Monday, June 17, 2024


Talking Transportation: CDOT Thinks We’re Stupid

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

The Connecticut Rail Commuter Council’s “Winter Crisis – Commuter Summit” last week was a big success. Dozens of commuters turned out to share their horror stories about trying to ride Metro-North this winter—no heat, no information, no seats and in many cases, no trains. Image

Metro-North and the Connecticut Dept of Transportation (CDOT) made the usual excuses and apologies, which placated few—“we’re doing the best we can,” ‘it’s not our fault the trains are so old, and the classic, “be patient, the new M8 cars are coming.” 

All of these are true. But it was in trying to explain the many delays in the delivery and testing of the new M8 cars that things got heated.

As any reader of this column knows, we’ve been waiting since 2005 for new cars to replace our decrepit fleet. Designed and built by Kawasaki, the new M8 cars look great. But they’re 15 months late into service with no real explanation as to why or when they’ll be ready for passengers. It was time for answers.


Malloy Asks Federal Disaster Declaration from January Storm

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has formally requested that President Barack Obama declare a major disaster in the Connecticut as a result of the Jan. 11-12 snowstorm—a move that could bring federal financial aid to cities and towns impacted by the record snowfall, his office said today.

Earlier this month, Malloy wrote to the Obama explaining the context in which his formal request would be made—one of the snowiest winters on record, coupled with a number of structure collapses across the state.  Malloy is requesting this declaration on behalf of all eight counties in the state, his office said.

Malloy’s letter was sent after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) confirmed that expenses and snowfall amounts met FEMA established thresholds in most, if not all, Connecticut counties.

The preliminary damage assessment estimated eligible costs at more than $14 million.

Police Close Off Post Road East After Pedestrian Accident Image
UPDATE Westport police today closed off Post Road East at Main Street after a woman pedestrian was struck by a car as she walked in a crosswalk in front of Starbucks. The woman was taken to Norwalk Hospital where she was treated and released. A police officer said the driver, who was issued a summons for failure to yield to a pedestrian, apparently failed to see the woman as she turned left from Parker-Harding Plaza. It was the second pedestrian accident in the downtown area in two months. A 92-year-old man died of his injuries in December after being hit by a car in front of Restoration Hardware. He was not in a crosswalk. Further east on Post Road East, a 62-year-old woman was struck and killed in a crosswalk at Westfair Drive on Dec. 21. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Woman Pedestrian Struck by Car

UPDATE A woman pedestrian was struck by a car today at Post Road East and Parker-Harding Plaza in Westport’s Image
A SUV is stopped on Post Road East today after it hit a woman pedestrian in front of Starbucks. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The woman was taken to Norwalk Hospital where she was treated and released. Police later issued a summons to the driver for failure to yield to a pedestrian.

One police officer said while the weather was clear at the time, the fact the pedestrian was wearing headphones and the driver may have had difficulty seeing over the hood of the large SUV could have been contributing factors to the accident.

Police said the woman was crossing the street in front of Starbucks when a SUV making a left hand turn from Parker-Harding on to Post Road East struck her. Lt. Arthur Belile said the driver apparently did not see the pedestrian.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition” and “Art From The Heart”
10 a.m. – noon – Westport Town Hall – CTWorks Career Coach: 2003 PowerPoint, beginning
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Westport Town Hall – CTWorks Career Coach: 2003 PowerPoint, intermediate
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Staples Defeats Fairfield Ludlowe 54-42 Image
Staples player D Scanlan (14) dribbles against Fairfield Ludlowe’s Kevin Bentivegna (11) tonight in the Wrecker’s 54-42 victory on the road in Fairfield. The Wreckers (13-5) have clinched a spot for Saturday’s first round in the FCIAC playoffs. The Falcons were eliminated from FCIAC playoff contention with the loss. The Wreckers will close out their regular season Wednesday at Greenwich High School at 7 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Elaine Rankowitz for

A Civil Night Out for a Governor Defending a Tough Budget

By Mark Pazniokas

State employees objected to his demands for concessions. Taxpayers questioned his common sense, along with his $1.5 billion proposed tax increase. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s town hall meeting in Bridgeport went as expected tonight, with one exception. His standing-room audience was civil, if Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy faces a crowd tonight in Bridgeport. photo

His security detail was attentive. One plainclothes trooper moved toward a speaker who mentioned—jokingly, it seemed – he came prepared to throw something at Malloy. But the vibe of the room was laid back, even as Malloy acknowledged a case of nerves at the start.

“I have to admit to you I’m a little nervous,” said Malloy, who is conducting 16 more of the town hall-style public meetings through April, when he hopes the legislature will be through picking over this budget. “This is the first one.”

Occasionally sipping from a white ceramic mug, Malloy seemed fatigued standing at a lectern for hour in the City Hall Annex, facing a crowd that Mayor Bill Finch generously estimated at 500. He opened with a 20-minute introduction about his budget proposal that his audience seemed to tolerate more than it absorbed.

Click here for more of story

Max Wilk, Author, Music Impresario, Dies at 90

UPDATE (adds additional details, memorial service information) Max Wilk, author, playwright, film and television writer, and music impresario who produced Westport Arts Center jazz and live musical shows for almost 20 years, died Saturday at his Saugatuck Shores home in Westport, his son David said today.  He was Image
Max Wilk addresses a Westport Public Library audience in 2008. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Many Westporters regarded Wilk as one of the town’s living treasures.  He took delight in regaling his fellow residents with insider tales of show business and the musical world – whether it was a large audience or an acquaintance he met at the deli.

In 2008, he appeared at the Westport Public Library to promote an updated edition of his best known nonfiction work, “They’re Playing Our Song:  Conversations With America’s Classic Songwriters”

When talking about the people he interviewed and had associations with over the years, he said, “I think I should have paid for the privilege of interviewing the people in my book.”  He added: “Stephen Sondheim and I are the only two left who are in my original book.”

Hockey Ingenuity Image
UPDATE Enterprising Staples High School hockey enthusiasts have taken advantage of winter weather to convert a water hazard at the golf course at Westport’s Longshore Club Park into a practice skating rink. Steve Siecienski, Avery Watterworth and Stephen DeLallo said they have been coming here during the February vacation and welcome others to join them—as long as they bring their own equipment. The athletes were spotted from Herbert Baldwin Drive today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for