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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Checking Out ‘Golden Shadows’

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Members of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) today toured the building on the town-owned Baron’s South property known as “Golden Shadows.” Two local preservationists have petitioned the RTM to designate it a Local Historic Landmark Property, and members will be discussing it at a future meeting. It was home to the late Austrian Baron Walter Langer Von Langendorff and his British wife Evelyn Diane, founders in the mid-1940s of Evyan Perfumes. The town purchased the property in 1999 for $7 million. Pictured are Eileen Lavigne Flug (l), RTM moderator, with members Jay Keenan and Neil Phillips. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/26/15 11:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Baron’s South Committee Discusses Next Steps

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Westport’s Baron’s South Committee planning senior housing on the town-owned property met today to consider its next steps following a Planning and Zoning Commission approval of a map amendment making the 22-acre Baron’s South open space. The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) may be asked to reverse the action, which it can do with a two-thirds vote. Some P&Z members left open the possibility of approving a smaller project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/26/15 10:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Fog on Main

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Westport Main Street was fog-covered today as an early morning fog settled over the area.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


03/26/15 08:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Trial of Viviane Amsalem,’ ‘Marigold Hotel,’ ‘Insurgent’

By Susan Granger

For Orthodox Jews in Israel, divorce is decided not in civil court but by a triumvirate of rabbinical judges.

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In order for a wife to obtain one, her husband must consent – and “The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” vividly illustrates this patriarchal tyranny.

After bearing four children and enduring decades of an unhappy marriage, Viviane (Ronit Elkabetz) has left her home and moved in with her brother and overbearing sister-in-law.

For three years, she has attempted to obtain a “gett,” which is permission to dissolve her marriage, but her taciturn, religiously devout husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian) steadfastly refuses.

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03/26/15 08:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Morning Fog Disrupts Commuter Car Count

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New York-bound passengers at Metro-North’s Westport station aiming for the last train car, the quiet car, usually count cars as the 7:40 a.m. train rounds a curve, watching for an old or new train. A new train could be eight or 10 cars. Eight means overcrowding and standing room only. (It happened once this week). Old trains (at least twice this week), tend to be just unpleasant, according to Westport commuter Allan Siegert. Well, they couldn’t count cars today because of the fog. It turned out to be 10 cars and, surprisingly, also a new train. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Allan Siegert for WestportNow.com


03/26/15 07:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday,  March 26, 2015

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Baron’s South Committee Special Meeting
9:30 a.m. - Westport Library - Longshore Ladies 9 Hole Golf Association Pre-season Coffee
10 a.m. - Earthplace - Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Advanced Writing Class
3 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Planning & Zoning Parking & Traffic Subcommittee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Westport Library - “The China Collectors,” Shareen Blair Brysac & Karl E. Meyer
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - Coleytown Company: “The Addams Family”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Evening with Anna Raimondi

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/26/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bernard L. Kabacoff, 93

Bernard Louis Kabacoff, husband of Beatrice Nemzer of Westport, died March 25 at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield. He was 93.

Born Jan. 7, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of the late Morris and Fannie Richlen Kabacoff.

He was the chief chemist at the Revlon Research Center. He developed many of their products including the women’s fragrance “Charlie” and “Touch of Grey” for men. He received the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association “Chemist of the Year Award.”

In addition to his wife Beatrice, he is survived by his children Dena Steinfeld and her husband Alvin of Brooklyn, N.Y., Lawrence Kabacoff and his wife Katherine of Columbia, Md., Robert Kabacoff and his wife Carol Lynn of Portland, Maine. He is also survived by his stepchildren Joshua Nemzer and his wife Reah Pantazoupolis of Milton, Mass., Dorothy Sandler of Ewing, N.J., and Adam Nemzer and his wife Valli Tschirgi of Washigton, D.C.; and by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife Leah Kabacoff. Funeral services are private.


03/25/15 10:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Long Lots Principal Appointed

The Westport Board of Education tonight approved the promotion of Jeffrey Golubchick to the position of principal of Long Lots Elementary School effective July 1, Superintendent of Schools Elliot Landon said.

