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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Keith R. Verges, 55

Keith Robert Verges of Dallas, Texas, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 12. He was 55. Image
Keith Verges: attorney, physicist. LinkedIn photo

He was born Feb. 7, 1961 in Norman, Okla., grew up in the Northeast and graduated from Staples High School in Westport. In just three years of attendance, he earned three bachelor of science degrees from Southern Methodist University in mathematics, chemistry and physics, becoming the first recipient of the school’s Frank C. McDonald Memorial Award in Physics in 1981.

He went on to earn his master’s degree in applied physics from Princeton University. During this time, he worked as a project physicist at Teledyne-Geotech and spent a cold summer as part of a team installing the first seismic station on the continent of Antarctica in 1985 on a government contract for which he was awarded the Antarctica Service Medal from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Also during this time, he met his future bride Laurie, who joined him on his many adventures in life. Though he loved his work in physics, he felt the need to change course and decided to end his studies towards his Ph. D and return to SMU to pursue a law degree.

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09/21/16 11:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Julia E. Juhasz, 77

Julia E. Juhasz of Manchester Center, Vt., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 20 at Equinox Terrace assisted living facility in Manchester Center. She was 77.

She was born in Szeged, Hungary on May 12, 1939, the daughter of the late Janos Koncz and Julia Koncz, and attended local schools. She came to the United States in 1956 and ultimately settled in Westport.

She worked as a quality control engineer in Connecticut for many years. She started her career at Norden Systems, followed by running an automotive business with her late husband Alex Juhasz. She finally retired from DataComm Management Sciences.

She enjoyed gardening, carpentry, skiing and spending time with her family.

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09/21/16 11:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thomas Ikeda, 92

Thomas Ikeda of Sarasota, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Sept. 9 after a long illness. He was 92. Image
Thomas Ikeda: worked for Norden Systems. Contributed photo

Born in California and educated in Japan, he returned to the United States after the war and graduated from Columbia University with a M.Sc. in electrical engineering. He married Akiko in December 1954, and they were active members of the church and community in Westport.

He retired after a 36-year career with Norden Systems, and eventually he and Akiko divided time between Westport and Sarasota.

A man of few words, Thomas conveyed his love to his family and friends through his actions and steadfastness. He was an avid bridge player, audiophile, photographer and sports fan.

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09/21/16 11:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Kenneth J. Grant, 65

Kenneth J. Grant of Bethel, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 19 in Redding. He was 65.

Born Jan. 18, 1951 in Westport, he was the son of the late Edward and Rita (Cullen) Grant.

He was a fourth generation Westporter and lived in town for more than 30 years and then moved to Fairfield, where he lived for 30 years and has resided in Bethel for the last five years.

He retired from West Tech Security, where he worked for more than 30 years as an alarm tech and more recently worked for Meadow Ridge Assisted Living in Redding, where he was a driver for the residents.

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09/21/16 10:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck River Sunset Image
Sunset Tuesday night along the Saugatuck River off of Longshore Club Park.The circle is caused by jumping fish. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrew Colabella for


09/21/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words”
10 a.m. - Compo Beach - RTM Site Visit
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Tree Board
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Planning & Zoning Commission
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Forgiveness: Healing Interpersonal Wounds
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Parks & Recreation Commission
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Library Board of Trustees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/21/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 39 Imperial Ave. Image
An application for a permit to demolish the main house and adjacent structure at Westport’s 39 Imperial Ave. is in process. The main house, built in 1895, a two-story antique, has 5,340-square feet. The adjacent structure, built in 1984, a one-story ranch, has 2,402 square feet. The properties are situated on a 1.01 acres. Because the main 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


09/20/16 08:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Boys Soccer Draws With Ridgefield Image
Despite a 14-1 advantage in shots, the Staples boys soccer team tied Ridgefield 0-0 today at Loeffler Field. An inability to finish negated great defense and teamwork all over the field. Pictured are Matt Engler and Josh Engler racing for a loose ball, against a Tiger defender. The Wreckers entertain Central High on Thursday. Game time is 4 p.m., at Loeffler Field. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Frances Rowland for


09/20/16 07:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: All the Home is a Stage

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

The importance of staging your home for sale in Westport is now more important than ever. That doesn’t mean just a few rooms, either. Image
Featured Home: This home at 12 Bluff Point is listed at $4,850,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Settlers & Traders/Westport

Not so long ago, the vast majority of properties that were staged even partially were newly built homes. Of course, there were some occupied homes that looked as if they had been staged, or homes that were professionally decorated that appeared to be staged, even though they were lived in.

More recently, as in the past few years, more real estate agents and homeowners have realized the value of this added marketing strategy, and it has become much more commonplace.

In fact, some properties may be disadvantaged just by not having that professional attention to detail.

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09/20/16 05:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Supreme Court Will Consider Education Ruling

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

The state Supreme Court will hear an expedited appeal of a lower court’s conclusion that the way the state distributes education aid and oversees local schools is unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers accepted petitions by Attorney General George Jepsen and the lawyers for the plaintiffs for a direct review by the Supreme Court of different aspects of the decision by Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher.

Moukawsher demanded plans from the state within 180 days to establish new standards for teacher evaluations, high school graduation and elementary and secondary education and an overhaul to how schools are funded. Defending the state, the attorney general’s appeal called the decision a judicial overreach.

The plaintiffs, a coalition of parents, school officials, and teacher unions, had asked that the high court hold off on hearing the state’s appeal until remedies crafted by lawmakers had been ruled on by the lower court.

Click here for more of story


09/20/16 03:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Christian M. Bernegger, 56

Christian Martin Bernegger of South Norwalk, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 17 at Norwalk Hospital.  He was 56.

He was born in Jackson Heights, N.Y. on Feb. 12, 1960 to Loretta and Max Bernegger. He was raised in Westport and graduated Staples High School in 1978.  He earned a bachelor of science degree from Tulane University in 1982.

He was an oil trader who worked in Hamburg, Germany. He then moved to London to open and run an office for his father’s company, First National Crude Oil, based in Norwalk. He moved back to the United States in 1986 to help his father run First National Crude Oil.

He excelled in athletics in his youth and as an adult was an excellent chef who was passionate about preparing meals for family and friends.

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09/20/16 02:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Road North Reopened Image
UPDATE Westport’s Compo Road North, between Cross Highway and Main Street at the intersection of Clinton Avenue, was reopened today at 2;30 p.m.. The portion of the road was closed on Aug. 22 with a promised 30-day duration as part of a $2 million project to realign Compo Road North and Clinton Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/20/16 02:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

I-95 Car Fire Image
A car’s engine compartment is fully engulfed in flames today on I-95 northbound between exits 17 and 18 in Westport. The driver apparently escaped without injury. Westport firefighters extinguished the fire, which tied up traffic in the area shortly before 2 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/20/16 02:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby,’ ‘Hands of Stone,’ ‘War Dogs’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

“Bridget Jones’s Baby,” the long-awaited third installment, begins as charmingly awkward, accident-prone Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is celebrating her 43rd birthday – alone, once again – with Celine Dion’s “All By Myself.” Image

A funeral flashback reveals that Bridget’s caddish boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), has died and her longtime lover, successful barrister Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), is married to a woman named Camilla.

Bridget is a successful TV news show producer and her best friend, anchorwoman Miranda (Sarah Solemani), has concocted a plan to launch her back into the dating world during a weekend at the Glastonbury Music Festival.

That’s where American billionaire Jack Quant (Patrick Dempsey) gallantly pulls her out of a mud puddle. He’s CEO of an online dating website. Later that night, he and Bridget hook up in his ornate yurt.

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09/20/16 12:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monica Lewinsky in Cyberbullying Talk at WAC

Monica Lewinsky, now an anti-bullying advocate 20 years after she endured worldwide ridicule when her affair with President Bill Clinton was revealed, will speak at the Westport Arts Center (WAC) next month about bullying, it was announced today. Image
Monica Lewinsky delivering a March 2015 TED talk, “The Price of Shame.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Her appearance on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. coincides with the current WAC exhibit, “MORE Than Words,” which examines the topic of bullying.

VIP tickets for $200, including a reception, are on sale to WAC members today and will be available to the public beginning on Friday, an announcement said. It said the event is closed to the press.

Lewinsky, 43, will speak on “bullying, cyberbullying, resilience and reclaiming your narrative,” the announcement said.

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09/20/16 10:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Island View Image
Monday’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Saugatuck Island. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for


09/20/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words”
11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - PageTurners : “The Red Notebook” by Antoine Laurain
1:15 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Hard-boiled—Noir Films Through the Years: “Chinatown”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - 323 Main Street - Westport Library Let’s Get Quizzical Pub Trivia Night
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Green Task Force
8 p.m. - Westport Astronomical Society (182 Bayberry Lane) - Planet Formation through Radio Eyes, Dr. Meredith Hughes

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/20/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gallery: 2016 Westport Playhouse Gala

Scenes from tonight’s 2016 Westport Playhouse gala, “The Night They Invented Champagne: Celebrating Lerner & Loewe..” Dave Matlow and J.C. Martin for and photos. Performance photos by Steve Walter Photo.


09/19/16 10:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Standing Ovation for Playhouse Gala Performance Image
There was a stamding ovation tonight for the Westport Country Playhouse’s 2016 gala, “The Night They Invented Champagne: Celebrating Lerner & Loewe.” Actor Richard Thomas hosted a variety of artists who performed the music of the legendary Broadway composing team. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


09/19/16 09:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honored With Playhouse Leadership Award Image
Jill and Alex Dimitrief of Westport receive the 2016 Playhouse Leadership Award tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse 2016 gala from Barbara K. Streicker (l), chair of the Playhouse board of trustees. Dimitrief, senior vice president and general counsel of GE who joined the Playhouse board of trustees in 2010, told the audience he and his wife were most appreciative of the award and hoped to return often to the Playhouse. He and his wife are moving to Massachusetts where GE has moved its corporate headquarters from Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Steve Walter Photo


09/19/16 09:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Formal Introduction for Playhouse Managing Director Image
Michael Barker, new Westport Playhouse managing director, and wife Heidi pose at tonight’s Playhouse gala. Anne Keefe, associate artist, made the onstage formal introduction of Barker to the gala audience, noting he was a new Michael, a reference to his predecessor, Michael Ross, who left in June after seven years in the post. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/19/16 09:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Up for Auction Image
Guests at the 2016 Westport Country Playhouse gala tonight check out some of the auction items available. They included tickets to theater and sporting events, stays at luxury accommodations, and items donated by Westport merchants and residents. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


09/19/16 09:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woman’s Club New Board Meets Image
The Westport Woman’s Club new board of directors for 2016-2017 met today for the first meeting of the new fiscal year. Pictured: (front row, l-r) Deb Fratino, house; Robin Clark, treasurer; Susan Loselle, Curio Cottage; Ana Hitri, programs; Susan Fox, parliamentarian, Dorothy M. Packer, president; Barbara Stemmer, second vice president, finance; Susan Murphy, third vice president, ways and means; (back row) Christina McVaney, Yankee Doodle Fair co-chair; Anne Hunt, communications; Sarah Menchaca, community services; Dorothy E. Curran, past president; Mira Auxier, rentals; Wynne Abrams, secretary; Nancy Hallas, grounds; Kim Reichert, Yankee Doodle Fair, and Jeannette Tewey, first vice president, special interests. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/19/16 04:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Household Hazardous Waste Day Saturday

Westport will host its annual household hazardous waste collection day on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Westport Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane, rain or shine. Image
Workers sort through household hazardous waste contributions at last year’s event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The days is a no charge regional program designed to provide a safe option to keep household hazardous wastes out of the solid waste stream and protect land and water from potential contamination, an announcement said.

Many of the things used around the house on a daily basis are considered to be household hazardous waste because they may contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients.

Products such as oil-based paints, cleaners, oils and pesticides can pollute the environment and jeopardize public health when they are disposed of improperly and enter groundwater or the solid waste stream.

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09/19/16 11:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

Two CMS Students Win Writing Honors Image
Two Coleytown Middle School students, Charlotte Zhang (l) and Michelle Kaminski, received honorable mention awards in the Middle School Poetry division of the recent 2016 Trumbull Arts Festival Literary Competition. Excerpts of Michelle’s poem, “A Paper Journey,” and Charlotte’s poem, “United As One,” were read to the audience in a ceremony at the Trumbull Public Library. Their teacher is Paul Ferrante. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/19/16 10:48 AM Comments () • Permalink

Going Down: 17 Owenoke Park Image
Neighbors watched today as the house at Westport’s 17 Owenoke Park in the Compo Beach area was demolished. Built in 1930, the two-story custom colonial had 5,889-square feet, was situated on a .46-acre property an changed ownership in November 2010 for $12 million. It was the Westport Teardown of the Day on Dec. 13, 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


09/19/16 10:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Flood Advisory Issued

UPDATE The National Weather Service has issued an Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory for poor drainage areas for the Westport area until noon.


09/19/16 07:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

For Larry Aasen, a 90-year Passion for Presidential Memorabilia

By James Lomuscio

For longtime Westporter Larry Aasen, 93, a lifelong passion for political memorabilia and presidential campaign buttons began when he was 5. Image
Larry Aasen with one of the posters from his collection. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“My dad came back from a convention with a pencil that had an eraser shaped like Al Smith’s head,” he recalled about the rubber countenance of the Democratic governor who lost the 1928 pesidential election to Republican Herbert Hoover in a landslide.

Young Aasen, who grew up in a log home with no running water and no electricity on a hardscrabble farm outside of Fargo, N.D., became mesmerized by the eraser head.

He also lost it, triggering nearly a century of interest in collecting tangible history choreographing presidential, senatorial and other high profile races.

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09/19/16 05:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, September 19, 2016

9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Westport Weston Family YMCA - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words”
Noon - Wesport Library - Open Meeting: Nutrition Education Seminars
5:45 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - 2016 Gala: “The Night They Invented Champagne”
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Tabletop Games for Adults
7 p.m. - Westport Library - My Journeys With Jacques-Yves Cousteau on Calypso
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Parks Advisory Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/19/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Letter: ‘We Have to Change Our Attitude as a Community’

To the Editor:

Last Wednesday, I dropped my kid off at Staples High School at 7:25 a.m. and headed for the Merritt. The traffic has been extra heavy due to the construction at Cross Highway and Compo Road North, so when I turned onto Weston Road I was in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. 

Gazing into the Audi convertible in front of me, I realized that there were moving images on the GPS display. I looked more carefully and saw that the driver had his cell phone propped up in the display area and was live streaming a talk show to watch while “driving.” 

Sitting there in traffic, I watched the eyes of the Audi driver in his rear view mirror and he was barely glancing at the road: so much so that when the car in front of him took his turn at the stop sign, the Audi driver coasted right through behind almost getting t-boned by the car from Main Street, who had the right of way.

Even more alarming is that the Audi driver got on to the Merritt, pulled into the left lane and sped away.  I prayed that he got to his destination safely and without hurting anyone else.

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09/18/16 10:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

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