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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Family YMCA Plans Delayed Opening Wednesday

Due to the hazardous weather conditions forecast, the Westport Weston Family YMCA will delay its opening until 9 a.m. on Thursday.

The Kids’ Club is expected to open at 10 a.m., and the day’s program schedule, including group fitness classes, will also begin at 10 a.m., an announcement said.


03/04/15 08:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Girls Just Want to Have Robot Fun Image
The Westport Library today held its inaugural meeting of the Girls Robotic Club attended by 17 girls between the ages of 8 and 12.  Led by Alex Giannini, the Library’s manager, digital experience, the girls were instructed on how to use Choregraphe, an application which allows users to create complex robot behavior without writing program code. It is used to generate functions for the two library robots, named Nancy and Vincent. The girls learned how to incorporate the Choregrpahe software into the object-oriented Python computer language. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/04/15 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Learning to Program Robots Image
A youngster attending today’s inaugural meeting at the Westport Library of the Girls Robotic Club, open to youngsters 8 to 12, gets a close up view of one of the Library’s two robots. Melanie Kelly, a reference librarian, said the club’s goal is to encourage access to future job opportunities. “It’s a form of economic development,” she said. “Girls represent only about 12 percent of college graduates with computer science degrees.” The club plans to meet regularly, about every two weeks, she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/04/15 07:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dining Out at Westport’s Tierra Restaurant Image
Despite a report that Westport’s Tierra restaurant, 90 Post Road East in the basement of Old Town Hall, had closed, the restaurant with a Latin theme was very much in business tonight. Southport residents Lucinda Sill Morrison (l) and Amy Waugh Curry were greeted by waiter Haakon Sorenson and manager Christian Hurtado (r). Hurtado said a friend called him today and said he read that Tierra had closed. “I said ‘what?’” he said.” “I called the owner right away and asked am I out of a job?”  “She didn’t know what I was talking about.” Tierra serves dinner from Tuesday through Saturday 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., and is closed Sunday and Monday. The restaurant no longer serves lunch but may resume that in the summer, according to the employees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/04/15 07:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Parents to Interview Two Candidates for Staples Principal

By James Lomuscio

Who will replace John Dodig, the popular Staples High School principal retiring after 14 years in June?

Parents of eighth through twelfth graders will have the chance to participate in that decision as they take part next week in a focus group interviewing two finalists for the job.

There will be two meetings, one for each candidate. The first will be held Monday, March 9, at 9 a.m. in the Staples cafeteria , and the second is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, same time, same place, according to Michael Gordon, school board chairman.

The search committee, comprising administrators, teachers, parents and students will then use the parent input, presenting it to the Board of Education for its final decision, Gordon said.

More "Parents to Interview Two Candidates for Staples Principal"


03/04/15 06:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police: Westporter Ran Drug Factory

A Westport man is being held in lieu of a $200,000 bond following his arrest today for selling heroin, crack and marijuana from his Hiawatha Lane residence, Westport Police said. Image
Arrested: Danny Sundon-Frazier and Holly Hretz. Westport Police photos

Danny Sundon-Frazier, 36, of 47 Hiawatha Lane, was arrested following a lengthy, joint investigation by the Westport and Norwalk Police Departments based on information received in the fall, police said.

Also arrested was Holly Hretz, 26, of Norwalk,  who was charged with possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $50,000. Both are scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Wednesday, March 11.

“A lengthy investigation was completed culminating in several arrest warrants and a search warrant being served early this morning at 47 Hiawatha Lane by Westport and Norwalk officers,” said Capt. Samuel Arciola.

More "Police: Westporter Ran Drug Factory"


03/04/15 06:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

New New Country Lexus Nears Completion Image
Workers today apply finishing touches to the renovation of New Country Lexus of Westport, 1317 Post Road East. According to its website, renovations commenced in September 2014 and are near completion. The company said its new car showroom has been expanded to highlight more new Lexus models and to accommodate more customers at once. The dealership also expanded its Fairfield service facility to include 34 stalls. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/04/15 02:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Nonstop Snow Strains Removal Budget

By James Lomuscio

Winter’s wrath has not only taken a bite out of the Westport’s snow removal budget—it’s devoured it. Image
Town of Westport snowplows at the ready at the Public Works Department garage on the Sherwood Island Connectior. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

With 14 storms since Jan. 24, Westport snowplowing and salting costs are now $125,000 over budget, Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said today.

And with another 3 to 6 inches expected to fall tonight and into the early morning hours, that cost will rise, he said.

“I announced our shortfall to the Board of Finance a couple of weeks ago, saying that we were $50,000 over our $500,000 budget,” said Edwards. “Now we’re about a hundred and a quarter over.”

