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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Speaker Offers Phase-in Compromise on Teacher Pensions

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz today offered a compromise on one of the stickiest points in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget: asking communities to gradually assume a portion of skyrocketing teacher pension costs.

Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, suggested cities and towns assume one-third of these pension costs — or possibly less — but do so in stages over the next five fiscal years.

The speaker offered this alternative during a panel discussion on state finances with House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, and Malloy budget director Ben Barnes.

The panel was the opening event at state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier’s 2017 Public Finance Outlook Conference at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

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03/29/17 03:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

News-12 Connecticut: A Bit Less Local

Cablevision’s News-12 Connecticut, whose slogan is “as local as local news gets,” is a bit less local now.

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Ton Appleby, veteran news director of News-12 Connecticut, lamented the rise of social media as the primary source of news for Americans at a Westport Chamber of Commerce dinner last year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

As announced last October, new owner European telecom company Altice effective this week has moved production work from its Norwalk Cross Street facility to Edison, N.J.

While the news assignment desk, reporters, and videographers remain, familiar anchor faces, including almost 34-year veteran Tom Appleby, are gone.

Westporter Appleby, 72, has been with Cablevision since 1984, serving as vice president, general manager, and news director.

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03/29/17 03:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Suspected Car Burglars Call Cops for Accident Help, Get Arrested

Officers arrested two men and a woman suspected in a vehicle theft early today who called for help after the vehicle they were in was rear ended near Coleytown Elementary and Coleytown Middle Schools, police said.

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Arrested: (l-r) Reginald Sharp, Alexis Haythe, and Rashad Spain. Westport Police photos

According to Lt. David Farrell, the incident began at 1:15 a.m. when officers were dispatched to the report of a crash on North Avenue between Easton Road and Coleytown Road.

“The caller reported that the suspect vehicle struck the rear of their vehicle, causing the suspect vehicle to roll over,” Farrell said.

The caller reported the suspect vehicle operator, described as a black male, then fled the scene on foot, he added.

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03/29/17 12:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Replacement of Saugatuck Island Bridge Finally Underway

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Work was underway today on replacement of the 1929-built Saugatuck Island one-car-at-a-time, timber-and-pile bridge. Patchwork repairs over the years sufficed until it was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Working in concert with the Saugatuck Island Taxing District (SITD), which owns the bridge, the town in 2015 won a $1.3 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to replace the bridge. It will cover 75 percent of the cost, which will be supplemented by state funds. A slightly longer bridge with steel pilings and a concrete deck is planned. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Irene Penny for WestportNow.com

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03/29/17 11:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Granger at the Movies: ‘Life,’ ‘The Red Turtle,’ ‘Wilson’

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Seeing “Life” reminded me that renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking has cautioned that contact with alien life could spell disaster for the human race: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.”

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But Hawking’s grim warning has not deterred cosmic exploration.

After Mission Specialist Rory Adams’ (Ryan Reynolds) risky retrieval of a damaged capsule containing valuable soil samples from Mars, the crew of the International Space Station’s Pilgrim 7 has reason to celebrate.

Along with Adams, astronauts Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), Sho Murakami (Hiroyuki Sanada), Ekaterina Golovinka (Olga Dihovichnaya), and Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) are concluding their eight-month exploratory mission.

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03/29/17 08:57 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Exhibit: “MORE Than Words: As We Are!”
Noon - Town Hall Room 307/309 - P&Z Commission Affordable Housing Subcommittee
3:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - EK Theater Video Game Puppetry Class
4 p.m. - Westport Library - DeweyKnit: Grade 4 to Adult
6:30 p.m. - Westport Library - Chess Club for Adults
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 104 - Board of Assessment Appeals Adjudication
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “From Hate to Hope”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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03/29/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coleytown Company Readies ‘Cinderella’


Scenes from today’s dress rehearsal by Coleytown Middle School’s Coleytown Company of its production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” which runs Thursday through Saturday. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

The Coleytown Company’s “Cinderella,” running Thursday through Saturday under Artistic Director Benjamin Frimmer, is bringing a modern day vision to the production.

In this version Cinderella, or Ella as she is known, is reimagined as a strong, independent young woman who wants to make the world a better place.

Returning are choreographer and Broadway veteran Michelle Berti and set designer Peter Barbiere.  Joanna Pan is overseeing costume design. Brett Boles is musical director.

In all, 85 eager and talented students have been rehearsing and working hard to make this one of the school’s best productions ever.

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03/28/17 08:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Congress Considers L.I. Sound Program Trump Wants to Defund

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington — Even as President Donald Trump wants to strip all money from the program, a key congressional committee today moved on a bill that would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to spend $65 million a year on cleanup of Long Island Sound.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee considered the “Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act,” a bill cosponsored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, all Democrats.

The bill would reauthorize a number of projects in the Sound for five years including the Long Island Sound Study, the EPA’s Connecticut-New York partnership established in 1985 to oversee restoration of Long Island Sound.

Erin Crotty, the executive director of Audubon New York, testified in support of the legislation, saying the federal money it provides leverages many times more in funding form local and state governments and private donors.

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03/28/17 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bedford Sixth Graders Present ‘The Witches’


Bedford Middle School sixth graders prepare for “The Witches.” Contributed photos

Bedford Middle School sixth grade students present “The Witches,” the Roald Dahl classic tale on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

“The Witches” is a tale of a boy and his grandmother who use their wits to defeat the Grand High Witch’s plan to squelch all the children of England by turning them into mice. 

“This Roald Dahl story is both stupendously scary and gleefully giddy and will appeal to young kids, adolescents and adults alike,” an announcement said.

Tickets are available online at: http://www.bedfordactinggroup.com — $10 for children and $12 for adults. Children 2 and under are free. Seats are also available at the door. 

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03/28/17 06:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lawmakers Set Aside Partisanship to Back Bioscience Industry

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

While partisan politics has bogged down many state legislative debates, Democratic and Republican leaders announced today they can agree on how to better support and plan the growth of Connecticut’s bioscience industry.

Top leaders in the Senate and on the Commerce Committee highlighted three bills that develop a strategy to elevate Connecticut to a national leader in biomedical research.

“Connecticut is locked in a global competition to create good-paying jobs and support high-growth industries,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said. “… Connecticut possesses all of the ingredients to capitalize on the exponential growth that is set to occur in precision medicine and biomedical research.”

“We have an incredible workforce in our state and Connecticut should always be looking at new ways to support those workers and to grow new job opportunities,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tem Len Fasano of North Haven.

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03/28/17 04:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Real Estate Report: Crucial Time

By Judy Szablak

Special to WestportNow

This is a crucial time for those looking to either by or sell a home in Westport.

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Featured Home: This home at 25 Edgemarth Hill Road is listed at $2,945,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Raveis-Southport

There is a need to review the market very carefully, as it continues to shift toward favoring sellers.

Specifically, certain “price pockets” are full of activity, and others are not at all.

It could be that some properties are priced beyond their value and are positioned in an incorrect price range, which would certainly contribute to a lack of movement.

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03/28/17 02:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

Westport real estate price changes over the past week:

21 Hale St.                  $459,000->$449,000
33 Pumpkin Hill Road           $789,000->$769,000
90 Old Road                     $849,500->$799,000
6 Silent Grove                   $998,000->$935,000
68 Bulkley Ave. North   $1,158,000->$1,058,000  
5 Bayberry Ridge Road     $1,249,000->$1,199,000
33 Colony Road             $1,299,000->$1,249,000  
156 North Ave.          $1,399,000->$1,375,000
75 Old Hill Road             $1,749,000->$1,695,000
11 Old Hill Road             $1,799,000->$1,749,000
19 Dover Road             $1,975,000->$1,875,000
7 Tranquility Lane           $2,399,000->$2,095,000
10 Winding Lane             $2,299,000->$2,195,000
55 Morningside Drive South     $2,695,000->$2,495,000
—Judy Szablak

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03/28/17 01:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

CT Mirror Names New CEO, Publisher

The board of directors of The Connecticut News Project, publisher of The Connecticut Mirror and its sister websites TrendCT and CT Viewpoints, announced today that it has named Bruce Putterman as its chief executive officer and publisher.

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Bruce Putterman: takes over April 10. Contributed photo

The Connecticut Mirror is a nonprofit online news publication covering state and federal government, public policy, and politics. WestportNow is a partner of The Connecticut Mirror.

“Connecticut residents can depend on the CT Mirror to keep them informed, making government and policymaking more transparent,” Ulysses B. Hammond CNP’s board president said.

“To be accountable to our mission and audience, this means CNP needs to be agile and cutting edge. Our board was very impressed by Bruce’s leadership skills, record of innovation, business experience, collaborative style, and knowledge of Connecticut. His combination of skills is just what we need to advance our mission.”

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03/28/17 12:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Exhibit: “MORE Than Words: As We Are!”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Film Series: “Loving”
3:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - EK Theater Video Game Puppetry Class
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Westport Library - Artist Reception for “Leona Frank: iDraw!”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Fire Department Strategic Planning Steering Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - RTM Education Committee Canceled
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Westport Transit District
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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03/28/17 12:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sessions Immigration Threat Could Cost CT Millions in Federal Grants

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington — Attorney General Jeff Sessions today threatened to strip Justice Department law enforcement grants from states and cities that do not cooperate completely with federal immigration authorities, which could put millions of dollars received by Connecticut and several of its cities at risk.

The state, and cities including Hartford and New Haven, do not comply with all federal “detainers” — requests to keep jailed immigrants detained for 48 hours after their scheduled release so federal immigration officials can pick them up for deportation. Connecticut law enforcement also has been told by Gov. Dannel Malloy they don’t have to ask those apprehended or detained about their immigration status.

Sessions said these “sanctuaries” for immigrants could also see a “clawback’” of policing money that already has been distributed by the Justice Department. The Office of Justice Programs gives out more than $4 billion in grants every year, including tens of millions of dollars to the state of Connecticut and its cities and towns.

“I urge our nation’s states and cities to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and to rethink these policies,” Sessions said at a White House news conference. “Such policies make their cities and states less safe, and put them at risk of losing valuable federal dollars.”

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03/27/17 10:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

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News-12 Connecticut: A Bit Less Local

Granger at the Movies: ‘Life,’ ‘The Red Turtle,’ ‘Wilson’

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News-12 Connecticut: A Bit Less Local

Lawmakers Set Aside Partisanship to Back Bioscience Industry

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Compo Sunset - 1

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Human Services Gets New Director

Trump Selects Westporter to be FDA Head

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Coleytown Company Readies ‘Cinderella’

Bedford Sixth Graders Present ‘The Witches’

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Speaker Offers Phase-in Compromise on Teacher Pensions

Congress Considers L.I. Sound Program Trump Wants to Defund

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Real Estate Report: Crucial Time

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

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