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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Comings & Goings: Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center Opening

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Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center is leasing 2,900-square feet of space at 1800 Post Road East, previously occupied by People’s United Bank, according to Franco Fellah, executive vice president of Westport’s HK Group.The shopping center is anchored by Stop & Shop. Founded in 1994, the business already has established locations in Trumbull, Shelton, Stratford and Fairfield, Fellah said. The Westport space is currently under construction and should be ready to open for business in very early 2017, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


11/30/16 10:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Key Lawmaker: Need to Talk About Raising Revenues

By Keith M. Phaneuf


As analysts outlined a grim picture today that could include further cuts to state social services and reversing recent enhancements in local aid and transportation, one key lawmaker insisted officials must discuss raising revenue in 2017.

Though it is premature to target specific measures — such as tax increases, fee hikes or tolls — Rep. Toni E. Walker, D-New Haven, said trying to offset surging debt costs in the next state budget solely with cuts “is going to be devastating” to Connecticut.

“I believe there are things out there that we need to look at, that we have turned up our nose to” over the past year, she said. “We have to look now, and we have to look at who is suffering in this state.”

Walker, a New Haven Democrat who co-chairs the Appropriations Committee, made her comments after a three-hour briefing on budget trends by executive and legislative branch analysts.

Click here for more of story


11/30/16 09:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

WN on the Scene: Art Basel Miami 2016

Art Basel Miami, North America’s foremost international modern and contemporary art fair, takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center beginning Thursday and runs through Sunday. It is the sister fair to the original Art Basel, founded in Basel, Switzerland in 1970.  Helen Klisser During, artistic director emeritus of the Westport Arts Center and WestportNow contributing photographer, was among VIP guests today getting a preview. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com


11/30/16 08:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Weston Historical Society to Host Westport B&N Book Fair

The Weston Historical Society will host a book fair at the Barnes & Noble store in Westport on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help raise money for the society.

“This is an opportunity to do some holiday shopping and help preserve Weston’s history,” an announcement said.

In addition to books, there are countless other gift items, including Nooks, DVDs, music, toys and games, and craft and home items.

When people use WHS book fair ID 10254813 at checkout, the Weston Historical Society will receive up to 20 percent of all merchandise and café purchases that day.

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11/30/16 07:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dorothy C. Shook, 94

Dorothy C. Shook of Essex, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 27 at Essex Madows. She was 94.

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Dorothy Shook: former Westporter. Contributed photo

While residing in Westport, she was the longtime secretary of the local chapter of P.E.O., a philanthropic organization which promotes the advancement of and provides educational opportunities for women.

She was an assistant registrar of voters in Westport for over a decade and was the bookkeeper for the family-owned business, Television Workshop, Inc. for many years.

More recently she was a resident member representative to the board of directors for the Essex Meadows Retirement Community and served on the welcoming committee.

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11/30/16 06:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 88 Morningside Drive South

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 88 Morningside Drive South is in process. Built in 1900, the 2-1/2 story custom colonial has 6,159-square feet, is situated on a 3.24-acre property and changed ownership in August 2015 for $2.8 million. 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


11/30/16 04:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Gone: 17 Soundview Drive

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Most of the demolition of 17 Soundview Drive was completed today despite a heavy rain. Demolition of the 1918-built house overlooking Compo Beach began Monday but workers said because of the structure’s close proximity to the property line and roadways, the job would take two or three days. The two-story conventional changed ownership in June 2015 for $2,466,000.  It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on March 25, 2016. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


11/30/16 03:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Gone: 10 Westport Ave.

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The house at Westport’s 10 Westport Ave., in the Compo Beach area, came down today. Built in 1930, the two-story conventional had 1,626-square feet, is situated on a .11-acre property and changed ownership in September for $1,355,000.  It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on July 29, 2016. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


11/30/16 03:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Post Office to Open Two Sundays

The U.S. Postal Service announced that the Westport Post Office will have Sunday holiday hours on Dec. 11 and 18.

The facility at 275 Post Road East will be open from noon to 4 p.m.


11/30/16 01:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘Moonlight,’ ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

In “Moonlight,” writer/director Barry Jenkins has created an achingly affecting, incandescent coming-of-age story, covering 16 years—with three different actors playing the leading African-American character.

