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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Getting the President’s Ear Image
Westporter Kristan Peters-Hamlin, a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), makes a point to former President Bill Clinton tonight at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at the Westport home of financier Marc Lasry. Peters-Hamlin hosted Hillary Clinton on her last visit to Westport on March 25, 2008. Hillary Clinton will appear at a Stamford fundraiser on Sunday in advance of Tuesday’s presidential primaries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/21/16 10:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wanting a Photo Keepsake Image
Many guests at a Westport Hillary Clinton fundraiser tonight featuring husband Bill Clinton pulled out their cell phones for a photo keepsake. Clinton was hosted by financier Marc Lasry, who for a while employed Clinton daughter Chelsea at his hedge fund. (He is also a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.) Guests said Clinton praised his wife for her record and abilities, making her the best qualified candidate. He also said it took three times asking to finally get Hillary to marry him. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/21/16 09:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Security Tight as Bill Clinton Visits Westport Image
There was tight security tonight at the Beachside Avenue home of financier Marc Lasry as he hosted former President Bill Clinton in a fundraiser for his wife, Hillary. No media coverage was allowed of the event. It was the fifth visit to Westport by Bill Clinton in the past 18 years. He made three fundraising visits here while president. Earlier today, Bill Clinton made an unannounced visit to Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, which he frequented while a student at Yale Law School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/21/16 07:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sidewalk Split Image
Work progressed today on the new sidewalk on the east beach at Compo Beach, including where it splits near the pavilion. The sidewalk will extend to the cannons.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/21/16 05:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 11 Old Mill Road Cottage Image
An application for a permit to demolish the cottage at Westport’s 11 Old Mill, in the Old Mill section of Compo Beach, is in process. Built in 1962, the one-story ranch has 605-square feet and is situated on a .1-acre waterside property. An application was previously filed to demolish the existing main house on the property. The property changed ownership in June for $910,000. (See WestportNow July 27, 2015)  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


04/21/16 03:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fifth Mini Maker Faire Set for April 30

The fifth annual Westport Mini Maker Faire is set to showcase invention, creativity and resourcefulness on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Westport Library and on Jesup Green. Image

The free event organized by the Library and Remarkable Steam, is the first and largest Maker Faire in Connecticut, event planners say.

It brings together crafters, technology enthusiasts, engineers, hobbyists, science clubs and commercial exhibits. Last year the event drew 6,500, and this year organizers expect 10,000 attendees.

Alex Giannini, co-chair of the event, said that to celebrate the fifth anniversary, “five” is the theme this year.

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04/21/16 11:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Compromise on Firefighters’ Cancer Relief

By Mark Pazniokas

Firefighters left the State Capitol last year in a fury over the refusal of House leaders to call a vote on legislation providing them lost-wage coverage for work-related cancers. Just after midnight Wednesday, they watched a bipartisan compromise pass unanimously with the blessing of the municipalities that once thwarted them. Image
Firefighters at Capitol on photo

The story of the cancer bill is one of flexibility by the firefighters, who originally demanded an expansion of workers’ compensation coverage, and a willingness by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to negotiate what typically is left to collective bargaining.

“It’s been a work in progress since last legislative session, and CCM had promised me if we let the bill go last year, they would come to the table and work with us to get a piece of legislation that we all could get behind,” said Rep. Michelle Cook, D-Torrington, who led the negotiations. “We’ve done that.”

The result is a relatively modest relief fund to be used to pay lost wages of firefighters during their treatment for cancers that have been linked to the chemical fumes generated when the synthetics used in modern construction and furnishings catch fire.

Click here for more of story


04/21/16 01:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Highway Sunset Image
Drivers on I-95 in Westport had a good view of Tuesday’s sunset show. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrew Colabella for


04/21/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 21, 2016

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Village District Steering Committee
9 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Center for Senior Activities Enhancement Committee
9:15 a.m. - Westport Library - Grades K-2: TinkerShop Potpourri
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Noir: Ann Chernow” & 2nd Annual High School Art Exhibition
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Grades 3-5: TinkerShop Potpourri
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Tarek Osman, “Islamism: What it Means for the Middle East & the World”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Drink n’ Draw

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/21/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Eroding Tax Receipts Add to Deficit

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Less than one month after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and legislators closed a $220 million deficit in the budget that ends June 30, eroding tax receipts helped punch a new $141 million hole in finances, the administration reported late today. Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy: “No Band-Aid solutions.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

The last-minute shortfall in the outgoing budget threatens to intensify a bitter, fight over how to balance the next state financial plan.

“The question is no longer whether we’re in a new economic reality; it’s what we’re going to do about it,” Malloy wrote in a statement that accompanied his latest monthly budget forecast.

“Today’s projections make clear that we can’t wait and hope that future revenue projections will save us from making tough decisions. We need to solve our whole fiscal problem, and not with Band-Aid solutions like using the Rainy Day Fund for next year’s problem. This year can’t be business as usual – we need to do things differently.”

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04/20/16 09:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Seedling Giveaway to Celebrate Arbor Day

UPDATE (adds date is April 29) The Westport Tree Board is set to celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 29 with a giveaway of 400 dogwood, spruce and birch tree seedlings at the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum at 2 Woodside Lane. Image
Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay handed out seedlings in 2014 at Town Hall to mark Arbor Day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

From 2 to 5 p.m., Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay will be handing out 200 flowering dogwoods, 100 Norway spruce and 100 river birch seedlings at a table set up near the corner of Stonybrook Road and Woodside Lane, event planners say.

The seedlings donated by Eversource Energy will be given to town residents on a first-come, first-served basis and will include planting instructions, Lindsay said. This is the third such seedling giveaway.

“The Tree Board and I are looking to get Westport’s citizens the chance to see a working arboretum and appreciate the value of planting a young tree in the community,” Lindsay said.


04/20/16 09:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sandy Hook Echoes Throughout Clinton Campaign in CT

By Mark Pazniokas

Over the air and on the ground, Hillary Clinton is closing her Connecticut primary campaign with an emphasis on gun control, an issue of special resonance here and one on which she appears closer to the Democratic base than her rival for the presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders. Image
Marc Lasry (at 2014 Westport Library talk): hosting Bill Clinton in Westport.Phyllis Groner for

Erica Smegielski, the daughter of the principal killed in the massacre of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook elementary school, is to campaign Thursday with Clinton in Hartford and is featured in television ads that went on the air today in Connecticut and Rhode Island, two of the five states with primaries next week.

[Meanwhile, Bill Clinton will campaign for his wife Thursday in Westport, attending a private fundraiser for her at the Beachside Avenue home of financier Marc Lasry. He previously has held fundraisers for the Clintons and President Obama at his New York home. (See WestportNow, March 26, 2016)]

“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who has what it takes to take on the gun lobby. No one is fighting harder to reform our gun laws than Hillary,” Smegielski says in one ad. “She reminds me of my mother. She isn’t scared of anything. And that’s how I know she is the person who can actually make a difference.”

Click here for more of story


04/20/16 09:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Best-Selling Author to Highlight Hadassah Spring Luncheon

A best-selling author, an entrepreneur and Hadassah’s national vice president will headline the annual spring luncheon of the Westport Chapter of Hadassah on Tuesday, May 3, from 10-30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore, event planners announced. Image
Cathleen Schine: grew up in Westport. Contributed photo

Keynote speaker will be Cathleen Schine, an international, best-selling novelist who grew up in Westport. Among her works are “The Love Letter,” “Fin & Lady” and “The Three Weissmanns of Westport.” Her new book, “They May Not Mean to, But They Do,” is set for a June release.

Event honoree is Bonnie Marcus, an entrepreneur and founder of the Bonnie Marcus Collection, which encompasses stationery, gifts, books, calendars and accessories. Marcus is a life ,ember of Hadassah and founder of the Westport chapter’s Women in Business group.

Hadassah National Vice President Frieda Rosenberg will be the event’s presenter.

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04/20/16 07:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Registrar: Registrations ‘Hot and Heavy’ for Primary

By James Lomuscio Image
Marla Cowden:  20 came to register today. Phyllis Groner for

Westport’s Democratic registrar of voters said just today 20 persons, unaffiliated and first time voters, came to her office to register with a party so they could vote in Tuesday’s presidential primaries.

“And we had 50 today who registered online,” said Marla Cowden.

“It’s definitely been hot and heavy for the past three weeks,” she added.

Republican Registrar of Voters Kevin White agreed that this election cycle has generated more interest than in the past.

