Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Levitt Pavilion Deemed Unsafe, Temporary Stage in Works

By Jennifer Connic

Westport’s Levitt Pavilion band shell, home to popular outdoor summer concerts for 34 years, has deteriorated so much that it is unsafe. But a temporary stage will take its place so shows can continue for the next two seasons until a permanent replacement can be Image
The Levitt Pavilion stage will be replaced by a temporary structure until a permanent replacement can be built. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) file photo

The Board of Selectmen today approved a measure to allow for the temporary stage that will be used this summer and in 2008 at the town-owned facility behind the Westport Public Library overlooking the Saugatuck River.

Building Department Director Steve Smith said a study of the current building determined it cannot be used because it’s not safe.

In order to keep the shows going for the next two years, he said, the Public Site and Building Commission and Levitt Pavilion officials decided to take down the current building and replace it with a temporary stage and two temporary support buildings.

Staples Varsity Boys Volleyball Edges Trumbull 3-1

By Madeleine Roche

The Staples varsity boys volleyball team tonight defeated archrival Trumbull 3-1. The win improved the Wreckers to 10-0 for the Image
Staples improved to 10-0 on the season with tonight’s victory over archrival Trumbull at Trumbull. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lauren Siegert/

The match at Trumbull went to a fourth game, which Staples dominated with a score of 25-14. They had won the first game, lost the second, clinched the third and then completely controlled the fourth.

Many spikes and kills were made by hitters Will Richardson, Ben King, Ari Sinay, Charlie Wieser, Jackson Lesser, and Peter Hlawitschka. 

All of the assists were made by setters Austin Seigert and Peter Hlawitschka.

Library Continues Plans to Honor Halberstam Image
David Halberstam: will be honored May 27. Contributed photo
David Halberstam will continue to be who the Westport Public Library honors at its Booked for the Evening fund-raiser in May, library officials said today.

Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author,  was killed in a car crash near San Francisco on Monday (See WestportNow April 23).

Booked for the Evening is scheduled for Sunday, May 27 at 4-7 p.m. in the library’s Great Hall.

The tribute during the event will honor Halberstam’s words, ideas, and work.

For more information,  visit or call (203) 291-4800.

Autopsy Rules Garbage Truck Death Accidental

The results of an autopsy ruled the death of a Westport garbage collector accidental, police said today

Police Lt. Dale Call said the preliminary autopsy for Ronald Booth, 50, of Bridgeport, ruled his death was accidental.

“It confirmed what we believed about the incident,” he said.

Police continue to investigate Booth’s death at a Greens Farms Road residence on Monday (See WestportNow April 23).

Firefighters Train on Richmondville Avenue Image
Westport firefighters spent today and Tuesday training in live fires on Richmondville Avenue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for
By Jennifer Connic
and Dave Matlow

Dark gray and black smoke billowed out of the windows of the house at Westport’s 81 Richmondville Ave. today signaling fire inside.

The smoke could be spotted from several blocks away, and firefighters rushed inside to save the “victim” who was trapped on the second floor.

But there was no one truly in peril and the fire itself was controlled by several safety officers inside the building. It was part of a training session for Westport firefighters that began Tuesday and continued today.

On Tuesday, 30 off-duty firefighters were training, and today about 20 were at the house donated by the Chapman family, who plan to tear down the house this week.

New Haven Line Service Resumed

(UPDATE) Service on Metro-North’s New Haven Line resumed close to normal today after thousands of commuters had their morning rush hour disrupted by downed catenary wires near Greenwich, the railroad said. Image
Commuters gather around a television newly installed by the town in Westport’s Saugatuck train station to get the latest news on today’s New Haven Line delays. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

A railroad spokeswoman said the line expected full service to be restored in time for the evening rush hour. Service was shut down by the wires problem for almost three hours until shortly after 8 a.m. for the 37,000 commuters who normally ride the New Haven Line.

In the early morning hours, frustrated commuters at Westport’s Saugatuck train station gathered around a television newly installed by the town in the waiting room to watch news reports about the delays, including helicopter aerial shots of the downed wires.

When the first trains finally rolled through the station at about 8:15 a.m., many of the waiting commuters were unable to board because of the crowded train entry ways.

Longtime Westporter Robert J. Ellwanger Dies at 77

Robert J. Ellwanger, a longtime Westport resident and businessman, died Monday at his home in Naples, Fla., his family said today. He was 77.

The husband of Margaret W. Ellwanger, he was born in Queens, N.Y., on April 19, 1930, to the late John and Daisy Ellwanger.

Ellwanger graduated from Bayside High School and the Pohs Institute of Insurance & Real Estate.

He moved to Westport in 1973 from Fairfield, where he had been employed by Real Estate Insurance Management. He founded Ellwanger Insurance Consultants at 12 Avery Place before moving the business to 180 Post Road East.

Commuters Face Delays, Crowded Trains on New Haven Line Image
Commuters faced delays and crowded trains on the New Haven Line today after partial service resumed following suspension of service earlier this morning because of downed wires in Cos Cob. Pictured is a Westport commuter trying to board a train at Saugatuck shortly after restoration of some service to Grand Central. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo