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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Houses of Worship Come Together for Hurricane Harvey Relief

By James Lomuscio

When five area churches meet for the summer’s last service near the cannons at Compo Beach Sunday at 8:30 a.m., their prayers and tithings will go beyond Westport’s borders to Texas and Louisiana for Hurricane Harvey’s victims.

The Rev. Alison Buttrick Patton, pastor of the Saugatuck Congregational Church, said that leaders of the churches scheduled to hold the service agreed today that all offerings collected would go directly to hurricane relief efforts.

The Compo service, which has drawn between 200 and 300, is being concelebrated by Saugatuck Congregational Church, United Methodist Church in Westport, Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, the Green’s Farms Congregational Church and the Wilton Congregational Church. The service will be led by the Rev. Anne Coffman of Wilton Congregational.

Of her own church’s efforts, Patton said, “We already put out an appeal in an e blast, and we will put out another notice on Sunday.”

More "Houses of Worship Come Together for Hurricane Harvey Relief"


08/31/17 09:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Home Safely After First Day of School

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Twins Ava and Ethan, 8, are welcomed home today to their Woodside Avenue home by mom, Tricia Lewis, after their first day in third grade class at Kings Highway Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 03:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Palmer: First Day of School a ‘Smooth Opening’

Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer gave the first day of school today high grades for a smooth opening for everything from the buses rolling on time to staff and student excitement about being back.

“We had a very smooth opening to our school year,” said Palmer, who had visited half of the district’s eight schools by 1:30 p.m. and the remaining four by the close of day.

“I got a chance to tour our schools, talking to teachers and staff; everyone is excited to be back,” she added.

Palmer said she planned to go during dismissal of the lower grades to meet the parents.

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08/31/17 02:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Weighing in on Amazon Whole Foods Purchase

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Westport Selectman Avi Kaner, whose day job is running New York’s Morton Williams supermarkets, was on Bloomberg Television today discussing the Amazon purchase of Whole Foods. Much of the conversation centered on the cost of avocados and compared the new Whole Foods price, much lower, to competitors, including Morton Williams. Kaner said there was no doubt the new Whole Foods has super buying power backed by Amazon, but said his company can compete by offering competitive pricing on many products — not just a few highlighted by Whole Foods — in addition to good customer service. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from Bloomberg.com


08/31/17 01:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Save Westport Now Endorses Dem Slate for P&Z

Save Westport Now (SWN), a 37-year-old political party focusing on town planning and zoning issues, today announced is endorsement of the three Democratic candidates running for the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in November.

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Announcing today’s endorsement: (l-r) Ian E. Warburg, Michael Cammeyer, Danielle Dobin, Greg Rutstein, and Valerie Seiling Jacobs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Valerie Seiling Jacobs, SWN co-chair, gave a ringing endorsement to candidates Michael Cammeyer and Danielle Dobin, appointees who sit on the current P&Z, and to newcomer Greg Rutstein, an attorney who works for Bridgewater Associates, the Westport-based international hedge fund.

Jonathan Olefson, a P&Z alternate, is the only Republican candidate running for the commission.

According to Rutstein, he and his fellow Democrats hope their win will give their party a true 4 to 3 majority on the current seven-member commission which, while technically Democratic-controlled, in fact is controlled by Republicans because Democrat Alan Hodge, who is not seeking re-election, voted for Republican leadership.

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08/31/17 12:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: Westport Students Return to School

Scenes from today’s return to classes for the first day of school in Westport. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com and contributed photos


08/31/17 09:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Eager Return

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Students at Greens Farms Elementary School appeared eager to return to classes today as Westport schools opened for the first day of school. Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said this year’s enrollment was 5,528, down 32 from last year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

New Long Lots Principal Welcomes Students

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The new principal of Long Lots Elementary School, Debra Dunn, welcomes students today along with Peter Barcello (l) head custodian, and Ryan Butler, security manager. Dunn, formerly schools superintendent of the York, Maine public schools, had earlier served as an elementary school principal in Massachusetts. She replaces Jeffrey Golubchick, who was removed and placed on administrative leave in February while an interim principal finished out the school year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

New Coleytown Kindergartner

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Coleytown El Principal Jana Sirowich, starting her eighth year as principal and 10th year at Coleytown, today welcomes new kindergarten student Nevaeh Grant. Sirowich said there are 61 new kindergartners at Coleytown this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Greens Farms Warm Welcome

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Greens Farms Elementary School Principal Kevin Cazzetta welcomes students back to school today. He is starting his third year at Greens Farms where he was previously assistant principal for six years with two years in between as principal in Simsbury. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Welcome Back

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Adam Rosen, principal of Bedford Middle School, today welcomes back a student as Westport schools opened for the school year . (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:16 AM Comments () • Permalink

Photo Souvenirs

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Parents snap pictures today at Keyeser Road and Imperial Avenue as youngsters board a bus for the first day of school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 07:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Early Welcome From Senior Girls

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Staples High School senior girls were out early today to welcome fellow students on the first day of school. Pictured (l-r) Alexa Moro, Dara Kissel, Avery Mendillo, Meghan Johnson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 07:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Last Sunset Before School Starts

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Many lingered late at Compo Beach Wednesday night to watch the last sunset before school resumes in Westport today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lauren Siegert for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Back to School for Westport Public Schools - Drive Carefully
9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 50 Imperial Ave. - Westport Farmers Market
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”
5 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Thursday Evening BBQ & My Favorite Broadway
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Appropriate”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/31/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Aquarion Begins Post Road East Water Main Installation

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Aquarion Water Company has begun work on Post Road East to install a new 16-inch water main. Traffic was limited tonight to one lane in each direction between Compo Road and Myrtle Avenue. According to foreman Donald Julian, this first week’s work is to create “test pits” to locate potential underground interference caused by existing underground utilities such as electrical, communications and telephone wires and cables. The work only takes place between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. per agreement with the state since Post Road East is state roadway.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/30/17 10:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Searching for Potential Utility Obstacles

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A worker for Wallingford-based True Blue Construction searches for potential utility company obstacles tonight on Post Road East near Powers Court as work begins on laying 1,500 feet of a new 16-inch water main. Aquarion Water Company said the nighttime installation will continue until the end of the year. The Westport Board of Selectmen postponed work on the Myrtle Avenue portion until April because they said the daytime work now would be too disruptive. (See WestportNow Aug. 23, 2017) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/30/17 10:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Vintage Homes Have Appeal

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

The allure of vintage to mid-century charm and character is alive and well in Westport.

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Featured Home: This home at 9 Old Orchard Road is listed at $1.1 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Westport.

Considering the number of active listings as opposed to the number of sold homes, this segment has all the indications of a better than average market this year.

According to SmartMLS tax records, which is the newly formed statewide Multiple Listing Service, approximately 29 percent of homes in Westport were built before 1950, and while they are certainly not scarce by any means, the 58 properties for sale represent less than 2.5 percent of those 2,357 homes.

Besides a reasonable price point which is conducive to attracting a wide array of buyers, added appeal includes vintage details such as moldings, nooks, crannies, and charming built-ins.

More "Real Estate Report: Vintage Homes Have Appeal"


08/30/17 08:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

Westport real estate price changes over the past week:

230 Saugatuck Ave. Unit 15   $599,000->$575,000
7 Sue Terrace                 $649,500->$629,000
8 Manor Drive                 $699,000->$675,000
19 Roseville Road             $720,000->$689,000
33 Hillandale Road             $729,000->$699,000
132 Regents Park             $759,000->$755,000
242 Bayberry Lane             $819,000->$789,000
6 Stoneboat Road         $1,099,000->$1,038,000
7 Eno Lane                 $1,249,412->$1,149,000
12 Wedgewood Road     $1,099,000->$1,250,000 *increased
14 Danbury Ave.          $1,945,000->$1,899,000
3 Pheasant Lane           $2,249,000->$1,999,000
4 Silver Brook Road       $2,495,000->$2,350,000
32 Edgewater Hillside     $2,599,000->$2,500,000
3 Plunkett Place           $2,950,000->$2,750,000
11 Wedgewood Road     $3,949,900->$3,850,000
41 Burnham Hill           $4,299,000->$4,199,000
—Judy Szablak


08/30/17 08:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

8-Year-Old Tells Police: ‘I Feel Unsafe in Westport’

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On the eve of the opening of Westport schools, Westport Police today released a note from a Westport 8-year-old complaining that he feels unsafe in Westport because he has seen many speeders and saying “I just feel like you can do better.” In a social media post, police implored drivers: “If you won’t listen to us slow down, listen to an 8-year-old so he can walk to school again.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police photo


08/30/17 08:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Higher Income Taxes for CT’s Wealthy May Still be in Play

By Keith M. Phaneuf


Increasing taxes on the wealthy — a solution in several state budget crises — seemed off the table this year.

But the discussion may not be over yet.

With the state budget standoff about to enter its third month — and with towns about to lose hundreds of millions of dollars more in state aid — at least one moderate Democrat wary of taxing the rich is taking a second look.

And sources say other moderates that still oppose raising taxes on the wealthiest households — a nonstarter for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy — have approached legislative leadership to discuss the option.

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08/30/17 04:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

How Many CT Towns Face Insolvency? Malloy Begins Counting

By Keith M. Phaneuf


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration is polling cities and towns to determine how many will run out of operating cash by this spring — or earlier — if the state budget standoff continues.

Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget chief, wrote to municipal leaders today asking them to provide information.

“I know that many towns would face solvency issues next spring if January and April ECS (Education Cost Sharing grant) payments continue at the executive order level,” Barnes wrote. “… I encourage any municipality that believes it will lack cash on hand to pay bills in 2017 to contact my office.”

In the absence of a state budget, Malloy has been running state finances by executive order since the new fiscal year began on July 1. With income and other tax receipts declining and retirement benefit and other fixed debt costs surging, the administration has said it has no choice but to dramatically reduce funds for municipal aid.

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08/30/17 04:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Three-Car Crash Sends One to Hospital

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A three-car rear-ender crash today in front of Starbucks, 1000 Post Road East, sent one person to Norwalk Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Traffic was tied up in both directions until tow trucks could remove the cars from the roadway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


08/30/17 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Extensive Damage in Post Road East Crash

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There was extensive damage to three cars involved in a rear-ender crash today in front of Starbucks, 1000 Post Road East. Westport EMS transported one person to Norwalk Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


08/30/17 02:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Maureen W. Zlatkin, 57

Maureen Whiteman Zlatkin of Westport died Aug. 27 at home. She was 57.

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Maureen W. Zlatkin: dedicated to music, arts. Dave Matlow /WestportNow.com

She was born Sept. 12, 1959 in Minneapolis and spent her formative years principally in Milwaukee. She was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Chicago Law School.

She was dedicated to music, the arts and charity, and she inspired many events and receptions at the barn on her property and in her home.

A musician herself, she was general counsel for the National Flute Association and played the flute at Westport’s Temple Israel on the high holidays.

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08/30/17 01:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Town Leaders Fight Back Against Budget Cost Shifts

By Keith M. Phaneuf


Municipal leaders today pushed back against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposals to shift costs onto cities and towns.

During a news conference at the Capitol, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities also contested a Malloy report earlier this month that aid to communities has surged 21 percent during his tenure.

“It’s naive to say that a cut in local government isn’t a property tax increase,” Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser said. “The plan that’s on the table is a major property tax increase.”

The governor’s plan to help close projected deficits of $1.6 billion this fiscal year and $1.9 billion in 2018-19 includes reducing major statutory grants to cities and towns by about $320 million per year.

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08/30/17 01:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

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”
2 p.m. & 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Appropriate”
4 p.m. - Westport Library - DeweyKnit: Grade 4 to Adult
5:30 p.m. - 134 Cross Highway - Wakeman Town Farm Board
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Finance, Environment, & Public Works Committees
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. - Westport Astronomical Society (182 Bayberry Lane) - Public Star Party (if skies are clear)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


08/30/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How Hurricanes Would Impact Westport

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As the nation watches Texas deal with unprecedented flooding, all U.S. coastal communities, incuding Westport, have some idea how they would be affected by hurricane flooding thanks to National Hurricane Center projected hurricane surge maps. This 2012 map shows Westport’s center with projected flooding from a Category 1 hurricane in light green, Category 2 dark green, Category 3 yellow, and Category 4 brown. The full map can be seen HERE.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic


08/29/17 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Flashback: Six Years + One Day Ago

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UPDATE This is how Westport’s Main Street looked on Aug. 28, 2011 as Hurricane Irene brought widespread flooding to the Westport area. (corrects date of photo) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


08/29/17 08:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Main Street Flooding Not New

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Over the years, Westport’s Main Street has been flooded repeatedly during storms. This picture is believed to be from the 1950s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/29/17 08:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

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