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Westport – What  more needs to be said about this iconic southcoast town! Scene looking out to Buzzard’s Bay over Audubon land.

photo/EverythingWestport.com   June 28, 2016  © All rights reserved.

 

 

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Local news you may be interested in.  Updated:  Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Photos/EverythingWestport.com except as noted

 

Visit our regularly updated Theater and Arts Section, and plan your early summer event schedule!

New galleries and art venues added for 2015. New Boston area concerts and theater venue added January, 2016!

 

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View EverythingWestport.com videos on your mobile device and PC!

 

New! 07/31/2016 Click here to watch video of Cultural Survival Bazaar 2016.

 

06/23/2016 Click here to watch video of WRG May, 2016 Annual Plant Sale.

 

06/23/2016 Click here to watch video of School Feasibility presentation to Selectmen.

 

05/27/2016 Click here to view video of dedication of POW and MIA tabletop memorial at Westport Town Hall.

 

     

 

 

Headline News

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

 

Click here for today’s event listings in and around Westport, MA!

 

Click here for upcoming theater and arts listings!

Updated Saturday, June 27, 2015

 

Click on poster to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 23 Animals buried at Westport farm likely died of starvation. Buried remains being studied from farm abuse case.

At least some of the animals found buried on the Westport farm under investigation for animal cruelty likely died of starvation, according to preliminary necropsy results, Westport Police Det. Jeff Majewski said.

The remains of about 70 animals were discovered by forensic scientists, including at least one scientist with a national reputation for such work.

Dr. Jason Byrd, associate director for Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, helped identify victims after the World Trade Center bombing in 2001 and the Pulse nightclub shootings in June. More...

 

Monday, August 22 Livingston Taylor packs ‘em in at WLCT Town Farm Concert.

Echoes of Taylor at the Town Farm.

Livingston Taylor attracted an audience of over 400 concert-goers to the Westport Town Farm last Saturday evening, and the 60-something stage performer wowed them with a mix of his biggest hits.

I Will Be in Love with You, I'll Come Running, Carolina Day, and Over the Rainbow; Taylor tacitly performed many of the songs from Echoes, a collection of hits from his first three albums.

Certainly worth the $20 ticket to sit on the old Poor Farm lawn overlooking the Westport River and listening to a living legend.

The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) and Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) co-hosted the annual event aimed at connecting the Westport community to the land through beautiful and meaningful music.

The concert was funded in part by a grant from the Westport Cultural Council, and over a dozen WLCT volunteers helped to make the event run smoothly.

WLCT Executive Director, Ryan Mann, said of the event: “It’s a pleasure to bring great acts like Livingston Taylor to Westport to provide these experiences for the community. We are incredibly pleased with the turn-out and that so many in our community are willing to come together to celebrate the land.”

 

Monday, August 22 2:00 p.m. ALERT! Organizers call for Monday evening vigil for abused tenant farm animals.

A group of local residents are organizing a vigil for the animals that died or were euthanized on the Westport tenant farms, 465 American Legion Highway in Westport.

Hundreds of animals were discovered last month living in deplorable conditions on the 70-acre “farm of horrors” as it is becoming known.

The group invites anyone who would like to give a prayer, reading or speak briefly on behalf of the animals — to send a message to them on Facebook.

The vigil will be held Monday night just at the start of the Westport Board of Health meeting at the Town Hall Annex, 856 Main Road from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m.

The vigil is being hosted by Protest Westport Tenant Farm.

A massive open air animal hospital and sanctuary on Pine Hill Road (pictured below) in Westport continues to seek supplies to help hundreds of animals recover from abuse and neglect suffered at the hands of some tenant farm owners.

 

Monday, August 22 - Westport Selectmen meet tonight at Town Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Click here to review agenda and Town Administrator’s report.

 

Monday, August 22 - Westport considering combining departments into new DPW.  A new department of public works could become a reality in town by the fall Town Meeting.

The topic has been discussed by the Finance Committee and two selectmen confirmed that a merger could take place sooner rather than later. Such a move could combine the cemetery and highway departments, with the transfer station or look to combine other similar entities. Selectmen Vice Chairman Craig Dutra said the list has varied but those three entities have so far achieved the most consistent consensus.

Selectmen Chairman R. Michael Sullivan said he is unsure when such a merger could take place; but if plans are embraced, officials could pull it off by the fall Town Meeting later this year. More...

 

Monday, August 22 - Westport Recreation Commission and Finance Committee talk about revamping Rec Department.  Recreation Commission Chairwoman Renee Dufour met with the Finance Committee last week to request a reserve fund transfer of $4,800 to repair a damaged slide at the popular town playground. The slide last month was found damaged with a hole and officials said the most-likely cause was from someone jumping on it.

The Finance Committee eventually approved the transfer but asked many questions along the way. Among them: Why is there no Recreation Commission budget outside its revolving account?

More...

 

Friday, August 19 Brooklyn Comes to Westport! Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present Brooklyn Comes to Westport, a group exhibition featuring works by Brooklyn-based artists Anna Ortiz, Barry Rust, Juan Fontanive, Katelyn Alain, Phoenix Lindsey Hall, Ryan Blackwell, Stephanie Beck, and Tifenn Python.

Wednesday, August 3 through Sunday, August 28 during normal hours. 1 Partners Lane, Westport.

This exhibition will feature a range of works, including painting, ceramic sculpture, paper, handmade instruments, kinetic work, and installation art.  More...

 

  Tower , 2014  50" x 46," Oil on Canvas  $3200

 

Friday, August 19 Search warrant produces 200-pound marijuana cache at Horseneck Road residence. A 37-year-old Westport man was arrested Friday, August 12th after Westport police found about 200 pounds of high-grade marijuana at his residence at 877 Horseneck Road, police said.

Andrew Erickson was arrested after a search warrant was executed at his residence, said Westport Police Det. Sgt. Antonio Cestodio.

Police also found a small amount of cocaine and more than $10,000 in cash, Cestodio said. The marijuana was packaged in vacuum-sealed packages which were labeled by the flavor of the marijuana inside, Cestodio said. The marijuana has an approximate sale value of up to $500,000. More...

 

Thursday August 18 – Westport native on fast track to break into top 15 drivers in world shifter kart ranking. Fresh off a European tour in England, Belgium and Germany, local shifter kart champion, Jason Alden blitzed the field at Sunday’s F1 Boston’s Outdoors event, winning the master class shifter kart sprint 24 seconds ahead of second place.

Next up is the regional championship in East Bridgewater on Sunday, August 28th.

“The European experience was invaluable,” Alden said. “Their laser-cut track surfaces provide superior tire grip that dramatically changes the dynamics of kart handling. That knowledge has made me faster and a more responsive driver navigating chicanes and hairpin turns.”

His performance Sunday proved experience does count.

Click here to view YouTube video of Sunday’s race.

 

Thursday August 18 Triki-leaks! What little rain we got this August, it managed to put a damper on things in the Westport Town Hall Annex nurse’s office.

On Tuesday, August 2nd Town Building Commissioner, Ralph Souza took the high climb into the attic but couldn’t find the source of the leak.

Leaks are nothing new to the town’s aging buildings – the Highway Department building needs a new roof supporting structure before the leaking aluminum roof can be repaired/replaced, and the Town Hall has an on-going leak in the Selectmen’s meeting room that has badly deteriorated the ceiling.

Photo | EverythingWestport.com

 

Thursday August 18 – Fourteen Strings performed to a crowd- full of enthusiastic supporters of the Westport Public Library Thursday, August 11th. The Friends of the Westport Library (FOWL) recently hosted local favorite band Fourteen Strings who brought their blended rock, folk, and traditional music to the library lawn for a family-friendly concert.

Visit FOWL’s website to learn more about this group and what you can do to support them.

Above photos | EverythingWestport.com

The men behind all those strings are: David Conlon (guitar/vocals), Matt Smith (mandolin/vocals) and Jay Costa (bass/vocals) who were joined by special guest fiddler, Jeff Angeley.

FOWL president Denise Micale said, “It was awesome evening with Fourteen Strings hosted by the Friends of the Westport Library on a beautiful night. Everyone really enjoyed their set and sang along on Ring of Fire. So much fun!”

What a great way to spend a hot summer evening and support the Westport Public Library to boot!

 

Wednesday, August 17 Noquochoke Village project approved for state tax credits.

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Westport Housing Specialist Leonardi Aray was a happy man Monday. Aray's been working with the town of Westport to develop 50 affordable housing units at 1163-1175 American Legion Highway. Monday, the governor's office announced that funding in the form of tax credits will be made available to help cover the cost of the Noquochoke Village project. "We're very happy," Aray said Monday. More...

 

Wednesday, August 17 In wake of animal abuse case Westport health board takes on dog owner. Monday's health board meeting did not draw as much interest as the past few, but an animal issue managed to draw some controversy again — this time a dog.

Ryan Wagner, founder of Weatherlow Farms, has been cited for bringing his dog into a trailer, which is considered a retail area. The health board threatened to suspend Wagner if he is caught bringing his dog inside the trailer again.

Raymond Belanger, a town food inspector, says no live animals are supposed to be in a retail area where food is sold. More...

 

Wednesday, August 17 Little Farm of Horrors cited for minor Wetland Protection Act infractions. The state Department of Environmental Protection has determined that there were only minor Wetland Protection Act violations on the 70-acre farm of horrors on Route 177, but Conservation Agent Chris Capone has advised town officials to take action.

Capone, in a letter to selectmen, is calling on officials to issue an enforcement order against owner Richard Medeiros, and order Medeiros to devise a farm management plan that marks the "farming" portions of the property, as well as where the wetland resource areas are located. More...

 

Wednesday, August 17 Have animals, need money! Businesses, residents and animal lovers of all types are being asked to donate supplies and food for the once abused animals at the American Legion Highway tenant farm.

The animals are now at a leased, undisclosed sanctuary that selectmen say is a vast improvement from their former conditions at 465 American Legion Highway.

Still, supplies are running low.

Donna Parrillo, a founding member of a new citizens group ‘Join the Conversation’, said on Monday that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have been working tirelessly during the recent heatwave caring for and nursing to health approximately 1,000 animals removed from the farm. More...

 

Tuesday, August 16 Looking for work, and who isn’t these days.  job clipartLees Market is hiring for multiple positions. The family-oriented supermarket is looking for outgoing individuals who are eager to help customers and gain valuable experience along the way.

Rustic Kitchen Cook, Café Clerk, Produce Clerk, Deli/Rotisserie Clerk, Cashier and Baggers, and a Food Demonstrator (great position for retiree!). Click here to apply today!

 

Monday, August 15 change.org calls for the shutdown of all tenant farms in Westport. The on-line petitioning website whose mantra is CHANGE ANYTHING. ANYWHERE, BIG OR SMALL is calling for the permanent shut down of the barbaric tenant farm in Westport. “For years, a tenant farm in Massachusetts has been the site of animal cruelty and abuse. The owner and some of the tenants had been charged with animal cruelty in the past -- clearly that wasn’t a strong enough message. Recently, the police were called to the 71-acre farm and found hundreds of dead or injured animals.

 

“Permanently shut down the barbaric tenant farm in Westport, MA” - change.org

 

It is time for the farm to be closed down for good.” More...

The signed petition will be delivered to: Commissioner John Lebeaux, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources; State Director Michael Cahill, Division of Animal Health MDAR; Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey; and the Westport Board of Selectmen.

The petition which is seeking 150,000 signatures has 127,100 as of Monday, August 15th.

Click here to read Westport Board of Selectmen’s response to change.org petition.

Visit change.org facebook page.

 

Monday, August 15 Officials: Large public forum will be held to address animal abuse case.  Westport Selectmen anticipate hosting a Town Meeting-like forum about the American Legion Highway animal abuse case at a large venue such as the high school once the town police and state attorney general complete their investigation.

However, it could take several weeks for town officials to gather all necessary information, selectmen say.

For the second consecutive selectmen and health board meetings, officials were barraged with questions, comments and concerns from people within and outside town.

At last Monday's selectmen meeting, residents asked for a large forum to fit all concerned parties. The Town Hall and Town Hall annex do not have space to accommodate the large number of people interested in voicing opposition to the animal abuse and squalid conditions at the 21-lot tenant farm. More...

 

Monday, August 15 “Leah wins. Leah wins!” 6931 ducks raced on the incoming tide in the 2016 Allens Pond Duck Derby, and lucky ‘Leah’ took first place!

2016 was indeed a ‘Lucky 13th’ year for the Allens Pond Duck Derby with a record number of ducks – 6931 – racing on the incoming tide at Barney’s Joy. 

Lee Tripp of Westport had adopted ‘Leah’ along with 17 other ducks, and boy did her little racer do well! 

Now, Lee has quite the decision to make...  actually, a couple decisions to make.  First, what her dream vacation destination will be and, second, who she’ll be travelling with. 

Her duck, ‘Leah’ won the 2016 Allens Pond Duck Derby, and from all accounts that ducky was determined as she pulled ahead of the pack to claim her victory.

There were four Westport winners in all.

Click here for all the details and a list of winners. PDF

 

Sunday, August 14 2010 farm animal abuse case revisited. Boston Globe article August 13, 2010 - Abused animals found at two farms in Westport during July 2010 police investigation.

Incessant animal yelps and the putrid smell of burnt trash permeated the heavily wooded Westport neighborhood, prompting residents of Shannon Drive and Jillian Way to call police, authorities said.

Late last month, officials obtained search warrants for tenant farms at 465 and 449 American Legion Highway and found numerous malnourished dogs left to wallow in their feces, cattle suffering from open wounds in rat-infested shanties, several dead calves, and other indications of animal abuse.

Police arrested five tenants and issued criminal summonses to seven other people, including two property owners.

More...

 

Sunday, August 14 Shoddy oversight sowed 2nd farm animal cruelty case.

The animals are gone now, trucked a few at a time along the wooded, winding road that for years obscured their suffering.

All that’s left, besides a big orange-and-white cat watching from the woods, is the human squalor: heaps of old tires and discarded furniture, rusted old trucks, and cracked bathroom fixtures. The 70-acre plot of land, the site of one of the largest animal cruelty cases in New England’s history, looks less like the rustic farms that line the roads around Westport, and more like the remains of an abandoned shantytown.

Above: This is the scene that police observed when initially responding to a call of goats killed by a dog that eventually led to criminal charges brought against several Fall River tenant farmers at a Route 177 Westport property. Police Photo

 

“Chaos is a good word for it,” said Westport police Detective Sergeant Tony Cestodio, who was one of the first to respond to a call last month about loose dogs feasting on a farmer’s helpless goats.

More...

 

Sunday, August 14 Explore some of Westport’s special maritime history at the Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station this summer.

Did you know that George Manchester, former captain of the whaling ship Kate Cory, was the first keeper of a Humane Society Lifesaving Station established at Westport Harbor in 1888?

The station was moved to its current location in 1894 when the bridge from Westport Point to Horseneck Beach was completed.

Learn all about the network of lifesaving stations built along the Massachusetts coast to rescue shipwreck survivors. The Westport Fishermen’s Association is the current “keeper” of the station.

Lifesaving Station hours:

Weekend summer hours at the Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station, located at 241 East Beach Road, began Saturday, June 25th and run through Labor Day weekend.

Above: Annual Antique boat exhibit at the Westport Lifesaving Station. Photo | EverythingWestport.com

The Lifesaving Station will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., as well as the ongoing Wednesday hours of 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 13 - Buzzards Bay Habitat expands into Westport.  Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity has expanded its service area into Westport, officials said.

Previously, Habitat has served eight other local towns.

Habitat officials said they now hope to establish partnerships with the town of Westport as well as the other towns that they serve in hopes of helping local families in need of affordable housing together.

With the completion of its Marion build, Habitat is actively looking for its next build site and is reaching out to the community to team up in searching for the next project.

Habitat homes are supported by donations and Habitat relies on gifts of land or discounted properties to assure the affordability of the houses that are built. More...

 

Friday, August 12 Don’t shoot the messenger. Blistering attacks by animal rights activists and furious town residents towards town officials may have been misdirected at a local town health board in what national news reports are now calling the largest farm animal abuse scandal in the northeast.

 

“I will not resign,” embattled Westport Board of Health Chairman John Colletti told a posse of activists and a trio of news station crews shoving microphones in his face Monday night at the Health Board meeting.

 

His message was echoed by fellow board member and farmer, Karl Santos.

The Massachusetts Division of Animal Health Director, Michael Cahill had summarily relieved the pair of their State Animal Inspector appointments when he heard the reports, and the Westport Board of Selectmen put the town’s health board agent on paid administrative leave.

There’s plenty of outrage to go around, however a bureaucratic entanglement of blame and responsibility has left everyone wondering just who is in charge of the gate keys.

A preliminary examination of the town edifice for the oversight of farm animal health shows no clear path for uncovering farm animal abuse, and then reporting it to the local police and the Division of Animal Health for follow-up.

So, just how do the Board of Heath, State Animal Inspectors, the Agricultural Commission, and the town’s Animal Control Officer coordinate their efforts to uncover and report abuse to the appropriate authorities?

Why did town meeting a few years ago reject an article written to put more bite into local bylaws that may have helped prevent this sordid story that has the ASPCA, Ontario SPCA and other local animal rescue groups in an uproar?

