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Record Year Eyed for Absentee Voting

Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss said today this looks like a record year for absentee ballot voting.

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Town Clerk Patty Strauss checks out the absentee ballot numbers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“With five days to go until the elections we already received more absentee ballots than the total for either of the last two gubernatorial elections — and this election does not have an incumbent running,” she said.

Strauss said the number of absentee ballots received is 1,119 out of 1,896 issued.

In 2014, there were 798 total absentee ballots received, in 2010 (a similar election with no incumbent running for governor) a total of 1,125 absentee ballots were received.  

Crumb Together Bakery Aids Those With Disabilities

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A new online bakery, Crumb Together, dedicated to train and employ adults with disabilities, was introduced at a ceremony at Norwalk’s Beth Israel of Westport/Norwalk Chabad Synogogue today. The bakery was founded and funded by Westporters Bill and Andrea Pecoriello (above) whose three grown children, Julian, Scott, and Justin, mentored a disabled child for more than eight years in association with the Norwalk-based Circle of Friends nonprofit organization. Among those participating in the event were Westport First Selectmen Jim Marpe and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. Bakery products can be ordered through the organization’s website https://www.crumbtogetherbakery.org/ (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Black Duck GoFundMe Page Taken Down

UPDATE A GoFundMe page posted to raise funds from the soon-to-be-closed Black Duck Cafe has been taken down and the donated $5,170 will be returned, said a person knowledgeable about the matter today.

“The employee who started it meant well, but it was not sanctioned,” said the source. The page, which attributed the closing to financial problems, sought to raise $100,000.

Since Tuesday’s announcement that the restaurant will close Sunday after 40 years serving up drinks and food to generations of Westporters, there has been tremendous interest in keeping it open, the source said.

Whether these discussion will go anywhere remains to be seen. While the closing announcement said the restaurant will be closed today and Friday before reopening on Saturday and Sunday for the last time, in fact it is open today and Friday as well.

Red Glow on Window Shade Alerted Homeowners

By Dave Matlow

A red glow on a bedroom window shade Wednesday night alerted homeowners Don and Sheila Bergmann that their detached garage was on fire.

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Police Chief Foti Koskinas inspects the destroyed detached garage today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“I said to Don, ‘Get up and put your pants on. Get the dog. Let’s get out of here,’” Sheila Bergmann recalled today as she calmly walked the family dog, Maizie, a 3-month-old golden retriever, outside their property.

Flames destroyed the garage at 32 Sherwood Ave., off Compo Hill Avenue just above Old Mill Beach, and two cars inside, a hybrid Prius and a Mazda 6.

“At first, I was going to try and put it out with a garden hose but when we got outside I realized what was going on,” said Bergmann, a retired corporate attorney and frequent attendee at town meetings.

Francine Jacobs, 59

Francine Ellen Jacobs, a former Westport resident, died Oct. 28 after a long illness. She was 59.

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Francine Jacobs: Staples graduate. Contributed photo

Born April 23, 1959 in Norwalk Hospital to the late Louis and Shirley Jacobs, she was a 1977 Staples High School graduate. She lived in Westport until going off to Syracuse University and then living primarily in New York City.

She was a loving and devoted daughter, sister, aunt, and friend as well as a generous healthcare professional.

She had a long and productive career, including administrative nurse to Dr. Edwin Vaughan, chief of the Urology Department, New York Hospital.

Downtown Planners Concerned About Projects’ Funding

By Jarret Liotta

New ideas, intentions, and developments were discussed at today’s Westport Downtown Plan Implementation Committee (DPIC) meeting as well as how to pay for some of them.

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These trees dividing the Baldwin and Avery parking lots in downtown will be lost when the lots are combined, the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee was told today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com

“In the broader context of where we spend our money in town … after schools, addressing our downtown issues, I could argue, are more important than other issues,” said Randy Herbertson, president of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association.

With final agreement just a signature away on a long-term lease agreement between the town and private property owners of the Avery Place parking lot, work is likely imminent on a plan to combine the lot with the adjacent Baldwin Lot, said Dewey Loselle, DPIC chairman. Trees separating the lots will be lost when they are combined.

“Ideally we’d like to go out to RFP (request for proposal) as soon as we see the ink on that document,” said Peter Ratkiewich, director of Public Works.

Police: Suspicious Package to Former Comey Home Closed Westway Road

UPDATE Westport police closed Westway Road today after a suspicious package was found at the former home of former FBI Director James Comey, said Police Chief Foti Koskinas.

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Police blocked Westway Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Steven Goldstein for WestportNow.com

Police called in the Stamford Police bomb squad and determined the package was harmless, he said.

The Comey family sold the home in 2017 for $2.475 million.

Westway Road was closed from shortly after 9 a.m. until 10:45 a.m.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate at Westport Station

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Republican candidate for governor Bob Stefanowski visited with voters today at the Westport train station in Saugatuck, discussing his plans to turn around Connecticut’s economy and asking for their vote on Nov. 6.  Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe (r) was on hand to welcome Stefanowski and discuss the upcoming election. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Thursday, November 1, 2018


9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Downtown Plan Implementation Committee
9 a.m. – Westport Weston Family Y – Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – Exhibition: “Paradise”
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – 50 Imperial Ave. – Westport Farmers Market
12:45 p.m. – Suzuki Music School (246 Post Road East) – WestportWRITES: Advanced Writing Class
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance, Transit, Parks & Recreation, DPW Committees [Additions]
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Public Hearing (live on cable channel 79, Frontier channel 6020, & westportct.gov)
7 p.m. – Earthplace – Environmental Debate with Westport Legislative Candidates
7 p.m. – Suzuki Music School (246 Post Rd East) – Westport Library, Getting Unstuck: Overcoming Anxiety & Distress
8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “Thousand Pines”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar