Friday, April 12, 2024


Rain on Main Image
A light rain fell on Westport’s Main Street today as the forecast called for more rain and snow likely before midnight, then a slight chance of snow between midnight and 3 a.m. Forecasters said new snow accumulation of less than .5 inch was possible. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Sessions Set for Sandy’s Victims this Week

Navigating through the aftermath of Storm Sandy in terms of insurance, state and federal aid and loans will be the thrust of two information sessions, one with town, federal and business officials in Westport Wednesday and another with U.S. Congressman Jim Himes at Norwalk Community College (NCC) on Saturday.

Sponsored by William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance, the session set for Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m., will be held at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 75 Church Lane.

According to a statement from Ravies officials, the event is for homeowners who “need direction on the process of picking up the pieces after the storm or just need to have a few questions answered.”

Panel officials will include Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Director Andrew Kingsbury; representatives from FEMA; and John Frederick, who heads residential disaster loans for the Small Business Administration (SBA).

James J. Ullrich, 61

James J. Ullrich of Westport, husband of Janice Marshall (Pepin) Ullrich, died Nov. 25 at home. He was 61. Image
James J. Ullrich: CPA/financial analyst. Contributed photo

Born April 10, 1951 in Howard Beach, N.Y. he was the son of the late Thomas H. and Mary Ullrich. A resident of Westport for nine years, he formerly lived in Norwalk.

He was a CPA/financial analyst for Semi-Conductor Inc. in Stamford. He was also formerly employed by Chemical Bank of New York, Pan American World Airways, Salabello and Broder CPA firm, Nine West, Starwood Properties and Workflow One. He founded TaxPro, LLC and CFOPro, LLC.

A graduate of Pace University, he served as board chair of Christian Community Action, treasurer of Toastmasters, and member and treasurer of the United Methodist Church of Westport.

Shoplifters Nabbed After Taking Clothing Worth $2,143

Two New York women and a California man faced shoplifting charges following their arrest Monday for taking $2,143 worth of clothing from downtown stores Urban Outfitters and LF Stores, Westport police said. Image
Shoplifting suspects (l-r) Tashays Smith, Fitzroy Bennett, and Shimer Weetom. Westport Police photos

Arrested were Tashays Smith, 23, of Mount Vernon, Shimer Weetom, 22, of the Bronx, and Fitzroy Bennett, 26, of Ranchocucamonga, Calif. All face felony charges of third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny and the misdemeanor charge of possessing a shoplifting device. They are scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court Dec. 6.

According to Capt. Sam Arciola, LF stores on Main Street contacted police about 3 p.m., stating that two females and a male had just stolen clothing from the store and left in a vehicle with New York license plates.

Officer Marc Heinmiller, responding to a description of the vehicle put out over the police radio, spotted the suspects’ vehicle traveling southbound on Riverside Avenue towards I-95.

Real Estate Report: More Gains

By Judy Szablak

The S&P/Case-Shiller latest report out today shows that national home prices posted the largest quarterly percentage gain in two years, and were up 3.6 percent from one year ago. Image
This home at 124 Imperial Ave. is listed at $1,985,000.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis Real Estate/Michelle & Company

“Home prices rose in the third quarter, marking the sixth consecutive month of increasing prices,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee. He said there also have been gains in new construction, and existing-home sales.

Among the 20 cities tracked by the index, there were 13 that posted monthly gains in September,  and 17 MSAs gained over their levels of a year ago.  Only Chicago and New York posted annual declines. New York was down 2.3 percent over last year, and 0.1 percent month-over-month.

Today’s report on national home prices continues to signal a strengthening national housing market. However, despite recent gains,  prices are still almost 30 percent below their peak from 2006.

Talking Transportation: China Has Best High Speed Rail

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Last column I spoke of riding Japan’s Shinkansen, the oldest true high-speed rail (HSR) system in the world. This week, the story of the newest and biggest HSR—China. Image

Much has been written of the tragic accident in July 2011 when two Chinese trains collided killing 40 and injuring almost 200. A recent New Yorker article detailed the incident as an example of shoddy Chinese engineering and political corruption, which it was.

But that incident notwithstanding, in less than a decade China has built the biggest and best HSR network in the world, and it only cost a quarter trillion dollars. I just had to ride it, and did last month.

Our train from Beijing (population 19 million) to Shanghai (23 million) covered the distance of 819 miles in five hours. That’s an average speed of 164 mph. Even Amtrak’s Acela takes six hours and 40 minutes to sprint from DC to Boston, a distance of only 448 miles, or an average speed of less than 70 mph.

Special Weather Statement: Light Snow Expected

The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. said light snow is expected across southern Connecticut into tonight.

Bands of light snow that were developing over parts of the lower Hudson Valley before daybreak should move into southern Connecticut this morning, the Weather Service said.

Light snow should change to rain by late this morning along the immediate coast. and mix with rain this afternoon farther inland.

Precipitation should change back to all snow this evening before tapering off later tonight. Total snow accumulations should range from less than an inch along the immediate coastline to 1 to 2 inches farther inland.