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Remembering Robert Osborne

Editor’s note: WestportNow film critic Susan Granger offered these thoughts on the death of actor Robert Osborne, the genial host of Turner Classic Movies, who died Monday at 84.

By Susan Granger

We mourn the loss of one of our most enthusiastic and informed colleagues.

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Jane Powell and Robert Osborne often appeared together to discuss Hollywood history. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) File photo

With his encyclopedic knowledge, Robert Osborne was not only a brilliant film historian but also a veritable fountain of anecdotes and Hollywood lore, establishing a warm, personal connection with his television audience. His generosity of spirit was apparent to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

I met Robert through my lifelong friend Jane Powell with whom he spent Christmas. For many years, Jane, her husband — the late Dick Moore — and Robert spent Christmas Eve with our family in Westport.

His greatest pleasure in life was sharing his love of classic films and — because of his TCM legacy — he will be with us always.

Real Estate Report: Healthy Spring Market

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

It certainly looks like the Westport spring market has already begun in a big way.

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Featured Home: This home at 6 Tranquility Lane is listed at $1,885,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis-Westport

The significance of the activity in just the first week of March signals a greater that usual seasonal upswing.

Inventory is growing at a nice pace, and deposits are already on the rise. In fact, the active listings as compared to the initial deposit ratio is better than it has been in many months. The ratio is important, as it speaks to where the market is headed in the next 60 days.

The initial deposits are also approaching the same number of pending properties, which is also another indicator of heightened activity. While some may argue that this is merely a seasonal trend, the numbers speak just a bit differently, especially at this early stage.

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

Westport real estate price changes over the past week:

21 Hale St.              $470,000->$459,000
111 Valley Road             $590,000->$575,000
299 Main St.            $689,000->$675,000
241 Bayberry Lane         $699,999->$679,900
16 Valley Field Road         $994,000->$929,900
86 Maple Ave. South     $1,212,500->$1,150,000
118 Wilton Road         $1,299,000->$1,159,000  
8 Calumet Road         $1,245,000->$1,200,000
2 Fairview Drive         $1,399,000->$1,299,000
222 Compo Road South   $1,590,000->$1,490,000
82 Clapboard Hill Road   $1,749,000->$1,549,000
11 Ambler Road West   $2,099,000->$1,999,000
27 Stonybrook Road     $2,200,000->$1,999,999  
45 Beachside Ave.    $9,490,000->$8,900,000
—Judy Szablak

Record Number of Entries for TEAM Westport Essay Contest

By Dave Matlow

TEAM Westport Chair Harold Bailey said today the town’s diversity committee has received a record number of responses for its teen essay contest on white privilege that has drawn national and international attention.

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Team Westport Chair Harold Bailey addresses today’s meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“All essays are now in, and I think it set a record for the largest number of submissions,” he told a Town Hall morning meeting of the group.

He said the essay submissions are ready for review starting today by committee members.

Referring to the high profile of this year’s essay theme,” he noted it was recently the subject of reports in The New York Times and on CNN, among national media, but added, “There are still some ugly sites out there.”

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – TEAM Westport
9 a.m. – Noon – Westport Library – Looking-Forward-to-Spring Book Sale
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “MORE Than Words/As We Are”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Westport School Days 1703–Present”
10 a.m. – Westport Library – Book Chat
Noon – Toquet Hall Teen Center – Play with Your Food
1 p.m. – Westport Library – WestportWRITES: Advanced Writing Class
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. – Westport Library – Countdown to College: Tips for an Effective College Visit
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Board of Assessment Appeals Hearing
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Historic District Commission & Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

For Finance Board, It’s Business Unusual

By James Lomuscio

In the throes of budget season, it wasn’t business as usual but business unusual tonight for Westport’s Board of Finance as it grappled with planned state cuts and eleventh hour costs totaling about $8 million.

After hearing public input at the special meeting and following much deliberation in an executive session, the board agreed that the total town and school proposed budget of $206 million for 2017-18 should be decreased by $3.5 million.

That way, budgets would be in place by the start of fiscal year beginning July 1, said Brian Stern, finance board chairman. And if the remaining $4.5 million actually hits when the state’s budget in finalized in September, the finance board would revisit the budget — and a modest tax increase is likely.

The reason for all the uncertainty? Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed that municipalities pay one-third of teacher pensions, a potential liability translates into an extra $5.9 million per year here, $8 million when tallied with $2.1 million in state cuts to Westport for next year.

Platform Tennis Winners

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Westport residents Claire Gordy (back row, l) and Elizabeth Kuehndorf (back row, r), both 12, were runners-up in the 2017 12U National Platform Tennis Championships held in Short Hills, N.J. The seventh graders at Bedford Middle School have been playing platform tennis for two years at The Patterson Club, Fairfield. Hannah Bjorkman, a junior at Staples High School, won the 2017 18U national championship. She has been playing platform tennis for at least eight years, and is on the varsity tennis team. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

New Golf Pro and Super at Longshore

Longshore Club Park has a new golf pro and a new golf course superintendent, Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava announced today.

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New Longshore faces: Todd Salamone (l) and Jon Janik. Contributed photos

Jon Janik, picked as head golf professional, comes to Westport from Tashua Knolls Golf Course in Trumbull.

Todd Salamone, the new golf course superintendent, previously worked for BrightView Golf Maintenance, serving four years as senior assistant superintendent at The Village Club of Sands Point in Sands Point, N.Y.

“We are very excited to welcome our new team to Longshore Golf Course, and we are looking forward to a great season and lots of good things to come,” said Fava.