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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

No Injuries in Greens Farms Road Crash Image
A two-car crash today on Greens Farms Road near Nyala Farms caused no injuries and shut down the roadway for a time until the vehicles could be cleared. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/03/15 06:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Himes Will Side With Obama on Key Pacific Trade Deal Vote

By Ana Radelat

Washington – Rep. Jim Himes, targeted as a key swing vote, has decided to back President Obama on legislation that would help the president negotiate a controversial trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations.

“Passions are very high on this, but at the end of the day my responsibility is to my district and to my constituents,” Himes said.

The decision provoked a strong reaction from the Connecticut AFL-CIO, which has been battling the proposed trade pact, saying it will kill U.S. jobs and lower wages.

“Rep. Himes’ decision today to support Wall Street profits over Main Street jobs will live long in the memory of 4th District working men and women,” said Lori Pelletier, head of the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

Click here for more of story


06/03/15 06:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Girls’ Golf Team is FCIAC Runner-Up Image
The Staples Girls’ Golf Team were FCIAC runner-Up for the second year in a row to rival Greenwich under sunny skies today at Fairchild Wheeler in Bridgeport. Sophomore Alex McMahon fired a career-low 82 to pace the Wreckers. Pictured (l-r) are McMahon, Co-Captains Marry Bennewitz and Anelise Browne, Emily Lane, Abigail Miller and Head Coach Patty Kondub. Missing from photo are Olivia Wood and Erika MacDonald. Staples is ranked No. 3 in the state and heads to Orange Hills Country Club on Tuesday for the state championship. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kathie Bennewitz for


06/03/15 06:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Three Escape Injury in I-95 Exit Ramp Crash Image
Westport firefighters today responded to a three-vehicle accident at the bottom of the southbound I-95 exit 17 ramp at Saugatuck Avenue. They and EMS personnel evaluated three of the occupants who refused transport to the hospital, said Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar. The accident tied up traffic in the area just before noon. Two of the three vehicles had to be towed from the scene, he said. Contributed photo


06/03/15 04:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

LWV of Westport Awards a Scholarship Image
The League of Women Voters of Westport today held its annual meeting at the Norwalk Inn and presented a Staples Tuition Grant Scholarship Award of $2,000 to Staples High School senior Jacqueline Chappo. She will be attending Boston University in the fall and hopes to go on to law school. Pictured are (l-r) First Selectman Jim Marpe, Jacqueline and mom, Anne Chappo, and Celeste LeCrox, Westport LWV president. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


06/03/15 03:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

LWV of Westport Holds Annual Meeting

Scenes from today’s League of Women Voters of Westport annual meeting at the Norwalk Inn. Phyllis Groner for


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

Mary E. Hynes, 93

Mary Elizabeth Hynes of Westport died May 30 in Norwalk Hospital. She was 93. Image
Mary Hynes 49-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

The wife of the late Commander USN (ret.) Edward J. Hynes was born March 27, 1922 in Providence, R.I. and was the daughter of the late Patrick J. and Mary H. McManus.

She was a resident of Westport for 49 years and retired as the assistant treasurer from the Bigelow Tea Company in Fairfield at age 90.

She enjoyed playing bridge, Scrabble, and global traveling. She was a member of the Women’s Club of Weston and former secretary of the Western Connecticut Retired Officers Association.

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06/03/15 02:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Kiwanis Awards Scholarships Image
The Westport Kiwanis Club today awarded more than $8,500 to 10 graduating Staples High School seniors in recognition of their scholastic excellence and service to the community.The awards were made at the weekly Wednesday lunch meeting at the VFW in Westport. Scholarship funds are raised through the Kiwanis Club’s annual Minute Man Triathlon Race at Compo Beach. Pictured are (l-r) Michael Laux, past Kiwanis president; Michael Bottone; Jack Baylis; Rachel Doran; Gabriella Marone; Taylor Harrington; Lauren Reedy; Killian Jampierre; Matt Jacowleff, and Sharon Kriz, current Kiwanis president. Recipients missing from photo are North Woods and Mehar Kirmani. Contributed photo


06/03/15 02:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

House Adopts Controversial State Budget Deal

By Keith M. Phaneuf, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, and Arielle Levin Becker

Connecticut’s long-running budget drama began drawing to a close early today as the House of Representatives adopted a $40.3 billion, two-year package that largely restores deep cuts to social services and expands municipal aid while bolstering tax revenues by almost $2 billion.

Just after 10:30 a.m. the House approved the plan in a narrow 73-70 vote following a five-hour debate. Eleven Democrats sided with all 59 Republicans present to fall just short of defeating the package. [Westport State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg was one of 11 Democrats siding with the Republicans, including Westport State Rep. Gail Lavielle.]

The debate followed a marathon House session as Democratic leaders kept the members in all night as they struggled to lobby enough support for the controversial plan. Leaders originally hoped to debate the budget around mid-day on Tuesday.

The budget, which was negotiated by Democratic majorities in both chambers and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office, now moves on to the Senate, which has until the legislative session hits its adjournment deadline at midnight to act.

Click here for more of story


06/03/15 11:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Part of Greens Farms Road to be Closed for Paving

The Westport Public Works Department announced today that due to paving operations, Greens Farms Road between Prospect and Hillspoint Roads will be closed to through traffic on Thursday and Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Rain dates are Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9. 

Local traffic and residents within this section of road will be allowed access to their property.

All other general traffic will be detoured, an announcement said.


06/03/15 09:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Westport Transit District Directors
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - UN International Hospitality Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Beautification Committee
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Girls Robotics Club
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Shellfish Commission
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Emily Liebert, “Those Secrets We Keep”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - RTM Transit & Long-range Planning Committee
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Finance Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/03/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

At RTM, Mother Nature Reason for Most Requests

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Department of Public Works, mostly due to Mother Nature, took up the lion’s share of requests for appropriations at tonight’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), all of them unanimously approved by the legislative body.

The appropriations, all recommended by the Board of Finance, included: $117,212 to cover three emergency sewer repairs on Post Road East; $120,000 for initial designs to replace the Saugatuck Island bridge damaged by Super Storm Sandy; and $428,375 to cover this winter’s snow removal cost overruns.

The night’s biggest request by Public Works Director Stephen Edwards, however, had noting to due with bad weather, but bids that came in higher than expected.

The RTM unanimously approved Edwards’ request for an additional appropriation of $406,000 above $1,612,000 approved in October to complete construction of a sanitary sewer extension to service Bulkley Avenue North, Buttonwood Lane, Old Road, Mallard Lane, Forest Drive,  Elizabeth Drive and Shadowlawn Drive.

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06/02/15 09:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Assists as Fairfield Battles Warehouse Fire Image
A Westport engine company provided station coverage in Fairfield tonight as all on-duty Fairfield firefighters and units from Bridgeport battled a warehouse fire at the former Fairfield Lumber site at 185 Thorpe St. A resident said smoke was visible from Westport’s Stop & Shop on Post Road East near the Fairfield line. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Christopher Tracy/Fairfield Fire Department photo


06/02/15 09:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Paying Tribute Image
Members of the Westport Fire Department tonight enter St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Fairfield for the 32nd Annual Firefighter’s Memorial Service. The service honored fallen firefighters, including five from Westport who died in the line of duty. A warehouse fire that broke out at the former Fairfield Lumber site on nearby Thorpe Street somewhat interrupted the service. Westport honored Frank L. Dennert, chief, who died May 5, 1946, Francis P. Dunnigan, firefighter, May 2, 1946, John H. Gallagher, firefighter, May 2, 1946, Dominick J. Zeoli, firefighter, May 2, 1946, and George H. Cardozo, firefighter, Dec. 2, 2000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/02/15 09:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honoring Fallen Firefighters Image
The 32nd Annual Firefighter’s Memorial Service was held tonight at St. Thomas Aquinas Church on the Post Road in Fairfield, Westport remembered five firefighter who died in the line of duty.  The services were somewhat interrupted by a fire that broke out at Fairfield Lumber located the next block over on Thorpe Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/02/15 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Library Trustee Image
The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight unanimously approvred Adrian Hinojos, 39, to serve as a trustee of the Westport Library for a four-year term beginning July 1. Hinojos, a native of Mexico who holds dual Mexican and U.S. citizenship, is employed as a corporate development financial analyst for the Genesee and Wyoming Railroad, a short line freight rail holding company, in its Darien office.  He and his wife Hillary Nordholm are the parents of a son, 3 1/2 and daughter 1 1/2.  Hinojos said he is eager to assist the library in its strategic planning as it prepares for the future. “This is an exciting time to be a part of the Westport Library,” he said. Under the Town Charter, the RTM appoints half of the library trustees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/02/15 09:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 19 Vani Court Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 19 Vani Court, off Compo Road South, is in process. Built in 1945, the 1-1/4-story cape has 1,868 square feet, is situated on a .34-acre property and last changed ownership, according to Town Assessor records, in August 2001 for $395,000. The house incurred fire damage in June 2014 (see WestportNow June 23, 2014) 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


