Sunday, April 02, 2023



Comings and Goings: Backspace Opens on Post Road E. Image
Backspace, a typewriter business, opened today at 8 Church St. South, behind the Little Barn Pub, 1050 Post Road East.  Karin Kessler, owner, mother of four and a 20-year Westport resident, said, “I started collecting typewriters about four or five years ago when I did not want to buy any more electronics for my children, so I acquired an old typewriter for a family Christmas gift.” She added: “Since then I started researching typewriters and then I’ve been collecting them—some given to me by friends, some purchased from eBay or Craig’s List, some from auctions, anywhere I could find an old typewriter.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Malloy Opens Session With Plea for ‘Connecticut Fairness’

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

In his final State of the State address, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today proposed a progressive agenda to the legislators who shut him out of last year’s budget talks. Image
First Lady Cathy Malloy with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and their granddaughter at today’s opening session. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Clarice Silber for

He promised to help fellow Democrats to raise the minimum wage, enact a family paid medical leave law, address sexual harassment and take a stand on pay equity as acts of “Connecticut fairness.”

His attempt to shape the political agenda of his final year as governor was an early effort to shape his legacy.

Malloy cast his proposals as overdue expansions and updates of policies enacted in his tumultuous first seven years in office, including first-in-the-nation laws that raised the minimum wage to $10.10 and required certain private employers to offer paid sick days.

Text of Malloy’s ‘State of the State’ Address

Here is the text of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s State of the State address today as prepared for delivery and provided by his office:

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Lt. Governor Wyman, and my fellow state officials, ladies and gentlemen of the General Assembly, members of the clergy, and all the people of our great state: thank you for the honor of inviting me once again into the people’s House.

I want to thank the best Lieutenant Governor in the world, Nancy Wyman.

As always, let us thank Connecticut’s brave men and women serving our nation here at home and around the globe.

And finally thank you to my wife Cathy, our children, and for the first time our granddaughter Grace Elizabeth for their love and support.

Malloy Pushes Strategies to Counter Federal Tax Changes

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Clarice Silber

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today recommended two measures aimed at protecting Connecticut households and businesses that may face higher federal taxes under the plan passed recently by Congress.

One would allow municipalities to create charitable organizations to support local services, offering property tax credits in exchange.

A second would help small businesses to reduce federal income tax liability through a change in how they pay taxes to the state — at no cost to Connecticut.

The governor acknowledged that federal tax officials might challenge such moves as an end-run around the new U.S. income tax system. But Malloy said it’s still worth doing.

Malloy Pushes Legislature for Election-Year Budget Cuts, Tax Hikes

By Keith M. Phaneuf, Mark Pazniokas, and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Unveiling his final budget proposal two days early, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today challenged legislators to take politically difficult steps to close modest deficits in the current, two-year budget and mitigate larger shortfalls looming after the November elections.

Malloy, who is not seeking re-election, recommended eliminating a middle-class income tax credit, boosting cigarette, hotel and real estate conveyance taxes, closing a sales tax exemption for over-the-counter medications, and stretching out spiking teacher pension costs similarly to last year’s restructuring of government contributions to the state employees’ pension.

Spending growth in the $20.7 billion proposal is limited to 0.3 percent while many programs would face cutbacks compared with the preliminary 2018-19 budget adopted last October.

Malloy’s plan came two days before the opening of the short, even-year legislative session, when the administration normally releases its proposed revisions to the two-year budget.

Comings & Goings: Allen Edmonds to Close Image
In another retailer exodus from Westport, Allen Edmonds, the men’s shoe and accessories store, at 69 Main St., will close this summer, according to a store employee. The store, which opened in the summer of 2012, is in the space previously occupied by The Gap, which relocated to 125 Main St. The store was damaged by Storm Sandy in 2012 (see WestportNow Dec. 7, 2012.) The adjacent Nike store, which shares the 69 Main St, address, closed Jan. 27 after six years. It also suffered 2012 storm damage (See WestportNow Jan. 24, 2018) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Legislature Overrides Malloy Veto, Delaying a Budget Cut

By Mark Pazniokas

With little debate or fanfare, the General Assembly voted today to override Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of a bill that delays cuts in a Medicare assistance program until July, quieting a public outcry over tighter eligibility standards.

By votes of 131 to 4 in the House and 30 to 1 in the Senate, legislators delivered on a promise to fully fund a program that uses Medicaid funds to help poor elderly and disabled patients pay for health care costs that Medicare does not cover.

New eligibility limits for the Medicare Savings Program that lawmakers wrote into the state budget were projected to save $54 million this fiscal year and about $130 million in 2018-19. The override vote delays the imposition of the new limits until July 1.

Unless the legislature makes further changes in the eligibility standards in the 2018 session that opens next week, lawmakers could face another outcry over the program this summer, as legislators turn to their campaigns for re-election.

Malloy Seeks Tolls, Gas-Tax Hike to Rebuild Transportation Network

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will ask legislators this year to establish electronic tolling on Connecticut highways by mid-2022 and to phase in a seven-cent gasoline tax hike to not only avert insolvency in the transportation program but also fund a major, 30-year rebuilding initiative.

Malloy, who announced his plans today, will propose the final budget adjustments of his administration next week to the General Assembly.

The governor, who declared last year he would not seek a third term, said these revenues would rescue not only an aging, clogged network but also an economy handicapped by an inadequate transportation infrastructure.

“We stand at a crossroads in Connecticut,” the governor said during a mid-morning announcement at the Capitol. “We need to make a decision, and we need to make it soon.”

Malloy, Fasano Heat Up Transportation Debate

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state Senate’s top Republican today intensified their debate over an issue expected to be the focal point in Malloy’s final budget proposal: transportation.

The Democratic governor accused Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, of misleading the public about an impending transportation crisis.

Fasano countered the governor and his fellow Democrats were rushing forward without sufficient information.

Though Malloy hasn’t disclosed specifics, the governor is expected to urge lawmakers to support higher gasoline taxes and tolls to fund a major transportation investment program.

Comings & Goings: Happy Town Nails Relocates Image
Happy Town Nails, manicure, pedicure and waxing salon, has opened at 719 Post Road East, having closed its operations at 380 Post Road East in the Compo Acres Shopping Center in August when its lease expired, according to an employee. Happy Town Nails’ new space was formerly occupied by Effi’s Salon which relocated to 484 Riverside Ave. in October after 18 years at that location.  (See WestportNow Oct. 25, 2017) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for