And why has no one made a point of blaming the real culprit(s) in this story – the alleged irresponsible tenant farmers.

This may be a story about distances and detachment from state authorities that leaves the process open for situations such as what now faces the town of Westport.

 

“When problematic farm animal situations develop, state Animal Health staff work with the Department of Public Health, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the MSPCA, local veterinarians, local health departments, municipal animal inspectors and animal control officers to respond.  Mounting a rapid response ensures the fewest number of animals and animal owners are affected.” – State Division of Animal Health

 

So how does firing the town’s animal inspectors, putting the health agent on administrative leave, and demanding the resignation of Board of Health members help “ensure the fewest number of animals and animal owners are affected?”

The Westport Animal Control Officer’s position was neutered several years ago by Selectmen to be responsible chiefly for cats and dogs, and she was asked to give up her volunteer/non-paid position as a state animal inspector. More...

Click here to read Board of Selectmen statement made July 25, 2016.

Click here to read Board of Health Statement made on August 8, 2016.

Above: BOH Chairman John Colletti (right) reads from a prepared statement prior to the start of the meeting.

Photo | EverythingWesport.com

 

Wednesday, August 10 - State reneges on Tax Holiday!  Furniture stores, rug purveyors, lighting shops, and other retailers around Massachusetts are pushing big (even “Huge!”) promotions for the state sales tax holiday.

The problem? There isn’t a sales tax holiday this year.

Lawmakers at the last minute decided to eliminate the August ritual, amid slower than expected state revenue growth. But retailers, who have advertised the event for weeks, have forged ahead on their own, offering discounts equivalent to double, triple, even quadruple the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. More...

 

Above: Protestors at the gates. Animal rights activists, angry town residents, a few tenant farmers, and a gaggle of news station reporters and camera crews gather after a raucous Board of Health meeting outside the steps of the Town Hall Annex.

Photo | EverythingWestport.com

Wednesday, August 10 - Westport residents call for health board resignations in wake of animal abuse.  Residents carrying signs demanded Monday night that Board of Health members resign after what some have described as the worst case of farm animal cruelty in the Northeast.

With signs reading “Animal Lives Matter’’ and “Justice for Innocents,’’ several dozen protesters packed the meeting room while outside others held signs along the road.

Critics lashed out at John J. Colletti and Karl W. Santos, who were stripped of their authority as animal inspectors by the state last week after more than 1,000 animals, many neglected and malnourished and some dead, were discovered at the farm last month. Both men remain on the health board. More...

Above: Drift Road resident Elliot Whypple chastises Board of Health members at Monday night’s Board of Health meeting..

Photo | EverythigWestport.com

 

Above: Animal abuse advocates jammed the Town Hall Annex meeting room to vent their anger onto the Westport Board of Health over the recent allegations of massive animal abuse at Route 177 tenant farms.

Photo | EverythingWestport.com

Monday, August 8 Breaking News 8:00 p.m. - Health board gets hammered in heated exchange with protestors. An angry crowd of out-of-town animal advocates and outraged town residents took the Westport Board of Health to task over the alleged farm animal abuse in North Westport.

Board of Health Chairman, John Colletti opened the meeting reading from a prepared statement.

Several times during the public hearing, protesters called for the resignations of board chairman John Coletti, as well as Karl Santos, a board member.

Both refused. More later.

In a meeting marked by angry outbursts, constant audience disruptions and ugly rhetoric, very few facts came to light as to the responsibilities of the Board of Health, State Animal Inspectors, the town’s Animal Control Officer and the state Board of Animal Health.

More today.

Above: Westport BOH members Colletti and Santos under siege from three local TV news stations.

Photo | EverythingWestport.com

 

Monday, August 8 - Hawthorn Country Club, closed since last January, will soon have a new life if plans for its purchase go through this month.

Known for its banquet facilities more than its nine-hole golf course, Hawthorn is scheduled to change hands this month according to Derek Masky, owner of the Lakeville Country Club.

Masky and his wife are purchasing the property from Dartmouth businessman Kevin Santos, and said he could close on the Dartmouth golf course by the middle of August for an undisclosed purchase price.

The sale includes the banquet facilities, golf course, restaurant and all the kitchen equipment at the Hawthorne Country Club, Masky said

If all goes as planned the financially troubled nine-hole Dartmouth golf course known for its “mountain goat” layout and rock hard greens will avoid the fate of hundreds of golf course across the country - plowed under for home development.

It’s no secret that Hawthorn has struggled through its 50 year history, better known for its banquet facilities than golf, and being forced in the past to sell off nine holes of the 18-hole layout.

Read more about this news and other area golf news in our Golf Section.

 

Sunday, August 7 Westport officials praise voters for Police Station vote.  “I just want to say thank you to everyone who voted. Two-thirds of voters said yes and congratulations to the citizens of Westport,” Police Chief Pelletier said.

“This is an important vote for the town of Westport. It also shows that people do care about our Police Department personnel and the work they do,” Selectman Antone Vieira said. “Westport now will have a much-needed public safety complex to be better prepared to handle the public safety challenges in the future.”

Town Administrator Tim King described the Main Road station as “the worst condition of any station in any community in which I have worked."

"For many, many reasons this project is desperately needed. I am pleased that the public and the Westport Police Department will have a law enforcement facility that meets the needs of the community," King also said.

 

Above: proposed new $8 million police station building accepted by two thirds of Westport voters.

 

 

Sunday, August 7 - Westport health board says abuse 'crisis point' requires changes to oversight.  The town and the welfare of more than 1,000 animals found living in squalor are at “a crisis point,” and solutions will include a change in the oversight of tenant farmers and the town bylaw, Board of Health members said in a joint statement issued Friday afternoon.

“Regulation is the biggest thing that would help this situation.” John Colletti,  Westport Board of Health Chairman

“The past few weeks have been an eye-opening lesson in the problems within the town, its government and the function of teamwork,” the three board members said, calling for “a change in culture” and “action.” More...

 

Saturday, August 6 - Report: Buzzards Bay pollution not getting worse.  Harmful nitrogen pollution in Buzzards Bay did not get worse in 2015 for the first time in more than a decade, reflecting an encouraging pause in the decline of the health of local harbors, coves and tidal rivers across the SouthCoast and Cape Cod’s western shore, according to the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s latest State of Buzzards Bay report.

After falling at a dramatic rate of three points every four years since 2003 — when the coalition released its first State of Buzzards Bay report — the score for nitrogen pollution levelled off in 2015. More...

 

Saturday, August 6 - Officials: Westport makes deal to provide temporary site for abused farm animals.

The vast majority of the animals found living in deplorable conditions at a Westport farm in a record animal cruelty case, have been removed to a temporary site nearby, officials said.

Photo courtesy of Animal Rescue League.

“We have built a shelter to house the animals and provide additional care temporarily while the criminal investigation is underway,” said Tim Rickey, vice president of field investigations and response at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

About 950 of the more than 1,000 animals are expected to be at the site for a month or more, he said.  More...

 

Saturday, August 6 “You’re Fired II.”  In a phrase that now transcends presidential politics to local frays, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has removed two Westport Board of Health members as animal inspectors, after reviewing inspection records at a farm where more than 1,000 animals were kept in squalid and inhumane conditions.

“Cahill can’t fire me; I already quit!” John Colletti, Westport Board of Health Chairman

In a letter dated August 3rd, Michael Cahill, director of the Division of Animal Health, said John Colletti, Health Board chairman, and board member Karl Santos, "failed to properly perform the inspections" and were "immediately" stripped of their powers to inspect animals.

The state is apparently looking for a scapegoat, and they found one in their animal inspection program.

More...

 

Wednesday, August 3 - 7:30 a.m. Breaking news. Early morning vehicle-overturn traps driver, blocks traffic on lower Main Road.

A passenger vehicle overturned and ended up on its side on the front lawn of 1678 Main Road, a house just listed for sale by Alden Hill Real Estate.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

Several fire apparatus and police responded and freed the driver who according to on-site personnel appeared to be uninjured.

No cause for the accident was reported, and is under investigation.

It appears the four-wheel drive vehicle was travelling south when it swerved to the left and overturned.

Click on image to enlarge.

 

Wednesday, August 3 - Removal of sick, neglected animals begins at rural Westport property.  Animal inspector Alan B. Borgal checked his phone and looked out the windshield of a pickup on a Westport farm — if the overgrown, trash-strewn site could be called that — and shook his head ruefully when asked where crews were taking the hundreds of sick, woefully neglected animals found there. More...

 

Tuesday, August 2 8:30 p.m. Breaking News. Westport voters overwhelming approve the funding of a new $8 million Police Station.

