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Monday, August 31, 2015

BOE: Whoa to $21.2 Million Staples Expansion

By James Lomuscio

Click here for PDF of study

Westport’s Board of Education tonight found an architect’s feasibility study to expand Staples High School by 36,320-square feet to the tune of $21.2 million to be more than they had expected. Image
An artist’s rendition of a recommended Staples High School expansion module. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Fuller D’Angelo P.C. graphic

Members seemed surprised by the proposal. They said they thought the $20,000 study they had commissioned would address different ways to accommodate Staples’ swelling student population that is 100 students over capacity this fall—not full blown plans for a new building with a hefty price tag.

“The enrollment is the driver, and I’m just afraid that it’s two steps further than where we are now,” said board member Karen Klein.

“We need to fully vet all the other choices,” she added, saying that things, such as modular classrooms, larger class size and course tradeoffs, should be part of the study, even though she is not in favor of them. “We need to do our due diligence before we get to that point.”

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08/31/15 11:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Denis McCarthy Named Fairfield FD Chief Image
UPDATE Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy (l), who retired as Westport fire chief in 2005 after a 26-year career here before taking the Norwalk position, was appointed Fairfield fire chief tonight. McCarthy, seen at a joint Westport-Norwalk training exercise July 24 with Westport Deputy Chief Bob Kepchar, was given a five-year contract beginning Oct. 1. He succeeds retiring chief Dick Felner. McCarthy is a 38-year resident of Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/31/15 08:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Balloons Blamed for Parker-Harding Crash Image
A pickup driver who said his vision was restricted by birthday balloons in his vehicle clipped two cars late today in Westport’s Parker-Harding Plaza, sending one of the cars into the front window of the Washing Well. A female driver in one of the cars was transported to Norwalk Hospital by Westport EMS for minor injuries. The pickup driver told police he was taking balloons from his father’s house where there was a birthday celebration to his home for his children. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/31/15 06:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Vision Restricted by Birthday Balloons Image
A pickup driver who said his vision was restricted by birthday balloons in his vehicle clipped two vehicles late today in Westport’s Parker-Harding Plaza. One vehicle went into the window of the Washing Well, breaking the window. A woman in a second vehicle complained of neck pain and was taken to Norwalk Hospital. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/31/15 05:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Brooklawn Drive Transformer Fire Knocks Out Power Image
A transformer fire today on Brooklawn Drive off Easton Road in Westport’s Coleytown area knocked out power to the area. Firefighter Ben Racho looks at the transformer near 8 Brooklawn Drive. Eversource Energy said 60 Westport customers were affected. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/31/15 04:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 39 Compo Parkway Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 39 Compo Parkway, off Compo Road South, is in process. Built in 1920, the two-story colonial has 2,308-square feet, is situated on a .65-acre property and last changed ownership in August 1990 for $615,000, according to the Town Assessor database. 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


08/31/15 04:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Online Survey Aids in Schools Super Search

A community survey to help discern what Westporters want in a new school superintendent is now available at or can be linked to from the Westport Public Schools’ home page, Board of Education Chairman Michael Gordon said today. The survey will remain open until Sept. 18.

Gordon also said that the first community forum on the search to replace Superintendent Elliott Landon, who is retiring after 17 years at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, is scheduled for Tuesda, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Saugatuck Elementary School auditorium. 

A second second forum is set for Thursday, Sept. 10 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

Finding a replacement for Landon will also be the first item at tonight’s Board of Education meeting, as the search firm Hazard, Young & Attea offers a presentation of the superintendent search process.

