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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Office Building to be Converted to Housing

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This is the Westport office building today at 1175 Post Road East which developers announced would be turned into a 94-unit housing development under the 8-30g statute. An announcement said the adaptive reuse and redevelopment project will include renovating the existing two-story, approximately 42,000 square-foot commercial office building and creating a four-story addition over an existing parking area on the 1.96 acre parcel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/06/16 10:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

New 8-30G Housing for Post Road East

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A new 8-30g housing development was announced today by 1177 PRE Associates, LLC, a joint venture co-managed by local commercial real estate developers Phil Craft and Stephen Lawrence. The announcement said the group plans to redevelop the commercial office building at 1177 (also known as 1175) Post Road East to provide 94 new residential units, with 30 percent of the units comprising affordable housing. It said the new development “will be almost entirely studio and one-bedroom units; the six proposed two-bedroom units will have minimum impact on school resources.” The announcement said plans were filed Monday with the Westport Planning and Zoning Department. Picture is an artist’s rendering of the completed project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/06/16 10:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Crash Ties Up Post Road East Traffic

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A two-vehicle crash tied up traffic today at Post Road East and Cedar Road in front of Starbucks. Only the driver was in the car and had to be extricated, according to Assistant Fire Chief Brian Meadows. Two persons were in the pickup truck. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/06/16 08:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

All in a Day’s Work

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Westport firefighters work to extricate the driver of a BMW convertible after it collided today with a pickup truck at Post Road East and Cedar Road. The driver was transported to Norwalk Hospital. Two others in the pickup truck were evaluated on the scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/06/16 08:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Top Down

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Westport firefighters roll back a convertible top today while others extricate the driver involved in a collision with a pickup truck at Post Road East and Cedar Road. The convertible driver was transported by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. Two others in the pickup were evaluated on the scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/06/16 08:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Extrication Needed in Post Road East Crash

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A “T-bone” accident involving a pickup and a car today at Post Road East and Cedar Road/West Parish backed up traffic and both vehicles had to be towed from the scene. Firefighters had to extricate the driver of the convertible. Two persons were in the pickup truck. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/06/16 08:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 6, 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 - “Noir: Ann Chernow” & 2nd Annual High School Art Exhibition
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Window to Westport’s Past and Present”
1 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Digital Application Workshop
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Beautification Committee
5:30 p.m. - Staples Field House - Middle school Dodge-A-Cop
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Shellfish Commission
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Domestic Violence: Screening/Discussion, “Telling Amy’s Story”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - RTM IT Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Board of Finance Executive Session
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. - 5 Canal Park - Housing Authority
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Board of Finance

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/06/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

RTM Recommends Limits on Schools’ Carryover Account

The original proposal before the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight was to recommend the Board of Finance end the Board of Education’s carryover account—its unspent funds for the year—and to return the money to the town’s general fund.

The request by two RTM members seemed to have some teeth as the the 2016-17 municipal and school budgets will be finalized by the legislative body next month. Unspent money, it was argued, should go to lowering next year’s operating budget.

But instead of recommending an end to the carryover account, which the school board had never used, the RTM voted 29 to 0 with 2 abstentions to approve an amended proposal.

It recommended that the Board of Finance amend its agreement with the school board so that any school request to use funds from the account require RTM approval if more than $20,000 is involved. It is the same $20.000 threshold for any Board of Finance-approved appropriation.

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04/05/16 10:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Flying at Coleytown Middle

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Mary Poppins takes to the air today in a dress rehearsal of the Coleytown Company production of “Mary Poppins.” The play, under the direction of Benjamin Frimmer, will be presented Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a 1 p.m. Saturday matinee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/05/16 08:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dress Rehearsal for ‘Mary Poppins’

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Cast members of “Mary Poppins” perform in a dress rehearsal today of the Coleytown Company production which will be seen Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Coleytown Middle School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/05/16 08:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: ‘Mary Poppins’ at Coleytown Middle School

Scenes from today’s final dress rehearsal of the Coleytown Company’s “Mary Poppins.” It will be presented Thursday Frday, and Saturday at Coleytown Middle School. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/05/16 08:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making Entry

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Westport firefighters advance a hose line today into a house at 12 Woods Grove Road. The fire was quickly knocked down, according to fire officials on the scene.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/05/16 06:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Firefighters Douse House Fire at Woods Grove Road

UPDATE Westport firefighters late today quickly doused a house fire at 12 Woods Grove Road off of Canal Street.

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Westport firefighters at work today at a house fire at 12 Woods Grove Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The fire was reported at 5:40 p.m. when flames were in a wall around the fireplace and then the attic, according to Assistant Chief Brian Meadows.

Firefighters stretched hoselines to attack flames in the wall and the attic, he said, while others opened the roof for ventilation.

All occupants, who initially tried to extinguish the fire themselves, evacuated safely, he said. The Red Cross was summoned to provide temporary shelter.

