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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Westport Educators Honored Image
The Connecticut Parent Teacher Association tonight honored Westport Staples High School Principal John Dodig as High School Principal of the Year and Schools Superientendent Elliott Landon as the 2015 Outstanding Superintendent. The awards were given at the group’s annual awards banquet in Milford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/30/15 09:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Quality Towing & Repair to Post Road East Image
Quality Towing & Auto Repair. LLC has opened at 271 Post Road East. Owner Frank A. Seccurra, 24, said his dad, Frank, Sr., 54, both Wilton residents, “opened a business like this in Stamford when I was the same age as he was then. I grew up in this business since I was a little kid.”  According to Seccurra, the business is a full service gas station with self-service prices that offers 24-hour towing, a gas and convenience store from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. and three service bays that operate 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The space was previously occupied by the Getty Service Station, which closed in January 2013.  Co-owners Jay Ostreicher and John Fisher, who owned the Getty station since 1988, relocated to 1590 Post Road East in 2013 where they own and operate J & J Car Care Center. The history of a gas station includes a Tydol station owned by the late Carl Dolberg before it was converted to the Getty brand in 1966. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/30/15 07:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Main Street Color Image
The well established trees on the north end of Westport’s Main Street are flowering in the spring sunshine and warm temperatures.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/30/15 07:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Scorns Both Parties’ Legislative Budget Plans

By Mark Pazniokas

Old Saybrook – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy did nothing today to mollify legislative Democrats who openly defied him over the past week by largely rejecting his deep budget cuts in favor of higher taxes on the wealthy, businesses and hospitals.

In his first remarks to reporters since the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee passed a tax plan Wednesday raising $1.8 billion in new revenue over the next biennium, the governor said legislators of both parties were ducking hard decisions.

Click here for more of story


04/30/15 06:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Spring Look at Town Hall Image
Four cherry trees planted a year ago on the front lawn of Westport Town Hall are in bloom today. They replaced a diseased apple tree. (See WestportNow April 24, 2014) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/30/15 04:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Crushed, Baron’s South Committee to Move On

By James Lomuscio

Members of the Baron’s South Committee who worked for the past five years to bring affordable senior housing to the 22-acre, town-owned downtown Baron’s South property expressed heartfelt disappointment today that the committee will disband. Image
The Baron’s South Committee at a meeting in February. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“There are lots of emotions, and we are extremely disappointed,” said Stephen Daniels, who has co-chaired the committee with Martha Hauhuth, a former first selectman. “We worked hard, and nobody knows how much work we put into this project and how good it would have been for the community.”

His comments came the day after First Selectman Jim Marpe announced that he was disbanding the committee. The reason: the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) early Wednesday morning failed to overturn a Planning and Zoning Commission(P&Z) ruling last month declaring the entire parcel open space—making any chance of a senior center there impossible.

The senior complex had been in the planning stages for seven years and was even approved by the previous P&Z with an 8-24 amendment. 

More "Crushed, Baron’s South Committee to Move On"


04/30/15 02:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for Plant Sale Image
Members of the Westport Garden Club today collect ferns at the historic Poplar Plains Cemetery, on Wilton Road near the Red Barn Restaurant in advance of the club’s annual plant sale fundraiser on Friday, May 8 from 9:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. on the lawn of the Saugatuck Congregational Church. According to communications director, Martha Siderowf, the Garden Club maintains this cemetery as well as two other historic ones—on Kings Highway at the intersection of Wilton Road and the Platt cemetery near Whole Foods on Post Road West.  She said the sources for much of the plant sale items are collected, with prior approval, at 10 locations comprised of residences, teardown properties and the community garden in addition to the three historic cemeteries. Pictured are Katje Donovan. Ellen Greenberg, Laurie Holst, and Jane Eyes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/30/15 12:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Showing Off Popular Perennials Image
Westport Garden Club member Katje Donovan today holds some freshly dug ferns, a popular perennial, at the historic Poplar Plains Cemetery on Wilton Road near the Red Barn Restaurant. The plants will be sold at the club’s annual fundraiser on Friday, May 8.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/30/15 12:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

In Bloom Image
A weeping cherry tree on Clapboard Hill Road is brightening up the Greens Farms area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Sarah Tamm for


04/30/15 10:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday,  April 30, 2015

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Energy Performance Contracting Program Implementation Committee
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
6 p.m.  - Westport Library - Prostate Cancer: New Advances
6:30 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Dalma Heyn on Wives’ “Transformation of Women Into Wives”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/30/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Final Concert Image
Seniors at Westport’s Staples High School tonight played their final concert. It was the 11th and 12th grade spring concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lawrence J. Zlatkin for


