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Friday, February 05, 2016

Double Shovel

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A pair of workers clears a platform today at the Metro-North Westport station. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/05/16 09:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Storm Warning Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Westport and area for heavy snow, which is in effect until 1 p.m. The Winter Weather Advisory is no longer in effect.

It said snow accumulations will be 4 to 8 inches with winds north 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.

Visibilities at times will be one quarter to one half mile.

Moderate to heavy snow this morning will taper off early this afternoon, the Weather Service said.


02/05/16 09:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Litte Dusting Off to Do

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A car on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport’s center awaits its owner today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


02/05/16 09:08 AM Comments () • Permalink

Just Enough to Plow

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The overnight snowfall was only a couple of inches but enough to plow. View is in the National Hall area in Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


02/05/16 08:56 AM Comments () • Permalink

Easy Going

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Traffic was light today on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport’s center with drivers who were on the road taking it easy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


02/05/16 08:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Clearing the Way

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A worker clears a walkway today on the west bank of the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


02/05/16 08:44 AM Comments () • Permalink

Snowy Commute

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Commuters wait for their train at the Metro-North Westport station today. Metro-North advised riders to take care when traveling during inclement weather and allow for additional travel time. “Customers should use caution when entering and exiting trains, and on platforms and staircases,” it said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Meryl Newman Siff /Instagram photo


02/05/16 08:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

Probate Court Closed

The Westport/Weston Probate court is closed due to snow. All hearings are canceled for today.

Please call the court on Monday to reschedule.


02/05/16 08:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Arts Center Closed

The Westport Arts Center is closed today due to inclement weather. 

All events scheduled for today will be rescheduled. 


02/05/16 08:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Wonderland Look

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A couple of inches overnight snow made for a winter wonderland look today at Rouund Pond off of Westport’s Compo Road South. The snow was enough to delcasre the first snow day of the winter for public schools. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


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

Westport Library Opens at Noon

The Westport Library will open today at noon due to the snow.


02/05/16 06:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Public Schools Closed

Westport Public Schools are closed because of the snow.


02/05/16 06:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Senior Center Closed

The Westport Center for Senior Activities will be closed today.

The staff will be in the office should anyone need assistance. Call (203)341-5099.


02/05/16 05:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, February 5, 2016

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist” Postponed
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
11 a.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtSpeaks: Enid Munroe with Alexandra Munroe Closed
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Anyone Can Use ... Google Drive Canceled
Noon - Westport Library - Teen Parent Book Discussion: “How to Raise an Adult”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Bedford Middle School - “Bedford’s Got Talent!” Canceled
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Center for Youth Leadership
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Light Up the Sky”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

Thursday, February 04, 2016

At P&Z, Safety Trumps Affordable Housing

By James Lomuscio

Rejecting an applicant’s claim of bias, the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) tonight said fire safety, traffic safety, and environmental concerns trumped the state’s affordable housing statute.

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The 1.16-acre parcel at 122 Wilton Road sits at the busy intersection of Kings Highway North and Wilton Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

By a unanimous vote, the P&Z denied an application to build a five-story, 48-unit housing complex, 30 percent of the units designated affordable, at 122 Wilton Road—at the busy Kings Highway North intersection—proposed under the 8-30g statute. The state law allows developers to override local zoning laws if a municipality does not have 10 percent of its housing stock listed as affordable, which Westport does not.

The vote came with a Saturday deadline looming for the P&Z to act on the application. The applicant, Garden Homes Management of Stamford, repeatedly refused a commision request to extend the 65-day limit to act on the proposal and for the first time tonight gave its reason.

Attorney Mark K. Branse, filling in for attorney John Fallon, who could not attend the meeting due to a conflict, contended that the commission was biased against the 8-30g project from the start.

More "At P&Z, Safety Trumps Affordable Housing"


02/04/16 11:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Weather Advisory Issued

UPDATE The National Weather Service has updated and extended a Winter Weather Advisory for snow for the Westport area, now saying it is in effect from midnight to noon Friday.

It said to now expect snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches with localized higher amounts and winds north 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

Visibilities will be as low as one-half mile at times, the Weather Service said.

It said rain will mix with snow after midnight, and continue through the morning.


02/04/16 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Seek Entry Level Officers for First Time Since 2009

The Westport Police Department is seeking entry level officers for the first time in seven years.

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Westport Police Chief Dale Call leads his officers in the 2015 Westport Memorial Day parade.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

The new recruits will add to the ranks of 63 officers as three have retired in recent months and several others will be set to retire in the near future, according to Chief Dale Call.

Since November, longtime officers Sgt. Richard Frazier, Lt. Arthur Belile and Officer Richard Failla have retired.

Whie new officers have been hired in recent years, the difference this time is that the department is opening its applicant pool to an entry level police position.

More "Police Seek Entry Level Officers for First Time Since 2009"


02/04/16 07:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Driver Escapes Injury in Post Road West Crash

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A driver escaped injury today when he lost contorl of his BMW and crashed into a stone pillar near the entrance to the office complex at 315 Post Road West. The cause of the accident is under police investigation. The vehicle was towed from the scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/04/16 02:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fake Credit Cards Seized

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State Police today released this photo of seized fake and stolen credit cards found during a car stop on I-95 in Westport early Wednesday. Two Brooklyn, N.Y. men were arrested. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) State police photo


02/04/16 02:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

State Police Nab 2 With Fake Credit Cards

State police arrested two Brooklyn, N.Y. men on I-95 in Westport early Wednesday for possesion of 25 fraudulent credit cards, stolen gift cards, and drug paraphernalia, state police said.

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Junior Elinior (l) and Jimmy Jeanty: released on bond. State Police photos

The men were arrested at 2:08 a.m. by troopers conducting motor vehicle enforcement in the Exit 17 area who observed their vehicle being operated erratically and failing to stay in its proper lane, police said.