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Growing up in a decrepit, inner-city housing project in Miami, scrawny, fatherless 10-year-old Chiron (Alex Hibbert) has been dubbed “Little” by playmates, who suspect his tendency toward homosexuality long before he knows what the term “faggot” means.

Hiding from schoolyard tormentors, silent, wide-eyed Chiron is discovered by a kindly, Cuban-born crack dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali), who offers him a meal and a place to stay for the night at the apartment he shares with his girl-friend Teresa (singer Janelle Monae).

When Juan drives Chiron home the next morning, he realizes that his mother, Paula (Naomi Harris), is a drug addict. “My momma does drugs?” Chiron asks, trying to comprehend. “And you sell drugs?”

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11/30/16 01:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

June Parker, 88

June Parker of Seattle, Washington, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 17 at home. She was 88.

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June Parker: artist. Contributed photo

She chose the scenic route through life and she lived it with grit and grace, her family said. She enjoyed a love of family and love of beauty that launched her into the world of art and a lifetime of strong ties to her four children; Donna Parker of Seattle, Brad Parker of Vienna, Virginia, Karen Parker of Los Altos, California, and Melissa Riordan of Fairbanks, Arkansas.

Claire “June” Crary was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. where she lived for several years with parents, Claire and Ralph Goodman and siblings Nancy (Reilly) and Richard Goodman. When her mother remarried to Stu Crary, the family moved to Westport. All three siblings graduated from Staples High School.

In 1949, June married Donald Parker, an alumnus of Staples High School, the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, and the University of Connecticut.

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11/30/16 11:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Judith Eve Brown, 70

Judith Eve Brown of Brandon, Vt., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 27 at home. She was 70.

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Judith Eve Brown: Staples grad. Contributed photo

An obituary supplied by her family said she lived the last five and half years in a continual dance of spirit contending with ovarian cancer and scleroderma.

She pursued treatment across the spectrum of traditional and non-traditional medicine. Her hard-earned learning taught her to listen to her own body, and it was her wish that her obituary encourage women everywhere: “listen to, and trust, your body.”

In her words, “The more you accept where you are, your mind then isn’t in a constant struggle…and then your life doesn’t revolve around it. . . You know me, I never liked guns, I’m not a fighter, but I’m aggressive about knowledge. The more you can learn. . . to make your inner terrain healthier, the more empowered you are.” She understood a basic principle that you can’t fight and heal at the same time.

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11/30/16 11:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Peter D. Griffin, 58

Peter D. Griffin of Westport died Nov. 29 at home of pancreatic cancer. He was 58.

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Peter Griffin: certified in internal and occupational medicine. Contributed photo

He was born on July 7, 1958, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended Rutgers University School of Engineering from 1976 through 1980, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science, electrical engineering, high honors, in May 1980. He was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society as well as Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society.

He attended Loyola Stritch School of Medicine from 1980 through 1984 where he graduated with a Medical Doctorate in 1984. He was accepted into Columbia University’s combined internal medicine and occupation medicine program becoming board certified in both internal medicine and occupational medicine in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He received a Master’s in public health from Columbia University in 1991.

He fulfilled a two-year commitment to the National Public Health Service by working in a physician shortage area in upstate New York at Syracuse Community Health Center from 1987 to 1989. There he earned the NPHS Regional Administrators award for his work on AIDS and drug addiction. It is in upstate New York where his interest in outdoor sports began.

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11/30/16 11:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Library Holiday Book Sale This Weekend

The Westport Library’s 12th annual Holiday Book and Gift Sale will be held Friday through Sunday on the library’s main level.

For the first time, with the newly added Friday opening, the sale runs three days. All proceeds from the sale directly benefit the Library.

A large selection of gift-quality books at deep discounts will be available in many categories including art, current fiction, literature, classics, history, current events, gardening, crafts, cooking and biography.

Also for sale are many children’s books and holiday-themed materials, as well as DVDs and CDs in sealed original packaging, an announcement said.

