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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Taste of Summer

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Sunbathers headed to Westport’s Compo Beach today as temperatures soared, with a reading of 91 at Westport Fire Headquarters in late afternoon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


05/25/16 02:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bikini Time

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Today’s summer-like weather brought out the bikinis to Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


05/25/16 02:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Memorial Day Tribute

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Members the Westport Police and Fire Departments today draped a flag above the Town Hall entrance in honor of the Memorial Day celebration. The flag was donated to the town last year by a veteran who chooses to remain anonymous, according to Police Chief Foti Koskinas. He said the veteran asked that it be prominently displayed for patriotic reasons during periods of celebrations such as Memorial Day and July 4th. “We are looking for a place to display it for the July 4 celebration,” Koskinas said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


05/25/16 02:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Life Skills Organization Comes to Saugatuck Church

Abilis, a Greenwich organization supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, is bringing its Life Skills program to Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church.

According to Elizabeth Brucker, Abilis’ director of businesses, the service will provide programming to help students transition from high school to adult life once they graduate.

She described Life Skills as a community-based program designed to give participants “access to the town’s center, so young adults can learn to navigate the downtown area.”

“Each person in the Life Skills program has an individualized plan that includes vocational, social, recreational and adaptive living goals and objectives,” Brucker said.

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05/25/16 02:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making Progress on New Compo Sidewalk

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The new sidewalk along the East Beach at Westport’s Compo Beach is nearing completion. Public Works Department officials hoped to have it completed by Memorial Day, but workers now say it won’t be done for about another two weeks.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


05/25/16 01:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sidewalk Work

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Workers today rush to complete the new sidewalk at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


05/25/16 01:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Former Staples Student is ‘The Voice’ Winner

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Alisan Porter, 34, who attended Westport’s Staples High School and was a member of the Staples Players, Tuesday night won season 10 of NBC-TV’s “The Voice.” Porter, the mother of two, as an actress is best known for her lead role as Curly Sue in the 1991 movie “Curly Sue” starring Jim Belushi. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) NBC photo


05/25/16 08:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sting Along

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Abstract artist Bill Jacklin (l), an “Englishman in New York” since 1985 who now lives in Westport, got together Tuesday night at Manhattan’s Rizzoli Bookstore with legendary musician Sting, a fellow Englishman, at a packed launch party for Jacklin’s new book,”Bill Jacklin in New York.” Sting, who is an avid collector of Jacklin’s work, wrote the foreword to the book. He and jazz trumpeter Chris Botti performed a “musical toast” to the artist that included a stirring performance of Sting’s hit “Englishman in New York.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Miggs Burroughs for WestportNow.com


05/25/16 08:24 AM Comments () • Permalink


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The Staples High School Girls’ Golf Team won the FCIAC Western Division Tuesday with a decisive 181-204 victory at The Griffith E. Harris Golf Course in Greenwich.  Co-Captain Anelise Browne shot a par 37, the lowest score a Staples girl has ever carded on Greenwich’s home course. The Greenwich Cardinals only two losses this season are both at the hands of the Wreckers. “It has been five years since Staples has beaten Greenwich twice in one year. The entire team played well, and again Anelise was in the zone leading the way,” said Head Coach Patty Kondub.  Pictured (l to r) are Olivia Wood, Abigail Miller, Browne, Sophie Carozza, Co-Captain Alex McMahon, and Erika MacDonald. Next up for the Wreckers, now 12-2, are the FCIAC Championships on Thursday, June 2 at Fairchild Wheeler in Fairfield/Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


05/25/16 07:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Creative Resting Place

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A snowy egret found a creative perch on stone cairn Tuesday off of Westport’s Burritts Landing North. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ellen Bowen for WestportNow.com


05/25/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

8:00 a.m. - Westport Library - RTM Library Museum & Arts Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Two Steps Forward: Contemporary Cuban Art”
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Woman’s Club - Curio Cottage Half-price Sale
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Red”
4:30 p.m. -  Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
6:30 a.m. - Westport Library - RTM Library Museum & Arts Committee
7 p.m. -  Town Hall Room 307/309 - Historic District Commission
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Business Special: Kick Up Your Pitch with Crowdfunding
7 p.m. - Town Hall - League of Women Voters Forum: “Getting Money Out of Our Politics”
7:30 p.m. -  Town Hall Room 201 - Parks & Recreation Commission

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dems Nominate Rep. Steinberg for 4th Term

By James Lomuscio

The Westport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) tonight unanimously nominated state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg for a fourth, two-year term representing the 136th District.

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg addresses Democratic Town Committe members tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

In November, he will square off against Republican Catherine Walsh, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) chairwoman nominated by the Republican Town Committee last week.

“Jonathan is a terrific legislator who’s focused on transportation and the environment, both issues that concern Westporters,” said John Hartwell, former DTC chairman and member of the Board of Finance.