Troopers initiated a motor vehicle stop where the driver initially stopped the vehicle in the left shoulder and troopers assisted him in moving the vehicle to the right shoulder, a news release said.

Troopers detected the odor of marijuana inside the vehicle and conducted a search where they located drug paraphernalia, 25 fraudulent credit cards, one of them stolen, and numerous stolen gift cards from several retail stores, police said.

More "State Police Nab 2 With Fake Credit Cards"


02/04/16 02:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

North Avenue Detour

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UPDATE The North Avenue bridge over the Merritt Parkway in Westport was closed today for a scheduled three hours (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. —it reopened at 1:20 p.m.) for pothole repairs, according to the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Traffic on the bridge has been one way alternating since the fall because of delayed repairs to the bridge. Completion of the repairs is now scheduled for the spring.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/04/16 01:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Tolls, Taxes and Transportation

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

I hate to say “I told you so,” but, just as I predicted, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s hand-picked Transportation Finance Panel has finally issued its recommendations for paying for the governor’s 30-year,  $100 billion transportation “plan.”

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First off, the governor’s “plan” is not a plan but a wish list of projects for all 169 towns and cities in the state. It has been vetted by no one and has no priorities, though Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner James Redeker says about two-thirds [$66 billion] would be for repairs and replacement of what we already have, not any grandiose schemes for monorails down the middle of I-95.

Interestingly, as it began work last summer the Transportation Finance Panel wasn’t allowed to debate the merits of anything in the governor’s “plan,” so all they could do was suggest how to fund the whole thing. 

Atop their newly issued report is a telling quote:  “If something’s worth having, it’s worth paying for.”  Duh!  But that’s a pretty soft sell on this megaplan given the unpopularity of their funding suggestions:

More "Talking Transportation: Tolls, Taxes and Transportation"


02/04/16 11:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Son of Saul,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ ‘Dirty Grandpa’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Set in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in October, 1944, the powerful, poignant “Son of Saul” revolves around a Hungarian Jewish prisoner named Saul Auslander (Geza Rohrig). He’s a member of the Sonderkommando, a group of prisoners assigned the grim task of carrying corpses from the gas chamber to the crematorium, then carting away the ashes to be discarded.

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As Allied Forces draw closer to the camp, the pace of killing is accelerated. Among the dead, Saul finds the body of a young boy he claims as his son, and he becomes obsessed with finding a rabbi among the prisoners to say Kaddish (the prayer for the dead) and give the child a proper burial.

Inspired by “Voices from Beneath the Ashes,” true tales from Auschwitz which was published in Jean-Paul Sartre’s periodical “Les Temps Modernes,” Hungarian-born writer/director Laszlo Nemes noted:  “The story of the Holocaust is not the story of the exceptions who survived. It is the story of the dead.”

Co-scripting with Clara Royer, first-time feature film director Nemes reveals the agony solely through Saul’s perception, as cinematographer Matyas Erdely consigns violence and nudity into the un-focused background, along with the desperate wailing and persistent screaming.

More "Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Son of Saul,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ ‘Dirty Grandpa’"


02/04/16 09:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, February 4, 2016

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Downtown Plan Implementation Committee
9 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Center for Senior Activities Enhancement Committee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Overcoat Film Series: “Inherit the Wind”
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Introductory Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing Continuance (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/04/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Seniors, Disabled Get an Even Better Tax Break

By James Lomuscio

Seniors and permanently and totally disabled Westporters caught a break tonight, a property tax break.

The Board of Finance unanimously approved amendments to the town code that allow such individuals who own two properties to qualify for deferments and abatements.

Prior to the vote, the program was limited to those who owned only one property.

The board also voted to adjust the abatement rate from 18 to 20 percent.

More "Seniors, Disabled Get an Even Better Tax Break"


02/03/16 10:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making a Splash

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A car runs through standing water on Westport’s Main Street at Canal Street late today as rain swept the area. By early evening, the weather station at Westport fire headquarters had measured about 1 inch of rain for the day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/03/16 07:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Farewell to P&Z Director Larry Bradley

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Westport First Slectman Jim Marpe (l) tonight presented a commendation to reiring Planning and Zoning Director Larry Bradley, who announced last month he is leaving after more than 10 years on the job for South Florida where he has accepted a planning director’s job with the Seminole Tribe, The presentation was made at a farewell part at Positano Ristorante. Looking on is Jim Ezzes, chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/03/16 07:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Town Seeks New Transit Directors

Town officials are seeking volunteers to serve as co-directors of the Westport Transit District (WTD) as its co-directors Jennifer Johnson and Eugene Cederbaum recently announced their resignations after three years at the helm.

Peter Gold, chairman of the Representative Town Meeting’s (RTM) Transit Committee and First Selectman Jim Marpe announced the vacancies on Tuesday.

The co-directors will be appointed by the RTM and be responsible for overseeing the WTD, which contracts for services from the Norwalk Transit District (NTD).

Duties include managing the bus system’s commuter routes to the town’s two train stations, the Imperial Avenue shuttle and its door-to-door services for seniors and those with disabilities.

More "Town Seeks New Transit Directors"


02/03/16 06:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Student Athletes Honored

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Two outstanding Staples High School student athletes were honored today in a ceremony in the school cafeteria. Football offensive lineman Jackson Ward has committed to Harvard University while field hockey midfielder Jordan Ragland is going to the University of New Hampshire. Ward is the first football player from Staples to go to Harvard. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com


02/03/16 05:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Haven Delays

UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line service is operating on or close to schedule after earlier delays due to overhead wire damage in the vicinity of South Norwalk and East Norwalk.


02/03/16 03:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

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