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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Two Injured in Post Road West Head-On Crash

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Two persons suffered serious injuries tonight when an eastbound car crossed into the westbound lane at 274 Post Road West and crashed into an oncoming car head-on. Two Westport EMS ambulances transported the patients to Norwalk Hospital. Airbags deployed in both vehicles. Police closed westbound traffic while an investigation was underway.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


12/21/16 09:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Force of the Collision

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The fronts of both cars were crumpled tonight following a head-on collision at 274 Post Road West. Both drivers were seriously injured and transported to Norwalk Hospital by Westport EMS. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


12/21/16 09:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fire Chief Retires, Successor Named

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today announced the retirement of Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury effective March 1 and appointment of his successor, Assistant Chief Robert Yost. WestportNow.com Image
Robert Yost: promoted to chief. Dave Matlow/ WN file photo

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Andy Kingsbury: served five years as chief. Dave Matlow /WN file photo

In addition, Marpe said Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar, a 38-year department veteran, submitted his retirement request several weeks ago to be effective May 31.

Marpe said he accepted a retirement letter from Kingsbury, who joined the department in 1986, with regret.

“The Town of Westport and its residents have been very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of Andy’s expertise and dedication throughout the years,” he said.

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12/21/16 05:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Twin Effort for National Charity League

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Twelve-year-old twins Karina and Chloe Murray of Westport were among more than 100 members of the National Charity League’s Westport chapter who took part in a holiday philanthropy event at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. During the festivities, NCL mothers and daughters packaged homemade holiday treats for Westport’s emergency responders. They also made necessity gift bags containing personal care products and handmade greeting cards for the residents at Homes for the Brave, a Bridgeport-based nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services to homeless veterans and other individuals. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Conributed photo


12/21/16 04:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

It’s a Wrap for CLASP Homes at B&N

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It was the turn of Westport nonprofit CLASP Homes today to wrap holiday gifts at Westport’s Barnes & Noble and collect donations. Michele Markelon (l), CLASP Homes vice president of finance, and Jeannine Howard, CLASP Homes director of human services, did the honors. CLASP Homes creates and supports family environments for people with autism and intellectual disabilities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/21/16 04:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Patrick J. Dinley, 76

Patrick J. Dinley of Delray Beach, Florida, a former Westport resident, died Dec. 10 at home following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 76.

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Patrick Dinley: former Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born March 17, 1940, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of the late Kathryn Opal (Henderson) and Lawrence Jerome Dinley.  An only child, he grew up in Ellwood City, Pennsylania, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1958.

After four years at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, he graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. 

Positions at Xerox and Thompson Imperial followed, but he began a 40-year career in the small appliance business when he took the role of sales associate for General Electric in 1966. 

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12/21/16 12:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘La La Land,’ ‘Nocturnal Animals,’ ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Opening with a fabulous fantasy sequence of morning commuters caught in congested traffic on Los Angeles’ freeways, “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle’s dazzling contemporary musical chronicles longing, love and lingering wistfulness.

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Aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) works as a barista at a café on the Warner Brothers’ studio lot, while brooding jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is tired of playing background music at bars and restaurants.  They “meet cute” several times before they actually connect.

Encouraging one another to follow their dreams, their careers move forward. She writes a one-woman show attracting the interest of an influential agent, while he joins a touring rock band, fronted by his old friend Keith (John Legend).

Not surprisingly, long separations take a toll on their romantic relationship as the seasons change.

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12/21/16 11:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Public Input Sought on Updating Town Plan

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is seeking public input as it updates the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD).

The plan is a blueprint for how the town wants to develop over the next 10 to 20 years and is a guide to local decision making in areas such as natural resources preservation, economic development, housing, land use, and public services.

The current plan was adopted in 2007 and by state statute must be updated every 10 years.