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04/20/16 06:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Josephine M. Woog, 89

Josephine Mildred Woog, a 60-year resident of Westport, died April 19. She was 89. Image
Jo Woog: 60-year Westport resident. Susan Woog Wagner photo

Her son, Dan, who writes the 06880 blog, paid tribute to his mother in this posting:

“Jo Woog — who died yesterday, at 89 — was a Westporter for 60 years. In those six decades, she did so much. She was a PTA mom, a volunteer for countless causes, and a strong supporter of arts programs — particularly music. She played piano whenever she could, and taught it for a decade. She also played a mean game of tennis — and stopped only a few years ago.

“She was a member of the Y (aerobics!), Y’s Women, the Democratic Women of Westport, and several book clubs. She went to Long Wharf, the Quick Center and Westport Country Playhouse — and kept going, until a month or two ago.

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04/20/16 04:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 62 Old Road Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 62 Old Road, off Maple Avenue North, is in process. Built in 1940, the 1-1/4 story cape has 1,545-square feet and is situated on a .64-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


04/20/16 04:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Tale of Voter Confusion at Brown Bag Lunch Image
The League of Women Voters of Westport had a brown bag lunch today with First Selectman Jim Marpe who opened the session with an anecdote. He said a woman came up to him today complaining that her voting place was closed Tuesday when she went to vote. With all the publicity about the New York primary, she thought it was voting day in Connecticut, Marpe said. Connecticut votes Tuesday in presidential primaries, and Marpe said, “I do think it will be a big turnout.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


04/20/16 02:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘The Jungle Book,’ ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut,’ ‘Jane Got a Gun’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s magical stories and inspired by Disney’s 1967 animated classic, “The Jungle Book” is an eye-popping, live-action adventure revolving around the man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi). Image

Orphaned Mogli was found in India’s jungle by the black panther Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley) and raised by a family of wolves, led by Akela (voiced by Giancarlo Esposito) and Raksha (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o).

Observing a truce during the drought, predators and prey live in harmony, gathering around the water hole, until the snarling, vengeful Bengal tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba) comes searching for Mowgli. It seems that Shere Khan was burned and scarred by the “red flower” (a.k.a. fire), wielded in self-defense by Mowgli’s late father.

In order to protect him, Bagheera decides to return Mowgli to his own people. But diversions occur along the way, as Mowgli’s caught in the chest-crushing coils of a slithering, seductive python, Kaa (hissed by Scarlett Johansson), and rescued by the honey-hustling bear, Baloo (voiced by Bill Murray), only to be bullied by King Louis (voiced by Christopher Walken), a gigantic orangutan-like ape.

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04/20/16 11:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

USN&WR: Staples 14th Best in CT

U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) has released its top public high schools list nationwide and Westport’s Staples High School is ranked 14th among 25 Connecticut high schools on the list. Nationally, Staples is No. 574. Image

Last year, Staples came in No. 7 in Connecticut in the US&NWR rankings. Nationally it was No. 329. (See WestportNow May 13, 2015)

The magazine cited Staples for its 99 percent graduation rate, a student-teacher ratio of 12:1 and a college readiness score of 53.1. See the USNWR Staples profile here. Its methodology is here.

Staples appeared to score lower on the USN&WR study based on its college readiness score which cited 56 percent taking Advanced Placement (AP) tests and 52 percent passing.

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04/20/16 08:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Poll: Trump, Clinton Leading in Connecticut

By Mark Pazniokas

Fresh off decisive home-state wins in neighboring New York, Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton each have significant leads among likely voters in next week’s Connecticut primary, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

A thirst for an outsider helps Trump top a three-way GOP field with 48 percent to 28 percent for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and 19 percent for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Only 5 percent are undecided, but 25 percent with a preference say they could change their mind before Tuesday.

With strong support from women and black voters, Clinton was preferred over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in a closer race, 51 percent to 42 percent, with 6 percent undecided and 19 percent with a favorite saying they could change their mind.

The poll did not measure general election match ups in Connecticut, a state that has gone Democratic in every presidential race since Bill Clinton won the first of his two terms in 1992.

Click here for more of story


04/20/16 08:08 AM Comments () • Permalink

DMV: Don’t Come Visit Us Today

The Department of Motor Vehicles is advising customers that they face the possibility of longer waits today as officials work to resolve a problem with intermittent computer outages in branches statewide.

Officials are advising customers to delay visits to DMV offices if possible.

“We know this is an inconvenience to our customers and we are working around the clock to resolve this matter,” said DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra.

