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Savvy Shopper: Courant Features Westport Store

Todays ғSavvy Shopper column in The Hartford Courant features WestportԒs (and Greenwichs) Roundabout boutique.

Excerpt: ғIf the recent Emmy Awards inspired you to add glam designer fashions to your wardrobe, consider a field trip to the state’s Gold Coast region, home to two Roundabout boutiques.

Savvy style mavens from around the country know to stop by these shops whenever they’re in the area for high-end designer closeouts and consignment fashions from such names as Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Hermes, Armani, Moschino and more.

ӔMerchandise includes evening wear, careerwear, casual fashions, shoes and accessories, all priced 50 to 75 percent off original retail.

About 65 percent of the stores’ inventory is new; the balance is top-of-the-line consigned items in mint condition. New shipments arrive each week. If you’re looking for a certain item, staff will take your info and give you a call if it comes in.Ӕ

Farrell Hosts Bridgeport Economic Summit Followup Meeting


Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell tonight hosted a followup session to a Bridgeport economic summit held last May. The event at Bridgeport’s Housatonic Community College attracted about 100 people who heard a talk on how Connecticut’s cities and suburbs can work more closely on common problems. Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi (lower right) listens. WestportNow.com photo

Expert Tells Meeting All Communities Hurt by Way Connecticut is Growing


Governmental planning expert Myron Orfield told a Bridgeport meeting hosted by Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell tonight that his “Connecticut Metropatterns” study had four key findings: 1) Simple contrasts between cities, suburbs and rural areas are out of date; 2) All types of communities are hurt by the way the state is growing; 3) All places would benefit from regional and statewide reforms; and 4) Reform is politically possible. WestportNow.com photo

Hook ‘n Needle Gets the Hook


After more than 30 years on Post Road East near the Fairfield town line, Hook ‘n Needle is calling it quits. Owners Marc Bloch and James Henry are in their 70’s and said it’s time to retire. The needlepoint store is housed in a former mill dating back to 1840 and served customers all over the world via the Internet. WestportNow.com photo

Yacht Club Official Cautiously Optimistic About New Oyster Proposal

An official of Westports Cedar Point Yacht Club said today he is encouraged by a revised plan by a Westport doctor to harvest oysters off of Westport using suspended cages.
The original proposal by Dr. John Garofalo and his Mariculture Unlimited LLC touched off a storm of protest from sailboat owners and recreational boaters, many of whom spoke at a public hearing by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Milford on July 23. (See WestportNow July 24, 2003).


Dr. John Garofalo at July 23 hearing. WestportNow.com file photo


Mark Foster, Cedar PointҒs commodore, said Garofalos revised proposal presented Tuesday night at a meeting of the Shellfish Commission left him more optimistic.
ғCedar Point Yacht Club is encouraged by Dr. Garafolo’s proposal to relocate his project area in the direction that he indicated at Tuesday evening’s Shellfish Commission meeting, Foster told WestportNow.
ԓBased upon the information provided, as I stated at the meeting, I believed that a comparatively small conflict still exists with the traditional sailboat racing area.
Foster said Garofalo promised that Mariculture Unlimited will look at this issue more closely and will reply with a written proposal that will take this into account.
ԓWe are cautiously optimistic that this alternative project configuration can be refined to address our concerns, he said.
Alicia Mozian, WestportԒs Conservation director, said Shellfish Commission members were also encouraged by Garofalo’s remarks before them but wanted to see more details.
They seemed to be more in favor of it but reserved final judgment until they see it on a plan,Ӕ she told WestportNow.
Mozian said the commission has no formal role in the approval process that belongs to the Army Corps of Engineers ֖ but said their support would be important.
Mozian said Garofalos new plan envisions a smaller area than the 367 acres originally proposed and sits closer to the Fairfield line.

Westport Gas Prices Vary But It Pays to Shop

Westport, like the rest of the nation, has seen gas prices soar in recent days, but a WestportNow survey shows it does pay to shop as there is a 16-cent gap between the lowest and highest self-serve prices in town.

The survey found that the average Westport regular self-serve gasoline sold for $1.93 a gallon today, or about 5 cents higher than the states $1.88 average. A year ago, the state average was $1.53, according to AAA.

The lowest Westport price (rounded off) was $1.84 at DemattiaҒs Citgo, 786 Post Road East, while the highest was $2 at Exxon, 485 Post Road East.

The next lowest price was $1.85 at two stations—Greens Farms Getty, 1830 Post Road East, which was having a “5 cents off” sale today and Sunday, and Cumberland Farms Gulf, 719 Post Road East.

In order of increasing price, here are how the other Westport self-serve stations fared:

$1.88 at The Country Store, 332 Wilton Road; $1.90 at Westport Sunoco, 322 Post Road East; $1.94 at Westport BP, 1510 Post Road East; $1.98 at Greens Farms Shell, 1530 Post Road East, and Mobil Self-Serve, 1060 Post Road East; and $1.99 at Bridge Mobil, 558 Riverside Ave., and Christies, 161 Cross Highway.

Of WestportҒs 14 gas stations, three are full-serve only: $2.06 at Riverside Sunoco, 240 Riverside Ave.; $2.07 at Westport Center Mobil, 302 Post Road East, and $2.09 at Westport Getty, 271 Post Road East. 

Fairfield County appeared to have the highest prices in Connecticut with the county’s highest prices in the Greenwich area.

Westport Hottest Connecticut Market for Coldwell Banker So Far This Year

While some real estate agents may see a softening in the luxury home market, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. says Westport is its hottest market so far this year in Connecticut.

The company said today that its affiliates’ mid-year 2003 sales of luxury homes increased by 8.2 percent with 5,849 homes sold with a value of $1 million or more. Westport topped its Connecticut list, ahead of Greenwich and New Canaan.

It said Westport had $68.9 million in sales in the first six months, ranking No. 30 on Coldwell Bankers top 75 city sales list. Greenwich was No. 33 with $65.6 million, and New Canaan was No. 71 with $29.9 million.

Out of the top 30 states in Coldwell Banker luxury home sales, California continued to lead the country reporting more than half the sales of luxury homes with more than $5.5 billion in sales volume. 

Florida was the next strongest state with more than $1 billion in luxury home sales volume. Connecticut was No. 6 with $347.8 million in sales.

Only Greenwich in Connecticut made the company’s top 50 individual home sales list, ranking No. 33 with a sale of $7.25 million.

Whats in a Name? In Japan, Westport Means Wireless Internet Access

If you travel to Japan and want wireless Internet access for your laptop or mobile device, theres a Westport waiting for you.

In this case, itҒs Westport Communications Inc. The Tokyo-based company sells wireless Internet data cards, bundled with network and ISP service, with English sales and support.

Why Westport? And is there a Westport, Connecticut connection? Perhaps a WestportNow reader can provide the answer.

Update (8/25/03): Katie McMahon of Westport Communications Inc. supplies the answer:

“It’s named after Westport Co. Mayo, Ireland.  That is from where my Irish granny emmigrated at age 18. She went alone to America to make a better life for herself, and due to her courage, my life was full of amazing opportunities. She lived to be 98.

“Anyway, I wanted to name the company in her honor and, well, the ‘west’ and ‘port’ also rang nicely with the market we target & computer/tech. Westport Connecticut, however, is most people’s guess.”

Looking for Gas Price Watchers

With gas prices leaping almost by the hour, an online gas price-monitoring service is looking for more consumers, including Westporters, to tell it who has got the highest and lowest gas prices in town and the area.

The Connecticut site has prices from nearby communities, but it appears no one is monitoring Westport. So if you are fed up with high gas prices and want to spread the word, heres your chance—- www.connecticutgasprices.com.

Two Westport Service Stations Designated for Emissions Testing

The state announced today that two Westport service stations are among 262 independent garages authorized to conduct vehicle emissions testing.

They are Bridge Mobil at 558 Riverside Ave. and Greens Farms Shell Service at 1530 Post Road East.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said emissions testing will begin next month. It said it will have 300 authorized stations by December.

It said repairs can be done in the same station where vehicles are tested, or at a repair facility chosen by car owners.  However, to be eligible for a waiver the repairs must be performed by a registered emissions repair facility.

The new system replaces 25 state vehicle emission testing stations. They were closed down last year amid allegations of fradulent testing.

More information is available at a special DMV Web site.