Friday, September 30, 2016
By Keith M. Phaneufwww.ctmirror.org
Connecticut today officially closed its second consecutive fiscal year in deficit, shrinking its budget reserve to a low level as threats of another shortfall loom.
Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo certified a $170.4 million deficit for the 2015-16 fiscal year, a gap equal to 1.5 percent of General Fund spending. (Though the last fiscal year ended June 30, the comptroller cannot close the books until late September, since certain tax receipts received over the summer are applied to the prior budget.)
Lembo must again cover the deficit by drawing from the rainy day fund, which will be left with just $235.6 million. The new reserve is less than half of what Connecticut had before the consecutive annual deficits. More importantly it leaves Connecticut with a fiscal cushion equal to just 1.3 percent of annual operating costs.
The comptroller recommends a rainy day fund of 15 percent, given the large fluctuations in state income tax receipts Connecticut traditionally faces in very good and very poor economic times.
Boca Restaurant & Bar, 43 Main St., will officially open on Monday, according to Chef Luis Arias (above). The wide ranging menu of Italy, Spain and France cuisine includes tapas, salads, pizza, pasta, burgers, paella, seafood, chicken and meat plates. The new establishment is located in the space formerly occupied by Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo for 20 years. Owned by East Norwalk resident Revision Bonfim, the daily hours are 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. for lunch and 4 p.m. -10:30 p.m. for dinner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Sept. 12 -16, 2016:
James A. and Armelle Pouriche-Daniels Jr. to David and Kerri Rosenthal, 287 Sturges Highway, $1,780,000
Leonard and Cathleen Sherman to David and Suzanne Knesich, 2 Gordon Lane, $1,240,000
Arthur S. Tolentino to Vanbrodt Estates LLC, 5 Ridgewood Lane, $575,000
Richard M. and Lura Paschal to Marcia Lesser, 3 Charcoal Hill Common, $1,375,000
Joan Carroll Mahoney of Naples, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 22.
She was born in Fall River, Mass. Most recently she was a resident of Aston Gardens in Naples after living in Marco Island, Fla. for 23 years. Prior to that, she lived in Westport.
She graduated from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. A loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend too many, she always smiling, known to see the good in everyone and loved being around her family and friends.
She married Daniel A. Mahoney Jr. in August 1949 in Fall River. They were married for 61 years before his death in May 2010.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words”
10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Balance Day: Learn about fall prevention
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Anyone Can Use ... Twitter
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Teen Gaming Night w/ WPL
8 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Camping with Henry & Tom”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Thursday, September 29, 2016
By James Lomuscio
Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) tonight voted 6 to 0 with 1 abstention to give a positive report on a planned Elm Street land swap that would net the town nine additional parking spaces downtown.
The positive report is the first step allowing developer David Waldman to put up a $7 million building on a piece of the town’s Baldwin Parking Lot at 36 Elm St. in exchange for property he has an option to buy at 35 Elm St. across the street.
Waldman, principal of David Adam Realty who is heading the nearby Bedford Square Pproject, also owns the historic Kemper Gunn House relocated to the town lot three years ago.
Frist Selectman Jim Marpe has been supporting the land swap and two weeks ago requested a positive P&Z endorsement. Marpe has been bullish on the plan since the town would gain nine parking space in the parking-stressed downtown.
At a reception tonight, Westporters Martha and Larry Aasen look at a dispay of some of Larry’s poliircal memorabilia, which has gone on display in the Riverwalk display cases on the ground level near the McManus Room. The collection is called “Remember to Vote November 8” and will remain on display through Nov. 8. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Television personality Joan Lunden, a breast cancer survivor, today was featured speaker at the sixth annual Pink Aid luncheon and fashion show. at Mitchells of Westport. She told the crowd: “I’m cancer-free every day of the week. I fought like a warrior. I wanted to hold on.” Pink Aid’s mission is to help underserved local women survive breast cancer treatment with support and dignity, to provide screening to women in financial need, and to empower breast cancer survivors to heal by helping and inspiring others. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The fashion show was the highlight of today’s sixth annual Pink Aid luncheon at Mitchells of Westport to support breast cancer patients and survivors. The male models received an especially warm welcome. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Scenes from today’s sixth annual Pink Aid luncheon and fashion show at Mitchells of Westport. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Five Westport restaurants will square off against scores of others from throughout the state and region in the eighth annual New England Chowdafest competition set for Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sherwood Island State Park.
“It’s nice to see Westport so well represented” said Jim Keenan, director of the event designed to raise funds to fight regional hunger.
“Chowdafest started in Westport eight years ago, and the town loves getting up for some great chowder, soup and bisque,” he added.
