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Monday, July 31, 2017

Coalition Concerned about Marpe’s Rejection of State Bridge Money

The Coalition for Westport, a political party focused on planning and zoning issues, today criticized First Selectman Jim Marpe’s decision to turn down $40 million in state money for the William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge. Image
The Cribari Bridge during an opening. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for

Marpe said on July 11 that he rejected the state Department of Transportation (CDOT) money because he did not want “to establish funding for a project where we might not be able to influence the outcome” of the 1884-built swing bridge currently on the National Register of Historic Places. (See WestportNow July 11, 2017)

Calling his decision “the right thing to do,” he stressed the bridge’s historical, cultural and environmental significance to Westport could be at risk of being lost to major renovations, even replacement. CDOT is deciding whether to replace or rehabilitate the bridge, the oldest surviving movable bridge in Connecticut.

The South Western Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (SWRMPO) is scheduled to vote on the matter at its Thursday, Aug. 17 meeting in Ridgefield.

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07/31/17 11:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

After Day of Drama, Senate Democrats Unite to Back Concessions

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

On a tie-breaking vote by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, the Senate gave final approval today to a state-employee concessions deal after Democratic leaders mollified three dissenting colleagues with a promise to make a good-faith effort for fiscal reforms.

Uniting all 18 members of the caucus hinged on the willingness by Senate Democratic leaders to at least endorse in concept a dozen fiscal and collective-bargaining reforms sought by three wary Democratic colleagues, any one of whom held the power to kill the deal by voting with Republicans in the evenly divided Senate.

”I’m very pleased that we achieved Democratic unity on this proposal today, and it now helps set us up for the remainder of what will be very difficult budget negotiations,” said Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.

The show of unity did not go beyond the vote. The three holdouts — Sens. Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, Joan Hartley of Waterbury and Gayle Slossberg of Milford — skipped a post-session news conference with Looney and other Democrats, a sign of remaining difficulties in resolving an impasse that has left Connecticut without a budget for 31 days.

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07/31/17 09:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Another View Image
Another view of the sunset tonight as seen from South Beach at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for


07/31/17 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Photo Op Image
Members of the Camera Club at the Westport Weston Y’s Men were out in force late today shooting a spectacular sunset as seen from the South Beach at Compo Beach.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ted Horowitz for


07/31/17 08:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunset Play Image
Some played, some just watched the sunset tonight as seen from South Beach at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for


07/31/17 08:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

WHS to Host Encore of ‘The High School That Rocked’

On the heels of a sell-out July 15 screening “The High School That Rocked” documentary, another showing is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. at the Westport Historical Society (WHS), Barbara Peck, WHS assistant director, announced today.

The documentary showcases the classic rock legends that performed at Staples High School during the 1970s, including the Doors, Cream and the Yardbirds.

The screening will be followed by a talk with the film’s producer Fred Cantor and local filmmaker Douglas Tirola.

The showing is a joint venture of the WHS and the Westport Cinema Initiative.

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07/31/17 06:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 36 Elm St. Image
An application for a permit to demolish the building at Westport’s 36 Elm St, is in process. Built in 1900, the 1-1/2 story building has 3,866-square feet, is situated on a .15-acre property, and most recently changed ownership in February 2017 for $4.9 million. The building has housed the Villa del Sol Mexican restaurant and Design Within Reach, which has moved to 154 Post Road East. As first reported on July 13, 2017, Villa Del Sol will be moving to 170 Post Road West in space previously occupied by Peachwave. (See WestportNow July 13, 2017) Developer David Waldman purchased 36 Elm St. as part of a land swap with the town that would see construction of a retail and residential building across the street behind Lux Bond & Green. Because the building was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/31/17 05:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

YMCA Announces Maintenance Shutdown Schedule

The Westport Weston Family YMCA announced today it will be performing its annual shut down for maintenance and repairs from Saturday, Aug. 26, through Monday, Sept. 4.

However, not all of the facility will be closed during that time period, officials said.

The first day, Saturday, Aug. 26, the Y will be open all day from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Aug. 27, it will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., officials said. However, the wellness center will close at noon that weekend.

On Monday, Aug. 28 through Wednesday Aug. 30, the facility will be closed with the exception of the membership desk, which will be open from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.

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07/31/17 04:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Court Rejects Developer’s Appeal for Wilton Road Housing

A Stamford developer has lost his battle to build a 48-unit multi-family housing project at the busy intersection of Kings Highway North and Wilton Road. Image
The 1.16-acre parcel at 122 Wilton Road sits at the busy intersection of Kings Highway North and Wilton Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Town Attorney Ira Bloom said today the Appellate Court on July 26 denied a petition for certification to appeal a May 25 decision by a Hartford Superior Court judge to dismiss the affordable housing lawsuit brought by Garden Homes of Stamford.

Judge Marshall Berger upheld a Westport Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission denial of the Garden Homes’ application to build at 122 Wilton Road. (See WestportNow May, 27, 2017)

“I am very pleased with this decision from the Appellate Court,” said Bloom.  “The Trial Court’s decision upholding our denial of this application now stands.

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07/31/17 02:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Groundbreaking Set for Sept. 14

The Westport Library announced today that the groundbreaking ceremony for its $19.5 million renovation project is set for Thursday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. Image
A rendering of the Westport Library’s Great Hall in its forum setup. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic

The work, which will be done in phases to keep the library open, is expected to last between 18 and 21 months, officials said.

“For nearly a decade, the Library has been evaluating plans to transform our existing facility into a reimagined space that better meets the community’s needs,” said Bill Harmer, executive director. “As we prepare to officially break ground on the project, you can feel the excitement.”

The work will be done in three phases, the first being the Riverwalk Level designed to house the permanent adult book collection, to be used as quiet space, and it will feature a newly designed entrance. The work is expected to last eight months.

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07/31/17 11:48 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, July 31, 2017

9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SELECTS Artist Member Exhibition”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The High School That Rocked!” & “Magical Thinking”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Conservation Commission (live on cable channel 79, Frontier channel 99, &

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/31/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gallery: Sinatra Music at the Levitt

Scenes from tonight’s Levitt Pavilion performance by James Langton and his New York All-Star Big Band playing “75 Years of Sinatramania.” J.C. Martin for and photos


07/30/17 10:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

‘Sinatramania’ at the Levitt Image
James Langton and his New York All-Star Big Band entertained tonight with “75 Years of Sinatramania” at the Levitt Pavilion. Many in the packed crowd danced to music spotlighting the 75th anniversary of Frank Sinatra making his record-breaking appearance at New York’s Paramount Theater. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/30/17 09:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dancing to the Big Band Sinatra Sound Image
Many audience members were up and dancing tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion as James Langton and his New York All-Star Big Band entertained with music of Frank Sinatra. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/30/17 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Dressed Up for the Concert Image
Niccolo Suárez Paz, 11 months old, was all dressed up tonight in the arms of mom, Olga, for the Levitt Pavilion concert of Frank Sinatra music. Olga and husband Leonardo, tango artists from Argentina, performed at the Levitt on June 30 with Cuartetango, the only string quartet of its kind to devote itself to the music of tango. Their performance was delayed by rain and Olga said Carleigh Welsh, Levitt marketing and communications director, invited the couple to return to Westport on a sunny day—today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/30/17 09:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunny Service Image
There was sunny skies for today’s worship service at Westport’s Compo Beach. Participating churches include Saugatuck Congregational Church, Greens Farms Congregational Church, Norfield Congregational Church, United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston, and Wilton Congregational Church. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/30/17 10:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winner of YMCA’s 39th Annual Point to Point Swim Image
Nico Ortega, 17, of Westport, a rising senior at Staples High School, was first across the finish line today in the Westport Weston Family YMCA’s 39th annual Point to Point Compo Beach swim. His time was 13:24 for the mile swim. Asked if he was surprised to be the winner, he replied, “No, I’m a long distance swimmer ... but I am tired.” Through efforts like the swim, the YMCA is able to provide over $400,000 in financial assistance and indirect community support every year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/30/17 09:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Setting Off on Point to Point Swim Image
Swimmers set out today on the Westport Weston Family YMCA’s 39th annual Point to Point swim at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/30/17 09:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Encouraging the Swimmers Image
Patricia Riemersma, CEO of the Westport Weston Famly YMCA, addresses swimmers today before the 39th annual Point to Point swim at Compo Beach. More than 120 swimmers participated. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/30/17 09:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Class of 1997 Celebrates 20th Reunion Image
The Staples High School class of 1997 got together Saturday night at Westport’s Birchwood Country Club as part of its 20th reunion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Miryha Fantegrossi for


07/30/17 09:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, July 30, 2017

7 a.m. - Compo Beach - Westport Weston Family Y 39th Annual Point to Point Compo Beach Swim
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - A Swingin’ Affair: 75 Years of Sinatramania

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/30/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Full House for The Sweet Remains Image
There was a ful house tonight at the Levitt Pavlion for The Sweet Remains. Its musicians include Westporter Greg Naughton, who told the crowd this was his 10th wedding anniversary and 10th anniversary of the band’s formation. He was later joined onstage by his wife, Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara, and his father, actor James Naughton. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/29/17 09:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Joining In Image
Tony Award-winning actor Kelli O’Hara (c) joins in a number tonight with The Sweet Remains at the Levitt Pavilion. Her husband, Greg Naughton (l), is a member of the band. He told the audience he and his wife, who live in Westport, were celebrating their 10th anniversary tonight.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


07/29/17 09:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Harmonies from The Sweet Remains Image
The Sweet Remains entertained at the Levitt Pavilion tonight. Its musicians, each of whom contribute to the writing and three-part harmonies that define the band’s sound, include (l-r) Westporter Greg Naughton, Rich Price, and Brian Chartrand. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/29/17 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Not Much Room to Spread Out Image
The Levitt Pavilion audience tonight for The Sweet Remains was packed in with not much room to spread out. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/29/17 09:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Budget Standoff About to Take a Big Toll on Cities and Towns

By Keith M. Phaneuf

As Connecticut begins its second month without a state budget next week, the cost to cities and towns will take a big leap, topping $100 million.

And while Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration warned the toll on municipalities gets much worse in September and October, the governor and his fellow Democrats in the legislature are nearing gridlock, weighing higher sales taxes against reductions in local aid.

The administration confirmed Thursday that, absent a budget, it will not release the $78 million in sales tax receipts due Tuesday to communities as part of a revenue-sharing program enacted two years ago.

The budget standoff already cost municipalities $30 million in road repair grants in July. And if it continues until Sept. 30, property tax relief grants that sent $182 million to cities and towns last fall also would be withheld.

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07/29/17 01:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

In High Spirits for CT Challenge Bike Ride Image
Participants in the CT Challenge bike ride today were in high spirits as they rode along North Avenue in Westport. Several thousand took part in the ride to raise funds for the nonprofit dedicated to helping cancer survivors in Connecticut and throughout the United States. The start and end point was the Fairfield County Hunt Club on Long Lots Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/29/17 08:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Formal Dress for the Ride Image
A youngster put on a tie for today’s CT Challenge bike ride to support cancer survivors. She is pictured on Westport’s North Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


07/29/17 08:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday Sunset Image
Sunset Friday night as seen along Westport’s Owenoke Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Eileen Lavigne Flug for


07/29/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, July 29, 2017

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SELECTS Artist Member Exhibition”
Noon - 5 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The High School That Rocked!” & “Magical Thinking”
12:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Violinist Heather Hardy Performs
1 p.m. - Westport Library - Open Write-in of the Fairfield County Writers Group
3 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Grounded” (last day)
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Sweet Remains

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


07/29/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

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