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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Local ‘Tutors for Opportunity’ Chapter Launched

By Jaime Bairaktaris

Staples High School seniors Daryl Choi and Max Hammer have started a Westport chapter of Tutors for Opportunity (TFO), an international, nonprofit, all-volunteer tutoring service.

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Staples tutors include (l-r) Timothy Chiang, Douglas Raigosa, Max Hammer, Daryl Choi, Julia Schorr, and Annie Gao. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

“The not-for-profit organization aims to educate more people to create a better tomorrow, believing that educating people today will help create a new generation tomorrow that has the ability to solve and prevent our most common worldwide issues,” says Choi.

In its first six months, he says the new organization has tutored more than 100 students worldwide and about 20 in Westport.

Tutoring is available in all subjects for elementary, middle and high school students. Math and physical science are subjects most commonly requested.

More "Local ‘Tutors for Opportunity’ Chapter Launched"


09/30/15 09:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Values Remain Level

By Judy Szablak

Real estate values in Westport show that prices have remained relatively level year-over-year. This fact is interesting to note, as for the first time in a long time, Westport has not mirrored or exceeded Case-Shiller’s national index.

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Featured Home: This home at 8 Sherwood Farms Lane is listed at $1,439,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Pitt Sotheby’s/Westport

Comparing our figures to Case-Shiller’s latest report released Tuesday, the national averages enjoyed a 4.7 percent gain. While we did not experience a gain in prices, we certainly saw significant improvement in unit sales as well as decreased market time.

There were 43 sales in this time period in 2014 with an average price of $1,570,145 and an average market time of 101 days.

The same time period this year brought us 61 sales with a reduction of market time to just 88 days, and the average price remained fairly level at $1,534,223. The increase in unit sales is certainly a bright spot for our real estate market.

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09/30/15 08:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Boys Soccer Takes Brien McMahon 3-1

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Josh Berman’s header goal -– off a Graham Gudis corner kick –- was the first of three Staples scored tonight at Brien McMahon in Norwalk. Timmy Liles netted his first-ever varsity goal, while Daniel Reid added a long free kick, in a 3-1 victory. The win raises the Wreckers’ record to 5-1-1. “We ended September strongly,” said head coach Dan Woog. “Now we’re getting ready for a great October.” The first test comes Friday with a 4 p.m. match against Fairfield Ludlowe at Staples. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mary Grace Gudis for WestportNow.com


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

Concours d’Caffeine Classic Car Show Sunday Canceled

Expected bad weather has forced organizers to cancel the Concours d’Caffeine classic car show and tour scheduled for Westport’s Railroad Place on Sunday.

“Part of the enjoyment of our event is having the Cabriolets with their tops down,” said an email to participants. “And, most of the Concours exhibit vehicles and many of the Cars & Coffee cars do not react well to moist conditions.

“Therefore, it is with regret, but with real consideration for all those who have agreed to bring their great vehicles to our event and those who come to view and enjoy them, that we have decided to cancel the October 4th Concours d’Caffeine.

“We will be back in the spring of 2016 with a bigger and better show!”


09/30/15 05:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting to Compo Mill Cove Fire the Hard Way

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Access to houses along Westport’s secluded Compo Mill Cove is normally by foot across a footbridge from Old Mill. But there is a way in from Sherwood Island State Park, and a Westport engine company made use of that unusual entry point today (a route they practiced about a year ago)  when fire broke out in a generator at 50 Compo Mill Cove. Greg Puhy, Compo Mill Cove property manager, said firefighters quickly contained the blaze. No one was home at the time of the fire, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/30/15 04:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Checking Out Fire-Damaged Generator

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Westport Fire Marshal Edward Zygmant checks out an emergency generator which caught fire today at a home at 50 Compo Mill Cove. Damage was limited to the generator. Cause of the blaze is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/30/15 04:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Coastal Flood Advisory, Watch Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for Westport and area, which is in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday and a Coastal Flood Watch through Friday afternoon.

It said tidal departures will be 1 to 1.5 feet above astronomical tides and likely higher on Friday.

Flooding is likely to occur around the times of high tide Thursday through Friday and likely beyond, the Weather Service said.

High tide in Westport is at 1:55 a.m. and 2:17 p.m. Thursday and 2:50 a.m. and 3:12 p.m. Friday.

