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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

William H. Weeks II, 65

William Harrison Weeks II of Somerset, Pa., formerly of Westport, died Jan. 29 at Somerset Hospital.  He was 65.

He was born July 7, 1950 in Bridgeport, son of William Richard and Pauline O. (Kovacs) Weeks.

He was a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran and received a bachelor’s degree in social work.

He was a member of Saint Luke Catholic Church, Westport, D.A.V., and American Legion Post 63, Westport. He had a great respect for the military and loved rock and roll music.

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02/03/16 03:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Four Escape Injury in Wilton Road Rollover

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Four youths described by Westport police as high school age escaped serious injury today when the driver of a Lexus lost control of the vehicle on Wilton Road between Marilane and Bumpy Lane and rolled over.  According to police, all four were able to climb out of the vehicle by the time police arrived at the scene and no serious physical injury was apparent. The occupants underwent examination by EMS personnel. Traffic flow was reduced to one alternating lane before the vehicle was towed from the scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


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

Air Bags Deployed

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Air bags were deployed today in a Lexus rollover on Wilton Road between Marilane and Bumpy Lane. Four youths escaped without serious injury. It was raining at the time, but it was not known if this was a factor.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


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

North Avenue Bridge to Close Thursday

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The North Avenue bridge late today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has informed the Town of Westport that the North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway will be closed Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for pothole repair work, it was announced today.

Appropriate detour signage will be in place, an announcement said.

Town officials encouraged residents to seek alternate routes and allow for additional travel time during the closure.

Traffic on the bridge has been alternating one way since repairs to the bridge were halted in the fall with resumption scheduled in the spring.


02/03/16 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Buttons has been Adopted again

Butons. Save Our Strays

Buttons has been adopted again! She is a 4-5 year old Shih Tzu mix who was with our rescue for some time but was adopted by a wonderful family. Due to progressing human health issues she came back to stay with us a few months ago until her forever is found. She’s a sweet dog who loves being held like a baby, although she does have trust issues with men initially. Unfortunately she can come across as fearful at first, but once she knows she can trust you, she’s nothing but love! Patience is key when it comes to men, but a man-free household would be great as well! We know the right family is out there, we’re hoping they come along soon!  To Find more information about adopting Buttons, visit Save Our Strays or call 203-255-0514.


02/03/16 01:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Targets Perhaps ‘Thousands’ of Jobs

By Keith M. Phaneuf, Arielle Levin Becker, and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today proposed a $19.87 billion budget that cuts most state agencies and previously approved municipal aid, and potentially eliminates “thousands” of jobs, while avoiding tax hikes to close a nearly $570 million deficit.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivers his budget message today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

Malloy’s plan departs dramatically from decades of past practice. Instead of spelling out how much money each department should spend on specific programs, the proposal — in many instances — largely assigns agencies a lump sum.

This approach would shift more control over line-item spending from the legislature to agency heads and the governor’s budget office.

Malloy’s proposal would reduce general fund spending 3 percent below the preliminary 2016-17 budget he and the legislature approved last June. It essentially keeps spending flat compared with the current fiscal year, increasing it by a rounding error – 1/12th of 1 percent – and would spend $720 million below the level nonpartisan analysts say is necessary to maintain current services.

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02/03/16 01:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy’s Budget Speech: Reforms, Sustainability

By Mark Pazniokas


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy intends to frame his budget proposal today as a reform of Connecticut’s much-maligned and unpredictable process of budgeting, which sparked a business outcry last year, as well as a blueprint for taming unsustainable spending.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivers his 2015 budget message. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

In excerpts of his State of the State speech released in advance of today’s noontime address to a joint session of the General Assembly, the governor casts his request for more discretion over spending as a desire for greater efficiencies, not unchecked executive power.

Malloy, a Democratic governor facing a Democratic majority that resisted or revised many of his spending cuts last year, is asking the legislature to give up some of its influence by appropriating funds for general governmental functions instead of detailed line items.

