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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Making a Splash

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The winds picked up in Westport Wednesday as heavy rains moved into the area. The 25-knot winds brought out para-sailors off the coast of Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006


5:30 p.m. – Room 201A – Emily McLaury House Committee
7 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission
7 p.m. – Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Curator’s Talk: Allegories of Displacement

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Staples Girls Soccer Loses to Wilton 6-1

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Westport’s Staples girls soccer team, which has often been victorious in wet field conditions, lost to Wilton 6-1 today. Staples parents watched the game from the new in-ground granite bleachers on the steep slope of Loeffler Field. Launched six months ago, the seating project was funded entirely by private donations. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

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National Weather Service Issues Flash Flood Warning

The National Weather Service tonight issued a flash flood warning for eastern Fairfield County until midnight.

It said at 10:43 p.m. National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated an area of heavy rainfall over Long Island Sound with rainfall rates of 1 1/2 to 2 inches per hour moving north.

This heavy rain will move into southern Fairfield County within the next half hour causing flash flooding of small creeks and streams, highways, underpasses and other low lying areas across the warned area, an advisory said.

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Sybil’s Selections

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Westporter Sybil Steinberg, a contributing editor for Publishers Weekly and on the board of the National Book Critics Circle, gave some book tips today to a packed audience at the Westport Public Library McManus Room. She reviewed more than 40 books and said her four current favorites were “Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai, which just won the English Booker Award; “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; “Suite Francaise” by Irene Nemirovsky, and “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Westport Schools Prepare for Crisis Response

Westport school administrators participated in a “crisis preparedness” workshop on Tuesday using simulated emergencies at each level, the school district said today.

While the workshop had been planned during the summer, Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon said that its timing was extremely serendipitous, according to a district news release.

The workshop coincided with the National Conference on School Safety this week that had been generated by the recent spate of school shootings.

Last Friday, prior to the workshop,  Landon had posted on the school system Web site a statement about the district’s state of readiness.

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Going Down: 39 Danbury Ave.

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The house at 39 Danbury Ave., in Westport’s Compo Beach area, came down today. The house built in 1939 changed hands in June for $1,73 million. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on March 28, 2006. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Four to be Honored With Annual Arts Awards on Sunday

Four persons will be honored with the 13th annual Westport Arts Awards on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Westport Town Hall.WestportNow.com Image
Jane Yolen: children’s author among honorees. File photo

Since 1994, the Town of Westport and its Arts Advisory Committee have presented awards to 135 Westport and Weston area residents who have contributed significantly to the arts in four disciplines – music, theater, visual arts, and literature. 

This year’s recipients include:George Weigle, Staples’ choral director for 35 years; Jane Yolen, a 1956 Staples graduate and author of over 250 books for children and young adults; Larry Silver, internationally renowned photographer, and Ellen Hanley, Broadway performer.

They will be presented Arts Achievement Awards in music, literature, visual arts and theater respectively.

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Teen Driver Escapes Injury in King’s Highway South Crash

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A 17-year-old female Norwalk student on her way to school escaped injury today in a one-car crash on Westport’s King’s Highway South near No. 44. Her vehicle went off the road, knocked over a utility pole, and spun around facing in the opposite direction before coming to a stop. The driver refused medical treatment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 14 Sturges Commons

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While an application for a demolition permit is in process for the property at Westport’s 14 Sturges Commons, off Sturges Highway, preparation for its demise is already underway. The property changed hands last month for $1 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Buggy Brigade

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Moms and babes return to Westport’s Grace K. Salmon Park Tuesday after a walk around the block prior to their exercising. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006


10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Westport Public Library McManus Room - Publishers Weekly contributing editor Sybil Steinberg reviews best new titles and authors
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Flood & Erosion Control Board work session (live coverage cable channel 79)
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Long Range Planning Committee

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Staples Players Donate to Holocaust Charities

Westport’s Staples High School award-winning theater group, Staples Players, today presented three checks totaling more than $4,200 to three Holocaust-related organizations.WestportNow.com Image
Staples Players officers Georgina Pappas (l) and Brandon Floch (R) present two donation checks to Pearl Kane (2nd l.), representing the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House in Brooklyn, and Eva Cooper (2nd r.), representing the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Staples Players Director David Roth is at center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The proceeds were from ticket sales and funds collected during their recent production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Recipients included the U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington. D.C., the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House in Brooklyn, N.Y., and The Anne Frank Center USA in New York, N.Y.

Staples Principal John Dodig applauded the Staples Players on their willingness to reach out to others. 

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Staples and Ridgefield Tie 1-1 in Boys Soccer

Second-place Staples and third-place Ridgefield battled to a 1-1 tie today, in a match that kept the FCIAC race red-hot. 
The game marked the first time that the Wreckers (now 7-1-2) fell behind.

The goal for Ridgefield (6-0-3) came 11 seconds after halftime, following a defensive giveaway. But Brendon Cristobal converted his twin brother Keaton’s long free kick 15 minutes later, to equalize.

Staples hosts Norwalk on Thursday, at 4 p.m.

10/10/06 10:43 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 18 Bauer Place

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A permit request for approval to demolish the 1943 house at 18 Bauer Place, off Old Road, was on the agenda tonight of the Westport Historic District Commission monthly meeting. The property changed hands in September for $625,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

10/10/06 10:20 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

School Board Discusses AP Exams

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More Staples High School students are taking Advanced Placement tests to earn college credit, but school officials are examining what the statistics mean.

The Board of Education Monday night reviewed a report on the results of all standardized tests students took during the 2005-06 school year, including Advanced Placement tests.

Of the Westport seniors who took the test—which earns them college credit—last May, 101 scored high enough to be deemed an AP Scholar.

Natalie Carrignan, director of instructional technology, said 93 percent of students who take an AP class are taking an exam, and 23 percent of the Staples population is taking at least one AP class.

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Thieves Make Off With $15,000 in Books

Thieves stole at least two antique books worth at least $15,000 from a Westport dealer, police said today.

The owner of The Avenue at 117 Post Road East noticed the items missing Monday after a man and a woman entered the store at about 10 a.m., reports said.

The man distracted the owner while the woman stole the books, police said.  The names of the books were not disclosed, one worth about $10,000 and the other $5,000.

The couple was seen driving away in a black Nissan Murano with Canadian license plates.

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Domestic Violence Collections Held Through October

The Westport Young Woman’s League is teaming up with the Domestic Violence Task Force to collect items through October needed at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center shelters in Stamford and Norwalk.

The drive is focusing on collecting full-size toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper products and gift cards.

Specific items include shampoo, soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, combs, brushes, dish-washing detergent, laundry detergent, fabric softener, air fresheners, cleansers, sponges, paper towels and other cleaning supplies.

Large collection boxes for these items are located at Town Hall, The Center for Senior Activities on Imperial Avenue, The Westport-Weston Family Y, the Westport Woman’s Club on Imperial Avenue and TD Banknorth at 1111 Post Road East.

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Fall Float

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Fall is in the air, but it was still warm enough Monday for an outing on Westport’s Nash’s Pond. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Essay: Drowning Sorrows in a Yankee Pot Roast

By Gil Ghitelman

By sheer coincidence the Yankees World Series dreams ended and my Saturday night reservation at Paul Newman’s new restaurant was scheduled, a scant three hours apart. Could one drown one’s sorrows in a Yankee pot roast? 

Well I did, and I’m here to report that The Dressing Room, which practically adjoins the Westport Playhouse, will do fine.

As a transposed New Yorker I confess I’m a little jaded when it comes to dining out. I really believe that the number of decent eateries in Fairfield County could be counted on the fingers of two hands, omitting the thumbs. 

And so it was with great anticipation that we waited for Westport’s Own to open a kitchen for the public that might enjoy his kind of popular fare. Heck, if I could look like that when I’m 81, I’ll gladly eat the same stuff he does. 

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Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006


7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Historic District Commission
7 p.m. - Staples High School - TAG presents Dr. James Jones
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Zoning Board of Appeals

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New Courses Proposed for Staples

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The Westport Board of Education is considering adding 10 new courses at Staples High School in English, science, art and music.

In addition, the plan calls to delete four courses in science and English. Three English classes would be offered every other year instead of every year.

In science, honors physics, AP physics C mechanics, AP physics C electricity and magnetism, medical terminology, chemistry B and physics B would replace AP physics C, physical science 1B and physical science 2B.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Staff Development Lynne Shain said the changes in the science course offerings is a reorganization while medical terminology finishes an allied health sequence.

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Downed Tree Limb Closes Clapboard Hill Road

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A fallen tree limb that took down wires closed a portion of Westport’s Clapboard Hill Road tonight between Turkey Hill Road South and Maple Ave South. A utility crew had to be called in before the limb could be removed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Monday, October 09, 2006

P&Z Still Considering Supportive Housing Plans

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The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has yet to decide on an application for supportive housing on West End Avenue, but some decisions could be made this week.

Interfaith Housing Association submitted regulations and a site plan to construct supportive housing on the road, but Save Old Saugatuck members also submitted more restrictive zoning regulation changes.

IHA’s supportive housing programs help their clients transition from homelessness into owning or renting.

Planning and Zoning Director Laurence Bradley said the commission has discussed extensively the matter during recent work sessions and is considering modifications to the plans.

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Chamber Plans Session on CL&P Project

The Westport/Weston Chamber of Commerce will host an information session on the upcoming Connecticut Light and Power project for all members of the business community on Monday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the McManus Room at the Westport Public Library.

The session is about the project to bury a high-voltage cable under Route 1 through Westport.

It is part of a project extending the cable from Middletown to Norwalk.

Representatives from CL&P and the project team will be on hand to answer questions.

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Breast Cancer Ceremony Slated

The Breast Cancer Survival Center will present “Celebrate Life!,” a concert and candle-lighting ceremony, on Monday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Westport Town Hall auditorium. 

The event, which is free and open to the public, is one of a series of events in observing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and is presented as part of Westport’s Make A Difference Week. 

Featured performers in the concert include the Westport Town Band, the Serendipity Chorale, and the Center Stage Theatre Company.

Following the performances, there will be a candle procession by the Westport Girl Scouts, a lighting ceremony, and the reading of names of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

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NY Times Editorial Page Editor Faces Y’s Women

By Phyllis Groner

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Gail Collins: She’s “pepped up” Times editorials. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
The editorial page editor of The New York Times, in a wide-ranging talk before the Y’s Women of Westport Weston, said today it’s possible that in 20 years or so the “paper” in her newspaper could be a thing of the past.

More and more young people are reading news on the Internet, Gail Collins, a one-time Westport resident, told a packed meeting at the Westport Weston Family Y. She said the average age of a Times reader is 44.

The Times has announced plans to cut back on the size of its paper to save money, said Collins. In 20 years the “paper-paper” might well be a thing of the past, she said.

Collins began her talk with stories about columnists Nicholas Kristof and Tom Friedman. 

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Testing, Testing

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Westport firefighters took advantage of a cloudless sky and crisp fall weather today to do some training and routine testing of its aerial ladder truck at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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State and Local Dignitaries Pay Tribute to Ralph Sheffer

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Today’s Westport Town Hall memorial service for Ralph Sheffer, a key figure in the life of the community since the 1950s, included numerous state and local dignitaries. Sheffer’s daughter Ann (c) shows the event’s program to (l-r) Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Comptroller Nancy Wyman, and state Rep. Joe Mioli. Former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell was among the speakers. Sheffer died Sept. 26 at the age of 93.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 376 Greens Farms Road

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Westport officials are reviewing an application to demolish the house at 376 Greens Farms Road. The house was built in 1919, and the Historic District Commission will review the application during its meeting on Tuesday. The house was sold in November 2005 for $810,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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