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09/30/15 04:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

View From Saugatuck Shores

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Dark skies with changing cloud conditions persisted through the day today in Westport at the start of a stretch of bad weather. This was an early afternoon view from Saugatuck Shores. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for WestportNow.com


09/30/15 03:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Town to Lose $417,699 in State Aid

The Town of Westport will lose $417,699 of an estimated $3.47 million in state aid as part of the state’s Office of Policy and Management’s (OPM) $15 million in cuts announced Friday, Town Operations Manager Dewey Loselle said today.

“The cuts in aid have now been allocated among the state’s towns and cities, and Westport has taken a particularly large reduction in comparison with the other 168 municipalities,” Loselle said.

He said that Westport’s reduction of $417,699 “from its relatively modest state statutory aid amount of $3,478,609,” is 12.01 percent, the second highest in the state behind Greenwich, “and our absolute dollar reduction is the fifth highest in the state.”

Loselle said the cuts were based on the previously approved $20 million in municipal aid reduction incorporated into the state budget over the next two fiscal years.

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09/30/15 12:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Storm Clouds Roll In

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UPDATE Storm clouds rolled in over Westport today—this view is above Staples High School in Westport—with the forecast calling for off and on rain today and more steady rain Thursday and Friday and the likelihood of more rain over the weekend. Forecasters were keeping watch on Hurricane Joaquin as it makes its way toward the East Coast by early next week. Staples students were keeping fingers crossed that the weather will not impact Friday’s homecoming pep rally and football game Friday night against Fairfield Warde. But it was later announced the pep rally has been rescheduled to Friday, Oct. 16. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com


09/30/15 12:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Poetry Out Loud Competition Announced

The Connecticut Office of the Arts in partnership with Connecticut Humanities announced the 11th annual Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. In the 2014‐2015 school year, more than 6,700 students participated in Poetry Out Loud statewide, an announcement said.

Connecticut high schools can participate in classroom and school-wide poetry contests during the 2015-16 academic year, with the winners advancing to a state competition on March 15, 2016. The Connecticut State Champion will advance to the National Finals, which will take place May 2-4, 2016, in Washington, D.C. 

The deadline for Connecticut high schools to register for Poetry Out Loud is Oct. 9. Teachers should visit http://cthumanities.org/c4b/pol/ to register or contact Lisa Marcinkowski June at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 860-685-7594 for more information.


09/30/15 11:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Absentee Ballots Available Friday

Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss announced today that beginning Friday absentee ballots for municipal elections Nov. 3 will be available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office.

According to Strauss, absentee ballots will be available for registered electors who can not vote in person due to: active service in the armed forces; illness or physical disability; religious tenets, which forbid secular activity on the day of the election; duties as an election official at the polling place other than their own during the hours of voting; and absence from town during all hours of voting.

Ballots can be requested in person at Strauss’ office located in Room 105 at the Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave, or by calling (203) 341-1110.  The application form is also available at http://www.westportct.gov.

Strauss added that the Town Clerk’s Office has arranged for additional hours Saturday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to noon to issue ballots.


09/30/15 11:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Print Show: 45 years of Printmaking with Pace Prints”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Talk of the Town”
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Nina Sankovitch on the Lost Art of Letter Writing
7 p.m. - Town Hal Room 309 - RTM Planning & Zoning Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Adult-Child Comedy Improv Series

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/30/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

‘Hugging is a Mindset’

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Jack Mitchell, chairman of Mitchells Family of Stores, spoke tonight to a full house at the Westport Library about his philosophy of retail sales that has been highly effective for his stores, including Mitchells in Westport. He recently revised his book, “Hug Your Customers: STILL The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results,” which was updated with methods using technology to create effective virtual hugs and even more efficient customer service. He said tonight that “hugging is a mindset” that customers as well as staff respond to positively. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/29/15 09:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Immigration Attorney Gets Two-Year Suspension

A Superior Court judge has imposed a two-year suspension on a Westport immigration attorney whose alleged failure to provide adequate representation resulted in two clients being detained by immigration officials for several months, the Connecticut Law Tribune reported.

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Judith Sporn: appealing decision. LinkedIn photo

Judge Donna Heller ordered the suspension of Judith Sporn on Sept. 18, writing: “The respondent’s failure to represent her clients competently and diligently caused them significant injury.”

The decision cites the cases of former clients Valent Kolami and Adrian Emin, who were detained by immigration officials for 18 and 16 months, respectively. “They were deprived of their livelihood, their families and their liberty,” Heller wrote. “They were forced to incur legal expenses to retain new counsel.”

