Rafael O. Laredo of Daphne, AL, died Oct. 22, 2020. He was 70. The cause was a lung disorder.
Rafael was born in Mexico City, Mexico on Oct. 6, 1950. His father, Rafael C. Laredo, was Cuban, and his mother, Ann (Duncan) Laredo, was American. Known as Rafa, he grew up in Mexico, Cuba, and Chile, moving to Westport in 1964. He graduated in 1968 from Staples High School , and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Hartford, CT. Over the years he worked for AVCO Lycoming in Stratford, CT and Teledyne in Houston, Texas. Later, he owned Alloytek Metallurgical Services in Daphne, AL, and was employed by Jet Parts Engineering.
Rafa and his wife Vicky (Pasternak) settled in Daphne, AL in the early 1980s. Vicky predeceased Rafa in 2019. Rafa loved sailing on Mobile Bay with his friend Dennis Hawkins. He belonged to Fairhope Yacht Club.
Survivors include his brother Andrew F. Laredo of Westport, CT, his sister Susan L. Thompson of Higganum, CT, nieces Karolina Laredo, Christina Muro, and Marisa Beauchemin; and nephew Willie Thompson. His father and mother predeceased him.
There will be a memorial gathering to celebrate his life after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 64 Woodside Ave., in the Old Hill section, is in process. Built in 1955, the 1-1/2 story cape has 3,139 square feet, is situated on a one-acre property, and changed ownership last month for $900,000. Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Workers apply road surface sealing material on Richmondville Avenue as part of the Department of Public Works annual Roadway Crack Seal program, which began on Oct. 23. The project will cover approximately seven miles of roadway and is expected to be finished by the end of nest week, according to the workers on the site today. Traffic is not detoured during this project. Instead, alternating one-way traffic flow is used to route traffic around the continually moving work zone. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Staff in the town clerk’s office work on getting ballots together, including, from left, Tatiana Plachi, assistant town clerk, Ruth Cavayero, deputy town clerk, and Patty Strauss, town clerk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com
While national results were still up in the air Tuesday night, Westport went with Joseph Biden for president with 12,775, while giving Donald Trump 4,184.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Himes saw reelection, gathering 11,968 votes in Westport, while his Republican challenger got 4,881 in town.
State Sen. Will Haskell won reelection to his 26th District seat, getting 10,230 votes in Westport as compared to his GOP challenger Kim Healy’s 4,721.
One of the major stories of the day was the large number of absentee ballots that were returned to Town Hall—a direct result of the pandemic.
“Over 9,400 ballots (were) counted,” said Town Clerk Patty Strauss, who said approximately 93 percent of the 10,183 ballots issued were returned.
“It’s huge for us to have that large of a turnout,” she said, with more than 17,500 of Westport’s 19,970 registered voters casting ballots—a record-breaking turnout of more than 85 percent.
“Obviously this is a very important election … and people are voting because they feel their voting is important,” Strauss said.
“I don’t know how people are voting, but it certainly has energized them,” she said.
Strauss noted that while typically eight to 10 percent of the town’s electorate vote by mail, this year it was close to 50 percent.
Election Day Registration also saw a large turnout, according to Gabby Signore, assistant registrar.
“We’ve been pretty steady,” she said. “We’re at about 150.”
She noted that last year the number was only around 65, but noted it was an off election year with only local races.
She said, however, that the town’s registrar of voters were predicting the turnout for same-day voting would be anywhere from 300 to even 1,000.
“I had a feeling it was not going to be that high,” she said.
State Senator Will Haskell, U.S. Congressman Jim Himes, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg at Wakeman Town Farm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Democratic incumbents sailed to victory in Westport tonight with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, state Sen. Will Haskell and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg besting their Republican opponents here by around 1,000 votes or more at the polls.
The initial results do not include mail-in or absentee ballots.
Steinberg, who serves the 136th District, beat Chip Stephens by 4,124 to 3,298 poll-only votes, assuring him a sixth term.
The only other Connecticut representative to serve sixth term was Sarah Crawford during the 1960s, Steinberg said.
Locally, Haskell defeated Republican Kim Healy by 4,089 to 2,867. She also garnered 114 running as an Independent.
“I’m feeling cautiously optimistic,” Haskell said at an election night party at Wakeman Town Farm prior to the release of the poll numbers. “This is a district that hasn’t been held by a Democrat since the 1960s.”
In Westport, Himes, who represents the nation’s 4th Congressional District, defeated Republican challenger Jonathan Riddle by 4,753 to 3,202.