Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Porch Fire Traced to Fireplace Ashes

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Westport firefighters tonight quickly extinguished a front porch fire at a home on Sachem Trail traced to fireplace ashes left in a paper bag, said Assistant Chief Michael Kronick. The exterior of the residence sustained minor fire damage and there was a slight smoke condition in the house, which was removed by firefighters using an electric fan, he said. The Fire Department reminded residents to always dispose of ashes in a metal container away from anything that can burn. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

New Holiday Lights on Main Street

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There are zigzagging holiday lights on the Westport’s Main Street tonight courtesy of the Downtown Merchants Association. The lights going from utility pole to utility pole were erected in the absence of trees on that part of Main Street which were taken down several years ago but have yet to be replaced. Lights are in trees in a section of Main Street closest to Avery Place. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Water Rats Raise $32,000 for Philippine Relief

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About 150 members of the Westport Weston Family Y Water Rat Swim Team today raised $32,000 in the Swim for the Philippines, a five-hour event to benefit Save the Children’s Typhoon Haiyan relief fund. Swimmers ranging in age from 6 to 18 swam as many laps as they could in 30 minutes while swimmers 9 and over pushed themselves to see how many laps they could swim in 60 minutes. According to Water Rat head coach Ellen Johnston, the most laps completed today by any individual was 232 laps by Jonathan Blansfield, 17, followed by Daniel Williams, 16, who swam 228 laps. Pictured are organizers Max Wimer, 16 (l) and Justin Krakoff, 17 (r), both Staples High School students, with Abby Safirstein, Save the Children associate director, humanitarian operations and communications. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Getting Ready for Turkey Feast

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Paula Mikesh, head or sous chef for the past 10 years, today places one of 40 turkeys in the refrigerator in the Branson Hall kitchen, Holy Christ & Trinity Church in preparation for Thursday’s 43rd annual Thanksgiving Feast. Mikesh said she expects more than 300 dinner guests at the event sponsored by the Saugatuck Congregational Church, the Unitarian Church and Temple Israel. “In addition to the 40 turkeys, we have 150 pounds of potatoes, 50 pounds of sweet potatoes and 60 pounds of carrots and a lot more,” she said. Dinner is served 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 55 Myrtle Ave. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Talking Transportation: Cameron Resigns But Doesn’t Quit

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

After 19 years, I have resigned from the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council. But I can promise you I am not quitting my advocacy for my fellow commuters or the writing of this column. And I have an even better idea of how commuters can be heard.

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The old Commuter Council accomplished many things since its founding in 1985, including the ordering of the new M8 cars. The Council also fought for Quiet Cars, the Passenger Bill of Rights, expanded parking at rail stations, changes in the expiration date on tickets and ticket refunds when service was canceled.

On an annual basis I would testify in Hartford for better rail service at affordable fares, and while lawmakers would nod in agreement, little changed. The tensions between upstate legislators and those from downstate, where rail service is a crucial utility, have always stymied investment in our rails.

And on visiting the Capitol, I was always struck by the fact that the corridors there are filled with paid lobbyists, arm-twisting on behalf of truckers, for building more highways or opposing tolls. Yet there was nobody there speaking on behalf of commuters, except me.

Save the Children Closes on $11.9M Sale of Westport HQ

UPDATE Three months after announcing a contract had been signed, Westport-based Save the Children said Tuesday it has closed on the sale of its building at 54 Wilton Road to developer Westport David Waldman and partners.

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Save the Children said 290 employees will relocate to a nearby facility. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

No price was cited in the announcement, but a filing Wednesday morning in the Town Clerk’s office showed the price was $11,925,000 for the 58,771-square foot office building on 2.59 acres on the Saugatuck River.

The filing also showed that Waldman’s partners are Greenfield Partners, which owns the adjacent National Hall property. The town reaped $29,812.50 in conveyance taxes.

“We plan to relocate our headquarters next spring to a nearby property that will be suitable for our growing operations,” said Save the Children spokesman Jeremy Soulliere, who identified the buyer by its official name, STC Green LLC.