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NY Observer: Horrors of Westport Living

The New York Observer in its latest issue focuses on New Yorkers who move to the suburbs, including Westport, and then can’t wait to get back to the city.

“Lynn Shanahan loved Westport, Conn.,” the newspaper’s article began. “It was restful, beautiful and close to New York—an ideal escape from the city on sticky summer days. And then she moved there.”

It goes on to quote her as saying:  “I was standing on the train platform in the dark at 6:15 a.m. when I realized I had made a mistake.”

Among her complaints: “the house and yard required constant tending, weekly grocery shopping trips proved a chore compared to casually picking things up throughout the week and dinner options after 9:30 p.m. dwindled to pizza or Chinese takeout.” Read the full article here.

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Violent Year,’ ‘Strange Magic,’ ‘Wedding Ringer’

By Susan Granger

Set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically the most dangerous year in the city’s history, J.C. Chandor’s intense noir-thriller “A Most Violent Year” combines political intrigue with industrial corruption.

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Ambitious, idealistic Hispanic immigrant Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) started as a fuel truck driver for a heating oil distributor. When he married the mob-connected boss’s daughter Anna (Jessica Chastain), taking over the family business, he discovers it’s not easy being honest in the crime-riddled city.

After making a deal to purchase a waterfront storage facility, Morales is faced with a series of brutal anonymous attacks.  His drivers are hijacked and his fuel is stolen.

Egged on by Anna and his lawyer (Albert Brooks), he turns to desperate measures to protect his property, his family and his chunk of the American Dream.

William M. Sugarman, 75

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William Sugarman: resident since 1976. Contributed photo

William M. Sugarman of Westport died Jan. 27 in Ludlowe Health Care Center in Fairfield. He was 75.

He was born March 22, 1939 in Providence, R.I., the son of the late Abe and Minna (Halm) Sugarman. He was a graduate of New York University and has lived in Westport since 1976. He worked for Jefferson Smurfit Inc. in sales.

He was an avid New York Jets and Boston Red Sox fan.

Survivors in addition to his wife, Angela (Paterno) Sugarman, include one daughter; Lisa A. Costello and her husband Richard of Fairfield. He was predeceased by one brother, Julian G. Sugarman.

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 11 Owenoke Park

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 11 Owenoke Park, in the Compo Beach area, is in process. Built in 1900, the two-story colonial has 2,163 square feet, is situated on a .22-acre property and changed ownership in November 2013 for $3,175,000. Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Richard L. Rothermel, 88

Richard L. Rothermel of Kutztown, Pa. a former Westport resident, died Jan. 16 at Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Hospital. He was 88.

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Richard Rothermel: magazine circulation veteran. Contributed photo

The son of the late Lloyd R. and Naomi (Brensinger) Rothermel, he was a native of Fleetwood, Pa. He graduated from its high school before joining the U.S. Navy, where he served as a radioman second class. After discharge, he graduated from Albright College in Reading, Pa.

A magazine circulation veteran who started selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door, he enjoyed a career that spanned more than 50 years.

He joined the Curtis Publishing Company in 1950 and subsequently worked for McCall’s, Dell and Perfect Subscriptions Company, before becoming president of Keystone Reader’s Service, Inc., and later, his own Magazine Service Bureau in 1980.

Thursday,  January 29, 2015


10 a.m. – Earthplace – Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
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”
2 p.m. – Westport Library – Overcoat Film Series: “The French Connection”
4:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Tree Board Committee
7 p.m. – Westport Library – WestportREADS: Neighbors & Newcomers Discuss “Dubliners”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Transit Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Staples Cafeteria B – Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and www.westport.k12.ct.us)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Environment Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Honoring Our Heritage: 30 Charcoal Hill Road

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The newest recipients of an historical plaque from the Westport Historical Society (WHS) are the owners of the house at 30 Charcoal Hill Road. Matt Magsig, his wife Lily and daughter Charli, 19 months, moved into the house in May 2014. It was built by architect Frazier Peters in 1930 and is known as the Frazier Peters House. The plaque was presented by Bob Weingarten, WHS house historian. He said of the 41 Westport houses that have been documented as designed by Frazier Peters, “this house is especially significant in that it was Peters’ own house, his actual residence.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Real Estate Report: Westport Mirrors National Trends

By Judy Szablak

The most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Price Index points out a lack of inventory across the country along with slower price appreciation. This sounds a lot like Westport’s real estate market.

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Featured Home: This home at 89 Morningside Drive South is listed at $2,995,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Westport-Riverside/ M & D properties

Lower than average inventory coupled with stricter lending standards appears to have had an impact on single family home appreciation in November.

Matching the expectations of many analysts, the 20 metropolitan areas saw gains that mirrored October 2007 at 4.3 percent,  as compared to a 4.5 percent annual increase in October.

Although Chairman David Blitzer felt that “prospects for a home run in 2015 aren’t good,” we have already seen the market pick up ever so slightly in Westport, and initial deposits are on the rise, as are multiple bids on properties in certain price pockets.