Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Revaluation Working Group Gets Update
Westport’s Revaluation Working Group met today and heard an update from Ron Mota (r), project manager for Vision Appraisal Technology, the firm hired to conduct the town’s property revalution. Assessor William Gaffney (2nd r) urged homeowners to tell inspectors as much as they can about their property to ensure a correct appraisal but cautioned that negatives such as termites or wet basements would be noted on the property’s “field card” and could affect the home’s resale value later even if the conditions had long been corrected. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Monday, December 13, 2004
A Late Afternoon Run
Today’s Westport Teardown: 222 Riverside Ave.
Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004
2 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Revaluation Working Group
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Selectmen
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 308- Historic District Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Zoning Board of Appeals
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Architectural Review Board
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Representative Town Meeting (cable coverage channel 79)
Y’s Women Celebrate Holiday Season
Today’s Westport Y’s Women holiday party attracted a large crowd. Among those enjoying the food and fun are (l-r) Jean Lebedeff, Marcia Jacobs and Betty Walker, hospitality chair. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Teardown in Action: 7 Burnham Hill
The house at 7 Burnham Hill in the Compo Mill area came down today. It was WestportNow’s featured teardown of the day on Dec. 9. It was sold in June for $1.4 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Eighth Graders to Hear Story of Connecticut Heroine
Prudence Crandall: subject of Jan. 11 Westport event. Prudence Crandall Museum photoThe name Prudence Crandall may not be familiar, but in early 19th century Connecticut she became well known as a pioneer educator who advocated the rights of blacks to be educated and was subsequently persecuted for it.
Next month, eighth grade students at Westport’s Coleytown Middle School will learn her story as part of a joint effort by the town’s multicultural group. TEAM Westport, and several others, including the Westport Public Schools and The Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
“The middle school years are challenging one for young people,” said Harold Bailey, chairman of TEAM Westport. “Today the traditional challenges of growing up are often compounded by peer pressure, prejudice and insensitivity to differences.
“Diversity training is an important strategy for generating changes in attitude and behavior. Programs like this can really increase students’ awareness of the benefits of human diversity, and make them more sensitive to the destructive impact of discrimination.”
Update: Residents Complain About Delinquent Sewer Assessment Notices
At least six Compo Beach area households have received delinquent sewer assessment notices from the Town of Westport after not receiving an original bill. Two of them said they were told by a Town Hall official they had to pay the late interest charges anyway.
Tax Collector George Underhill said today he was aware of the complaints and was looking into them.
In letters Sunday to WestportNow, two of the recipients said they called the Tax Collector’s office Friday after receiving the notices and were told that even if the original notices were lost in the mail, the interest charges could not be waived.
“On Friday, I received a Town of Westport delinquent sewer/special assessment bill with an interest charge of $15.48. I was surprised, as I had not seen the original bill. I am in the habit of paying bills as they come to get them out of the way,” wrote Susan Farewell.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Today’s Westport Teardown: 131 Sturges Highway, Built in 1800
Today’s WestportNow teardown is at 131 Sturges Highway on the Fairfield line. A plaque on the house proclaims it was built in 1800 by Abel Bradley. The 2.7-acre proprety remained in the Brotherton family until it was sold last month by the estate of Ruby Brotherton for $600,000 to a developer. Residents in the area objecting to its demolition plan to attend a Westport Historic District Commission meeting Tuesday night at which the panel will consider a request to delay its destruction. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport’s Brett Somers Going Strong at 80 Thanks to Game Show Reruns
Brett Somers at a Westport Historical Society exhibit in November 2003 in front of a picture of herself upper right. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photoShe turned 80 in July and has not done a “Match Game” television show in 22 years, but Westport’s Brett Somers is still going strong and winning new fans, according to the Bergen (N.J.) Record.
In a profile of the actress Sunday, the newspaper said, “At 80, Somers is the last person who ever expected to be making a comeback. Especially when she hardly had to get out of bed to make it happen.”
But invigorated by a renewed visibility thanks to “Match Game” reruns on The Game Show Network, “she has come out of retirement to let people know she lives on in real life just as sure as in reruns,” the newspaper said.
It said her one-woman show, “An Evening With Brett Somers,” debuted to packed houses and glowing reviews last year at Danny’s Skylight Room in Manhattan. She reopened the show Nov. 26 for a limited engagement of weekends at The Duplex cabaret in Greenwich Village.
Monday, Dec. 13, 2004
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Boating Advisory Committee
8 p.m. - Staples High School Library - Special Board of Education meeting (cable coverage channel 78)
Westport’s Downtown Gets 19th Century Touch
Westport’s downtown had a 19th century touch today as the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, for the fifh year, offered free holiday horse and buggy rides. The 1840s carriage will be available for similar rides next Saturday and Sunday as well as New Year’s Eve. The carriage boarding area is at the corner of Main and Elm Streets (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Dressed for the Part
John Allegra of Allegra Farm in East Haddam, Conn., was in full 19th century attire today as he carried passengers in his horse-drawn carriage around downtown Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Small Fire Quickly Extinguished at Westport Restaurant
A small fire broke out today behind the front sign of Westport’s Taipan Restaurant, 376 Post Road East. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, but the restaurant was closed pending clearance from a health inspector to reopen. Damage was confined to the area around the sign. There were no injuries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Y’s Men Get a Surprise
The Y’s Men of Westport/Weston were treated to a couple of surprise visitors at their recent weekly meeting. They gathered to hear about “The Westport Country Playhouse, Past, Present and Future” with Anne Keefe, associate artistic director of the Playhouse. The surprise came when Joanne Woodward, the artistic director, also visited along with Allison Harris, executive director. The three charmed the Y’s Men as they spoke about the Playhouse history, the many stars who performed there over the years, and its future in its updated home. Shown (l-r) are: Jon Fox, Y’s Men program chairman, Allison Harris, Joanne Woodward, Anne Keefe, and Bob McGrath, president of the Y’s Men. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Barry McCabe for WestportNow.com
Saturday, December 11, 2004
A Special Party for Special Guests
Members of the Westport Kiwanis Club and Staples Key Club today hosted the 19th annual holiday party for members of the CLASP recreation group, a group of 25 young adults with special needs who meet every Saturday at the Westport/Weston YMCA to play sports and train for the Special Olympics. Kiwanis members at the party included Westporters Mickey Herbst, Mike Laux, and Alan Stolz. Herbst and Stolz played a hard game of basketball before the guests swam, sang carols and received presents from Santa. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Here Comes Santa
CLASP recreation program volunteer Marie Flanagan makes some final adjustments before SantaҒs debut at today’s 19th annual holiday party hosted by the Westport Kiwanis Club and Staples Key Club for adults with developmental disabilities at the Westport/Weston YMCA. Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Warm Hearts and Cold Feet
Westport native Gene Seidman celebrates his birthday every year with a friendly ceremonial dip at Compo Beach. The 47-year-old freelance brand strategist and creative director sends out an e-mail and invites his friends for coffee in the pavilion followed by a hearty Polar Bear swim. Neither wind nor rain nor sleet or snow could stop this group of bathing buddies from bonding. Luckily, the air temperature was 45F today. Shown (l-r) are: Mark Finell, David Day, David Browne, Alex Hyman, Seidman, Mark Pizzi, Michael Tambone, and Stan Phelps. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ina Chadwick for WestportNow.com
NY Times: You Can Go Home Again to Westport
Three residents who grew up in Westport, moved away and eventually returned to the town as adults are featured in a story in this week’s Sunday New York Times Connecticut section.
The story, headlined “You Can Go Home Again: Yes, They Left, but Now They’re Back,” includes a front-page photo of television producer and Compo Beach area resident Tom Seligson and his daughter, Justine, 7.
Also mentioned are Linda Ducruet, an executive recruiter who eventually settled in Fairfield after returning to Westport 19 years ago from France, and Gordon Joseloff, editor and publisher of WestportNow.com and Moderator of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
Friday, December 10, 2004
Westport Playhouse Announces Co-Chairs for Community Campaign
The Westport Country Playhouse has announced co-chairs for its newly launched Community Campaign for a New Era: A Barn Raising.Ӕ They are Clea Newman Soderlund and Kurt Soderlund of Fairfield and Jodi Wasik Stonehouse and S. Garrett Stonehouse of Westport.
Campaign co-chairs (l-r): Kurt Soderlund, Clea Newman Soderlund, Jodi Wasik Stonehouse, and S. Garrett Stonehouse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Their plan is to create a grassroots effort to give the community an opportunity to play a role in restoring the not-for-profit Playhouse. Their motto is, It’s your Playhouse!Ӕ
I’m very proud these four have stepped forward to rally community support for our renovation,Ӕ said Joanne Woodward, Playhouse artistic director. Construction is currently underway with re-opening scheduled for June 2005, the Playhouse’s 75th anniversary season.
The Community Campaign’s immediate goal is to raise $250,000 before Dec. 31 to help meet the Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant. The long-range goal is to raise an additional $1.25 million by December 2005.
Wilton Publisher Launches New Fairfield County Entertaining Magazine
Published by Wilton-based Town Green Media, LLC, Fairfield County Entertaining is available at area retailers starting this month.
The four-color magazine, to be initially published quarterly, focuses exclusively on the inspirational and practical aspects of both home and local area entertaining.
Fairfield County Entertaining, with a tagline Inspiration for Stylish OccasionsӔ is aimed at residents who are active in the local community and passionate about entertaining in and outside their homes, according to a news release.
Y’s Men Announce Camera Club Contest Winners
The Camera Club of the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston today unveiled the winners of a contest held to mark its first exhibition at the Westport Center for Senior Actitivities. Doing the honors was First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell. Buck Buckley took first prize for his “Permaquid Point Light, Maine,” Burton Stuttman took second prize for “Stiltwalkers Resting,” and Howard Maynard took third prize for “Memories.” For more on the exhibit, click here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Looking Like a Winner
Howard and Mary Maynard look at Howard’s photo called “Memories” which won third prize in the Y’s Men Camera Club contest held as members’ photos went on exhibit today at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. See below. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
This is Howard Maynard’s third prize-winning entry in the Y’s Men Camera Club contest whose winners were announced today. Taken in Egypt in 1976, it shows his daughter Allison, and son, Douglass, both teenagers at the time, sitting atop the Cheops Pyramid. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Howard Maynard photo
Westport News Names Will Rowlands Editor
Will Rowlands: new Westport News editor. Kate Eisemann photoThe Westport News has named Will Rowlands, managing editor for the past four years, its new editor, the newspaper reported today
Rowlands succeeds Christina Hennessy who left the job after five years to take a position with The Advocate of Stamford (See WestportNow Nov. 11, 2004).
Rowlands, 53, grew up in Westport and has lived here most of his life. He has an extensive background in editing and writing as well as typography, graphic design, and Macintosh computers. He has worked for advertising agencies, a Fortune 500 corporation, newspapers and several of his own endeavors.
“I’ll do my best to keep up the best traditions of the paper,” he said in a news story announcing his appointment by Kevin Lally, president of Brooks Community Newspapers. The Westport News, whose parent company is Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc., publishes Wednesdays and Fridays.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Heavy Rains Hit Area Overnight
Heavy overnight rains slowed traffic on area roadways, including Interstate-95 in Westport. View is from a Department of Transporation camera showing the bridge over the Saugatuck River. DOT/WestportNow.com photo
Today’s Westport Teardown: 54 Compo Mill Cove
All Gone: 54 Compo Mill Cove
Bedford Middle School Sixth Graders Make Concert Debut
Michele Aurori, a music teacher at Westport’s Bedford Middle School, blows kisses to the sixth grade orchestra at the end of their debut concert Thursday night. The holiday event attracted a large crowd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Getting Ready for a Busy Weekend
Nurseries all over Westport geared up Thursday for their busiest weekend of the winter season. Geigers on Post Road East has more than 400 trees in stock for customers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Winslow Wall Work Making Progress
7 p.m. - Westport Fire Headquarters - Public Site and Building Commission
Workmen construct a new stone wall on Compo Road North along Westport’s Winslow Park today. The state is working on improving sight lines along the roadway as part of a project installing a right-hand turn lane at the intersection with Post Road East. First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell told her brown bag lunch Wednesday the state has taken down some trees in the park it should not have and the town is negotiating for replacements. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Sunrise Scores at Wakeman
Wednesday’s sunrise at Westport’s Wakeman Park was caught by WestportNow contributing photographer Emily Laux directly through the football goal posts a definite score. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Today’s Westport Teardown: 7 Burnham Hill
Today’s WestportNow teardown is at 7 Burnham Hill in the Compo Mill area. A demolition application has been approved. The property changed hands in June for $1.4 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning and Zoning Commission
On Screen Thanks to Westport Police and Town
The Westport Police Department and the Town of Westport received on screen thanks tonight as the AMC cable channel aired a segment of its reality series “Film Fakers” filmed in Westport in August. (See WestportNow Aug. 27, 2004) The television production crew pretended to film a holiday movie called “Holly Holiday” at Swanky Frank’s on Post Road East and a house on Woody Lane. Three actors in the “movie” only learned at the end of the Westport filming that the movie was not real. CityLightsTelevison/WestportNow.com photo
7 p.m. - Westport Fire Headquarters - Public Site and Building Commission
PROPERTY TRANSFERSWestport Property Transfers May 27 - 31, 2013
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport