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Friday, March 31, 2017

Discussing Art and Activism

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The Westport Arts Center tonight hosted a conversation on the role visual artists play in political protest and social activism. It was led by Pamela Hovland, the artist behind the Center’s current “As We Are! “installation and Thomas Starr, Hovland’s longtime collaborator in an activist collective she helped found in the early 1990s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

03/31/17 09:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Barry Blau, 89, Direct Marketing Entrepreneur

Barry Blau of Westport, who started a business in his basement that became one of the world’s largest direct marketing firms, died March 28 in Norwalk Hospital after a short illness. He was 89.

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Barry Blau: led No. 1 direct marketing firm. Contributed photo

A native of the Bronx, he preserved traces of the borough’s beloved melodious accent throughout his long life.

He was a member of the first graduating class of the elite Bronx High School of Science, later making grueling interborough subway rides to attend Brooklyn College, where he met his future wife at a Trotskyite gathering.

He began his career as a copy boy at Time Inc., working alongside Henry Grunwald, who became the magazine publisher’s editor-in-chief. Barry, however, soon forsook journalism for advertising to feed his growing family.

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03/31/17 09:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Woman Held on Drunken Driving Charges

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Police said today they arrested Valerie Spinola, 53, of Hales Court, Westport on operating under the influence of drugs/alcohol with an additional count of having a minor child passenger in the car and failure to grant a right of way at an intersection in connection with a Nov. 27, 2016 crash in the area of 1819 Post Road East. Lt. David Farrell said she turned herself in Tuesday after medical records from Norwalk Hospital, where she was taken after the 5:20 p.m. crash, showed she was under the influence at the time. She was held on $25,000 bond for a court date of April 7, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police photo (inset) and WestportNow.com photo

   

03/31/17 06:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Blumenthal: Gorsuch Unqualified Over Roe ‘Litmus Test’

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal pledged today to oppose the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court through all available means.

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal addresses a Hartford news conference today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas/CtMirror.org photo

He said the Harvard-educated, conservative jurist failed during his confirmation hearings to demonstrate he is not bound by an anti-abortion litmus test imposed by President Trump.

Blumenhal said in a news conference in Hartford that Gorsuch, who had previously written of the importance of showing deference to precedent, fell outside the judicial mainstream for pointedly refusing to say if Griswold v. Connecticut and other cases establishing privacy rights central to the legalization of abortion were rightly decided.

“Instead of being forthcoming, he evaded my questions at every turn,” said Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will vote Monday on Gorsuch.

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03/31/17 06:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Concentration

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American pianist Mathew Graybil entertained today at the Westport Center for Senior Activities in a program made possible by the Center’s Friends group. Graybil began his piano studies at age 6 and presented his first recital the following year. In 2009, he received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School and In 2011, he completed the Master’s program there. Praised by The New Yorker as an “exceptional young artist,” Graybil has performed as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, France, Holland and Mexico. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

03/31/17 05:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Walk in the Wind and Rain

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Despite a driving rain, winds gusting to 27 mph, and temperatures in the upper 30s, this was not enough to stop a walk along Hillspoint Road today near Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

   

03/31/17 03:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers March 13 - 17, 2017

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period March 13 - 17, 2017:

Tracy Chester to Jeffrey F. and Kristy Carcara, 9 Marsh Road, $1,145,000WNproperty.jpg

132 Old Road LLC to Aaron and Nicole Diamond, 132 Old Road, $2,136,820

Leslie S. Gold to Camilo and Ursula K. Lyon, 26 Rices Lane, $1,400,000

Richard C. Lichter to Dawn Leasrsy, 26 River Lane, $2,537,500

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03/31/17 12:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fore! Longshore Golf Opens April 10, Weather Permitting

Westport’s Longshore Golf Course will open Monday, April 10, weather permitting.

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Westport Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava announced the date today and, along with new Golf Head Professional Jon Janik, also announced the new golf course website at http://www.longshoregolfcourse.com.

“We have had exciting changes in the past couple of months and are looking forward to the 2017 golf season,” Fava said.

She also said the Pro Shop phone number has changed to (203) 221-0900, while other numbers remain the same—for automated tee times call (203) 341-1833, and for day of play tee times call (203) 226-9785.

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03/31/17 10:18 AM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: SoNo Baking Leaving Church Lane

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Two years after moving into 44 Church Lane, SoNo Baking Company’s Bakery & Café is calling it quits. Owner John Baricelli said the business could not support the high rent. A longtime mainstay at the Westport Farmers Market, SoNo Baking will look for another Westport location, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

   

03/31/17 09:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: Despite Budget Cuts, ‘We’re in Good Hands’

To the Editor:

Budget cuts or not, we’re in good hands.

Recently many have been worried about the future of our schools. I’ve been looking for a way to explain why I’m not worried about the future of our schools — not yet anyway, and tonight I found it.

I don’t know what will happen with our budget, but I know that our students will always be in good hands and in great schools regardless.

In support of fellow WEMS volunteer Ben Frimmer and several kids that I’ve watched over the years, I went and saw Coleytown Company’s performance of “Cinderella” — directed by Ben and put on by the kids of Coleytown Middle School.

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03/31/17 07:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 31, 2017


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Exhibit: “MORE Than Words: As We Are!”
11 a.m. - Westport Library - Anyone Can Use ... Excel
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
3:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - EK Theater Video Game Puppetry Class
6:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Art as Activism” Conversation
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - CMS Coleytown Company: “Cinderella”
7 p.m. - Bedford Middle School - “The Witches”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

   

03/31/17 12:04 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Anthropologie Pays Tribute to YMCA

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Tucked in a corner of the new Anthropologie & Co. concept store at the Bedford Square development, which had a VIP preview tonight, is a wheel containing the YMCA logo. Next to it is a display of architectural elements of the original YMCA built in 1923. David McCreight, CEO of Anthropologie Group, said the store was proud to pay tribute to the building’s YMCA heritage. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

   

03/30/17 08:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: First Look: Inside New Anthropologie & Co. Store


Anthropologie & Co. tonight opened its new Westport concept store in the Bedford Square development to VIP guests in advance of its official 10 a.m. opening on Friday. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks as they wandered through the almost 25,000-square foot store on three levels in the building that from 1923 to 2014 housed the Westport Weston Family YMCA. A mini-department store, the facility features clothing—everything from swimwear to wedding gowns—home furnishings, a design center, and a beauty boutique. Guests also got a preview of the adjoining Amis Trattoria, also owned by Anthropologie parent company Urban Outfitters. The complex also includes other yet to be opened retail stores, offices, and rental apartments. WestportNow.com photos

   

03/30/17 08:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Anthropologie Execs Pleased With New Westport Store

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Welcoming guests tonight at the VIP preview of the new Anthropologie & Co. concept store in the Bedford Square development were Anthpologie executives (l-r) Andrew Carnie, president of Home, garden & Europe, Anthropologie; Gareth Lewis, creative director, Home at Anthropologie; David McCreight, CEO of the Anthropologie Group and president of Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN), and Matt Strode, chief talent officer, URBN. McCreight said Anthropologie & Co. at Bedford Square is everything the company had hoped for in size, downtown location, and being in a highly desirable upscale community such as Westport. It is the company’s first concept location in New England and the sixth in the United States. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

   

03/30/17 07:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

James P. McCabe, 92

James P. McCabe of Westport died March 1 at home. He was 92.

The husband of Eileen (Hartmann) McCabe, he was born Jan. 14, 1925, the son of the late James and Maria (Haverty) McCabe.

He was a World War II veteran who proudly served for three years in the U.S. Navy on the USS Blakely, a destroyer escort, in the North Atlantic and the Pacific.

He served as president of Local 1101 of the Communications Workers of America.

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03/30/17 06:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: First Look: Inside Amis Trattoria


Amis Trattoria, the Roman eatery from Philadelphia-based Vetri Family of Restaurants in the Bedford Square development, offered a sneak preview tonight to media and VIP guests. It officially opens on Friday adjacent to Anthropologie—both owned by Urban Outfitters. It features seasonally-driven small plates, handcrafted pastas, local seafood and antipasti selections from Executive Chef Brad Spence. Amis Trattoria seats 75 inside with additional seating in warmer weather on the outside terrace.  WestportNow.com photos

   

03/30/17 05:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

No Animals at Town Beaches Beginning Saturday

Westport Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Fava today reminded residents that beginning Saturday, animals will not be allowed on town beaches.

Animals in or out of vehicles will not be allowed on any beach property which includes all grass, sand, and parking areas (except Soundview parking lot at Compo Beach) as well as the roads within the beach area, she said. The regulation is in effect until Oct. 1.

Fava added: “For the safety and well-being of the public and athletes, and to help keep ball fields in good playing condition, animals are not allowed on playing fields at any time of year. It is recommended that dogs remain on leash while on the perimeter of these town facilities.”

She said owners are welcome to walk dogs on leash on the road around the Longshore Golf Course, but animals are not allowed on the course at any time. Winslow Park welcomes dogs year-round with posted on- and off-leash areas.

   

03/30/17 04:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ann Marie Fanning, 67

Ann Marie (Hufnagel) Fanning, a longtime Westport resident, died March 29 at home. She was 67.

The wife of Jack Fanning was born in New York City to the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Murphy) Hufnagel.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son, Michael Fanning of Cambridge, Massachusetts; her brother, Joseph Hufnagel and his wife, Barbara, of Bethel; her brother, William Hufnagel, and his wife, Joan, of Montclair, Virginia; her sister, Marybeth Errico and her husband, Rich, of Valley Stream, New York; her sister, Susan Hufnagel, of Edgewater, New Jsersey, and her sister, Cathy Hufnagel, of New York City; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Tom Fanning.

Friends may greet her family on Sunday, April 2 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road, Fairfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, April 3 at 10 a.m. at Assumption Church in Westport.  Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery.

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03/30/17 04:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Touch-A-Truck Set for Saturday

The Westport Weston Cooperative Nursery School will host its 12th annual Touch-A-Truck event Saturday at Coleytown Elementary School.

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Westport Police Officer Rachel Baron shows a youngster the workings of a police cruiser at last year’s event.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The event will be held 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. rain or shine.

More than 40 vehicles will take part with other activities such as the fun bus, a bounce house, face painting, and roaming railroad, organizers said.

Admission is $20 per family for up to six persons.

 

   

03/30/17 02:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporter Arrested in Human Trafficking Ring

Danbury police said today they have arrested a Westport man as part of an investigation into a sex for money human trafficking ring.

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William Trefzger: held on $500,000 bond. Danbury Police photo

William Trefzger, 71, of Greens Farms Road, was one of three arrested in connection with the scheme in which men with mental health issues were allegedly delivered to wealthy people throughout the state, police said.

Detectives and special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Haven Office also arrested Bruce J. Bemer, 63, of Glastonbury, according to police.

Police previously arrested Robert King, of Danbury, and charged him with promoting prostitution and witness tampering.

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03/30/17 12:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

More Signs of Spring

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More signs of spring were spotted in Westport Wednesday under sunny skies with temperatures that barely reached into the 60s. But forecasters said today will turn colder again with temperatures in the 50s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for WestportNow.com

   

03/30/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 30, 2017


9 a.m. - Westport Senior Center - CSA Enhancement Committee
9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Exhibit: “MORE Than Words: As We Are!”
3:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - EK Theater Video Game Puppetry Class
6 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Ordinance Committee
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Concussions: Use of Neuroimaging of the Brain for Assessment & Treatment
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 104 - Board of Assessment Appeals Adjudication
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - CMS Coleytown Company: “Cinderella”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

   

03/30/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Gallery: Full House for Holocaust Survivor Talk


There was a full house tonight at the White Barn Center at the Westport Country Playhouse for “From Hate to Hope: A Conversation With Holocaust Kindertransport Survivor Ivan Backer.” The Playhouse, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and TEAM Westport, the town’s diversity committee, sponsored the event. Backer, 87, read from his book, “My Train to Freedom: A Jewish Boy’s Journey from Nazi Europe to a Life of Activism.” The event was presented in conjunction with the Playhouse’s April 5-9 production of the musical memoir, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane.” In the play, a young Jewish girl escapes the Holocaust via Kindertransport, the “children’s trains” organized by Sir Nicholas Winton who almost single-handedly rescued 669 children. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

   

03/29/17 10:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Service Dog to Get Protective Vest

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The Westport Police Department’s police service dog Atlas will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The department said Atlas’s vest is sponsored by an anonymous donor and will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Sebastian and Maggie.” Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks. Atlas, a German Shepherd acquired last summer, is the third narcotic detection police service dog to join the department’s K-9 Unit. His handler is Officer David Scinto. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police photo

   

03/29/17 08:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Speaker Offers Phase-in Compromise on Teacher Pensions

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz today offered a compromise on one of the stickiest points in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget: asking communities to gradually assume a portion of skyrocketing teacher pension costs.

Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, suggested cities and towns assume one-third of these pension costs — or possibly less — but do so in stages over the next five fiscal years.

The speaker offered this alternative during a panel discussion on state finances with House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, and Malloy budget director Ben Barnes.

The panel was the opening event at state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier’s 2017 Public Finance Outlook Conference at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

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03/29/17 03:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Erwine T. Buckenmaier, Jr., 83

Erwine Theodore Buckenmaier, Jr., known as “Ted,” a 47-year Westport resident, died March 24 at home after fighting sarcoma for almost a year. He was 83.

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Ted Buckenmaier, Jr:  longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Oceanside, New York on Sept. 4, 1933, he was the son of Erwine T. Buckenmaier, Sr. and Helen (Haas) Buckenmaier. 

“Teddy” was the adored younger brother of sisters Rosanne and Carol.  He exceled in sports and academics, graduating as valedictorian from Baldwin High School in Baldwin, New York.

He then went on to study engineering with a ROTC scholarship to Cornell University, graduating with a B.S. Ch. E. in 1956.

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03/29/17 03:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

News-12 Connecticut: A Bit Less Local

UPDATE Cablevision’s News-12 Connecticut, whose slogan is “as local as local news gets,” is a bit less local now.

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Ton Appleby, veteran news director of News-12 Connecticut, lamented the rise of social media as the primary source of news for Americans at a Westport Chamber of Commerce dinner last year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

As announced last October, new owner European telecom company Altice effective this week has moved production work from its Norwalk Cross Street facility to Edison, N.J.

While the news assignment desk, reporters, and videographers remain, familiar anchor faces, including almost 34-year veteran Tom Appleby, are gone.

Westporter Appleby, 72, has been with Cablevision since 1984, serving as vice president, general manager, and news director.

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03/29/17 03:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Suspected Car Burglars Call Cops for Accident Help, Get Arrested

Officers arrested two men and a woman suspected in a vehicle theft early today who called for help after the vehicle they were in was rear ended near Coleytown Elementary and Coleytown Middle Schools, police said.

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Arrested: (l-r) Reginald Sharp, Alexis Haythe, and Rashad Spain. Westport Police photos

According to Lt. David Farrell, the incident began at 1:15 a.m. when officers were dispatched to the report of a crash on North Avenue between Easton Road and Coleytown Road.

“The caller reported that the suspect vehicle struck the rear of their vehicle, causing the suspect vehicle to roll over,” Farrell said.

The caller reported the suspect vehicle operator, described as a black male, then fled the scene on foot, he added.

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03/29/17 12:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Replacement of Saugatuck Island Bridge Finally Underway

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Work was underway today on replacement of the 1929-built Saugatuck Island one-car-at-a-time, timber-and-pile bridge. Patchwork repairs over the years sufficed until it was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Working in concert with the Saugatuck Island Taxing District (SITD), which owns the bridge, the town in 2015 won a $1.3 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to replace the bridge. It will cover 75 percent of the cost, which will be supplemented by state funds. A slightly longer bridge with steel pilings and a concrete deck is planned. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Irene Penny for WestportNow.com

   

03/29/17 11:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘Life,’ ‘The Red Turtle,’ ‘Wilson’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Seeing “Life” reminded me that renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking has cautioned that contact with alien life could spell disaster for the human race: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.”

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But Hawking’s grim warning has not deterred cosmic exploration.

After Mission Specialist Rory Adams’ (Ryan Reynolds) risky retrieval of a damaged capsule containing valuable soil samples from Mars, the crew of the International Space Station’s Pilgrim 7 has reason to celebrate.

Along with Adams, astronauts Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), Sho Murakami (Hiroyuki Sanada), Ekaterina Golovinka (Olga Dihovichnaya), and Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) are concluding their eight-month exploratory mission.

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03/29/17 08:57 AM Comments () • Permalink

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