Keenan said that each year the event has attracted “thousands of discernible foodies from all over the tri-state and New England area.”
Traffic was flowing normally early today on the Post Road’s Ruth Steimkraus Cohen Bridge after night-long often bumper-to-bumper traffic as I-95 southbound was closed by the sewage tanker truck crash. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
UPDATE State police reopened I-95 southbound between exits 17 and 18 in Westport at 5:32 a.m. today following Wednesday night’s fiery sewage tanker crash that killed a 64-year-old Woodbury man.
Westport police at the same time reopened Elaine Road and Underhill Parkway, which had been closed after part of the truck fell down an embankment in the area.
Emergency workers extricated the body of the driver, from the cab of the truck at 2:39 a.m. State police identified him as Thomas Patrick Reynolds.
They said the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash, Ramses Taylor Rival, 35, of Stamford, was arrested for driving under the influence. Police added that additional charges are expected at the conclusion of the investigation.
9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Westport Weston Family YMCA - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - Earthplace - Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 212D - Transit District Directors Meeting
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
11:30 a.m. - Mitchells of Westport (670 Post Road East) - Pink Aid luncheon
1:15 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: Introductory Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
5 p.m. - Westport Library - #ThrowbackThursdays
6 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtSpeaks: Gerry Snyder
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Committee (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Joint RTM Finance, Public Works, & Education Committees
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Westbound traffic on Post Road East was bumper to bumper late tonight as I-95 traffic soundbound was detoured at Exit 18 and the Sherwood Island Connector because of the sewage tanker crash near Exit 17. View is near the intersection of Compo Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
UPDATE Explosions and fire followed a crash tonight of a tanker truck carrying sewage on I-95, sending the flaming driver’s cab tumbling down an embankment at the north end of the Saugatuck River bridge. The driver was killed, according to fire officials.
State police early Thursday identified the truck driver as Thomas Patrick Reynolds, 64, of Woodbury. They said another vehicle was involved in the crash on the southbound side of the bridge shortly before 7 p.m. and that the driver, Ramses Taylor Rival, 35, of Stamford was charged with driving under the influence. The highway was reopened southbound at 5:32 a.m. Thursday.
“There were three more explosions after it went off the highway,” one witness told News-12 Connecticut. “It was so loud – boom, boom, boom, and a few minutes later it died down and then it just rocketed up again.”
Another man said: “There was a fire as high as the trees. And there was another boom.”
UPDATE A passing motorist took this photo tonight moments after a sewage tanker truck southbound on I-95 was in a crash with a second vehicle, caught fire, overturned, and the driver’s cab went down an embankment on the north end of the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport. The truck was traveling between exits 18 and 17 just before 7 p.m. The driver was killed, according to fire officials. One witness said: “There were three more explosions after it went off the highway. It was so loud –- boom, boom, boom, and a few minutes later it died down and then it just rocketed up again.” The driver’s body was extricated from the wreckage at 2:39 a.m. Thursday, fire officials said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) News-12 Connecticut photo
UPDATE A firefighter at the scene tonight where the driver of a sewage tanker truck was killed when the cab of his vehicle (in bushes, rear) went off of I-95 at the end of the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport. The truck burst into flames and exploded following a crash with another vehicle and overturned. The cab of the truck went down an embankment on Elaine Road at Underhill Parkway near the town’s sewage treatment plant. The highway was closed in both directions between exits 17 and 18 in Westport but northbound was reopened about an hour later. Police said adjacent town roads, as well as the Post Road, were jammed as a result of the highway closure. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
UPDATE The scene tonight on Elaine Road at Underhill Parkway, just below the I-95 Saugatuck Bridge where a sewage tanker truck burst into flames and part of it went down an embankment. Westport police said local traffic in the area was backed up and the Post Road was jammed as southbound I-95 traffic sought to detour. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
UPDATE A tanker truck hauling sewage was involved in a fiery crash tonight at the end of the Saugatuck River bridge in Westport. Part of the truck apparently went off the highway and down an embankment, ending up on Elaine Road at Underhill Parkway. Fire officials said the driver was killed in the crash. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A power-head goal by Teddy Lawrence and a 20-yard blast by Anton Mahr lifted Staples to a 2-0 victory today at St. Joseph. The clean sheet was earned by keeper Ziggy Hallgarten and defenders Lawrence, Chris Martenson, Sam Kantor and Gabe Baltierra. In the photo above, midfielder Timmy Liles is sandwiched by a pair of Cadets. The Wreckers – now 3-2-3 – host Westhill Saturday, in a key FCIAC contest. Game time at Loeffler Field is 3 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Armelle Daniels for WestportNow.com
By Mark Pazniokaswww.ctmirror.org
Connecticut legislators today took a one-day break from re-election campaigns to give bipartisan blessing to a $220 million incentive deal for Lockheed Martin that would keep its Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary and production of its next generation of helicopters in a state desperate to keep its storied aerospace industry.
At a State Capitol inured to economic gloom, most legislators embraced the Sikorsky deal as a cause for celebration, a victory that promises to pump $69.2 billion into the economy over 14 years, while saving thousands of jobs at Sikorsky’s sprawling plant in Stratford and at more than 300 suppliers throughout the state.
“Competition in today’s worldwide economic climate is fierce, and Connecticut is showing that we remain a valued leader where businesses can maintain a competitive edge well into the future,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said after final passage.
Passage came on votes of 35-1 in the Senate and 136-6 in the House.
By Susan GrangerSpecial to WestportNow
When an explosion on April 10, 2010, ignited the “Deepwater Horizon” oil rig, the blowout lasted 87 days, leaking 4.9 million gallons into the Gulf, resulting in the worst ecological disaster in American history.
Told through the perspective of Chief Electronics Technician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg), it begins as he bids goodbye to his wife (Kate Hudson) and young daughter, hoping to snag a ‘dinosaur bone’ for her to show to her class in school.
Preparing to be transported to the enormous rig, just off the Louisiana coast, he greets co-worker Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez) and reports for duty to Captain “Mr. Jimmy” Harrell (Kurt Russell), who, ironically, is presented with a workplace Safety Award, just before the “well from hell” bursts.
Conversing in terse, indecipherable, technical jargon, it’s obvious that certain “negative pressure tests,” along with other maintenance procedures, were not properly performed because of monetary pressure.
By Judy SzablakSpecial to WestportNow
A few of Westport’s neighborhoods are in the transitioning stage, as evidenced by new construction in areas where there have not been any newly built homes in quite a while.
These transitioning neighborhoods provide buyers with an alternative to purchasing pre-existing homes that may be in need of some remodeling that are in a similar price range, but in a more price-established area.
At the same time, these homes offer a ground floor opportunity to enter into a growing neighborhood.
It is interesting to note that when newer homes are built in these neighborhoods, nearby homeowners tend to remodel, surrounding property values tend to go up, and other new properties subsequently get built, all serving to further enhance the area.
Volunteers from Westport-based Triple Point Technology gathered today at Project Return, 124 Compo Road North, to clean up and beautify the property. The work is in preparation for the eight young women, ages 18-24, who will be occupy the house after the completion of the merger of Project Return and Homes With Hope, according to Jeff Wieser (r), president of the recently combined organizations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
James Thomas Hurley, 84, of Concord, Mass., formerly of Westport, died Sept. 26 at Emerson Hospital in Concord. He was 84.
The husband of the late Patricia Anne (McKenna) Hurley was born in Glen Cove, N.Y. on Jan. 28, 1932, the son of the late John Thomas and Della Josephine Hurley.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in New York and a master’s degree from Fairfield University. He also served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
He spent the majority of his career working for General Electric Corp. He worked in multiple roles in various GE locations including San Jose, Calif., Frankfurt, Germany, Schenectady, N.Y., and Stamford.
Westport’s Project Return, which has aided teenage girls in crisis for three decades, took another step today in its transformation into aiding a slightly older female population in need.
The Board of Selectmen approved an amendment, and assignment and assumption of a lease agreement between Project Return, Westport’s Homes With Hope (HWH), and the town as it relates to the lease for town-owned property at 124 Compo Road North to Project Return dated June 1, 2001.
Project Return announced on June 30 that with state budget cuts set to leaving it high and dry, it has joined forces with HWH, a local agency that addresses homelessness. (See WestportNow June 30, 2016)
“The board is very committed to continuing the mission of serving young women in crisis to help them rebuild their lives,” explained Kimberly Lake, co-chair of Project Return’s Strategic Action Committee.
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 43 High Point Road, off Long Lots Road, is in process. Built in 1956, the one-story split level has 2,019-square feet, is situated on a 1.11-acre property and changed ownership this month for $675,000. 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 WestportNow.com
Westport is seeking a bomb detection dog to augment its three-dog K-9 corps, Police Chief Foti Koskinas told the Board of Selectmen today.
“I am working very hard to get a bomb detection dog that is nationally certified at either no cost or minimal cost and tap into federal money,” he said.
“I feel between our train stations, our schools, and all the religious locations that we have it would be a huge asset to the town.”
The police chief said the bomb detection dog would work with the one of the existing handlers of the town’s three police service dogs.