Friday, April 19, 2024


Load Shifting Image
An automobile carrier’s load of nine cars shifted as it was going east on the Post Road through Westport today, causing one lane to be closed for about an hour resulting in a heavy backup of traffic. The truck driver and helper were finally able to re adjust and balance the load and soon was on its way to Brooklyn, N.Y. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Labor Deal Rejected; Malloy Wants to Cut Budget Himself

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

A union representing correction officers rejected the labor concession deal in voting tallied today, formalizing what has been apparent for days: the unions’ tentative agreement with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for $1.6 billion in savings over two years is dead.

Malloy said he will ask the legislature in a special session Thursday to authorize him to now make the necessary spending cuts to balance the budget, rather than present detailed revisions for lawmakers to approve. He said granting him that authority would be the quickest and easiest way to amend the budget.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to minimize that impact,” Malloy said, particularly in the upcoming fiscal year. The governor added he has made “no hard decisions” yet about any specific reductions in town aid.

With votes from the last of nine AFSCME bargaining units complete, the largest state employee union has rejected a deal that the administration says would have saved $1.6 billion over two years, though fiscal analysts have questioned the number, and provided job security for four years. The final AFSCME vote was 6,781 to 5,547.

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Copper Theft Delays Mario Batali Restaurant Opening Image
Mario Batali fans will have to wait a bit longer for opening of the famed chef’s Westport restaurant Tarry Lodge thanks to a copper thief. The contractor working on the new restaurant at 30 Charles St. said someone vandalized an air conditioning unit on the roof on Sunday night and made off with copper tubes. The thief or thieves “ruined $30,000 of equipment so they could steal a few hundred dollars worth of copper,” said the contractor, who did not want to be identified. The restaurant had been scheduled to open next week but will now be delayed to around July 4, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Update: Internet Down at Playhouse

UPDATE The Westport Country Playhouse said its box office phones are back in service today after being out earlier in the day—but online ticketing is still down.

The communication problems apparently occurred when birds building nests poked holes in cylinders connecting the phone lines serving the Playhouse, said Pat Blaufuss, a Playhouse spokeswoman. During Thursday’s heavy rains, water entered the cylinders through the holes, shorting out the lines, she said.

She said customers can phone the box office or stop by for tickets for today’s 8 p.m. performance of “The Circle,” or for the Saturday 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances.

Westport Country Playhouse is located at 25 Powers Court, just off Route 1, near the intersection of Compo Road.

Westport Property Transfers June 6 – 10, 2011

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period June 6 - 10, 2011:

Abigayil Shaw LLC to William G. Cohen, 117 Harbor Road, $1,850,000WN property.jpg

17 Colonial Drive LLC to Alexander Fotin, 17 Colonial Road, $1,539,000

Brendan E. and Katharine Ahern to Lawrence E. Wilks, 6 Clover Lane, $1,201,000

William E. Wallace Tr. to Rita D. Guinta, 25 Maplewood Ave., $425,000

Speaker Tells How to ‘Bear’ with Wildlife

By James Lomuscio

With props that included three-inch bear claws and a jar of bear dung, a wildlife expert told a Westport audience Thursday night they need to be “bear aware” as black bear sightings are occurring with increasing frequency in Connecticut. Image
Sheila O’Neill (l), co-president of the Friends of Sherwood Island State Park, introduces wildlife expert Felcia Ortner at a Nature Center lecture at the park on Thursday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for

“Bears are generally non-aggressive animals,” wildlife expert Felcia Ortner told about 30 persons gathered at Sherwood Island State Park’s Nature Center. “They need to be respected, not feared. Most of the time they will avoid humans, except if they have food.”

In addition to the bear claws and dung, she brought along rubber castings of bear feet, a fluffy bear skin, and a bear skull as she kept the audience riveted with her 90-minute lecture and slide presentation “The Bear Reality: Connecticut’s Black Bears.”

A state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) certified Master Wildlife Conservationist, Ortner has been making presentations about bears around the region that highlight myths, misconceptions and potential risks about the animals whose presence she has traced to the 1800s.

Suspect Lets Hunt Club Horses Loose

By James Lomuscio

Westport police are looking for a man who let six horses out of their stalls at the Fairfield County Hunt Club early Image
Horses at the Fairfield County Hunt Club get a washing for this week’s show. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

The horses were set free just hours before the club was to host its $5,000 prize jumper class competition and $7,500 Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Classic.

According to Capt. Sam Arciola, staff at the Hunt Club located at 174 Long Lots Road called the police at 2:55 a.m. to report that someone had let the horses out of their temporary stalls set up along Bulkley Avenue North. The stalls had been placed there for this week’s June Benefit Horse Show.

“A witness reported seeing a male, approximately 5-foot-5 inches tall wearing a tee shirt run off into the woods from the area,” said Arciola.