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Long Lots Parents Share Worry About Getting CMS Back Quickly

By Jarret Liotta

With many dismayed Long Lots School (LLS) parents voicing concern about potential overcrowding next year if grade six moves to elementary schools, the Board of Education (BOE) Monday night formally charged its Coleytown Middle School (CMS) Task Force and set it in motion.

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CMS Task Force members and Joe Fuller (at microphone), head of the town’s Maintenance Study Committee, at the BOE meeting . (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com

Following unanimous appointment by the BOE, task force members requested public notice for a CMS walk-through on Wednesday at 8 a.m. Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said her office would have a notice posted today.

The task force is being asked to “evaluate and describe the cost and efficiency of safely opening Coleytown Middle School in whole or in part” by next year, with a charge to report findings to the BOE by the end of January.

“We support the safe reconditioning of Coleytown Middle School by September,” LLS parent Lisa Waller told the BOE, echoing the urgency of several LLS parents who worry that the K-6 model will impede life at their school given space constraints.

Board of Finance Gets First Look at Preliminary School Budget Increase

By Jarret Liotta

Board of Finance Chairman Brian Stern told the Board of Education (BOE) Monday night it will probably have to do better for its 2019-2020 budget than an estimated 2.67-percent increase to its current $116.2-million operating budget.

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Board of Finance Chairman Brian Stern (foreground) talks to school officials. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com

“The Grand List went up 1.2 percent,” Stern said at the first informal budget powwow with the BOF, which included members of the Board of Selectmen.

Following a summary of the financial state of the town, Stern said his “suggestion” was that the BOE roughly match that 1.2-percent increase in its final budget request.

Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer presented an estimated budget request of $119.3 million for the 2019-20 school year.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


8 a.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – BOE Finances & Facilities Committee (live on cable channel 78, Frontier channel 6021, & www.westportps.org)
10 a.m. – Suzuki Music School (246 Post Road East) – Westport Library Book Chat
Noon – Town Hall Room 212D – Arts Advisory Committee
Noon – Toquet Hall Teen Center – Play With Your Food
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Long Range Planning Committee
6:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 212D – RTM Employee Compensation & Public Protection Committees
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Historic District Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – RTM (live on cable channel 79, Frontier channel 6020, & westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 212D – Racquets Advisory Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

‘Main to Train’ Looks at Congestion, Alternate Transportation Modes

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s traffic signals need to be adjusted to allow more crossing time for downtown pedestrians.

The regional, coastal bus service needs improvement, too, and the Westport Transit District needs more shuttles to the Saugatuck train station.

And potential development, even the uptown Westport Weston Family YMCA expansion, has to be avoided, so that the town’s two worst intersections – Post Road East-Compo Road and Post Road West-Riverside Avenue—don’t get even more congested.

These were just some of the highlights consulting engineers put forth at tonight’s sparsely attended, WestCOG-sponsored “Main to Train” information session at Town Hall.

Ellen Wolf, 90

Ellen Wolf of Fairfield, a former Westport resident, died Jan. 6 at home. She was 90.

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Ellen Wolf: former Westporter. Contributed photo

A Bronx native, she graduated from Purdue University and went on to receive a Master’s Degree in mathematics from Columbia Teachers College. 

After moving to Westport to raise her family, she was an active volunteer for, the American Technion Society, the Human Services Council of Fairfield, and the area coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program.

She was an accomplished cook and proud collector of contemporary artists’ works.

Honoring Our Heritage: 2 Red Coat Road

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UPDATE The owners of the house at 2 Red Coat Road, near Exit 41 of Merritt Parkway, are the newest recipients of a Westport Historical Society (WHS) historical plaque. Bob Weingarten (l), WHS plaque historian, presented the plaque, signifying Draves Barn, c. 1916, to owners Dr. Richard Epstein and his wife Ina Chadwick. Epstein and Chadwick acquired the property and added living space and his dental office to the house in 1984, (not in 1993 as incorrectly stated in an earlier version of this caption.) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

 

Granger at the Movies: ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Ben Is Back,’ ‘Welcome to Marwen’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

As the “Transformers” war between the good-guy Autobots and the evil Decepticons for the planet Cybertron continues, the origin story “Bumblebee,” set in the late 1980s, reveals how Bumblebee came to Earth and befriended a troubled teenage girl.

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Still mourning the death of her mechanic father, feisty 18-year-old Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), who loves repairing automobiles, yearns for a car of her own.

Spying a faded yellow, 1967 Volkswagen Beetle in a San Francisco Bay-area junkyard, Charlie brings it home, determined to restore it.

While she’s tinkering, the Beetle suddenly morphs into an enormous alien robot. Terrified at first, “gear head “Charlie soon realizes she has a new, badass buddy and, together, they enthusiastically indulge in merry mischief.

Gallery: Tommy Ghianuly 1935-2019


Scenes from a 2011 surprise party for Tommy Ghianuly at the Birchwood Country Club in honor of the 50th anniversary of his Compo Barber Shop, 387 Post Road East. Barber to generations of Westporters, he died today at his Bridgeport home at age 83. Also included is a picture from filmmaker Chuck Tannen’s “The End of an Era—Westport in the 1950s,” a documentary that included interviews at the barber shop. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com and still from Chuck Tannen’s “The End of an Era—Westport in the 1950s”