06/02/15 03:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Otto O. Weibel, 91

Otto O. Weibel of Westport died June 1 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 91. Image
Otto O. Weibel: Westport resident 49 years. Contributed photo

Born in Dietikon, Switzerland on Aug. 20, 1923, he was the son of the late Robert and Sophie Weibel. He has been a Westport resident for 49 years.

He was a volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program, a member of the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston, an avid skier, and gardener.

When he first came to the United States in 1947, he became a lifetime member of the New York City Mannerchor, and Swiss-American Club.

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06/02/15 01:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bedford Square Associates: Area ‘Will Soon Be Transformed’

By James Lomuscio

As cranes and other heavy equipment worked on the north side of Church Lane today, Bedford Square Associates principals and town officials in front of the former YMCA’s historic Bedford Building held an official groundbreaking for a $100 million project set to transform Westport’s downtown. Image
Today’s groundbreaking marked the official start of construction on the $100 million project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Known as the Bedford Square Project, the development when completed in early 2017 will comprise 110,000 square feet retail, restaurant and residential space.

David Waldman, principal of Bedford Square associates whose vision for the project began more 10 years ago, said the result will be a “Golden Triangle” made up of Main Street, Church Lane and Elm Street.

“Today almost feels like a birthday,” Waldman said, noting that his 11-year-old son had just been born when he began planning. 

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06/02/15 12:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Turning the First Shovel Image
The official groundbreaking today of the new Bedford Square Development included officials of Bedford Square Associates, First Selectman Jim Marpe, and others. Prior to turning the first shovel, it was announced that Anthropologie will occupy 40,000-square feet as the anchor tenant of the retail, office, and residential complex.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/02/15 11:18 AM Comments () • Permalink

History in the Making Image
There was a formal groundbreaking ceremony today for the Bedford Square Development that will transform Westport’s downtown. It was announced that Anthropolgie will be the anchor tenant for the estimated $100 million project that will convert the 1923-built former Westport Weston YMCA building into a retail, office, and residential complex. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/02/15 11:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Work Continues on New Bedford Square Image
As a formal Bedford Square Development groundbreaking was taking place on Post Road East today, work continued in the rear of the former Westport Weston YMCA Building on construction of the new retail, office, and residential project. At a news conference today, principals of developers Bedford Square Associates estimated completion in about two years, although anchor tenant Anthropologie might be able to begin work on its 40,000-square feet space in late 2016.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


06/02/15 11:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Bedford Square Officially Under Way

Scenes from today’s news conference and groundbreaking for the Bedford Square Development in Westport’s center. Dave Matlow for and photos


06/02/15 10:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: No Bubble-Like Growth Here

By Judy Szablak

Westport’s real estate market has been slowly gaining ground over the last few months, and even though we would like to see it pick up a little more than it has this year, we should count our blessings. Image
Featured Home: This home at 7 Roshab Lane, off of Greens Farms Road, is listed at $1.9 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis Westport/Jeanette Dryburgh & Associates

Some areas of the country are experiencing bubble-like growth. However, our steady pace fares much better for the long term.

Yes, some economists are concerned for these markets. In fact, David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said recently that given the long stretch of strong reports, it’s no wonder some are asking if we’re in a new home price bubble.

