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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Party Time Image
Almost 100 members of the Westport business community attended a holiday mixer tonight hosted by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce at The Boathouse in Saugatuck. The crowd included both Westport Business Network International groups, many members and others. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Conributed photo


12/06/16 08:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Toy Collection Box Ready for Donations Image
The Westport police holiday toy drive does not officially begin until this weekend (see WestportNow Nov. 26, 2016), but there is already a toy collection box set up at Westport Police Headquarters, 50 Jesup Road. Donors are asked to bring new, unopened, and unwrapped toys to the collection point as well as on Saturday and Sunday, and next weekend as well, at ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


12/06/16 05:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Steinberg: Bipartisan Efforts Needed on CT Financial Woes

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136), just re-elected to his fourth term, today painted a pessimistic picture of state finances in a talk to the weekly Westport Rotary Club meeting. Image
State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg addresses the Westport Rotary Club today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

He said “cutting won’t be enough” to improve Connecticut’s financial woes and the only solutions must be bipartisan ones.

“We got into this mess together,” and the need is to come up with solutions both sides can agree on, said Steinberg, who presented a detailed slide show on state finances.

He said it would be “suicide” to make moves to raise the sales tax, for example, and warned that Westport should not expect much in state aid and will likely see additional cuts to educational cost sharing.

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12/06/16 04:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘Rules Don’t Apply,’ ‘Miss Sloane,’ ‘Bad Santa’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Watching “Rules Don’t Apply” reminded me of when Elizabeth Taylor died. I was chatting with another critic at a Manhattan screening when the twentysomething publicist asked, “Who’s Elizabeth Taylor?” Image

After years of gestation, Warren Beatty has created an absurdly nostalgic farce about aviation tycoon/film producer Howard Hughes. But do moviegoers remember either of them?

Beatty’s story begins with “Never check an interesting fact,” a quote attributed to Howard Hughes, known for being the most eccentric, elusive executive in Hollywood, as shown in the 1964 prologue.

Flash back to 1958, when an aspiring actress, virginal Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), arrives in Hollywood from Virginia with her devoutly Baptist mother (Annette Bening). Marla soon discovers she’s only one of many starlets summoned by Hughes and paid $400 a week to ‘stand by’ for RKO Pictures auditions.

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12/06/16 03:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Fire Victim ‘Always Loved Animals’

By Sam Whiting

San Francisco Chronicle

Riley Fritz, a garage band bass player and art school graduate who was always trailed by a rescue dog, was confirmed dead Monday in the fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland. Image
Feral Pines: 2005 Staples grad. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Fritz family

“A very soft, sensitive, caring person,” said her father, Bruce Fritz of Westport, Conn. “A very gentle soul. Never had a bad word to say about other people.”

Riley Fritz, who was 29 and also went by the name Feral Pines, was a transgender woman and one of several queer people to perish in the inferno.

She had moved from out of state to Oakland in September and was living with friends while raising a rescue dog named Grimma, said her father.

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12/06/16 02:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Celebrating the Christmas Season Image
The Minute Man monument on Westport’s Compo Beach road is celebrating the Christmas season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


12/06/16 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

8 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - TEAM Westport
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”
10 a.m. - Westport Library - Book Chat
1:15 p.m. - Westport Library - WestportWRITES: Advanced Writing Class
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Workshop for December Artist-in-Residence Challenge: Draw Your Own Word Cloud
6:45 p.m. - Town Hall Room 212D - RTM Public Protection Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Joint ARB/HDC
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7:45 p.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Healthy Living: Journey Dance

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


12/06/16 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, December 05, 2016

Malloy Re-Elected to a Second Term as DGA Chairman

By Mark Pazniokas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was re-elected today to a second one-year term as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, which lost ground in the 2016 elections, at the group’s winter meeting in New Orleans.

He will be succeeded in 2018 by Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also was elected to the DGA leadership team: He will serve as policy chair for 2017.

Democrats did poorly in 2016 when they defended more seats than Republicans. The GOP won open races for governorships that had been held by Democrats in Missouri, New Hampshire and Vermont, but Democrats unseated North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who didn’t concede the close race until today.

“Governor Malloy’s leadership in 2016 helped the DGA recruit strong candidates, set fundraising records and win the marquee governor’s race in North Carolina while protecting all three Democratic incumbents,” said Elisabeth Pearson, the executive director of the DGA.

Click here for more of story


12/05/16 10:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Educators, Town Officials Brace for Budget Woes

By James Lomuscio

A new state law requring total town budgets not be more than a 2.5 percent increase over the previous year beginning fiscal year 2018-19 took center stage tonight at the Westport Board of Education.

Joining the board in talks about the 2017-18 school budget were members of the Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) as well as First Selectman Jim Marpe.

