Monday, April 15, 2024


Helene H. Veazie, 88

Helene H. Veazie, a former Westport resident, died June 4 in Corvallis, Ore. She was 88. Image
Helene Veazie: former Westporter. Contributed photo

She was born on Sept. 10, 1926 to Helen and John R. Hurley of White Plains, N.Y. Following high school graduation, she studied French at Laval University in Quebec, Canada and then enrolled at Connecticut College in New London. She went on to graduate from Stanford University. 

After college she worked for J. Walter Thompson Company in New York City.

In 1950, she married Wildes “Bill” Veazie in White Plains, N.Y. They moved to Westport where they raised their three children.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 307/309 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Westport Library – “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “And a Nightingale Sang”
5:30 p.m. – 134 Cross Highway – Wakeman Town Farm Committee Canceled
6:30 p.m. – Westport Library – Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Parks & Recreation Commission
7:30 p.m. – Staples High School Auditorium – Baccalaureate Service
7:30 p.m. – Westport Library – Library Board of Trustees
9 p.m. – Longshore Pavilion – Staples Class of 2015 graduation party

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

William Backalenick , 94

William “Bill” Backalenick of Bridgeport, a former Westport resident, died June 7. He was 94. Image
William Backalenick: 45-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

A Brooklyn-born graphic artist, he was for many years chairman of the board of Comart-Aniforms, a New York City marketing and graphic design agency.  He co-founded the company in 1951 with his longtime friend and colleague Daniel Cassel.

A Westport resident for 45 years, he loved the visual arts, music and theater, and was known for his compassion, quick wit, and propensity for practical jokes. With his open, accepting outlook, he connected to people of all types and backgrounds, collecting a parade of friends throughout life.

He is survived by his wife Irene, his children Paul, Lynn, Lisa and Kim, and his grandchildren Ethan, Alex, and Kai.

Honoring Our Heritage: 230 North Ave. Image
The newest recipients of an historical plaque from the Westport Historical Society (WHS) are the owners of the 1827-built house at 230 North Ave, near Easton Road. Lou Gagliano (l) and Caren Calish Gagliano purchased the house from Caren’s mother, Ilene Calish, in 1983. The plaque was presented by Bob Weingarten, WHS house plaque historian. Caren said her parents purchased the house in 1963. “I spent every Christmas Day in this house since 1963 and never wanted it to belong to anyone but the Gagliano or Calish family,” she said. “However, the house is now for sale. We plan to move to the Washington, D.C. area.” Caren was a member of the Board of Education from 1991 to 1999.  Lou was the initial chairman of the now disbanded Westport Downtown 2020 Committee, which has been succeeded by the Westport Downtown Steering Committee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

State Launches Redesigned Website

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut has launched a complete redesign of its official website – – containing a new layout, new features, and new efficiency measures that will ultimately increase usability, customer service, transparency, and access for its visitors. Image
The homepage of the new website. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The new website, which is now live, is part of a major modernization process for the state’s online presence that – in addition to containing new features – is organized to meet the specific needs of the residents, businesses and visitors of the state, an announcement said. It was designed for use on computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

“In the 21st century, the state’s online presence is our virtual welcome mat, and we want to ensure that businesses, residents and visitors alike have the tools they need to conduct business with the state over their computers in a way that eliminates redundancy and improves usability for users,” said Malloy.

“This modernization was no doubt long overdue and needed, and as its development continues, we are keeping an eye towards ensuring that new features continue to be added that increase the number of online interactions available for users and make it as easily accessible as possible.”

Tree on Wires Causes Power Outage

A tree that fell on wires knocked out power today to about 60 homes in the Compo Road South area, a utility spokesman said.

Mitch Gross of Eversource Energy said about 60 customers were affected by the incident on Compo Road South in the vicinity of Ferry Lane.

He said the utility company hoped to have power restored by about 4:30 p.m.

The outage followed by about six hours a more than eight-hour outage affecting downtown Westport and areas of Post Road West.

Mario’s to Reopen as Harvest in September Image
Signs have gone up on the former Mario’s Restaurant on Railroad Place saying the new Harvest restaurant will open in September. A sign in the window says: “Coming this September. Harvest is a fresh take on our lifelong commitment to satisfying meals and loyal guests. Custom cuisine from farm to fork.” The popular Saugatuck Italian restaurant and steak house since 1967 closed in April (See WestportNow April.l 4, 2015) The DeMace family retains ownership of the building while leasing to restaurateurs Vicente and Nuve Siguenza. They are owners of Cava in New Canaan, and Harvest in Greenwich and New Haven, (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for

Westport Schools: Looking Back and Ahead

To the Editor:

The Year That’s Ending

The Westport schools are finishing an outstanding year on multiple fronts.  Our students have earned achievements in math, science, language arts and writing, and their success outside of the classroom has been equally impressive.  Three of our top administrators, including the superintendent, won awards for their leadership.  And due to a budget surplus, we were able to invest an additional $500,000 in the continued maintenance of our schools.

Staples and Superintendent Searches

Westport is a very attractive district for education professionals, and we continue to hire the best people to work in and run our school system.  The superintendent, who runs the process for and selects all principals, is seeking an interim principal for Staples for the next school year.  The school administration can then take the time it needs to find the right permanent principal to lead our high school for many years.

The Board of Education hires one person:  the superintendent.  We have already begun speaking with firms to assist in the superintendent search.  Early in the new school year, we will conduct outreach to the community to hear your ideas on the qualities you seek in the next superintendent.  Your input will be important as we both recruit for and hire the next superintendent.  We will continue to update you on our process and our progress.

The Year Ahead

The Board of Ed budget for next year passed without any cuts from our funders, allowing us to continue improving on our already-great school district.  This means that we’ll have several new initiatives beginning in August, including an increase in the music program in Kindergarten, expansion of the professional development of our teachers and additional security personnel throughout the District.  We also will have four exciting new courses at Staples, three of which are in science and computer science.

With change comes opportunity, and we are excited about all that lies ahead for the Westport schools.  We wish everyone in the Westport community the best for a relaxing, rewarding summer.

Westport Board of Education
Michael Gordon, Chair
Jeannie Smith, Vice Chair
Elaine Whitney, Secretary
Brett Aronow
Paul Block
Karen Kleine
Mark Mathias

Gladys F. Jacobson, 85

Gladys Gochberg Jacobson of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. died June 12. She was 85.

She was born Jan. 13, 1930 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Moe and Ruth Gochberg. After growing up in Stamford, she graduated from the University of Connecticut and went on to receive her master’s degree in education at University of Bridgeport.

Raising her family in Norwalk, she had a successful career in teaching in Wilton, where she received many accolades including the State of Connecticut’s first Teacher of Excellence award.

She was the first female president of Temple Shalom in Norwalk, Birchwood Country Club in Westport, and Eastpointe Country Club Palm Beach Gardens.