“By simplifying line items in the budget, we can give our top executives the ability to manage their agencies, while providing quality services to taxpayers in the most efficient way possible,” he said. “Just as any business does, our managers need the ability to lead their agency, adjust to shifting circumstances and set priorities to use limited resources in the best way possible.”

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02/03/16 12:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Photo Finish

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A visitor to Westport’s Burying Hill Beach takes a photo of Tuesday’s sunset. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


02/03/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Maintenance Study Committee
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - UN International Hospitality 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
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Paper Snowflake Workshop
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Beautification Committee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Shellfish Commission
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance Exective Session
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/03/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

RTMers Hot Under the Collar in AC Debate

By James Lomuscio

Members of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) got hot under the collar tonight during a debate over funds for installation of air conditioning at Coleytown Elementary School (CES).

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RTM Member Meliissa Kane questions Board of Education Chairman Michael Gordon at tonight’s meeting.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from Westport Town Television

After slightly more than two hours of contentious debate and a public flogging of the Board of Education, members approved by a 30 to 2 with 2 abstentions vote a $216,000 school board request to install air conditioning at the school this spring.

The request, reduced from the Board of Finance approved $290,000 due to lower bids, was for a long sought HVAC air conditioning system in the CES gymnatorium and cafeteria. Opened in 1953, CES is the only Westport elementary school among five without such air conditioning.

Tonight parents and others told stories of children becoming overheated, exhausted, passing out and getting injured.

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02/02/16 11:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Psychologist: Retirement May Cause Stress

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A Westport psychologist, Stephen Temlock, told a Westport Library audience tonight that retirement can often be a stressful event. “Retiring is one of life’s major events,” said the adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College. “For some, retiring is a good thing, but for others, particularly for those who have been in high level positions, it may cause stress, anxiety and a sense of loss.” He added: “Life is about getting things done, but retirement is not about achievement so there’s often much stress in retirement created by the sudden void.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/02/16 08:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Haven Line Ridership at Record

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced that ridership on the New Haven commuter rail line for 2015 surpassed 40.3 million passenger trips, up 2 percent from the prior year and setting an all-time record.

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New Haven commuter rail line ridership in 2015 surpassed 40.3 million passenger trips. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dorrie Harris for WestportNow.com

In 2014, ridership on the New Haven Line, the busiest commuter rail line in the natiion, was 39.6 million.

“What was already the busiest commuter rail line in the nation has only gotten busier,” Malloy said. “This is a demonstration that, if we’re going to grow, we must continue to invest. Our future hinges on it.”

Malloy added to grow businesses and attract jobs, there is a need to improve service and the state’s infrastructure.

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02/02/16 08:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Going on the Road Again

By Mark Pazniokas


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy did little to sell his proposed budget last year, prompting one GOP leader to assert the governor had “checked out.” Whether that was true, the contrast was sharp with 2011, when Malloy defended a major tax increase with an unprecedented series of 17 town hall-style meetings.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will reprise their 2011 state tour.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

On the eve of presenting his budget revisions for the fiscal year beginning July 1, Malloy’s office says the governor is getting the band back together for a new tour to hear from residents on state issues, with a particular focus on the budget.

“Engaging the public and discussing the issues directly is important.  We’ll be talking a lot about the future, and how state government can adapt to changing times,” Malloy said.  “We all have the same goal –- let’s help Connecticut achieve economic success, let’s ensure that residents receive the critical services they need, and let’s do what we can to make our communities stronger. We plan on having a robust conversation about how we can make decisions that will best improve Connecticut.”

There is little doubt Malloy will find residents willing to engage in a “robust conversation.” If the administration follows the same protocol employed in 2011, those conversations will be unscripted. Five years ago, speakers were chosen to question the governor based on the order in which they signed up.

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

Sunset Watchers

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Seagulls at Westport’s Burying Hill Beach watch the sunset today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


02/02/16 06:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Arnold R. Ganz, 90

Arnold R. Ganz, a Westport resident for 47 years, died at Jan. 21 at home. He was 90.

