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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Real Estate Report: Direct Waterfront Homes Are Scarce

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

Available direct waterfront homes are really not aplenty in Westport. Currently, there are only 28 homes that fit that bill. Image
Featured Home This home at 7 Sandpiper Road is listed at $6,989,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Halstead Property/Westport.

Don’t let an initial look fool you into thinking there are more. If one performed a search using direct waterfront as their only parameter, 45 homes would be included, however this grouping also includes lakes, ponds, brooks, rivers and/or streams.

What it truly boils down to is that in fact, there aren’t that many to choose from at this time.

These 28 homes equate to less than 8 percent of all single-family homes for sale in Westport, which are marketed through our Multiple Listing Service, and have descriptions that include Long Island Sound, harbor, ocean or frontage. The average price of these waterfront homes is just under $5.6 million.

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08/25/16 05:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sketching on the Saugatuck Image
Local artist, author and illustrator Elaine Clayton today mentored a group of about 40 aspiring and accomplished artists in the sixth annual Sketching on the Saugatuck event. The class, along the banks of the Saugatuck River adjacent to the Westport Library, is in honor of the late Westport Illustrator Tracy Sugarman. Paper, easels and drawing materials were provided. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/25/16 04:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Explaining How It’s Done Image
Westport artist Elaine Clayton explains the groundrules for today’s Sketching on the Saugatuck event outside the Westport Library. The annual event now honors the memory of the late Westport artist and author Tracy Sugarman, who died in Jnuary 2013.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/25/16 04:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Trying Their Hand Image
Among those participating in today’s Westport Library Sketching on the Saugatuck event were Westporter Linda Gramatky Smith (l) with friend April Aubrey of Prospect. Gramatky Smith is the daughter of the late Hardie Gramatky, painter, author, illustrator of “Little Toot” fame. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/25/16 04:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Market Find Image
Westporter Steve Halstead today shows off a celeriac, also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery, he purchased at the Westport Farmers Market from the Roxbury-based Riverbank organic vegetables stand. Halstead’s wife, Rosemary, said she roasts and slices celeriac with other roasted vegetables for salads. “It’s the ugliest vegetable in the market but it’s really tasty,” she said.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/25/16 03:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Showing Off Computer-Grown Lettuce at Farmers Market Image
James O’Brien, 17, a senior at Staples High School and founder of Workshop Garden Technologies, shows a leaf of lettuce today at the Westport Farmers Market, which is growing in his “food computer.” O’Brien said the concept for his device came from MIT where researchers designed an automated farming system that can be used to grow crops in computer-controlled, specialized environments. O’Brien, who had demonstrated his device at the Wakeman Town Farm, was making his first appearance at the Westport Farmers Market.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/25/16 03:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Carl E. Fosberg, 62

Carl Eric Forsberg of Westport died Aug. 20 in Norwalk Hospital from complications of rheumatoid arthritis. He was 62. Image
Carl Forsberg: Westport resident. Contributed photo

He was born in Revere, Mass. to the late William and Mary Forsberg.

He is survived by his daughter Brittany Forsberg of Westport; three sisters Linda and her husband Randy Chiarenzelli of Shelton, Karen Davidson of Westport, Sandra and her husband Jeff Young of Shelton, one brother, Richard Forsberg of Bridgeport and predeceased by brother Kurt Forsberg, several nieces and nephews.

Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Cyril F. Mullins Funeral Home, 399 White Plains Road, Trumbull. Friends may greet the family on Sunday, Aug. 28 from 4 p.m. until the time of service.

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08/25/16 11:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘Hell or High Water,’ ‘Sausage Party,’ ‘Indignation’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Reminiscent of “Unforgiven” and “No Country For Old Men,” “Hell or High Water” is a gritty, contemporary Western, set in West Texas, focuses on the Howard brothers, who concoct a plan to wreak revenge on the greedy bank that swindled their dying mother out of her land. Image

Divorced dad Toby (Chris Pine) is determined that his sons inherit the oil-rich family ranch which is under threat of foreclosure. So he turns to his sociopathic, ex-con brother Tanner (Ben Foster) for help.

Toby devises a clever plan to rob several small small-town branches of the Texas Midlands Bank, then launder the money through an Indian-run casino, just over the state line in Oklahoma. With untraceable casino checks made out to Texas Midlands Bank, he can settle their debt.

