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Monday, September 18, 2017

MGM Pitches Bridgeport Casino as Feds Delay Tribes’ Expansion

By Mark Pazniokas


Bridgeport UPDATE MGM Resorts International launched a glitzy new campaign today to expand into Connecticut, an effort that curiously coincides with the Trump administration, at least temporarily, halting the state’s two federally recognized tribes’ from building a casino in East Windsor to compete with a new MGM resort in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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Mayors Toni Harp of New Haven and Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport talk to MGM CEO James Murren. At left, Uri Clinton of MGM.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) CtMirror.org photo

The Nevada-based gaming giant, after telling legislators for two years they would be foolish to approve the tribes’ plan without an open competition, now is seeking legislation in special session granting it exclusive rights to build a waterfront casino resort in Bridgeport, a gateway to the lucrative New York City gambling market.

“We’ve spent time, we’ve invested money, and we’ve come up with partners that will give them the best project, a project that really is shovel-ready, a project that really is already funded, a project that really already has partners and momentum,” said Uri Clinton, a counsel and senior vice president at MGM.

Led by James Murren, the Bridgeport-born chairman and chief executive of MGM, the company demonstrated its political support at a waterside news conference attended by legislators, Mayors Joseph P. Ganim of Bridgeport and Toni Harp of New Haven, union members and a local partner who owns the site, Robert W. Christoph.

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09/18/17 07:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Video: Minimal Impact So Far of Tropical Storm at Compo

There were minimal effects of Tropical Storm Jose at Westport’s Compo Beach late today at low tide. The National Weather Service late today dropped Westport and Fairfield County as well as Westchester and Nassau Counties from its Tropical Storm Watch area as Jose moved northward. It said some coastal flooding was still possible and issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for Westport and area. WestportNow.com video


09/18/17 06:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Small Whitecaps at Compo

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There were small whitecaps at Westport’s Compo Beach at low tide at about 6 p.m. today as Tropical Storm Jose moved up far off the coast. The low tide revealed a shoe left behind. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


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

Stairway to Veterans Green Closer to Reality

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Work neared completion today of a pedestrian stairway to Westport’s Veterans Green from Main Street. It is part of a $237,270 sidewalk improvement project that offers pedestrian access to Veterans Green. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


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

Granger at the Movies: ‘mother,’ ‘Home Again,’ ‘American Assassin’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

If you needed proof of the adage “Love is blind,” look no further than “mother!” in which Jennifer Lawrence stars in her boyfriend Darren Aronofsky’s macabre horror/melodrama that’s tinged with increasingly hysterical, pseudo-religious overtones.

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Writer/director Aronofsky blends “Rosemary’s Baby” with “Requiem for a Dream,” making the cynical assertion that — for the artist — creative inspiration is more important than love or life itself.

Opening with the image of a huge Victorian country house burning, along with its female inhabitant (Lawrence), it relates the tortured tale of a nameless, archetypal couple (Lawrence, Javier Bardem).

He’s a famous, self-absorbed poet who craves adoration and idolatry. Serving as his self-sacrificing “inspiration,” she’s renovated and restored his idyllic old house, which burned down before they met. Like a radiant Earth Mother, she’s determined to “make a paradise” for him, even while self-medicating.

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09/18/17 03:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 1 Pine Tree Drive

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 1 Pine Tree Drive, off Roseville Road, is in process. Built in 1966, the two-story colonial has 2,420-square feet and is situated on a one-acre property. 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 WestportNow.com


09/18/17 02:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

MGM Announces Plan for Bridgeport Casino Complex

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A rendering of the MGM Bridgeport casino complex.Contributed photo

Almost 15 years after former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell led a Fairfield County coalition opposing a casino in Bridgeport, the possibility of gambling in the state’s largest city took on a new life today.

MGM Resorts International announced ambitious plans for a $675 million casino and entertainment complex in Bridgeport’s Steelpointe Harbor area that it said would create thousands of jobs.

The announcement came despite current state law that bars building a casino in Bridgeport as gaming is currently limited to the two federal Indian reservations. However, the General Assembly has approved a plan for a third casino in East Windsor that would be jointly operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

That did not seem to dissuade MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Office James Murren, a Bridgeport native, from announcing his plan.

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09/18/17 01:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

James H. Baker, Sr., 89

James “Jim” Hervey Baker, Sr. of Fairfield, formerly of Westport, died Sept. 15. He was 89,

He was born in Gloversville, New York on April 4, 1928, the son of the late James H. and Dorothy (McCarthy) Baker. He had been a longtime resident of Westport prior to moving to Fairfield.

He dedicated his career to higher educational fundraising, retiring from City College in 1995. He was an avid golfer and had been an active member of the Masonic Lodge Temple 65. He also proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Survivors include two daughters, Patricia (Baker) Worden and her husband Richard of Topeka, Kansas, Nancy (Baker) Wokanovicz and her husband Peter of Monroe, and two sons, James H. Baker, Jr. and his wife Sheila of Southport, North Carolina (formerly Fairfield), and Stephen Baker from Fairfield, six grandsons, James H. Baker, III and Kristen (Walsh) Baker, Matthew and Katelin (Koebbe) Baker, Scott Worden, Mark and Nohemi (Alzerez) Worden, Nicholas Wokanovicz and Benjamin Wokanovicz, and four great-grandchildren, Tatum Worden, James H. Baker, IV, Charles Baker and Nolan Baker. He was predeceased by his wife Ruth Ella Baker, daughter Stephanie S. Baker, his parents and two brothers Richard Baker and Charles Baker. s

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09/18/17 11:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday Sunset

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Sunday’s sunset as seen from South Beach at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mary Sikorski for WestportNow.com


09/18/17 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, September 18, 2017

9 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Vivian Maier—a Lifetime of Photographs”
1 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Historic District Commission Work Session
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Parks Advisory Committe
7:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Library Board of Trustees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/18/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, September 17, 2017

NWS: High Winds, Costal Flooding Possible

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The National Weather Service issued this graphic tonight about Tropical Storm Jose, warning that high winds and costal flooding are possible. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) NWS graphic


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

Samuel A. Lepofsky, 96

Samuel A. Lepofsky of Westport died Sept. 10 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. He was 96.

Samuel A. Lepofsky
Sam Lepofsky: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born March 23, 1921 in South Norwalk to Ethel and Benjamin Lepofsky. He was a graduate of University of Connecticut and Temple University.

He served in the 88th Infantry Division as a medic, receiving the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his service in North Africa and in Italy during World War II.

In September 1949, he married Miriam Rosenthal of South Norwalk. They were married for over 68 years.  They moved to Westport in October 1956 where he opened his first place of business. He proceeded to open several businesses until his retirement in 1993.

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09/17/17 06:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Football Wreckers Hold Dueling Car Washes

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The Staples Gridiron Club held dueling car washes today to benefit the Staples football team. The event, held at ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East, and Dragone Classic Motorcars, 176 Post Road West, raised more than $2,000 in support of team expenses and scholarships.  Contributed photo


09/17/17 06:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dems’ Solution to Combat Alt-Right: Win Elections

There was a packed Westport Library audience today for a Democratic Women of Westport forum on “How to Fight the Alt-Right” featuring U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and social media political specialist Melissa Ryan.

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U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addresses today’s forum while fellow panelist Melissa Ryan and moderator Rob Simmelkjaer listen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

With Rob Simmelkjaer, running mate of Melissa Kane for first selectman on the Democratic ticket, moderating the discussion, Himes said the emergence of the alternative right movement “has upturned politics in Washington.”

“President Trump is not a Nazi though he is on the alt-right spectrum,” he said.

The Democrat, who is serving his fifth term and is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the alt-right movement has resulted in the “shunting aside” of the Republican Party, minimizing the influence of leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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09/17/17 06:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tropical Storm Watch Issued

UPDATE The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Westport and area.

A Tropical Storm Watch means Tropical storm wind conditions are possible somewhere within this area and within the next 48 hours

The latest local forecast is for below tropical storm force wind with peak wind forecast of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph

The Weather Service said emergency planning should include a reasonable threat for tropical storm force wind of 39 to 57 mph.

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09/17/17 05:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Stage Star Brenda Lewis, 96

Stage star Brenda Lewis died Sept. 16 in her Prospect Road home in Westport. She was 96.

Brenda Lewis
Brenda Lewis: longtime Westport resident. Contributed photo

Her death was reported by The New York Times and confirmed by her son Michael Asen.

She was best known for starring as alcoholic Birdie Hubbard in the original operatic adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” titled “Regina,” at New York City Opera and on Broadway, as well as her role in “Lizzie Borden” by Jack Beeson.

She was a regular performer with The New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera performing in such productions as “Die Fledermaus” and “Carmen.”

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

Robert A. Landowne, 86

Robert A. Landowne of Westport died Sept. 15 due to congestive heart failure. He was 86.

A graduate of the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Yale and a group leader at American Cyanamid Co.

He was director of clinical chemistry at St. Joseph Hospital in Stamford where he was responsible for implementing one of the first computerized hospital laboratory systems in Connecticut.

He was active in the local government of Westport where he served as chairman of the Board of Tax Review, and as chairman of the Westport Interfaith Housing Corporation.

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09/17/17 04:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Church Rededicates New ‘Black Lives Matter’ Banner

By James Lomuscio

The ceremony at the Unitarian Church today was short but firm in its resolve that Westport remain a community of tolerance and acceptance, to hear church and local officials tell it.

