Snow Walk

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A couple walk along Westport’s Compo Beach today as another snowstorm moved into the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

   

02/21/15 03:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Another Storm, Another Shoveling Need

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Parker Doyle, 18, a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, an employee of Vineyard Vines on Westport’s Main Street, today clears the walk as another snowstorm moved into the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/21/15 03:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

NWS Update: Winter Weather Advisory, 3 to 7 Inches

The National Weather Service in New York has updated a Winter Weather Advisory for snow and freezing rain/ice for the Westport area, which is in effect from 1 p.m. today to 8 a.m. Sunday.

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A Town of Westport Public Works Department employee clears a sidewalk of snow on Riverside Avenue Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

It said snow will develop this afternoon and continue this evening, resulting in snow accumulations of 3 to 7 inches, along with around a tenth of an inch of ice.

The snow then transitions to a mixture of snow and freezing rain after midnight and then mixes with then changes to rain by around or just after sunrise Sunday morning.

Winds will be south 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph while temperatures will be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

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02/21/15 04:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday,  February 21, 2015


10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s (7 Sylvan Lane) - Winter Farmers Market
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
Noon - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Coney Island: Side Show”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Harry Potter Film Fest: “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Open Meeting Fairfield County Writers Group
2 p.m. & 8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Watch On The Rhine” Canceled

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

   

02/21/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Friday, February 20, 2015

Moving Up the Ranks

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Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury (r) today congratulates (l-r) Jeff Gootman, who was promoted to lieutenant, and Brian Meadows, who was promoted to assistant chief, at a fire headquarters ceremony. Gootman, a native of Holliston, Mass., joined the department in September 2004 and Meadows, a native of Trumbull, joined in September 2001. Kingsbury recalled both firefighters were honored for their heroism after they were driving together on the Merritt Parkway in April 2005, saw a motor vehicle accident, knocked down the resulting fire, and together rescued a trapped motorist. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/20/15 06:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Again, Landon Tops School, State Pay List

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Elliott Landon: earned $292,937 last year. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
(2014 Public School Earners [PDF])
Once again, Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon topped the list of the highest paid employees in the Westport Public Schools, according to the 2014 list of the 50 highest paid school employees released today.

Landon, who earned $292,937.08 for the calendar year, is also the highest paid schools superintendent in Connecticut. His figures do not include other benefits provided in his annual contract.

School Business Administrator Elio Longo, who released the list after several requests, came in second highest for the district with an annual salary of $192,692.

Of the top 10, Staples High School Principal John Dodig, who will be retiring at the end of the current school year, ranked third highest paid with annual pay of $183,394.

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02/20/15 04:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 115 Harbor Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 115 Harbor Road, in the Saugatuck Shores area, is in process. Built in 1962, the two-story split level has 1,942 square feet, is situated on a .16-acre property and changed ownership in October 2014 for $1,250,000. 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

   

02/20/15 01:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Metro-North Fare Dispute Spills Into Westport

Westport police apprehended a rider on a Metro-North train today after he shoved a conductor out of the train in Westport during a fare dispute and fled, a Metro-North spokesman said.

The incident began when the man on the 11:15 a.m. train out of Grand Central bound for New Haven claimed at 12:10 p.m. that he did not have enough cash to pay the fare, said the spokesman, Aaron Donovan.

“The conductor asked him to exit the train at Westport. In so doing, words were exchanged and the customer apparently pushed or shoved the conductor out of the train while it was stopped at Westport,” he said.

Donovan said the conductor landed on his left hand and suffered abrasions to his hand. The suspect fled the train but was apprehended a short time later by Westport police who turned him over to MTA police.

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02/20/15 01:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Going Down: 7 Stony Point Road

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The waterfront house at Westport’s 7 Stony Point Road, in the Saugatuck area, was demolished today. Built in 1960, the 1-1/2 story cape had 3,847 square feet, was situated on a 1.2-acre property and changed ownership in July 2014 for $2.8 million. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Nov. 11, 2014. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/20/15 12:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Church Reopening, Rededication March 8

By James Lomuscio

Ravaged by a 2011 fire that shot flames higher than its steeple—and since painstakingly rebuilt by its congregants—Westport’s historic Saugatuck Congregational Church is ready to reopen Sunday, March 8, with a formal rededication and worship services, church officials announced.

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The public is welcome at the March 8 rededication service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

The last stages of construction were completed in January, they said.

“It’s very exciting,” said the Rev. Allison Buttrick Patton, who became pastor at the church six months after the fire. “This has been a long journey. So many remember the night that the fire burned, and they worried that the church might be totally destroyed.

“We are so grateful to the firefighters who saved so much as they could,” she added. “We’re also grateful to our so many partners in this community who have worked with us and have supported us over the last three years.”

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02/20/15 12:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Art Buffs

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There was a large turnout today for the Westport Arts Center’s weekly ArtCafé which featured a lecture by Westport art historian Fiona Garland (2nd l), “Leonardo, The Artist and the Man.” Pictured with her are (l-r) artist Melissa Newman of Westport, Mary Himes, wife of Congressman Jim Himes, Jim Himes Sr., and Helen Klisser During, the Center’s artistic director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

   

02/20/15 11:52 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Feb. 2 - 6, 2015

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 2 - 6, 2015:

Barbara Libove Trust to Sabrina Fontanili and Michael Bodetti, 11B Ludlow Road, $540,000WNproperty.jpg

Rudolph and Christopher Sabados to 1791 Post Road East LLC, 1791 Post Road East, $2,350.000

Gerald C. and Betty J. Cushman to SIR-4 Melon Patch LLC, 4 Melon Patch Lane, $1,025,000

US Bank NA-TR to Jacob and Marjorie Salik, 303 Bayberry Lane, $850,000

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02/20/15 10:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

Icy Saugatuck

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The icy Saugatuck River near Riverside Avenue in the Saugatuck area early today. Overnight temperatures dipped to 1F. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

   

02/20/15 08:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Metro-North Expanding On-Board Credit Card Ticketing

Metro-North said it is expanding the use of its new Ticket Issuing Machines (TIMs) which enable customers to use credit cards to purchase tickets onboard the train to all lines.

This is being done after a successful pilot launch on the Danbury and Wassaic branches.

The majority of conductors will have the new devices by mid-April, an announcement said.

Customers should listen for train announcements or ask their conductor if the option to pay by credit card is available.

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02/20/15 08:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday,  February 20, 2015


9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Commission for Senior Services
10 a.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtCafé Renaissance Lectures: Leonardo
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”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Harry Potter Film Fest: “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Watch On The Rhine”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

   

02/20/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Westport Assists at Southport House Fire

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Westport firefighters provided mutual aid assistance to Fairfield tonight when a roof fire broke out at 33 Chester Place in Southport. Westport also sent an additional engine to provide coverage in Fairfield in case of another emergency as did Easton and Bridgeport. No injuries were reported in the fire, the second house fire in two days in which Westport firefighters were called into action. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Fairfield Fire Department photo

   

02/19/15 10:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Deep Freeze at Ned Dimes Marina

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The Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach today showed the effects of weeks of freezing temperatures. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

   

02/19/15 06:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Again, Cops Top Highest Paid Town Employees

(2014 Earnings Westport [pdf])
As in previous years, Westport Police officers augmenting base salaries with overtime and outside work headed the top 10 list of highest paid municipal employees for 2014, according to Finance Director Gary Conrad.

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The top 10 Westport municipal wage earners for 2014. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Source: Town of Westport

Westport school officials released similar 2014 school salaries on Friday after several requests. (See WestportNow Feb. 20, 2015)

Police Cpl. Howard Simpson held the top spot, as his base salary of $81,067 swelled to a whopping $201,202 with $73,197 in overtime, $17,121 in holiday shift and other pay, plus $29,817 in outside jobs.

Police Officer Anthony Falbo ranked second with gross pay of $186,910, his base salary of $78,114 boosted by $2,440 in overtime, $15,139 from working holidays and $91,218 earned from outside work.

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02/19/15 06:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Coalition for Westport Supports New Baron’s South Plan

To The Editor:

The Coalition for Westport strongly supports the new plan for senior housing on the Baron’s South property. 

The plan is still at an early stage, but it’s vital that it go forward, especially because it provides for 60 percent affordability in its residential units and advances the Town’s points to prevent more 8-30g projects. 

Because the new proposal provides more open space than the original did, we strongly urge the Planning & Zoning Commission to delay its plan to make the entire property open space until our Town boards have had an opportunity to consider the new proposal.

Denise Torve, Chairperson,
Coalition for Westport

   

02/19/15 04:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 29 Surf Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 29 Surf Road, in the Saugatuck Shores area, is in process. Built in 1966, the two-story raised ranch has 3,572 square feet, is situated on a .35-acre property and, according to Town Assessor records, last changed ownership in March 2014 for $2.4 million. It was home to Max Wilk, author, playwright, film and television writer, and music impresario, who died in 2011 at age 90. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/19/15 03:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger: Oscar Predictions

By Susan Granger

This is the time of year for us all to play Oscarology, predicting this year’s Academy Awards winners.

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There’s been tremendous controversy over the nominations.  Early on, it seemed as if Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” the Civil Rights drama would rival last year’s winner, Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave.” So what happened?

First, timing: Paramount Pictures put its Oscar hopes – and budget – behind “Interstellar,” which was clearly not the hit they’d hoped for. So the studio released “Selma” too late. There were few screenings before voting deadlines, and DVDs weren’t sent to Guild members.

While everyone pays lip service to the idea that movies should be seen on the big screen, the truth is that, during Awards season, most Academy members watch DVDs in the comfort of their homes, surrounded by friends and family, particularly over the Thanksgiving and Christmas break.

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02/19/15 02:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Clearing Another Hydrant

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Assistant Fire Chief Brian Meadows and Firefighter Michael Grasso clear a partially snow-buried fire hydrant today at the corner of Wilton Road and Wilton Terrace, one street away from Weathervane Hill, site of a Wednesday night fire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

   

02/19/15 02:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

William J. Delano, 85

William J., Delano, a lifelong resident of Westport, died Feb. 19 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 85.

He was born in Saugatuck on Sept. 28, 1929, the son of the late Joseph and Carmela (Piemonte) Delano. He was a 1947 graduate of Staples High School.

He was a U.S. Army veteran and served during the Korean Conflict and then went on to graduate from JM Wright Technical School in Stamford.

He worked as an electrician with King Industries and Norwalk Electric until he retired. He was also a member of IBEW.

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02/19/15 01:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Healthy Market for Contemporary Homes

By Judy Szablak

The market for contemporary-styled homes certainly appears to be a healthy one in Westport.

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Featured Home: This home at 17 Burr Farms Road is listed a $1,690,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Higgins Group, Westport/Ruta-Leo Associates.

Just over 11 percent of the available single-family homes are of this type, which typically includes mid-century moderns, and uniquely angled home designs among others.

Oftentimes, we look at contemporaries as being somewhat more affordable than a traditional colonial given the same square footage and amenities.

However, reviewing activity in general from the past year may reveal slightly different circumstances, as higher demand is evident.

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02/19/15 12:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fire in Fireplace, a Burning Smell, Then a Couch On Fire

By Dave Matlow

One moment they were relaxing around the living room fireplace. Soon after leaving the room, there was an odor of burning. The couch was on fire. A hand fire extinguisher did little. Then the room erupted in flames.

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The home at 12 Weathervane Hill today the morning after the fire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

That was the sequence of events told today by Westport homeowner John O’Donnell, 75, of 12 Weathervane Hill, after it took 42 firefighters from Westport and four other departments Wednesday night to put out the fire in their two-story home, hampered by snow and ice.

O’Donnell, who has lived with his wife, Nancy, in the home off Wilton Road since 1977, said today he was grateful “we’re alive.”

He said the chain of events began sometime around 7 p.m. when “I left the house to drive to the Edge Fitness center to pick up our granddaughter, Belen, a senior at Staples High School.” 

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02/19/15 11:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday,  February 19, 2015


10 a.m. - Town Hall - Career Coach: beginning Excel 2007
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”
1 p.m. - Town Hall - Career Coach: intermediate Excel 2007
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Harry Potter Film Fest: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Planning & Zoning Open Space Subcommittee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

   

02/19/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ira Livingston, 70

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Ira Livingston: cotton industry executive. Contributed photo

Ira Livingston of Westport, a key voice in the cotton industry for three decades, died Feb. 17 at home. He was 70.

The cause of death was gastric cancer, according to a family friend, who said he lived in Westport since 1991.

Born March 22, 1944 in The Bronx, he was described by friends as a “fast-talking” executive—which he did not deny—with Cotton Inc., which promotes the use of cotton in apparel and home.

He played a significant role in growing the Seal of Cotton awareness to the public and improving the fiber’s market share in the apparel and furnishing markets worldwide.

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02/18/15 11:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Extra Help Needed as Ice, Snow Hinder Firefighters

Hampered by snow and ice in accessing a house fire tonight, Westport firefighters called on units from Wilton, Weston, Norwalk, and Danbury for help, said Westport Assistant Chief Mike Kronick.

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Firefighters carry a portable generator at the scene of the 12 Weathervane Hill house fie tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

Once firefighters laid 850 feet of hose up a steep driveway from Wilton Road to the house at 12 Weathervane Hill, the first floor blaze was quickly brought under control, he said.

Initial word of the fire came at 7:33 p.m. from an alarm company, Kronick said. While en route, the Fire Department received a 911 call from the occupants, who were advised to evacuate, he said.

“Due to access issues, snow and ice, fire apparatus were unable to get close to the house, necessitating the need to stretch 850 feet of hose from the closest fire hydrant to the house to attack the fire,” Kronick said.

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02/18/15 11:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Snow, Ice Hamper Response to House Fire

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Westport firefighters tonight advance a hose line to fight a first floor fire at a home at 12 Weathervane Hill, off Wilton Road. Hampered by snow and ice in accessing the home, Westport called on Weston, Wilton, Norwalk and Danbury units for help, said Assistant Chief Mike Kronick. “Due to access issues, snow and ice, fire apparatus were unable to get close to the house, necessitating the need to stretch 850 feet of hose from the closest fire hydrant to the house to attack the fire,” he said. “Once the hose line was in place the fire was quickly extinguished.” The occupants of the house safely evacuated after discovering the fire on the first floor, he said. Cause was under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Deputy Chief Terry Blake/Weston Fire Department photo

   

02/18/15 10:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

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