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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Special Weather Statement

The National Weather Service tonight issued the following statement:

Temperatures will fall below freezing overnight.

Patchy black ice is possible on roadways that became wet from from earlier precipitation.

Please exercise caution when traveling tonight into early Wednesday morning.


03/31/15 10:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Parks & Rec Votes Minimal Changes for Compo

By James Lomuscio

With seven unanimous votes tonight, Westport’s Parks and Recreation Commission gave the public much of what they had asked for over the past year in terms of Compo Beach improvements—minimal change.

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The Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to recommend keeping Compo Beach parking the way it is. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Beach front parking at East and South beaches would remain as is and not be moved to setback areas as the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee’s consultant had recommended. The proposed change had been a flash point issue generating public outcry.

The beach entrance would also remain as it is, but with some improvements, and the skateboard park, which an original proposal had eliminated, would stay, with a new concrete structure replacing it.

Parks and Recreation Chairman Charles Haberstroh estimated that the new skate park would cost between $150,000 to $250,000, and that it would require private as well as public funding.

More "Parks & Rec Votes Minimal Changes for Compo"


03/31/15 10:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Praise for Compo Beach Recommended Improvements

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There was almost unanimous praise tonight from public speakers reacting to recommendations by the Westport Parks and Recreation Commission on Compo Beach Improvements. The no change to parking recommendation brought positive comments from a full house in the Town Hall auditorium as did plans to extend the boardwalk the entire length of the East Beach. Representative Town Meeting member Jimmy Izzo suggested selling weekend beach passes onlne to out of owners to avoid long car lines at the beach entrance.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


03/31/15 10:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

P&R Commission: No Change in Compo Parking

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UPDATE The Westport Parks and Recreation Commission tonight recommended no change in the current Compo Beach parking along the East Beach (above) and along the adjacent South Beach. A possible change in the parking was the most controversial recommendation from a committee which studied beach improvements. The commission also recommended replacement of the current bathhouse, locker and lifeguard station facility with a new one that will better withstand storms, new restroom facilities at South Beach, and that a skate park be retained at the beach. The commission voted on the recommendations at a meeting in the Town Hall auditorium. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


03/31/15 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Meeting the Artist

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Westport artist Leonard Everett Fisher addressed a packed audience tonight at the Westport Arts Center where his exhibit, “Leonard Everett Fisher: A Retrospective, is on display through April 25. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


03/31/15 07:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Downtown Improvements Begin

Downtown improvements including new Main Street sidewalks, curbing and street lamps to complement the town’s historic character, as well as upgraded electrical vaults, are under way, Westport First Selectman Jim Mare announced today.

He said most of the work will be completed by mid-May.

“We anticipated starting earlier, but spring was slow in arriving and delayed the project timeline,” Marpe said. “The weather conditions have now improved to the point where we are able to begin this important upgrade to Downtown Westport.”

The project comprises 9,800 linear feet of new or existing sidewalks, including 1,800 linear feet on Main Street, plus new granite curbing, tree grates, energy efficient lights and historic looking lampposts, replacing the current “highway-type” lights, Marpe said. 

More "Downtown Improvements Begin"


03/31/15 05:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Step Up Cell Phone Enforcement

With April deemed National Distracted Driver Awareness Month, the Westport Police today announced the kick-off of a campaign called “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”

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The effort is designed to crack down on motorists “who choose to text, talk or otherwise distract themselves from the task of driving by using a hand-held mobile phone,” said Capt. Samuel Arciola.

It is being coordinated with the state Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office, he said.

“Driving and texting is illegal and irresponsible,” Arciola said. “People who break our state’s texting law will be stopped and fined. If you drive and text, you will pay.

More "Police Step Up Cell Phone Enforcement"


03/31/15 05:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Play With Your Food Opens Final Series

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The Play with Your Food lunchtime play reading series today began its its final series at Westport’s Toquet Hall. The three short plays drew a full house. Afterwards, the actors engaged in a talk back with the audience Performances continue on Wednesday and Thursday in Westport and .  And in Fairfield on April 7 and in Greenwich on April 8 and 9. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


03/31/15 02:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Edward I. Barlow, 83

Edward I. Barlow of Westport died March 29 at Bridgeport Hospital after a short battle with leukemia. He was 83.