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The Rev. John Morehouse addresses today’s ceremony. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Following the Sunday service, the Rev. John Morehouse surrounded by congregants in the church’s atrium rededicated a new Black Live Matter banner to replace the one installed roadside last October but ripped down Aug. 23, torn in half and left on the side of the road. (See WestportNow Aug. 25, 2017)

“The outpouring of support for this has been absolutely incredible,” said Morehouse, adding that the church received so many donations for a new banner, he had “enough for another if this one comes down.”

“When we say black lives matter, we’re not saying black lives matter more than others; we’re not saying they matter more than blue lives,” Morehouse added. “We’re not saying it’s against something else, but for those who feel marginalized. It’s with that spirit that we will rededicate this banner.”

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09/17/17 02:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cleaning Up

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Members of the Staples High School SLOBs (Service League of Boys) were among volunteers assisting today in the Westport Rotary Club clean up following Saturday’s LobsterFest. The event attracted more than 1,200 persons. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/17/17 10:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday Morning Wash Up

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Pitching in today in cleaning up after Saturday’s LobsterFest at Compo Beach were members of Builders Beyond Borders. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/17/17 10:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, September 17, 2017

12:30 p.m. - Unitarian Church (10 Lyons Plains Road) - Rededication of Black Lives Matter banner
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Electronics Surprise Workshop
2 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “A View from the Bridge”
2:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Democratic Women of Westport Discussion: How to Fight the Alt-Right with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes
3 p.m. - Westport Library - History Book Discussion: “Confederates in the Attic” by Tony Horwitz

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


09/17/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gallery: Sixth Annual Westport Rotary Club LobsterFest

Scenes from today’s sixth annual Westport Rotary Club LobsterFest at Compo Beach. Dave Matlow and J,C. Martin for WestportNow.com and contributed photos


09/16/17 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cracking the Lobsters

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Volunteers crack lobsters today at the sixth annual Westport Rotary Club LobsterFest at Compo Beach. Several thousand Maine lobsters were imported for the event, the club’s largest fundraiser with proceeds donated to local nonprofits. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/16/17 07:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Digging In

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Lobster lovers had a field day today at the sixth annual LobsterFest at Compo Beach sponsored by the Westport Rotary Club. More than 1,200 attended the event under sunny skies with the temperature in the 80s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/16/17 07:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fire Aftermath

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Fire crews clean up late today at a fire-damaged home at 298 Saugatuck Ave. Despite intense flames through the roof, firefighters managed to save much of the house and its contents. Town records show the 1966-built, 3,113-square foot Cape Cod-style home has been occupied by its current owners since 1990.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


09/16/17 07:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Boys X-Country Demonstrates Deep Strength

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The Staples Boy’s Cross-Country team today demonstrated why they are showing up in national rankings this season with a dominant performance at the 37th Stratton Brook Invitational in Simsbury. The seven members of the varsity team all placed in the top 15 of the 73-person field. Staples seniors Will Landowne, Ben Seiple, and Christian Myers led the way taking second, third, and fourth place respectively. In a sport in which the low score wins, the Staples varsity team took the title, scoring 30 points to the 77 points of second place Bristol Central.  The JV team’s dominance was even greater, with the team taking first through seventh place in the 193-runner field. The team will be gearing up for next week where they will have their first competition against other nationally ranked teams. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/16/17 05:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Battling Heavy Fire

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Flames break through the roof of an unoccupied house at 298 Saugatuck Ave. today. Units from Norwalk, Weston, Fairfield, and an air supply truck from Stamford aided Westport firefighters at the scene, said Assistant Chief Jeff Gootman. Wilton provided fire station coverage. The Red Cross also aided at the scene as firefighters had to been rotated frequently because of the heat and humidity. A family cat was missing but was located unharmed after the fire was extinguished, Gootman said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/16/17 04:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Preparing the Attack

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Firefighters prepare to attack flames today at 298 Saugatuck Ave. after fire broke out in the unoccupied home. At one point, commanders issued an evacuation order to firefighters inside and they battled the blaze from the outside. They returned after conditions improved, said Assistant Chief Jeff Gootman. It was the largest blaze in Westport since the November 2011 Saugatuck Congregational Church fire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/16/17 04:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Flames Heavily Damage Saugatuck Avenue Home

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Flames today heavily damaged a home at 298 Saugatuck Ave. Firefighters from surrounding communities were summoned to help fight the blaze, the largest in Westport since the Saugatuck Congregational Church burned in November 2011. No one was at home at the time, but a pet cat was saved by firefighters. Cause of the fire was under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire was reported by a passerby at 2:23 p.m. and declared extinguished at 4:44 p.m., said Assistant Chief Jeff Gootman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ellen Beth Van Buskirk Knapp for WestportNow.com


09/16/17 03:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Smoke From Saugatuck Ave. Fire Widely Seen

WestportNow.com ImageSmoke from a house fire at 298 Saugatuck Ave. today could be widely seen from shore areas. This view is from Harbor Road at Saugatuck Shores. The smoke was also visible to hundreds at the LobsterFest at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Geoff Kneisel for WestportNow.com


09/16/17 03:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

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