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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Public School Kindergarten Registrations Under Way

The 2015-16 Westport public school kindergarten registrations are under way.

The district asked families moving to Westport for the new school year and parents of entering kindergartners to register their children at this time. 

“Please don’t wait until the last minute,” said Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon. “Let us know now that you are here so we may plan for the optimal education for your youngsters.”

Those who are not sure of their district elementary school can find the information on the school district website, or they may call the superintendent’s office, 203-341-1026. 


04/23/15 10:37 AM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 7 Keenes Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 7 Keenes Road, off Morningside Drive North, is in process. Built in 1955, the two-story colonial has 2,348-square feet and is situated on a .33-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


04/23/15 09:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

WN on the Scene: Preview of New Whitney Museum

New York’s Whitney Museum welcomed VIP guests Wednesday night to its new $422 million home at 99 Gansevoort St. in Manhattan’s hip Meatpacking District, ahead of its official May 1 opening. The 220,000-square foot space, including 18,000 feet unencumbered by structural columns and 13,000 feet of outdoor terrace galleries, doubles its former home on the Upper East Side. Among the guests was Helen Klisser During, artistic director at the Westport Arts Center and WestportNow contributing photographer who provided this preview. Helen Klisser During for


04/23/15 08:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Spring Ritual: Sanding Compo Image
With just over a week before vehicle emblems are needed to enter Westport’s Compo Beach, the annual ritual of replenishing the sand and spreading it is under way. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


04/23/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday,  April 23, 2015

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Kemper-Gunn Advisory Group
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
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”
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Money Smart Week: Women & Wealth—Create a Strategy That Works for You
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Work Session (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - RTM Health & Human Services Committee
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/23/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Coalition Applaus RTM P&Z Committee Action

To the Editor:

The Coalition for Westport (CFW) applauds the decision this week of the RTM Planning & Zoning Committee to recommend overturning the P&Z Commission’s decision to zone Baron’s South as dedicated open space.

The Coalition appreciates that the committee agreed with the Coalition and other petitioners that the process of reaching this decision was seriously flawed and the decision impacted negatively, not only on the potential use of the 22-acre property but also, on the future needs of the heavily utilized Senior Center.

The Coalition urges RTM members to follow the Committee’s recommendation and overturn the decision so that an application for a revised proposal for senior housing on the site can be heard.

The Coalition strongly supports a compromise solution to this heated discussion with a senior housing complex created on 3.3+/- acres and the remaining 18+/- acres be devoted to safe and accessible municipal space.

Denise Torve
Chairperson, Coalition for Westport


04/22/15 10:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

LWV Forum Focuses on Money in Politics Image
The League of Women Voters of Westport tonight sponsored a Westport Town Hall forum on “The Problem with Money in Politics.” Participants included (l-r) Jeff Clements, author of “Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Business and Global Corporations,” former state Sen. John McKinney, and Kim Hynes, senior organizer of Common Cause in Connecticut, and Alison Rivard, LWV state board member. All panelists agreed there is too much money in politics. “I would rather see 400 individuals contribute $5 each rather than have a wealthy person contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said McKinney, of Fairfied. “Sad to say, very few people give to a political campaign.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/22/15 10:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

LWV Hosts Westport Forum

Scenes from tonight’s League of Women Voters of Westport forum at Westport Town Hall. Phyllis Groner for


04/22/15 10:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bedford Square Announces First Kemper-Gunn Retail Tenant Image
UPDATES and CORRECTS As demolition of the Westport Weston Family YMCA Weeks Pavilion continued today (the swimming pool can seen at the center of this aerial view), David Waldman of Bedford Square Associates announced the first retail tenant for the relocated Kemper-Gunn House and said a lease is out for signature for a 40,000-square foot anchor tenant in the Bedford Square complex. The new tenant for Kemper-Gunn is Serena & Lily, which describes itself as “a home and lifestyle brand with a fresh, California point of view.” Westport will be its third location after San Francisco and the Hamptons. There was no announcement on the Bedford Square anchor tenant other than the lease is “out for signature for the historic Bedford Mansion and adjacent fire house.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/22/15 09:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

The New Church Lane Image
New renderings have been published online of Westport’s Bedford Square development, including this view of the project from Church Lane. There are also aerial videos of the demolition of the former Westport Weston Family YMCA here and here. One page of the Bedford Square website outlines changes made to the plans in response to feedback. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/22/15 09:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Taking Shape Image
New sidewalks on Westport’s Main Street are taking shape. The curbing and soon to be installed brick walks are part of a downtown improvement project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/22/15 08:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sarah K. Herz, 83

UPDATE (adds memorial service) Sarah K. Herz of Westport died Feb. 5 at home. She was 83. Image
Sarah Herz: former English teacher. Contributed photo

A Westport resident for 57 years, she taught English in the Westport school system for 20 years. She was also the co-author with Don Gallo of “From Hinton to Hamlet: Building Bridges between Young Adult Literature and the Classics.”

Born June 12, 1931 in Granite City, Ill., she was the daughter of immigrant parents from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, Morton and Lena Kuenstler. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and M.Ed. at Western Connecticut State University.

