Tuesday, December 07, 2021

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Carole Patricia Young Ruden, 83

Carole Patricia Young Ruden of Westport (and The Greens in Wilton) died Nov. 12, 2020. She was 83. She was surrounded by her children.

Carol Ruden
Carole Patricia Young Ruden Contributed photo

Born in Far Rockaway, NY, on September 24, 1937, to Barney and Hilda (Zucker) Young, she was the oldest of three daughters and developed an early interest in fashion working at her parents’ clothing store, “Young’s.” She attended Far Rockaway High School and Harcum College, and at the age of 21 married the love of her life, Morton Ruden. The couple moved to Westport in 1969 with their two young sons.

Blessed with many friends and a wide range of interests, she became an expert needlepoint teacher, working on a special mural for Temple Israel in Westport. She began selling silver jewelry from her home in 1978 with a close friend, Carol Turk, who she met during their husbands’ time at NYU Law School. The pair opened the iconic jewelry store Tu-Caroles inside the Top Drawer boutique in 1979. For two decades, the Caroles were early champions of many designers, including David Yurman, Paul Morelli and Lisa Jenks, and were renowned for their unique, fashion-forward selection.

An avid reader and traveler, Carole was a go-to resource for great mystery book recommendations and travel finds. She was often the first one requesting an author’s latest book at the original Westport Public Library. A lover of music, particularly jazz, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, and Shirley Horn were her favorites, and she occasionally displayed her hidden talent for tap dancing, to her family’s amusement.

Upon retirement in 1999, Carole enjoyed attending theater, ballet, and art exhibits in New York, playing cards, and dining at wonderful restaurants, often in the company of her beloved sisters and with her many close friends. She enjoyed the occasional casino trip with Carol and was known for hitting jackpots by picking slot machines based on matching the serial numbers to her children’s birthdays. After developing Alzheimer’s disease in 2010, she retained her sense of joy, even as she retreated from public life. Carole is predeceased by her parents and her husband of 61 years, Mort.

She is survived by her children, David Ruden of Black Rock and Jeffrey and Kelle Ruden of Westport; her sisters, Anita Brause and partner Paul Krinsky of New York City and Waterford, ME, and Sherry Lieb and husband Bob of Livingston, NJ and Frenchman’s Creek, FL, and their families. A resident of The Greens at Cannondale since 2016, Carole was beloved by all who knew her, a model mother, sister and friend. Her devoted sisters, children and the wonderful staff at The Greens brought her comfort and loving care and will miss her greatly.

Funeral services will be private due to the pandemic, with a public memorial to be planned when circumstances permit.

Donations may be made in her honor to the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, 200 Executive Blvd S., Southington, CT 06489. To sign her online guest register, please visit LeskoPolkeFuneralHome.com.

Westport Property Transfers Oct. 26-30, 2020

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Oct. 26-30, 2020:

Gerald Joseph & Roberta Griefer Giannone to David R. & Margaret S. Bliss, 4 Blind Brook Road South, $1,325,000Westport Property Transfers

Philip D. & Lynn Guild Brown to Daniel M. & Vivian Bikel, 83 Sturges Highway, $2,400,000

Maureen J. Miskovic to Martin Fleisher & Andrea Bierstein, 3 Stony Point Road, $4,700,000

Patrick & Susan Hendricks to John Rauh & Nina Foroutan, 8 Keenes Road, $1,150,000

BMX Holdings LLC to Praneet R. & Anuprita Praneet Deo, 16 Sherwood Farms Lane, $1,335,000

Matthew Burrows & Amy Gay to Andrew Thoma & Jeeyun Jennifer Lee, 15 Colonial Road, $1,650,000

John G. Lambros Amended & Restated Revocable Trust to Deane G. Lambros, Unit 3, 230 Saugatuck Ave., $521,230

Robert C. & Constance Sussman to Brooklawn Contractors LLC, 64 Woodside Ave., $900,000

Jennifer S. & Jason M. White to Joshua Greg & Yelana Stavinsky Kaplan, 2 Diamond Hill Lane, $1,600,000