More "Nonstop Snow Strains Removal Budget"


03/04/15 02:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Snow Far, No Impact on Spring Break

Unlike past years, 2015’s spring break doesn’t appear to be on thin ice due to accumulated snow days.

So far there have been only three school days canceled, and six would be needed to eat into the week beginning April 13, school officials say.

Both Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon and Michael Gordon, chairman of the Board of Education, noted that while this year’s seemingly relentless snow has resulted in several late start days, those delays do not cut into vacation time.

“We only had three (snow days) so far, and we allow for five,” said Gordon.

More "Snow Far, No Impact on Spring Break"


03/04/15 02:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Felice S. Cohan, 83

Felice S. Cohan of Redding, a former longtime Westport resident, died Feb. 5 after a long illness. She was 83.

Born in New York City on Aug. 7, 1931, she was predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Richard L. Cohan, in 2000.

She is survived by her daughters and their husbands: Cathy Cohan and Jeff Barat of Stamford and Betsy Cohan and Ira Novsam of Weston; her granddaughters Sydney and Jane Zorowitz; her sister and brother-in-law Jennifer and Alden Englander of Greenwich, and Palm Beach Gardens Fla.; her brother and sister-in-law Leonard and Joanne Schramm of Scottsdale, Ariz., and her nephews: Jason Englander of Purchase N.Y., Ron Schramm of Houston, Neal Schramm of Randolph, N.J., and Michael Schramm of Morristown, N.J.


03/04/15 01:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gerald J. G. Docters, 92

Gerard J.G. Docters “Bob,” a former Westport resident, died Feb. 27. He was 92.

Born on July 4, 1922 in Rotterdam-West, the Netherlands,he received his Doctorandus of Economics from the Netherlands School of Economics (now Erasmus University) in 1947.

He married Ann Marree in 1947 and joined Royal Dutch Shell, working in Dutch New Guinea and Indonesia. In 1952, he immigrated to Canada to work for the Imperial Exploration Company before starting his career at Mobil Oil as chief economist.

In 1959, he transferred to Mobil Oil New York headquarters, living in New Canaan. His polished knowledge of languages (French, German, Dutch and English) facilitated his move in 1963 to Geneva, Switzerland and then to Hamburg, Germany, on the board of directors.

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03/04/15 01:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cleaning Up Before Next Snowfall Image
A worker clears a sidewalk today on Westport’s Post Road West. More snow is expected tonight, according to the National Weather Service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


03/04/15 10:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

In Rehearsal Image
In rehearsal are Juliet Kimble as Mrs. Lovett and Everett Sussman in the title role of “Sweeney Todd (School Edition): The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which is being put on by the Staples High School Players March. 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21. For further information, go to (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Kerry Long


03/04/15 10:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Schools on Two-Hour Delay

Westport public schools are on a two-hour delay today.

There is no morning session for Stepping Stone preschool.


03/04/15 06:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

NWS Update: Storm Watch, 3 to 6 Inches

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from tonight through Thursday night.

It said rain will mix with sleet and snow before changing to all snow this evening.

Snow may be moderate at times late tonight through Thursday morning before tapering off late Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.

Snow accumulation of 3 to 6 inches is possible tonight into Thursday, the Weather Service said.


03/04/15 04:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Maintenance Study Committee
9 a.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Downtown Steering Committee Special Work Session
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Westport Library - The Refinery: Entrepreneur Accelerator Program for Women-led Companies
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - UN International Hospitality Committee
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”
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play With Your Food Lunchtime Theater
1 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Digital Application Workshop
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Beautification Committee
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Girls’ Robotics Club
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Board of Assessment & Appeals
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 307 - Board of Finance Executive Session
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/04/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

NWS Update: Winter Weather Advisory, Storm Watch

The National Weather Service has extended a Winter Weather Advisory for Westport and area until 5 a.m. Wednesday. It had been scheduled to expire at midnight tonight.

In addition, it issued a Winter Storm Watch from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening.

It said there will be freezing rain tonight, changing to plain rain after midnight, then heavy snow Wednesday night into Thursday with accumulations of 4 to 8 inches.

Hazardous travel conditions are expected Wednesday night and Thursday due to greatly reduced visibilities and significant snow accumulations, the Weather Service said.


