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Jess Clarke Jr., 81

Jess Fellows Clarke Jr, , a former Westport resident, died Jan. 30 at his home in Bradenton, Florida. He was 81.

He was born Jan. 1, 1938, in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

As a child, he was active in the Boy Scouts, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout before attending Penn State University where he joined ROTC, and was awarded a BS degree in 1959 in the field of forestry.

A former longtime resident of Westport, he went on to found Miracle of Aloe, a nationally recognized line of consumer health and cosmetic products based on aloe vera gel, where he remained active in the company until his death.

Free Radon Test Kits Available

Mark A.R. Cooper, director of health for the Westport Weston Health District, said today that radon test kits are available for Weston and Westport residents free of charge while supplies last.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water formed from the breakdown of uranium. The only way to know if you have an elevated radon level is to test your home’s indoor air, Cooper said.

Levels in outdoor air pose a low threat to human health. However, radon can enter homes from surrounding soil and become a health hazard inside buildings, he said.

Cooper said radon does not cause symptoms. “You can’t see it or smell it, but an elevated radon level in your home may be affecting the health of your family,” he said.

Thursday, February 7, 2019


8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 212D – Maintenance Study Committee
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Westport Transit District
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Fractured: Photographs by Spencer Platt”
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Liberty to Set Down: Migrants & Immigrants in Westport”
2 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – RTM Education Committee
2:30 p.m. – Westport Senior Center – Westport Library Winter Film Series: “Trading Places”
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Finance Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Green Task Force
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – RTM Special Meeting (live on cable channel 79, Frontier channel 6020, & westportct.gov)
7 p.m. – Westport Woman’s Club (44 Imperial Ave.) – WestportREADS 2019: The Refugee Experience

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Finance Board Cuts Schools’ Portables Request to $1 Million

Westport’s Board of Finance tonight voted unanimously to reduce a school board request of $4 million to $1 million for portable classrooms to accommodate displaced Coleytown Middle School (CMS) students.

“The objective is to reoccupy Coleytown as fast as possible in the safest way,” said Brian Stern, finance board chairman. “A fast a track as possible to get Coleytown Middle School up and running.”

CMS has been shuttered since the start of the school year due to a serious, illness-causing mold issues and other infrastructure issues. Its students have since been relocated to Bedford Middle School (BMS), where portables would be located.

The Board of Education had requested $4 million for 14 portables for what has become known as the K-6 plan.

Joseph J. Thomas, Jr., 77

Joseph J. Thomas, Jr., a longtime resident of Westport, died Feb. 4 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 77.

WestportNow.com Image
Joseph J. Thomas Jr.: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

He was born in Stamford to Joseph and Ann (Selleck) Thomas who predeceased him.

After retiring from Clairol he spent his time traveling, playing golf and tending his garden.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judy (Ralston), his four children, Joseph III, John, Lori Capozza and Christopher.

CT Pot Legalization Could Include Expungement of Criminal Records

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Senate Democrats today unveiled a slew of proposals that would not only legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use, but also expunge certain criminal records involving marijuana-related offenses.

The marijuana legislation is part of a larger caucus agenda that also includes: fees on sports betting, new labor rules banning “captive audience” meetings and on-shift scheduling, measures to help college students graduate debt-free, and the creation of a statewide authority that could be empowered to establish tolls.

“We have an opportunity here to correct a wrong,” said Sen. Doug McCrory, D-Hartford, referring to the marijuana legalization. “We need to correct something that has destroyed … families, neighborhoods and communities for years.”

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said Connecticut and many other states have adopted the failed approach the country took in the 1920s during the prohibition of alcohol.

Justin Paul Teams Up With ‘American Housewife’

The real Westporter Justin Paul is teaming up with the fiction Westporters in the ABC-TV sitcom “American Housewife,” ABC announced.

WestportNow.com Image
“American Housewife” star Katy Mixon with Kenny Schwartz, an executive producer of the show and a 1985 Staples High School graduate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kelsey McNeal/ABC photo

It said the season finale of the comedy series on May 21 will include four original songs by Paul, whose works include “The Greatest Showman” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Oscar, Tony, and Golden Globes winner Paul was born in Missouri and raised in Westport where he attended Long Lots Elementary School, Coleytown Middle School and Staples.

ABC said the season finale plot has star Katy Mixon, frustrated by the lack of appreciation for all she does, deciding to go “full-Westport” and leaving her family to fend for themselves.

Assessor: Grand List Up 1.07 Percent

Westport’s net 2018 Grand List of $11,311,830,644 is up 1.07 percent over last year, according to Assessor Paul Friia.

Friia released these figures Tuesday when he announced that he signed the Oct. 1, 2018 Grand List as required by state statute.

The 1.07 percent increase is the lowest in recent years, and follows a 1.52 percent increase in 2017.

The list is the sum of the net assessed value of all taxable property: real estate, motor vehicles and personal property.