“He’s also the leader of the Moderates Caucus in the Democratic Party, fighting for structural reform on the state’s broken budgeting process,” he added.

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05/24/16 09:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honors for WVEMS Volunteers

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Twenty-two members of Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service (WVEMS) tonight were presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of outstanding contributions in community service to the United States. They are presented by the Office of the President of the United States and the Corporation for National and Community Service.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


05/24/16 08:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Three Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards

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Among Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services (WVEMS) volunteers honored tonight with awards presented by the Office of the President of the United States and the Corporation for National and Community Service.were three who received Lifetime Achievement Awards. They include Martin B. Iselin (l), William E. Min, and, not present, B. Christian Renne. Renne is currently completing his residency in emergency medicine in Cincinnati, having graduated from George Washington School of Medicine. Each has served close to 6,000 hours as an WVEMS volunteer. Pictured with them (l-r) are Yves Cantin, WVEMS president, Deputy Police Chief Vincent Penna, and Marc Hartog, deputy director, Westport EMS. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


05/24/16 08:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

P.A.L. Presents Scholarship Winners

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In a ceremony tonight at Westport Police headquarters, the Westport P.A.L. (Police Athletic League) presented a $1,000 check to each of 15 recipients of its annual college scholarship awards program. The recipients (front row, l-r) Joseph Bairaktaris, Douglas Raigosa, Carel “Michael” van der Merwe, Gabriella Perry, Gracyn Levenson, Carolynn van Arsdale and Howie Friedman, scholarship award co-chair; (back row) Maureen Schwab, co-chair, Police Officer Ned Batlin, P.A.L. president, Jimmy Ray Stagg, C.J. Stephan, Sam Arciola and Jaime Bairaktaris. Missing from the photo: Jessica Nelson, Brynly Marsh, Reece Schachne and Lindsay Sampson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


05/24/16 08:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Another Honor

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Westport Police Officer Ned Batlin, president of Westport P.A.L. (Police Athletic League), tonight presents a $1,000 check to Staples High School senior Jaime Bairaktaris, one of 15 recipients of P.A.L. scholarship awards at a police headquarters ceremony. Jaime is a WestportNow contributing photographer, an emergency medical technician with Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service (WVEMS), and an instructor at Westport’s Earthplace. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


05/24/16 08:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Says It’s Foolish to Believe Trump on Guns

By Ana Radelat


Washington – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today “you’d have to be a fool,” to believe what presidential hopeful Donald Trump says on gun control or any other subject.

This week Trump clarified his position on allowing guns in schools. He had said he supported the elimination of gun free-zones in schools, prompting Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to say Trump wanted to “mandate that every school in America allow guns in the classroom.”

On Monday, Trump said he would only eliminate guns in school zones “in some cases,” and trained teachers and school resource officers should be the ones carrying guns.

At an all-day summit at the White House on gun safety, Malloy took a break to speak to reporters and was asked about Trump’s apparent change in position.

Click here for more of story


05/24/16 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

State Grant of $22M to Bridgewater Draws Criticism

By Keith M.Phaneuf


The State Bond Commission is expected to approve $22 million in financing Friday to help Westport-based hedge fund operator Bridgewater Associates expand operations in Westport, Wilton and Norwalk.

That sparked criticism today from House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, who called the grant to the world’s largest hedge fund “dubious,” given the state’s fiscal woes.

But Catherine Smith, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, said these planned expansions would be an economic win for Connecticut.

“With all that has transpired in the last two weeks, with the state’s budget a mess — and unfinished school construction projects hanging — to make the world’s largest hedge fund a priority, I find it dubious,” Klarides said. “Of course we want to keep highly skilled, well-paying jobs in Connecticut. But we all know that other vital projects will not be funded because we have to curtail our borrowing.”

Click here for more of story


05/24/16 06:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thunderstorm Moves Through the Area

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A thunderstorm moved through the Westport area today. A few cloud to ground lightning strikes were observed with the passage of this storm, and brief heavy rainfall accompanied the activity as it traversed the area from northwest to southeast. As of 4:45 p.m., the weather station at Bedford Middle School had recorded 0.99 inches of much-needed rainfall since midnight. View is over Sherwood Mill Pond. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Sam Sagnella for WestportNow.com


05/24/16 05:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Out On A Call

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A Westport police marine unit makes its way out of the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach Monday night to answer a distress call. It turned out to be in another jurisdiction. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com


05/24/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Two Steps Forward: Contemporary Cuban Art”
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Woman’s Club - Curio Cottage Half-price Sale
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series:  “The Hateful Eight”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Art”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Finance & RTM Education Committees
7:30 p.m. -  Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. -  Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Klaus Soennichsen, 69

Klaus “Sandy” Soennichsen of Westport died May 22. He was 69.

Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1947, he immigrated to the United States in 1950.

He grew up in Weston and graduated from Staples High School in 1965. After joining the Air Force during the Vietnam War, he later finished his college degree at AIC before eventually settling in Westport in 1979.

Since retiring as a high stakes supervisor at Foxwoods Casino, he enjoyed spending any time he could with his family, and having coffee with his friends at Oscar’s in Westport. 

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05/23/16 09:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Infrastructure – Dangling by a Thread

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

The recent fire under the Park Avenue viaduct in Harlem, which disrupted commutes of a quarter million Metro-North riders got me thinking:  our aging, crumbling and vulnerable transportation infrastructure is close to collapse, and the effects of such failure could be catastrophic. Consider this track record:

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June 1983: Inadequate inspections and repairs cause the collapse of the Mianus River Bridge on I-95 in Greenwich. Three people were killed and three others injured. For almost five months, 80,000 daily vehicles had to detour through city streets.

March 2004: An oil tanker crashes on I-95 in Bridgeport and the ensuing fire is hot enough to melt steel supports on the Howard Avenue overpass. Traffic was disrupted for a week.

September 2013: Con-Ed plans to replace a crucial electric feeder cable for Metro-North in the Bronx. The railroad decides to forgo the $1 million cost of a temporary backup cable and the main cable fails, disrupting train service for weeks, both on Metro-North and Amtrak.

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05/23/16 08:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Family Time

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Some Compo Beach residents enjoy family time today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


05/23/16 07:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Beach Gathering

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Young volunteers associated with Westport’s Department of Human services and some town officials gathered today at Compo Beach for a celebration. Representatives included those involved with the Westport Youth Commission, Teen Awareness Group, Toquet Hall Governing Board, the Mentor Program, Kool to Be Kind, and Safe Rides. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


05/23/16 05:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woman’s Club Presents Grant to Project Return

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At Westport’s Project Return today, the Westport Woman’s Club’s Ruegg Committee stopped by to present their 2016 Ruegg Grant, in the amount of $10,000 for use in repainting the group’s facility, a historic house on Compo Road North, Project Return’s Laura Bard, development director, and Tessa Gilmore-Barnes, interim director, (front row,l), receive the check from WWC Community Services Chair Mary Gladden, and Jo Luscombe (front row r). Looking on, (back row):  the WWC Ruegg Committee’s Dorothy Packer and Nancy Saipe flank Dorothy E. Curran, WWC president. Missing from photo: Barbara Stemmer, WWC, second vice president, finance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


05/23/16 04:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Nancy Lou Mickune, 78

Nancy Lou (Pardon/Paul) Mickune of Westport, wife of Dermott Mickune, died May 22. She was 78.

She enjoyed anything that involved her faith, family and her friends. She was active in many groups within Assumption Church and was a past president of the Women’s Guild.  She loved spending summers at Hidden Acres with Derm and their many lifelong friends there.

Survivors in addition to her husband include six children; Kyle Mickune-Santos, Kim Sparano, Lisa Wheaton, Kevin Mickune, Sean Mickune and Nancy Mickune, 12 grandchildren: Brooke VanDeusen, Mike Calise, Christy Calise-Hall, Raelyn Santos, Keanna Santos, Johnny Sparano, Jamie Sparano, Sierra Santos, Morgan Columbo, Mack Columbo, Maddie Mickune, Katie Mickune and six great-grandchildren: Austin, Madison, Wyatt, Trae, Oliver and Niyah.

Viewing hours will be held on Wednesday, May 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Harding Funeral Home 210 Post Road East. Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Thursday May 26 at 10:30 a.m. in Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., for a Mass of Christian Burial.


05/23/16 04:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

25th Annual Hidden Garden Tour June 12

The Westport Historical Society’s (WHS) 25th annual Hidden Garden Tour is set for Sunday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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One of the gardens on last year’s tour. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

It will feature “six spectacular, not-to-be-missed gardens” in Westport and in Fairfield in the Greenfield Hill and Southport sections, event planners said

“Each garden has been carefully selected in honor of this 25th Anniversary of the Hidden Garden Tour,” said Edward F. Gerber, event chairman.

He said that several of the gardens were favorites of past tours, and are back by popular demand to showcase how they have evolved.

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05/23/16 10:36 AM Comments () • Permalink

Landon Looking Back: ‘I’ve Been Lucky’

By James Lomuscio

On a recent afternoon, Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, 76, discussed how much the physical appearance of the Westport Public Schools has changed since he first arrived in 1999.

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Elliott Landon on eve of retirement: his greatest achievement is people. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

The Greens Farms School, which had been shuttered and used as studio space for artists in the 1980s, was reclaimed and a three-story wing added during his first year.

The former Nike missile site on North Avenue was reclaimed with the Bedford Middle School opening there in 2004.

The old Bedford Middle School on Riverside Avenue was totally gutted, becoming what is now the Saugatuck Elementary School.

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05/23/16 05:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Marina Sunset

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Sunday night’s sunset as seen over the Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com


05/23/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

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