The debt exclusion override could add over $60+ per thousand of real estate tax increase to a $400,000 property.

17.04 percent of Westport’s 11,463 registered voters (1953) turned out at the polls today and sent a clear message they wanted a new building to replace the moldy, leaky, under-sized and non-safety compliant brick building on Main Road.

Click here to watch video of Chief Pelletier’s presentation

Police Chief Keith Pelletier lobbied hard for the bond issue, and was assisted by the police union in getting a unanimous vote at the town’s annual meeting, and ultimately achieving a landslide victory at today’s August 2nd special town election.

 

Above: proposed new $8 million police station building.

 

Special Town Election results:

Precinct A - American Legion Hall - 14.98% 190 yes; 133 no

Precinct B - Town Hall Annex - 19.97% 275 yes; 212 no

Precinct C - Alice Macomber School - 14.06% 186 Yes; 118 No

Precinct D - Briggs Road Fire Station 17.00% 226 Yes; 131 No

Precinct E - Westport High School 18.50 315 Yes 167 No

Total votes cast – 1953 (17.04%) with 1192 Yes and 761 No

 

Don’t know your precinct? Click here to find out!

Click here to view ballot question.

The question was simple: Should the town be authorized to finance up to $8 million that will be paid back over 20 years by increasing property owners’ real estate taxes for the period of the bond; after which that amount of money added to their tax bill will be removed.

At the 2016 Annual Town Meeting, Chief Pelletier presented three alternative solutions for a new facility, with constructing a new building at a Hixbridge Road location being the most appealing option, according to Chief Pelletier.

Chief Pelletier also said the tax impact per year on a $400,000 home is $64.66; less for lower market value properties, more for higher–priced properties.

Westport Selectmen and the Finance Committee voted unanimously, as did town meeting participants, to approve the warrant article.

Dartmouth voters last April, with just an 11 percent turnout at the polls, rejected a request to borrow $8.5 million to renovate the town's police station with opponents saying the project was too costly.

Westport voters took a different tack and voted by a landslide victory to build a new police station on Hixbridge Road.

Pelletier has said that the Main Road station, built in 1975, is not suitable for modern policing needs, among other issues.

A police spokesman said it is expected that the project would go out to bid in December and break ground next spring. The new station could take up to a year to complete, similar to its neighbor, the new firehouse on Hix Bridge Road, which took less than a year after the ground-breaking ceremony.

Town Clerk Marlene Samson said the better-than-average turnout was indicative of the town’s electorate to make their voice heard on this bonding issue; Westport voters may soon face a much more expensive ballot question over the next year for building/renovating a new Jr/Sr High School.

 

Saturday, July 30 FOWL says goodbye to outgoing president Kate Kastner. Our Photo of the Week is of Kate Kastner getting a yeoman’s sendoff by the Westport Library Board of Trustees and the Director of the Westport Public Library for her leadership and fundraising skills for the Friends of the Westport Library (FOWL.)

Kastner was originally recruited by Trustee Chairman Robert Gormley, and was later elected president in 2011.

Above from the left: FOWL member Michael Habib, incoming president Denise Micale, Kate Kastner, Library Director Sue Branco, and Trustee Chairman Robert Gormley.

Photo | EverythingWestport.com

Kastner with husband Peter is moving back to her native Savannah Georgia, and although distant, Westport will not be far from her thoughts, as she will continue to contribute to the volunteer group’s newsletter.

Kastner is credited with expanding Fowl’s volunteer organization, adding an attractive and informative newsletter, merging new technology into the group’s marketing efforts, and founding their now highly successful Annual Summer Paperback Sale (now in its fifth year,) raising thousands of dollars for funding library material purchases and helping to support the cost of special programs.

Library Director Sue Branco says of Kastner, “She’s a real gem, and I will sorely miss her.”

Kastner was presented with a plaque, and a set of brass, matching whale bookends, very fitting for an indefatigable library advocate.

 

Friday, July 29 Westport police investigation continues into 'largest farm abuse case' in Northeast.  The investigation into animal neglect and cruelty at a 70-acre property off Route 177 represents the largest farm abuse case the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has investigated in the Northeast, Sgt. Antonio Cestodio said Thursday.

The Attorney General’s office is investigating the case, which could lead to felony charges against suspects, he said, during a meeting at the Westport Public Library. “We owe not only the defendants but also the animals a fair, thorough process.’’

But, he stressed, this will not happen immediately. Investigators are taking their time to ensure that the complex case is sorted through and all details are understood and documented, he said.

“It’s a nightmare,’’ he said. “This department takes animal cruelty very seriously. We have absolutely no problem charging people who do these things to animals. It’s disgusting.’’

Cestodio was addressing a meeting of Join the Conversation Westport, an organization of residents angered by the abuse and hoping to take action to prevent further issues.  More...

 

Thursday, July 28 - Health insurers would have to cover long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease under a measure approved by the Massachusetts Legislature — a vote that places Governor Charlie Baker in the crossfire between mainstream medicine and patient activists, according to an article in the Boston Globe..

Baker has until midnight Thursday to sign or veto the legislation or to let it become law without his signature.

The governor, a former health insurance executive, has reservations about the bill.

In a letter to lawmakers, he wrote that “long-term antibiotic therapy is not clinically recognized as an appropriate form

of treatment.”

Massachusetts had the nation’s third highest incidence of Lyme disease in 2014, with 5,600 confirmed and suspected cases. More...

 

 

16 tips you need to defend yourself against deer ticks and Lyme Disease.   Click here to get them now!

 

 

Wednesday, July 27Mystery Photo solved! By the way for all you folks out there that took a swipe at solving out latest mystery photo, and there were many - it was first solved by Jim Walsh on July 18th at 8:44 p.m. as the “ice cream stand at Woods.”

It seems the ice cream stand is no mystery to most Westporters who can be found there often any time of day during the hot summer months.

Thanks to all those who participated – get ready for another mystery photo soon!

 

Wednesday, July 27Looking for a job? Who isn’t these day!

Well, Amazon announced today that it has begun hiring for hundreds of full-time positions to work in its fulfillment center, currently under construction in Fall River. Associates at the facility will work alongside innovative technologies on a daily basis to fulfill customer orders.

Full-time employees at Amazon receive competitive hourly wages and a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards starting on day one. Amazon also offers regular full-time employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program’s launch, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.

Applicants can apply online at http://www.amazondelivers.jobs/.

 

Tuesday, July 26 Westport selectmen launch an aggressive criminal investigation into farm animal abuse on a Route 177 property. For the second time in six years Selectmen are called upon to investigate animal abuse charges filed by police on a Route 177 tenant farm.

Click here to read the full statement.

After a lengthy executive session with local police to discuss and investigate charges of criminal misconduct or to consider the filing of criminal complaints, Westport selectmen have decided to drop the hammer on negligent tenant farmers and possibly their landlord.

“So let’s be clear,” select board chair, Michael Sullivan said reading from a prepared statement at last night’s meeting. “The Right to Farm is not a right to neglect or mistreat animals, and there is nothing wrong with our Right to Farm bylaw.”

“Let me also be clear, that these revelations (SIC) are not a reflection on the overwhelming majority of excellent farmers here in Westport who are using industry best practices and producing top shelf products,” Sullivan said.

“I am here to be one more voice for the animals that were so cruelly, maliciously, and callously mistreated. I hope that everyone in Westport who has any kind of heart will join me and raise our voices together to say that this cannot and will not stand.” – Elizabeth Collins, resident and former Selectman

Above: concerned residents, tenant farmers, police investigators and a news station affiliate were all in attendance at last night’s Selectmens meeting to hear the announcement that “the Westport Police Department will continue take the lead into what is now a criminal investigation.”

Photo | EverythingWestport.com

 

Tuesday, July 26 - Angry Westport residents want answers about animal abuse.  Residents expressed outrage Monday and demanded answers after hundreds of dead and diseased animals were found last week off American Legion Highway, where animal abuse also was discovered six years ago. More...

 

Tuesday, July 26 - Westport farm with abused animals closed off to public.  Federal agents cordoned off a tenant farm Thursday where hundreds of dead and injured animals were found this week, a gruesome discovery that stunned authorities and raised questions about how such conditions were allowed to persist.

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Westport officials said agents from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture posted signs around the 71-acre farm that read “BIOSECURITY AREA,” the latest development in an investigation into animal cruelty at the troubled property.

More...

 

Monday, July 25 Dead animals, burning trash found at Westport site, police say.  Police are investigating a 70-acre property in Westport after hundreds of dead and injured animals were found there, along with makeshift cabins, burning trash, and illegal stoves, authorities said.

The investigation, which involves police from Westport, Fall River, and Dartmouth as well the Animal Rescue League, began last week after a man reported that his goats had been attacked by two Rottweilers, said Westport Police Detective Jeff Majewski, in a statement from Dartmouth police. The dogs were found in bad shape after having escaped a “terrible, unsanitary enclosure,” he said.

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“It looks like a Third World country,” Majewski said of the property near 465 American Legion Highway. More...

 

Monday, July 25 Westport Selectmen meet tonight at Town Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. (executive session) with public meeting beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Click here to print Selectmen’s Agenda and click here to print Town Administrator’s Report.

 

Monday, July 25 Library news from Director Sue Branco.  “Our 2016 Westport Library Patron Survey needs your input. The Board of Trustees is currently completing a 5-year Plan of Service to assess our strengths and weaknesses.” 

A brief survey is now available at the Library up until Friday, August 5th.

Please take a few minutes and give them some much-needed feedback. “We really appreciate your help,” Branco said.

Visit their website.

August Exhibits at the Westport Library are: August Art Show "Summer On The River” landscapes by Varick Niles. Show dates are Monday, August 1st through Wednesday, August 31st in the Manton Community Room; reception is Thursday, August 4th from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

In the Helen E. Ellis Case: Westport Needleworkers share their craft through sewing and needlepoint with a summertime theme.  The Westport Needleworkers meet twice a month at the Library. New members are always welcome.  Call the Library for more information at 508.636.1100.

 

Monday, July 25 Westport Art Group has released the summer issue of their newsletter, Brushstokes, on line.

Read Newsletter now. PDF   Click here to read all Westport organizations’ newsletters.

 

Monday, July 25 Is Westport missing out on a medical marijuana cash cow to help with the town’s revenue shortfalls?

Several medical marijuana startups have asked Westport officials for letters of support in locating facilities within our town. The money looks good, but at what price to Westport residents. Read this shocking report from the Boston Globe. More...

 

 

Monday, July 25 Mass exodus? Half of Westport's 8th graders leaving for other schools. The school district needs to "shout from the rooftops" all the accomplishments made by students and teachers within the town's Level 1 high school.

School Building Committee co-chairwoman Tracey Priestner stressed that message, as school officials and other concerned parties last week began brainstorming ways the district could stop some 8th graders from moving on to other high schools.

This comes amid concerns that approximately 65 out of 128 of last year's Westport 8th graders will be attending other high schools in September. More...

 

More past headline news continues below.

 

 

Bulletin Board

Westport, MA

 

Click here to see all events happening today in and around Westport, MA.

 

Today. The Westport Cultural Council will host its final film of their fifth annual film series on August 24th.

The film series is free and open to the public.  It is made possible through a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust and will be held at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery, 1 Partners Lane, Westport, MA.

This year, the Council will present three documentary films highlighting the theme “Masters Of Their Craft”.  Each film will be introduced by a guest speaker, with a question and answer period to follow.

Films to start at 7:00 p.m.

Click here for all the details.

 

Tomorrow. Head of Westport Traffic and Parking public hearing on Thursday, August 25th.

Westport Town Administrator, Timothy King has formed a committee to study traffic and parking issues that exist at the Head of Westport, and the public is invited to share their concerns and be given the opportunity to offer suggestions.

 6:00 p.m. at the Westport Free Public Library, 408 Old County Road.

Please notify any other neighbor or person who may share anxieties about this area.

You may also submit comments by email to Mr. King at:

 kingt@westport-ma.gov

If you respond by email please provide your name and street address.

 

August Exhibits at the Westport Public Library.

 Manton Community Room
Artist, Varick Niles, shares Summer on the River, paintings of bird life along the Westport River

Helen E. Ellis Case

Westport Needleworkers share By The Sea, a collection of sewing and handicraft. Special thanks to Robin Winters for sharing this display. 

 

Westport Historical Society offers new adventures for

 Summer Passport 2016!

WHS offers experiences to help you make the most of this season, reconnect with family and friends, and to discover our heritage-rich town.

 https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/3EWnCRIk6aLT_-2xkqPbEzd28CHEsvfZPlxt6MHCNtfOH7wlAiWpB29C0vbLV28Et-LoATyzazWFPWjZQ_ipyNZRIUxL2rB1oSMvfpYT4q81Eks0bjG3QjSs4yp8gMDoPlsC=s0-d-e1-ft#http://files.ctctcdn.com/dbae6133201/a99ca02a-6ff4-4871-84c4-3d54b674d504.jpg Their new Summer Passport adventures for 2016 are fun, self-guided family quests that take you to eight of the most interesting and beautiful places in Westport.

Visit eight locations, find the hidden boxes, and stamp your special passport. Get a cool prize when you collect all eight stamps. Program is free and continues through September 5th.

Download your passport here.

 

Saturday. Acoaxet Chapel to host a barbeque chicken dinner on Saturday, August 27th.

5:30 p.m. at the Acoaxet Chapel, 36 Howland Road, Westport Harbor. On the menu is barbequed chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, rolls, watermelon and beverage. Tickets are $12. Reservations are required not later than Wednesday, August 24th, so call Phoebe at 508.635.4857 to save a seat.

 

Sunday. Providence Folk Festival on Sunday, August 28th.

Roger Williams National Memorial, 282 N Main Street, Providence, RI.

Click here for all the information.

 

Southcoast Health announces September Calendar listings.

Southcoast Health announces its September Monthly Calendar Listings for Support Groups, Childbirth & Family Education, Weight Loss Seminars, and Medical Fitness/Rehabilitation Programs.

Click here to get them now!

 

Country Travelers continues their 2016 Schedule with a One Day Mystery Tour Luncheon on Thursday, September 1st. 

Reservation and payment by Friday, July 1st.

One Day Mystery Tour Luncheon plus a show you’re sure to remember. Choice of herb crusted scrod or Angus chopped sirloin $79 complete ins $10.

 

Westport Art Group offering 2-day Plein Air Workshop on Friday and Saturday, September 2nd and 3rd.

Westport Art Group is pleased to offer a 2-day workshop on painting landscape en plein air (outside) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.

In this two-day workshop, led by artist Brett X. Gamache, participants will work en plein air, weather permitting, to explore the interplay of light and form to create paintings that abound with energy and life!

Members and non-members are invited to attend. Enrollment is limited and the cost is $100 for members, $135 for non-members, which includes a one year membership to Westport Art Group. For more information, please email info@westportartgroup.com

 

9th annual Bristol Community

Westport High School Class of 1966 is planning a 50th class reunion on Saturday, September 17th.

Hey all you 60-something Westport High graduates, listen up!  Westport High School Class of 1966 is planning a 50th class reunion.  It will be an informal barbeque/picnic on Saturday afternoon.

Graduates should contact Doris Sasseville Carvalho at 508.677.1823, at email her at doris388@charter.net; or email Ken Borden at KenB205@comcast.net for more details.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 23 Westport Point residence fire blamed on early morning lightning strike; heavy fire damage estimated at over $200,000 including belongs according to Westport spokesman Capt. Michael Silvia.

Crews were called to the 2009 Main Road home after receiving a 911 call that lightning had struck the house.

Silvia said when crews arrived they found a small fire on the second floor, which was quickly extinguished.

Upon further investigating the home’s attic they were met with heavy smoke and fire. A narrow staircase to the attic made it difficult for firefighters to reach the attic; the staircase began to burn through before the fire was fully extinguished.

Silvia said his crews attacked the fire from inside and outside the house. The flames were brought under control I about 445 minute.

Silvia said no one was hurt in the fire.

Battling the blaze from inside and outside of the home, Silvia said, firefighters controlled the fire in about 45 minutes. Firefighters inside the home had to reach the attic by climbing a narrow staircase that began to burn through before the fire was fully extinguished, Silvia said.

Assisting Westport firefighters were Westport paramedics and firefighters from Little Compton, Tiverton and Dartmouth. Firefighters from Fall River responded to two other calls in Westport while Westport crews were at the Main Road home.

Strong thunderstorms with severe lightning activity moved through the area Friday night and early Saturday morning and may be to blame for fire.

Meteorologist said the storm was likely a microburst, possibly with winds of 70 mph.

The owners of the property are listed as John and Nancy Pannoni of Westport.

Photo | EverythingWestport.com

 

Saturday, July 23 Pressure builds on Governor Baker’s administration to explain progress on Southcoast rail.

Is it just rhetoric or reality?

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (below) visited the area last Thursday and during a luncheon sponsored by the Fall River and New Bedford Area Chambers of Commerce, gave hope that a new preferred route for south coast rail could make it a reality.

Lt. Gov. Polito spoke before a group of business people and political leaders from the area at Rachel's Lakeside and gave indication that the proposed "Middleboro route" might push the south coast rail forward at a faster pace than the previous route. More...