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04/05/16 06:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Repairing the Damage

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Westport firefighters put plastic sheeting in place on the roof of 12 Woods Grove Road today. Firefighters opened the roof to get at a fire in a crawl space, which was quickly doused. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/05/16 06:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

On the Scene

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe confers with Fire Chief Andy Kingsbury today at a house fire at 12 Woods Grove Road. Red Cross officials were called in to provide temporary shelter for the occupants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/05/16 06:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Remembering Cartoonist Dick Hodgins

By James Lomuscio

Henry, Hagar the Horrible and Half Hitch shed tears today when they learned their father, Richard Hodgins Jr., the man who brought them to life with pen and ink at his drawing board, died Sunday. He was 84, and he loved life.

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Dick Hodgins Jr. used this image of himself on his Facebook page. Contributed photo

That’s how syndicated comic strip artist and editorial cartoonist Dick Hodgins Jr. said he wanted his obituary to begin when he called this writer in early March to say he had inoperable lung cancer.

Hodgins died at his Wilton home from complications caused by cancer treatments, according to his son Richard Hodgins III.

Dick, as he was known, was one of the last of a winnowing cadre of Fairfield County-based cartoonists who daily kept the funny papers filled with gags.

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04/05/16 05:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tribute to Cartoonist Dick Hodgins

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Cartoonist Mike Lynch posted on his blog this tribute to cartoonist Dick Hodgins Jr. of Wilton, who died Sunday. In addition to “Half Hitch,” “Henry,” “Hagar the Horrible,” he served as an editorial cartoonist for The Asssociated Press, The New York Daily News, Fairpress, and the Westport News.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Courtesy Mike Lynch


04/05/16 05:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Upgrades to Welcome Summer

Improvements to Compo Beach will be discussed at Thursday night’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) meeting, but don’t expect any action.

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The new sidwalk will separate the cars from the beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

The presentation by Public Works Director Stephen Edwards is merely a courtesy, the scheduled improvements a done deal to be in place by Memorial Day weekend, he said.

“It’s just a courtesy; they have no jurisdiction because essentially it’s a maintenance project,” Edwards said about the project scheduled for Compo’s East Beach.

The project includes the installation of 540 feet of sidewalk from the pavilion to the cannons, moving the parking spaces facing the Long Island Sound 8 feet back, reconfiguring by shaving off part of the traffic island, plus paving the beach’s two basketball courts.

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04/05/16 02:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hilda B. Cole, 89

Hilda Bloom Cole of Westport died April 4 at home following complications from two surgeries earlier this year. She was 89.

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Hilda Cole: 20-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

She was a resident of Westport for more than 20 years and an active member of the Westport Center for Senior Activities.

She was a devoted and beloved teacher at P.S. 81 in the Bronx, where she took great pride in her gifted and diverse fourth grade students, retiring in 1991.

In her retirement, she enjoyed gardening, travel, playing bridge, was an avid reader, appreciated opera, musical theater, classic films, public television, and The New York Times crossword puzzle. Her greatest joy was her grandchildren, and recently her great-grandchild.

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04/05/16 01:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Junior Named Governor’s Scholar

Staples High School junior Emily Schussheim has been named a Governor’s Scholar, the Westport school district announced today.

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Emily Schussheim: among 30 students chosen. Contributed photo

The Governor’s Scholars Awards recognize academically talented high school students in schools throughout the state. Emily was among 30 students chosen for the honor.

In addition to excelling in academics, she has found time to stay involved in her many passions, including being a cellist in school’s chamber orchestra as well as principal cellist for the Norwalk Youth Symphony.  She is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

An accomplished writer, her work has been published in the school’s literary magazine, Soundings, as well as Canvas and Creative Kids. 

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04/05/16 12:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

John B. Baker, 68

John Bruce Baker of Palm Bay, Fla., a former Westport resident, died March 25. He was 68.

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John B. Baker: native Westporter. contributed photo

He was born in June 1947 at Norwalk Hospital, the only child of Jean (Saxomeyer) and John H. (Cannonball) Baker. He was the 11th generation (on his mother’s side) to be born and raised in Westport.

His father had moved east to Westport from Milwaukee, Wisc. in the 1930s and is credited with introducing fast pitch softball to New England. 

Known as Bru to his family and childhood friends, he graduated from Staples High School in 1965, shortly before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force and serving in the United States and Vietnam from 1965 to 1969.

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04/05/16 10:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Cops Launch Talk, Text Driver Crackdown

Westport drivers better think twice before picking up that cell phone to talk or text.

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The Westport Police Department, partnering with the Connecticut Highway Safety Office as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, have launched throughout April a crackdown on drivers who choose to ignore Connecticut’s mobile phone laws.

The department kicked off the effort on Monday.

“The laws are well known for the most part,” said Lt David Farrell “Connecticut has been ahead of the curve in terms of passing tough laws and enforcing them, and while this is a difficult habit to break, the impacts this behavior can have are very real and result in crashes that have real impacts of people’s lives.

