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WestportNow welcomes news and notices from Westport community organizations and individuals. Please send them to for consideration for publication. Be sure to include the Westport connection, date and time of event, if appropriate, as well as contact information. WestportNow reserves the right to edit submissions to conform to our editorial style.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tribes Win Casino Fight in Senate, Face Battle in House

By Mark Pazniokas


The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes early today won the first half of their home-court fight with MGM Resorts International over the rights to gaming expansion in Connecticut as the Senate voted 24-12 for a bill authorizing the tribes to jointly develop the state’s first casino off tribal lands.

The bill that now goes to an uncertain fate in the House of Representatives would allow the tribes to build a casino off I-91 in East Windsor in an effort to blunt the loss of gambling dollars to Massachusetts once MGM opens a gambling resort under construction in Springfield.

“We did what we had to do. We stood up for Connecticut workers,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said shortly before the final vote at 12:35 a.m.

The Senate unexpectedly took up the bill shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, a day when MGM intensified its opposition, buying $400,000 in television time to air a commercial saying the state would be forgoing millions of dollars in license fees and other revenue if it cut a no-bid deal with the owners of the tribal casinos.

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05/24/17 01:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, October 21, 2016

Group Think

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There was a strategy session Wednesday at the Westport-Weston Family YMCA involving the Y, Westport Library, Westport schools, and Westport Parks and Recreation Department. The informal conversation was about leveraging existing resources to better serve Westport and enhance opportunities for learning together, a library announcement said. Pictured (l-r) are YMCA CEO Pat Riemersma, Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer, Westport Parks and Recreation Director Jen Fava, and Westport Public Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


10/21/16 01:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Compo Sunset - 1

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This view of Friday night’s sunset was submitted by Curtis Sullivan, 10, a student at Saugatuck Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Curtis Sullivan for WestportNow.com


09/03/16 12:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Sunset - 2

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Another view of Friday’s sunset at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Paige Schwartz for WestportNow.com


09/03/16 12:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Island View

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Friday night’s sunset as seen from Westport’s Saugatuck Island. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Penny Sousa for WestportNow.com


09/03/16 12:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sherwood Mill Pond View

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Friday’s sunset as seen over Westport’s Sherwood Mill Pond.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matt Murray for WestportNow.com


09/03/16 12:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, July 17, 2016

‘Reader’s Theatre’ at Green’s Farms Congregational

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Members of Green’s Farms Congregational Church enjoyed a different approach to worship today when Chris Murray shared his talents as director of a short “Reader’s Theater” in the meetinghouse. Pictured in Howard Lipson’s one-act play “Two Minutes” are Martha Eidman, Ashley Welker and Chris Murray. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


07/17/16 08:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Kolbe Cathedral to Honor Mitchell & Kuroghlian

Westporter Bill Mitchell is scheduled to be honored by Bridgeport’s Kolbe Cathedral High School for “transforming the lives of deserving young people through education” on Sunday, May 1, in Greenwich.

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Bill Mitchell with Marques Brown, a 2003 Kolbe graduate and Shepherds student. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Mitchell shares the honor with retired longtime Staples High School teacher Gerald E. Kuroghlian, known to generations of students as “Dr. K,” at Kolbe’s 2016 Making a Difference Celebration set to begin with 5:15 p.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Greenwich, followed by dinner at Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse at 6:30 p.m.

Kolbe President Jo-Anne Jakab described Mitchell as a man of generosity, energy, optimism and dedication to helping others. She lauded his commitment for nearly 25 years of providing opportunities for a quality education and a brighter future for deserving, less fortunate young people at Kolbe Cathedral High School.

”Despite his hectic civic and business schedule, Bill has always found time for Kolbe, securing speakers for fundraisers, sharing networking contacts or providing leadership for students,” Jakab said of Mitchell, a 1961 Staples High School graduate.