03/03/15 10:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

All He Needs Is Customers Image
An employee awaits customers tonight at Arezzo Risorante, 5 Riverside Ave., near the intersection of Post Road West. Owner/manager Juan Ceballos said he decided to stay open until the usual closing time of 9 p.m. despite the weather. “We dont have any reservations so far, but we did have a few cancellations,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/03/15 07:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Closes Early Image
The Westport Library closed at 6:30 p.m. tonight instead of its usual 9 p.m. closing because of the weather. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/03/15 07:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

At It Again Image
A Town of Westport snowplow clears snow from Parker-Harding Plaza at Post Road East tonight as another snowstorm moved through the area. The National Weather Service said this storm would drop about 2 inches but issued a Winter Storm Watch for Wednesday night into Thursday for another storm, which it said could bring an additional 4 to 8 inches.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


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

Celebrating National Read Across America Day Image
Fifth grade students at Westport’s Saugatuck Elementary School celebrated children’s author Dr. Seuss’s birthday and National Read Across America Day. The National Education Association sponsors the annual reading motivation and awareness program. The Saugatuck community came together to read and share their favorite books as students and teachers dressed as their favorite book characters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/03/15 06:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Patriot National Bank to 50 Charles St. Image
Patriot National Bank, 370 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center, plans to relocate to 50 Charles St. in Westport’s Saugatuck section this summer, according to a bank official. The Stamford-based bank, founded in 1994, which has grown to eight branches in Connecticut and two in New York state, purchased the Charles Street facility from TD Bank NA for $1,925,000 in November 2014. Robert C. Hauck, vice president branch manager of the Westport branch said,“There’s much need for a bank in the Saugatuck section. We plan on a big grand opening.” The Patriot National Bank opened at Compo Acres Shopping Center in 2007 in a space previously occupied by Sam Goody’s record store (see WestportNow July 5, 2007) The 50 Charles St. location had housed Westport Bank & Trust Co. for many years until it closed in 1996. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/03/15 05:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Play With Your Food Draws Sold Out Crowd

Scenes from today’s Play with your Food lunchtime play reading at Toquet Hall in Westport, which continues Wednesday and Thursday (sold out), then moves to Fairfield on March 10, and Greenwich on March 11 and 12. Among the actors was Patricia Kalember who was asked about her appearances on the popular CBS series “Madam Secretary.” “Now that I have matured a bit, I am being offered many more roles,” she said. “There are more parts for character actors.” Catering was by Westport’s Da Pietro’s restaurant. For more information, visit or call (203) 293-8729. Phyllis Groner for


03/03/15 03:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Meeting Postponed Until Next Tuesday

Due to inclement weather, tonight’s meeting of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) has been canceled and rescheduled to Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m., Moderator Eileen Lavigne Flug announced.


03/03/15 03:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Report: Jennifer Lawrence to Play Lynsey Addario in Biopic

The memoir by Westport native Lynsey Addario and her exploits as an award-winning war photographer has been out for a month, but the bidding war for its film adaptation appears to be over. Image
Reported winners: Director Steven Spielberg and actress Jennifer Lawrence. photos said Warner Bros. is working on a deal to bring “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War” to the big screen with Steven Spielberg as director and Jennifer Lawrence in a starring role.

Film studios began bidding for the rights after excerpts were published in The New York Times Magazine, Deadline said.

Among the reported bidders: Working Title wanting it for Reese Witherspoon, “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky after it for Natalie Portman, and “The Wolf Of Wall Street’s” Margot Robbie and The Weinstein Company, trying for George Clooney and Grant Heslov.


03/03/15 01:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 4 Melon Patch Lane Image
Steps are in process to acquire a demolition permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 4 Melon Patch Lane, off North Avenue. Built in 1972, the two-story colonial has 3,022 square feet, is situated on a 1.25-acre property and changed ownership in last month for $1,025,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/03/15 12:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Legislators to Host Another Community Forum

Metro-North’s ailing commuter rail system, highway infrastructure needs, the talk of bringing back tolls and the specter of the state’s affordable housing statute 8-30g will be among myriad topics Westport legislators will discuss at a public forum set for Thursday, March 12. Image
Taking part: (l-r) State Sens. Toni Boucher, Tony Hwang, state Reps. Gail Lavielle, and Jonathan Steinberg. Contributed photos

It will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium, according to an announcement today.

State Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28), Toni Boucher (R-26), state Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136) will be on hand to explain their positions and answer the public’s questions at the town hall style meeting.

State officials urged those who are unable to attend to connect with their legislators by calling or visiting their websites.


03/03/15 11:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Marks 12th Anniversary

WestportNow today marks its 12th anniversary.

We are deeply indebted to our readers, contributors, and advertisers for making it possible to reach this milestone.

We look forward to continue serving Westport and those around the world interested in news about our town for many years to come.

Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Gordon Joseloff, Editor/Publisher,


03/03/15 08:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

Ansel Adams Look at Compo Image
Contributing WestportNow photograper Andrew Colabella tried for the Ansel Adams look in this photo of blowing snow at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrew Colabella for


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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - TEAM Westport
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
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”
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play With Your Food Lunchtime Theater
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series: “Boyhood”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Business Special: Optimizing Your Devices
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Historic District Commission & Architectural Review Board Committees
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Library, Museum & Arts Committee Canceled
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Employee Compensation Committee Postponed
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Representative Town Hall Meeting Publc Hearing Postponed

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/03/15 12:04 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

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