She was an avid reader of both adult and young adult literature, or YAL. She reviewed YAL in professional education journals. And she championed YAL on the state and national levels.

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04/22/15 03:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Railroad Parking Permit Waiting List Online

The Westport Police Department Railroad Parking Division today announced that the railroad permit waiting list is now available online.

Those on the waiting list are required to update their information annually each January, an announcement said. Reminders will be sent out by email. Anyone who fails to update his or her information will be removed from the waiting list, it said.

Keeping the list current and accurate streamlines the permit issuance process by eliminating emails and letters to people who no longer want a permit, according to Deputy Police Chief Foti Kosinas, who is in charge of the Railroad Parking Division.

In addition, those on the wait list will be able to see where they are on the list. An account number is required to access the list, and this number will either be emailed or sent via regular mail to all those on the current list, the announcement said.

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04/22/15 04:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Earthplace Receives Woman’s Club Grant Image
The Westport Woman’s Club today presented its annual Ruegg Grant to Westport’s EarthPlace, The Nature Discovery Center to create accurate maps of itd sanctuary trails, natural habitats, and major vegetation areas, buildings, streams and property boundaries. Members of the club’s Ruegg Committee presented the grant to Tony McDowell, executive director. They included (l-r) Dorothy Curran, president of the club, Lisa Shufro, Nancy Saipe,  Mary Lee Clayton, Jo Fuchs Luscombe, and Arlene Thrope. The Ruegg Grant was established in 1995 by an endowment bequeathed to the Westport Woman’s Club by member Lea Ruegg.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/22/15 02:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Student at MIT Wins $250,000 Fellowship

A Westport student at MIT, Alex Siegenfeld, was among 12 persons announced Tuesday as recipients of the prestigious Hertz Fellowship worth $250,000 from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. Image
Alex Siegenfeld: studying physics. Contributed photo

Each fellowship consists of up to five years of financial, mentoring and community support as well as research freedom at a participating U.S. graduate institution.

Siegenfeld attended the Pierrepont School in Westport where he finished second as a middle schooler in a statewide math competition. He then went on to the Hopkins School in New Haven where he won a gold medal in the International Chemistry Olympiad in Tokyo. (See WestportNow Aug. 2, 2010)

The announcement said at MIT he is “interested in combining chemical intuition with mathematical rigor to further the understanding of materials with exotic and useful properties.”

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04/22/15 02:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bernhard: RTM Vote ‘Pivotal Event’ in Westport History

By James Lomuscio

Calling next weeks’ scheduled Representative Town Meeting (RTM) vote “a pivotal event in the town’s history” like the town purchase of Longshore Club Park or the loss of Gorham Island to development, longtime Westporter G. Kenneth Bernhard is reaching out to the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance. Image
G. Kenneth Bernhard: ““Let’s not risk losing this opportunity. There won’t be a better opportunity for our town to take some control of its future.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

His goal is to achieve a compromise as the RTM decides Tuesday night, April 28, whether to overturn the Planning and Zoning Commission’s (P&Z) vote declaring the town-owned, 22-acre Baron’s South property open space—thus preventing a seven-year planned affordable senior housing facility there.

Bernhard, a member of the Baron’s South Committee, an attorney and former state legislator,  hopes the P&Z will retreat from opposing the reversal if the BOS and BOE agree to use money from the senior complex to fund open space purchases.

“I’m looking to see if the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen could agree, and of course it’s not legally binding, that the up front payment from (proposed senior housing developer) Jonathan Rose of $1 million would supplement open space purchases or to fund some of the recommendations of the Downtown Steering Committee, which is what the Planning and Zoning Commission should be buying on to as well,” Bernhard said today.

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04/22/15 12:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Adds 1,000 New Subscribers Image
Michael Ross, managing director of the Westport Country Playhouse, told the Westport Rotary Club Tuesday the Playhouse has added 1,000 new first time season subscribers in advance of its five-play season opening May 5 with “The Liar,” a comedy by David Ives. He said for the first time, the Playhouse will have a three-week preview run of A.R. Gurney’s new play “Love & Money” beginning July 21 prior to its opening at New York’s off-Broadway Signature Theatre. During the run, to which no critics have been invited, Gurney and the producers will have an opportunity to make adjustments to the play based on audience feedback prior to its New York opening, he said. “It’s something new for us,” Ross said. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/22/15 11:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Family YMCA Names New CEO

The Westport Weston Family YMCA today announced the appointment of a 31-year YMCA veteran as its new chief executive officer. Patricia Riemersma takes over June 8. Image
Patricia Riemersma: takes over June 8. Contributed photo

Serving at at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities since 2011, she takes over from Rob Reeves who left the post in December after serving since January 2009.

An announcement said the volunteer members of the YMCA’s governing board of directors selected her. “We wholeheartedly welcome Patricia to our Family YMCA,” said Bonnie Strittmatter, board president.

She said the board was impressed with “her decades of experience in leadership roles in the YMCA Movement.”