“The only way you can be sure of a bubble is looking back after it’s over,” he said. “The average 12-month rise in inflation adjusted home prices since 1975 is about 1 percent per year compared to the current 4.1 percent pace, arguing for a bubble.”

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06/02/15 10:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Library Names New Executive Director

The Westport Library’s Board of Trustees announced today that it selected William H. Harmer, director of the Chelsea District Library in Chelsea, Mich., as its new executive director replacing Maxine Bleiweis who is retiring after 17 years. Harmer will assume his duties in Westport on July 27, the trustees said. Image
William Harmer meets with the Westport community on May 20. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Harmer served three years as head of adult services before being promoted to its director in 2009, during which time he brought national recognition to the institution, including its selection as the Best Small Library in America by The Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Library Journal also named Harmer to the Class of 2009 Movers & Shakers, a list of emerging leaders from around the world making a difference in the library field, Westport Library officials noted.

Trustees said in 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation chose Harmer as one of 120 world library leaders to attend its global conference on the future of libraries held in Cape Town, South Africa.

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06/02/15 09:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westporter Leads Buckeyes to 3rd Rowing Championship Image
Westporter Sami Jurofksy (holding trophy) as coxswain led the Ohio State women’s rowing team to its third consecutive national title Sunday at the 2015 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. The Buckeyes claimed an individual national title in the first varsity eight, a runner-up finish in the second varsity eight, and fifth place in the first varsity four. Jurofksy, a 2011 Staples High School graduate, was a member of the Saugatuck Rowing Club and learned her skills on the Saugatuck River. With the win, she became the most decorated woman coxswain in NCAA history with three championship rings. “It was a most amazing experience,’ she said. “Not just winning three straight national championships, but being part of an inspirational team.” Sami graduates in December and says her “dream job” would be as an on air sports anchor.” I am also interested In all aspects of strategic communications in which I am currently completing my degree,” she added. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/02/15 09:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

Showing Her Form Image
Westporter Sami Jurofsky celebrates the Ohio State women’s rowing team’s third consecutive national title Sunday at the 2015 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. The win made the 2011 Staples High School graduate the most decorated woman coxswain in NCAA history with three championship rings. Ohio State University photo


06/02/15 09:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - TEAM Westport
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - More Oscar-worthy Films: “Ida”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Library, Museum, & Arts Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Adult Summer Reading Kick-Off with Charles Dubow
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Representative Town Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


06/02/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, June 01, 2015

Foundation: Single-Parent Family Struggles Overlooked

By James Lomuscio

Cindy Clark says the growing number of single-parent families nationwide transcends all demographic and racial lines, and that in suburban Fairfield County, “it’s a very big problem because it’s overlooked.” Image
Briana Pennell (l) owner of Steam Coffee Bar and a single mom, meets today with Broken Promises’ Cheryl DeMichael, founder Richard Spangenberg, and Cindy Clark. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for

“I think its overlooked because people are embarrassed since it’s a very private issue,” said Clark, a Weston writer. “And we all try to keep it from our kids, not trying to malign one parent, and you don’t want to put your worries on them.”

Clark said she raised her two, now grown daughters from ages 3 and 5, putting them through college, without any child support from her ex-husband.

She talked about her struggles today as she gathered with members of the Broken Promises Foundation, a newly formed, Westport-based national nonprofit aimed at helping children of single-parent families.

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06/01/15 07:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Artists’ Dinosaurs on Display in Stamford Image
An 8-foot fiberglass “Dine-A-Saur” by Westport artist Nina Bentley has gone on display in Stamford, one of 40 fiberglass dinosaurs displayed in Stamford Downtown’s annual outdoor sculpture exhibit.This year’s theme is “Dinosaurs Rule!,” and the exhibits will be on display through August. Bentley said at the end of the exhibit, each of the painted dinosaurs will be auctioned and the proceeds distributed to charities. Her sculpture is located in front of P.F. Chang’s Restaurant in the Stamford Town Center, 230 Tresser Boulevard. Westport artist Sooo-z Mastropietro, who is also a talented musician playing the bass, also has a work in the exhibit, which she named Dino the Dinosaur and said he is a Philhamonichaurus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


06/01/15 06:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

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