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Jeffrey Golubchick: current Saugatuck assistant principal. Contributed photo

Golubchick currently is assistant principal at Saugatuck Elementary School.  He replaces M. Rex Jones, principal since 2007.

Prior to joining Saugatuck, Golubchick, 35, a native New Yorker, had been director of elementary humanities at North Shore Schools in Sea Cliff, N.Y. and assistant principal at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. He began his career as a teacher in a student-diverse elementary school in New York City.

His educational background includes a BFA in printmaking and a BA in scenography from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo; an MFA in theater arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh; an MA in education from Hunter College in New York City; and, an MA in educational leadership from Brooklyn (N.Y.) College.

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03/25/15 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Special Tour

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Members of the Saugatuck Elementary’s PTA were treated to a walking tour today of works from the Westport Permanent Art Collection (WSPAC) by Linda Gramatky Smith. She is the daughter of Hardie Gramatky, famed Westport watercolorist. SES is home to over 80 art pieces from the WSPAC, including several representing Gramatky’s much-loved children’s books. Gramatky Smith is pictured holding copies of “Little Toot” and “Nikos and the Sea God” beneath original art from those books. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/25/15 04:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

OK for New Two Car Per Family RR Parking Permit

Acting on what was described as a need and also a new way to increase income, the Westport Board of Selectmen today approved a new $450 annual railroad parking permit fee that would cover two cars in a household.

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Beginning in June, railroad parking permit holders will be able to get permits for two cars per household for $450. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The annual fee for one vehicle would remain at $325, well below neighboring communities, but now families will be able to have the ability to park either car at Westport stations, said Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas.

He told the board that the new system, which would allow only one car to be parked at the station at a time, meets something requested by a number of Westporters.

“People want to drive a nice car in summer and maybe a four-wheel drive in winter,” he said. It would also allow a second car to be used while the first car is being serviced, he said.

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03/25/15 01:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

William S. Roberts, Jr., 71

William S. Roberts, Jr. of Martinsville, N.J., a former Westport resident, died March 24. He was 71.

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William S. Roberts, Jr: 1961 Staples graduate. Contributed photo

He was born Nov. 8, 1943, in New Rochelle, N.Y., to the late William S. Roberts, Sr., and Marie-Louise (Moran) Roberts. He graduated from Staples High School in Westport in 1961, and the University of Rochester in 1965, where he met his wife, Carol.

After graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He then settled in New Jersey, working at ExxonMobil Corp. for 33 years until his retirement in 2000.

Following retirement, he became a dedicated member of the Martinsville Rescue Squad, where he served as a crew chief and treasurer. He was also an active member of the United Methodist Church of Bound Brook, where he was a past president and treasurer of the trustees, and member of the Chancel Choir.

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03/25/15 01:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day:  66 Turkey Hill Road South

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 66 Turkey Hill Road South, near Clapboard Hill Road, is in process. Built in 1928, the two-story colonial has 3,120 square feet and is situated on a 1.19-acre property.  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


03/25/15 11:51 AM Comments () • Permalink

Row, Row,  Row Your Boat

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Rowers made for a colorful scene Tuesday on the Saugatuck River in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com


03/25/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - Board of Selectmen Public Hearing
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Westport Library - The Refinery: Entrepreneur Accelerator Program for Women-led Companies
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - UN Hospitality Committee
2:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
3 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Planning & Zoning Parking & Traffic Subcommittee
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Business Special: Optimizing Your Mobile Devices & PC
6:30 p.m. - Staples Room 1025C - Board of Education Special Meeting

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/25/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 5 Barbara Place

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 5 Barbara Place, off Old Road, is in process. Built in 1954, the 1-1/2 story cape has 1,659 square feet and is situated on a .33-acre property. The property changed hands this month at $530,000. 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


03/24/15 10:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Coalition Asking RTM to Reverse P&Z’s Baron’s South Vote

The Coalition for Westport (CFW), a minority party supporting “healthy and vibrant growth,” today urged the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) to reverse the Planning and Zoning Commission’s (P&Z) decision last week, declaring the 22-acre, town-owned Baron’s South property as open space.

Unless overturned by the RTM, the 4 to 1 with 1 abstention P&Z vote puts an end to the planned senior housing complex, eight years in the making, on 3.3 acres of the land. However, several P&Z members left the door open to senior housing advocates returning with a smaller footprint project. (See WestportNow March 19, 2015)

CFW officials said they are gathering signatures for a petition to the RTM to adopt a resolution reversing the decision. They have seven days from official publication of the P&Z action to submit an appeal.

The RTM’s P&Z Committee Monday night also discussed the potential for an appeal but took no action. Appeals may come in three ways.

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03/24/15 07:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Golf Workout Indoors

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What to do if Longshore’s fairways and greens are still covered in white? If you’re Patty Kondub, head coach of the Staples Girls Golf Team, you take the squad to the Westport Weston Family YMCA (where she works) for a pre-season workout in the Y’s cycle studio. The lady golfers finished second in the state last season, and this year, “We’re going to carry on the Staples tradition – winning and having fun,” says Kondub (back l. while Assistant Coach Liz Fry is back r.). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/24/15 06:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

That’s Me!

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Westport artist Leonard Everett Fisher today points to a drawing of himself he inserted into one of the works to go on display at the Westport Arts Center beginning Friday with a 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. reception. The exhibit, “Leonard Everett Fisher: A Retrospective,” features 38 of his paintings, drawings, and illustrations from his prolific 70-year career. Installation of the exhibit was under way today. (For background, see WestportNow March 21, 2015)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


03/24/15 05:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Addario is Library’s BOOKED for the Evening Honoree

Westport prize-winning photographer and now best-selling author Lynsey Addario has another honor coming, this one from her hometown library as its BOOKED for the Evening honoree.

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Lynsey Addario: hometown honoree. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

The Westport Library announced today that the 1991 Staples High School graduate, author of the recently published best-selling memoir, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life,” will be recipient of its annual award at a gala evening on Saturday, May 9.

She joins an illustrious line of previous awardees. Last year’s honoree was fellow Westporter Nile Rodgers, Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, arranger, producer, philanthropist, and writer.

Other past recipients have included Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Arthur Mitchell, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, Barry Levinson, Patti Smith, and Jon Meacham.

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03/24/15 04:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woman Struck on Riverside Avenue

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A woman was struck by a car today on Riverside Avenue near Sylvan Lane South. Witnesses said the woman was walking in a pedestrian crossing when hit by a car that had gone around a car stopped to let her cross. She was taken to Norwalk Hospital with what emergency workers described as non-life threatening injuries. The crosswalk has been the site of numerous pedestrian accidents and near misses, according to office workers in the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/24/15 04:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Anna Lee Fuchs, 79

Anna Lee Fuchs of Westport died March 8 at home. She was 79.

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Anna Lee Fuchs: wife of noted Westport illustrator. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed grapic

Born Jan. 9, 1936 in O’Fallon, Ill. to Alma Fries Hesse and Henry M. Hesse, longtime mayor of O’Fallon, she graduated from MacMurray College in 1954. In 1955, she married illustrator Bernard Fuchs, her high school sweetheart. They lived in Detroit before moving to Westport in 1960.

Bernie Fuchs, whose influential work ranged from presidential portraits to classic racing cars, died Sept. 17, 2009. He was 76. (See obituary here)

Anna Lee managed her husband’s illustration business and later, his career as a gallery and children’s book artist. She worked for many years at the Society of Illustrators in New York City, organizing and cataloguing their annual show.

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03/24/15 01:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honors for Westport Schools Music Program

Another honor today for the music program in Westport schools.

The NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,200 members around the world, awarded Westport a Best Communities for Music Education designation. It was one of 12 districts in the state receiving the designation.

Now in its 16th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of schools’ core curriculum, an announcement said. This year, 388 school districts in 46 states were honored.

“Westport has long possessed a unique insight and understanding of the important role music plays in the education of the whole child,” said Thomas Scavone, district music supervisor.

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03/24/15 01:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Lanes Open on Post Road East

Westport police said sewer main repairs have been completed on Post Road East in the area of No. 468 and all lanes are open to traffic.


03/24/15 12:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

SRO for Learning About Common Core

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There was a standing room-only crowd Monday night at the Westport Library’s McManus Room to hear former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto (D-Mansfield) discuss the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests to be administered to Westport students in third through 12th grades over the next few weeks. Pelto, who served nine years in the state legislature and now authors a blog, Wait What? at www. Jonathanpeltro.com, has been critical of the SABC, calling them “unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory.” The event was privately organized by a group of local parents. A video is available here.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/24/15 10:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Jennifer S. O’Grady, 72

Jennifer Skemp O’Grady of Sandy Hook, a former Westport resident, died March 22 after a long battle with lung disease. She was 72.

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Jennifer O’Grady: hosted ‘Ballet Hour” on WMNR. WMNR photo

She was born on March 2, 1943 in Chicago to noted artist Robert Oliver Skemp and his wife, the former Betty Wellington Steele. She grew up in Westport and graduated from Greens Farms Academy. She summered in Sagaponack, a village in the Town of Southampton in Suffolk County, Long Island, as a child and continued to do so throughout her life, with her family.

Recently she and her husband purchased a family dream home in Amagansett overlooking Napeague Harbor. Some of her passions included, world travel, her grandchildren, taking care of her animal friends, and volunteering as a broadcaster for her local fine arts radio station WMNR for more than 25 years.

In a biography on the WMNR website, the station said of her: “The soft-spoken lover of the ballet has been telling her fairy tales on the WMNR ‘Ballet Hour’ on Saturday mornings since 1982. Jenny was a serious student of the ballet as a girl and studied modern dance in college. After a brief time at Randolph Macon College, Jenny returned home to marry her childhood sweetheart.

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03/24/15 04:45 AM Comments () • Permalink


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A duck takes off Monday from Westport’s Partrick Wetlands. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molrsworth for WestportNow.com


03/24/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

9:30 a.m. - 275 Wilson Ave., Norwalk - Westport Transit Directors
9:30 a.m. - Westport Library - Jobseeker Special: Advance Resume Writing
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series: “Gone Girl”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - RTM Parks & Recreation Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/24/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, March 23, 2015

Walt A. Reed, 97

The following obituary was supplied by the family:

Walt Arnold Reed, husband to Mary Inez Reed, died March 18 at his Westport home. He was 97.

Walt is remembered primarily as a champion of the art of illustration and his various activities—illustrator, author, lecturer, editor, historian, archivist, and art dealer—were all engaged with the promotion of illustration art as a valid field of art history and a viable branch of the art market.

Walt founded the specialized art gallery Illustration House, in Westport, in 1973. He moved it to South Norwalk in 1979, and New York City in 1987.

Walt was born in Big Spring, Texas, in July 1917, to Edith and Fay Reed, and was raised in Grand Rapids, Mich. He went to New York to study art, first at Pratt Institute and then at the New York Phoenix School of Design. He married Mary Garavagno in 1948.

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03/23/15 08:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Off the Road

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A car with a male driver late today left Westport’s Kings Highway South near No 50A and struck tree. There was no immediate word on his condition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/23/15 07:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Library Seeks Trustees

The Westport Library is seeking candidates to apply for vacancies on the Library Board of Trustees.

The appointments will be for a four-year term beginning on July 1. There are 20 members on the Library Board, half of whom are appointed by the Representative Town Meeting and half of whom are appointed by the Library Board itself.

More information about the role of the Library Board is available on the Library’s website at http://www.westportlibrary.org. There also is a link to the Library’s Strategic Plan, which guides the Library in decision-making and budgeting.

Two information sessions are scheduled for interested candidates, an announcement said. Sessions will take place on April 29 at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  The Library said It is strongly recommended that prospective candidates attend one of these sessions.

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03/23/15 06:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

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