Patricia Anne Vezendy to Gulick Construction LLC, 18 Cranbury Road, $420,000

John P. & Josephine Fuchs Luscombe Tr. to David Alan Bier & Brooke Koller-Faloon, 56 Long Lots Road, $879,000

Lion Holdings LLC to Aicha Boussada & Bret Woodson, Unit 8, 301 Post Road East, $450,000

William E. & Colleen Charlesworth to Timothy J. & Kaitlyn M. Lynch, 10 Ambler Road West, $1,125,000

Kyle & Heather Olson to Zheng Zhang & Hyejeong Eom, 9 Wakenor Road, $1,575,000

Paul & Alexandra Richards Tr. to 19 Old Hill Farms Road LLC, 19 Old Hill Farms Road, $4,800,000

Oliver R. & Amy P. Cook to Danielle Mamelok & Daniel Chiprut, 5 Keenes Road, $1,211,000

LSA Properties LLC to Damon Hack, 10 Heathwood Lane, $1,395,931

Lisa G. Dalinka to Andrew A. & Jill Borst, 10 Boxwood Lane, $2,450,000

Silver Rock Real Estate LLC to Cross Highway Trust, 175A Cross Highway $2,450,000

WPD Asks for Public’s Help in Solving Hit & Run

Nov. 8, 2020 hit and run suspect, Westport, CT
Westport Police Department is investigating a hit and run motor vehicle accident that occurred Sunday Nov. 8, 2020 at approximately 3:26 p.m. near 30 Beachside Ave. During the accident, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that ultimately fled the scene. The pedestrian sustained a significant but non-life threatening leg injury as a result of the crash. Above is a still image of the vehicle captured from surveillance video: a dark colored, four-door sedan that should have damage to the passenger side of the vehicle, including right front-end and right side damage. Anyone who witnessed this accident or can provide information is asked to call the WPD at 203-341-6000 or the Detective Bureau at 203-341-6080. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police Dept.

Peter Anthony (Tony) Eastman, 78

Peter Anthony (Tony) Eastman died Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. He was 78. He was born in Los Angeles, CA on Nov. 8, 1942. The son of Philip Dey (P.D.) Eastman and Mary Louise Whitham, both with careers in animation, he was destined to work in the animation business.

Peter Anthony (Tony) Eastman
Peter Anthony (Tony) Eastman Contributed photo

In 1954, his family moved East to Westport where, as a youth he created flip books and short animated films with a 16mm Bolex movie camera his father bought for him. He soon met his life-long friend, cartoonist Kim Deitch, with whom he created many animated films and a live action film—“Dial M for Monster”—which was filmed in Westport and NYC.

Tony graduated in 1960 from Staples High School, where he excelled in art. His art teacher, Vivian Testa took a special interest in him and encouraged him to apply to the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Shortly before Ms. Testa’s death, Tony was happy to be able to visit her and present her with copies of the children’s books he had written and illustrated.

In 1964 Tony earned a BFA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, where he met his future wife, Susan. While at C.I.T. he produced/directed/animated a short animated film for the school’s 1961 “Scotch and Soda” production, with a story based on Walt Disney’s work, titled “For the Love of Phoebe.”

He married Susan in 1964 and they moved to New York City, buying a loft in Soho in 1972. He worked as a designer of on-air graphics for the CBS network before striking out on his own in the early 1970s, teaching animation at Philadelphia College of Art, working at a variety of NYC animation studios before settling in at R.O. Blechman’s Ink Tank in 1981. There he animated work for PBS/CTW and many commercials, including a Grapefruit Council campaign which featured Jim Jinkins “Doug” before he was “Doug.” He also animated on R.O. Blechman’s “The Soldier’s Tale.”

In 1989 Random House hired him to direct six Richard Scarry “Best Ever” videos: “Best ABC Video Ever,” “Best Counting Video Ever,” etc., animated adaptations of Richard Scarry’s work.

By the early 1990s, he connected with J.J. Sedelmaier Productions. Tony had given J.J. his start in animation, hiring him as an assistant in the early ‘80s. At J.J.‘s studio Tony was head animator the first season of MTV’s “Beavis and Butt-Head,” and animated the memorable TV Funhouse segments on “Saturday Night Live” along with various TV commercials, including Old Navy, Northern Tissue, Ortho, and 7UP. He worked for MTV as storyboard artist on later seasons of “Beavis and Butt-Head” and as storyboard consultant on Daria. At Jumbo Pictures he acted as supervising director on “Doug” for Nickelodeon, at Curious Pictures for “Sheep in the Big City” (Mo Willems) and Cartoon Network’s “Codename: Kid’s Next Door.”

In 1998, Tony returned to Westport. Just as animation was shifting from paper and pencil drawing to computer generated, a new field opened up for him. Random House reissued his father, P.D. Eastman’s, book of opposites, “Big Dog … Little Dog”, in the Beginner Books format. Tony created new artwork based on his father’s original drawings for this book, which was released in 2003 as B-92, and led to Random House asking Tony to create new Beginner Books featuring Fred and Ted. In 2005 he released “Fred and Ted Go Camping” (B-94), credited under his birth name, Peter Eastman. He followed up with “Fred and Ted Like to Fly” (B-96, 2007) and “Fred and Ted’s Road Trip” (B-100, 2011).

Tony was a multi-talented, kind and generous person. He was an avid collector of many things—film, records, vintage TVs, and radios—in addition to vintage VWs. He had a full, wonderful life and is missed by his many friends. He is survived by his wife, Susan, of Westport, and their sons, Seth and Eric, of New York City.

Marpe: Westport COVID-19 Classification Now Red

First Selectman Jim Marpe issued the following statement today:

Westport COVID Red as of Nov. 13, 2020
Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town – Westport data highlighted (CLICK TO ENLARGE) CT Dept. of Public Health

The State of Connecticut has implemented a color-coded map indicating the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases among persons living in community settings per 100,000 population by town. According to a 14-day rolling average, Westport has a rate of 22.4 corresponding to the “red” category of 15+ cases per 100,000.  The colors are meant to give communities an accurate account of the prevalence of COVID-19 so that appropriate personal precautions can be managed. The map and additional data links may be found at www.westportct.gov/covid19.

Given this status, the CT Department of Health (DPH) recommends the following:

  • High risk individuals stay home and stay safe.
  • Others should limit trips outside of the home and avoid gatherings with non-family members.
  • Organized indoor activities, as well as outdoor activities where social distancing and mask wearing cannot be maintained, should be postponed.
  • Gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people.

As noted in our November 12 press release, the new COVID cases are primarily a result of large gatherings, parties and organized sports activities. As such, the Westport Public Schools, Westport businesses and restaurants and other public facilities will continue to operate under the State’s Phase 2.1 guidelines. The Westport Library will remain open with its expanded hours and services (M-F 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). All Library events will continue to be virtual.  Visit www.westportlibrary.org for more information.

The Parks and Recreation Department acknowledges that it is important for individuals and families to get outside and exercise. As a result, 

  • Fields, beaches and parks will remain open with reinstituted rules regarding court usage. Facility users are expected wear a face covering if a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained with those who do not live in the same household. Higher risk sports, such as boy’s lacrosse and 11-on-11 football, should not take place.
  • The Compo Beach skatepark and basketball courts will remain open but may be closed if proper guidelines are not followed.
  • The Longshore Golf Course remains open. Beginning tomorrow, Saturday, November 14, golf cart rentals will go back to single rider only (unless in same household).
  • The Parks & Recreation Department has revoked field permits and will not issue new permits until further notice.

In closing, I remind everyone to follow the CDC guidance to social distance, limit gatherings, wear a face covering and practice good personal hygiene.