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04/05/16 10:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Chandra C. Allen, 80

Chandra Cecilia Allen of Bloomfield Hills, Mich, a former Westport resident, died April 3 following a courageous battle with brain cancer.  She was 80.

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Chandra Allen: devoted to family and friends. Contributed photo

She had been in hospice care at the home of her daughter Kelly Allen and son-in-law John Tower of Rochester Hills, Mich. Her husband of 58 years, Jack B. Allen, was by her side.

She was born Oct. 9, 1935 in Chicago to the late Elayne and Wellington “Duke” Camp. She graduated from Chicago’s Immaculata High School in 1953 and Mundelein College (now part of Loyola University) in 1957. 

She had an exciting and unique childhood as a result of her father’s management career in Chicago’s nightclub scene in the 1940s and 1950s, and shared her father’s friendships with entertainment icons of the era.

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04/05/16 09:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - TEAM Westport
8:45 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Westport Municipal Employees Pension Board
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 and Present”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
1:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series: “Spotlight”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Business Special: Hiring an Employee vs. Freelancer
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


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

Monday, April 04, 2016

They Back Hillary, But Are Careful to Praise Bernie

By Mark Pazniokas


The strength of Bernie Sanders’ appeal in Connecticut was evident tonight at the opening of a headquarters for Hillary Clinton in the North End of Hartford: Each speaker took care to say something nice about the U.S. senator from Vermont.

“We love Bernie Sanders,” said U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, who represents greater Hartford. “He’s an old curmudgeon, but a curmudgeon in a good way, in terms of what he stands for and what he stood for in his career.”

“Bernie Sanders comes from Brooklyn, N.Y., so he’s not such a bad guy,” said a smiling Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who never shook her Brooklyn accent over decades in Connecticut. “It’s definitely not against Bernie by any means.”

“I love Bernie Sanders. What’s not to love about Bernie? He’s just a great, great guy,” Attorney General George Jepsen said. “I feel the ‘bern,’ but I’m afraid if he’s nominated – and he won’t be – it’s the Democratic Party that’s going to get burned.”

Click here for more of story


04/04/16 09:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Frequent Westport Visitor Officially Seeks Top U.N. Job

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Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, a frequent visitor to Westport in recent years, today ended months of speculation by announcing her candidacy to become the next United Nations secretary-general. She made the announcement at a New York news conference where she is is the current head of the U.N.‘s Development Program. She said she has the right mix of proven experience to take over from Ban Ki-moon, who retires in December. She said the U.N. needs a new set of tools to face modern peace and security issues. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


04/04/16 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Snow, Rain, and Freeze Warnings

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Morning snow showers turned into rain for most of the day in Westport today, dropping almost half an inch. The rain caused minor flooding, including along Church Lane (above.) The National Weather Service issued a Freeze Warning for Westport and area until 10 a.m. Tuesday and again from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday. It said temperatures will be in the mid-20s to 30 tonight into early Tuesday and mid-teens to upper 20s Tuesday night into early Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


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

Westport a Tourist Destination?

Westport a tourist destination?

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State and local officials, plus the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce (WWCC) seem to think so.

So on Thursday at 9 a.m. state tourism officials will host a Town Hall seminar on promoting Westport and its surrounding area as a tourism draw.

As part of the Connecticut Office of Tourism ‘s “Still revolutionary” ad campaign, the new initiative aims to stimulate tourism for the benefit of towns and local businesses by increasing exposure.

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04/04/16 06:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Taking Tesla to the People

In the early 1900s, people who wanted to buy a car went straight to the manufacturer, whether it was a trip to Detroit to plunk down cash for a Ford or a short trip to Bridgeport for a steam-powered Locomobile.

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Two years ago, Westporter Robin Tauck loaned her two Tesla cars to town offiicals in order to promote electric vehicles. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“In the old days, you bought directly from the manufacturer,” said Leo Cirino, president of the Westport Electric Car Club (WECC). “You went to Detroit, you picked up the car and you went home. You know, it’s called free enterprise.”

No so any more, and therein lies the rub for Connecticut’s electric car buffs, in particular, those smitten by the Tesla. State law requires that in order to sell new cars, one has to be a manufacturer’s authorized dealer.

“Tesla is a little different in that they don’t want dealers, they don’t have dealers,” said Cirino, though the company has a few service centers in the state.

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04/04/16 05:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Weekend to Remember

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Twenty-two senior girls of the Westport chapter of the National Charity League (NCL) spent the weekend in Beacon Falls doing a makeover of a cancer patient’s bedroom. Moms helped out, too. Afterward they posed for a picture with Olivia Kalentek (bottom row, 3rd r), who is battling lymphoma. The seniors chose the makeover as their senior Capstone Project through the Art from the Heart program of Circle of Care, a nonprofit which provides emotional and financial support to Connecticut families with cancer. The NCL is a mother-daughter philanthropic organization with more than 250 chapters across the country. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/04/16 03:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

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