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History in the Making

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There was a formal groundbreaking ceremony today for the Bedford Square Development that will transform Westport’s downtown. It was announced that Anthropolgie will be the anchor tenant for the estimated $100 million project that will convert the 1923-built former Westport Weston YMCA building into a retail, office, and residential complex. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Work Continues on New Bedford Square

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As a formal Bedford Square Development groundbreaking was taking place on Post Road East today, work continued in the rear of the former Westport Weston YMCA Building on construction of the new retail, office, and residential project. At a news conference today, principals of developers Bedford Square Associates estimated completion in about two years, although anchor tenant Anthropologie might be able to begin work on its 40,000-square feet space in late 2016.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Real Estate Report: No Bubble-Like Growth Here

By Judy Szablak

Westport’s real estate market has been slowly gaining ground over the last few months, and even though we would like to see it pick up a little more than it has this year, we should count our blessings.

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Featured Home: This home at 7 Roshab Lane, off of Greens Farms Road, is listed at $1.9 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis Westport/Jeanette Dryburgh & Associates

Some areas of the country are experiencing bubble-like growth. However, our steady pace fares much better for the long term.

Yes, some economists are concerned for these markets. In fact, David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said recently that given the long stretch of strong reports, it’s no wonder some are asking if we’re in a new home price bubble.

“The only way you can be sure of a bubble is looking back after it’s over,” he said. “The average 12-month rise in inflation adjusted home prices since 1975 is about 1 percent per year compared to the current 4.1 percent pace, arguing for a bubble.”

Library Names New Executive Director

The Westport Library’s Board of Trustees announced today that it selected William H. Harmer, director of the Chelsea District Library in Chelsea, Mich., as its new executive director replacing Maxine Bleiweis who is retiring after 17 years. Harmer will assume his duties in Westport on July 27, the trustees said.

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William Harmer meets with the Westport community on May 20. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Harmer served three years as head of adult services before being promoted to its director in 2009, during which time he brought national recognition to the institution, including its selection as the Best Small Library in America by The Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Library Journal also named Harmer to the Class of 2009 Movers & Shakers, a list of emerging leaders from around the world making a difference in the library field, Westport Library officials noted.

Trustees said in 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation chose Harmer as one of 120 world library leaders to attend its global conference on the future of libraries held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Westporter Leads Buckeyes to 3rd Rowing Championship

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Westporter Sami Jurofksy (holding trophy) as coxswain led the Ohio State women’s rowing team to its third consecutive national title Sunday at the 2015 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. The Buckeyes claimed an individual national title in the first varsity eight, a runner-up finish in the second varsity eight, and fifth place in the first varsity four. Jurofksy, a 2011 Staples High School graduate, was a member of the Saugatuck Rowing Club and learned her skills on the Saugatuck River. With the win, she became the most decorated woman coxswain in NCAA history with three championship rings. “It was a most amazing experience,’ she said. “Not just winning three straight national championships, but being part of an inspirational team.” Sami graduates in December and says her “dream job” would be as an on air sports anchor.” I am also interested In all aspects of strategic communications in which I am currently completing my degree,” she added. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Showing Her Form

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Westporter Sami Jurofsky celebrates the Ohio State women’s rowing team’s third consecutive national title Sunday at the 2015 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. The win made the 2011 Staples High School graduate the most decorated woman coxswain in NCAA history with three championship rings. Ohio State University photo

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – TEAM Westport
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Westport Library – “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. – Westport Library – Book Chat
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
1:30 p.m. – Westport Library – Advanced Writing Class
2 p.m. – Westport Library – More Oscar-worthy Films: “Ida”
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – RTM Library, Museum, & Arts Committee
7 p.m. – Westport Library – Adult Summer Reading Kick-Off with Charles Dubow
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Foundation: Single-Parent Family Struggles Overlooked

By James Lomuscio

Cindy Clark says the growing number of single-parent families nationwide transcends all demographic and racial lines, and that in suburban Fairfield County, “it’s a very big problem because it’s overlooked.”

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Briana Pennell (l) owner of Steam Coffee Bar and a single mom, meets today with Broken Promises’ Cheryl DeMichael, founder Richard Spangenberg, and Cindy Clark. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

“I think its overlooked because people are embarrassed since it’s a very private issue,” said Clark, a Weston writer. “And we all try to keep it from our kids, not trying to malign one parent, and you don’t want to put your worries on them.”

Clark said she raised her two, now grown daughters from ages 3 and 5, putting them through college, without any child support from her ex-husband.

She talked about her struggles today as she gathered with members of the Broken Promises Foundation, a newly formed, Westport-based national nonprofit aimed at helping children of single-parent families.

Westport Artists’ Dinosaurs on Display in Stamford

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An 8-foot fiberglass “Dine-A-Saur” by Westport artist Nina Bentley has gone on display in Stamford, one of 40 fiberglass dinosaurs displayed in Stamford Downtown’s annual outdoor sculpture exhibit.This year’s theme is “Dinosaurs Rule!,” and the exhibits will be on display through August. Bentley said at the end of the exhibit, each of the painted dinosaurs will be auctioned and the proceeds distributed to charities. Her sculpture is located in front of P.F. Chang’s Restaurant in the Stamford Town Center, 230 Tresser Boulevard. Westport artist Sooo-z Mastropietro, who is also a talented musician playing the bass, also has a work in the exhibit, which she named Dino the Dinosaur and said he is a Philhamonichaurus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com