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FBI Arrests Chris Donovan’s Congressional Fundraiser

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

The finance director for House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan’s congressional campaign was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents and charged with illegally concealing the source of $10,000 in campaign contributions, authorities said today.

Donovan fired the fundraiser, Robert Braddock Jr., and his campaign manager, Josh Nassi, and hired Tom Swan of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group to take over a campaign 10 weeks from the Democratic primary on Aug. 14.

Braddock Jr., 33, of Meriden, was arrested at his home on a criminal complaint that says he conspired with others to hide contributions from a person who wanted to kill a tobacco tax bill before the General Assembly. Nassi was not charged, but an unnamed campaign aide was implicated by the authorities.

The money came from an interest opposed to a proposal to tax roll-your-own cigarettes, according to an affidavit on file in U.S. District Court. The tax bill never came to a vote.

Click here for more of story

Westport Students Aid Bridgeport Gardeners

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Four interns from Westport’s Staples High School visited Curiale School in Bridgeport today to work with students harvesting lettuce at their newly built edible garden. They then helped prepare and serve salad to all the students in the cafeteria. Ryan Lach, Anya Rosen, James Conroy and Melanie Mignucci are spending their senior internship in Bridgeport building, planting and harvesting food at 11 completed edible school gardens. They are working with Westport-based GVI, a nonprofit which has committed to build edible gardens at all 36 schools in Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Comings and Goings: Italian Restaurant to Riverside Ave.

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A new Italian restaurant, Arezzo, will open at Westport’s 5 Riverside Ave. “hopefully in late July,” according to Daniel Saat (above) who co-owns the business with Adele Dezlinnocenti, both New York residents. Saat said the restaurant, which will provide valet parking, will feature prime steaks, seafood and pasta with a northern Italy influence and a full wine list. The 3,200-square feet location will have seating for 80 diners inside and 24 diners outside “with a river view,” he added. “We always wanted to open a restaurant in Westport,” Saat said. “We could have opened in South Norwalk but Westport is where we want to be.”  The prior occupant was Napoli Sul Fume which closed in December 2010. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Real Estate Report: Slow Recovery

By Judy Szablak

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices show that all three headline composites ended the first quarter of 2012 with new post crisis lows. But prices were up in March from February for the first time in seven months—perhaps the latest evidence that the troubled housing market is beginning a slow recovery.

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This home at 10 Norwalk Ave. in Westport’s Compo Beach area is listed for $2,095,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Fingelly Real Estate-Westport/Barbara Gruning & Associates

“While there has been improvement in some regions, housing prices have not turned,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

Although the headlines in the March numbers were disappointing for the two composites and national index, which came up flat or went down to new lows,  it is somewhat encouraging to look at the details in a different way.

While all three composites and five cities hit new lows, if you look at these same indices on a city by city basis,  there are peaks and valleys for all 20 cities, and the valleys aren’t as low as they were.

Roadside Pesticide Spraying Set to Begin June 4

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards has announced that Westport will be performing the annual roadside pesticide spraying for weeds around guide rails and areas overgrown with invasive weeds during the week of June 4, weather permitting.

Residents with questions regarding locations or product being sprayed should contact the Public Works, Highway Division at (203)341-5085, an announcement said.

Have You Seen Charlie?

Charlie
Charlie has been missing as of 7:30 pm May 30th.  He’s got a black collar with white skulls on it and he’s approximately ten pounds.  There’s a reward.  Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Getting Ready for Saturday Dachshund Reunion

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Westporters Sheila and John Weiss, proud owners of three “rescue Dachshunds,” get their dogs ready for the 14th annual Westport Dachshund Reunion Saturday 1-3 p.m. (raindate Sunday) on Jesup Green in front of the Westport Public Library.  There will be a silent auction, rescue dog parade, and games and events for participants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Staples Boys Lacrosse Advances in State Tourney

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The Staples boys varsity Lacrosse team (13th seed) traveled to (4th seed) Norwich Free Academy Wednesday to compete in the first round of the state playoffs. They came away with a 11-4 victory with six of the goals scored by Junior Joey Zelkowitz. Staples meets (5th seed) Fairfield Prep Saturday at 4 p.m. at Prep in the quarterfinal round. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ed Strauss for WestportNow.com

Westport Mother at Maine Hearing on Fatal Crash

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Tess Meisel: died in 2011 Maine crash. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The mother of a 12-year-old Westport girl killed last summer when her camp van was struck by a tractor-trailer said she will be at a Maine hearing today as the truck driver contests his three-year license suspension.

“I am attending the hearing with some of the campers and counselors involved in the crash,” Suzanne Tanner, mother of Tess Meisel, said in an email. She believes the three-year license suspension is insufficient.

“The State of Maine adjudicated that his driving used ‘imprudent speed’ (41.4) in a 30 mph zone,” Tanner said.

The driver, Charles Willey, plans to challenge the suspension at a Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles administrative hearing in Augusta.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


10 a.m. – Earthplace – Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Imperial Avenue Commuter Lot – Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “The Sound & the Saugatuck” & “Watershed Moments”
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – SOLOS Exhibition and “Guide to Paris: Sketches by Susan Malloy”
5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Westport Senior Center – Live Well in Westport Workshop
7 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – Jazz Jam Thursdays
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar