Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Real Estate Report: Colonials Are King
By Judy Szablak
Traditional and transitional colonial-style homes reign supreme in Westport, and continue to be the most marketable properties with the best resale value.
This home at 167 Compo Road South is listed at $1,799,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of William Pitt Sotheby’s-Southport/Fairfield
Comprising 63 percent of the 289 available homes for sale, these mostly five-bedroom homes average just over 4,250 square feet, with an average list price of $2,163,117.
In the past year, more than two-thirds of the reported sales through our local MLS were colonial-style homes, and the average sales price of these 273 homes during the last 12 months was $1,634,577.
Although there might seem to be a great disparity in the average pricing of what’s currently on the market as opposed to what has closed in the last year, the significant price increase is due largely in part to the amount of new construction.
Parking at Premium
The eastbound parking lot at the Metro-North Westport station was full as usual early today, but there was additional traffic on that side as all drop-offs were directed away from Railroad Place. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Police Chief: More Commuters Today
Westport Police Chief Dale Call on Railroad Place today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Police Chief Dale Call said there were far more shuttle buses early today to the Westport station with more riders than on Monday.
“There are many more from out of town,” he said as he surveyed traffic on Railroad Place, where the buses were dropping off commuters from Westport and Fairfield and Bridgeport.
“Yesterday there were three buses,” he said shortly before 7 a.m. “Today it’s a steady stream of buses. There are definitely more commuters here than yesterday and there seems like more cars in lots than yesterday.”
He said the situation was “very orderly today. Commuters are an adaptable group.They learned the drill yesterday and everything is smooth today.”
Bus to Train
Bus shuttles operated for the second day today to the Metro-North station in Westport from Fairfield and Bridgeport. Westport Transit buses also operated as usual with the exception of service to Green’s Farms, where there was no train service. But there was shuttle service from Green’s Farms to Saugatuck for those parking at Green’s Farms. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Commuters await the 6:34 a.m. today at the Westport Metro-North station. Police said traffic today appeared to be about the same as Monday—but I-95 began to back up earlier today than Monday in the Bridgeport area, according to I-95 cameras. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Plenty of Room on This Car
There was plenty of room aboard the 6:03 a.m. from Westport to Grand Central today as limited service continued on the New Haven Line. The prior train, the 5:47 a.m., was packed, according to a Metro-North worker. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
More Commuters Today
Cars head to the Westport Metro-North station early today as limited service continued on the New Haven Line following Friday’s derailment. Westport Officer Mark Pocius said there appeared to be more commuters today than Monday when many riders stayed home. Metro-North said full service will resume Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2013”
11 a.m. – Greens Farms Elementary School – Food Service Advisory/Health Wellness Committee
Noon - Westport Public Library - Elinor Lipman, “The View from Penthouse B”
6 p.m. - Inn at Longshore - Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce “First Citizen Awards”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Rolnick Observatory (182 Bayberry Lane) - Professor Matthew Pappas: Exoplanets: A Census of Our Interstellar Neighbors
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Monday, May 20, 2013
Waiting to Board
New Haven Line Full Service to Resume Wednesday
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today that full Metro-North New Haven Line service will resume Wednesday morning.
Commuters just off a traijn shortly after 6 p.m. today board buses at the Westport station bound for Fairfield and Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
In a televised address, Malloy said Tuesday’s commute will remain “a challenge” and asked residents to avoid travel if at all possible.
A Metro-North statement said a five-day reconstruction of track infrastructure damaged in a derailment Friday in Bridgeport has progressed to such a degree to allow resumption of service.
About 100 workers are on the job, which has been ongoing around the clock since Saturday night when the National Transportation Safety Board completed its initial investigation of the scene and allowed Metro-North to begin removing the two, eight-car trains, Metro-North said.
