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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Line Skating Image
The P.A.L. Ice Rink at Westport’s Longshore Club Park did a brisk business today despite the frigid temperatures around freezing.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


02/04/17 05:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: 18th Annual Crossword Puzzle Contest

Scenes from today’s 18th annual crossword puzzle contest at the Westport Library. Miggs Burroughs for


02/04/17 05:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Jonathan I. Walker, 46

Jonathan Immanuel Walker of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Feb. 1. He was 46. Image
Jon Walker: 1988 Staples grad.  Contributed photo

The husband of Bridget Short Walker was born Feb 15, 1970 in New York City, the son of the late Howard Walker and Sandra Schapiro Walker of Westport and Boca Raton, Florida.

He spent his entire life living in the Westport/Fairfield area where he formed lifelong friendships and positively impacted countless people with his infectious personality and kindness.

He graduated from Staples High School in 1988 and Skidmore College in 1992.  In 1990 at Skidmore, he found the love of his life and soul mate in Bridget and they celebrated their 16th year of marriage this last fall.

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02/04/17 05:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Crossword Champs Image
The top winners in today’s 18th annual Westpot Library crossword puzzle contest receive audience applause at the end of the event. They are (l-r) Glenn Ryan of Norwich, second place; Eric Maddy of Huntington Beach, California (the farthest traveler) third place, and Andy Kravis of Brooklyn, N.Y., first place. Last year, Ryan was the winner with Kravis — who describes himself as a “trivia writer, freelance crossword constructor, and game show consultant” — in third place. This year was a comeback for Kravis — until last year he had been champ three years in a row. New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz (seen just behind Ryan) oversaw the competition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Miggs Burroughs for


02/04/17 05:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunrise Rotary Food Drive Underway Image
Westport Sunrise Rotary Club volunteers Mario Sacouto (l), chairman of its food drive, and Joe Renzulli, collect goods today near the entrance to Stop & Shop, 1790 Post Road East.  Sacouto said more than 100 cartons of food have been collected, each carton contains between $30-$40 of nonperishable foods for the Homes With Hope charity food pantry. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/04/17 02:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Full House for Crossword Puzzle Competition Image
It was a full house today at the Westport Library’s McManus Room as the 18th annual crossword competition got underway.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/04/17 01:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cat Nap Image
Clyde, one of the beloved resident cats at Gilbertie’s Herb and Garden Center, was snuggled in his basket on a counter, oblivious to his many admirers shopping today at the Westport Winter Farmer’s Market.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


02/04/17 12:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Warming Up at Winter Farmers Market Image
It’s not just food and produce for sale at the weekly Westport Winter Farmers Market at Gilbertie’s Herb Garden, 7 Sylvan Lane. You can also get warm clothes. Victoria Filimons of Lyme-based Beaver Brook Farm, today shows off some of the wool items made from more than 200 sheep raised on the farm. Filimons, a native of Moldavia, said the sheep farm makes blankets, sweaters, jackets, vest, gloves, hats, and other items. “This is the time of year when the sheep reproduce. We’ll have over 400 new babies in the coming two weeks,” she said. The Beaver Brook stall also sells a wide selection of cheese and other dairy products. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/04/17 12:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Senior Center Hosts Super Bowl Party on Sunday

The Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities will host the 11th annual Super Bowl Tailgate Party on Sunday. Image
The P.A.L. cheerleaders entertained at last year’s Super Bowl party. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

The event at 21 Imperial Ave. is free and open to the public of all ages. It will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with ceremonies beginning at 2 p.m.

This year the festivities will honor the highly successful Staples High School Boys Cross-Country Track team and Girls Field Hockey team. Middle school and high school varsity cheerleaders will cheer them on. 

There will be a “guess the final score” contest, plus games and prizes. To round out the party, there will be hot dogs with all the fixings.

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02/04/17 10:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

Marina Sunset Image
Friday’s sunset as seen from the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


02/04/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, February 4, 2017

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Gilbertie’s (7 Sylvan Lane) - Westport Winter Farmers Market
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “MORE Than Words/As We Are”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport School Days 1703–Present”
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Library - 18th Annual Crossword Puzzle Contest

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/04/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Friday, February 03, 2017

Last in 5-Part Series: When Fiscal Reality Meets Political Spin

By Keith M. Phaneuf

When state budget director Ben Barnes told reporters Connecticut had “entered into a period of permanent fiscal crisis,” he did so just 13 days after his boss, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, had won the 2014 gubernatorial election with a polar opposite message.

While Malloy dismissed a major deficit forecast and pledged not to raise taxes, his Republican opponent, Tom Foley was even more upbeat about delivering tax relief and closing the deficit.

The challenge of wooing voters has taken on new dimensions as politicians increasingly are boxed in by Connecticut’s fiscal realities, and the 2014 gubernatorial campaign isn’t the only example.

In recent years, Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly have accused each other of making unrealistic if not ridiculous promises that fly in the face of the state’s mounting debts.