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08/31/15 02:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

In Its New Home Image
Work was completed today on the installation of a donated sculpture to Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center. The 1991 work, “The Couple (Adam & Eve),” by William King (1925-2015), was a gift by the late artist Susan Rabinowitz Malloy, who died April 14 at age 91. The man is 12-feet tall, the woman, 10-feet. Looking over the work are (l-r) Tony McDowell, Earthplace executive director, Ann Sheffer, Malloy’s niece, Mark Hawes and Susan Holcombe of Bethany-based Hawes & Holcombe Conservation, and Kathie Bennewitz, curator, Town of Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/31/15 12:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Artwork Installed at Earthplace ImageMark Hawes, of Bethany-based Hawes & Holcombe Conservation, today puts the final touches on installation of the 1991 artwork “The Couple (Adam & Eve)” by William King at Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center. The work was a gift from the estate of Westport artist Susan Rabinowitz Malloy, who died April 14 at age 91. (See WestportNow April 14, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kathie Bennewitz for


08/31/15 12:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Joy of Summer—Being a Scooter Commuter Image
It was standing room only today at the designated motorcycle and scooter parking “lot” at Westport’s Saugatuck train station. Sixteen of these two-wheeled vehicles (and one three-wheeler) fit neatly in an area that would barely accommodate three or so cars—one of the joys and benefits of scooter commuting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Joshua Prince for


08/31/15 09:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Waiting Image
Today starts the first full week of school for Westport students after Thursday’s opening. This gang waited for the school bus on Saugatuck Shores.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larysa Bemko for


08/31/15 09:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Breach of Peace, Child Endangerment Arrest Image
Ariel Aparicio-Jarro: held on $1,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Officers arrested a Westport man at 1:30 a.m. today for breach of peace and two counts of risk of injury to a child after he left his children alone while banging on a neighbor’s door to get inside, police said.

“Westport officers responded to a Sniffen Road residence on a report by the homeowner that someone was banging on his door and yelling to let them in,” said Capt. Samuel Arciola. “Officers located the suspect walking around the exterior of the house.”

Arciola said investigating officers reported that Ariel Aparicio-Jarro, 49, of 1 Sniffen Road, seemed to be intoxicated and that it was later learned he had left his 9- and 3-year-old children at home and unattended.

Aparicio-Jarro was remanded after being unable to post a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Thursday, Sept. 10


08/31/15 08:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Owenoke View Image
The view of Sunday’s dusk from Westport’s Owenoke Park between Compo and Longshore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Meredith Holod for


08/31/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, August 31, 2015

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
7:30 p.m. - Staples Cafeteria B - Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/31/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, August 30, 2015

John B. Sias, 88

John B. Sias of Houston, Texas, a former longtime Westport resident whose media leadership positions included president and CEO of San Francisco’s Chronicle Publishing Company and executive vice president of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., died Aug. 23. He was 88. Image
John B. Sias: former Westporter. photo

A member of the Westport Library Board of Trustees, Sias and his wife Lucretia, whom he met as a 15-year-old high school student in California, had been Westport residents since 1957. He also served as president of Westport’s Fairfield County Hunt Club.

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted his son, Donald, a Staples High School graduate, as saying his father retired from ABC when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 67. Soon after, in 1993, he got a call to lead the San Francisco publishing company.

“There was much trepidation over his arrival, but Mr. Sias was adept at putting the staff at ease, even in a time of upheaval for The Chronicle,” the newspaper said in its obituary.