The P&Z has scheduled a public meeting for public input on Thursday, Jan. 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

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12/21/16 11:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Dawn in Westport

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Today is the first day of winter, the winter solstice occurring at 5:44 a.m. It is the day with the fewest hours of daylight of 2016. The sun rose in Westport at 7:15 a.m. and sets at 4:28 p.m. The day after the winter solstice marks the beginning of lengthening days, leading up to the summer solstice in June. View of the dawn sky is from Westport’s Saugatuck Island. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for WestportNow.com


12/21/16 09:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - Winter Begins

5:44 a.m. - Northern Hemisphere - Winter Solstice
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”
4:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Tree Board
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Library Board of Trustees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Parks & Rec Chair: Golf Pro Future ‘in Negotiations’

For 26 years, John Cooper has been Longshore Club Park’s golf pro, the town appointed guy who runs the golf pro shop, a non-salaried position that allows him to draw proceeds from shop inventory, golf cart fees and the money from buckets of balls used on the driving range.

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John Cooper: Longshore golf pro. LinkedIn photo

Now, his tenure is in question as his contract ends Dec. 31, and the Parks and Recreation Commission has gone out to bid for the role.

The town has received four bids from the request for proposals sent out this fall. One of the four was from Cooper, and it’s not clear whether he is still under consideration.

That has generated a groundswell of concern among golfers on a local blog, suggesting Cooper is no longer in the running.

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12/20/16 07:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Into a Snowbank

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The driver of a vehicle making a left turn from Riverside Avenue on to Bridge Street tonight lost control, causing it to drive through a snowbank and into a telephone pole support wire. The two occupants were unharmed and the pole undamaged. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com


12/20/16 07:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Slow Pre-Holiday Go on Main Street

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It was slow going on Westport’s Main street late today as the clock ticked away with only four shopping days left before Chrismas. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/20/16 04:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rock and Roll Honor for Nile Rodgers is ‘Bittersweet’

Westporter Nile Rodgers and his Chic band have been on the annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ballot 11 of the past 15 years. Today that run likely came to an end—but not in a way that pleased him.

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Nile Rodgers greets fans at the Westport Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts last August.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

The funk band is not one of the inductees for the Class of 2017, announced today. But Rodgers, one of its founding members, is.

The Cleveland-based Rock Hall announced that Rodgers will receive the Award for Musical Excellence (not selected by voters) during a ceremony scheduled for April 7 in Brooklyn, N.Y

Rodgers joins Pearl Jam, Yes, Tupac Shakur, Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra and Journey (all voted in) as honorees.

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12/20/16 03:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Boy Scouts to Pick Up Xmas Trees

As a community service for Westport families, Boy Scout Troop 39 will hold its seventh annual Christmas tree pick up on Saturday, Jan. 7.

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Boy Scouts pick up Christmas trees in last year’s effort. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Families looking for help in having their trees removed and recycled must reserve a spot online and take their tree to the end of their driveway the night before.  Once picked up, the trees will be recycled as mulch, according to a news release.

The suggested donation is $20 per tree. The funds collected go toward Boy Scout Troop 39’s character-building activities, such as food drives, community service projects, and high adventure backpacking trips.

Reservations are being accepted at http://www.troopmasterweb.com/troop39westport. Sign up, tape your donation in cash or check (made out to Boy Scout Troop 39) to your front door and have your tree down at the end of your driveway no later than 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7.


12/20/16 03:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Janice S. Lamartine, 80

Janice S. Lamartine of Weston died Dec. 18 after a 10-year battle with multiple cancers. She was 80.

She was the wife of Joseph T. Lamartine, deceased and resided in Westport and Weston for more than 40 years.

She is survived by her daughters, Janice Rose Lamartine and Jose Arreguin, of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, and Stephanie Schwartz and David Schwartz, of Weston; also by grandchildren Jason Schwartz and Elaine Fisher and Andrew Schwartz. and great-grandaughter Amelia Schwartz.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, Dec. 28, from 4 to 8 PM at the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East.  A mass will be held on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 10 a.m. at Saint. Luke Church in Westport.

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12/20/16 01:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woodrow W. Gorbach, 92

Woodrow “Woody” Wilson Gorbach of South Palm Beach, Florida, a former Westport resident, died Oct. 31 after a brief illness. He was 92.

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Woody Gorbach: former Westporter. Contributed photo

A member of the South Palm Beach City Council, he was still working as a real estate broker two weeks prior to his death, and had a closing a week before he was hospitalized.

He was born to Lena and Abraham Gorbach on March 1, 1924 in New Britain, Connecticut. He was the youngest of six children: Jeanette, Gertrude, Irving, Elaine and Rita were his siblings.

He was a graduate of Castle Heights Military Academy, went to college at Virginia Tech and graduated from the University of Bridgeport. At the age of 19, Woody entered the armed forces feeling a sense of duty and obligation to his country.

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12/20/16 12:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

James R. Armstrong, 67

James Raymond Armstrong of Jacksonville, Florida, a former Westport resident, died Dec. 14 after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 67.

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James R. Armstrong: 1967 Staples grad. Contributed photo

Born in Providence, R.I, to Raymond Armstrong and Joyce McGuire, and cared for by Joyce’s parents for a few years after her early death, Jim was raised by Maureen and Raymond Armstrong in Westport.

He graduated from Staples High School in 1967, served in the U.S. Navy, and then settled in Jacksonville, where he met his wife of 44 years, Gail Stearns.

Jim was a gentle giant. He loved the outdoors, loved the water, stemming from childhood summers on Martha’s Vineyard, and he pursued his own path. A favorite pastime was dirt biking with his daughter, Charlee, in the California desert, and he was an avid archer, photographer, and golfer as well. He worked as a bridge operator, a printer, and eventually for UPS.

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12/20/16 12:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

John D. Cuccio, 95

John D. Cuccio of Westport died in September at his home of 58 years, one month shy of his 96th birthday.

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John Cuccio: industrial designer.  Contributed photo

Born in 1920 in New York City to Helen and Joseph Cuccio, he spent his youth in both New York and Palermo Sicily, the bases from which his family’s exporting business in lemons and oranges operated. John would eventually attend Columbia University and The Pratt Institute, studying to become an industrial designer.

He began an illustrious career under the tutelage of Raymond Lowey. He worked as Lowey’s protégé, designing many products, logos and most notably - the automobile brand Studebaker. It would be at Lowey where he would meet and be smitten by the lovely southern charm of his future wife Gladys Lantz.

Soon after, John and Gladys married and started a family in South Bend, Indiana. He began a new chapter in his life after being hired by the Ford Motor Company and appointed chief of styling at Ford’s prestigious Mercury division.

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12/20/16 11:36 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Grad on Winning Business Team

WestportNow.com ImageGabrielle McNees (r), a 2015 Staples High School graduate, was among a team of six who recently won the prestigious Fordham University Gabelli School of Business 2016 Consulting Cup competition. They were given the challenge of identifying a Fortune 500 company’s biggest problem and coming up with an innovative solution to boost company sales and productivity. The winning team was awarded $3,000 in prize monies and members recognized for their demonstrated business acumen, creativity, teamwork and public speaking achievements. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


12/20/16 11:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Don’t Take Home Off Market

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

If you are truly interested in selling your Westport home, now is not the time to take it off the market.

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Featured Home: This home at 5 Blackberry Lane is listed at $3,495,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of The Riverside Realty Group/ Westport

Over the last seven days alone, 14 property listings were either withdrawn, canceled, or expired. In the last 30 days, over 21 percent of the available homes were removed from the marketplace.

For clarification purposes, a withdrawn listing is still technically listed, but not available for showing.

A canceled listing is where a homeowner has decided to no longer sell,  or can also be viewed as an attempt to reduce market time. An expired listing denotes the end of an agreement with a Realtor to sell the home.

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12/20/16 10:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Real Estate Price Reductions

Westport real estate price reductions over the last week:
68 Whitney Glen Drive   $359,000->$349,000
21 Hale St.        $494,000->$470,000
11 Joanne Circle     $835,000->$795,000  
18 Saint George Place   $875,000->$874,000  
1 Evergreen Parkway     $956,650->$908,800
29 Spicer Road     $999,000->$959,000
40 Burr Farms Road     $1,050,000->$999,999
86 Maple Ave. South     $1,289,000->$1,250,500
118 Wilton Road     $1,390,000->$1,299,000
9 Hitchcock Road     $1,499,000->$1,450,000
11 West Branch Road     $2,598,000->$2,450,000
15 Apple Tree Trail     $2,895,000->$2,845,000
33 Sherwood Drive     $3,300,000->$3,195,000

—Judy Szablak


12/20/16 10:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Marina Dusk

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Monday dusk at Westport’s Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Eileen Lavigne Flug for WestportNow.com


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

Tuesday, December 20, 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
3 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Westport Transit District
7 p.m. - 323 Main St Restaurant - Westport Library Let’s Get Quizzical: Pub Trivia Night
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Green Task Force
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - RTM Finance Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Astronimical Society (182 Bayberry Lane) - George McDonald: 3.7-billion-year-old Weather Forecast for Planet Mars

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


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

Monday, December 19, 2016

Court of Honor for Troop 36

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Westport Boy Scout Troop 36 tonight held its Court of Honor at Saugatuck Congregational Church.  Fiftteen of the 17 scouts received awards or advancements for their scouting work.  Another is working on his Eagle Scout project and the last received his Eagle Scout rank last year and is helping the other troop members advance. Craig Patton is the scoutmaster. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Mathias for WestportNow.com


12/19/16 08:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Vehicle Break-Ins Prompt Police Warning

A wave of vehicle break-ins this month prompted Westport police today to urge residents to lock their cars overnight and take in all valuables.

“The Town of Westport has experienced numerous vehicle break-ins during the month of December,” said Lt. David Farrell.

“In all cases of vehicles being entered, which resulted in thefts, the doors were unlocked. The recent thefts have occurred overnight. 

“The Westport Police Department reminds you to please lock your car and bring your keys inside. 

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12/19/16 06:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

In Subdued Ceremony, Connecticut Casts Its Electoral Votes

By Mark Pazniokas


Seven electors today dropped signed paper ballots into a wooden box in the state Senate, casting Connecticut’s seven Electoral College votes for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, the Democrats who carried the state, won the national popular vote and lost the presidency.

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Electors cast their ballots in Hartford today.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas for Ctrmirror.org

A few dozen anti-Trump protesters stood vigil in the cold outside the State Capitol, some waving signs urging that the Electoral College abide by the popular vote, but their complaints lay elsewhere, with electors in the states carried by Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence.

With not quite 48 percent of the popular vote, the Republican nominee is set to be inaugurated next month with the third-worst vote margin among winning candidates since 1824. He won nearly 57 percent of the electoral college, the 13th-worst tally for a winning candidate.

The ceremony in Connecticut, a state that’s gone Democratic in every presidential election since Bill Clinton won in 1992, had a melancholy air. The electors accepted their roles in the hope they would be cast votes in another Clinton victory.

Click here for more of story


12/19/16 04:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Report: Trump Considering Westport Hedge Fund Manager for Defense Post

Westport Hedge fund manager and former Army officer David H. McCormick is the front-runner to serve as Donald Trump’s deputy defense secretary, according to Bloomberg News.

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David McCormick: president at Bridgewater.  Contributed photo

McCormick, president of Bridgewater Associates Inc., the world’s biggest hedge fund, was eyed earlier as a possible Treasury secretary, a post that ultimately went to former hedge fund investor Steve Mnuchin, the report on Friday said.

McCormick, 51, moved to Westport’s Greens Farms area in 2010 with his wife, Amy Richardson. In 2014, he moved to a waterfront property in Fairfield’s Southport area.

Bloomberg said the potential nomination earned high praise from retired Gen. David Petraeus, who at one point had been seen as a potential secretary of state pick for Trump.

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12/19/16 04:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Still Cleaning Up

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The cleanup from Saturday’s snowstorm continued today. Pictured is a Public Works Department vehicle working near 178 Compo Road South.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


12/19/16 02:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Harold Scher, 93

Harold Scher, a longtime Westport resident, died Dec. 16. He was 93.

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Harold Scher: longtime Westporter.  Contributed photo

A warm, much beloved family man, he was born in Bridgeport on Oct. 21, 1923 to Abraham and Fay Scher of Bridgeport.

A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, he crisscrossed the Atlantic for the duration of World War II, bringing munitions and the materials of war to ports nearest the front, from North Africa to Europe and Russia.

He later co-owned an office equipment sales and distribution company in Manhattan. In his later years he worked locally in commercial real estate, developing a number of commercial properties in southern Connecticut.

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12/19/16 01:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

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