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Westport Volunteers Practice Using Rescue Tools

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Westport volunteer firefighters Wednesday night at fire headquarters practiced using hydraulic rescue tools on a donated 2005 Volvo under the direction of Assistant Chief John Plofkin. Pictured is Morgan Bodie using the Jaws of Life under Plofkin’s watchful eye. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Thursday, September 8, 2016


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – HDC Golden Shadows & Nike Missile Radar Site Study Subcommittee
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Westport Weston Family YMCA – Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – 50 Imperial Ave. – Westport Farmers Market
1:15 p.m. – Westport Library – WestportWRITES: Introductory Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
5 p.m. – Westport Library – #ThrowbackThursdays
5 p.m. – Downunder Westport (575 Riverside Ave.) – Sunset Paddle & Social to benefit Harbor Watch
5:30 p.m. – Sherwood Island State Park – 15th Annual Connecticut 9/11 Memorial Ceremony
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Barnes & Noble (1076 Post Rod East) – Mental Health & Addiction Open Mic Night
7 p.m. – 515 Post Road East – Public Site & Building Commission
7 p.m. – Westport Library – The Art & Elegance of Composting
7:30 p.m. – 515 Post Road East – Blight Prevention Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Transit Committee
8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “What the Butler Saw”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Despite Criticism, BOF Okays $100K for South Beach Design Study

By James Lomuscio

Despite criticism, the Westport Board of Finance tonight approved by a 4 to 1 vote a request by Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava for $100,000 for design and engineering services regarding a walkway and unisex restrooms at Compo Beach’s South Beach.

Michael Rea, finance board vice chairman, was the lone dissenter.

Rea asked if the restrooms and the walkway requests could be separated since he questioned the need for a walkway.

Ten members of the public addressed the issue. They included a Parks and Recreation Commission member, four members of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), and five other residents.

Mary Gunn, 95

Mary Elizabeth Hunter Gunn of Redding, a former 57-year Westport resident, died Aug 18. She was 95.

A former resident also of New Haven and Milford, she was the wife of Colin (Ben) Gunn, a longtime Westport resident and attorney who died in 2012 at age 91.

The daughter of Marion Doolittle and Frank Watson Hunter of Milford, she utilized her creative and artistic talents to explore life. She graduated from Laurelton Hall and Southern Connecticut Teacher’s College. 

After teaching in the Milford schools, she worked at the Peabody Museum at Yale with James Perry Wilson, painting woodland backgrounds and mounting animals in naturalistic positions.

Judge Strikes Down State Education Aid Choices as ‘Irrational’

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

In a broad indictment of how Connecticut supports its poorest schools, Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled today that the state’s method for distributing education aid is irrational and unconstitutional, while declining to second-guess the General Assembly on the ultimate level of state spending. 

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Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher: orders the state to come up with a new funding formula for public education. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

Moukawsher said the plaintiffs failed to meet their high burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the quality of public education violates the state Constitution by the standards of minimum funding or the adequacy of instruction in the state’s classrooms. But he gave them a victory on the question of how aid is distributed, special education is funded and the standards to which students and teachers are held.

He handed the state, the plaintiffs and General Assembly an ambitious five-point outline for action on revamping how teachers are evaluated and paid, special education students are evaluated and served, and more broadly, how the state directs $2 billion in annual state spending for local education, plus another $1 billion in reimbursements for school construction and renovations.

“So, change must come,” Moukawsher said. “The state has to accept that the schools are its blessing and its burden, and if it cannot be wise, it must at least be sensible.”

Click here for more of story

Letter: Backs Westport Contractor in Norwalk Dispute

To the Editor:

Today I attended a rally in Norwalk in support of A. J. Penna & Son. The Pennas own a third-generation family business that employs 50 people. They are emergency contractors who serve CL&P, Aquarion Water, and the towns of Norwalk and Westport, among others.

The CT Department of Transportation wants to replace the 120-year old Walk Railroad Bridge in Norwalk at a cost of roughly $1 billion.

As part of the plan, they want to take the Penna property as well as the property of 16 others, by eminent domain. 

The price being offered as compensation to the Pennas is virtually nothing. Alternatives to this costly plan are being dismissed out of hand. The Pennas’ small but strategically vital business is being threatened.

Westport Contractor Protests Possible Taking of His East Norwalk Property

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Vincent Penna, co-owner of Westport-based A.J. Penna & Son Excavating Contractors, today addresses a rally on his East Norwalk property that the state is considering taking over to stage the replacement of the Walk Bridge over the Norwalk River. “I understand the Walk Bridge needs to be repaired,” he told the crowd of about 150. “We all agree on that. What we don’t agree on are the methods. We ask DOT and our city government to please look at alternatives.”  DOT anticipates beginning the bridge replacement in mid-2018. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Beverly F. Giglio, 81

Beverly Ann (Finneran) Giglio, of Danbury, a former Westport resident, died Sept. 3. She was 81.

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Beverly Gigio: Staples graduate. Contributed photo

She was born in Meadville, Pa. As her father was in the military, they moved often, and then settled in Connecticut, where she graduated from Staples High School in Westport in 1954.

She married Philip Giglio, her high school sweetheart, and the couple welcomed five children into their home. Her family remembers her as a strong and loving mother and grandmother whose strength was beyond reason.

She had a young, beautiful spirit and was kind and considerate, always offering a helping hand. She was a shining example of grace and faith despite circumstances at times that were not for the faint of heart.

State’s 9/11 Ceremony Thursday at Sherwood Island

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman have invited members of the public to attend the State of Connecticut’s 15th annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony on Thursday at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.

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Flowers adorn the 9/11 memorial at Sherwood Island State Park at an earlier ceremony. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The ceremony honoring and celebrating the lives of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will be held at 5:30 p.m.

The state’s official memorial to the victims of the attacks is located on a peninsula at the state park, where residents gathered on that day in 2001 as they observed the devastation of the attacks on Lower Manhattan across Long Island Sound.  The site was also used as a staging area for Connecticut’s relief efforts to New York City.

As has become tradition, family members of those who lost their lives in the attacks will participate in the ceremony, and the names of the 161 victims with ties to Connecticut will be read aloud.

Granger at the Movies: ‘Sully,’ ‘Don’t Breathe,’ ‘The Light Between Oceans’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

What you think you know about how Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger skillfully glided his disabled U.S. Airways flight 1549 onto the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009, is only the beginning of the story.

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Which is why director Clint Eastwood begins this harrowingly realistic, compelling re-creation with the “Miracle on the Hudson,” after which Sully was widely acclaimed as a national hero.

Though it was kept secret at the time, skeptical members of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) seriously questioned Sully’s judgment, accusing him of needlessly endangering his crew and passengers with a forced water landing.

Based on sensor readings of the Airbus 320’s left engine, computer simulations showed that the commuter jet could have safely returned to New York’s LaGuardia or made an emergency landing at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.