04/29/15 10:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Dine-A-Saur’ Headed to Stamford Exhibit Image
Westport artist Nina Bentley applies finishing touches today to her 8-foot fiberglass “Dine-A-Saur,” which will be transported to Stamford on May 18. It will among 40 fiberglass dinosaurs displayed in Stamford Downtown’s annual outdoor sculpture exhibit. This year’s theme is “Dinosaurs Rule!,” amd the exhibits will be on display from June 1 through August. Bentley said at the end of the three-month exhibit, each of the painted dinosaurs will be auctioned and the proceeds are distributed to charities.  She said this is the ninth time she has had an entry in the annual Stamford Downtown exhibit. Past subjects have included a cow on ice skates, two cars, two cats, two benches, and a horse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/29/15 06:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Marpe Statement on RTM Baron’s South Vote

In response to the RTM vote which upheld the Planning & Zoning Commission’s DOSRD2 designation for town owned property at 60 Compo Road South (Baron’s South), First Selectman Jim Marpe issued the following statement: Image
The town-owned Baron’s South property today hours after the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) vote to keep it as open space. The Westport Center for Senior Activities is in the background. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“While disappointed by this morning’s RTM vote, I am confident that the demonstration of Westport’s unique democratic process provided a blueprint as we move forward.

“Westport is a resilient community and my hope is that the issues that seemed to divide us recently will be a catalyst for us to work together and develop a solution that will provide the most benefit for as many as possible.

“I am grateful to the members of the Baron’s South Committee who spent countless hours on a vision for affordable senior housing.

More "Marpe Statement on RTM Baron’s South Vote"


04/29/15 04:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Baron’s South After RTM Vote

A look at the town-owned Baron’s South property today hours after the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) voted to uphold the Planning and Zoning’s designation of the 22-acre property as open space. Dave Matlow for


04/29/15 04:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Almost Like Summer Image
Some Compo Beach visitors today played in the water as temperatures in the 70s made it feel like summer.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


04/29/15 04:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Looking Good Image
Today’s spring-like weather with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s made for good working conditions for installing new sidewalks on Westport’s Main Street as part of the downtown improvement project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


04/29/15 04:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

WeGreen Westport Award Winners Announced

The Westport Green Task Force today announced winners of its 2014/2015 WeGreen Westport Awards.

First Selectman Jim Marpe will present the awards on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. during GreenUp Westport Day Activities at Wakeman Town Farm, 134 Cross Highway.

Since 2008, the Green Task Force has recognized the efforts of outstanding individuals, including youths, as well as businesses and other community organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to protecting and improving the environment in a way that contributes to a long-term positive effect on the sustainability of Westport. 

This year, awards were given to Westporters Sherry Jagerson, Clarinda Higgins, Melissa Gryspeerdt, Doug Mcdonald and the Westport EV Club.

More "WeGreen Westport Award Winners Announced"


04/29/15 03:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Soaking Up the Rays Image
Temperatures edging into the 70s today attracted a few sun lovers to Westport’s Compo Beach. Beginning Friday, vehicles entering the beach must display a beach emblem. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/29/15 12:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Avengers,’ Ex Machina,’ ‘The Water Diviner’

By Susan Granger

Good News: If you’re looking for POW! BAM! SMASH! cartoonish action, you get your money’s worth with “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Image

Bad News: Juggling a kaleidoscope of superheroes, as Tony Stark/Iron Man says, “It’s long – Eugene O’Neill long.”

You’d better know your “Avengers” franchise history because this new installment begins mid-mission, as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Bruce Banner/the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) battle a battalion of H.Y.D.R.A. bad guys to capture Loki’s scepter with its powerful Infinity Stone.

What’s Ultron? A sparkly computer program, concocted as a global protection system by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. What emerges, instead, is a rogue, red-eyed, megalomaniacal A.I. colossus, drolly voiced by James Spader, mockingly humming Pinocchio’s “No Strings” anthem as a menacing mantra and viewing humans as the world’s biggest threat.

More "Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘Avengers,’ Ex Machina,’ ‘The Water Diviner’"


04/29/15 12:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Larger Homes Decades in Making

By Judy Szablak

While some may have considered increasing home sizes in Westport a relatively recent phenomenon, it is actually an evolution that began more than 60 years ago. Image
Featured Home This 11-room home at 24 Rayfield Road is listed at $1,899,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis- Westport

In the 1950s, an eight-room home was considered a large home. In the early 1970s, it was nine rooms. By 1975, it was 11 rooms.

Following the 1970s, there was a lull in expanded size that ended a decade later with 12 rooms considered large. By the 1990s, it was 13 and 14 rooms.

Today, a large home is considered 15 or more rooms. Of the 39 homes currently on the market in Westport of this size, two thirds were built in the last five years.

