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Emergency Road Work Snarls Traffic

Some emergency road work on Interstate 95 today led to major southern Connecticut delays in the morning commute that also impacted state and local roads in Westport.

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Traffic on Westport’s Cross HIghway was backed up during the morning rush hour. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The state Department of Transportation said work on a highway bridge led to the closure of three southbound lanes and 19-miles of congestion between exits 27 in Bridgeport and 9 in Stamford.

Some commuters reported it took them two hours to make what normally would be a much shorter commute.

There also were delays reported on the Merritt Parkway and nearby roads as commuters sought alternative routes.

Senate Allows Unlimited Spending by Parties

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Under legislation approved early today on a partisan vote in the Senate, state parties would be able to make unlimited expenditures on Connecticut legislative races next year, weakening a campaign finance reform passed in 2005.

The Senate voted 21-14 for final passage of legislation intended to tighten disclosure rules on independent expenditures, while expanding the role of the parties in legislative races. The House passed the bill Saturday, 71-59.

The legislation, which did not attract a Republican vote in either chamber, was sought by the Senate Democratic majority in reaction to independent groups’ spending $500,000 to defeat a handful of Democrats in the closing weeks of the 2012 campaign.

By beefing up the role of the parties, the legislature is seeking a counterweight to big money after Citizens United, a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited campaign spending.

Click here for more of story

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


7:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – TEAM Westport Committee
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “5 Generations of Yankee Ingenuity: The Gault Family” & “Tracy Sugarman, Citizen-Artist”
10 a.m. – Westport Public Library – Book Chat
Noon – Westport Public Library – Lian Dolan, “Elizabeth the First Wife”
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Destination Series: Susan Farewell, Is there a Safari in Your Future?
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Zoning Board of Appeals

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Former Selectman Lasprogato Dies at 71

UPDATE Robert F. Lasprogato, the Westport Republican registrar of voters and a former selectman, died tonight at Norwalk Hospital, according to a family friend. He was 71.

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Bob Lasprogato performs at the Westport Center for Senior Activities last September. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Lasprogato has been hospitalized since May 19 after suffering a “heart-related” event, according to Marla Cowden, the Democratic registrar of voters.

Lasprogato, a well known drummer with his Uptown Jazz group as well as an actor and radio announcer, was elected registrar of voters in 2010.

He previously served as a selectman from April 2006 to November 2009 following the resignation of John Izzo from the board. Funeral services were incomplete.

Comings & Goings: Antiques Market Closes

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A day after the Westport Antiques & Vintage Emporium (WAVE) opened its second season in a parking lot at the Saugatuck train station, its organizer, Westporter Deborah Press, said today she is pulling the plug on the venture. “Yesterday’s gate was just shy of 200 people, the lowest gate of the six markets and following a pattern of each show’s attendance decreasing by 200,” she said. “I really do believe this is indicative of what is happening in the antique world today. People no longer need to attend shows and contend with weather
issues because of the Internet.” She said another factor was “the generation setting up house today are not interested in antiques” and on weekends prefer to concentrate on family and children activities. “It has been a tough decision and one I am surprised to have to make but it is important to know when to fold,” she said. WAVE had announced five more markets this summer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Stop & Shop to End 5-Cent Reusable Bag Rebate

Four years after Westport approved an ordinance banning plastic bags, Stop & Shop has informed Westport customers that it is eliminating its 5-cent reusable bag rebate program.

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In 2009, Stop & Shop in Westport erected a sign congratulating the town on passage of an ordinance banning plastic bags at retail. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

In a letter, Don Sussman, president of the Stop & Shop New York Metro Division, said the program will end June 16 because it is no longer effective.

He said since the program started, it has “helped save millions of paper and plastic bags from adding to the waste stream in our communities, including yours.” But he added: “While we have been greatly encouraged by this, the program has reached a plateau in its effectiveness to encourage shoppers to reuse their bags.”

He said instead Stop & Shop will donate $10,000 to the Connecticut Park & Forest Association as well as “invest in programs where we have made great strides.”

Getting Ready for GFA Post-Prom Beach Party

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Norwalk residents Andrea and Kenneth Markosky set up a volleyball court tonight on Compo Beach in preparation for the after-party for Green’s Farms Academy juniors and seniors attending a prom at the Inn at Longshore. Their daughter was among prom attendees.“It’s safe fun. It’s chaperoned. We’re having a bonfire and party favors donated by parents,” said another parent, Liz Phillips of New Canaan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

SWRPA Open House Aims at Improving Bus Service

Ways to improve Westport’s bus service is the focus of a South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) and Westport Transit District open house set for Wednesday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

According to Craig Lader, SWRPA senior transportation planner, the study is designed to assess current operations and to develop “an updated recommended service and governance plan for bus services.” It includes an examination of fixed routes, services for the seniors and the disabled, bus service to the town’s two train stations, off-site parking and after school shuttles.

“The goal of the study is to ultimately update existing service to better serve residents’ travel needs into the future,” Lader said.

He said the purpose of the open house is “to gather input on current and desired bus routes, as well as the times of day service should operate.”