Wearing hoodies and ski-masks, Toby and Tanner start the heists. Which draws the attention of about-to-retire Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) who surmises that these aren’t your usual bank robbers, not meth-heads or sociopaths, since they take small denomination bills from the cash drawers.

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08/25/16 10:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Summer Winding Down Image
With summer winding down and school starting next week, families Wednesday night enjoyed a Compo Beach evening. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Nicholas Hooper for


08/25/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, August 25, 2016

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 307/309 - Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. 3 p.m. - 44 Imperial Ave. - Curio Cottage sale (extended)
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Westport Artists’ Collective 8th Pop Up Show
1 p.m. - Westport Library - HTC Vive Virtual Reality Demo
3 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - #ThrowbackThursdays
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Last Chance Book Expo
3:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Sketching on the Saugatuck
6 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Westport Artists’ Collective 8th Pop Up Show Reception
6:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Youth Commission Executive Meeting
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Writing Scripts for Television
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance, Public Works, Parks & Rec, & Environment Committees
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “What the Butler Saw”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Jeff LeBlanc & Friends
8 p.m. - Saugatuck Congregational Church (245 Post Road East) - Beechwood Arts & Innovation High 5 Fundraiser

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/25/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Finance Board Says Farm Will Pay Some of Renovation Costs

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Board of Finance tonight voted 5 to 1 in favor of a $325,000 appropriation for Wakeman Town Farm renovations, with the catch that the farm absorb $86,500 of that amount via income from its programs. Image
This year’s Wakeman Town Farm Harvest Fest “funraiser” is set for Saturday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. with tickets available here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

The appropriation is in additiom to more than $600,000 approved last year for the more than 100-year-old farmhouse’s rehabilitation and expansion, a project that became fraught with unexpected expenses ranging from prevailing wage increases to lead paint abatement to a new septic system.

Finance board member Sheri Gordon, who participated by phone, was the only dissenter.

While the majority agreed with the appropriation, there was considerable debate over whether the town should pick up the full tab to be bonded over 20 years.

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08/24/16 10:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

It’s a Wrap for Levitt Children’s Series Image
Steve Songs wrapped up the Melissa & Doug Children’s Series tonight at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts with a back to school special show. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


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

Dancing the Night Away Image
A couple of guests at tonight’s closing children’s concert at the Levitt Pavilion dance the night away to the sounds of entertainer Steve Songs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


08/24/16 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Earthplace Launches ‘Citizen Science Brigade’

A “Citizen Science Brigade” to gather new and different, outdoor scientific data each week is scheduled next month for fifth graders on up at Earthplace: The Nature Discovery Center, officials announced today. Image
Moody, a resident barred owl at Earthplace, will participants in the Citizen Science Brigade program. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The project is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m.

Run by Earthplace naturalist Veronica Swain, the program will offer students the opportunity “to embark on a new mission each week, gathering information from our sanctuary for use in scientific projects,” said Sarah S. Ferrante, Earthplace spokeswoman.

She said participants will also discover birding via smartphone apps used in conjunction with the natural surroundings.

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08/24/16 06:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

No Injuries in Car Into a House Image
A female driver drove her car into a house at 10 Westport Ave. off Soundview Drive in the Compo Beach area today. While the car’s airbags deployed, she was not injured. There was damage to her car, the house, and a truck parked in the driveway. The house was WestportNow’s Teardown of the Day last month. (See WestportNow July 29, 2016) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/24/16 03:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Crushed Image
The front end of a car that drove into a house today at 10 Westport Ave. in the Compo Beach area suffered extensive front end damage. The female driver was uninjured. The house suffered minor damage as did an adjacent parked truck.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/24/16 03:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Upgrading Downtown’s Electrical System Image
Eversource Energy workers today prepare to transfer power lines from a utility pole on Parker Harding Plaza on to a centralized utility pole at the corner of Main Street and Avery Place. The replacements are part of a downtown electrical upgrade, including underground replacement cables, aimed at increasing efficiency and making the streetscape more attractive, according to a worker. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/24/16 02:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Concrete Truck Involved in Fatality Image
A concrete truck involved in Tuesday’s fatal accident on Country Lane was parked behind Westport police headquarters today and roped off. Police said it was secured at the scene on Tuesday.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/24/16 10:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Man Dies in Construction Accident

UPDATE A 69-year-old Stratford man working at a construction project on Country Lane, off of Compo Road North, was killed Tuesday when struck by the boom of a concrete truck, police said today. Image
According to sources, the accident occurred at 1 Country Lane, off of Compo Road North. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Google map

He was identified as Herbert S. Grant, an independent contractor who had hired Suzio-York Hill Asphalt and Concrete Suppliers of Meriden for the job, police said.

“Mr. Grant was supervising the pouring of concrete when he was fatally struck in the upper body by the boom extending off of the front of a concrete truck,” a police news release said.

Late Tuesday, Westport Police Lt. Eric Woods said Westport detectives had secured the vehicle involved and were investigating the equipment. Today it was parked behind police headquarters.

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08/24/16 08:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

10 a.m. 3 p.m. - 44 Imperial Ave. - Curio Cottage sale (extended)
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “the beautiful POND”
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Last Chance Book Expo
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Children’s Series: Back-to-school Special with Steve Songs
8 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “What the Butler Saw”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/24/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fairfield Counts Star at Levitt Image
The Fairfield Counts swing band featuring vocalist Michele Grace delighted a full Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts audience tonight. The band is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/23/16 09:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dancing to the Big Band Sound Image
Audience members dance to the big band sound of the Fairfield Counts tonight at the Levitt Pavilion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/23/16 09:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tribute to Andrews Sisters Image
Tonight’s Fairfield Counts concert at the Levitt Paviion for the Performing Arts included a tribute to the Andrews Sisters and their hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/23/16 09:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Still Swinging at 90 Image
Mort Ginsburg, 90, of Stamford got a featured spot as he played second alto saxophone tonight for the Fairfield Counts at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/23/16 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Buses at the Ready Image
School buses were lined up at the Dattco Bus Company yard on Post Road East today, ready for the start of school on Sept. 1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/23/16 05:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘What The Butler Saw’ Previews at Playhouse Image
The cast of the Westport Country Playhouse production of playwright Joe Orton’s play “What The Butler Saw,” rehearses for tonight’s first preview of the comedy offering a little blackmail and a lot of sexual innuendo. The play, directed by John Tillinger, who helmed a recent, critically acclaimed production of the show in Los Angeles, as well as earlier productions in London and New York, runs through Sept. 10. Pictured are (l-r) Paxton Whitehead, Sarah Manton and Robert Stanton. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/23/16 04:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Making Progress on Commuter Lot Image
Work continued today on the renovation and repair of commuter parking lot No. 1 at the Metro-North Westport station in Saugatuck. According to Police Chief Foti Koskinas, “There can’t be a more state-of-the-art railroad station parking lot than this one will be when completed.”  He cited improvements that include new drainage, an underground electrical system, surveillance cameras, seven electric car charging stations, and four blue light security stations. Koskinas said 30 trees will be delivered Friday with the lot set to reopen on Sept. 5. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/23/16 02:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Catherine Burke, 86

Catherine Burke of Westport and formerly of Edgartown, Mass., and Pompano Beach, Fla., died Aug. 23 at home. She was 86.

The wife of 47 years of the late Thomas Vincent Burke was born in Bergen, N.J. to the late Stephen and Margaret (Mendles) Gattoni.

Just out of high school, she accepted a job with Pan American World Airways, where she served as a stewardess and assisted in public relations. She enjoyed her travels throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

She subsequently settled down to begin her family following a truly romantic courtship with her husband. They continued to love each other dearly until his death in 2000.

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08/23/16 01:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

James Soroka, 69

James Soroka of North Conway, N.H., a former Westport resident, died Aug. 20 while on a 100-mile ride on his bicycle training for his next Ironman triathlon. He was 69.

He was a builder by trade for over 30 years, constructing many custom homes in the valley, including his own. He also built his own surfboards through his company North Atlantic surfboards. He traveled globally to surf including Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

He grew up in Westport and at an early age began competitive swimming. He loved the water and was an avid surfer. At age 58, he started biking and running and then began his successful triathlon career.

He won several age group races and in 2012 qualified for and competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

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08/23/16 01:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

North Avenue Bridge Finally Reopens Image
After more than a year’s delay and $2.4 million in work, the North Avenue Bridge over the Merritt Parkway was finally reopened today to two-way traffic—two days before a deadline set by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT).  The department had promised the bridge, which connects four schools on North Avenue, would be open before the start of school next week.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/23/16 11:57 AM Comments () • Permalink

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