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Edward Barlow: worked at Stauffer Chemical. Contributed photo

Born in Weston on April 25, 1931, he was a son of the late Clarence and Eva (Wohlforth) Barlow.

He attended Weston Schools and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He was a deacon and volunteer at Green’s Farms Congregational Church in Westport. He was a carpenter by trade, but also added electrician, plumber and jack-of-all trades to his list of skills.

He was retired from Stauffer Chemical Company where he was in charge of the maintenance department. He was also an awesome gardener, whose bountiful fig tree was enjoyed by many.

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03/31/15 01:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Enjoying Last Day for Dogs at Beach

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Today is the last day for the season that dogs are permitted at Westport beaches. Some gathered at Compo Beach. Dogs will be able to return to the beaches on Oct. 1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/31/15 12:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dusting of Snow

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There was a light dusting of snow on the ground for Westporters Monday, adding a bit of white to emerging spring colors on Kings Highway North. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com


03/31/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Leonard Everett Fisher: A Retrospective” & “Westport High School Student Art Exhibition”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play With Your Food Lunchtime Theater
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series: “Foxcatcher”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Business Special: Technology & Security Trends that are Changing Small Business
6 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtSpeaks: Leonard Everett Fisher
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Adults Read YA Fiction
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Environment Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Parks & Recreation Commission Special Meeting on proposed Como Beach improvements (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:45 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Long-Range Planning Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/31/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, March 30, 2015

Orphenians Perform in San Francisco

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The Staples Orphenians performed today in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall as part of the National Youth Choral Festival. They were among 10 high school choral groups from across the country selected to participate by the Grammy award-winning choir Chanticleer. They appeared with an orchestra conducted by Ragnar Bohlin, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Mathias for WestportNow.com


03/30/15 10:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Smoking Light Switch Forces Long Lots Evacuation

Students and staff at Westport’s Long Lots Elementary School were evacuated briefly today because of smoke coming from a light switch, the Fire Department said.

The problem was isolated and a school electrician replaced the faulty switch, according to reports from the scene.

All students and staff were allowed to return to the school a short time later.


03/30/15 02:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Driver Injured in Sherwood Island Connector Crash

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A male driver was injured today after losing control of his vehicle and slamming into a utility pole on the Sherwood Island Connector just north of Greens Farms Road. The extent of his injuries was not immediately known. His car was heavily damaged and the utility pole was cracked. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/30/15 01:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporter’s Cookbook Wins National Award

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Winner in Children, Youth, and Family category. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Westporter Ramin Ganeshram’s “FutureChefs: Recipes by Tomorrow’s Cooks Across the Nation and the World” was named Children, Youth, and Family best cookbook of the year Sunday by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

The award to the Westport journalist, author, and trained chef was announced at the group’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards, IACP’s Cookbook Awards have been presented for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in writing and publishing and to expand the public’s awareness of culinary literature.

The book, with editors Dervla Kelly and Elissa Altman and photographs by Ganeshram’s husband, Jean Paul Velotti, was published last October by Rodale Books.

More "Westporter’s Cookbook Wins National Award"


03/30/15 11:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Autism Awareness Day Set for April 2

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe has announced he will proclaim Thursday, April 2 Autism Awareness Day and the month of April Autism Awareness Month in Westport.

There will be a ceremony at Town Hall on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Marpe will be joined by organizer Allison Ziering Walmark and Westport families affected by autism, an announcement said.

“Declaring April 2 as Autism Awareness Day and the month of April as Autism Awareness Month provides a forum for citizens to discuss acceptance of all children with challenges, and in particular those affected by autism,” Marpe said.

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03/30/15 11:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Greens Farms Easter Egg Hunt April 4

The Greens Farms Volunteer Fire Company will hold its 64th Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4 on the grounds of Long Lots Elementary School, Hyde Lane, at 2 p.m.

Children will hunt for the eggs in age groups through age 10, organizers said.

