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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Landon Denounces ‘Misinformation’ About Student’s Death

Westport Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon tonight denounced community members he said had spread “misinformation” about the recent death of a 14-year-old Staples High School freshman.

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Elliott Landon:“The spreading of misinformation is harmful to our community.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Landon’s comments at the first Board of Education meeting of the year followed a moment of silence for Christopher Lanni, who died Dec. 23 in Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to a family-supplied obituary. No cause was given for his death.

“The school community was very affected by the passing of Chris Lanni.” Landon said, reading from prepared remarks. “Many members of our community including parents, students, and staff have attended services and provided condolences to the Lanni family.”

He added: “However, it has come to my attention that not all community members have acted in this respectful manner.  I want to take this opportunity to address those members of the community who have used social media and other means of communication to assign blame for the tragic passing of Christopher Lanni.”

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01/05/16 08:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

LWV Hosts ‘Mediterranean Pie & Politics’

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The League of Women Voters of Westport tonight hosted a “Mediterranean Pie and Politics” event at Westport’s Kibberia Restaurant, 361 Post Road West. Among those taking part as they readied for the Legistlature convening its session next month were (l-r) Rep. Gail Lavielle, Sen. Toni Boucher, Sen. Tony Hwang, and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg. All emphasized while there are certain issues in which they totally disagree, there are many where they act in a bi-partisan manner and they each emphatically said: “We have respect for each other.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


01/05/16 08:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Arrest for 33 Fake Prescriptions

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Mark Simonetti: free on $50,000 bond.Westport Police photo

Westport officers arrested an Easton man last week on 33 counts of using fake prescriptions to obtain controlled narcotics, police said today.

According to Lt. David Farrell, Mark Simonetti, 44, turned himself in on an active warrant stemming from an investigation that began in November.

“The accused reportedly used fake written prescriptions he created himself to obtain controlled narcotics at a Walgreen’s in Bridgeport 33 times from August 2014 to October 2015,” Farrell said.

He added that Simonetti mimicked the prescription pad from a local doctor’s office.

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01/05/16 05:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Breach of Peace Follows Unwanted Phone Photo

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Jennnifer Briggs: free on $500 bond.  Westport Police photo

A Fairfield woman turned herself in on an active breach of peace warrant last week for trying to grab a preschool employee’s phone and swinging her hand at the victim, police said today.

According to Lt. David Farrell, Jennifer Briggs, 43, reportedly parked in a no parking space at a Burr Road preschool on Dec. 8. When she was asked by a preschool employee assisting with student drop off to leave the space, Briggs refused, according to the arrest report.

“When the accused refused, the employee attempted to take a photograph of the accused vehicle,” Farrell said. “The accused then tried to grab the employee’s phone and swung at her with one hand while holding her child in the other.”

He said the incident was broken up by bystanders, and no one was injured.

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01/05/16 05:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: AT&T Store Opens

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An AT&T store has opened at Westport’s 180 Post Road East in the recently renovated space previously occupied by Michele’s Pies, which closed in 2014 after three years (see WestportNow July 17, 2014) and for 40 years before that by Baskin Robbins, which closed in 2010 (see WestportNow Sept. 28, 2010.) According to AT&T employee, Orlando Sanchez (above), popular items are home security products and services, DIRECTV home installations, mobile phones and tablets. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


01/05/16 05:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Tuskeegee Airmen’ Screened at Library

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About 30 persons today attended a showing at the Westport Library’s McManus Room of the 1995 film, “Tuskeegee Airmen” a semi-fictionalized account of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-African-American Air Force squadron during World War II. The film centers on an ambitious young pilot, Hannibal Lee, portrayed by Laurence Fishburne. The 106-minute film was shown in conjunction with the WestportREADS book selection, James McBride’s “Miracle at St. Anna,” a tale of courage and redemption inspired by a little-known historic event toward the end of World War II. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


01/05/16 04:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportREADS Focuses on ‘Miracle at St. Anna’

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The 2002 novel “Miracle at St. Anna” by James McBride was made into a 2008 movie directed by Spike Lee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Westport’s Library’s annual WestportREADS program is underway with this year’s selection the 2002 novel “Miracle at St. Anna” by author and musician James McBride.

It is a powerful and heartfelt book of an orphaned Italian boy befriended by a black American soldier in Italy during World War II.

The book choreographs the sacrifices of the four members of the all-black 92nd Infantry Buffalo Division as they and the boy are trapped in the Italian village of St. Anna di Stazzema as the German army closes in

According to Library officials, WestportREADS aims to strengthen the community via shared experience of a book and its author.

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01/05/16 02:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Eileen L. Zeller, 91

Eileen L. Zeller of Kennett Square, Pa., formerly a longtime resident of Westport, died Jan. 3 at Crosslands Retirement Community.  She was 91.

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Eileen Zeller: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

She was the wife of Andrew F. Zeller, who died in 1994, and with whom she shared 48 years of marriage.

Born in Saginaw, Mich., she was the daughter of the late Oscar M. and Esther Nurminger List. She was a secretary working for various employers in Philadelphia and in Connecticut.

A member of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Unionville, Pa., she enjoyed traveling, collecting antiques and being with her family and friends.

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01/05/16 01:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Marina Sunset

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The Ned Dimes Marina at sunset Monday at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


01/05/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

8:45 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Westport Municipal Pension Plan
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “DREAMscapes”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportREADS 2016 Movie: “The Tuskegee Airmen”
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Google AdWords Pay-per-click Advertising
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. - Staples Cafeteria B - Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and www.westport.k12.ct.us)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


01/05/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, January 04, 2016

New Traffic Lights at Post Road East & Connector

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Workers today prepared for installation of 10 new traffic signals at Westport’s Post Road East and the Sherwood Island Connector. The work includes installation of two pedestrian-level signal light changers near the strip mall at 877 Post Road East and the other across the street adjacent to Walgreen’s, according to a worker. Last week, the state installed new signals at Post Road East and Myrtle Avenue and new signals are also going in at Post Road West at Lincoln and Ludlow Streets. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


01/04/16 03:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Dec. 14 - 18, 2015

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Dec. 14 - 18, 2015:

Gregory M. and Bethann Enriquez to Richard S. and Rachel Greenfield, 20 Burr School Road, $1,930,000WNproperty.jpg

Dorothy A. Hendricks Estate to 11 Elmwood LLC, 11 Elmwood Road, $850,000

Ricardo Marino Estate to Gary Brode and Hong Quan, 1 Vineyard Lane, $1,335,000

James Kempner to Douglas and Susan Bassett, 33 Spriteview Ave., $1,000,000

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01/04/16 02:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Activates State Severe Cold Weather Protocol

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced he has activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol in anticipation of temperatures in the teens and single digits and wind chills below zero overnight.

The protocol is effective beginning the afternoon and will remain in effect through Tuesday morning, an announcement said.

“While we’ve experienced mild temperatures over the past several weeks, the new year has brought some cold weather. I am activating our severe cold weather protocol to initiate essential services to protect our most vulnerable,” Malloy said.  “Anyone in need of shelter is urged to call 2-1-1 to find the nearest shelter or warming center.”

While activated, the protocol directs the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Department of Housing to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable populations are protected from the severe cold weather, the announcement said.


01/04/16 12:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Speed Limits, Safety & Fuel Efficiency

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Crawling along I-95 the other day in the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic, I snickered when I noticed the Speed Limit 55 sign alongside the highway.  I wish.

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Of course, when the highway is not jammed, speeds are more like 70 mph with the legal limit, unfortunately, rarely being enforced. Which got me thinking:  who sets speed limits on our highways and by what criteria?

Why is the speed limit on I-95 in Fairfield County only 55 mph but 65 mph east of New Haven?  And why is the speed limit on I-84 just 55 mph from the New York border to Hartford, but 65 mph farther east in “the Quiet Corner?”  Why does the eastern half of the state get a break?

Blame the Office of the State Traffic Administration (OSTA) in the Connecticut Department of Transporataion (CDOT).  This body regulates everything from speed limits to traffic signals, working with local traffic authorities (usually local police departments, mayors or boards of selectmen).

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01/04/16 12:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Massive Rail Plan Leaves CT Hopeful But Mystified

By Jan Ellen Spiegel


Nearly four years and $30 million after the Federal Railroad Administration began looking at how to reinvent the Northeast Corridor rail system, there is a proposal. In fact three of them in a nearly 1,000-page environmental impact statement.

NEC Future, as it is called, offers rail improvement choices that range from bare-bones fixes for noted choke points and other problems on the existing line to entire second lines that in Connecticut could re-route historic travel patterns.

It is also prompting a good deal of exasperation from officials, communities and all manner of interest groups in Connecticut, even though many have been begging for an improved rail system for years, if not decades.

“They spent $30 million on this report – it just doesn’t feel like a finished product,” said Joe McGee, vice president for public policy at the Business Council of Fairfield County, who, along with many others, was having difficulty assessing the options because of a lack of details. “It looks more like a response to be rejected than a real option.”

Click here for more of story


01/04/16 11:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Democrats Set Jan. 11 Caucus

The Westport Democratic Town Committee has issued an invitation to all registered Democrats to attend the DTC’s bi-annual caucus on Monday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium. 

The caucus will endorse members from each RTM district to serve on the DTC for the 2016-2018 term beginning in March, said DTC Chairman Keith Stein.

Every registered Democratic is urged to come and participate, he said. 

Those with questions or are interested in serving on the DTC should contact DTC Secretary Melissa Kane (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) for details.  For more information on the DTC,  visit westportdemocrats.org.


01/04/16 10:44 AM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Danish Girl,’ ‘Carol,’ ‘Point Break’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

In “The Danish Girl,” Eddie Redmayne follows up his Oscar-winning performance as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” with an amazing transformation, becoming Lili Elbe, the first transgender woman.

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While 2015 marked Caitlyn Jenner’s transition and Amazon’s TV’s “Transparent,” along with the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage, back in 1926 in Denmark, the transgender concept frustrated and bewildered psychiatrists who considered it a perversion.

Which is why when renowned landscape artist Einar Wegener (Redmayne) starts to wear makeup and clothing belonging to his ambitious-but-struggling portrait-painter wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), Copenhagen’s traditionally tolerant artistic community is stunned.

Married for six years, Einer enjoys a lusty conjugal life with Gerda - until, one day, she asks him to don stockings, tutu and satin slippers to fill in for a missing model. Sensing his delight posing in feminine finery, she suggests he attend a party, masquerading as a cousin named Lili.

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01/04/16 10:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Spread Your Wings

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Geese gathered in late afternoon Sunday in the tidal creek that runs along the entrance drive at Westport’s Burying Hill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


01/04/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, January 4, 2016

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “DREAMscapes”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
10 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Senior Center Policy & Planning Board
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Tabletop Games for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Ordinance Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


01/04/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Sunday,  January 3, 2016

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


01/03/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Busy Day at Ice Rink

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Skaters crowded the P.A.L. ice rink at Longshore Club Park today in seasonably cold temperatures, uncommon in recent weeks. Tony Lantier, owner of Thin Ice Management, the rink management company for Westport P.A.L., said, “Today was the busiest day of the season so far.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


01/02/16 06:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Farmers Market Opens for Business in New Year

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The Westport Farmers Market, at Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens, 8 Sylvan Lane, opened today for the first day of business in the New Year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


01/02/16 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Music to Shop By

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Shoppers at Westport Farmers Market, at Gilberties’ Herb Gardens, 8 Sylvan Lane, were entertained today by singer/songwriter Cameron Sutphin, a class of 2015 graduate of Central Connecticut State University. A native of Enfield, he is a current resident of Nashville, Tenn. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


01/02/16 02:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘The Freshest Vegetable Selection Anywhere’

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Westporter Carolanne Curry, who said she is a weekly shopper at Westport’s Farmers’ Market, purchases vegetables today from Bailey Deutsch of Fort Hill Farm, New Milford. Curry, an investor and staff member of Bloodroot Vegetarian Restaurant, 85 Ferris St., Bridgeport, said she regularly purchases vegetables for the restaurant from the Fort Hill Farm stall. “They have the freshest vegetable selection I can find anywhere,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


01/02/16 02:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Stanley H. Milberg, 91

Stanley H. Milberg of Brooklyn, N.Y., a former Westport resident, died Dec. 13. He was 91.

Born in Jersey City, N.J., he was a decorated World War II veteran, an Army Air Corps navigator who flew more than 20 bombing missions over Germany.

He graduated from Columbia College with a B.S. in 1947 and an M.S. in 1949. He lived for almost 40 years in Westport, where he and late wife Sylvia shared their active commitment to community well-being and the town’s Democratic Party. Sylvia Milberg, a founder and the first chairwoman of the Westport Historic District Commission, died in 1994 at age 66.

Co-founder of the management consultant company Marcom, Inc., he went on to a successful career as a stock analyst and broker. He was intellectually curious, a lover of music, the arts and the Mets, an avid reader and enthusiastic chef. He was brilliant, cantankerous, charming, generous, caring and funny.

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01/02/16 01:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday,  January 2, 2016

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “DREAMscapes”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Open Mic Night

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


01/02/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Friday, January 01, 2016

Strolling the Beach

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After the busy morning with the polar plungers, Compo Beach later in the day today was less hectic with New Year’s Day strollers. Temperatures hovered around 40 and fell to the mid-30s after sunset. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


01/01/16 05:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating New Year’s Day at the Beach

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Many New Year’s Day visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach today brought their dogs for a brisk first day of 2016 walk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


01/01/16 05:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Jean A. Leonard, 46

Jean A. Leonard of Newtown, wife of the late Michael Leonard, died Dec. 28 in Danbury Hospital. She was 46.

Born Sept. 2, 1969, she was the daughter of the late James and Carol (Fulton) Moore. She earned an undergraduate degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a MBA from Sacred Heart University.

She was chairwoman of the Newtown Economic Development Commission and the Newtown Ski Club, as well as numerous community and nonprofit organizations. She was a loving mother to her three children, Meghan, Zachary and Courtney, all of Newtown.

In addition to her children, she is survived by one brother; James A. Moore Jr. and his wife Kelly White of Redding, and one sister; Jennifer Means and her husband Graeme of Albuquerque, N.M., and several nieces and nephews.

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01/01/16 12:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Drone View: Compo Penguin Plunge

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Drew Gumins of Wilton had his drone flying above today’s penguin plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach and snapped this photo. See drone video here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Drew Gumins for WestportNow.com


01/01/16 12:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

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