Scarice: Staples Full Remote through Nov. 25, Bedford/Coleytown Returns to Hybrid Nov. 16

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

As you know we had to move Staples High School and Bedford/Coleytown Middle School to remote learning on November 12th and 13th. The main cause for this temporary switch to remote learning was our inability to properly staff these schools given the number placed in quarantine from exposures to positive COVID-19 cases. Unfortunately the number of staff put into quarantine at Staples High School has continued to rise significantly over the past two days impacting our decision about the status of both schools for next week.

Starting Monday, November 16th, Staples High School will remain in a full remote teaching model through November 25th. The majority of our staff in quarantine will be coming out of that status over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, so we anticipate Staples returning to hybrid operation on November 30th.

Starting Monday, November 16th, Bedford/Coleytown Middle School will return to its hybrid model for instruction. The District is redeploying 9 staff members from Staples High School to the middle school who will assist with coverage needs.

The decision to keep Staples High School in a full remote model of instruction through Thanksgiving was not made lightly. In my communication to you Wednesday evening about the initial move to two days of remote instruction at Staples, 27 staff members were in some period of quarantine. As of the time I am writing to you this afternoon, that number has risen to 44. In addition, nearly 350 students have been asked to quarantine as well. The significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases at Staples, and associated quarantines, this past week has made it impossible for us to maintain in-person instruction at the high school.

Despite the District’s issues with quarantining staff, I believe the decisions outlined above will serve our middle school and high school students best at this time. The high school students will have access to instruction from their teachers through remote means, and the period of separation may assist with slowing down the number of positive cases in the building. The middle school students will regain critical access to in-person learning and maintain productive contact with their teachers, even those in quarantine, because of our redeployment of high school personnel. I reiterate that my goal is to have all students in school as much as possible, so this approach to addressing the short-term needs of both secondary schools is the best one towards achieving that goal after Thanksgiving.

In the weeks ahead it is critical that all of our students, staff and families do everything possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The issues we have faced this week are not the result of significant spread within the walls of our schools. In fact, the schools, in many ways, are some of the safest locations for your children. However, a significant rise in community transmission negates the mitigation measures in our schools and thus drastically increases possible spread in our classrooms.

Mr. Thomas, Principal of Staples High School, Ms. Szabo, Principal of Coleytown Middle School, and Dr. Rosen, Principal of Bedford Middle School, will send additional information to their students, families, and staff about plans for the days ahead. In the meantime, I ask that students and families at all of our schools maintain vigilance with adherence to mitigation measures that will ultimately keep us all safe.

Sincerely,
Thomas Scarice
Superintendent

Baby Formula Thefts Arrests Net Fugitive from Justice

Louis Valentin and Candido Quiles-Rivera arrested for baby formula theft in Westport, CT, Nov. 13, 2020
Louis Valentin and Candido Quiles-Rivera arrested for baby formula theft. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Police Dept.

Officers arrested two New Haven men Wednesday, one of them a fugitive from justice, for stealing more than $580 worth of baby formula from Walgreens and Stop & Shop, police said today.

Upon their arrests, Louis Valentin, 43, was charged with two counts of second-degree larceny and two counts of conspiracy in the second degree. For these charges, he was issued a written promise to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Thursday, Dec. 17.

In addition, computer checks showed that Valentin was the subject of an active and extraditable arrest warrant held by the New York City Police Department. As a result, Valentin was also charged with being a fugitive from Justice, and his bond was set at $100,000.00, which he was unable to post. For that charge he is set to be arraigned at Stamford Superior Court today.

Candido Quiles-Rivera, 50, was charged with two counts of second-degree larceny and two counts of conspiracy to commit larceny. He was released on a promise to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Computer checks found that Quiles-Rivera was also the subject of an active arrest warrant held by the New Haven Police Department. He was released to the custody of officers from that department for arrest processing relative to their case, police said.

According to the arrest report, the incident unfolded around 10:17 a.m. Wednesday when officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at Walgreens Pharmacy at 880 Post Road East.

“It was reported by store staff someone had just stolen approximately $380 in baby formula,” said Lt. Anthony Prezioso.

He said a description of the suspect, as well as his vehicle and registration plate, were provided by an employee.