Children finding special marked eggs will receive Easter baskets. 

The Easter bunny will be there to meet and greet the children.


03/30/15 10:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Rowers Victorious in San Diego

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Westport’s Saugatuck Rowing Club varsity girls eight bested a talented field from across the country Sunday in San Diego, Calif. in the San Diego Crew Classic, bringing home the gold in the two-kilometer race. The team of Willemijn ten Cate, Nica Wardell, Amra Sabovic, Genevieve Esse, coxswain Lexi Bralver, Lelia Boley, Margaret Manley, Katherine Ratcliffe and Alison Morrison also won the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston last fall.  Pictured with the team is Coach Chase Graham.  In San Diego, Saugatuck also placed second in the JV girls eight and fourth in the JV boys eight categories.  Six members of the winning crew live in Westport: Boley, Bralver, Morrison, Ratcliffe, ten Cate and Wardell. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Eugenie ten Cate for WestportNow.com


03/30/15 09:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

New Parking Pattern on Railroad Place

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There is a new morning parking pattern on Westport’s Railroad Place effective today. All passenger drop-offs are on the left side and the commercial delivery vehicles are on the right side of the street. Signs on the right say delivery vehicles only from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


03/30/15 08:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Mario’s Not Only Railroad Place Change

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Effective today, morning drop-offs on Westport’s Railroad Place are on the left and delivery truck parking is on the right. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


03/30/15 08:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 30, 2015

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Leonard Everett Fisher: A Retrospective” & “Westport High School Student Art Exhibition”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen: Maker Mondays
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Letter Box”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 104 - Board of Assessment Appeals Adjudication
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Ordinance Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/30/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shirley S. Gonzales, 79

Shirley Ann Schappa Gonzales of Guilford, a former assistant planner in Westport, died Jan. 17 of colon cancer. She was 79.

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Shirley Gonzales: former Westport assistant planner. Contributed photo

Born in 1935 in New Haven, to Joseph Schappa and Alvena Menard of Providence, she attended Hartford Art School, then Paier Art School, entering the Department of Art and Architecture at Yale University.

Graduating in 1958 having earned a BFA in art with a thesis on fabric printing techniques, she married J Ernest Gonzales that same year and heralded the birth of her son Don soon after, followed by her daughter April two years later.

As her children grew up, she began writing art reviews for the New Haven Register under the guidance of editor and long time family friend Don Rabin in 1968. She visited the lively New Haven art scene on a weekly basis and continued to cover the Connecticut art scene for 22 years.

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03/29/15 10:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Haven Delays

UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line service is on or close to schedule after earlier delays due to police activity in the vicinity of Fairfield where a woman was struck and killed by a train.


03/29/15 10:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for Golf Season

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Some golfers were out on the practice green at Westport’s Longshore Club Park today getting some shots in as they awaited the course opening. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


03/29/15 07:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Catch

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A young girl leaps into her father’s arms today at the children’s playground at Compo Beach. Despite the temperature in the 40s, there were clear blue skies and plenty of visitors wishing for more spring-like warmth. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


03/29/15 06:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Into the Swing at Compo

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The Compo Beach playground was a busy place today as visitors enjoyed themselves under bright blue skies with temperatures in the mid-40s.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


03/29/15 06:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Another Sign of Spring

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In another sign that warm weather is coming, Joey’s By the Shore was open for business at Westport’s Compo Beach today, but there were few customers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


03/29/15 06:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Last Dog Day Afternoon Weekend for a While

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Westport’s Compo Beach was crowded with visitors today as dogs and their masters enjoyed the last weekend before dogs are banned from beaches beginning Wednesday, April 1 until Oct. 1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


03/29/15 06:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Community Conversation’ at the Library

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About 40 persons today attended the first of two “Community Conversation” forums at the Westport Library’s McManus Room to explore strategies and gather feedback on how the Library can enhance its facilities, services and programs to meet the community’s needs, now and in the future A second forum will be held on April 27, 7-8:30 p.m. Kelle Ruden, community relations manager, welcomed the attendees.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/29/15 05:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

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