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04/24/16 01:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dodig Salutes Class of 2015 as ‘Fantastic’

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Today was the last graduation ceremony for Staples High School Principal John Dodig, who is retiring after 11 years. He saluted the Class of 2015 as a “fantastic,” adding, “You have helped to make my dream of what a public high school can and should be come true…. I am truly honored to be graduating with you.” Dodig told the class: “We’ve been accused and described by some as living in a bubble in Westport. I don’t apologize for that. Being loved, protected, and nurtured in a safe environment allowed you to flourish. You have the rest of your lives outside that bubble and to recognize just how difficult that can be.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/18/15 02:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Two Troop 36 Boy Scouts Earn Eagle Rank

Two Boy Scouts in Westport’s Troop 36 have achieved Scouting’s highest honor.

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New Eagle Scouts: Peter Campbell (l) and Steven Bean. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Peter Campbell and Steven Bean have earned the rank of Eagle, something only 5 percent of Scouts ever accomplish.  They join more than 120 boys from Troop 36 who have also earned that distinction. 

Peter’s Eagle project was done to benefit Sherwood Island State Park. It entailed constructing interpretive panels to display the information and findings of a recent archaeological dig of a colonial homestead at Sherwood Island. It also involved providing the history and context of these findings.

Peter is a senior at Fairfield Prep where he serves as assistant concertmaster of its symphonic orchestra. He is first violin in the principal orchestra of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras and has performed with his group at Carnegie Hall. Peter volunteers at the Westport Senior Center and Bridgeport Hospital. He plans to major in pre-med next fall in college.

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04/02/15 12:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 16, 2015

Students Encouraged to Enter CHET ‘Dream Big’ Competition

Sponsors are encouraging Westport students in grade K-8 to enter the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Dream Big Competition before the end of March for a chance to win money for college. 

The competition asks students to share their dreams about life after college in a drawing or essay for a chance to win a CHET 529 College Savings account contribution and promote the importance of saving for college. 

Four students from across Connecticut will win a $1,000 grand prize CHET account contribution with 80 students representing the states eight counties winning a $500 contribution to a CHET account.

Teachers, parents and guardians can print an entry form and find more information, including the Official Rules and entry deadlines, at http://www.chetdreambig.com. Winners will be announced and recognized during a ceremony in May.


03/16/15 01:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 12, 2015

iFloat Hosts Benefit Saturday for A Better Chance

iFloat, a Westport stress reduction and mind education center, on Saturday will host Float for a Cause, an art show and fundraiser to benefit A Better Chance of Westport .

It will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight at FTS Gallery, 415 Main St, Stratford (second floor).

For the last three years iFloat has offered three complimentary floatation therapy sessions in exchange for a work of art inspired by their experiences. The art will be displayed for the first time at FTS Gallery.

There will be food, drinks, music, dancing, and plenty of opportunities to view and purchase the art through a silent auction, an announcement said.

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03/12/15 10:54 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Westport Little League Seeks Youth Umpires

Westport Little League has announced it is seeking youth umpires.

Eligible candidates must be students in the sixth grade and up, an announcement said. Pay is $20 to $30 game.

Those interested should register at http://www.westportlittleleaguebaseball.com. (Click “register now” and scroll down to youth umpire section.

There will be a mandatory clinic required with dates to be dates announced shortly. Questions should be directed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


03/11/15 03:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Scoutmaster for Troop 36 is a Returnee

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Matt Ferencz: learned under Jack Berry. Contributed photo

Westport’s Boy Scout Troop 36 has announced that one of its own Eagle Scouts, Matt Ferencz of Westport, has returned to the troop to serve as Scoutmaster.

“Matt will continue the scouting legacy of our longtime Scoutmaster Jack Berry,” said Bruce Borner, Troop Charter Rep for the Saugatuck Congregational Church. Berry died Feb. 8, 2014 of pancreatic cancer after serving as Scoutmaster since 1984. He was 71. (See obituary here)

Ferencz, 27, spent 12 years in Boy Scouts earning Eagle Scout in 2005. “Scouting, and especially Troop 36, had a tremendous impact on my life,” he said. “Now it is my time to give back. 