More "Family YMCA Names New CEO"


04/22/15 09:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Observing Longshore Ospreys

The Ospreys near the E. R. Strait Marina at Westport’s Longshore Club Park engaged in what appeared to be some sort of mating dance on Tuesday. WestportNow contributing photographer Lynn U. Miller observed it all. Lynn U. Miller for


04/22/15 08:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 37 Spriteview Ave. Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 37 Spriteview Ave., off Harbor Road in the Saugatuck Shores section, is in process. Built in 1964, the one-story ranch has 2,073-square feet, is situated on a .22-acre property and changed ownership in November 2014 for $775,000. 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


04/22/15 08:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Earth Day

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
9 a.m. - 21 Imperial Ave. - RTM Planning & Zoning Committee Site Walk
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
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. - Westport Arts Center - Drawing 102
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”
1 p.m. - Westport Library - Earth Day: Learn about the first Pure House Residential Home
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Wisdom from CEOs: Jennifer Lawton, 3D Printer Company MakerBot
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Money Smart Week: Women & Wealth: Create a Strategy That Works for You
7 p.m. - 44 Imperial Ave. - Westport Woman’s Club Prospective Member Social
7 p.m. - Town Hall - League of Women Voters: Money in Politics, a Panel Discussion
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Library Board of Trustees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/22/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

South African Social Justice Advocate at Arts Center Image
The Westport Arts Center tonight hosted South African social justice advocate the Rev. Michael Lapsley, known as Father Michael, who recounted how he lost both hands and an eye in a 1990 letter bomb explosion. The Anglican priest had been active in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Since then he has worked in many countries in Africa and across the world to help build healing and empowerment for prisoners, war veterans, and those affected by political violence. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/21/15 09:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Learning to Adapt Image
The Rev. Michael Lapsley, known as Father Michael, signs copies of his book, “Redeeming the Past,” for guests at the Westport Arts Center tonight. The Anglican priest active in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa said despite losing an eye and both hands in a letter bomb attack, he has managed to adapt and now devotes his life to the Institute for Healing of Memories which “seeks to contribute to the healing journey of individuals, communities and nations.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


04/21/15 09:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Learning About Tick-Borne Diseases Image
The Westport Library tonight was host to a Tick-borne Diseases Symposium sponsored by the Westport Weston Health District, the Library, the Lyme Disease Alliance, and the Tick-borne Disease Alliance. Pictured is Monica Wheeler of the Westport Weston Health District introducing Kirby Stafford III, chief entomologist, author of the “Tick Management Handbook” and expert on various kinds of ticks and how to keep them under control. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/21/15 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making Staples Golf History Image
Westporter Patty Kondub is the new Staples High School varsity girls golf coach, the first woman to ever hold the post in the team’s’ 18-year history. She is joined by newcomer and fellow Westporter Liz Fry, who is also well known as a competitive open-water long distance swimmer, as her assistant varsity and JV coach. The Wreckers opened their season today at Longshore against the Greenwich High School Cardinals, the 2014 state champions, and ended in a tie. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/21/15 07:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Marking Wednesday’s Earth Day Image
In celebration of the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, there was a gathering today at the monument at the Dr. William P. Teuscher Wetlands Preserve on Imperial Avenue. The preserve was dedicated in 1995 –- the 25th anniversary of the first Earth Day—in memory of Teuscher, a general practitioner in Westport from 1932 until his death in 1976 who gave the five acres of tidal wetlands to the Town of Westport. Those taking part included (l-r) Westporter Philip Teuscher, Teuscher’s son (holding a picture of his father), Alicia Mozian, Westport conservation director, Troop 39 Eagle Scout certification applicant Patrick Overton and his mother Laura. Patrick, assisted by fellow scouts, his brothers, and his parents, engaged in a cleanup project of the preserve as his Eagle Scout project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/21/15 05:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Lamp Posts Installed in Westport’s Center Image
The first two of 20 lamp posts to adorn Main Street as part of the downtown improvement project, were installed today at the corner of Post Road East and Main Street, according to Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas. Oscar’s Deli owner Lee Papageorge, a member of the Downtown Merchants Association, said 10 lamp posts will be installed on each side of Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/21/15 03:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Laurel L. Blaydes, 90 Image
Laurel Blaydes: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Laurel Lawson “Lolly” Blaydes of Westport died April 16 after a brief illness. She was 90.

She was a longtime Westport resident, raising four children here and volunteering frequently in the community.

She led youth group activities in the United Methodist Church of Westport/Weston for 10 years. She was also an active member of the Ecumenical Council of Westport where her work included helping provide safe shelter for homeless youth.

She loved the stage and theater and while at the Methodist church was part of a group that formed the United Methodist Players (UMPS).

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04/21/15 01:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dining Al Fresco Image
Diners took advantage of today’s spring-like weather with temperatures reaching the mid-60s to enjoy lunch outside at the Arezzo Ristorante, 5 Riverside Ave. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


04/21/15 01:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Practicing Water Rescue Techniques Image
Members of the Westport fire and police dive team were out on the Saugatuck River on Ford Road today practicing water rescue techniques. The team engages in periodic training in rivers, ponds, and Long Island Sound around Westport to hone their rescue skills.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


04/21/15 12:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

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