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08/30/15 11:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Levitt Closes Out Summer Season Image
Chris Berardo & the DesBerardos tonight closed out the Westport Levitt Pavillon for the Performing Arts summer season.  More entertainment, however, will utilize the Levitt stage in September, including the eighth annual Blues, Views, and BBQ Festival next weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/30/15 09:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Large Crowd for Levitt Finale Image
The closing act of this year’s Levitt Pavilion season in its new home tonight featured Chris Berardo & the DesBerardos. The Levitt opened the season of 50 nights of free entertainment on June 28 with Orleans. Ticketed events include “Don Felder – An Evening at the Hotel California” and the Little Rivrer Band.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/30/15 09:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Levitt Last Dance Image
The last dance of this summer’s Levitt Pavilion season tonight was to the sounds of Chris Berardo & the DesBerardos. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/30/15 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Bedroom Farce’ Actor: ‘I Admit I Dozed Off’ Image
Actors in the Westport Country Playhouse current production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy “Bedroom Face” took part today in a post-matinee symposium with audience members led by David Kennedy (l), associate artistic director. In response to Kennedy’s question about whether the actors feel exhilarated or exhausted after performing the physically demanding play, Claire Karpen (r) said, “I’m in bed for most of the second act with the lights out and I admit that I dozed off. So I guess you could say the play is exhausting.” Others taking part included (l-r) Carson Elrod, Sarah Manton, Nicole Lowrance, and Cecilia Hart. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/30/15 06:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tailgating Before Hunt Club Polo Match Image
Members and guests of Gold’s Dragoons, a Westport-based social and commemorative society, gathered at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport today for a tailgating party prior to the annual competition for the Gold’s Dragoons Polo Cup, a match against New York’s Squadron A Club. Gold’s Dragoons, formed in the early 1930s, was selected to honor one of Connecticut’s first mounted colonial militia units, founded in 1660 by Maj. Nathan Gold of Fairfield, whose troop was chartered under the seal of King Charles II. Gold’s Dragoons was victorious against Squadron A with a 6-3 victory. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/30/15 04:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Blanche Klein, 87

Blanche Klein of Westport died Aug. 30 at home. She was 87.

She was born March 8, 1928 in Mamaroneck, N.Y. to Nathan and Augusta Schwartzreich and graduated from Mamaroneck High School before getting married and moving to Westport.

She was a resident of Westport for more than 65 years and served the community by volunteering at the American Red Cross for more than 35 years. She had a passion for helping people, working countless blood drives for the Red Cross and at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield.

She had two brothers, Sydney and Edward, who predeceased her. She is survived by daughter Carol, and son Kenneth. Her other daughter Suzzanne died two years ago. She has five grandchildren, Richelle, Kevin, Katherine, Gregory and Merideth.

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08/30/15 04:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Out for a Ride Image
A canine enjoys an outing on Westport’s Gray’s Creek today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jamie Bairaktaris for


08/30/15 03:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Paying Tribute to 9/11 Victims Image
Thousands of motorcyclists passed through Westport today as part of the annual CT United Ride paying tribute to 9/11 victims. View is along Saugatuck Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/30/15 01:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Flag Carrier Image
Many of the participants in today’s CT United Ride honoring 9/11 victims carried American flags or were decked out in red, white, and blue. Views is at the intersection of Riverside Avenue/Wilton Road and Post Road West. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for


08/30/15 12:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Riding Along Wilton Road Image
Bikers make their way along Wilton Road in Westport today as part of the CT United Ride. The 60-mile ride began in Norwalk and ended in Bridgeport.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ted Horowitz for


08/30/15 12:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Along for the Ride Image
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Avi Kaner rode in a Westport fire vehicle today in the CT United Ride. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/30/15 12:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport EMS Motorcycle Makes Debut Image
Westport EMS Paramedic Michael Salvatore rides the latest addition to the Westport EMS fleet in today’s CT United Ride. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jamie Bairaktaris for


08/30/15 12:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Remembering 9/11 Victims

Scenes from today’s CT United Ride honoring 9/11 victims as it made its way through Westport. Dave Matlow, Larry Untermeyer, Bob Eckman, Ted Horowitz, and Jaime Bairaktaris for


08/30/15 12:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready Image
Dunville Restaurant owner Steve Carpentieri unfurls a flag in preparation of the 9/11 CT United Ride today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/30/15 11:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Retiring After 30 Years Image
Eileen Hunt, Minister of Music at the Green’s Farms Congregational Church for the past 30 years, today provided musical accompaniment for the last time at a church service. Hunt, a native of Gloucester, Massachusetts, assumed the role of Minister of Music on April 1, 1986. She and husband Mark English, will return to the Boston area. “Dr. Hunt has been a musical treasure for the entire Westport community and has truly enhanced the quality of our performing arts through her talent and scholarship,” said Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, a church member.  “My family and all of Westport will miss her extraordinary musical contributions.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/30/15 11:02 AM Comments () • Permalink

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