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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tractor-Trailer Takes Down Beachside Ave. Poles, Wires

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A tractor-trailer damaged two utility poles and took down wires today near 128 Beachside Ave. The driver initially reported he was uninjured but later complained of neck pain, according to reports from the scene. Police closed the roadway at Burying Hill Beach and Sasco Creek Road and indicated repairs would be lengthy. Eversource Energy said 66 customers in the area were without power. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/24/15 04:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Aquarion Asks Voluntary Conservation of Water

The Aquarion Water Company today asked customers to voluntary conserve water and curb outdoor water use because of drought conditions in the state.

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A statement said Connecticut is currently experiencing conditions ranging from “abnormally dry” to “moderate drought” due to an extended dry spell, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

“With below average rainfall and water demand 9.3 percent higher this season compared to the same period last year, and using over 9 million gallons more per day, Aquarion’s reservoirs and wells are below normal capacity,” the company said.

“Due to current conditions, Aquarion is advising customers to voluntarily reduce their water use,” said Charles V. Firlotte, Aquarion president and CEO.

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09/24/15 04:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Truck Into Beachside Avenue Poles Closes Roadway

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The scene on Beachside Avenue shortly after the crash. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

UPDATE A tractor-trailer hit two utility poles on Beachside Avenue today, taking down the poles and wires, police said.

After initially reporting no injuries, police said the driver later complained of neck pain. The accident occurred at about 4:20 p.m. near 128 Beachside Ave.

Police closed the roadway at Burying Hill Beach and Sasco Creek Road.

Eversource Energy said power was out to 66 customers in the area.


09/24/15 04:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

DOT: North Ave. Bridge Work May Resume in 2 Weeks

Multiple impacts by over height vehicles on a temporary support under the North Avenue Bridge spanning the Merritt Parkway has halted work on the bridge and construction may not resume for two weeks, a Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) spokesman said today.

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Construction workers on the North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway before work was halted. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“Due to the numerous impacts from over height vehicles, the lower portion of the temporary support had to be removed due to damage,” said spokesman Judd B. Everthart, quoting engineer Prashant Chandra.

“The contractor is redesigning the support system to give additional clearance to vehicles. At this time, work has temporarily stopped until this issue is resolved, probably two more weeks. The original completion date was the end of October. The new date may be a month later.”

In fact, the original completion date for the $2.8 million project on the bridge, built in the late 1930s, was Aug. 17 but had to be pushed back to October due to more deterioration to the structure than expected. 

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09/24/15 02:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Robert G. Lanehart, 90

Robert G. Lanehart of Georgetown died Sept. 19. He was 90.

Born Nov. 14, 1924 in Westport, he graduated from Staples High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17 and served for three campaigns during Word War II on the islands of Iwo Jima, Saipan and Tinian. He further served for two years in China.

On Sept. 23, 1950, he married the love of his life, Doris Dunnigan. Together, they had six children. He worked as a lineman for CL&P for 37 years.

He was a visible part of his community as a member of the Marine Corps League, Lions Club, and a longtime parishioner at Sacred Heart Church. He was known for his beautifully maintained hedge and high flying flag. To the delight of his neighbors, he would broadcast marches and American songs on the Fourth of July from his front porch

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09/24/15 01:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Marpe Launches Senior Center ‘Enhancement Committee’

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe announced today the establishment of the Westport Center for Senior Activities Enhancement Committee to address “the evolving needs and anticipated demand” of the town’s senior population.

Seniors make up more than 20 percent of Westport’s population.

“I am confident that the members of the committee will collaborate and establish a well-thought-out plan for the current Senior Center that maintains its welcoming presence and vital role in the community,” Marpe said.

“At the same time, it is important to think outside the box as we move forward with plans to utilize both the Senior Center and the Baron’s South property to their fullest potential to benefit all Westport residents,” he added.

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09/24/15 12:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Special Delivery to the Pope From Westport

WestportNow.com ImageA special delivery has been made to Philadelphia by Westport resident Lawrence Hoy and his Westport-based Lawrence Hoy Studios. It is a crucifix which will hang as the centerpiece to the stage where Pope Francis will deliver a mass on Sunday outside the Philadelphia Art Museum. The design of the crucifix is in keeping with the austere aesthetics of Pope Francis, constructed of composition gold-leafed wood, as opposed to the usual real gold leaf. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/24/15 10:13 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Couple Donates $1M to Norwalk Hospital

A Westport couple has donated $1 million to Norwalk Hospital.