Click HERE for more of story


02/03/17 09:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Arts Center Gala Theme is ‘Martini Madness’ Image
“Martini Madness” is the gala theme. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Westport Arts Center (WAC) has announced the theme of “Martini Madness” for its annual fundraiser gala that will take place on Saturday, May 20 at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport. Tickets will go on sale March 2.

The gala will pay tribute to “the role Westport played during the creative heyday of the 1950s and 1960s, celebrating Westport’s distinctive identity as a creative center steeped in a long history of artists, illustrators and creative executives,” an announcement said.

“Guests will be immersed in the iconic advertising created during this period, which continues to be recognized in both pop culture and contemporary art today.”

The event is co-chaired by Orly Angerthal and Erika Miller. Both are WAC board members and live in Westport.

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02/03/17 09:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

NY Times Takes Second Look at White Privilege Story

After publishing an Associated Press story on TEAM Westport’s white privilege essay contest controversy three days ago, The New York Times today revisited the issue. Image
The New York Times ran its latest story in the Saturday print edition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

“…After the story attracted media attention recently, many outsiders weighed in by calling local officials and storming the township’s Facebook pages,” a Times reporter wrote.

The newspaper provided links to TEAM Westport’s Facebook page and quoted comments, including: “This is nothing more than race baiting. You are a joke.” And: “Make no mistake, the idea of white privilege is just as racist as saying there is black privilege.”

The Times added: “For all of the hand-wringing among adults, the students appear to have greeted the essay contest and the resulting uproar with a shrug.”

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02/03/17 07:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy Proclaims Fran Schneidau Day as WCBS Reporter Retires ImageGov. Dannel P. Malloy proclaimed today Fran Schneidau Day in Connecticut in honor of the WCBS Newsradio 880 Connecticut bureau chief who is retiring after 39 years with the New York radio station. Schneidau, 78, who began her radio career at WICC in Bridgeport, has been a frequent visitor to Westport over the years to cover stories here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/03/17 06:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Himes Urges Caution in Rolling Back Financial Rules

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th) said today he hopes President Trump’s efforts to roll back Obama-Era financial rules won’t just help his friends but put the nation’s interests first. Image
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addresses the Westport Rotary Club in 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Himes, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, represents Westport, Greenwich and other affluent Connecticut towns where many bankers are his constituents.

He issued a statement after Trump announced a series of steps to revisit the rules enacted after the 2008 financial crisis and set the stage for a showdown with Democrats over the future of Wall Street regulation.

Himes’s statement: “On Friday morning, in a meeting with business leaders, President Trump said, ‘We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank. Because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that had nice businesses, they just can’t borrow money … because the banks just won’t let them borrow because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.’

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02/03/17 05:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Special Wear Red Day Proclamation

By Dave Matlow

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today joined Town Hall employees in wearing red as he proclaimed the day Wear Red Day for Women in Westport. Image
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe presents proclamation to Patty Haberstroh. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

The event is promoted by the American Heart Association to raise awareness that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 health threat facing women today.

Marpe marked the 14th annual event by dedicating the proclamation to Human Services staff member Patty Haberstroh who underwent open heart surgery in June, 2011.

Following the ceremony Haberstroh spoke of her first symptoms that led to the diagnosis of two leaking heart valves.

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02/03/17 05:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Two-Vehicle Crash on Wilton Road Image
Drivers escaped serious injury today when two vehicles collided on Wilton Road near the Exit 41 southbound on ramp of the Merritt Parkway. The vehicles were towed from the scene. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/03/17 04:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police: Suspect Used Fake ID to Take UPS Packages Image
Leeroy Maragh: arrested in Redding for same crime. Westport Police photo

A Bridgeport man who stopped a UPS driver and showed a fake ID to obtain packages meant for a Westport home was arrested for second-degree forgery and arraigned in Norwalk Superior Court today, police said

Leeroy Maragh, 26, reportedly presented a phony driver’s license to the driver, “who found it strange, so he took a photograph of the license,” Lt. David Farrell said about the incident that occurred in October.

“Westport detectives were able to match this type of identity theft to similar crimes committed in Redding and Stratford,” Farrell said.

“Detectives positively identified Maragh as the suspect because he was arrested in Redding for the same crime.


02/03/17 03:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Arrest After Cops Classify Weapon as Assault Rifle

A Westport man who had turned in his firearms into the Police Department for safe keeping was arrested after officers discovered one of the weapons qualified as an assault rifle and that it had not been registered, police said today. Image
William Stenson: turned in weapons cache. Westport Police photo

William Stenson, 68, of Saugatuck Avenue was charged with possession of an assault weapon upon his arrest via a warrant Tuesday after an examination of the firearm determined that the forward pistol grip and collapsible stock made it an assault weapon, said Lt. David Farrell.

Following the Sandy Hook shootings, legislation was passed that banned all assault rifles and required all of those who legally owned them to have the weapons registered. The new law also limited the number of rounds magazines would hold to 10, and Stenson reportedly had 13 high capacity magazines.

Stenson was released after posting a $5,000 bond and arraigned in Norwalk Superior Court Wednesday.


02/03/17 03:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Malloy: Teacher Pension Proposal to Hit Wealthy Towns

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today his proposed budget would shift $407.6 million, nearly one-third of the annual cost of municipal school teachers’ pensions, on to cities and towns — a move that would hit the state’s wealthiest communities the hardest. Image
Westport would be hard hit by the Malloy proposal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) graphic

Malloy also said the two-year budget he will present Wednesday to the General Assembly would propose eliminating the $200 property tax credit within the income-tax system, costing nearly 875,000 middle-class households as much as $105 million per year based on nonpartisan analysts’ estimates.

Unlike nearly all other state education aid, the state contribution to teacher pensions does not factor in a town’s wealth or local taxpayers’ ability to pick up some of the cost. It proportionately funnels the most aid to districts that can afford to hire more teachers and provide the highest salaries.

“At a time when state government is making difficult cuts to services, we can no longer exclude how we pay for teachers’ pensions from this conversation,” Malloy said.

Click HERE for more of story


02/03/17 02:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Jan. 16 - 20, 2017

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Jan. 16 - 20, 2016:

CCO IV Calvary LLC to Jennifer Fridland, 26 Calvary Road, $2,955,000WNproperty.jpg

Soundview Property Assoc. LLC to David J. and Sara l. Krasne, 6 Westway Road, $2,475,000

Alex N. and Rachel B. Darden to Jared Reed Neeley, 16 Sachem Trail, $491,000

Maria Teresa Zingaro to Vikas Ashok Patil and Apoorva Lingashettar, 56 Hills Lane, taxes paid in Norwalk, $310,000

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02/03/17 02:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sharpen Pencils for Saturday’s Crossword Puzzle Contest Image
Will Shortz of The New York Times will once again lead the 18th annual Westport Library Crosssword Puzzle Contest at the Westport Library on Saturday. The contest begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. in the McManus Room. Those who have registered are asked to arrive 30 minutes before the contest begins to check in and find a seat. Contestants are advised to park in the upper parking lot since the lower lot is only a twp-hour lot. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/03/17 02:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Grand List Grows 1.36 Percent

In an indication of Westport’s continued economic health, the Grand List for 2016 jumped 1.36 percent or approximately $148 million to $11 billion, Tax Assessor Paul Friia announced. Image
The breakdown of the 2016 Grand List as provided by the Tax Assessor’s Office. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

This compared to a 7.8 percent increase in 2015 (a revaluation year) over 2014, a 1.5 percent increase in 2014 over the previous year, and 1.3 percent increase in 2013.

The specific 2016 amount was $11,024,518,484 compared to $10,876,602,613 a year earlier. The list is the sum of the net assessed value of all taxable property — real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property.

Motor vehicles and personal property are valued annually, while real estate is updated based on the market values determined as of the town’s revaluation date of Oct. 1, 2015.

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02/03/17 02:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bridge Street Bridge Reopened

UPDATE The Bridge Street Bridge, whose formal name is the William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge, reopened shortly after 1:30 p.m. today after a 10 a.m. closure due to maintenance.

It was originally announced the closure would last until 3 p.m.


02/03/17 01:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 3 Tanglewood Lane Image
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 3 Tanglewood Lane, in the Old Hill section, is in process. Built in 1920, the two-story colonial has 3,153-square feet, is situated on a one-acre property and changed ownership in December for $832,500. 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


02/03/17 11:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Peter Bernhard, 81

Peter Bernhard of Milford, former owner of the Peppermill Restaurant in Westport, died Jan. 24. He was 81. Image
Peter Bernhard: owner of Peppermill Restaurant. Contributed photo

Born Nov. 14, 1935 in Manhattan, he was the son of the late Helen Hotchkiss Bernhard and the late Manfred E. Bernhard.

He was a loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He was a lover of life, living it to the fullest (avid skier, hiker, biker, gardener, cook, animal lover and world traveler). He was a lover of adventure, living on the edge, and he was a successful and hardworking restaurant owner and a U.S. Navy veteran.

As a young man, he began a successful restaurant career managing Big Boy Restaurants in Oklahoma and then New Hampshire. In 1966, he moved to Weston with his young family and in 1967 opened the Peppermill Restaurant in Westport, and then in 1969 opened The Peppermill/The Gathering in Milford.

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02/03/17 11:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Property Owner ‘Excited’ by Plan Presentation Image
Steve Girden of Westport, whose family is a major property owner near the Metro-North Westport train station, said he was excited about the future of Saugatuck and the Town Hall presentation today by consultants hired to develop a master plan for the Saugatuck area. “It’s an eyesore now,” he said of the Saugatuck area. He added that Saugatuck should be a destination in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/03/17 09:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Master Plan Presentation Image
A Town Hall meeting today heard from representatives of BartonPartners Architects Planners Inc. on its efforts to develop a transit-oriented master plan for the Saugatuck area. The Norristown, Pennsylvania firm was selected last week from 13 applicants,  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/03/17 08:42 AM Comments () • Permalink

Down by the Riverside Image
The post-sunset sky as seen Thursday from the riverwalk along the Saugatuck River near the Westport Library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for


02/03/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

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