Sporn, 64, who has been licensed to practice in Connecticut since 1982, is appealing the decision to the Appellate Court, the newspaper said.

See the Connecticut Law Tribune story here.


09/29/15 09:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporter Gets 4 to 12 Years for Stealing $1.9M From Clients

UPDATE A New York Supreme Court judge in Manhattan today sentenced Westporter Stephen R. Krawitz, a New York personal injury lawyer being held since December, to 4-to-12 years in prison for stealing more than $1.9 million from settlements obtained for the benefit of at least 57 of his firm’s clients.

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Stephen Krawitz: held since December. Westport Police photo

Krawitz, 63, in July pleaded guilty to four counts of grand larceny in the second degree and two counts of first-degree conspiracy to defraud. (See WestportNow July 31, 2015)

Judge Melissa Jackson’s sentence makes Krawitz eligible to go before the parole board in four years, a court spokeswoman said. If parole is never granted, he will serve no more than 12 years.

Prosecutors originally charged Kravwitz with stealing more than $600,000 in settlements from more than a dozen clients. But with today’s sentencing, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance,  Jr. said his office’s investigation determined that at least 57 clients were defrauded of more than $1.9 million.

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09/29/15 07:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating Oktoberfest

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The Westport Rotary Club tonight celebrated the fall kickoff of its social events at the new Rotary Pavilion at Camp Mahackeno on the grounds of the Westport Weston Family YMCA campus with an Oktoberfest. Members Rick Benson (l) and Marty Resnick grilled the bratwurst. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/29/15 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Sends 2500th Birthday Video to Chinese Sister City

The Town of Westport has sent a 2500th birthday video to its Chinese sister city of Yangzhou, a city of 537,000 in central Jiangsu sitting on the northern bank of the Yangtze River. The five and a half minute video, produced by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs, features a greeting from Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, Representative Town Meeting (RTM) Moderator Eileen Lavigne Flug, who welcomed a Yangzhou delegation last year, photos by Westport photographer Larry Silver, who visited the city 20 years ago, and a Chinese version of happy birthday by Chinese language students at Staples High School. This YouTube version is without the Chinese subtitles, according to Eileen Zhang, a native of Shanghai, the town’s director of information technology, who directed the project. Jenny Jiachen Fan provided the translation. Contributed video


09/29/15 06:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Noted Photog’s Compo View of Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

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Acclaimed Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes (best known for his hours-long exposure shots of Coney Island and Central Park) was at Compo Beach Sunday night photographing the supermoon lunar eclipse. He posted this photo to the National Geographic NatGeo Instagram feed, where it drew more than 800,000 likes and almost 7,900 comments. Wilkes shoots regularly for the magazine and posted an Instagram photo of Compo Beach after storms in June. (See WestportNow June 26, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) © 2015 Stephen Wilkes


09/29/15 05:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for WHS ‘Talk of the Town’ Exhibit

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Final touches were made today to the Westport Historical Society “Talk of the Town” exhibit of covers of The New Yorker with Westport scenes and accompanying current photos of the same scene by Westport photographer Michael Goss (c). The exhibit, which opens with 6 to 8 p.m. reception Friday, celebrates the publication of “The New Yorker in Westport” by Eve Potts and Andrew Bentley (l). The book, with 50 New Yorker covers of Westport, was inspired by last year’s WHS exhibit showcasing many of the 767 covers produced by 17 New Yorker artists living in and around Westport from 1925 to 1989. The exhibit runs until Oct. 26. At right is Sue Gold, WHS executive director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


09/29/15 04:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Finch Drops Out of Bridgeport Race, Endorses Foster

By Mark Pazniokas


UPDATE Bridgeport – This city’s mayoral election sharply veered into unchartered waters today with the birth of a fusion campaign to elect Mary-Jane Foster and stop the return to City Hall of the fallen former mayor, Joseph P. Ganim.

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Mary-Jane Foster addresses the Westport Rotary Club in March 2011. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Mayor Bill Finch, who lost a Democratic primary to Ganim and then fumbled an attempt to stay on the ballot as a minor-party candidate, endorsed Foster before an unlikely collection of reformers, insiders and outsiders from the fractious world of Bridgeport politics.