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Eva and Christian Trefz: gift supports lobby and registration area. File photo

An announcement said Christian and Eva Trefz made the gift to support its new Christian J. and Eva W. Trefz Lobby and registration area, which serves as the main entryway to the hospital’s new Anne P. and Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center. 

A ribbon-cutting celebration for the new McGraw Center and Trefz Lobby is set to take place on Friday.

“Access to expert and compassionate health care is critical for a strong and thriving community,” said Christian Trefz, vice chairman of the Trefz Corporation and owner of a number of McDonald’s restaurants in Connecticut.

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09/24/15 09:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, September 24, 2015

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - EPC Program Implementation Committee
8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Print Show: 45 years of Printmaking with Pace Prints”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Tree Board
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Parks & Recreation Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Ordinance Committee
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “They’re Playing Our Song”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/24/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Climbing Practice

WestportNow.com ImageThe tower crane now in use at the Bedford Square development project in Westport’s downtown provided a training opportunity today for Westport firefighters. They climbed the crane as part of a practice rescue exercise. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Feliciano for WestportNow.com


09/23/15 10:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cops: Housekeeper of 18 Years Stole $384,330 in Jewelry

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Martha Lopez: victim’s 18-year housekeeper. Westport Police photo

Westport Police arrested a Norwalk woman at her home Tuesday night for stealing $384,330 in jewelry over an 18-month period from a Judy Point home where she had worked 18 years, police said.

According to Capt. Samuel Arciola, housekeeper Martha Lopez, 57, got into two safes by stealing the codes from the victim’s day planner. She had been employed by the victim for 18 years.

The investigation began on May 25 after the victim noticed a large amount of jewelry had been stolen, Arciola said. The Detective Bureau was assisted by an AIG insurance investigator.

“During the investigation it was learned that the codes to the safes were stolen from the victim’s day planner,” Arciola said.

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09/23/15 11:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Last Summer Sunset of 2015

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The last summer sunset of 2015 Tuesday as viewed from Westport’s Saugatuck Shores area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for WestportNow.com


09/23/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - First Day of Fall

Westport Public Schools closed in observance of Yom Kippur
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Print Show: 45 years of Printmaking with Pace Prints”
4:20 a.m. - Northern Hemisphere - Autumnal Equinox
Noon - Westport Library - Maker Workshop: Make a Marble Machine

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/23/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Late Staples Goal Ties Greenwich

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Josh Berman’s header goal with just 2:14 to play earned Staples a 1-1 draw with Greenwich today at Loeffler Field. The tying goal came off a long cross from Aidan Wisher. The Cardinals had scored midway through the second half. A large crowd enjoyed the tightly played match, between two longtime rivals. Pictured is Staples keeper Noah Schwaeber executing a save, as Kenji Goto covers defensively. The Wreckers are in action again on Friday at home against. St. Joseph at 4 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Armelle Daniels for WestportNow.com


09/22/15 07:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Surf’s Up on Last Day of Summer

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The surf was up at Westport’s Compo Beach late today on the last day of summer 2015. Fall officially begins at 4:21 a.m. Wednesday when temperatures are forecast to be a summer-like near 80. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


09/22/15 06:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Jerome J. Klein, 84

Jerome Joshua Klein of Norwalk, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 20 in Norwalk after a long battle with cancer. He was 84.

He was a gifted and caring physician to thousands of patients in the Fairfield County area during a 48-year career in medicine.

He joined the Norwalk Medical Group in 1965 as an Internist with specialties in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, routinely making house calls to see patients. He held privileges at Norwalk Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, and Yale-New Haven Hospital, among others.

He cared for his patients wherever they were sent, at rehab centers and skilled nursing facilities, across Fairfield County. Working in both primary care and as a specialist, he soon became known as a diagnostician, galvanized by the hunt for the correct diagnosis to difficult-to-identify illnesses.

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09/22/15 05:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ralph W. Sopkin, 89

Ralph Weston Sopkin of Palm Beach, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 15 in Boynton Beach, Fla. He was 89.

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Ralph Sopkin: former Westporter. Contributed photo

Before moving to Palm Beach, in addition to Westport, he lived in Chicago and Providence, R.I. Born Feb. 4, 1926 in Chicago, son of Beda and Henry Sopkin, he attended Morgan Park Military Academy in Chicago and served in the U.S. Navy.

He married Selma Weiss of Pawtucket, R.I. in 1948, and they lived in Westport with their three daughters from the early 1950s to the late 1970s, where the children attended nursery school through high school. He was a member of Birchwood Country Club for many years and commuted to New York City, where he worked for Helmsley-Spear.

He also had a career in dress manufacturing, working for Wentworth Manufacturing Co., founded in 1901 by his grandfather and where his father was vice president and secretary.

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09/22/15 05:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Coat of Paint for RR Tunnel

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The east tunnel at the Metro-North Westport station in Saugatuck got a new coat of paint today thanks to employees of AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Employees from the company’s Brewster, N.Y. office led by Steve Grant (r), a former traffic agent for the Westport Police Department, now commercial sales manager, North America, for AkzoBobel, offered to paint the tunnel with donated paint and labor. The tunnel is being prepared as the site of an exhibit of light-box Westport then and now postcard scenes created by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs. The project is being coordinated by Westport Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas (l), who oversees the department’s Railway Division, and Helen Klisser During (c), artistic director of the Westport Arts Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/22/15 05:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tale of Two Mayors: Finch to Sue; Segarra Goes Gently

By Mark Pazniokas


There was finality and acceptance in Hartford, confusion and defiance in Bridgeport. Two Democratic urban mayors who lost primaries last week came to different conclusions today about their ability to survive politically.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra ruled out an independent campaign and endorsed Luke Bronin, winner of last week’s Democratic primary. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, finding himself knocked off the ballot, vowed to fight on in court.

“This election is too important for Bridgeport and its future to be decided by red tape in the Secretary of State’s Office,” Finch said in a statement. “We’re taking this issue to court, and we’re confident that this matter will receive a fair and just hearing.”

A spokesman for Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said late Monday afternoon that the Job Creation Party had missed a deadline to designate Finch as its mayoral nominee. The minor party was Finch’s last hope for re-election after losing a three-way primary to former Mayor Joseph P. Ganim.

Click here for more of story


09/22/15 04:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 19 Center St.

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 19 Center St. in the Greens Farms section is in process. Built in 1880, the two-story conventional has 1,398-square feet and is situated on a .49-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 WestportNow.com


09/22/15 10:51 AM Comments () • Permalink

Harvesting Oysters on Mill Pond

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Workers for Westporter Jeff Northrup’s aquaculture firm harvest oysters on Sherwood Mill Pond. The oysters end up at Connecticut and New York fine restaurnts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


09/22/15 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

9 a.m. - 182 Bayberry & 68 Compo Road South - HDC Study Subcommittee - Nike & Golden Shadows Site Visits
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Print Show: 45 years of Printmaking with Pace Prints”
11 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - HDC Study Committee
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Movie: “Woman in Gold”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - MakerSpace: Community Chess Piece

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/22/15 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, September 21, 2015

Gala Evening at Westport Country Playhouse - 2

More scenes from tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse annual gala honoring Kelli O’Hara and board member John Samuelson.  Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


09/21/15 11:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Honors Kelli O’Hara

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The Westport Country Playhouse tonight honored Tony Award winner and Westport resident Kelli O’Hara at its annual gala. O’Hara, currently appearing at Lincoln Center in “The King and I,”  sang with husband Greg Naughton (l) and father-in-law James Naughton at the end of the “Something Wonderful” salute to her. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Steve Walter photo


09/21/15 10:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making Everyone Happy

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Kelli O’Hara, Tony Award winner and Westport resident, sings “Make Someone Happy” at the Westport Country Playhouse annual gala tonight where she was honored. O’Hara and husband Greg Naughton and their two children moved to Westport this summer, and she said she was delighted to be a town resident. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Steve Walter photo


09/21/15 10:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gift for Honoree

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Mark Lamos, Westport Country Playhouse artistic director, presents a gift to gala honoree Kelli O’Hara tonight as husband Greg Naughton looks on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Steve Walter photo


09/21/15 10:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ensemble Takes a Bow

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The full company of “Something Wonderful,” the tribute tonight to Kelli O’Hara, Tony Award winner and new Westport resident, at the Westport Country Playhouse annual gala honoring O’Hara takes a bow. Featured guest was Broadway star Matthew Morrison. The third annual Playhouse Leadership Award was presented to board member John Samuelson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Steve Walter photo


09/21/15 10:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gala Evening at Westport Country Playhouse - 1

Scenes from tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse annual gala honoring Kelli O’Hara. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/21/15 10:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Face in the Crowd

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Film producer, studio exeecutive, and Westport resident Harvey Weinstein was among luminaries attending tonight’s Westport Country Playhouse gala honoring Kelli O’Hara. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


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

Smiling for Photographers

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Tony Award-winner and Westport resident Kelli O’Hara poses for photographers tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse where she was the honoree at its annual gala. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


09/21/15 07:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

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