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Barn Raising on North Avenue

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There was a modern day barn raising today at Westport’s 7 North Ave. to replace a 1900-era barn that was demolished one month ago because it was deemed unsafe. (See WestportNow, May 2, 2011) Builder Rick Benson said installation of the first of five “bents” (the outside wall assembly) is a milestone in constructing the timber frame of the 1,600-square feet barn which he expects to be enclosed by the end of next week. He said the new barn, which will be identical in size to the prior structure, is being created with structurally insulated panels and should be in place in about six weeks. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Talking Transportation: Why Can’t They…”

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Simple problems require simple solutions. And when it comes to solving our transportation woes, we consumers always wonder whey “they” can’t fix things quickly by doing what seems obvious and simple. Take the following, for example:

Metro-North: Why can’t they make the bathrooms on the trains stink less? Why can’t we have heat in the winter and AC in the summer, instead of vice versa? Why can’t conductors announce each stop instead of hiding from passengers? Why can’t they collect all tickets on the trains?

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Why can’t the railroad treat us like valued customers instead of like cattle? Why can’t we have competition among private carriers on commuter rail? Why can’t they serve coffee and pastries in the bar cars in the morning?

Why can’t we have WiFi on our trains like Amtrak’s Acela? Why can’t we get a rebate on our tickets when trains are late, service is cut or we can’t get a seat? Why can’t they build more parking at the stations to cut the five-year wait for permits?

Thursday, June 2, 2011


10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – 2011 Solos Exhibition
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – Exhibit, “Westport Farming: Then & Now”
10 a.m. – Westport Public Library – Business Special: Lessons from an Ancient King
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Imperial Avenue Commuter Lot – Westport Farmers Market
5 p.m. and 7 p.m. – Toquet Hall – Westport Cinema Initiative presents “Making the Boys” documentary
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Staples High School Library – Staples Tuition Grants Committee presents Awards to Recipients
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

New Tax Rate: ‘Stay Tuned’

By James Lomuscio

Westporters anxious to know what the tax rate will be effective July 1 will have to wait a little longer.

The Board of Finance, which had been scheduled tonight to set the new mill rate for the 2011-12 fiscal year, decided to take no action for lack of all the facts—namely the exact amount of the town’s OPEB (other post employee benefits) obligations.

OPEB, the cost of which some say is about $50 million or more, has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room for the past three years during budget season.

The finance board had originally been scheduled to set the tax rate on May 18, but had delayed its vote until tonight, according to Helen Garten, finance board chair.

Joseph T. Sylvia, 82

Joseph Thomas (Pappa) Sylvia, a longtime resident of Westport, died May 30 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 82.

Born May 12, 1929, in Norwalk, he was the son of the late William and Carmella Sylvia.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and a member of Teamsters’ Local 1040. He enjoyed traveling, fishing, camping, golfing, country music and playing guitar. He also donated blood every month to the Red Cross.

He was predeceased by two brothers, Manuel Sylvia and William Sylvia, and a sister, Rita Saenz.