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BOE Appoints New Kings Highway Principal

The Westport Board of Education tonight appointed Mary Lou DiBella as principal of Kings Highway Elementary School effective July 1.

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Mary Lou DiBella: “greatly looking forward” to job. Photo from Westport Schools television

She succeeds Susie DaSilva who earlier announced she would be leaving to be assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Darien.

DiBella has been principal of Cabot School in Newton, Mass, for the past five years. Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said Newton was similar to Westport “in demographics and commitment to education.”

DiBella has been a principal for more than 10 years. She received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University as well as a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Kansas.

After 30 Years, Project Return’s Basler Retiring

Susie Basler, the executive director of Project Return, the Westport based home for adolescent girls and young women in crisis, announced today she will retire this year after 30 years.

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Susie Basler: will become director emeritus.  Contributed photo

“It has been an extraordinary honor and privilege for me to serve as Project Return’s executive director, and I will always be grateful for the many ways in which the girls we have served, and staff and community members with whom I have partnered, have impacted both my life and my career,” said Basler.

She added that she will remain close the organization as director emeritus.

The organization plans to honor Basler at its annual Birdhouse Auction and Gala on Saturday, April 2, 7 to 11 p.m. at the Fairfield Theater Company Warehouse, officials said.

With Friedman Death, Cobb’s Mill Inn Closes

With the death Saturday of Westporter Drew Friedman, 86, the future of Weston’s Cobb’s Mill Inn is uncertain as today its doors were shuttered at 3 p.m.

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Cobb’s MIll Inn in Weston has closed following the death of its owner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

According to his wife Laura Papallo Friedman, the closure was a joint decision by the establishment’s lawyers, financial advisors and lending institution.

“It was a regrettable decision made jointly by our lawyers and financial advisors,” she said.

Friedman, a mover and shaker in Westport commercial real estate and the founder of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, purchased the time honored, yet failing restaurant in 2011.

Malloy Cancels Non-Union Raises

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

The 3 percent pay raises that nearly 2,000 non-union state managers and appointed staff were expecting to begin receiving Thursday have been canceled, the Malloy administration told state agency leaders today.

“We have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Connecticut not to move forward with managerial raises at a time when so many state programs will see reductions and while so many state jobs are likely to be eliminated,” Brian Durand, the governor’s chief of staff, and Ben Barnes, the governor’s budget chief, wrote agency leaders. “The raises for managers slated for March have been canceled.”

Malloy’s announcement comes as the legislature has to decide whether to block or allow raises for nearly 1,900 unionized, nonteaching professionals at the University of Connecticut.

Unless either the House or Senate votes in March to reject the deal UConn negotiated with its Professional Employees Union, members will receive annual raises ranging from 3 to 4.5 percent over the next five years. A portion of the annual compensation increase in the last four years of the deal is tied to members agreeing to expand their work week from 35 to 40 hours.

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Kindergarten Orientation Set for March 7

The Westport public schools today announced kindergarten orientation will be held Monday, March 7 at 9:30 a.m. at the town’s five elementary schools.

The meeting is for parents of incoming kindergarten students in September to learn about the kindergarten program, meet the kindergarten teachers, and learn about a “Day in the Life” of a kindergarten student,  an announcement said.

There also will be an opportunity to sign up for “mini-k” kindergarten visit in May and to pick up registration packets.

For more information on registration, visit the district website at:  http://www.westport.k12.ct.us/parents/student-registration/kindergarten-registration.

Monday, February 29, 2016


9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
6 p.m. – Staples Room 333 – Board of Education Executive Session
7 p.m. – Westport Library – New Social Security Rule Changes
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Fire Department Strategic Planning Steering Committee
8 p.m. – Staples Cafeteria B – Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and www.westport.k12.ct.us)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Playhouse Hosts Student-Written Play

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Westport Country Playhouse’s first Pilot Residency Program with Norwalk’s Wolfpit Elementary School culminated today with a performance of a student-written play adapted from the book “Charlotte’s Web” in the Lucille Lortel White Barn Center on the Playhouse campus. After reading “Charlotte’s Web,” Wolfpit fifth graders spent six weeks in the classroom learning improvisation, cooperation, playwriting format, and acting skills, led by teaching artists Mina Hartong and Jennifer Katona. Their play reflects their original ideas inspired by the book, and the skills they gained learning to be actors. The Playhouse said it plans to continue to work with schools in the community to share the love of theater with young students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kat Gloor for WestportNow.com

Birthday Oscar

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To help celebrate her father’s 65th birthday today, Missy Papageorge presented her father, Lee, with a life-size golden manequin as his Oscar’s Delicatessen, 159 Main St., hosted the fifth annual n’Oscars event presented by the Westport Cinema Initiative. The pre-Oscars event attracted scores of film fans. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Talking Oscars

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Today’s fifth annual n’Oscars event at Oscar’s Delicatessen, 159 Main St., hosted by the Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI), featured Susan Granger (with mike), WestportNow film critic, assisted by (l-r)  state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, WCI president, actor Scott Bryce of Westport, and Sandra Lefkowitz, WCI executive director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com