More "Real Estate Report: Larger Homes Decades in Making"


04/29/15 07:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Fails to Overturn P&Z Decision on Baron’s South

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE By an early morning 20 to 14 vote, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) came up short of the two thirds majority needed to overturn last month’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) decision designating the 22-acre, town-owned Baron’s South property open space. Image
The RTM vote at 1:15 a.m. came after more than six hours of debate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Citing a flawed and rushed process by the P&Z, the RTM P&Z Committee had voted unanimously last week to recommend the full legislative body overturn P&Z, thus allowing new plans for a proposed affordable senior housing complex on 3.3 acres of Baron’s South to be heard.

But after a more than six hour meeting, the resolution to reverse the P&Z decision fell short by four votes.

The 14 who voted not to overturn the P&Z were: District 2: Catherine Calise and Louis Mall; District 3: Jimmy Izzo and Sylina Levy;  District 4: David Floyd, Kristin Hamlin, and Clarissa Moore; District 5: Seth Brunstein, Peter Gold, and John Suggs; District 6: Brandi Briggs and Catherine Talmadge; District 7: Arthur Ashman, and District 9: Kate Boyle Kirby.

More "RTM Fails to Overturn P&Z Decision on Baron’s South"


04/29/15 01:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Transit & RTM Long-Range Planning Committees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/29/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lengthy Debate at RTM on Baron’s South

Scenes from tonight’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) debate on whether to reverse a Planing and Zoning Commission decision to approve a map amendment making the town-owned Baron’s South property open space. Phyllis Groner for


04/28/15 11:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Begins Debate on P&Z Vote on Baron’s South Image
The Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight held a special meeting to decide wether to reverse a Planning and Zoning Commission map amendment making the town-owned Baron’s South open space. Opponents of the action say the P&Z acted hastily before hearing a reworked application to build senior housing on the 22-acre town-owned property. To reverse the P&Z action, two-thirds of the 36-member RTM, or 24 votes, are needed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/28/15 07:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

On Tour at the Westport Inn Image
The Westport Inn tonight held a “We’re Here To Stay” tour and celebration. Deborah Salsman, sales manager, flanked by associates from the BLT, the team which just bought the property, showed groups around the hotel and later hosted guests in the ballroom for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. “We’re looking forward to remaining a part of Westport and to improving the hotel,” said Salsman.The hotel was slated to by turned in an 8-30g housing project of 200 units and five stories. But at the urging of the town, BLT came in and bought it. (See WestportNow March 5, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/28/15 07:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rehearsing ‘The Liar’ Image
The cast of the Westport Country Playhouse season opener “The Liar” rehearses today in the Sheffer Rehearsal Hall at the Playhouse. “The Liar,” which previews May 5 and opens May 9, is an adaptation by David Ives of French dramatist Pierre Corneille’s classic comedy that was first performed in 1643. Commissioned by the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, D.C., where it was originally staged in 2010, “The Liar” was composed in rhyming verse by Ives. Pictured are Rusty Ross (l) as Cliton and Aaron Krohn who portrays Dorante, “The Liar.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/28/15 06:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Small Brush Fire Image
Westport firefighters today quickly extinguished a small brush fire in the area of Ferry Lane East and Manitou Road. Assistant Chief Mike Kronick said the fire was burning in a wooded area approximately 10-by 20-feet. Cause of the blaze is under investigation. He reminded residents to exercise caution with all potential sources of ignition such as cigarettes and open burning while outside. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/28/15 05:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘ArtSafari’ to See Early Florentine Renaissance Sculpture Image
UPDATE Members and guests of the Westport Arts Center today made an “artSafari” to Manhattan’s Museum of Biblical Art (MoBIA) to view “Sculpture in the Age of Donatello.” Twenty-three masterpieces of early Florentine Renaissance sculpture—most never seen outside Italy—are at the centerpiece of the Museum’s 10th anniversary season. The exhibit runs through June 14. The visit came as officials announced that the museum will close when the exhibit ends because it has been unable to raise funds to move to a new home. Richard P. Townsend, its director, cited “insurmountable” financial hurdles in moving from its space, at 1865 Broadway, recently sold by the museum’s original patron, the American Bible Society. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/28/15 04:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

OJ is Back Home Image
OJ, an orange tabby, went missing on April 22 in the Woodside Avenue area in the Old Hill part of Westport. He was found after a nine-week absence and is back home, where he has lived for 15 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)


04/28/15 03:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy: Design for New Walk Bridge on Schedule

Design for a new Walk Railroad Bridge in Norwalk is progressing and remains on schedule, state officials said today.

The bridge, which carries four tracks over the Norwalk River and opens and closes for marine traffic below, failed to close properly twice in 2014, causing rail travel disruptions.

Interim repairs to address them have been finished, which will help ensure its reliability until an entirely new bridge is build, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

In a statement, he said construction on an entirely new bridge is on schedule and is expected to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2020.


04/28/15 02:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

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