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Comings & Goings: Old Town Hall Gets New Restaurant

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The basement of Westport’s Old Town Hall, 90 Post Road East next to Restoration Hardware, is getting a new restaurant tenant. A rathskeller-type bar and restaurant, Rothbard Ale + Larder, will open by mid-September, “before Oktoberfest,” according to co-owner Joe Farrell, He and head chef Adam Roytman also co-own Walrus + Carpenter, a barbecue restaurant in Bridgeport, which opened in 2013. Farrell, who grew up in Westport and now lives in Stratford, said the 65-seat space would feature German, Belgian and Austrian beers and wines and a full dining menu. Real estate developer and landlord Rob Haroun describes the eatery as having a “European beer garden” feeling. The space was formerly occupied by Tierra Restaurant, which opened in May 2014 and closed in March 2015 (see WestporttNow March 20, 2015). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Real Estate Report: Inventory Absorption Rate Higher

By Judy Szablak

There appears to be a positive blip in the Westport real estate market over the last few weeks.

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Featured Home: This home at 196 Hillspoint Road is listed at $2,199,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis- Westport.

Although next month is traditionally one of the slower months of the year due to planned vacations, and back to school preparations,  there is indeed more than a hint of promise for August.

Over time, statistics tell a very important story. Over the last few weeks, the absorption rate on inventory coming on the market and properties going under deposit has been higher than it has been for at least a few months.

A single-family market snapshot for the current period of today (less 90 days) shows that we have 10.26 months of inventory. The prior six to nine month report shows 13.06 months of supply. That’s a significant drop.

The Rev. Pete Powell Tells Rotary Views on Religion

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The Rev. Peter Powell, former head of Westport’s Homes With Hope, today addressed the Westport Rotary Club on the future of organized religion Powell, a former Rotary president, said there has been a marked decline in church attendance in the United States and contrary to many people believing Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, it is actually Christianity. Acknowledging he had numerous controversial beliefs, Powell, who sits on many church-related boards, outlined a number of them related to church and state: churches should pay property taxes, religious holidays should not be federal holidays, there should be no chaplains in the military, clergy should not be exempt from social security taxes, and clergy should not perform as an officer of the state, signing marriage certificates, for example, and “under God” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Georgia A. McElroy, 62

Georgia A. McElroy of Stockton, Calif., a former Westport resident, died July 22. She was 62.

She was born in Pasadena, Calif. and lived her childhood years in Westport and Naples, Fla.. She graduated from Duke University. Following graduation, she joined Vista Volunteers where she served, supported and advocated for the health and welfare of Native Americans on Pine Ridge Reservation.

With a desire to have a greater impact on systemic injustice, she enrolled in the University of California, Davis, School of Law where she received a Juris Doctor degree.

After a few years of practicing criminal law with a private firm, she joined The Office of the Public Defender -San Joaquin County, and began her career as a dedicated and tenacious public defender. For the remainder of her life, her professional mission was to doggedly serve her clients with empathy, patience and dignity and to uphold the Constitution and due process of law.

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 6 Burnham Hill

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 11 Burnham Hill, in the Compo Beach section, is in process. Built in 1954, the two-story colonial has 3,577-square feet, is situated on a .4-acre property and changed hands last month for $1,118,700. 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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Village District Steering Committee
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Howard Munce at 100: A Centennial Celebration”
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Eric Fischl”
10 a.m. – Westport Library – Level Up Village: Global Villagers TinkerShop
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – CES Playground – Coleytown Elementary School Incoming Kindergarten Meet-up
6 p.m. – Westport Library – Critical Management Skills: Identify Employee Strengths to Assemble Dream Team
7 p.m. – Levitt Pavilion – Treehouse Comedy Club I
7 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “Love and Money”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Ed Board Picks Search Firm for Landon Replacement

The Westport Board of Education tonight approved the hiring of search firm Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA) to help replace Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon set to retire next June after 17 years.

According to a school board statement, Hazard, Young and Attea is the Executive Search Division of ECRA Group, Inc. “with an extensive history of success in working with boards in high-performing districts throughout the Northeast and across the country to find candidates who will provide long-term leadership .”

School officials said that of the 328 superintendents hired with HYA’s assistance since 2000, 90 percent led their districts for several years.

“The selection of a new superintendent is the most important responsibility of any Board of Education,” said Michael Gordon, school board chairman.

Dems List Candidates Prior to Tuesday’s Nominations

By James Lomuscio

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John Hartwell: DTC head will seek finance seat. Contributed photo

John Hartwell, chairman of Westport’s Democratic Town Committee (DTC), tonight announced the slate of November’s candidates that the party plans to nominate for town boards and commissions Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Room 201 at Town Hall.

“There will be no surprises,” he said about the expected nominations following tonight’s announcement.

The party will put up Hartwell and Sheri Gordon, currently a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for the Board of Finance. Incumbent Janis Colllins is not seeking reelection.

“I think there are a lot of interesting and important things going on right now, including Downtown Steering Committee’s Downtown Master Plan and the transportation initiative to get more people to use public transportation,” Hartwell said about his decision to run.

Another Black Bear Sighting

Westport police tonight reported another black bear sighting, this one on Sunnyside Lane, off of Meeker Road between Bayberry Lane and Sturges Highway.

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The sighting was on Sunnyside Lane off Meeker Road between Sturges Highway and Bayberry Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Google Map graphic

The report followed by three days a black bear appearing on the back deck of a home on Charcoal Hill Commons, less than a mile from tonight’s sighting. (See WestportNow July 24, 2015) It was followed by two other bear sightings in the area.

“This evening the Westport Police Department received a report of a Black Bear sighting in the area of Sunnyside Lane in a wooded area behind a residence,” a police news release said.

“According to the report the observer lost sight of the bear as it traveled through the woods. This sighting is not far from the area in which a black bear was seen over the past few days.”