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Westporters Dominate Attorney of Year Competition

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Josh Koskoff of Westport (c) has been named 2017 Attorney of the Year by the Connecticut Law Tribune. Koskoff of Bridgeport’s Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, is counsel for Newtown families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. The two other finalists were retired Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas of Westport and attorney Dana Hrelic, partner at Hartford-based Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque, P.C. Picking up the awards for Nevas and Hrelic were Nevas’s son, Andy (l) of Westport, and Wesley Horton (r). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) ALM photo

Comings & Goings: Rye Deli Aiming to Open This Month

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Rye Ridge Deli, 159 Main St., is aiming to open this month, according to Wilton resident Scott Martin (l) who co-owns the eatery with Michael Ventorino (r) of Armonk, New York. Martin, sole owner of Rye Ridge Deli in Stamford and Rye Brook, New York, said, “We’re making very good progress and our new signage was just installed.” Both Martin and Ventorino paid homage to the legacy of the late Lee Papageorge, the longtime owner of the iconic Oscar’s Deli that formerly occupied that space. “I wish I knew Lee, said Martin. “Everyone we meet talks about him with so much admiration.” The new deli will retain a mural that long decorated Oscar’s wall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

No Budget Progress Amid a Day of Political Theater

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut’s budget drama continued today with two plot twists: the failure of the House to override the veto of a Republican-authored budget, followed by a Democratic challenge for the GOP to accept a legally suspect measure to temporarily stabilize public services while continuing negotiations.

The first was preordained, the second unexpected. Neither substantially advanced the slowly unfolding story of a state in fiscal chaos, where a Democratic lame-duck governor and a closely divided General Assembly have failed to agree on a budget for a fiscal year that opened July 1 and is now one-quarter gone.

After a brief meeting with legislative leaders at day’s end, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told reporters the search for middle ground on the budget would continue. He said, “I think everyone in the room realizes that we need to get a budget and we need to get it sooner rather than later.”

The governor added there is a recognition that the chances of getting any new budget enacted this month grow slim after Oct. 13 because of legislative scheduling challenges.

Comings & Goings: Age of Reason Reopens

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Owner Dina Berger poses in her Age of Reason educational toys and bookstore that has reopened at 9 Post Road West, opposite the National Hall building. The business, a Westport staple since November 1983 , closed its doors down the block at 19 Post Road West in April. She said the new space, 850-square feet, is about one-third less space than its prior location. “Long-time customers are happy to see us back again,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Comings & Goings: Savvy & Grace to Main Street

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Savvy & Grace, an eclectic gift shop catering to women, men and children, has opened at 146-148 Main St. under Tavern on Main Restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Coldwell Banker real estate. Owner Annette Monroe (above), a Monroe resident, said the store offers “a wide range of gifts, appeals to savvy customers, everything at good prices and complimentary gift wrapping too.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Malloy Vetoes Budget, Seeks ‘Honest Dialogue’

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today delivered on his vow to veto the Republican budget unexpectedly passed with a handful of Democratic votes.

He called it a gimmick-laden measure that would consign Hartford to bankruptcy, devastate public higher education, invite certain lawsuits from state employees and add to Connecticut’s pension liabilities.

“In sum, this budget is unbalanced, unsustainable and unwise,” Malloy wrote in his message.

The veto came as the state was wrapping its 13th week without a budget, continuing an impasse that Malloy says could continue indefinitely if not resolved in the next two weeks.

Comings & Goings: HSBC Bank to Bedford Square

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HSBC Bank, 19 Post Road East, will relocate one block away to the recently built Bedford Square.  According to David Waldman, a Bedford Square principal, the bank will occupy a segment of the upper level facing Elm Street in early 2018. Richard Barnes, HSBC branch manager, said a 10-year lease at its current 5,500-square foot location expires soon. The Westport, Darien and Stamford locations are among 235 HSBC branches throughout the country. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Comings & Goings: Pop-Up Cashmere Store to Main St.

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The Cashmere Sale, a pop-up store specializing in cashmere offerings for women, men, and children, will open Oct. 22 and remain until Dec. 10 at 56 Main St. in space formerly occupied by Sperry Top-Sider. Owner Joy Schwartz, a Stamford resident, said this is its third holiday season in Westport, the first two years in a space at the corner of Post Road East and Taylor Place. Schwartz said the store offers “in season, high quality cashmere at factory-direct-to-you prices.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Comings & Goings: Nic + Zoe to Bedford Square

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Nic + Zoe, the Boston-based women’s apparel and accessories store, will open in October in Bedford Square on Church Lane, according to David Waldman, a principal of Bedford Square Development. Other Nic + Zoe locations are in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Hingham and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, King of Prussia, Pennnsylvania, and Garden City, New York. The Nic + Zoe line of clothing is also distributed through high end department and boutique stores including Nordstrom and Saks. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

GOP, Dems Both Lack Solution to CT’s Cycle of Budget Deficits

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Despite their many disagreements over how the next state budget should look, Republican and Democratic legislators have one key element in common.

Neither of their respective plans would spare Connecticut from grappling with another massive budget deficit two years from now.

The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis says the two-year budget crafted by Republican legislators and passed in the House and Senate late last week would balance the state’s books this fiscal year and next — wiping out a $3.5 billion deficit in the process.

But that same plan, unless adjusted, would run $3.31 billion in the red between 2019 and 2021.