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Ronald A. Grasso, 75

Ronald Allen Grosso of Westport died Oct. 2. He was 75.

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Ronald Grasso: fashion industry executive.  Contributed photo

Born Aug. 17, 1940 in Baltimore, he was the son of Silvis Grosso and Bertha Hightowitz. Hw discovered his true passion within the fashion industry while working at the Hecht Company and pursued his dream by moving to New York City in 1968, where he had a long and successful career developing and producing outerwear products for many prominent companies.

Fond of saying, “I traveled the world,” he spent his early 30s shopping the world’s fashion capitals for the latest trends. He had a gift for predicting trends. In 1975, he joined Utex Fashion Group as sales manager where he worked until he retired in 2012.

In 1992, he moved to Westport with his wife and oldest daughter. Soon after, his second daughter and son were born. Throughout his life he often mentioned how his children were three of the best things that happened to him.

Granger at the Movies: ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ ‘Queen of Katwe,’ ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home…’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

I’m incredibly conflicted about “The Birth of a Nation.” Writer/director/actor Nate Parker has created a searing, powerful Civil War drama, revolving around an 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner.

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Set on cotton plantations in Southampton County, Virginia, it reveals that, as a child, Nat (Tony Espinosa) was recognized by an African tribal shaman as a potential prophet/leader. And he’s encouraged to read the Bible by his master’s wife (Penelope Ann Miller).

Years later, Nat (Nate Parker) becomes a Baptist preacher. Amid rumors of insurrection, he’s rented out by his alcoholic owner (Armie Hammer), travelling to neighboring plantations to spread his gospel of subservience and peace.

That’s before brutal acts of traumatic violence turn soulful Nat into a mythic crusader, experiencing intense religious visions and viewing a solar eclipse as a sign from God to lead a ferociously bloody uprising that claimed 60 white families and led to the slaughter of 200 blacks in retaliation.

Marking Walk to School Day

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About 250 Kings Highway Elementary School (KHS) students today joined schools around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day. The event began at 8:10 a.m. with students, parents teachers, and staff walking from Westport Board of Education Technology Center on Riverside Avenue, arriving at KHS five minutes later. Organizers said the events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

RTM Okays $70K for Compo South Beach Design

After almost 90 minutes of debate, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) Tuesday night approved by a vote of 24 to 2 with 1 abstention $70,000 for design and engineering services for a walkway and restrooms at the South Beach at Compo Beach.

The approval followed an attempt led by member Catherine Calise to amend the resolution by reducing the amount to $49,000, which would not include the walkway. That failed by a vote of 24 to 3.

During the debate, a number of members expressed disappointment that funds were not being appropriated for upgrading the bathhouses.

Both Jen Fava, director of Parks and Recreation, and Charlie Haberstroh, chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said a majority of the public had clearly indicated that a South Beach walkway and restrooms were top priorities.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – UN International Hospitality Committee
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “MORE Than Words”
Noon – Westport Library – Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce State Representative Debate
3:30 p.m. – Westport Library – Social Ventures Partners CT Info for Prospective Grantees
4 p.m. – Westport Library – Dewey Knit: Grade 4 to Adults
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Beautification Committee
6:30 p.m. – Westport Library – Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. – Westport Library – Paul Ferrante, “The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. – 5 Canal Park – Housing Authority
8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “Camelot”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

RTM Votes Not to Overturn P&Z’s Approval of Four-Story Housing

By James Lomuscio

A Representative Town Meeting (RTM) petition to overturn the Planning and Zoning Commission’s (P&Z) Sept. 1 vote approving a four-story, 94-unit rental property on the Post Road East failed tonight by a vote of 23 to 9.

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Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Catherine Walsh and fellow P&Z members tell the RTM tonight why they approved the 1177 Post Road East project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

During the two and a half hour debate, developer Philip Craft showed a redesign of the proposed project at 1177 Post Road East, which he said had a “more residential look” than the previous one with more metal. He said the P&Z requested the redesign while several RTM members said the more acceptable redesign was the result of the overturn attempt.

After hearing from RTM lead petitioner John Suggs and other members, Town Attorney Ira Bloom, P&Z members, Craft, and members of the public, the majority of the legislative body conceded that overturning the P&Z was not in the town’s best interest in the face of the state’s affordable housing statute 8-30g.

The 8-30g statute allows a developer to override local zoning laws if a town does not have 10 percent of its housing stock deemed affordable, which Westport does not.

Redesign Cited in RTM Sustaining P&Z Affordable Housing OK

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Developer Philip Craft of Easton shows off a redesign of his proposed four-story affordable housing complex at 1177 Post Road East which he presented to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight. By a vote of 23 to 9, the RTM rejected an effort to overturn Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) approval of the project. (See WestportNow Sept. 1, 2016) Several members cited the overturn effort as helping produce a more acceptable design, which Craft said had a “more residential look” than the previous metal design. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

‘Camelot’ Previews Tonight at Playhouse

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The cast of the Westport Country Playhouse production of the reimagined version of Lerner & Loewe’s “Camelot” rehearses for tonight’s first preview at the Westport Country Playhouse. Directed by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, the classic musical features Tony Award-winner Robert Sean Leonard as King Arthur, Britney Coleman as Guinevere and Stephen Mark Lukas as Lancelot. Opening night is Saturday and it runs through Oct. 30. Pictured is Coleman with members of the cast. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com