He was born in New York City, son of the late William and Irene Ganz, and was a U.S. Army veteran who served during World War II. He was a recipient of a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He attended Biarritz American University and New York University majoring in business administration.

He was president of Pervel Ind., a subsidiary of Bemis Corporation, until his retirement in 1990.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Enid W. Ganz, his children; Austin (Cheryl), Harrison (Heidi), and Andrea (Robert Vogel), and grandchildren Evan, Bradford, and Jordan. He was predeceased by his sister, Lenore Epstein.

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02/02/16 04:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lunchtime Theater in Westport

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Wynter Kullman (l) and Melody James perform today in the lunchtime Play With Your Food series at Toquet Hall. Three one-act plays were presented with food supplied by Matsu Sushi of Westaport. Additional performances in Westport are on Wednesday and Thursday and later in Fairfield and Greenwich.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


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

Gallery: Play With Your Food

Scenes from today’s Play With Your Food lunchtime play reading at Toquet Hall. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


02/02/16 03:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lee Greenberg: ‘Thank You, 98’

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Longtime Westporter Lee Greenberg today thanks fellow members of the Westport Rotary Club at its weekly meeting at Branson Hall for the celebratory recognition of her 98th birthday. Born Jan. 22, 1918, she said, “Thank you, 98. I could not wait to celebrate.” She added: “My motto is be wise, be wise, be wise—exercise, exercise, exercise ... Surely, I promise you I’ll be back next year.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/02/16 03:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 1 Conte Place

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 1 Conte Place off Harbor Road in the Saugatuck Shores section is in process. Built in 1928, the one-story ranch has 1,539-square feet, is situated on a .14-acre property and, according to town assessor records, last changed ownership in November 1999 for $485,000. 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


02/02/16 03:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Chocolate Groundhog

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Aarti Khosla, owner of Le Rouge Chocolates, in the lower level of 190 Main St., next to Joe’s Pizza, displays a Groundhog Day all-chocolate cake in celebration of Groundhog Day. “We’re big fans of ‘Groundhog Day’ at our house,” she said. “We seem to watch the movie every year.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/02/16 12:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Steinberg Seeks Re-Election

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (at 2011 swearing in): “honored to serve.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Douglas Healey for WestportNow.com

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg has filed to seek a fourth term representing the 136th District, which includes most of Westport, in Connecticut’s General Assembly, he announced today.

“I have been honored to serve the people of Westport for more than five years and I’ve worked hard on their behalf,” said the Democrat, who turns 60 next week. “I intend to continue to serve and make a difference, particularly during these challenging times for the state.”

Steinberg has represented Westport since 2011, after seven years on Westport’s Representative Town Meeting. He is also co-founder of the Westport Cinema Initiative.

He currently serves on the Transportation, Energy & Technology, Finance, Revenue & Bonding, and General Administration and Elections committees.

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02/02/16 11:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - TEAM Westport
9:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Pension Investment 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”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
10:30 a.m. - Terrain Garden Cafe - Wakeman Town Farm Volunteer Meeting
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Pyschology of Retirement
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Parks & Recreation
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Representative Town Meeting Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

Monday, February 01, 2016

Donna J. Bender, 63

Donna Jane Bender of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. She was 63.

She was born in Asheboro, N.C. and had been an area resident for 45 years. A graduate of Katherine Gibbs College in Manhattan and Staples High School in Westport, she worked at various retailers and The Fairfield Store, and as computer support technician for the Fairfield public school system at Stratfield Elementary School, and more recently at Roger Ludlowe Middle School.

She was very active at in the faith she converted to at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Fairfield, serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, lector, a member of the Liturgical Committee and head of the Family Mass Committee.

She enjoyed needlework, visiting the beach, visiting with friends and family, wineries, and reading, and taught classes on knitting and computers.

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02/01/16 11:13 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 police activity in the vicinity of Botanical Gardensin the Bronx where an individual was killed earlier by a train.


02/01/16 10:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Nab Staples Grad, Drugs, Weapons Cache

Bridgeport police arrested a 2003 Staples High School graduate and seized a major cache of guns and illegal drugs in a weekend raid, police said today.

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Jack Kelhoffer: 2003 Staples grad. Bridgeport Police photo

Jack E. Kelhoffer, 30, a cross-country runner and track team member at Staples, was taken into custody as the city’s new violent crime reduction task force served a warrant.

Police said they found 85 marijuana plants that have a street value of $800,000, Xanax, steroids, as well as thousands of dollars worth of grow lights and other marijuana-growing equipment in the finished basement of a rented home on Aldine Avenue.

Officers broke down the door after Kelhoffer refused to answer the door, authorities said.

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02/01/16 10:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

School Board Approves $113.45 Million Budget

By James Lomuscio

A projected surplus this year allowed the Westport Board of Education tonight to save its school bus monitor program, third grade paraprofessionals, and middle school team leaders next year without breaking the bank.

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Board of Education members (l-r) Karen Klein, Bret Aronow, and Mark Mathias listen at tonight’s meeting.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

By a unanimous vote, the board approved a $113.45 million 2016-17 operating budget, a 2.05 percent increase over the current year and up only slightly from the 2.03 percent increase that Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon had proposed.

“I think we put together a very progressive budget academically,” said Michael Gordon, school board chairman. ” ...and yet, it is an exceptionally lean budget.”

The school board unanimously voted to restore the bus monitor program, which Landon had proposed cutting to save $125,000.

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02/01/16 09:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Board of Ed Honors Staples Teacher

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At tonight’s Board of Education meeting, attendees observed a moment of silence in memory of Staples teacher Cody Thomas, 27, who died Jan. 23. Chairman Michael Gordon said he clearly remembers when Thomas addressed the board last year. “After what he said, we all wanted to go back to high school,” said Gordon, citing “his connection” to students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


02/01/16 08:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Two Kowalsky Properties Sold for $10.8 Million

Two buildings on Post Road East owned by Westport’s Kowalsky family have been sold for $10.8 million, Southport-based Angel Commercial, L.L.C., announced today.

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The building at 1141 Post Road East (top) sold for $4 million, and 1177 Post Road East sold for $6.8 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photos

The sales followed the October 2013 sale by the family of The Village Center at 605–645 Post Road East, which includes Fresh Market, for $54.25 million. (See WestportNow Oct. 24, 2013)

The property at 1141 Post Road East, headquarters for more than 30 years of Kowalsky Brothers Construction, was purchased by an LLC controlled by Westport’s Coastal Construction Group for $4 million, an announcement said. It said Coastal plans to create a mixed-used development made up of retail and residential units.

The building at 1177 Post Road East was purchased by an LLC controlled by Investment Capital Holdings LLC for $6.8 million, the announcement said. The Kowalsky family constructed the 42,624-square foot multi-tenanted office building in 1980.

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02/01/16 06:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Rescue Two Kayakers

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Westport police today rescued two kayakers off of Compo Beach. Capt. Sam Arciola said one kayaker became stranded on a rock island off the beach and the second went out to reclaim an unoccupied kayak but could not make it back to shore. Marine Police Lt. Ryan Paulsson and Officer Scott Morrison launched the police rescue inflatable and brought them safely to shore. Police said neither kayaker had floatation devices with them. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police photo


02/01/16 04:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Heading Back to Shore

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A Westport police rescue inflatable heads to shore today off of Compo Beach with two kayakers rescued off of Hillspoint Road and Soundview Drive. The rescue began when a passersby noticed an unoccupied kayak in the water. Capt. Sam Arciola said one kayaker was rescued from a rock island off the beach, the second from a mile and a half off shore where he was holding on to oyster markers in the water. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police photo


02/01/16 04:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

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