The bottom line: such mandated fiscal belt tightening will increase budget woes as the town grapples with the state’s fiscal crisis, unfunded educational mandates, educational cost sharing (ECS) grant cuts, contractual obligations outpacing inflation and per pupil expenditures jumping 11 percent in the past three years, town and school officials said.

Towns where the total budgets, municipal and school, exceed 2.5 percent will be penalized in terms of state funding, according to the mandate. The total operating budget for the town and schools this fiscal year in $204 million.

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12/05/16 10:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Holiday Glow Image
The William F. Cribari Bridge over the Saugatuck River is aglow tonight with colored lights.The annual Saugatuck Center tree lighting will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


12/05/16 09:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Identify Construction Worker Killed

Westport police today identified the worker killed Sunday while working on a Compo Beach construction project as Juan B. Rodriguez, 29, of Stamford. Image
The men were found at the rear of the home under construction at 9 Norwalk Ave. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

A second worker, whose name was not released, was taken to Norwalk Hospital with life- threatening injuries. Lt. David Farrell said there was “no update on his condition at this time.”

The cause of the accident at 9 Norwalk Ave. remains under investigation, he said. Taking part were the Westport Police Department Detective Bureau and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“The deceased was transported to the Chief Medical Examiner Office where an autopsy will be performed,” Farrell said. “As of today, no charges have been filed in the accident.”

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12/05/16 07:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Boca Restaurant Launches Sunday Brunch

Boca Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar, 43 Main St., is launching a Sunday brunch beginning Sunday. Image
Revisson Bonfim opened Boca Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“Our guests have been complaining about the lack of good brunch options in Westport,” said Revisson Bonfim, who opened the restaurant in November.

He said Luis Arias, executive chef and part owner, has put together a brunch menu that will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The restaurant, which describes itself as “where the cuisine and wines from the coastal regions of France, Italy, and Spain are combined,” is in space previously occupied by Acqua Ristorante Mediterraneo for 20 years.


12/05/16 06:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 27 Long Lots Lane Image
An application is in process for a permit to demolish the house at 27 Long Lots Lane, off Long Lots Road. Built in 1938, the 1,829-square-foot, one-story ranch is located on a .28-acre lot.The house was also featured as WestportNow’s Teardown of the Day on Sept. 4, 2008, but the permit was never acted upon. Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


12/05/16 05:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Stolen Car Suspects Caught After Owner Tracked It

After hearing a broadcast for a stolen car out of Stratford, alert Westport officers working a side job on Kings Highway North today arrested an Ansonia man and a Bridgeport woman. Image
Artay Drinks (l) and Naima West: held on $10,000 and $5,000 bond. Westport Police photos

According to Sgt. Richard Bagley, the officers stopped the vehicle without incident.

“The two occupants were detained, and an investigation was initiated,” said Bagley.

Police were alerted to the car’s presence in Westport by its owner, who had a device which allowed him to track the vehicle’s location.

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12/05/16 03:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Land Swap Dropped: ‘Economics Just Didn’t Work’

By James Lomuscio

The highly touted Elm Street land swap that would have netted the town nine additional parking spaces and have been a boon to the downtown and the Bedford Square project was scrapped last week for economic reasons, developer David Waldman said today. Image
Under the scrapped plan, this building housing the Villa Del Sol Restaurant at 35 Elm St. would have been razed and swapped for part of the town-owned parking lot across the street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“The economics just didn’t work for me, and as a developer I had to let it go,” said Waldman, principal of David Adam Realty who is heading up the nearby Bedford Square Project.

Waldman’s plan 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 had an option to buy at 35 Elm St. across the road had been supported by First Selectman Jim Marpe.

Pitched as the last leg in the revitalization of the downtown, the planned land swap received a positive report from the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at its Sept. 29 meeting. (See WestportNow Sept. 29, 2016)

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12/05/16 02:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rajinder K. Narang, 90

Rajinder K. Narang, a longtime resident of Westport, died Dec. 1 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was 90. Image
Rajinder K. Narang: nuclear physicist. Contributed photo

The husband of Bimla Narang, he was born Aug. 25, 1926 in Multan, India and was the son of the late Purshotam Lal and Rampyari Narang.

He received his undergraduate degree from Dayand Anglo Vedic University in India.  Following his graduation, he apprenticed at the prestigious DCM Institute, where he met and impressed an American colleague who sponsored him to come to the United States.

He traveled to New York on the Queen Mary in 1945 and worked as a nuclear physicist and chemical engineer, while concurrently earning his Ph.D. from the University of Buffalo.

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12/05/16 01:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Grad Among Oakland Fire Victims ImageUPDATE A 2005 Staples High School graduate is among those missing in the Oakland warehouse fire, according to the victim’s father. The victim was identified as Feral Pines, 29, who was known as Justin Riley Fritz, when attending Staples. The Westporter later self-identified as a woman and took the Pines name. Bruce Fritz said he was en route to California to identify the body. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Facebook photo


12/05/16 10:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Post Road East Crash Sends One to Hospital Image
A two-car crash today on Post Road East at Turkey Hill Road North sent one person to Norwalk Hospital. Traffic was tied up in the area as two tow trucks removed the vehicles.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


12/05/16 08:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Awaiting a Tow Image
One of two cars involved today in a crash at Post Road East at Turkey HIll Road North awaits a two truck. One person was transported to Norwalk Hospital by Westport EMS. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


12/05/16 08:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Students Build Tesla App

By Ellery Saluck

An Advanced Placement (AP) computer science project seems poised to pay off big for two Staples High School entrepreneurs. Image
Neal Soni (l) and Dylan Diamond with a Tesla they can control from their too. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ellery Saluck for

Junior Neal Soni and senior Dylan Diamond have created their very own app called Tesla Toolbox. It allows owners of the electric car Tesla to track their speed, route and power usage.

It also lets them control features like lights, the locking and unlocking car doors, the opening and closing garage doors, even climate control.

Users can also start their Tesla or drive it forward or backward without being in it, but with the mere touch of a iPhone.

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12/05/16 05:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wetlands Woodpecker Image
A red-headed woodpecker spotted in Westport’s Partrick Wetlands. Facts about woodpeckers: they tap on tree trunks in order to find insects living in crevices in the bark and to excavate nest cavities. Their strong, pointed beak acts as both a chisel and a crowbar to remove bark and find hiding insects. They have bristle-like feathers over their nostrils help to keep wood particles from being inhaled. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for


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

Monday, December 5, 2016

9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - CSA Policy & Planning Board
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”
10:30 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - Book Talk: “The Two Sides of You - Get to Know Both”
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Tabletop Games for Adults
6 p.m. - Westport Library - Introduction to Engineering Design Using SolidWorks
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Don’t Outlive Your Money
7 p.m. - Staples Cafeteria D - Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Golf Advisory Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Boating Advisory Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Saugatuck Island View Image
Tonight’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Saugatuck Island. Sunset was at 4:24 p.m., and the sun will continue to set earlier until the winter solstice on Dec. 21 when winter begins. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for


12/04/16 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 18 Mayflower Parkway Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 18 Mayflower Parkway, near Compo Road South, is in process. Built in 1965, the one-story split level has 2,280-square feet and is situated on a .91-acre property. 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


12/04/16 05:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: WHS Holiday House Tour

Scenes from today’s Westport Historical Society 30th annual holiday house tour. J.C. Martin for


12/04/16 05:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Touring Westport History Image
A visitor today checks out the history of the house at 46 Kings Highway South, one of the houses on the annual Westport Historical Society holiday house tour. The WHS said the c. 1700 John Platt House is one of Westport’s oldest and is listed on the Connecticut Register of Historic Places.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


12/04/16 04:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Christmas Setting Image
The dining room table at 56 Sylvan Road North was Christmas meal ready today for guests on the Westport Historical Society holiday house tour. Known as the Clark Nash House c. 1750, it was the one-time home of H. Daniel Webster, who designed the Minute Man monument at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for


12/04/16 04:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

On Tour Image
Guests today tour a house a 96 Kings Highway North, one of the houses on the Westport Historical Society’s 30th annual holiday house tour. The WHS described the home as the David Judah house, c. 1760. “One of the first merchants and the first Jewish homeowner in Westport, David Judah, shared this home with his Christian wife, Esther Taylor of Taylor Town’s founding family,” the tour pamphlet said. It said Taylor Town is now commonly known as Westport’s Old Hill. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) j.C. Martin for


12/04/16 04:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Worker Killed, Another Injured in Roof Fall Image
One worker was killed and a second seriously injured today when they fell from a roof of a home under construction steps away from Westport’s Compo Beach, police said. The victim was later identified as Juan B. Rodriguez, 29, of Stamford. The men were working at 9 Norwalk Ave.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


12/04/16 01:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Area Roof Falls Kill One Worker, Injure Second

UPDATE One worker was killed and a second seriously injured today when they fell from a roof of a home under construction steps away from Westport’s Compo Beach, police said. Image
The scene of the incident at 9 Norwalk Ave., near Compo Beach.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

The accident occurred about 12:45 p.m. at 9 Norwalk Ave. On arrival, emergency responders found one man had died of his injuries and the second man was unresponsive, said Police Chief Foti Koskinas, who was at the scene.

The injured man, described as having life-threatening injuries, was taken by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. Names of those involved were being withheld until families could be notified, said Lt. David Farrell.

A woman at the scene who was in tears said she heard someone calling for help and ran behind the three-story house to find the two men. The accident occurred in sunny, 43-degree weather.

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12/04/16 01:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

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