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Future of South Coast Rail unclear after decades of planning.

More...

 

Saturday, July 23 Turning a new Leaf to good use! The Westport Energy Committee is looking for ways to help convince town employees to make greater use of the town’s shiny little silver Nissan Leaf, purchased a little more than a year ago with the help of a state Department of Environmental Protection’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program.

Above: Town Administrator Tim King with Westport’s new Nissan Leaf all electric vehicle. Photo | EverythingWestport.com

But the Leaf’s life in Westport may be short-lived. Is the town’s mileage reimbursement cash for employee use of their own vehicle too good to give up?  More...

 

Saturday, July 23 - Today is ‘Hot Enough For Ya Day’ -- Here’s the day when the tired old greeting actually gains acceptance. Go ahead; say it, if you don’t have anything else to add.

Well, we have something to add – today will be 90 degrees in Westport, the hottest day of the year so far, with high humidity. Good luck parking at Cherry & Webb Beach!

 

Friday, July 22 - Breaking News Alert from the Boston Globe,
The Wynn Resorts casino secured a key victory Friday as a state environmental official granted a waterfront permit for the $2.1 billion project on the banks of the Mystic River.


The approval clears the way for Wynn to begin construction on the 33-acre site, across the river from Somerville.
The City of Somerville had sought to block the permit.

Read the full story.

 

Thursday, July 21 - Westport animal cruelty worse than first thought.

The level of animal cruelty discovered at a 70-acre property off Route 177 is worse than many seasoned veterinarians and animal professionals at the scene have witnessed before, Detective Jeff Majewski, spokesman for Westport Police, said Wednesday.

About 600 to 800 animals have been found at the site, off 465 American Legion Highway, with some dead, others suffering, he said.

 

Wednesday, July 20 'Awful, deplorable conditions,' dead animals at Westport site for 2nd time in 6 years.

Westport Police discovered hundreds of animals Tuesday, many of them dead or in poor condition, along with makeshift cabins, illegal stoves and burning trash, on 70 acres off 465 American Legion Highway, police said.

“It looks like a Third World country,’’ said Westport Police Detective Jeff Majewski, public information officer for the department.

“Many of the animals we have come across are in awful, deplorable conditions,’’ he said. More...

 

Tuesday, July 19 - Westport furniture maker arrested on charges of not performing work for which he was paid.  The owner of Bay State Home Furnishings in Westport was arrested Friday after he reportedly took money to build furniture but never performed the work, police said.

David Bouchard, 55, of 105 Stephen St., Dartmouth, was arrested at his 260 State Road business, said Det. Jeff Majewski of the Westport Police Department.

Left: Westport police photo.

The business is not licensed with the Town of Westport, Majewski said.

Westport police have been investigating complaints by a customer who said she paid him more than $500 to build furniture but the work was never done, Majewski said. Once the money was paid, she was unable to contact Bouchard, Majewski said. More...

 

Tuesday, July 19 10:00 a.m. – Breaking News – The Bristol County District Attorney’s office announced this morning the body of 35-year-old Emerson Belirio was found in South Watuppa Pond.

His body is now being sent to the Medical examiner.

The three-day search ended tragically, dashing all hopes of a miracle.

The DA’s office still maintained that “no foul play is suspected and alcohol did not seek to have a role in the incident.”

The family said Belirio could swim, but it is unknown if he was wearing a PDF (life vest.)

 

Monday, July 18 New Mystery Photo posted! A new Mystery Photo was posted on Monday, July 18th at 7:25 p.m.

Be the first to correctly identify the exact location of the photo and win a $25 gift certificate to Lees Supermarket, Westport’s hot social spot with great groceries too!

Click here to take your best shot at solving our latest mystery photo.

Don’t waste any time... do it now!

 

Monday, July 18 Bull fired. Piping Plovers off endangered list. Diocese of Fall River selling their Adamsville Road former youth camp to local conservation group.

And the Planning Board presents 2016 Master Plan updates where a mixed bag of hopes and realities contrast.

Selectmen met last Monday night and quickly dispatched what should have been a very typical summertime agenda.

But this meeting was anything but archetypal. More later...

 

Monday, July 18 Updated Tuesday, July 19 – Threatening thunderstorms temporarily halted searchers efforts Tuesday afternoon to recover the Body of Emerson Belirio, the 35-year-old father of three.

According to Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, “The initial reports indicate he jumped off the boat with his life jacket on. The life jacket came up but he did not.”

“As of right now, we’re going to keep searching until we find him,” Miliote said. “It appears to be just a tragic accident.”

The almost 1300-acre South Watuppa Pond, a large recreational body of water, although quite shallow and rocky in drought conditions now has an average depth of 15 to 22 feet, hampering searchers’ recovery efforts.

Recovery efforts will resume Tuesday morning.

More...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Missing boater on South Watuppa identified as 35-year-old Fall River resident, Emerson Belirio.

Fall River police received a call Saturday afternoon that a man went overboard from a 20-foot Sea King Cabin Cruiser into South Watuppa Pond.

Belirio was a passenger on the cabin cruiser along with his wife, their two children, and another married couple, owners of the boat.

It was not noted if Belirio was wearing a personal flotation device (PDF) at the time of the incident.

The search, called off late Sunday afternoon, was resumed Monday morning.

Above: Rescue personnel search South Watuppa Pond 35-year-old Fall River resident, Emerson Belirio. Photo Courtesy WCVB-TV.

 

The Dave’s Beach boat ramp was used as the launch point for search personnel from the Fall River Police, Fall River Fire, and the Environmental Police, along with air support from the Air Wing of the Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts State Police troopers, and a sonar boat operated by Bob Anderson of Ocean Server.

Police said foul play is not suspected at this time, and it does not appear that alcohol was involved in the incident.

 

Sunday, July 17 Battle of the forty-somethings at The Open.

Henrik Stenson, 40 and Phil Mickelson, 46 are leading the field by six and five strokes respectively strokes as the final pair tee of this morning at 9:30 a.m. in the final round of the 145th playing of the British Open at Royal Troon, Scotland.

Update: 9:45 a.m. – Stenson and Mickelson have a two-shot swing on the first hole as Mickelson birdies and Stenson bogies, putting Mickelson at 12 under, leading by 1.

Fireworks started early on Thursday, when Mickelson shot a course record-tying 63, with a dramatic lip-out on the 18th hole which would have giving Mickelson, holder of five major titles, the record for the lowest round of golf ever shot a major tournament (62).

Mickelson won the Claret Jug in 2003, but said “the excitement of winning another one is driving me to win today.”

 

Saturday, July 16 The Grange is getting back to its roots.

As local chapters of the Grange mark 125 years and up, the nation’s oldest agricultural organization is riding the wave of the local food movement attracting new generations of members with initiatives such as its Grange Roots campaign, said Chris Szkutak, legislative director, Massachusetts State Grange.

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Submitted Photo

The Dartmouth Grange's "shared use" commercial kitchen is one of the most active in Massachusetts, helping budding food entrepreneurs realize their culinary dreams. More...

 

Friday, July 15 Wild Edibles Walk Draws Crowd at Westport Town Farm. The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) drew a crowd of over 60 participants last Wednesday for an edible plants walk at the Westport Town Farm. Led by Russ Cohen, expert forager and author of ‘Wild Plants I have Known… and Eaten,’ the crowd eagerly tasted a variety of edible plants that grow wild in our region.

Keys to the identification of each species were provided, along with information on edible portions, seasons of availability, and preparation methods, as well as guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging. The crowd favorite, American pokeweed, was historically used as an ink substitute by American colonists. “The Declaration of Independence was actually written in pokeweed ink,” said Cohen.

DSC01095

For more information on upcoming events, visit www.WestportLandTrust.org. These free hikes, walks, and talks would not be possible without the generous contributions of individuals. “We are a membership supported non-profit that relies on individual donations to provide programs like these,” said outreach and stewardship coordinator, Brendan Buckless.

“We welcome the foraging of invasive edible plants such as Japanese knotweed and Autumn olive on all WLCT destination properties,” said Buckless. “However, please refrain from harvesting native edible plants as they provide habitat for a whole host of native species that would not survive otherwise.”           

 

Sunday, July 10 - Future of South Coast Rail unclear after decades of planning.  Imagine being able to hop on the train at a station down the street and get to work, a ball game, a concert in Boston in half the time it takes to drive that grueling commute from SouthCoast.

Photo |  PETER PEREIRA/The Standard-Times

It's something you probably imagine every time you sit in suffocating traffic on the bottle-necked highways that take you to the city that is the pulse of the Commonwealth. It's South Coast Rail and it's been promised for decades and decades with nothing but hopes, imaginations, and plans to show. More...

 

Saturday, July 9 Westport’s Housing Authority recently contracted with Somerset for the management of its State Road public housing complex after the current manager stepped away from a new contract.

The Fairhaven Housing Authority, manager of the 48-unit Greenwood Terrace since 2010, recently decided not to renew its management agreement with Westport.

Housing Authority chairperson Veronica Beaulieu said a formal contract might take weeks to get officially approved by Somerset and state authorities.

Somerset’s Housing Authority director, Lucia Casey has volunteered her time to immediately begin familiarizing herself with the Westport facility.

The popular public housing complex has a waiting list of between six months and three years for new tenants.

More...

 

Friday, July 8 Angela Benetti sent her ex-boyfriend a sympathy card when his dog went missing on Thursday, May 26th.

"The loss of a pet isn't easy ... especially one who was loved as much as yours," the card read. Then Benetti added a personal message. "Sorry for your loss Jimmy, I truly am! angela..."

But according to Westport police, she neglected to mention one thing: they say Benetti was responsible for the disappearance of Jet, a 7-year-old, long-haired female Dachshund. More...

 

Thursday, July 7 - Looking for work? These days, who isn’t, so listen up.

Amazon announced it will hire at least 500 people to handle merchandise and fill orders at their new warehouse. Hiring should begin this summer.

According to the Fall River Herald News, over 680 people signed up to attend Amazon briefings as of Tuesday afternoon. The sessions were for those interested in jobs as warehouse workers at the 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center under construction in the Biopark, straddling the Freetown line off Route 24.

The first briefings were held at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Wednesday at Durfee High School, 360 Elsbree Street, Fall River.

Two more briefings will be held on Thursday; the first will be at 10:00 a.m. at Diman Regional Vocational High School, 251 Stonehaven Road. The second in the Bristol Community College Auditorium, 777 Elsbree Street, at 3:00 p.m.

Amazon said thee jobs will be open to people with a high school diploma or a GED. Applicants will have to file online, complete an online test and pass a drug test.

Jobs will also be posted on their website, www.amazon.jobs. You can click or call for the mailing list through the Career Center; to be notified of open Amazon jobs email: amazon-jobs@bristoljobs.org, or call the Career Center at 508.730.5000.

 

 

 

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August 2016 Monthly Observances

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American History Essay Contest  Black Business Month

Boomers Making A Difference Month

Bystander Awareness Month

Children's Eye Health & Safety Month

Child Support Awareness Month  Link

Children's Vision & Learning Month

Get Ready for Kindergarten Month

Happiness Happens Month  Link

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Motor Sports Awareness Month

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Daily Observances for

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

International Strange Music Day

 National Peach Pie Day

National Waffle Day

Pluto Demoted Day

Vesuvius Day

William Wilberforce Day

  Knife Day

Wayzgoose Day

National Waffle Iron Day

 

Click here to check out all the daily, weekly and monthly 2016 holidays, notable events and celebrations, both official and unofficial. Great fun!

 

Today’s Significant Events in History

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

79 Mt Vesuvius erupts, buries Roman Pompeii & Herculaneum, 15,000 die

410 Rome overrun by Visigoths under Alaric I for the first time in nearly 800 years, seen as the fall of the Western Roman Empire

1516 Battle of Marj Dabiq: Ottoman forces decisively beat the Mamluk Sultanate

1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Protestants by Roman Catholics begins in Paris and later spreads to the French provinces

1662 Act of Uniformity requires English to accept Book of Common Prayer

1814 British forces capture Washington, D.C. and destroy many landmarks (War of 1812)

1968 France became world's 5th thermonuclear power with detonation on Mururoa

 

  View more Historical Events on this Day in History

 

 

 

 

Click here to view all scheduled Westport town board and committee meetings this week.

 

 

 

Click here to view all Theater and Arts events this week in and around Westport.

 

 

 

The Handy House opens for the Season on Saturday June 11, 2016

Throughout the summer Handy House will open on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month June - October from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Westport Historical Society presents an exhibition – Room to Learn: Westport’s One-Room Schoolhouses. Exhibition is ongoing: Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bell School, 25 Drift Road, Westport.

 

Contact The Westport Historical Society at 508.636.6011 and ask for Jenny. Email: westporthistory@westporthistory.net. Visit their website.

 

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Click here to take a virtual tour of their on-going exhibit.

 

Visit the Westport Historical Society website.

Like them on Facebook.

 

Click here to read their June, 2016 E-Newsletter.

 

 

 

Happening Today in and around Westport!

Today’s events, listed below, you don’t want to miss! Scroll down to view them all.

 

Click here to see all events this week.

 

Click here to see future events after this week.

 

Wednesday, August 24

Wednesday, August 24 - Zumba with Fatima at Sandywoods Center for the Arts building, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton. Starts at 8:30 a.m. 401..378.3872

 

Wednesday, August 24 - Aerobics at the Westport Senior Center from 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. Join aerobics instructor Wendy Sperduti-Ray for a fun fitness workout.  All are welcome. Call ahead to be sure the class isn’t full.

Aerobics on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more information please call 508.636.1026.

** Attention all Aerobics and Stretch and Tone participants **

As of July 1, 2015 the cost for classes will be $35.00/month for Aerobics and $25.00/ month for Stretch and Tone. Call 508.636.1026 for all the details.

 

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Watercolor painting at the COA. 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. The Watercolor Workshop is a group for those interested in learning and sharing more about the joy of watercolor painting. The membership consists of artists just beginning their journey with watercolor to experienced artists who willingly offer encouragement and motivation to one another. Class size is limited. Please call 508.636.1026 for more information.

Westport Senior Center, 75 Reed Road, Westport.

 

Wednesday, August 24 - Awaken the Artist Within! Join the Council On Aging for Art Classes on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.

Hosted by Robert Abele. Robert is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts. His paintings have appeared in numerous publications including the Washington Post and the New York times.

This class is designed as a workshop where all mediums are welcome. Watercolor, oil and colored pencil are just a few of the mediums used by students. Each student is given personal instruction and guidance based on the subject they are working on. Classes are $40.00 per month or $15.00 for a single class. Come in and release the Artist within You.

Westport Senior Center, 75 Reed Road, Westport. Call 508.636.2026 for more information.

 

Kripalu Yoga with Karen Moore Holliday at the Little Compton Wellness Center from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.; no class on February 24th.

$10 per class.

Need more information? Call 774.644.9977 or visit: www.sanctuarysadhana.com

www.littlecomptonwellnesscenter.org

115 East Main Road, Little Compton.

 

Ageless Gentle Yoga every Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Little Compton Community Center, 34 Commons, Little Compton, $17.00 per person.

Experience wellbeing, increased vitality, range of motion and circulation. Release physical and mental stressors, increase self-esteem, manage weight, balance mood and emotions while increasing strength/flexibility, breath and focus. In this supportive practice for body, mind and spirit, personal attention is given. Sequences both seated and standing match needs and abilities. Begin anytime. Everybody is welcome. Sessions ongoing. Discount available for session.

Call 401.816.0024, Caryl Sickul, MA, DMT, Experienced Instructor, Movement Specialist, Wellness Consultant in Private Practice for Decades. Private Sessions, Gift Certificates and Celebrations by appointment.

Vinyasa yoga classes, available at Rivers Of Light Studio, Tiverton.

For more information email: csickul@­cox.­net or visit her website.

 

Osteoporosis exercise at the Westport Senior Center.

Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.

An exercise for people with or at risk for Osteopenia/ Osteoporosis. Participants will learn about osteoporosis and everyday activities that will improve their day to day lives. A physician form filled out by the doctor that states this would be beneficial is required. There are openings in the Monday, Wednesday & Friday sessions. For more information contact the Westport Council on Aging at 508.636.1026. The instructor is Florence Wypych.

 

Wednesday, August 24 - Senior Community Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at The Little Compton Community Center, 34 Commons, Little Compton.

Join them for lunch as they enjoy our local catering. Some of the finest cooks in Little Compton are volunteering their time to prepare delicious meals for our seniors every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Don’t miss this opportunity to share good food with good friends in a friendly community atmosphere. 

$3 suggested donation for the disabled and seniors age 50 and over.  $6 suggested donation under age 50.

Please call to reserve at least 48 hours in advance. 401-635-2400. For more information call or click 401.635.2400 or email: 

sally­huntington@­lccenter.­com.

 

Poetry Writing at the Westport COA. 1:30 p.m. Members bring a new poem they have written to the weekly Wednesday meeting and constructively critique one another's work. Class size is limited. Please call for information. Convener is Barbara Wickes.

 

Calling all players for Party Bridge. Intermediate bridge players are invited to play Party Bridge every Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m. at Westport Free Public Library, 408 Old County Road, Westport.

Many of the regular players have headed south for the winter, so new players are invited to join. For more information please call 508.636.2603.

 

Poetry Night at the Brownell Library. 6:00 p.m. Brownell Library, 44 Commons, Little Compton. Book Club Poetry Night - Come share a favorite poem or enjoy a poem. The event is free and open to everyone.

 

Wednesday, August 24 - Yoga and Bliss Ice Cream with Andrea DeVeau RYT at the Head public landing every Wednesday night all summer long from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Yoga is by donation $5 to $15 suggested. All levels welcome!

Weather permitting. Cancellations will be posted on FaceBook.

 

Wednesday, August 24 - Country Line Dance Lessons at St. John’s Athletic Club, 1365 Rodman Street, Fall River. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. $10 per person. Call 774.202.5543 for more information. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Visit their website For all the details.

 

Wednesday, August 24 Final Film! The Westport Cultural Council will host its fifth annual film series on three consecutive Wednesdays this summer - August 10th, 17th, and 24th.

 

The film series is free and open to the public.  It is made possible through a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust and will be held at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery, 1 Partners Lane, Westport, MA.

This year, the Council will present three documentary films highlighting the theme “Masters Of Their Craft”.  Each film will be introduced by a guest speaker, with a question and answer period to follow.

Films to start at 7:00 p.m.

Click here for all the details.

 

Karaoke every Wednesday night from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. at Atlantic Sports Pub, 70 Shove Street, Tiverton. The event is free and open to the public.

 

Wednesday, August 24 – July Contra Dance at Sandywoods, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton.
7:00 – 10:00 p.m. BYOB AND BYOF; $8 general admission, $4 kids 16 and under, $18 families.
Paul Wilde calling to the music of Floorplay; Paul Lizotte and Carol Bittensen on fiddles and Debby Knight on piano.
Sandywoods hosts a contra dance on the third Wednesday of every month in our beautiful new concert and dance hall. All dances are taught and feature live music and experienced callers. Partners not necessary. Beginners and children welcome.

Celebrate hump day by dancing the night away in our beautiful venue.

 

Wednesday, August 24 - Hey smarty pants, show White's of Westport what you've got! Do you dominate Trivial Pursuit? Are you the first person to shout out the answer on Jeopardy? Then you'll love their weekly Team? Trivia game.

Join White's of Westport in the Galley Grille on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. to test your knowledge and enjoy some great food and drinks.
Bring your friends and make sure you think of a clever team name. But watch out, the competition is fierce.

66 State Road, (Route 6) Westport.

Also don't miss 20 cent wings, half priced appetizers (7:00 – 9:00 p.m.), great beers on tap, plus a chance to win a $20 gift card to use on your next visit to the Galley Grille or Bittersweet Farm.

 

Karaoke every Wednesday and Thursday night at Oriental Pearl, 576 State Road, Westport from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

For more information please call 508.675.1501 or 401.435.6565.

 

Wednesday, August 24- Figure drawing with live models at Sandywoods Center for the Arts, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton. 9:45 – 12:45 p.m.

Call 401-316-8272 for more information.

 

Find out more about the above and other local area events coming up this week. Click here for our all of this week’s event listings!

 

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Tips for healthy and safe living.

Need Adobe Reader to view PDF documents?

 Click Here to download.

 

Do you heat your home with fuel oil? Then you’ll want to review new safety standards for protecting against costly oil leaks that could be very expensive to remediate.

Click here  PDF to see how to protect your oil tank’s fuel line as required by law. The Massachusetts Homeowner Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law requires you to upgrade your home heating system equipment to prevent leaks from tanks and pipes that connect to your furnace. By making a relatively small expenditure now, you can prevent a much greater expense in the future.

 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) positive mosquito findings in Westport and a widening swath through Southeastern Massachusetts. 

Click here for more information and learn how to protect yourself from EEE.

 

A defective or non-functioning smoke alarm almost cost a young Westport woman her life in a recent July 4th Drift Road fire. The house burnt to the ground but the woman was saved by an alert Fire Chief. Protect yourself, your family and pets with proper smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Is your property safe? Click here to get all the details and state requirements for all age homes. Do it now.  PDF Large file, Please be patient.

 

16 tips you need to defend yourself against deer ticks and Lyme Disease.   Click here to get them now!

 

   Coyote

10 tips for living with coyotes in Westport. Click here to learn how.  PDF

 

 

Want to make a comment, submit a correction, or report a news story or event of interest. We would be delighted to hear from you.

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Send an email to:

EverythingWestport@hotmail.com.

If you are from the southcoast area, please feel free to email us any upcoming event you would like to submit.

 

     

 

Westport Historical Society presents an exhibition – Room to Learn: Westport’s One-Room Schoolhouses. Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: t10.jpgExhibition started June 9th and is ongoing: Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bell School, 25 Drift Road, Westport.

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Click here to take a virtual tour.

 

 

Westport Council on Aging

  Announcements 

COA Evergreen Newsletter – July/August, 2016

 

Read July/August 2016 newsletter now.

 

View the Evergreen’s July schedule and get the hourly timetable of COA weekly events.

 

Westport Council of Aging has a new video! Click here to see it now.

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Jun 25th 2008 Wednesday - First Time Ever House Tour at Westport Point. The Friends of the Westport Council on Aging sponsored this House Tour in the Historic District at Westport Point.

There were more than just a few rooms with a view for the over 300 visitors who toured Westport Point homes on the first ever Point House Tour sponsored by the Friends of the Council of Aging.

Read the full story with photos now!

 

 

Aerial views courtesy of Geno Silvia

New England Wings - Custom Aerial Photography

www.newenglandwings.com

 

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Baker’s Beach and Westport Point.

Enlarge

 

Westport’s Central Village featuring Partners Village Store and Kitchen, Alden Hill Real Estate, and Town Hall Annex.

 

 

Snow Owl at Gooseberry Causeway courtesy of Rick Barrette Photography.

www.Rickbarrette.com

 

Enlarge

 

 

 

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Want to make a comment, submit a correction, or report a news story or event of interest. We would be delighted to hear from you.

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Send an email to:

 

EverythingWestport@hotmail.com

 

If you are from the southcoast area, please feel free to email us any upcoming event you would like to submit.

 

 

 

Local area organizations’ newsletters now on-line!

  

 

 

The Westport Land Trust’s event schedule for 2016 is available.

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Click here too see upcoming events now.

 

www.westportlandtrust.org

   

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Monthly newsletter is now available on-line.

Brushstrokes

Summer 2016 issue now out.

Read Newsletter now.

 

PDF

 

Click here to get an update on their upcoming 2016 events!

    

Click here to search their 2016 events schedule.

The Trustees of Reservations 572 Essex Street

Beverly, MA 01915

978.921.1944 www.thetrustees.org

 

  

The Friends of the Westport Library (FOWL) quarterly newsletter for Summer/Fall 2016 is now available.

Read Newsletter now.

PDF

Visit Library’s website.

Visit FOWL’s website.

 

The Westport River Watershed Alliance’s monthly electronic newsletter RIVER NEWS is now available.

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The July 2016 e-Newsletter now on-line.

Read newsletter now.

Click here for event calendar.

 

The Westport Historical Society Winter 2016 The Harbinger newsletter now available on-line.  

 Read newsletter now.

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PDF

Click here to read their July 2016 E-Newsletter.

Visit their FaceBook page to stay up-to-date on current events.

  

The Westport Council on Aging’s monthly newsletter EVERGREEN is now available.

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The July/August, 2016 issue is now on-line. PDF

 

Read newsletter now.

Get the latest happenings at the Westport Senior Center.

 

 

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Click here to read May issue of Allens Pond Sanctuary’s “The Perch.”

Click here to view Allens Pond Sanctuary's Program schedule.

 

Click here to read August 2016 Audubon Society’s e-Newsletter. 

1280 Horseneck Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
(508) 636-2437


allenspond@massaudubon.org

 

WFA

The Westport Fishermen’s Association Spring 2016 Newsletter is now on-line. Click here to view it now. PDF

 

Visit their website.

 

View current weather conditions at Horseneck Point Life Saving Station!

 

Visit WFA facebook page.

 

 

Westport Business to Business Visit their website.

 

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Be sure to visit these informative and fascinating pages of EverythingWestport.com!

 

Photo Essays of Westport

Hundreds of high-quality digital images illustrating the rural culture and beauty of Westport; its rivers, shores and picturesque landscapes. Go there now!

 

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View Upcoming Event Calendar

Get up-to-the minute announcements of the when, where and whys of local social business events. Go there now!

 

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Local Theater and the Arts

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Click here for all local Theater and Arts events this week!

   

Conservation-Land Walking Tours in and around Westport

Explore Westport one step at a time!  Click here!

 

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