“We also want customers who have expiring credentials to know that they will be given a grace period to get their renewals done,”

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04/20/16 07:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Mother Nature’s Compo Show Image
For those who stayed late at Westport’s Compo Beach Tuesday, they were treated to another spectacular sunset. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


04/20/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

9:15 a.m. - Westport Library - Grades K-2: TinkerShop Potpourri
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Noir: Ann Chernow” & 2nd Annual High School Art Exhibition
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Grades 3-5: TinkerShop Potpourri
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Long-range Planning Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/20/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lynsey Addario: ‘I’m Always Petrified’ Image
Westport’s prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario appeared at a Save the Children fundraiser in Greenwich tonight and was asked by Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of the nonprofit, if she’s ever been scared snapping her acclaimed war zone photographs. Addario responded, “I’m often asked that question and let me make it clear—I’m always petrified.” The event was a benefit for the Greenwich Leadership Council of Fairfield-based Save the Children. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/19/16 11:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lynsey Addario at Greenwich Fundraiser Image
Westport’s prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario addresses a Save the Children fundraiser tonight in Greenwich against a backdrop of one of her photos. The 1991 Staples High Schol graduate talked about her career in a symposium called “More Than a Snapshot: The Fragile Lives of Children in Conflict.” Addario’s acclaimed book, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War” published by Penguin Press, will be brought to the big screen with Steven Spielberg as director and Jennifer Lawrence in a starring role. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/19/16 11:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Cools Rhetoric, But Stalemate Continues on Budget

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy struck a conciliatory tone today, a day after House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey likened his latest budget proposal to “a personal hit list,” conceding legislative leaders have a difficult task building a consensus around deep spending cuts.

But the Democratic governor remained at odds with the Democratic legislative majority leadership over significant stumbling blocks to an agreement over how to close a $930 million budget gap before the session ends May 4 and the new fiscal year begins July 1. And by the end of the day, Malloy expressed renewed frustration with Sharkey.

Speaking to reporters in his office after a brief meeting attended by Republican minority leaders and skipped by Sharkey and other Democrats, Malloy said he is not taking personally the budget fight or the cancellation by the Democrats.

“I don’t feel jilted. I think it’s really hard – adjusting to a new economic reality of slow growth is very, very hard. And they have big constituencies,” Malloy said, noting he only needs to negotiate with the leaders, not diverse caucuses. “My constituency in these negotiations is largely six people.”

Click here for more of story


04/19/16 09:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Animal ‘Rescue Me, Rescue You’ Gala Set for May 3

An animal rescue gala is set for Terrain, 561 Post Road East, on Tuesday, May 3 at 6 p.m. Image
The gala executive committe incudes (l-r) Julie Loparo, Sara Burke, Laura Curley Pendergast and Sue Smith (back row) Marita Driscol. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The “Rescue You, Rescue Me” second annual charity fundraiser will donate 100 percent of its proceeds to the Fairfield County Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA) and the international Cheetah Foundation, event planners say.

Richard Wiese, explorer and host of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “Born to Explore TV” show, will again serve as master of ceremonies. The show is produced in Westport;

At the event, Jim Fowler, Emmy Award-winning host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” is scheduled to be honored for his work with wildlife conservation.

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04/19/16 09:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Donna Mae Malin, 82

Donna Mae (Halloran) Malin of Westport died April 8 after a lengthy illness. She was 82.

She was born and raised in Northampton, Mass. the daughter of John and Mary (Duffy) Halloran.

She graduated from Northampton High School in 1952 and received a B.A. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1956.

At UMass, she was a member of the KKG sorority and participated in its singing group and other activities.

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04/19/16 08:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: County Bank Set for Mid-May Opening Image
First County Bank opens mid-May at its new location, 1135 Post Road East, at the intersection of Morningside Drive North, according to Coastal Construction Project Manager Brian Steinhauer. The bank, currently at 1260 Post Road East, at the intersection of Turkey Hill Road South, will relocate to the first floor of the building facing Post Road East.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/19/16 07:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Smoking Materials Blamed for Porch Fire Image
Discarded smoking materials are blamed for a porch fire today at 35 Franklin St. On arrival, firefighters found an occupant of the multi-family structure using a garden hose to douse the flames, said Assistant Chief John Plofkin, Jr. Firefighters completed the job and performed overhaul, he said. Plofkin reminded residents there is a “red flag” warning is in effect for brush and forest fires due to the lack of rain and low humidity. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/19/16 01:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

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