Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Honored at Red Cross Breakfast

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Three Town of Westport Parks and Recreation Department employees were honored today in Stamford at the annual American Red Cross Community Heroes Breakfast after they saved the life of a co-worker who had a heart attack. Joseph Bairaktaris, Jr., (l) David Ellis (c ) and Ian Chasnow (not pictured, at college) performed CPR when co-worker “Doc” Kashka (r ) collapsed near the basketball courts on May 31, 2014. He spent six nights in intensive care before beginning to recover. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for WestportNow.com

Friday,  January 30, 2015


10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Coney Island: Side Show”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
Noon – Westport Library – WestportREADS: Lunch & Learn – How Literature Inspires Art
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
4 p.m. – Westport Library – Teen Robotics Users Group
4 p.m. – Westport Library – ChessClub (grades k-12)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Landon Proposes $1.5 Million Budget Cut

By James Lomuscio

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon tonight appeared to pull the proverbial rabbit out of a hat, proposing a $1.5 million reduction in his announced 2015-16 budget of $113,294,493. It lowered the 3.75 percent increase over this year’s operating budget to 2.34 percent. WestportNow.com Image
Elliott Landon: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Landon told the Board of Education the cut could be gleaned from myriad areas. They included: $150,000 in workers compensation savings; removing capital projects from the operating budget, just at the town does, to save $390,000; high paid employee retirements and lower pay replacements; fund transfer, and substantial insurance savings.

In making the amendment to his proposed budget, Landon noted that Brian Stern, finance board vice chairman, told him that a “2.5 to 2.9 percent increase was as acceptable range for the Board of Finance,” the body the budget goes to following school board approval.

Michael Gordon, school board chairman, seemed thrilled. He thanked Landon, Elio Long, school business administrator, and Marge Cion, the school system’s director of human resources, “for sharpening your pencils.” He said the proposed cuts would put the budget where the finance board members “have said we should be,” without compromising programs for students.

Three’s a Compo Crowd

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Dog Trainer and Exerciser Anthony Carafa of Redding allowed his canine charges almost two hours of playtime at Compo Beach today. But leaning out of the window of his parked truck, all three dogs let him know that they wanted to get out and play—some more.Carafa is the owner-trainer of two of the dogs—the Irish Field Setter named Sunny, 12, and the English Setter (black and white) named Vinnie, 6.  He trains and exercises the German Shepherd named Bella, 5, who resides with her owner in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

Assessment Appeals Process Begins Monday

UPDATE  (clarifies appeals are of 2010 revaluation) Beginning Monday, taxpayers wishing to appeal their properties’ assessments can file applications in the Westport Assessor’s Office, town officials announced today.

The hard copy appeals, which may not be faxed nor emailed, can be made until 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20.

According to the Assessor’s Office, the Westport Board of Assessment Appeals will conduct meetings in March, hearing appeals for the 2014 Grand List for real estate, personal property and motor vehicles, as well as the 2013 Grand List for motor vehicle supplemental.

The real estate appeals are based on the 2010 revaluation, the Assessor’s office said. Assessment notices for the 2015 revaluation that is currently underway will be mailed at the end of 2015. Appeals for the 2015 revaluation will be heard in March of 2016.

Donald J. Masiello, 88

Donald J. Masiello of Westport died Jan. 26 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 88.

He was born May 17, 1926 in Westport, the son of the late Daniel and Mary Masiello. He was a Staples High School graduate and went on to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He worked as a machinist for Nash Engineering and then went on to work with his father delivering produce throughout New Haven and Fairfield counties. He loved to play golf at Longshore.

Survivors in addition to his wife Jean (Piazza) Masiello of 62 years include many nieces and nephews.

Legal Defense Fund Head: ‘Help Us Make Things Better’

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Kevin Keenan, chief operating officer and legal counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), told the Y’s Men of Westport Weston today that racial problems in the United States are “like a damaged ecosystem.” The Swarthmore College and Yale Law School graduate challenged his audience to return to the “simple American heroism” of the time when people saw it as their “civic duty to fix things, to call out what others were ignoring, and to provide specific solutions to make things better.” He added, “That’s been LDF’s work for 75 years, but we can’t do it alone.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com