Comings & Goings: Steam to Green’s Farms Station
A new coffee, bakery and sandwich shop, Steam, will open at the Green’s Farms Metro-North station by late June, according to co-owners Briana Pennell and Chris Barrett. They were awarded the right to use the site in a Town of Westport competitive bid process. Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas was at the station today with the couple. “Renovations began about one week ago, and the new business should be operational sometime in mid to late June,” he said. Norwalk resident Pennell, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, is a pastry chef. Barrett, a Stamford resident, has a background in the restaurant business. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Police Close Commuter Lot to Accommodate Buses
The Westport Police Department said today that parking lot No. 2 at the Westport station in Saugatuck will be closed to commuter parking until 9 a.m. Tuesday to accommodate buses.
A Norwallk Transit District bus picks up passengers today in a parking lot adjacent to lot No. 2 at the Westport station. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
The lot is at the end of Railroad Place adjacent to the New York-bound tracks.
A statement said Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Norwalk Transit District (NTD) shuttle buses will be using this lot to stage, drop off and pick up riders.
“In order to turn buses, no cars can be parked here,” the statement said. “This will impact about 50 spaces until 9 a.m.. If demand is low then the lot will be opened sooner.”
Dense Fog Advisory
The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. has issued a dense fog advisory for Westport and area in effect from midnight today to 10 a.m. Tuesday.
An advisory said visibility at times will be one-quarter mile or less at times.
Metro-North President: Extra Track Inspections Ordered
Howard Permut: safety highest priority. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The president of Metro-North Railroad, Howard Permut, told riders today the railroad has upgraded its inspection of tracks following the derailment and collision in Bridgeport.
In a message posted on the Metro-North website, Permut said: “Since Friday, we have taken extra precautions, including additional track inspections, and will increase this effort going forward.”
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said they had taken particular interest in a fracture in a section of the eastbound track at the collision site. But they were unsure whether the fracture happened before the derailment or as a result of it.
“I assure you that all the employees at Metro-North are working diligently to operate the railroad in the safest manner possible,” Permut said.
For Some Commuters, Disruption, Late Work Arrivals
By James Lomuscio
Nicole Bell and Luz Cabal had already spent an hour riding the shuttle bus from Bridgeport to Westport to get the train, but their morning commute to work at The Home Depot in Norwalk was far from over.
Commuters arrive and depart today at the Westport train staton. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com
“We have to get to South Norwalk now to take a shuttle bus to get to the Wheels hub to take another bus to get to Home Depot,” Cabal said as she waited patiently for the southbound 9:37 a.m. at the Westport train station in Saugatuck.
It would be one of the few trains running due to disrupted service because of Friday evening’s derailment and collision in Bridgeport that sent 60 to the hospital, some with serious injuries.
“I was supposed to be at work at 8 today,” Bell said. “But, they know. I’ll have to be up at 5 a.m. tomorrow.”
‘Orderly’ Resumption of Train Service from Westport
UPDATE It was relatively smooth going today as Metro-North train service on the New Haven Line resumed from Westport for the first time since Friday night’s Bridgeport crash caused a rail shutdown.
Commuters await the 6:34 a.m. out of Westport today on the side that is usually New Haven-bound. The train arrived five minutes late. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“It’s been very orderly,” said Police Chief Dale Call shortly after 8 a.m. “Commuters seem to have heeded the governor’s request to stagger departure times. Many are staying home today. Some were surprised the trains were running.” But he expressed concern about Tuesday morning, saying more commuters are likely to return to the trains then.
State Department of Transportation officials estimated the number of morning commuters was down about 81 percent from normal ridership, according to Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. He reviewed the morning’s operations in a late morning conference call with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state officials.
Malloy, who advised commuters on Sunday to stay home, scheduled another public update at 6 p.m. today.
Commuter Coffee: ‘It’s Dead Here’
Today’s resumption of service from the Westport train station was a disaster for the Commuter Coffee shop on Railroad Place, blocked off for only buses. “It’s dead here,” said Fred Whelan who was behind the counter awaiting customers. “No one knows there are trains,” he said. “And they are boarding trains on the other side. They go right to the platform.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Police Chief: ‘Orderly’ Today, Concern About Tuesday
Westport Police Chief Dale Call (r ), supervising operations today at the Westport train station with Deputy Chief Foti Koskinas, said the morning commute so far has been “very orderly.” “Commuters seem to have heeded the governor’s request to stagger departure times,” he said. But he expressed concern about Tuesday morning. “Many are staying home today,” Call said. “Some were surprised there were trains running.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Reverse Commute: Change at Westport
A Moment of Unusually Light Traffic
UPDATE Traffic seemed unusually light at 7:45 a.m. today on Riverside Avenue approaching the Westport train station in Saugatuck. Police directed all drop offs to the New Haven-bound side. Police anticipated a crush of traffic and commuters as service resumed from Westport for the first time since Friday night’s Bridgeport derailment. Westport Police Capt. Sam Arciola said many people who stayed home from work drove to the Westport staton to see what the situation was. “Many commuters came here to board a bus to South Norwalk and were surprised to learn that trains were running,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Keeping Traffic Flowing
Westport police made use of newly acquired electronic variable message signs—paid for with federal funds—to help direct traffic around the Westport train station today. Westport’s top police brass, including Chief Dale Call and Deputy Chief Foti Koskinas, were on the scene to supervise activities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
New Bus to Train Commute
Commuters arrive at the Westport train station today after getting off a Greater Bridgeport Transit bus. Buses brought riders from points east to Westport where Metro-North said there was limited service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Better Late Than Never
The first scheduled New York-bound train out of Westport today, the 4:47 a.m., was delayed until 5:11 a.m. due to “mechanical failures,” according to announcements at the Westport station..“Despite the delay, early commuters were thrilled to have train service,” said rider Don Uselmann. Metro-North said there would be limited service from Westport today as service resumed for the first time since Friday night’s derailment and crash in Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Don Uselmann for WestportNow.com
Monday, May 20, 2013
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2013”
6 p.m. – Staples Room 1025C – Board of Education Executive Session
7:30 p.m. – Staples Cafeteria B – Board of Education Public Meeting (live coverage cable channel 78, AT&T channel 99, and www.westport.k12.ct.us)
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Ron Berler, “Raising the Curve: a Year Inside One of America’s 45,000 Failing Public Schools”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Ceremony Marks Start of Boating Season
The 47th annual Commissioning Day ceremony for Westport’s Minuteman Yacht Club was held today at the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach. Commodore Stewart Reitler (l) welcomed members and friends .Guests participating in the ceremony, marking the official start of the boating season, included Selectman Charles Haberstroh, Library Director Maxine Bleiweis, and the the Rev. Allison J. Patton, pastor of the Saugatuck Congregational Church. Established in 1966, the Minuteman Yacht Club was organized to promote the pleasures of boating in Westport and on Long Island Sound. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Raising the Flag at Ned Dimes Marina
Westport Minuteman Yacht Club Rear Commodore Per Sorensen today observes the raising of the flag by Boy Scouts Andrew Berry, David Dickison, Richard Costello and Dylan Murray of Troop 100 at the 47th annual Commissioning Day ceremony. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Transit District Update
The Westport Transit District issued the following update for Monday:
No service on the G1 and G2 shuttles to the Greens Farm’s station.
There will be a shuttle service from the Greens Farm’s station to the Saugatuck station. These will be vehicles with a limited carrying capacity. It will run a continuous loop during peak hours. There is no charge for this service.
Regular Saugatuck shuttles S1, S2, S3, S4, and Imperial lot will operate. ADA and door-to-door service will operate on a regular schedule.
Clearing the Tracks
Workers clear the rails today at the Bridgeport site of the derailment and train collision. Officials said by late today, all train cars involved had been removed. Metro-North officials said service disruptions will continue well into this week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) MTA photo
Westport Police Detail Monday Traffic Plans
UPDATE The Westport Police Department said today with Metro-North running limited service Monday from Saugatuck—and none from Green’s Farms—commuters from Westport should expect riders from points east to take buses to Westport for trains to Grand Central Terminal.
“This will have a significant impact on the Saugatuck station,” a statement said. “Additional police personnel will be on duty.”
“At this time, Metro North estimates that they will be running at about 75 percent capacity from Westport,” the statement said.
“All bus drop-offs and pick-ups will be on Railroad Place.”
State DOT Outlines Monday Transportation Plan
The Connecticut Department of Transportation today announced a Connecticut commuter service plan in effect for Monday and until further notice on the New Haven Line that includes limited service from Westport to Grand Central Terminal.
The service plan requires buses in some locations, it said.
For the morniing peak period, the plan calls for a local service between Bridgeport, Fairfield Metro, Fairfield and Westport Stations (no bus service from Green’s Farms and Southport Stations) with limited train service from Westport Station.
There will be regular train service from South Norwalk Station to Grand Central Terminal.
Metro-North Service from Westport on Monday
UPDATE Metro-North train service will extend to Westport on Monday on a limited basis, the state Department of Transportaton said today as state and local officials braced for a transportation crush due to the New Haven Line service outage.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, in a televised address at 6 p.m., urged residents not to travel if at all possible and once in New York, if that is their destination, to consider overnighting there. He said rainy weather will add to the travel woes.
“If at all possible, avoid the mess altogether and work from home or go in later, if you can,” he said. “The delays will not be limited to mass transit—as more people get behind the wheel, traffic on our highways will be worse.”
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said that police were preparing for extra traffic around the Sauagatuck area, especially incoming buses from other stations He said commuters in any case should plan on a delayed commute.
Jumping the Curb
Malloy to Give Transit Update at 6 p.m.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy returned to the Bridgeport train derailment site today to get an update on progress clearing the tracks. He scheduled a 6 p.m. statement from the State Armory in Hartford to give a rail update and outline plans for alternate transporation for New Haven Line riders. Contributed photo
PROPERTY TRANSFERSWestport Property Transfers April 29 - May 3, 2013
ARTS & LEISURE
HEALTH & FITNESS
SPECIAL REPORTSMORE >>
“Disaster” seems a bit strong.
“Disaster” seems a bit strong.by Jerry Kuyper
My sincere sympathy to the children and loved ones of…
My sincere sympathy to the children and loved ones of…by Marjorie C. Santella
My deepest sympathy to “Polly"s loved ones. I remember many…
My deepest sympathy to “Polly"s loved ones. I remember many…by Marjorie C. Santella
And a Ducati….!!!
And a Ducati….!!!by john shuck
Taking one of Westport’s cabs from here to S. Norwalk…
Taking one of Westport’s cabs from here to S. Norwalk…by Daniel Katz
Reader nominations welcome:
Metro-North Train Schedule
Real-Time MN Train Info
Westport Bus Schedule
Coastal Link Bus Schedule
Westport Town Web site
Westport School District
Westport Public Library
Westport Parks & Recreation
PAL Ice Rink
Westport Health District
Animal Shelter Adv. WASA
Westport Arts Center
Westport Historical Society
Westport Crime Reports
We Green Westport
Green Village Initiative
Neighbors & Newcomers
Westport Cinema Initiative
Westport Locals for Locals
League of Women Voters
Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Merchants Assn.
Sherwood Is. Nature Center
National Weather Service
Westport Tide Table
Westport Area Restaurants
Westport Yellow Pages
Westport Area Movie Times
Westport Census Info
2 Farm Shares
The Better Crumb
Crisis Management for Business
CT News Junkie
Deirdre’s Sloppy Studio
Fishing-Foto-Fun (Dick Alley)
Friends of Westport Parks/Rec
French Food & Me
Got Questions? Ask Doris
Jessica Bram's Blog
Kosher Like Me
Living with Technology
Make & Mingle
Much Ado About Stuffing
Nina Pomeroy Photography
Open the Door
Our Town Crier
Prill Boyle's Defying Gravity
RE Gem of the Week
Robert Steven Williams
Sherwood Island Friends
Taking the Kids
Westport Weather Website
Westport's Knitting Librarian
Who, What, When–and Y
Wild Side of Westport
Suggest a Westport-area blog by sending email to
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport