Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Town Strikes Deal with Women’s Club
Town officials have signed an agreement with the Westport Woman’s Club to provide a walkway from their clubhouse to the upper Imperial Avenue parking lot.
The lower lot—which has been designated for the club’s use for over 50 years—will be used by Connecticut Light and Power as part of the Middletown to Norwalk high-voltage power line project.
While most of the 345-kilovolt transmission line will be buried under Route 1 in Westport, it will also be buried under the Saugatuck River.
Town officials came to an agreement with the power company to use the lower lot as a “jacking pit” to bury the power line under the river and to install a vault, which will house electrical equipment once the project is completed.
Westport Property Transfers Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2007
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2007:
Dimity Linard and Lillemor Wallmark to Michele Knapp and Jules Jonckheer, 185 Imperial Ave., $750,000
Vera Spivack to Frank J. and Patricia O’Malley, 122 Regents Park, $795,000
B. P. Conn LLC and T. R. B. Conn LLC to Abbey 450 Post Road LLC, 450 Post Road East, $11,968,500
Nicola S. Coleman to John W. and Amanda E. Elliott, 4 Tamarac Road, $1,525,000
Ice is coating many of the water areas in Westport today with temperatures remaining below freezing, including at Compo Beach. Temperatures are expected to dip into the teens tonight and remain below freezing through the weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Levitt Pavilion Winter Benefit is Friday
New York-based Soul Street will headline the Friends of the Levitt Pavilion’s 11th annual Winter Gala, “Midnight in Marrakech,” on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore.
Tickets for the fund-raiser are $175 and help underwrite the pavilion’s summer of free entertainment.
The Morrocan-themed event will feature a champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception, lavish dinner buffet, ongoing entertainment, the Silent and Live Auction Marketplace and dancing with Soul Street performing.
With a repertoire from big band to rock, Soul Street has been the band of choice for for Robert De Niro, Billy Joel and the Royal Family of Morocco.
To charge tickets by phone, call (203) 226-7600. For more information, visit levittpavilion.com.
Parks and Recreation Union Receives New Contract
The Westport parks and recreation workers have a new five-year union contract that has a 3 percent wage increase in four of the five years.
The Westport Representative Town Meeting approved the new contract during its meeting Tuesday night.
The contract dates back to July 2, 2006 with a three percent wage increase in the first four years. There is a 3.25 percent wage increase in the final year of the contract, which starts July 1, 2010.
The RTM approval also ensures a $34,000 lump sum bonus that will be distributed among the 34 union members.
RTM Sends Family Y Proposal to Committees for Review
The Westport Representative Town Meeting early today voted to send to committee a sense of the meeting resolution asking town officials to swap land with the Westport Weston Family Y.
The vote shortly after midnight followed more than an hour of debate.
Michael Gilbertie, RTM District 9, submitted a sense of the meeting resolution, which is non-binding, asking that town officials swap a portion of Winslow Park for the Family Y’s downtown facility, which is under contract for purchase. The proposal comes as a response to the Family Y’s plans to move its facility to Camp Mahackeno.
The town acquired Winslow Park under eminent domain, which requires that it be used for municipal needs and not as open space, he said, plus the Family Y would need about seven acres of the 27-acre property.
Saugatuck in the Winter
Much of the Saugatuck River is covered in ice as temperatures have remained below freezing in Westport this week. Temperatures were around 20 degrees on Tuesday and are expected to stay around the same today. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing the remainder of the week and through the weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Feb. 7, 2007
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Digital Audiobooks Workshop
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Literature: Mark Schenker
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
RTM Approves Synthetic Turf Funding
Meghan Mitnick, Staples senior and varsity girls lacrosse co-captain, was the first of several student athletes who addressed the RTM tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic
The Westport Representative Town Meeting tonight approved $1.6 million necessary to install synthetic turf on the P.J. Romano Football Field and the Ginny Parker Field Hockey Field.
Under the plan, the Field of Dreams Committee asked town officials to pay approximately $700,000 to install the turf on the Ginny Parker Field Hockey Field at Staples High School while it would raise $865,000 for the turf on the P.J. Romano Field at Saugatuck Elementary School. Both fields would be installed this summer.
A large group of people—including Staples girls field hockey and lacrosse players—spoke in favor of the proposal, but not every RTM member supported the funding.
Staples junior Colby Mello, junior captain of the girls lacrosse team, said there needs to be a change with the Ginny Parker Field because it floods and has dangerous holes.
Green Energy Task Force Holds Its First Meeting
The Westport Green Energy Task Force tonight started its efforts in advising town officials and residents on how to conserve energy or switch to green power.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he hopes the task force can help boost public awareness because residents need to understand the issues surrounding green energy and energy conservation.
“It’s been said that one (energy-efficient) light bulb in every Westport home will go a long way,” he said. “We’re not only saving the money but also saving the planet.”
The task force jumped right into its work by discussing how they would achieve their goals for advising the first selectman and educating the public on green energy.
With temperatures hovering around 20 degrees today, ice covered Westport’s Saugatuck River. Temperatures are expected to dip below zero tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Smoke at Bank Drive-Up Traced to Transformer
Westport firefighters today responded to T.D. BankNorth at 90 Post Road East on a report of smoke in a building housing an ATM machine and drive-up teller. The problem was traced to a transformer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Playhouse’s Playwright Earns Artist Fellowship
David Wiltse: Received a state artist fellowship. Contributed photoThe Westport Country Playhouse’s playwright in residence has received an artist fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.
David Wiltse, a Weston resident, was one of 34 artists across the state to receive an award from the commission in the categories of choreography, fiction, film/video, music composition, playwriting and poetry.
Wiltse has written 11 plays, published 12 novels and produced more than 50 projects for film and television. He has been a resident of Weston and Westport since 1972.
Wiltse is the winner of a Drama Desk Award for “Most Promising Playwright” for his first produced play, “Suggs,” which was premiered at Lincoln Center.
Joseloff Addresses Westport Rotary Club
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff presented a state of the town address to the Westport Rotary Club today at the Inn at Longshore. Joseloff touched on a number of topics including the Westport Weston Family Y’s potential move to Camp Mahackeno. He said he believes it would be in the best interest of the town if the Family Y could stay downtown. He also said debate is healthy, but the level of uncivility in the community debate is rising to uncomfortably alarming levels and cannot continue. Excerpts from his remarks are available on the town Web site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Playing with Their Food
Actors Bill Phillips and Lou Orsone and director Carole Schweid (l-r) get a bite to eat after today’s “Play With Your Food” performance at Westport’s Toquet Hall. There was a sellout crowd for the event, which included the performance and lunch followed by a “talk back” session with the actors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
School Board Approves Budget with $300,000 Reduction
Voting just after midnight, the Westport Board of Education early today approved a $88.9 million 2007-08 proposed school budget after reducing the superintendent’s request by more than $300,000.
The proposal is a 8.4 percent increase over the current budget and now moves on to the Board of Finance.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon had proposed an $89.2 million budget, which is a 8.8 percent, or $7.2 million increase over the current budget.
The board reduced the operating expenses by approximately $636,000 based on proposed cuts from Landon, but added $300,000 to the insurance account before its final vote.
Braving the Cold
Deer in the Coleytown area of Westport were some of the very few to brave Monday’s cold with temperatures in the teens. The overnight low was expected to drop to around zero with forecasters predicting today’s high to be 20 degrees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Martha Nachman for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Administrative Review Board
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Jobseekers Resource Seminar
Noon - Westport Public Library - authors@the library: Mary-Lou Weisman
12:15 p.m. - Inn at Longshore - First Selectman Gordon Joseloff addresses Westport Rotary meeting
4:15 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Art Factory: Amulets, Talismans and Good Luck Charms
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Green Energy Task Force
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – RTM (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
Supermarket Workers Authorize Stop & Shop Strike
Supermarket workers in Connecticut and western Massachusetts authorized union leaders tonight to call a strike against Stop & Shop if the supermarket chain refuses to relent on health care issues.
Brian Petronella, president of Local 371 of the United Food & Commercial Workers, said his Westport-based local voted unanimously to reject a company proposal for paycheck deductions for health insurance.
Workers also unanimously gave union leaders the go-ahead to call a strike as early as Feb. 19 if a contract scheduled to expire the previous day is not extended.
In addition, union locals in Springfield, Mass., and Farmington rejected the health care proposal and authorized a strike, Petronella said.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Joseloff to Deliver State of the Town Address to Rotary
Gordon Joseloff: Updating on town initiatives. Contributed photoWestport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will give a state of the town address to the Westport Rotary Club during its meeting on Tuesday at noon at the Inn at Longshore.
The public is invited to the luncheon, which costs $20.
Joseloff’s talk will range on a variety of topics and updates on a number of initiatives he has started during his administration including emergency preparedness, green energy, affordable housing, technology, and Celebrate Westport.
Joseloff was first elected as first selectman in November 2005. He was previously moderator of the Representative Town Meeting representing District 8.
Family Y Schedules Second Forum
The Westport Weston Family Y will hold its second Member and Community Forum, an informational meeting on the proposed construction of a new Family Y at Camp Mahackeno, on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Bedford Room of its facility at 59 Post Road East.
The second forum comes at the request of people after the first forum last month. The previous session drew people that including Family Y members, RTM members and individuals from the community at large.
The forum’s purpose is to keep the community informed about the facts of the proposal and conducting an open and direct dialogue about pertinent issues.
“We addressed many topics regarding the move to Mahackeno during the last meeting, including environmental concerns, the sale of the Bedford Building, the Y’s falling membership, and the reasons for relocation,” said Family Y CEO Helene Weir. “We shared the latest information about the Y’s plans and answered attendees’ questions, and agree it’ll be beneficial to all parties to continue the dialogue.”
For additional information about this forum, call Weir at (203) 226-8981 x131.
Westport Company Buys Post Road Building for $12 Million
Westport-based Abbey 450 Post Road LLC purchased the building at 450 Post Road East for $12 million recently. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
A Westport company purchased the office building located at 450 Post Road East for $12 million, HK Group representatives said today.
Abbey 450 Post Road LLC, which is owned by Westport-based Abbey Road Advisors, purchased the property from Matan Companies of Frederick, Md. HK Group facilitated the sale.
The office building houses two tenants, Integrated Corporate Relations and New England Life Insurance.
The 34,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1981 and has gone under two renovations.
Affordable Housing Regulation Changes Proposed
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission will be examining potential changes to the affordable housing regulations, and it could lead to an application for housing in the Indian Hill and Bradley Lane neighborhood.
Planning and Zoning Director Laurence Bradley said Woodland Group has submitted an application for changes that would create different standards in the regulations for affordable housing.
The group also showed him a drawing that shows 19 units of affordable and market-rate housing on Bradley Lane, which would include four units of the affordable housing.
The changes to the regulations, he said, would require 20 percent of the housing units in the new zone to be for those earning 80 percent of the state median income and 10 percent of them to be “workforce housing” for those earning 80 percent of Westport’s median income.
Gleason, Sarandon Join Playhouse Benefit Cast
Joanna Gleason: Performing at the playhouse. Contributed photoTony Award winner Joanna Gleason and Oscar nominee Chris Sarandon have joined the cast for “Come Be My Love. . .Love Spoken Here” at the Westport Country Playhouse.
They will join Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Eartha Kitt and Charles Grodin in the cast to read classic, contemporary and humorous love poems on Saturday at 8 p.m.
The performance will support the Playhouse’s educational programming. A reception of champagne and desserts will follow the performance.
Tickets are $300, of which $225 is tax deductible, and $175, of which $100 is tax deductible.
Cracked Sprinkler Pipe Floods Dressing Room Restaurant
A fire sprinkler pipe cracked by the bitter cold flooded portions of the Dressing Room restaurant at the Westport Country Playhouse early today, fire officials said.
The restaurant at 27 Powers Court, founded by Paul Newman and master chef Michel Nischan, sustained water damage to the rear dining room and basement, according to Assistant Chief Robert Kepchar.
He said firefighters who responded to a 1:05 a.m. sprinkler flow alarm were greeted by an employee who said water was coming from the ceiling in the rear dining room.
“Firefighters entered the attic space above the room and determined that a large sprinkler pipe had cracked and was the source of the water flow,” he said.Page 1276 of 1633 pages
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