“Our city is at a crossroads,” said Finch, a two-term mayor elected in 2007. “And on Nov. 3, voters can go down the right road, or they can go down the wrong road. Let’s stay on the right road, the road for tomorrow, the road for prosperity, and the road for Mary-Jane Foster.”

Foster’s challenge is to immediately coalesce disparate campaigns into an effective organization while articulating a vision for Connecticut’s largest city that is broader than a plea to stop Ganim, who resigned after a corruption conviction in 2003 to serve seven years of a nine-year prison sentence.

Click here for more of story


09/29/15 04:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cablevision Internet Outage Hits Westport

A two and a half hour Cablevision Internet outage affected many homes and businesses in the Westport area today.

The outage began about 1 p.m. and Cablevision informed customers service was restored about 3:30 p.m.

There was no immediate word from Cablevision on the cause or how many homes and businesses were affected.

According to http://www.downdetector.com, the outage was widespread, affecting portions of New York, New Jersey, Westchester, and North Haven.


09/29/15 03:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Historic Walking Tour Set for Saturday

The Westport Historical Society (WHS) will host a walking tour Saturday of Westport’s Kings Highway North Historic District.

The tour will be led by Edward F. Gerber, WHS president, and will be held 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Guests should meet at the cemeteries across from the foot of Old Hill Road and park along Kings Highway North. There is a $10 donation, an announcement said.

The tour will be an opportunity for history buffs to learn about one of the town’s oldest settled areas, some homes of which date to the mid-1700s.

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09/29/15 03:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making Progress

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Construction at the former site of Geiger’s Garden Center, 1135 Post Road East, Westport is taking shape. A landmark, family-owned business at the 2.5-acre property since 1953, Geiger’s was sold last year for $2.44 million to make way for redevelopment to include 12 housing units, eight two-bedroom and four one-bedroom units including two affordable, as well as a bank in the front. (See WestportNow, March 16, 2015) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/29/15 03:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 7 Norwalk Ave.

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 7 Norwalk Ave., in the Compo Beach sectiont, is in process. Built in 1930, the 1-3/4 story conventional has 1,540-square feet, is situated on a .29-acre property and changed ownership in June, 2011 for $930,000. 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 WestportNow.com


09/29/15 01:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Christmas Holiday Toys Ready

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Al’s Angels volunteers John Levine of Westport and Adena Fetzer of Trumbull today assemble donated toys for Christmas holiday season distribution to children afflicted with cancer or rare blood diseases or whose family suffers from severe financial hardships. The space at 1175 Post Road East for organizing the toys was made available through the courtesy of Kowalsky Brothers Construction. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/29/15 11:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Joan S. Atterbury, 83

Joan Shirley Atterbury of Westport died Sept. 21. She was 83.

Born in Westerly, R.I, on Dec. 13, 1932, to John Gordon Anderson of Aberdeen and Margaret Patton of Edinburgh, she was sister to Marshall Anderson and the late Margaret Anderson Marler.

She attended Norwich Free Academy in Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, and Eastern Connecticut State College, where she earned her master’s in science. She went on to teach first grade in the Redding School District for more than 30 years.

She married Henry “Budge” Clinton Atterbury Jr. in 1955 and together they had four boys, with the family expanding over the years to include seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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09/29/15 11:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

Dawn View

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A dawn view of downtown Westport’s skyline. It was taken by David Gecinceis of Windsor Locks, formerly of Weston, who is an ironworker from Local 15 in Hartford and is working on the Bedford Square development project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Gecinceis for WestportNow.com


09/29/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Print Show: 45 years of Printmaking with Pace Prints”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Talk of the Town”
Noon - Town Hall Room 309 - Arts Advisory Committee
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Movie: “The Age of Adaline”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Adults Read YA Fiction
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Wisdom from CEOs: Jack Mitchell
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/29/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, September 28, 2015

Chamber Sets Restaurant Week (Actually 2) Oct. 4-18

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Restaurant Week (actually two weeks), which will run from Sunday, Oct. 4 to Sunday, Oct.18.

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An announcement said the event is part of the Chamber’s continuing “Eat Local” campaign to promote area restaurants, which began two weeks ago with the Slice of Saugatuck.

This year Restaurant Week features 27 eateries offering prix fixe meals at venues from one end of Westport and Saugatuck and into Southport.

Augmenting the offerings, will be two specialty cocktail bars and a craft dessert locale, the announcement said.

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09/28/15 08:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

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