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Brian Gordon, 49

Brian Gordon, a Weston selectman and former Westport resident, died Nov. 18. He was 49.

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Brian Gordon: Staples graduate. Contributed photo

An announcement on the Town of Weston website said: “Brian lost an epic struggle with cancer. He courageously continued to serve our town to the very end. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Gordon, a 1987 graduate of Staples High School where he was president of the senior class, moved to Westport in 1983 and to Weston in 2013. He had been selectman there since 2017.

After attending the University of Pennsylvania, he began his career at Procter & Gamble and eventually started his own strategic consulting business.

Public Responds to Options For Dealing with CMS Crisis

By Jarret Liotta

Issues around the Coleytown Middle School (CMS) crisis dominated Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, where Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer gave a formal presentation of the options her administration has proposed for next school year.

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Bedford Middle School principal Adam Rosen and Coleytown Middle School principal Kris Szabo address the Board of Education. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com

Palmer drew laughs when she said, “Every parent hates at least a few of these … because I received a lot of emails of what parents hate.”

A dozen options are under consideration, including relocating grades to different schools, consolidating middle schools, and finding a new building to which one grade or another of students can be relocated.

One idea that was not put forward but has gained traction privately among some parents is constructing an addition on Bedford Middle School (BMS) and turning it into a townwide middle school.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Gilbertie’s (7 Sylvan Lane) – Special Westport Winter Farmers Market
11 a.m. – Westport Library – PageTurners Book Discussion: “How to Make White People Laugh” by Nagin Farsad
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Environment Committee
7 p.m. – Fairfield Library (1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield) – Westport Astronomical Society: Caleb Scharf, “The Zoomable Universe”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – BOE Community Advisory Committee Work Session (live on cable channel 79, Frontier channel 6021, & www.westportps.org) [ADDITION]

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Westport Enrollment Projected to Decrease

By Jarret Liotta

Regardless of a new apartment units eventually coming online in Westport, a consultant told the Board of Education tonight that enrollment numbers will continue to drop for at least the next five years.

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Karen LeDuc and Donald Kennedy of New England School Development Council share students enrollment projects. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com

Donald Kennedy of the New England School Development Council projects Westport student enrollment will decrease by 483 students through the 2023-24 school year, having been steadily dropping since 2012-13, when it topped at 5,753.

It currently stands at 5,438.

“We are projecting about a 100 annual decline of the K-12 students … or over five years a 483 decline in the total of the district,” Kennedy said.

Lamont Promises National Executive Search for Administration

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Back from an orientation seminar for new governors, Gov.-elect Ned Lamont today outlined an approach to finding “the best and brightest” for his new administration, hinting that some top appointees would be executives from outside politics who are willing to accept a pay cut to work for Connecticut.

Two senior human-resource executives, Kevin Myatt of Yale New Haven Hospital and John Denson of the global executive recruiter, Korn Ferry, were introduced as the co-chairs of a talent search committee that Lamont says is intent on broadening the typical pool of potential appointees.

“We’re seeking those people out. Our friends here have a pretty good Rolodex. We’ve got a pretty good Rolodex of people as well,” Lamont said, predicting that some out of people who have reached out would be surprising. “They are ready to step up.”

Lamont is not expected to announce his first appointments until next week, putting him roughly on the same pace set eight years ago by Dannel P. Malloy, the first Democrat elected governor in 24 years. By this point, Malloy already had named a chief of staff and budget director, but he was four days away from identifying a 22-person transition team. Lamont named his 19-person team last week.

Turkey Trot Set for Thursday

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Thousands are expected to participate in Thursday’s 41st annual Thanksgiving Day Road Race organized by the Pequot Running Club of Southport. The five-mile race begins in Southport, continues through portions of Westport’s Greens Farms section, and ends in Southport. The race begins at 8:15 a.m.  Westport police said residents in the Greens Farms section of Westport can expect race-caused road closures and delays from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 10 to 10:30 a.m. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Pequot Running Club map

Granger at the Movies: ‘Widows,’ ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes..,’ ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

In “Widows,” Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and co-writer Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) have come up with a compelling crime caper that has more twists and turns than a corkscrew.

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Living in a luxurious penthouse high above Lake Michigan on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, elegant, educated, union organizer Victoria Rawlings (Viola Davis) never paid much attention to her felonious husband Harry’s (Liam Neeson) shady business — until one of his robberies goes awry and she’s left a widow, along with the wives of his crew.

In her grief, Victoria’s accosted by ambitious politician Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) and his psychotic/enforcer brother (Daniel Kaluuya). Jamal’s in a heated political campaign for local alderman against corrupt Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell), who hopes to ‘inherit’ the seat recently vacated by his ailing father, Tom (Robert Duvall). Apparently, Harry owes Jamal a couple million dollars.

Left with little choice but settle her husband’s debt, Victoria assembles the other despairing, penniless wives (Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki) in a posh sauna, where they begin to plot a $5 million theft, following an intricate strategy that Harry left in a meticulously detailed notebook. Later, they’re joined by an intrepid getaway ‘driver’ (Cynthia Erivo).

Firefighters Extinguish Wall Fire

Westport firefighters today extinguished a fire in a wall next to a fireplace at a home at 5 Rockyfield Road.

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Westport firefighters at the scene of a wall fire today at 5 Rockyfield Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Fire Department photo

Assistant Chief Philip Hessberger said after 50 minutes of removing concrete from the area involving the sill plate of the house adjacent to the fireplace, the charred material was removed and extinguished with a small amount of water.

There were no injuries and the residents were not displaced from their home, he said.

The Fairfield Fire Department provided station coverage while Westport units were at the scene, Hessberger said.

Westport Again Participating in ‘Click It or Ticket’ Campaign

Westport police officers are again participating in a nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign.

The department announced today that the campaign began today and runs through Monday, Nov. 26.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has teamed up with state and local law enforcement to remind motorists and passengers to wear a seat belt every time they enter a vehicle.

Connecticut law requires all drivers and passengers in the front seat, regardless of the occupant’s age, as well as all children under 16 in all positions to wear seat belts. Fines start at a minimum of $92 for first offense.

A Rainy-Day Fund Beckons, But Lamont Insists on Fiscal Reforms

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Ned Lamont’s biggest challenge as governor is likely to be devising and then selling fellow Democrats in the General Assembly on the “structural changes” he says are necessary to break Connecticut’s cycle of chronic budget deficits.

Connecticut’s swelling budget reserves are a temptation for lawmakers weary of the austere budgets that have cut municipal aid, social services and education in recent years. But the governor-elect says tapping the reserves would be a temporary fix, delaying the hard choices necessary to permanently stabilize the state’s finances.

“There’s a tendency to want to spend [the reserves] and defer the tough choices we know we have to make,” Lamont said in an interview with CT Mirror. “But you know how volatile our income taxes can be. If the bottom falls out … we ought to be ready.”

Tension over the extent to which the state should use the growing budget reserves, commonly known as the “rainy day fund,” already is evident, posing an early test for Lamont, who has yet to outline what he means by “structural changes,” a phrase he frequently employed during the campaign.