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Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Westport Transit District Directors
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Noir: Ann Chernow” & 2nd Annual High School Art Exhibition
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Westport MAKES: Intro to Sculpting for Seniors
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Anyone Can Use ... Microsoft Excel 2013
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
3:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Westport MAKES: Intro to Sculpting
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Teen Gaming Night

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/25/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Senate Dem Leaders Confident Deficit-Mitigation Cuts Will Pass

By Keith M. Phaneuf


Leaders of the Senate’s Democratic majority announced today they believe there is enough support to pass a plan next week to close most or all of the $220 million deficit in the current state budget.

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said talks also continue with the Democratic majority in the House and Republican caucuses in both chambers in hopes of passing a plan with bipartisan support.

“There was a broad-based consensus on having to pass this mitigation plan,” Looney said after a 90-minute, closed-door caucus. “It is our intent to vote this on Tuesday, as painful as it is.”

Democrats control 21 out of 36 seats in the Senate and 87 out of 151 seats in the House.

Click here for more of story


03/24/16 08:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Surf’s Up at Compo

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Stiff winds kicked up the waves at Westport’s Compo Beach today, making for chilly walking on the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


03/24/16 05:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Checking Out Wakeman Farmhouse

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Members of the Westport Historic District Commission (HDC), assisted by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, today visited the farmhouse at Wakeman Town Farm, 134 Cross Highway. They were there to discuss proposed renovation plans to the local historic landmark property. Christy Colasurdo, co-chair of the Wakeman Town Farm Committee, said renovations are planned to begin in October and will be completed by next spring. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/24/16 05:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

U.S. Census: Fairfield County Only One With Growth

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that Fairfield County had the fastest population growth in Connecticut last year.

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Between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, Fairfield County’s population rose 0.2 percent over the period—the only Connecticut county that had a growth in population.

That translated into a net gain of 2,237 persons over the period, the Bureau said.

Fairfield County is the most populous county in Connecticut, with 948,053 residents, followed by Hartford County and New Haven County.

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03/24/16 03:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Second Arrest in Goodwill Larceny

A Bridgeport woman who was employed at Goodwill, and who did not scan items at the register for her accomplice, was arrested by Westport officers Wednesday and charged with fifth-degree larceny, police said today.

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Shirley Jennings: free on $510 bond. Westport Police photo

Shirley Jennings, 51, was arrested on an active warrant in Bridgeport Superior Court, where she had appeared for another matter, in connection with the October 2015 theft at Goodwill, 1700 Post Road East, said Lt. David Farrell.

Jennings’ arrest follows that of Charmaine Pottinger, 53, by Westport officers on an active warrant Friday, March 18, at the Fairfield Police Department, where she was being held on other charges.

According to Farrell, the larcenies were observed by store security on video footage.

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03/24/16 02:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

BMS Newspaper Gets Scholastic’s Highest Honor

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The Bedford Middle School newspaper Ursus took top honors in the competition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Bedford Middle School’s student newspaper Ursus received a Gold Crown Award, the top honor, from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), school officials announced today.

The CSPA contest is the nation’s largest and longest running scholastic press competition, judging papers and yearbooks from almost 2,000 schools from across the country.

According to Lisa Marriott, spokeswoman for the Westport schools, the recognition represents one of only two Gold Crowns awarded on the national-level for middle school newspapers, joining Harvard Westlake, a private school in Los Angeles, in receiving top honors.

Marriott said that Stephen Rexford, the teacher-adviser to Ursus, was invited by Columbia University to present a seminar for advisers of student publication at the 92nd annual spring convention.

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03/24/16 02:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Church Sets Cuba Trip Tea Fundraiser

To help sponsor a summer mission trip to Cuba for 40 Westport high school students, the Saugatuck Congregational Church has scheduled its first fundraiser, a “Doll and Me”  tea party.

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It will be held Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with a fundraising goal of $10,000, a church official said.

“Bring your favorite doll, friends and adult and enjoy tea and treats,” said church spokeswoman Stephanie Martenson.

“Crafts, photos and American Girl prizes will be available for nominal fees. Children are invited to wear a fancy outfit or costume.”

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03/24/16 02:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Harold Steinberg, 88, Longtime Westport Physician

Harold Steinberg, a longtime resident and physician to generations of Westporters, father of state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, died today in Sarasota, Fla. from complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 88.

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Following his 2014 election victory, state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg posed with his family—father, Harold, mother, Sybil, daughter, Charlotte, and wife, Nancy. He called his father “my hero.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

He was a co-founder in 1960 of the medical practice that is now Internal Medicine Associates of Westport and was affiliated with Norwalk Hospital. He was also affiliated at The Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield for a number of years.

He was born in Norwalk on Dec. 12, 1927, to Michael and Rae Steinberg. He graduated from Norwalk High School, Yale University, and New York Medical College. He completed his internship and residency at Buffalo General Hospital, specializing in hematology. He practiced medicine in Westport for more than 30 years.

He was an avid golfer and tennis player, and a longtime member of Birchwood Country Club, which his father co-founded. He was also a lifetime trustee of Temple Israel.  Most importantly, he loved to travel and toured virtually the four corners of the earth.

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03/24/16 01:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library to Host Domestic Violence Documentary

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A domestic violence documentary titled “Telling Amy’s Story,” a true account of a domestic violence homicide in central Pennsylvania, will be screened next month at the Westport Library.

It is scheduled to be shown on Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the McManus Room. (See the trailer here.)

The program, offered in partnership with theWestport Domestic Violence Task Force, is free and open to the public.

The screening of the 2010 documentary will be followed by a panel discussion with family violence victim advocate Liliana Vizcaino, Allison Roach, an attorney and Norwalk Superior Court victims’ advocate, and Westport Police Lt. Jillian Cabana, co-chair of the Westport Domestic Violence Task Force.


03/24/16 10:42 AM Comments () • Permalink

No Pets at Beach Effective April 1

Effective Friday, April 1, no animals in or out of vehicles will be allowed on any beach property, Westport Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Fava announced today.

The regulation, which is in effect until Oct.1, pertains to Compo, Old Mill and Burying Hill beaches.

An announcement said “animals in or out of vehicles will not be allowed on any beach property which includes all grass, sand and parking areas.”

The only exceptions are the Soundview parking lot at Compo Beach, as well as the roads within the beach area.

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03/24/16 09:56 AM Comments () • Permalink

Getting to Nose You

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Two dogs make friends Wednesday at Westport’s Compo Beach. Only a week left until the April 1 end of the dog season at the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


03/24/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 24, 2016

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - EPC Committee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Noir: Ann Chernow” & 2nd Annual High School Art Exhibition
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - Board of Assessment Appeals
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Historic District Commission

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/24/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Packed Crowd for ‘H is for Hawk’ Author

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There was a packed crowd in the Westport Library’s McManus Room tonight for a talk by British author Helen Macdonald. Her best-selling “H is for Hawk” account of working through bereavement by training a bird of prey has won wide praise and was picked by The New York Times as one of the 10 best books of 2015. A Cambridge academic, Macdonald described her grief over her father’s sudden death in 2007. To overcome her loss and as an experienced falconer, captivated by hawks since childhood, she decided to purchase and train a Goshawk, a fierce and feral bird she named Mabel.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 10:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

T is for Talon

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There was a special guest tonight at the Westport Library before a talk by Helen Macdonald, author of the best-seller “H is for Hawk.”  Luke Baker, a naturalist at Westport’s Earthplace, brought along Talon, a red-tailed hawk who took up residency at Earthplace in August 2012. Talon has a permanent injury to her right wing, which prevents her release into the wild. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 10:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Terex Shares Jump on Sweetened Takeover Bid

Shares of Westport-based Terex Corp. jumped in extended trading today after the maker of cranes and other heavy equipment said Chinese competitor Zoomlion sweetened its unsolicited takeover offer to $31 per share.

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In a statement after the market close, Terex, which is based at the Nyala Farms office complex off of Greens Farms Road said it would begin talks with Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. to seek a “binding deal.” Zoomlion first approached Terex with a takeover offer of $30 per share in January.

Terex’s board of directors “has not changed its recommendation” supporting an earlier agreement to merge with Finish company Konecranes PLC., the company said.

Under the terms of that deal, Terex shareholders would control 60 percent of the new company and Konecranes the rest.

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03/23/16 08:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunset Beach Walk

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A Compo Beach visitor was spotted taking a different kind of sunset beach walk today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 07:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Serena & Lily Opens Next Month

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Serena & Lily, a California-based lifestyle and home décor brand, will open its flagship store, Serena & Lily Design Shop, at 35 Elm St. on April 29, according to spokesperson Betsy Baron. She said the store will occupy all four levels of the 3,000-square foot Kemper-Gunn House, built in 1889, that was slated for demolition to make room for the Bedford Square development but was eventually relocated from Church Lane in November 2014 to its present location. Baron said the privately owned business, headquartered in Sausalito, Calif., opened its first store in the Hamptons in 2013, in San Francisco in 2014, and then in Los Angeles in 2015. Westport is its fourth location. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 06:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Open Doors

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With the temperature breaking 70 at mid-afternoon, SoNo Baking Company & Cafe, 44 Church Lane, opened its patio doors today for guests to enjoy the suddenly balmy weather.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 05:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy: Layoffs, Yes; Early Retirement, No

The General Assembly is poised to vote Tuesday on spending cuts to close a $220 million current year deficit, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today bluntly warned state employees that layoffs remain an essential element of his plan to balance next year’s budget.

Malloy, who spoke to reporters after a meeting with legislative leaders left him optimistic about a bipartisan vote next week on a deficit mitigation plan, warned employees that he intends to shrink the workforce with layoffs, not retirement incentives.

“Let me be very clear to all state employees: There will be no early retirement plan,” Malloy said. “That is off the table. It was taken off the table the last time we got together. If you’re going to retire, you should retire. If you retire, in all likelihood you are saving somebody’s job.”

The Malloy administration is currently negotiating contracts with more than a dozen bargaining units, but the results of those talks are unlikely to be known until well after the new budget year begins July 1.

Click here for more of story


03/23/16 04:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Divergent Series…,’ ‘10 Cloverfield Lane,’ ‘The Perfect Match’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Joining the “Harry Potter,” “Twilight” and “Hunger Games,” “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s popular YA series, divides its conclusion into two separate movies.

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In the beginning of this installment, a voice-over explains, “We designed your city as an experiment.” So Chicago’s citizens were rigidly divided into behavioral factions, like Amity, Abnegation, Candor, Erudite and Dauntless.

After a revolution abolished these divisions, militant Evelyn (Naomi Watts) takes charge, opposed by Johanna (Octavia Spencer), whose former Amity cohorts become known as Allegiant.

Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley), accompanied by her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort), lover Four (Theo James), friend Christina (Zoe Kravitz) and ever-duplicitous Peter (Miles Teller), scales the massive concrete wall that surrounds Chicago to explore the post-apocalyptic world outside.

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03/23/16 04:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Enjoying the Good Golfing Weather

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Today’s spring-like weather that hit 70 in mid-afternoon brought out golfers at Longshore Club Park today as the golf season is under way. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 04:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Christopher M. Brunner, 48

Christopher Michael Brunner of Connecticut died March 20, tragically succumbing to his battle with drug addiction. He was 48.

He is survived by his children: Amanda Brunner (Michael Howe) of Naugatuck, Christopher Brunner Jr. of Seymour, Alexis Brunner of Westbrook, Maine, granddaughter Skylar Howe of Naugatuck and stepdaughter Danielle Nicholas of Stratford. He is also survived by his former wife, Marianne Brunner of Seymour, mother, Carol McClatchie of Westport, siblings Laura McClatchie of Easton, Eric (Mary) Brunner of Gorham, Maine, Matthew (Kelly) Brunner of Westbrook, Maine, and Gretchen Brunner of Bridgeport, Godparents Sal and Marie Gilbertie, several nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Chris was a diehard Yankee and Miami Dolphin fan and most enjoyed spending time with his family. He could make anyone anywhere laugh at any time.  We will most miss his ability to brighten every room he entered.

The family will receive friends on Friday, March 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. Friends are invited to attend a funeral service on Saturday, March 26 at 9 a.m., meeting directly at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave.

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03/23/16 12:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

NYT Spotlights Westport’s Avi Kaner & Chip Problems

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Today’s front page of The New York Times business section features a photo of Westport Selectman Avi Kaner and details problems he is having with credit card companies as co-owner of Bronx-based Morton Williams supermarkets. The Times quotes Kaner as saying he is required to pay chargebacks from credit and debit card companies even though the chain spent $700,000 to update terminals to accept embedded digital chip cards. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 09:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Cannon Shot

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The first full moon of spring as seen from Westport’s Compo Beach on Tuesday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com


03/23/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Noir: Ann Chernow” & 2nd Annual High School Art Exhibition
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Helen Macdonald, “H is for Hawk”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - Board of Assessment Appeals

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/23/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Westport Dems Elect New Leadership

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Westport Democrats tonight elected Melissa Kane (standing) as the new chairman of the Democratic Town Committee (DTC). She succeeds Keith Stein (2nd r). Candace Savin (l) was elected vice chairman, Lee Arthurs, who was not present for the meeting, was elected secretary, and Alan Shinbaum (r) was re-elected treasurer. Kane, a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), was previously secretary of the DTC. She also serves as co-chair of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee and was the running mate with Helen Garten in their unsuccessful race for selectman in the 2013 municipal election. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


03/22/16 10:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Students Excel in History Competition

Staples High School students excelled in the the Fairfield Region National History Day 2016 competition at Sacred Heart University Saturday in Fairfield.

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Matt Gibson, a Staples High School 10th grader, receives his award for “American Immigration Policy 1960s.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Dozens of area teams competed in the annual academic competition with projects as diverse as Walt Disney and the American Dream, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and Islamaphobia.

National History Day has grown in size and popularity in the past few years, offering students a chance to compete academically through their historical research. 

The event, now part of the Staples U.S. History Honors curriculum, saw more than 150 Westport students participate, including some from Bedford Middle School. 

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03/22/16 09:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Human Services Head: ‘Strengthening the Fabric of Our Community’

Barbara Butler, head of Westport’s Human Services Department, was at the Westport Rotary Club today and told the group: “Having lunch here is strengthening the fabric of our community.”

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Barbara Butler, director of Westport’s Human Services department, addresses the Westport Rotary Club today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

What she meant, she explained, was that repeated interaction with Westport groups such as Rotary enabled her department to reach more and more potential volunteers and donors.

A year’s count showed her department’s involvement with 596 town volunteers ranging in age from 12 to 90, said Butler, who addressed the club’s weekly luncheon at Branson Hall at Christ & Holy Trinity Church.

Director of the department since 1989, Butler said while her department received about $1 million in its annual taxpayer-funded budget (with no increase in the next fiscal year), this year it also received $478,000 in grants, donations and program fees.

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03/22/16 06:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talk Explores Minds of History’s Great Personalities

Was Andy Warhol a hoarder? Did Albert Einstein have autism? Was Frank Lloyd Wright a narcissist?

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Claudia Kalb: mind reader. Contributed photo

Health and science journalist Claudia Kalb will offer insights into the idiosyncratic nature of geniuses and larger-than-life personalities as she reads from her new book “Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities” on Sunday, April 3, at 2 p.m. in the Westport Library’s McManus Room.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at the program, which is free and open to the public, library officials say.

From Marilyn Monroe’s borderline personality disorder to Charles Darwin’s anxiety, Kalb uses historical records and interviews with leading mental health experts, biographers, sociologists and other specialists.

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03/22/16 06:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

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