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11/30/16 11:13 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Art to the Max”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/#Iammore Exhibition”
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Dewey Knit: Grade 4 to Adults
5:30 p.m. - 518 Riverside Ave. - Wakeman Town Farm Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee Canceled
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - RTM Library Museum & Arts
9 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: NaNoWriMo Write-Out

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


11/30/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

EMS Drama: Ben Frimmer Honored

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Westport Volunteer EMS Crew Chief Benjamin Frimmer tonight shows off his presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, signed by President Obama, presented to him during the service’s monthly meeting. Frimmer, who is also a dramatic arts teacher at Coleytown Middle School, has been with the service since 1985 and has “demonstrated his skills, abilities, and compassion on thousands of 911 medical emergency calls” according to WVEMS President Yves Cantin. The award is given to those who have served more than 4,000 volunteer service hours, although Frimmer has met that requirement many times over. “I have to say that volunteering, specifically with EMS, has been such a major part of my life, I can’t imagine it any other way,” Frimmer said in a Facebook post. “I couldn’t be more honored to have received this award signed by our outgoing President. I’m not usually one to be excited about certificates or awards, but this one seems quite special. To all my mentors I thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me the value of giving.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com


11/29/16 09:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woman Found Dead in Maintenance Shed

UPDATE Westport police today were investigating the death of a homeless woman found in a maintenance shed behind the Westport Center for Senior Activities.

Detectives were called to the scene as 21 Imperial Ave. in late afternoon where the woman, known to those who encountered her only as Tina, was found, according to sources. Her full name was Tina Wessel.

It was not known how long she had been dead.

A familiar sight in Westport for many years, she resisted multiple efforts by the town’s Human Services Department and others to help her, said a person familiar with her case. She sometimes took meals at the Gillespie Center.

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11/29/16 07:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Main Street Shoplifting Arrest

Officers arrested a Fairfield woman for shoplifting shirts from Brandy Melville on Main Street back in June, police said today.

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Nicole Torrealba: free on $500 bond. Westport Police photo

Upon her arrest Friday Nicole Torrealba, 19, was charged with sixth-degree larceny for having left the store without paying for two shirts valued at $22 each.

“Torrealba was identified by the store surveillance and witnesses to the incident, as Torrealba had shopped in the store previously,” said Lt. David Farrell. 

With an active warrant out for her arrest, Torrealba was taken into custody at the Fairfield Police Department where she was being held, Farrell said.

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11/29/16 03:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Palmer: Superintendent’s Job ‘Best in World’

By Gordon Joseloff

Four months into her job, Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer said today it is the “best job in the world.”

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Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer addresses the Westport Rotary Club today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

In a wide-ranging talk to the weekly meeting of the Westport Rotary Club at Branson Hall at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, she said it is “truly a privilege to serve in this role.”

“I do live in Westport,” said Palmer, who was formerly superintendent in Weston. And, bringing laughter from the audience, she added: “And so I’ve tried to figure out how to make a left turn into Starbucks….the problems we should have.”

“I love it here,” she said. “I love the vibrancy. I love the energy. I love the intellect, the passion, the talent of this community.”

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11/29/16 03:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Schools Superintendent: ‘Worried About Long-Term Funding of Education’

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Westport Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said today while Westport is “kind of an oasis here, isolated in so many ways,” a new administration in Washington will bring changes as “things cascade down to us.” Addressing the weekly meeting of the Westport Rotary Club, she said, however, she is not overly concerned. “I’m not so worried about the federal government because whatever they’ve done I tried to find a way creatively to do what I need to do…and I’ve been successful so far.” she said. But she added: “I am more worried about the long-term funding of education.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


11/29/16 02:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

George T. Bristol III, 67

George Treat Bristol III of Tujunga, Calif., a former Westport resident, died Nov. 12 at home of heart failure. He was 67.

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George Bristol: former Westporter.  Contributed photo

He was the husband of Toni (Shpuntoff) Bristol and owner and president of Expansion Ventures Inc. of Montrose, Calif. The company provides consultation services for periodontists, a dental specialty.

He was born April 20, 1949 in New York City, the son of the late George T. Bristol Jr. and Marjorie (Macon) Bristol of Westport. He grew up in Westport and was a graduate of Staples High School. He attended Clark University before relocating to California.

In addition to his wife of 36 years, he is survived by a son Thomas Bristol and his wife Jamie (Wilson) Bristol of Glendale, Calif.; a brother, Ned Bristol of Wrentham, Mass.; three sisters, Kathleen Federico of Norwalk, Patricia May of Medina, Wash., and Elizabeth Callahan of Wilton; two grandchildren, one nephew and six nieces.

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11/29/16 11:48 AM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Ranch Home Demand Strong

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

Newly-built homes comprise almost 25 percent of the available homes for sale in Westport and are responsible for 18 percent of the sales over the last year.

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Featured Home: This home on 134 Hillspoint Road is listed at $1.75 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis/Westport

More significantly, that 18 percent contributes quite significantly to our overall average sale price in town.

Pre-existing homes have sold on average for just over $1.35 million, while homes built after 2014 are averaging nearly $2.49 million.

Sometimes, we lose sight of the fact that these new construction homes help our overall market on a meaningful basis.

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11/29/16 10:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thanksgiving Survivor?

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This Tom Turkey was spotted Monday in Westport’s Partrick Wetlands. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com


11/29/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Art to the Max”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/#Iammore Exhibition”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Public Works Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


11/29/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, November 28, 2016

‘Routine Disturbance’ Disrupts Rush Hour

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UPDATE Westport police units converged on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge tonight in Westport’s center for what Lt. Anthony Prezioso, the shift commander, termed a “routine disturbance.” On Dec. 2, Lt. David Farrell gave further details. He said police responded to a disturbance on the bridge involving a driver who said two passengers got into an argument with her, grabbing her and taking her cell phone so she could not call 911. She also said they took her purse, but no purse was located in the area. The passengers, Korean Powell, 39, of Westport, and Shatrice Ricektts, 30, of Waterbury, were charged with disorderly conduct and released on a promise to appear in Norwalk court, Farrell said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com


11/28/16 11:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

CNN Anchor: Media Relied Too Much on Polls

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CNN “New Day” co-anchor Alysn Camerota, also a Westport mother of three, was guest speaker today at the Y’s Women meeting at Temple Israel. And she brought along her mom, Elaine. She told an overflow audience the nation’s news media erred in relying so heavily on polls in the 2016 election. People were annoyed at being asked who they were voting for and often “didn’t tell the truth,” she said. Camerota added she never said Donald Trump could not win. “I moderated several panels of Trump supporters and saw how committed they were, and I could see the enthusiasm for Trump,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


11/28/16 05:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Merritt Fatal Tree Accident Finally Coming to Trial

A Merritt Parkway accident almost 10 years ago in Westport involving a New York couple killed when a 70-foot tree crashed on to their Volvo will finally be the subject of a trial.

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A car in which a Pelham, N.Y. couple was killed in the June 9, 2007 accident. Their two young sons in the back seat survived. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The trial over whether Connecticut government is responsible for the June 9, 2007 deaths of Joseph Stavola, 46, a physician, and Jeanne Serocke-Stavola, 44, an attorney, has been scheduled for next June, according to the Hartford Courant, which conducted an investigation into the case.

Their two sons, 7 and 9 at the time and sitting in the back seat, escaped serious injury in the 9:15 p.m. accident in clear weather.  (See WestportNow June 10, 2007) They now live with family in the Hartford area, the newspaper said..

Relatives of the Pelham Manor, N.Y., couple asked the state claims commissioner in 2008 for permission to sue the state, as required by law. Their request was not approved until 2013.

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11/28/16 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating #GivingTuesday

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The Westport Country Playhouse today hosted a celebration with representatives of local nonprofit organizations in advance of #GivingTuesday. The event is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe officially proclaimed Tuesday, Nov. 29, as #GivingTuesday in Westport and encouraged Westport citizens to join together to give back to the community in any way that is personally meaningful. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


11/28/16 04:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Delicate Demolition

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At day’s end today, the front section of 17 Soundview Drive was still standing after much of the rear portion had been demolished. A worker on the job said it may take two or three days for the 1918-built home overlooking Compo Beach to come down. He said the work has to go slowly because of the close proximity of the house to the property lines and roadways. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


11/28/16 04:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Going Down: 17 Soundview Drive

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UPDATE Demolition began today of 17 Soundview Drive, at the corner of Norwalk Avenue, overlooking Compo Beach. Workers said because of the structure’s close proximity to the property line and roadways, the job will likely take two or three days. Built in 1918, the two-story conventional has 3,161-square feet, and is situated on a .11-acre property that changed ownership in June 2015 for $2,466,000. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on March 25, 2016. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


11/28/16 02:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

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