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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Mutual Aid from Norwalk, Fairfield, and Wilton Image
Fire units staged at the Cedar Point Yacht Club on Saugatuck Shores today as firefighters battled flames at 10 Bluff Point. Westport received assistance from Norwalk, Fairfield, and Wilton in the two-hour battle to control the flames. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/02/15 05:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Firefighters Battle Saugatuck Shores House Fire Image
UPDATE Westport firefighters, aided by units from Norwalk, Fairfield and Wilton, today extinguished a house fire at 10 Bluff Point on Saugatuck Shores two hours after it was reported. Reports from the scene said a grill fire extended to a wall, then to the attic. All occupants were reported out of the house. The 7,410-square foot, nine-room home was built in 1999, according to town records.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/02/15 04:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Firefighters Extinguish Saugatuck Shores House Fire

UPDATE Firefighters today put out in a fire in waterfront home in Westport’s Saugatuck Shores area after a two-hour battle. Image
Firefighters at the scene of the 10 Bluff Point house fire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for

The fire was reported knocked down at about 5:20 p.m., an hour after it was first reported, and declared under control at 6:17 p.m.. All occupants were out of the house, reports said.

The reports said a fire in an outdoor grill extended to a wall and then the attic of the 7,410-square foot, nine-room, home at 10 Bluff Point.

First arriving fire units reported heavy smoke coming from the house. Westport firefighters received mutual aid from Norwalk, Fairfield, and Wilton.

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07/02/15 04:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Purple Martin Banding Day at Sherwood Island Image
Volunteers from Friends of Sherwood Island gathered at the Westport state park today to take part in the annual banding of purple martins nesting there in specially made gourd housing. The housing was moved two years ago from the nearby home of Phil Donahue when he sold his Beachside Avenue residence. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/02/15 03:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Red Band on Purple Martin Means Home is Westport Image
A young purple martin gets a red band today at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park with help from volunteers and a representative from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/02/15 03:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Retrieving the Birds Image
Patty Hein and Tina Green of Westport today lower the purple martin housing gourds at Sherwood Island State Park in preparation for banding the young birds. “I brought the Martins here and monitor them,” said Green. She said last year volunteers banded 105 martins and 24 returned to Sherwood Island after winter journeys that can take them as far as Brazil.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/02/15 03:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sherwood Island Attraction Image
An operation to band purple martins at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park today attracted a crowd of onlookers.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/02/15 03:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Decked Out Image
A home on Westport’s Soundview Drive facing Compo Beach is all decked out for the 4th of July celebrations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/02/15 02:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lena V. Lipira, 94

Lena Verna Lipira of Westport, died July 1 at her home. She was 94.

Born in Bridgeport and raised in Ridgefield, the daughter of the late Mario and Eugenia Verna, she was a retired executive secretary.

She enjoyed cooking, knitting and crocheting for her family and was also very dedicated to her church. In her younger days she enjoyed painting and gardening.

In addition to her husband Dominic of 70 years, she is survived by her son Robert Lipira; three grandchildren Brian Lipira, Danielle Lipira and Dr. Cecilia Lipira Ghirlanda; a great-grandson Leo and a brother Faust Verna of Danbury. She was predeceased by a son Dr. Eugene Lipira.

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07/02/15 02:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lining Up at the Farmers Market Image
Tammy Winser of Westport makes a purchase today at the Westport Farmers Market from the Fort Hill Farm stand from New Milford. The market was extra busy with visitors stocking up for the 4th of July weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/02/15 11:37 AM Comments () • Permalink

Enjoying a Snap Pea Image
Eloise, 2 1/2, of Wilton enjoys a snap pea today at the Westport Farmers Market. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/02/15 11:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Free BLT Sandwiches at Farmers Market Image
To promote their pork products, Walden Hill Farm of Newtown was offering up free BLT sandwiches today at the Westport Farmers Market. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photos


07/02/15 11:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Fireworks Tickets Sold Out

Vehicle tickets to enter Compo Beach Friday night for the Westport PAL Independence Day fireworks are sold out, organizers said today.

Still available are shuttle passes at the same $35 fee for parking at Longshore Club Park and taking a bus to Compo Beach.

The joint effort with the Westport Parks and Recreation Department had 2,000 vehicle passes to sell.

Shuttle passes will be available today and Friday at Westport Police Headquarters and the Parks and Recreation Department at Longshore. The P&R office will be closed Friday.


07/02/15 11:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

First July Sunset Image
It was a hazy sunset for the first day of July Wednesday as seen from Westport’s Compo Beach.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


07/02/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, July 2, 2015

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
4:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Creative Coders: Javascript
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Air National Guard Band of the Northeast

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/02/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Reval Appraisers Not Welcome in Most Homes

By James Lomuscio

Fewer than 40 percent of Westport homeowners have allowed appraisers into their homes for the town’s current revaluation, Tax Assessor Paul Friia told the Board of Finance tonight. Image
Paul A. Friia: wants more home access. Contributed photo

He said he would like to see that percentage rise to at least “the high 40s,” pointing out that one area community is at 60 percent.

“The better data we have, the more equitable it is for the taxpayer,” he said.

To date, the revaluation begun last August by Vision Government Solutions has assessed about 7,800 of the town’s estimated 8,600 residential and commercial properties.

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07/01/15 10:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Newlyweds Walking in the Moonlight Image
Former state Senate minority leader John McKinney of Fairfield and his new bride, Kristen Fox of Westport, take a moonlight walk along Soundview Drive tonight at Compo Beach. The two were married Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


07/01/15 09:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Moonlight Picnic Image
Balmy temperatures in the 80s and then upper 70s made for delightful full moon picnicing tonight at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


07/01/15 09:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Evening Children’s Fun at Levitt Image
The Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts tonight opened its Melissa & Doug Children’s Series with the Grammy-nominated, seven-time Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Zach During for


07/01/15 09:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Levitt Debuts Children’s Series Tonight

The Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts opens its Melissa & Doug Children’s Series tonight starring the Grammy-nominated, seven-time Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players.

The show is free, starts at 7 p.m. and will remain outdoors in case of inclement weather, an announcement said.  The lawn and concession open one hour before showtime.

The Melissa & Doug Children’s Series will feature nine free kid-centric shows by star performers in the world of children’s entertainment. 

Youngsters are invited to stop by the Melissa & Doug hospitality tent for complimentary goodies before the show, organizers said, and tonight there will also be an extra activity tent.


07/01/15 05:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Health District Ticks Off Tick Dangers

By James Lomuscio

While the wet summer has caused a proliferation of hungry mosquitoes at dusk and dawn, the West Nile virus is not yet a worry. Image
Ticks come in all sizes. photo

The big concern right now is deer ticks, and it’s not just Lyme disease, but illnesses far more frightening, according to Mark Cooper, director of the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD).

Just back from a workshop at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, WWHD Director of Community Health Monica Wheeler said deer ticks can carry several other organisms and viruses that make Lyme pale in comparison.

One is babesiosis, which can cause malaria-like symptoms of cyclical fevers. Unlike Lyme, for which treatment requires a regimen of the heavy-duty antibiotic doxycycline, babeseosis requires anti-malaria drugs and quinine, as well as antibiotics, Wheeler said.

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07/01/15 04:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Trouble on Saugatuck RR Bridge Briefly Halts Trains

On a day when the Devon Bridge in Stratford failed to close properly, causing delays all day on the Metro-North New Haven Line, similar trouble cropped up in mid-afternoon on the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport. Image
Metro-North workers check tracks at the Westport station today after the Saugatuck River Bridge failed to close properly after a marine opening. Trains in both directions were delayed before the problem was fixed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The bridge— built in 1905 and actually not one, but two parallel bridges, each carrying two tracks—was opened at about 3:30 p.m. to allow marine traffic to pass and failed to close and lock properly, said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.

As a result, the train, which left Grand Central Terminal at 2:54 p.m. was, delayed 15-20 minutes just outside the Westport station, he said. So was a westbound train, the 2:45 p.m. departure from New Haven (Union Station), due Westport at 3:32 p.m. and Grand Central at 4:45 p.m., as well as an Acela train.

The issue was resolved before the beginning of rush hour, and there were no further delays, Donovan said.


07/01/15 04:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ready for the 4th Image
Independence Day decorations are up on this house on Westport’s Compo Road South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


07/01/15 02:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Westport Lagging National Average

By Judy Szablak

For the first time in a long time, and generally speaking, Westport is lagging behind the national average. That is according to the latest Case-Shiller report released Tuesday. Image
Featured Home: this home at 35 Island Way is listed at $1,625,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Westport-Riverside

However, all is not doom and gloom in Westport. Luxury properties and waterfront home sales have soared ahead compared to last year.

The S&P Case-Shiller National House Price Index indicated that prices rose an average of 4.2 percent year-over-year from last April.

And allthough we did not see an increase in prices in Westport, the quite impressive and positive news is that market time to sale of just 45 days was almost half of what it was last year during that same period.

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07/01/15 02:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cordelia E. Lougheed, 88

Cordelia E. Lougheed, a former Westport resident, died June 22 in Santa Fe, N.M, after a long illness. She was 88.

She was born on May 19, 1926, to the late Henry and Stella Ervin in Fairfield, where she graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School. She later lived in St. Croix, U.S. V.I., working as head of the American Red Cross for the island.

In 1959 she married Robert E. Lougheed, a noted Western artist. They resided in Westport and Newtown until they moved to Santa Fe in 1971.

A unique woman, she pursued her hobbies of photography, furniture building, and travel with her husband to many U.S. states, Canada and Europe.

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07/01/15 01:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sophie P. Gagnon, 95

Sophie “Terry” (Prackup) Gagnon, a former Westport resident, died June 27 on Manchester, N.H. after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 95.

She was born Jan. 31, 1920, on the family farm in Westport, the 13th of 14 children born to Michael and Anna (Krysiblock) Prackup.

She was a great mother, a hard worker and a friendly woman who was kind to all. She loved family gatherings, dancing, oil painting, gardening, flowers, picnics, visiting friends and family, going shopping, yard sales, and afternoon joy rides. She also was a great cook.

She is survived by six children, 15 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, her youngest sister and several nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her parents, 12 siblings and three husbands.


07/01/15 01:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ ‘Max,’ ‘Ted 2’

By Susan Granger

When Steven Soderbergh’s over-the-top comedy romp was a surprise hit in 2012, “Magic Mike XXL” was inevitable. Image

Three years later, Mike (Channing Tatum) abandons his burgeoning furniture business to re-join the brawny Kings of Tampa for one last road trip to a Stripper Convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

In Jacksonville, Mike meets Zoe (Amber Heard), a flirtatious photographer. And when Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello) does an impromptu solo, grinding on a soda machine, just to bring a smile to the face of a glum mini-mart clerk, Mike realizes they all need to come up with some new, erotic moves.

So it’s onto Savannah to find raunchy Rome (Jada Pickett Smith), who runs Domina, a private pleasure palace where black women can indulge their fantasies. While Mike convinces her to become their new Master of Ceremonies, she can’t hold a candle to Matthew McConaughey’s charming zest.

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07/01/15 01:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 7 Manitou Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 7 Manitou Road, off Compo Road South, is in process. Built in 1951, the two-story split has 2,430-square feet and is situated on a 1.3-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


07/01/15 12:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Top Prosecutor for Westport District

The state’s Criminal Justice Commission announced Tuesday that it has appointed Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. of Easton as State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk, which includes Westport. Image
Richard J. Colangelo, Jr.: top prosecutor. Contributed photo

Colangelo succeeds David I. Cohen, who is retiring effective today after serving 37 years as a prosecutor in Stamford and as State’s Attorney for the Stamford-Norwalk district since November 2001.

Colangelo was appointed by a unanimous vote of the commission to complete the remainder of the eight-year term for which Cohen was last appointed as State’s Attorney in 2010.

“The Criminal Justice Commission congratulates Attorney Colangelo on his appointment as State’s Attorney,” said Richard N. Palmer, chair of the Criminal Justice Commission. “We are confident that he will be a strong addition to the senior management of the Division of Criminal Justice. We also wish to thank all of the outstanding prosecutors who stepped forward and sought this important position.”

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07/01/15 09:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Some Trains Running Late Image
Commuters wait for a New York-bound train early today at the Metro-North station in Westport. Metro-North said travelers may experience delays up to 30 minutes—later reduced to 15 minutes—due to mechanical difficulties to the Devon Bridge in the vicinity of Stratford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


07/01/15 08:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

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