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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bridgewater Associates Hosts McCain

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About 400 employees of Westport hedge fund Bridgewater Associates attended today’s town meeting held by presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a large tent on the Bridgewater grounds on Glendinning Place. McCain was on stage for about an hour. The event was closed to the general public. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Welcome to Westport

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Sen. John McCain is escorted into a tent on the grounds of Bridgewater Associates in Westport today by Ray Dalio, Bridgewater’s founder, president, and chief investment officer. McCain held a “town hall meeting” with about 400 Bridgewater employees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Westporter and “Red Leather Diary” at Library

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Westporter Florence Woldfson (l), 92, was a special guest today at an author’s talk at the Westport Public Library. Author Lily Koppel (r), 27, talked about her book “The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal” in which she describes finding a journal in an old steamer trunk which turned out to be written by Wolfson from 1929 to 1934. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Playhouse “Thurgood” Production Heads to Broadway

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James Earl Jones: starred in 2006 Playhouse production of “Thurgood.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The Westport Country Playhouse announced today that “Thurgood,” which originated at the Playhouse in 2006, will begin previews on Saturday for an April 30 opening at Broadway’s Booth Theatre.

Ostar Productions will produce the limited engagement of “Thurgood” in association with the Playhouse through Aug 3. Laurence Fishburne, who won a Tony Award for his performance in “Two Trains Running,” stars in the production. James Earl Jones played the title role in Westport.

“Thurgood” brings to the stage the story of Thurgood Marshall, who rose from a childhood in the backstreets of Baltimore to the Supreme Court of the United States. The play is written by George Stevens, Jr., 11-time Emmy Award winner and two-time Peabody Award winner, and directed by Leonard Foglia.

“The original, sold-out run at Westport Country Playhouse in spring 2006 was a triumph,” said Anne Keefe, Playhouse co-artistic director. “Thanks to Ostar Productions and Bill Haber for bringing us the production which allowed us to reach such a large audience and participate in a pre-Broadway tryout.”

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Hudson Valley Bank to Open in Westport

Hudson Valley Bank, the largest independently owned commercial bank headquartered in Westchester County with $2 billion in assets, announced today it plans to open three additional branches in Fairfield County, including one in Westport.WestportNow.com Image
The future home of a new branch of Hudson Valley Bank at 420 Post Road West in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Westport branch will be located at 420 Post Road West, formerly home of a TD Banknorth branch, and will be open in the latter half of this year, an announcement said. The other new branches will be in Fairfield and Greenwich.

Hudson Valley, headquartered in Yonkers, N.Y., serves the metropolitan area with 25 branches located in Westchester, Rockland, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens, N.Y., as well as in Fairfield County. The bank opened its first full service branch in Connecticut in Stamford in December 2007.

“Our goal is to serve the deposit, lending and investment needs of individuals, businesses, professional service firms and not-for-profit organizations in Fairfield County,” said James J. Landy, president and chief executive officer.

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Westport Receives Award for McLaury House

Westport has been awarded a 2008 Connecticut Preservation Award in the community service category for the restoration of the Emily McLaury House, Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff announced today.WestportNow.com Image
The McLaury House at 99 Myrtle Ave.  awaits its new tenant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow/WN file photo

The award will be presented to Joseloff at a ceremony on Monday, April 28, at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington.  Members of the Westport Historic District Commission and the Emily McLaury House Committee also will attend.

“Westport’s restoration for workforce housing of the Emily McLaury House was an important project for our community,” said Joseloff.  “On behalf of Westport, I would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to the members of the Historic District Commission and the McLaury House Committee for their dedication and hard work on this project.”

The Emily McLaury House, located at 99 Myrtle Ave., was designed by Charles E. Cutler in the 1920s for his wife’s cousin, Emily McLaury. It was purchased by the town in 1972. In early 2006, Joseloff appointed the Emily McLaury House Committee, made up of volunteers, to develop a plan to restore the historic property.

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McCain Visits Westport Hedge Fund Today

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Sen. John McCain visits the Sherwood Diner in Westport in October 2004. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WN file photo
Sen. John McCain visits Westport today and is going where the money is—one of the world’s largest hedge funds.

The Republican candidate for president will hold a “town hall meeting” with employees of Bridgewater Associates on Glendinning Place, off Weston Road, at 3:45 p.m. The event is closed to the general public. Bridgewater manages $150 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients.

Ray Dalio, Bridgewater’s founder, president and chief investment officer, is a strong McCain supporter as are many of his colleagues. Together they have contributed more than $60,000 to McCain’s campaign over the last year, according to public filings.

McCain last visited Westport on Oct, 28, 2006, when he came here for a private fund-raiser for Republican Congressman Christopher Shays. He was also here in October 2004 for Shays, and his stops included a visit to the Sherwood Diner on Post Road East.

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Compo Rays

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Some visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach on Tuesday soak up some sun as the temperature climbed into the low 50s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008


9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Earthplace - “Memories of a Childhood Lost”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center Gallery - “The Paradox of Water”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Preserved—Westport Lost: Keeping Our Heritage Alive”
Noon - Westport Public Library - Authors@the Library: Lily Koppel, “The Red Leather Diary”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Time of My Life”
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Board of Assessment Appeals
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Board of Finance Budget Restoration Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center Gallery - Freddie Bryant, Brazilian solo guitar

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Double Notes

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Westport twin sisters Pamela (l) and Kristen Onorato, fifth graders at King’s Highway Elementary School, were among those performing tonight at Coleytown Middle School as part of a combined concert by the fifth grade orchestras from King’s Highway and Coleytown Elementary Schoool. It was an opportunity for the fifth graders to experience performing at the middle school they will be attending next September. The program also featured the Coleytown Middle School sixth grade orchestra, and the Coleytown Middle School chamber orchestra. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Water Talk

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Sanjeev Chatterjee, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and professor at the University of Miami, was among panelists tonight at the Westport Public Library discussing water. The session was co-sponsored with the Westport Arts Center which is currently hosting the “Paradox of Water” exhibit. Chatterjee spoke on the role of the arts to important issues of our time and showed excerpts of his film about potable water, “One Water.”  The film was part of a cross-disciplinary collaboration among faculty and students at the University of Miami to develop thoughtful and provocative media endeavors aimed at public education about the crisis facing the availability of clean and safe water in today’s world. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Deer Problem

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The “Play With Your Food” lunchtime play readings series at Westport’s Toquet Hall conclude its season this week with one of the selections involving actress Eileen Lawless (r) getting hysterical as she tells Kate Katcher the deer are eating all her plants in her yard. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Practice, Practice

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A stream of water rises into the sky at Westport’s Compo Beach today as the Westport Fire Department conducted a training exercise. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Town to Impose Zoning Fines After June 1

The Town of Westport plans to implement its new authority to issue fines of up to $150 per day for zoning violations some time after June 1, Planning and Zoning Director Laurence Bradley announced today.

The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) approved the Municipal Citation Ordinance at its April 1 meeting. The ordinance became effective when it was published in the Westport News on Friday, April 4.  However, the department is not expected to begin using the new regulation until June 1, Bradley said.

This date was chosen to allow time for the public to become informed about the new procedures, he said.  Also before citations can be issued, First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff must appoint a hearing officer who will hear appeals from property owners who receive fines under the ordinance, he said.

“The ability to issue citations for zoning violations will help insure that Westport’s Zoning Regulations will be followed,” said Bradley. “The Municipal Citation Ordinance will add another tool in our tool box of enforcement opportunities.

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Field of Dreams

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A youngster gazes down on the baseball field at Westport’s King’s Highway Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Human Services Commission
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Planning & Zoning Affordable Housing Subcommittee
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Earthplace - “Memories of a Childhood Lost”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center Gallery - “The Paradox of Water”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Preserved—Westport Lost: Keeping Our Heritage Alive”
7 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Panel discussion follows film “One Water”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Green Room – Board of Assessment Appeals
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Historic District Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Room 102 – RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - American Architecture 101: What Makes It Great by Carter Wiseman
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Time of My Life”

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“Green-up Westport Day” Set for Saturday

The Westport Beautification Committee and the Westport Parks and Recreation Department are sponsoring “Green-up Westport Day” on Saturday.

A letter has been sent to 70 civic organizations and community groups asking for help and cooperation organizing the clean-up and in picking “adopted” clean-up spots, the department said in a news release.

Every Westport citizen on that day is urged to take time to clean-up litter along their street or any public space, the release said.

At the conclusion, the town will collect bagged garbage and debris from the adopted spots. Groups should specify the time of clean-up by calling the Westport Parks and Recreation Department at (203) 341-5091 prior to Wednesday, the department said.

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Monday is Golf Day

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Today’s chilly temperatures—the unofficial high was 49—did not dissuade these golfers at Westport’s Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Heavy Traffic

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A late afternoon accident on the Merritt Parkway sent many cars to Westport’s Post Road East today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Two Westport Cultural Groups Get $95,000 in State Aid

Gov. M. Jodi Rell today announced two Westport cultural organizations will receive $95,000 in state grants, part of $1.1 million awarded to help fund projects that enrich cultural attractions and draw visitors to Connecticut.WestportNow.com Image
Martin West: filmmaker’s project gets $50,000. WN file photo

The largest grant to Westport was for $50,000 and went to the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection to fund the documentary film “Years in the Making: A Cinematic Journey Into Late Life Creativity.”

The film, currently in production by Westporter Martin West, depicts visual artists aged 70 or older in Westport and Weston.

The Westport Country Playhouse received two grants, one for $25,000 for “Playmaking” a three-year tiered theater program for young people, and the other for $20,000 for “Web site integration.”

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Nominees Sought for Service to Community Award

Human Services Director Barbara Butler announced today that the Westport Youth Commission invites the local community to submit nominations for the annual James S. Bacharach Service to the Community Award. 

“The award, given to one or more Westport high school seniors, recognizes their significant community service contributions in Westport, “said Butler. ”All qualified Westport high school seniors are eligible for this award, considered to be one of the most prestigious high school honors in town.”

Citations have been given annually since 1989 as a tribute to the late James S. Bacharach, a founder and past president of the Youth Adult Council, predecessor of the Westport Youth Commission, which Bacharach and other concerned citizens founded in 1974.

“Successful applicants must demonstrate exemplary leadership ability and high standards of community service to our town,” said Butler. “Anyone may nominate a deserving student or high school seniors are free to nominate themselves.”

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A Patch of Blue

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These tiny blue irises provided some welcome spring color on an otherwise gray and dreary day Sunday. They were photographed outside the lower entrance to the Westport Public Library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Dressing Up

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Westporters Emma Van Riper (l) and her good friend, Zoe Julien, both 6, were delighted with their circa 1908 costumes they tried on as part of Sunday’s 100th birthday celebration at the Westport Public Library. The girls attend kindergarten at Long Lots Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Monday, April 7, 2008


9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Earthplace - “Memories of a Childhood Lost”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center Gallery - “The Paradox of Water”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Preserved—Westport Lost: Keeping Our Heritage Alive”
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Proposal Writing for Grantseekers
6 p.m. – Town Hall Room 206 – RTM Environment Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium –  University of Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) presentation addressing the relationship of land use to natural resource protection (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Board of Assessment Appeals
7 p.m. – Staples High School, Room 333 – Board of Education anticipated executive session
7:30 p.m. – Staples High School, Cafeteria B – Board of Education (televised on Channel 78)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Golf Advisory Committee

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bookends

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The Westport Public Library’s McManus Room was filled to capacity today for a musical performance titled “Bookends: from Gilbert and Sullivan to Broadway.” The performance was part of the library’s afternoon 100th birthday celebration. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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