“This information was broadcast to all officers,” Prezioso said. “Shortly after hearing this broadcast, another officer located the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of Stop & Shop, 1790 Post Road East.”

He said that upon discovering the vehicle, officers saw it occupied by one male with a second male loading it with a red, reusable shopping bag filled with baby formula.

“Through investigation it was determined that this formula, valued at approximately $206 in total, had just been stolen from Stop & Shop,” Prezioso said. “The stolen formula from the Walgreens incident was also recovered within the vehicle.”

The Many Faces of Gordon Joseloff

We, the staff at WestportNow.com, received the following letter from State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg. In deep appreciation, we are publishing it to share it with our WestportNow.com readers.

I’ve been thinking about Gordon over the past several days. He was a great Westporter in many ways, but also played a role on the world stage as a reporter and bureau chief. To me, he was the consummate observer—an ideal profile for a reporter in the thick of world events. But that laidback, seemingly impassive style presented an interesting counterpoint to most of us more impassioned politicians.

Paying tribute to outgoing First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Nov. 13, 2013, photo by Helen Klisser During
Westport town employees, volunteers, and friends gathered in the Westport Town Hall lobby on Nov. 13, 2013 to honor outgoing First Selectman Gordon Joseloff,  Selectman Shelly Kassen, and Charles Haberstroh. State Reps. Jonathan Steinberg and Gail Lavielle presented Joseloff with a General Assembly citation honoring his eight years of service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Given his several significant career chapters, one could describe Gordon as a Man of Many Faces. The irony is that, whatever the role in which he was serving, it was often hard to read that face! I’m sure it frustrated many supplicants, whether during his tenure as RTM Moderator or as First Selectman, that it was near impossible to get a rise out of him. His steadiness, particularly during the Great Recession, kept our town on an even keel and focused debate on the merits, not the personalities.

I first got to know Gordon when I was first elected to the RTM in 2003. Frankly, I was in awe of the long-time Moderator. New to elective politics at the time, I was uneasy about engaging him to discuss committee assignments. I soon realized that the cool exterior and soft voice reflected a gentleness and empathy often in short supply among elected leaders. Although we didn’t always agree on everything, it was easy to take him at his word and trust that he’d do as he said he would.

That’s a great quality that served his community well, and continued during his eight years as our First Selectman. Some would focus on the contentiousness of those times, driven by budget deficits and arguments about fiscal austerity measures. But you’d have to look really hard to notice any anger on Gordon’s side. The old line about “keeping your head while others are losing theirs” allowed him to tamp down the rhetoric during trying times.

Through all these travails, Gordon remained Gordon. How many municipal executives would you find patrolling the sidelines as Staples football games as photographer (and erstwhile EMS professional)? Gordon’s natural inclination to capture and chronicle the world around him never abated. I’m sure his everlasting curiosity about the human condition informed his brilliant idea—a concept ahead of its time—to create Westport Now, the online medium which kept Westporter’s up to date every day.

WestportNow.com Image
On Nov. 22, 2005, outgoing First Selectwoman Diane Farrell administered the oath of office to new First Selectman Gordon Joseloff while new Selectwoman Shelly Kassen looked on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

In recent years, challenged by the illness to which he ultimately succumbed, Gordon chose to remain below the radar—hardly a surprise given his character and experiences, but virtually unheard of among most elected officials who crave the spotlight. It was easy for Gordon to go back to being Gordon, because he had never really changed in the first place!

When Gordon was elected as First Selectman and was leaving the RTM, I seized upon the bizarre idea of feting him with an ode. Sung to the Gilbert & Sullivan tune, “When I was a lad”
(often known as “Ruler of the Queen’s Navee”), Ode to Gordon attempted to humorously summarize his remarkable life in tortured rhyme. To me, it was no surprise that it required nine stanzas!
Gordon has now run out of new stanzas.  But I’ll never forget the ones he had. Rest in Peace, Gordon!

Jonathan Steinberg
State Representative
136th Assembly District – Westport