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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill Dies in Committee

By Jacqueline Rabe

www.ctmirror.org

Sunday alcohol sales will remain off limits in Connecticut after a bill that would have lifted the old holdover from the state’s “Blue Laws” died in committee.

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The committee did not vote down the Sunday sales bill, but members will not meet again before their committee’s deadline to vote the bill out of committee for the full General Assembly to consider.

Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, co-chairman of the Program Review and Investigations Committee, said he decided not to force a vote because, “I know how to count. The votes weren’t there. It was pretty close, but not a one vote margin.”

Kissel said the committee’s divide on Sunday sales was more geographic than partisan: Lawmakers from towns bordering Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts favor Sunday sales so their local package stores can compete with cross-border competitors who are allowed to sell on Sundays.

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03/11/10 10:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Flood Watch Issued

The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. has issued a flood watch for Westport and area which is in effect from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.

A late afternoon advisory said there will be on and off light rain Friday which will become steadier Friday night and Saturday.

The rain could be heavy at times Saturday and Saturday night resulting in significant rainfall totals, the advisory said, perhaps amounting to two or three inches.

Plenty of runoff is expected as already saturated grounds will have a hard time absorbing this amount of rainfall, it said.

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03/11/10 10:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

“We Do Not Have Statesmen Any More”


Gov. M. Jodi Rell addressed a broad range of issues today in a talk to the Y’s Men of Westport Weston, including her decision not to seek re-election and the current budget crisis in Hartford. WestportNow.com video

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03/11/10 08:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rell: Statesmen Replaced by “Partisanship” and “Nastiness”

Gov. M. Jodi Rell, in a reflective look at her political career, said today she is leaving office because Connecticut needs a new face at a time when there is “so much partisanship and so much nastiness” in government. WestportNow.com Image
Gov. M. Jodi Rell told the Westport Weston Y’s Men today she hoped to spend more time with her grandchildren. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

“We do not have statesmen any more,” she told a meeting of the Westport Weston Y’s Men, a group of retirees. “We have politicians who look out for themselves and the next election.”

Rell said when she was first elected to the state legislature in 1985, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle would debate the issues of the day and afterward shake hands and go out for a beer together. But no longer.

“If I’m being cruel, I don’t mean to be,” she said.  “And that’s why in my heart I knew it was time for me to leave because we need a fresh face.

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03/11/10 08:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Longshore to Open for Play Friday, Weather Permitting

Westport Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy announced today that the Longshore Golf Course will open for play on Friday, weather permitting.

“Temporary tees and greens will be in use and winter rates will be charged,” said McCarthy.

Play will be on a walk-up basis.  No reserved times will be available until the greens are open, he said.

Friday’s forecast calls for cloudy skies with a chance of light rain with areas of drizzle. It also says breezy conditions are expected with high in the upper 40s.

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03/11/10 07:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Man Gets 27 Months on Conspiracy Charge

A federal judge in New Haven today sentenced a Westport man to 27 months in prison for conspiring to falsify company records while serving as its chief financial officer.WestportNow.com Image
John N. Milne: also agrees to disgorge $6.25 million. File photo

John N. Milne, 50, was also ordered by Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Breen Burns to undergo three years of supervised release following his prison term and to perform 200 hours of community service.

Milne is former president as well as chief financial officer of Greenwich-based United Rentals Inc.

He pleaded guilty last October to falsifying company records to hide the true nature of payments made to settle obligations incurred as part of minor sale leaseback transactions entered into with Westport-based Terex Corp. (See WestportNow Oct. 13, 2009)

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03/11/10 07:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Connecticut’s Wealthy Get Wealthier But Will it Last?

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Despite losses as the recession set in, Connecticut’s wealthiest households came through 2008 with a six-year record of income growth more than five times greater than that of the average taxpayer.

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Buoyed by a five-year stretch during which their collected adjusted gross income shot upward by more than 230 percent—a growth spike unmatched in the 19-year history of the state income tax—filers earning more than $1 million reported a total adjusted gross income for 2008 more than double that of 2002.

For those who didn’t top the $1 million mark, 2002 through 2008 offered more modest growth of 21 percent, according to new data from the state’s tax agency.

And with legislators laying the groundwork now for a landmark debate over Connecticut’s tax system after Election Day, advocates on all sides are trying to frame the relative positions of Connecticut’s upper and middle classes.

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03/11/10 12:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Twilight on the Saugatuck

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A twilight portrait looking east across the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center with Jesup Green and the Westport Public Library in view. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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03/11/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 11, 2010


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – PIC Downtown Plan Subcommittee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Found: Making Art from the Material World”
1 p.m. - Hall-Brooke (47 Longs Lots Road) - Westport Garden Club meeting and lecture: “Designing with Flowers from the Supermarket,” Miriam Landsmen
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session
7 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – RTM Education Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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03/11/10 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Meet in Westport

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The Democratic Town Committees of Westport, Weston, and Wilton tonight hosted four Democrats hoping to be the state’s next governor at a meeting at the Westport Town Hall auditorium. Taking part were (l-r) First Selectman Rudy Marconi of Ridgefield, former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, businessman Ned Lamont of Greenwich, and First Selectman Mary Glassman of Simsbury. All agreed that creating jobs and reducing Connecticut’s high cost electricity would be among their priorities as governor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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03/11/10 03:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

State: Westport Unemployment Rate at 6.5 Percent

Connecticut’s Department of Labor reported Westport’s unemployment rate in January was 6.5 percent, up from 5.5 percent the previous month.

In its latest statewide survey of towns, the department said of Westport’s labor force of 12,751, there were 833 persons out of work.

The comparable figures for December showed 12,622 in the work force with 695 out of work.

A year ago, the state said Westport had 12,682 in the labor force with 693 unemployed, or 5.5 percent.

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03/10/10 09:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Penguin Plunge Raises Record-Breaking $130,000

Saturday’s Penguin Plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach raised a record-breaking $130,000 for the Special Olympics, organizers said today.WestportNow.com Image
This year’s Penguin Plunge attracted 475 entrants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

The event, which took place under sunny skies with temperatures in the 50s, had 475 people registered to participate.

The 2009 plunge drew 424 plungers and raised more than $100,000 to support Special Olympics’ year-round sports training programs and competitions for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their peers.

“The Westport Penguin Plunge continues to be the largest plunge in the state for Special Olympics Connecticut and the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics Connecticut, Southwest Region of the year,” said staff members Lisa Vane, Debbie Horne, Jen Williams and Marie Domack.

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03/10/10 08:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rock Art

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Some rock art sculptures appeared at Westport’s Compo Beach today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kathy Muro for WestportNow.com

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03/10/10 07:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Smoke Detector, Alarm System Alert Residents to Dryer Fire

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Westport firefighters today credited a fire alarm system and smoke detector for alerting residents of a Bayberry Lane home of a dryer fire in their basement. The occupants of the home were able to evacuate safely and firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze at 25 Bayberry Lane shortly before 7 a.m. “The fire was confined to the dryer to the credit of a working fire alarm system and the metal dryer vent hose,” said Assistant Chief Robert Yost.  “The combination of a working smoke detector and the monitored fire alarm system also gave the homeowner and her children the time to get out of the house before the smoke made the house untenable.” Cause of the blaze is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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03/10/10 03:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Reels in Motion: Seeking a Return of Movies to Westport

By James Lomuscio

When it came to movie houses, Westport had “an embarrassment of riches” into the late 1990s, says Jonathan Steinberg. WestportNow.com Image
Film buffs meet at the Westport Historical Society on Tuesday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

With five theaters throughout town, the community was both a cultural and commercial draw for those who flocked to first-run films and dinner afterwards.

But with the rise of multiplexes in Fairfield and Norwalk, the last Westport picture show came to the end of its reel by 2000, leaving a hole in town, to hear Steinberg, a member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), tell it.

On Tuesday night, Steinberg assembled more than two dozen community members at the Westport Historical Society to launch a film society aimed at bringing movies back to town.

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03/10/10 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

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