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Thursday, April 06, 2017

P&Z Okays Village District Zone Image
After three and a half years of work by the Village District Study Committee, with Historic District Commission Chairman Francis Hankles as its chair, the Planning and Zoning Commission tonight voted unanimously to approve the Village District Overlay Zone to cover Westport’s downtown. “This is to protect the distinctive character, landscape and historic structures within the downtown area,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/06/17 09:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tourism Talk Image
Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Department of Tourism, today addressed attendees at the Westport Inn about ways for businesses to take advantage of and partner with the state to promote themselves. Fiveash told the Westport Weston Chamber Commerce co-branded event that 82,688 Connecticut jobs are directly related to tourism and 121,527 are supported by tourism activities. He also lamented the fact that his department’s budget has been slashed to $5 million — well below that of neighboring states. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/06/17 09:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rainbows Had Westporters Snapping Pix Image
Rainbows at the end of today’s stormy weather had Westporters snapping pictures tonight. This view is from Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for


04/06/17 08:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Another Compo View Image
Another rainbow view today as seen from Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Nicholas Hooper for


04/06/17 08:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sherwood Island View Image
A Sherwood Island State Park rainbow view tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dawn Manning Shmaruk for


04/06/17 08:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Another Sherwood Island View Image
Another view from Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park of tonight’s rainbows.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dawn Manning Shmaruk for


04/06/17 08:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sherwood Mill Pond View Image
Tonight’s rainbow as seen over Sherwood Mill Pond. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Rick Benson for


04/06/17 08:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Owenoke Park View Image
A view of tonight’s rainbow from Owenoke Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Meredith Holod for


04/06/17 08:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Art of the Revolution Image
Westporter Robin Jaffee Frank (l), former chief curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and the Yale University Art Gallery, tonight told a Westport Historical Society audience about the role art played in swaying public opinion in the colonies in favor of the Revolutionary War. Her talk was part of the Society’s month-long observance of the 240th anniversary of the British Raid on Danbury, which began April 25, 1777. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/06/17 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Large Crowd for Pop Up Show Image
The Westport Arts Center was packed for tonight’s Westport Artists Collective’s spring Pop Up Show, featuring over 100 regional artists. The Center gives over its space to the Collective three times each year, allowing local and regional professional artists to showcase their work.  The Pop Up is on view through Saturday at 1 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Aubrey Grodin for


04/06/17 07:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Blumenthal, Murphy Face New Senate Landscape After ‘Nuclear’ Deployment

By Ana Radelat

Washington — While angered that the GOP “went nuclear,” changing Senate rules to win confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Sen. Chris Murphy said he will still try to work with Republicans on common interests, while Sen. Richard Blumenthal warned of “repercussions.”

“It’s not going to change the way I operate,” Murphy said. “My job is to represent the people of Connecticut, not to play petty politics.”

He said he is sure “there are raw feelings” among Democrats about the GOP’s end run of a filibuster on Gorsuch. “But I’m not going to let my anger over the rules change my efforts to reach across the aisle to get things done for the state of Connecticut,” he said.

Still the Republican deployment of the “nuclear option” to get around a Democratic filibuster of Gorsuch has aggravated the partisanship in the Senate, where collegiality and compromise was found more often than in the U.S. House.

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04/06/17 06:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Coastal Flood Statement Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Statement for Westport and area warning of water levels approaching minor coastal flood benchmarks this evening.

An easterly flow ahead of a warm front has resulted in a 2-foot surge across across western Long Island Sound. As a result, water levels may approach minor coastal flood benchmarks around the time of high tide, which is at 8:53 p.m. in Westport.

Isolated flooding of the most vulnerable shore roads and/or basements is possible, the Weather Service said.

There is no significant threat to life and any impact on property is minimal.


04/06/17 06:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Honoring Our Heritage: 16 St. George Place Image
The owners of the house at 16 St. George Place, off Weston Road, are the newest recipient of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten, WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque to Julie Van Norden and her husband Craig Wynne, who moved into the house, known as the Frederick Morehouse house, c. 1837, in 2002 after relocating from New York.  A unique aspect of its history is its having been moved from Clinton Avenue in 1937 to its current location to preserve the house during the construction of the Merritt Parkway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/06/17 03:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Barbara L. Bacharach, 80

Barbara L. (Lawrence) Bacharach of Farmington, a former Westport resident, died April 1 at Brookdale of Farmington. She was 80. Image
Barbara L. Bacharach: nurse, flight attendant. Contributed photo

She was born July 10, 1936 in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, a daughter of the late Fredrick and Dorothy (Dougherty) Lawrence. She was raised and went to school in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania. She then went on to college and received her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing.

After graduation, she worked as a nurse and flight attendant for TWA. She met and married Andrew and they moved to Westport., where she raised her two sons and continued to nurse part time in longterm care facilities and hospitals in Fairfield County.

She retired to Sarasota, Florida, where she lived for 22 years before moving back to Connecticut and settling in Bristol.

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04/06/17 11:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Joan Harrop, 86

Joan Barbara (Huston) Harrop of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a former Westport resident, died April 6 in Kutztown Manor Nursing Home. She was 86. Image
Joan Harrop: Former Westporter. Contributed photo

Born in Portland, Maine, she was a daughter of the late Robert D. and Ethel I. (Lancey) Huston. She was a 1949 graduate of Deering High School, Portland. In 1953, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from the University of Maine, Orono, Maine, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.

She worked in Hartford in the administrative office of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, before she was married. She lived with her family in Rosemont, along Philadelphia’s Main Line, and later in Westport, where she was active with the Westport Woman’s Club and Westport Historical Society.

After her children graduated high school, she relocated to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she worked as a restaurant hostess and tour guide for group bus trips throughout New England.

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04/06/17 11:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Flood Watch Until 8 P.M.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Westport and area until 8 p.m. today.

It said there will be rainfall, heavy at times, through this afternoon before gradually decreasing from west to east late this afternoon into early this evening.

Thunderstorms with locally heavier rainfall rates are also possible, especially during this afternoon. Any new rainfall will exacerbate already swollen rivers and streams.
Total rainfall of around 1 to 2 inches are expected, with locally higher amounts possible especially with any thunderstorms.

More "Flood Watch Until 8 P.M."


04/06/17 10:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Finance Board Restores $310,000 to School Budget

By James Lomuscio

One after the other and with no time limits, more than two dozen parents, PTA members, alumni and a few students came to the podium at Wednesday night’s Board of Finance meeting, Image
Isabella Mariani, 6, a first grader at Saugatuck Elementary School, was among Westport students who showed up at the meeting to support restoration. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

There, they extolled the value of the Westport school system, the reason many said they moved to town, and they urged the finance board to restore $700,000 to next year’s operating budget.

The finance board listened intently but more than four and a half hours later at 1:08 a.m. today by a 5 to 2 vote gave back only $310,000 of the $1.674 million it had cut from the schools’ $115.35 proposed operating budget, which had been a 2.44 percent increase over the current year.

With the restoration and the addition of $480,000 from the school’s health reserve fund approved by the school board Monday night, the 2017-18 operating budget now stands at $113.65 million. It will go to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) in early May for final approval and a possible vote for full restoration of the $700,000.

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04/06/17 01:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Scene Image
A great egret spotted at Westport’s Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Molesworth for


04/06/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 6, 2017

9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Downtown Plan Implementation Committee
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Westport Artists Collective Pop-up Exhibition
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Exhibit: “The Danbury Raid”
Noon - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Play with Your Food
5:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Throwback Thursday—Build a Diorama
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Westport Artists Collective Pop-up Exhibition Opening Reception
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Green Task Force
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - The Role of Art in the American Revolution
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Eric Burns on “Someone to Watch Over Me”
7 p.m. - Greens Farms Academy - Jessica Lahey: “Gift of Failure: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation & Resilience in Kids”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Pianist of Willesden Lane”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/06/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Full House as BOF Restores $310,000 to Board of Ed Budget Image
UPDATE There was a full house tonight for the Westport Board of Finance meeting as it considered a $700,000 restoration request from the Board of Education for its 2017-18 budget. After more than four hours of discussion, the board voted 5-2 to restore $310,000. Jen Tooker and John Hartwell were opposed, each proposing higher amounts — Hartwell $600,000 and Tooker $400,000 — which failed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/05/17 09:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

FDA Nominee Gottlieb Says He’d Challenge Trump on Vaccines

By Ana Radelat

Washington – Scott Gottlieb, a Westport doctor, today calmly defused tough questions from Democrats during the confirmation hearing on his nomination to head the Food and Drug Administration, promising to safeguard the agency’s rigorous review of drugs and medical devices. Image
Scott Gottlieb delivers his opening statement at the confirmation hearing today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from C-SPAN

He also said he would keep his independence from the White House and oppose President Donald Trump if he maintains vaccinations could cause autism. Trump has tweeted there could be a link.

Gottlieb also said he would not be influenced by any sector of the healthcare industry, despite his job at New Enterprise Associates, a large venture capital firm that is heavily invested in medical technology and healthcare companies.

“I want to earn and keep the public’s trust,” Gottlieb told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

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04/05/17 08:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Sunset Image
Tonight’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Saugatuck Island. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Peny Sousa for


04/05/17 07:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Curtain Call for ‘The Pianist of Willesden Lane’ Image
Grammy nominated pianist Mona Golabek takes a bow today at the Westport Country Playhouse following the opening matinee performance in her one-person play “The Pianist of Willesden Lane.” it is based on the book, “The Children of Willesden Lane,”  which she she co-authored. The play is based on her mother’s experience in 1938 Vienna as a young Jewish piano prodigy who finds her dreams threatened by the looming war. When she escapes to England on the Kindertransport, a multi-generational tale begins of art preserving life. The play, on tour in the United States and soon to continue in Europe, has a limited engagement of seven performances at the Playhouse through Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/05/17 07:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Man Gets Accelerated Rehab in Bus Incident

A Westport man charged in Fairfield after he allegedly confronted the driver of a school bus full of young children in a road rage incident today was allowed into a probation program that could result in misdemeanor charges being erased. Image
James Berrien: former Forbes, Amex executive. Fairfield Police photo

James Berrien, 64, of Sturges Highway, a former president and publisher of Forbes Magazine Group and president of American Express, was granted accelerated rehabilitation by Judge William Holden in Bridgeport Superior Court.

Breach of peace and disorderly conduct charges will be erased in six months if he stays out of trouble.

In the the Dec. 21 incident, police said he and the bus driver disagreed over who had the right of way on Morehouse Lane in Fairfield. (See WestportNow Feb. 1, 2017)

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04/05/17 06:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Post Road East Office Building Sells for $2.2 Million

The 1982-built office building at 1555 Post Road East has been sold for $2.2 million, according to a filing in the Town Clerk’s Office. Image
The 1982-built office building was appraised by the town at $2.7 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The property consists of an 11,461-square foot structure on .61 acres that the new owners plan to completely update with a new roof, HVAC, windows, masonry, and parking lot, said Brett A. Sherman, senior vice president of Southport-base Angel Commercial LLC.

Sherman, who represented the buyer, said there will be up to 7,500-square feet for lease in the building.

He identified the buyer as Fairfield-based BAO Partners LLC, which he said recently purchased other similar buildings in both Westport and Fairfield with the same investment strategy. The sale filing recorded Monday said the seller was Westport-based1555 PRE, LLC.

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04/05/17 05:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comings & Goings: Le Boudoir to Compo Acres Image
Le Boudoir spa, a high end blow-dry and beauty bar salon, officially opens opens Friday at 382 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center anchored by Trader Joe’s. Owner Mamoune Tazi,  Casablanca-born who studied law in Toulouse, France, before discovering his real passion was in making women beautiful, also operates spas in New Canaan and Darien. On opening day he is offering free blow dry services to anyone excluding current clients. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/05/17 05:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Suspect Arrested After Car Chase, Two Officers Injured

A 44-year-old Bridgeport man was under arrest today and two police officers recovering from minor injuries following a car chase along Post Road East, through downtown Westport, an Imperial Avenue crash, and a brief foot pursuit, police said. Image
The suspect is loaded into an ambulance following his arrest. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo Image
Mug shot:: Tracey Edwards. Westport Police photo

The incident began at about 9:30 a.m. when officers were dispatched to OptiCare, 877 Post Road East, to check the welfare of a male who was in the store and appeared disoriented, said Lt. David Farrell.

While on route, officers learned the man had stolen a pair of sunglasses and left the store. As officers arrived, the man left the scene in a gray Pontiac at a high rate of speed.

Officers then pursued the vehicle westbound on Post Road East with speeds reaching 50 mph in moderate traffic, according to radio reports. He turned on to Main Street, Church Lane, and then on a route that took him past police headquarters on Jesup Road toward Imperial Avenue.

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04/05/17 03:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Inspecting Underground Cables Image
Eversource workers today pump out water from a manhole at the intersection of Compo Road South as part of a periodic inspection of underground electrical cables. When sufficient water is pumped out, a series of photos is taken related to cable quality, according to a crew leader. He said such work will take place over the next few days at dozens of manholes in Westport. The work shut down one lane of Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


04/05/17 02:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Moving on to State Finals Image
Fourth graders from Westport’s workshop (gifted) program have advanced to the state finals of the national Invention Convention competition. They moved up following the weekend’s Western Connecticut Regionals in Danbury. The state competition will take place April 29 at UConn in Storrs. The winners will advance to the national competition at the U.S. Trademark and Patent office in Alexandria, Virginia in June. Pictured (l-r) are Lucas Ceballos-Cala and Pierce Brown of Coleytown Elementary, Kate Watkins and Samantha Henske of Kings Highway Elementary. Their teachers are Priscilla Jones of Kings Highway and Eileen Carroll of Coleytown. The Connecticut Invention Convention is a nonprofit educational program designed to develop and enhance critical thinking skills in children in grades K-8 through invention, innovation and entrepreneurship, while encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/05/17 12:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Marie F. McHugh, 84

Marie F. McHugh (nee Gallagher), a Westport resident for 45 years, died March 25. She was 84.

The widow of James J. was born Sept 3, 1932, graduated from St. John’s University, and worked for Eastern Airlines in New York City and Washington, D.C.

She is survived by her children, John, James, Anne, Peter and Paul; her grandchildren, Sarah, Peter, Sam, David, Kate, Marie, and Jane; her sisters, Nan Jones and Patricia Hay; and her cousins, Patricia Duffy, Loretta Frohnhoefer, and Ann Marie Duffy. She was predeceased by her sister Eileen Butler.

A reception for family and friends is planned. In lieu of gifts or flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice.


04/05/17 11:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

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