“My Scoutmaster, Jack Berry, taught me a lot about how to lead boys and develop them.  His example will help guide me in my new role.”

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03/11/15 02:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Suzuki Music Schools Final Concert on March 29

The Suzuki Music Schools of Westport & Orange presents its inaugural Piano Final Concert with 24 young pianists performing with an orchestra on Sunday, March 29.

The concert will take place at 4 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 651 Pequot Ave., Southport.  There is free admission with a $10 suggested donation.

The performers, aged 5 through 14, will play pieces ranging from “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” through concerti by J. S. Bach and Beethoven.

All the performers are students of the Suzuki Music Schools of Westport & Orange and they come from the towns of Cheshire, Darien, Fairfield, North Haven, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Riverside, Shelton, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.


03/11/15 01:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Schools’ Town-Wide Music Festival on March 18

March is National Music in Our Schools Month and Westport celebrates with its annual Town-Wide Music Festival on Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will be held in the Staples High School Gymnasium and will feature the combined 7th and 8th grade middle school bands, as well as the Staples combined bands.

This year’s guest conductor is David Winer, former music supervisor for the Westport Public Schools.

The concert is free and open to the public.


03/10/15 06:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Drones Subject of Y’s Men Talk on Thursday

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Jay Dirnberger: Vietnam War vet. Photo by Larry Untermeyer

Jay Dirnberger, who flew helicopters during the Vietnam War, will be the featured speaker at the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston’s Thursday, March 12 meeting at the Unitarian Church in Westport at 10 Lyons Plains Road. 

Coffee and donuts start at 9:45 a.m. with the talk at 10:30 a.m.

Dirnberger saw his first drone-like weapon in 1968 as an infantry captain flying helicopters with the 1st Cavalry Division in South Vietnam. 

While patrolling the coast of North Vietnam, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mansfield, with Dirnberger aboard, deployed a modified unmanned aerial submarine detector to bomb enemy installations.

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03/10/15 06:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Y’s Men Speaker Will Focus on Charter Schools

Dacia Toll, co-CEO and president of Achievement First, will be the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston’s featured speaker at its March 19 meeting at the Unitarian Church in Westport at 10 Lyons Plains Road.

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Dacia Toll: will address Y’s Men on March 19. Contributed photo

Achievement First is a nonprofit management organization that operates 29 public charter schools in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island.

Toll will talk on the activities of Achievement First—what needs to be done to improve elementary and secondary education and the role of charter schools.  Coffee and donuts start at 9:45 a.m. followed by her talk at 10:30 a.m.

A Morehead Scholar as an undergraduate at University of North Carolina, Toll went on to earn a Master’s Degree at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, a J.D. from Yale Law School and a teaching certificate from Yale University.

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03/10/15 05:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Troop 36 Back at Saugatuck Congregational Church

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Boy Scout Troop 36 is back to meeting on Monday nights at Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church which has chartered the troop for over 60 years.  The troop was one of the organizations that was displaced after the November 2011 fire.  Now Troop 36 will be doing some rebuilding of its own by holding Open Houses for boys 11-17 on March 16 and April 6.  Gathered in Hoskins Hall (l-r) are:  Scoutmaster Matt Ferencz, Phillip DeMunck, William Bean, Kelvin May, Toby Patton, Jake Trock, Liam Borner, William Bean, Ben Waller and Assistant Scoutmaster Craig Patton. Not pictured: Peter Campbell, Michael Dodd and Lucas Nash. For more information, contact Barbara King, (203)454-3566. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/10/15 01:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, October 27, 2014

Westport Chamber Donates $5K to Homes With Hope

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Matthew Mandell (r), executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, today presented a check to Jeff Wieser (l), president of Westport-based Homes with Hope, a beneficiary of the third annual 2014 Slice of Saugatuck Festival held on Sept.14 Joining in the check presentation ceremony were Jim Donaher of Gault Energy; Linda Matthews, Chamber of Commerce staff, Maria Funicello, Tutti Ristorante owner, and Karen jewell, owner of Down Under. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


10/27/14 12:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, October 24, 2014

Visit From Firefighters

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The children at Saugatuck Nursery School today enjoyed a visit from the Westport Fire Department during Fire Safety Month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


10/24/14 06:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oktoberfest at Saint Luke

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Westport’s Saint Luke Parish today held an Oktoberfest run by the Youth Group. Pictured are the Edelweiss Oompah Trio and youth group members, including: (top row, l-r) Gabriela Vega, Linus Nickel, Bobby Becker, Sean Driscoll, (bottom row) Lauren Revay, Jane Schutte, Sofia Vega, and Ryan Peterson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


10/18/14 06:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Founders at ITN Coastal CT Celebrate

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The founders of ITN Coastal CT, the nonprofit driving service for seniors and the visually disabled, met at the annul fundraiser for ITN at the Pequot Library Friday night. Pictured (l-r) are Stan Nayer, Leslie Wolfe, Stephanie Ross, Maybeth Wirz, John Thompson, Judy Guthman and Peggy Kamins. The event raised money to purchase gas cards and to permit the organization to provide rides to seniors in the six-town region of Fairfield, Easton, Norwalk, Weston, Westport and Wilton. For information about memberships or volunteering, contact Nancy McCormick at (203)858-2001 or go to www.itncoastalct.org. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


10/11/14 01:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, October 10, 2014

Celebrating Restaurant Week

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To help promote Westport Restaurant Week and urge residents to “eat local,”  First Selectman Jim Marpe (3rd r) and Matthew Mandell, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce executive director, (2nd l) had lunch at Post 154 today and tasted the creations of Executive Chef Alex Rosado (3rd l) They were joined by Jonathan Baron, chairman of the coard of the WWCC, Steve Desloge president of the Downtown Merchants Association (2nd r), and Dewey Loselle (r) operations manager for Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


10/10/14 01:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Getting Rid of Dangerous Leftovers

Westport Weston Health District hazardous wastes collection
Rain today did not deter people from getting rid of their hazardous household wastes at the Westport Weston Health District on Bayberry Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Robert Eckman for WestportNow.com


10/04/14 04:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Jamming at Wakeman Town Farm

Learning how to can workshop at Wakeman Town Farm
Carrie Aitkenhead, co-director of Wakeman Town Farm, demonstrates techniques for canning jam, jelly, and pickles at today’s workshop. Featured demo: strawberry preserves. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/09/14 02:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Confirmation for Christ & Holy Trinity Church Members

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Twenty-four Westport youngsters and three adults from Westport’s Christ & Holy Trinity Church were confirmed and received today at Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wilton. The Rev. James E. Curry, Bishop Suffragan, lead the service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


06/01/14 08:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Sheep Get a Spring Trim for GreenDay

Sheep shearing at Wakeman Town Farm
Sheep were sheared during the GreenDay celebration at Wakeman Town Farm today. The wool from this sheep is enough to make two sweaters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


05/03/14 11:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Decorating the Maypole at Wakeman Town Farm

Getting the Maypole ready at Wakeman Town Farm
Visitors to Wakeman Town Farm’s GreenDay celebration today add flowers and ribbons to help prepare the Maypole. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


05/03/14 10:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ever Hear a Cockroach Hiss?

Veronica Swain with Madgascar cockroach at Earthplace
Animal caretaker Veronica Swain helps visitors listen to the sounds of the Madagascar hissing cockroach at Earthplace today, part of the weekend GreenDay activities coordinated by the Staples High School Green Club. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Malley for WestportNow.com


05/03/14 07:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

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