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Friday, April 13, 2007

Singing for the Y’s Men

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Westporter Jennifer Foster, a noted opera singer, performed for the Y’s Men of Westport Weston today. She sang a number of familiar operatic arias and other musical selections. The program, titled “Y’s Men’s Choice,” received a standing ovation from the audience.  Foster was accompanied by Allen Brings, a pianist and composer who recently retired as a professor of music at Queens College. Foster will sing in the annual Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival in California in June and in July she will perform with the Finger Lakes Choral Festival in Rochester, N.Y. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

04/13/07 02:32 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Thursday, April 12, 2007

King of the Hill

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Despite today’s rain, some youngsters found a large hill of sand to play on at Westport’s Compo Beach. The hills are on the beach as part of the process to redistribute the sand, which is done each spring. The hills of sand will soon be moved and distributed throughout the entire beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

04/12/07 11:20 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Service to Mark Holocaust Memorial Day

A community service to honor Yom haShoah—the Holocaust Memorial Day—is scheduled for Sunday at 7 p.m. at Temple Israel in Westport.

The service will be conducted by area rabbis, cantors, and the Chorale of the Conservative Synagogue of Westport. The event is sponsored by the Rabbinic Council and UJA/Federation of Westport, Weston, Wilton and Norwalk.

Holocaust survivors and those who lost family and friends are invited to light memorial candles in memory of those who perished during the Shoah.

This year’s speaker will be Lou Rheens of Wilton, who arrived in the United States in 1948 after spending the war years in hiding with his family.

“It is fitting that we take this opportunity to remember the millions imprisoned and murdered during the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Robert Orkand of Temple Israel, organizer of this year’s service. “Their memory will never let us forget the evils human beings can inflict on one another.”

For more information, call Temple Israel at (203) 227-1293.

04/12/07 10:02 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

P&Z to Hold Pre-Application Hearings

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has enacted procedures to allow for pre-application reviews.

P&Z Director Laurence Bradley said the reviews are allowed under state statutes, and they are not binding.

Several people had inquired about pre-application hearings, he said, and a subcommittee of commission members analyzed and recommended the procedures to handle them.

Pre-application hearings would be held on the fourth Thursday of each month if there are requests, he said.

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04/12/07 08:42 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Playhouse Hosts Open House Sunday

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Actress Eartha Kitt (l) chats with Kitt Shapiro (c), her daughter, and Ann Sheffer, playhouse Board of Trustees member, after a preview performance of “All About Us” at the Westport Country Playhouse. Kitt appears in the production. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The Westport Country Playhouse will host its final open house on Sunday at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to give guests a preview of its 2007 season and an opportunity to explore the newly renovated facility and to speak with theater professionals.

The open house, which is free and includes refreshments, features in the first hour a casual reception and discussion of the season’s eight productions with Managing Director Jodi Schoenbrun Carter.

The second hour includes guided tours, taking participants behind the scenes of the Playhouse.

Kicking off the Playhouse’s 77th season is the new musical “All About Us,” written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, one of the foremost songwriting teams in Broadway history. It opens this weekend.

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04/12/07 05:29 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Historical Society to Host Teddy Bear Tea

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Historical Society hosts teddy bear tea on Sunday. Contributed photo
The Westport Historical Society will host a teddy bear tea on Sunday at 2-3:30 p.m.

The tea is for children ages 2-8, and they are invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal.

The event includes a magic show with Amazing Andy, crafts and a “tea” that includes snacks and beverages

Tickets are $6 for society members and $8 for non-members.

To reserve a space, contact Sue Gold at (203) 222-1424 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

04/12/07 03:01 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Getting Ready for Boating Season

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Temperatures didn’t reach 50 degrees on Wednesday, but some were out working on their boats at Ned Dimes Marina at Westport’s Compo Beach where only a few boats are in the water so far. Heavy rain is expected to move in to the area today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, April 12, 2007


Noon - Westport Public Library - authors@the library: Paul Hammond
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Emily McLaury House Committee
7 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Public Works Committee
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “All About Us”
8:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 –RTM Public Works/Finance Committees

04/12/07 04:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Board of Finance Restores Funds, Approves Budget

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Finance tonight restored $205,608 to the selectman’s budget before approving a total 2007-08 proposed budget of $160.1 million.

The finance board had cut $876,000 from the selectman’s budget last month and it also cut $500,000 from the Board of Education proposed budget.

The restoration brings the total selectman’s budget to $56.8 million, a 4.7 percent increase over the current year. First Selectman Gordon Joseloff had originally proposed a $57.5 million budget, a 5.9 percent increase.

The $500,000 cut brings the school proposal to $88.7 million, which is a 7.8 percent increase over the current budget. The Board of Education had proposed a $89.2 million 2007-08 operating budget, which is a 8.4 percent increase over the current budget.

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No One Injured in Gas Line Rupture

A backhoe struck a gas pipe today on Beechwood Lane off Spicer Road but caused no injuries, fire officials said.

At about noon, Westport firefighters responding from their nearby headquarters on Post Road East found a an underground pipe that had been broken during the construction of a house, said Assistant Fire Chief Gene Maloney, and gas was spewing from the pipe.

Workers at the scene said a backhoe struck the pipe while doing excavation work, he said, and firefighters monitored the home with meters to determine gas level concentration and evacuated the home owner’s dog from the house.

Southern Connecticut Gas Company representatives were at the scene to shut down the gas supply and begin repairs to restore gas service, he said.

04/12/07 01:10 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Conservation Discusses Conditions on Family Y Decision

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Conservation Commission tonight again focused on potential conditions of any decision it may make on the Westport Weston Family Y’s application to build a new facility at Camp Mahackeno.

The commission is working towards a resolution on decision, but it has yet to take any vote on the application. Typically, however, conditions are placed on approvals by the commission.

Westport Weston Family Y officials are planning to move their facility from the corner of Main Street and Post Road East in the downtown area to Camp Mahackeno adjacent to the Merritt Parkway. The plans include a septic system—called FAST—that would handle 34,000 gallons of sewage and water per day.

The commission tonight asked questions about potentially requiring the building to be moved west and how it could be done.

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04/11/07 11:55 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Court Meeting to Focus on Gorham Appeal

By Jennifer Connic

Westport officials will be in Bridgeport Superior Court on Thursday for a status conference in appeal of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to reject an affordable housing application for the Gorham Avenue Historic District.

Red Coat Development proposed to build 20 condominiums at the 1.5 acres at 296 Main St. and 5 Gorham Ave. Six of the units would be deemed “affordable” under state statutes. The application falls under the state’s affordable housing statute, which switches the burden of proof on a zoning decision to the commission.

The Planning and Zoning Commission rejected the application in January (See WestportNow Jan. 18), and the developer appealed the decision in February (See WestportNow Feb. 9).

Town Attorney Ira Bloom said today the meeting to be held is essentially to update the court on the status of the case.

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04/11/07 08:44 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Preparing for Summer Beach Season

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Crews from the Kowalsky Brothers were at Westport’s Compo Beach today getting the sand ready for the summer beach season. The Kowalsky Brothers crews annually redistribute the sand at the beach after it has been shifted due to teh winter weather. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

04/11/07 08:14 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Schools Plan Title I Testing

Westport Public Schools will be conducting a screening process to identify preschool children who are “at risk” for learning under the Federal and Local Title I eligibility criteria.

Screening for Title I will be held by appointment only at Coleytown Elementary School on Tuesday, May 8 at 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Testing takes approximately 45 minutes for each child.

The Title I screening process considers the child’s development in the areas of motor, cognition and language development. The free Title I screening is open to Westport residents whose children reach the age of 3 by June. 

The current Title I program for children identified as “at risk” is incorporated into the Westport Public Schools’ Stepping Stones Preschool.

To schedule an appointment, call Carol Haberlin at (203) 341-1712.

04/11/07 08:04 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Library Board Seeks Trustee Candidates

The Westport Public Library Board of Trustees is seeking candidates to apply for vacancies on the board.

Appointments will be for a four-year term beginning in June.

There are 20 members on the Library Board, half of whom are appointed by the Representative Town Meeting and half of whom are appointed by the board itself. 

More information about the role of the Library Board is available at www.westportlibrary.org.

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Westport Art Organizations Receive State Funding

Four Westport organizations are among those receiving a state Arts Endowment Fund award, which total $732,939 for the state organizations.

The Levitt Pavilion will receive $3,584.03, Music for Youth will receive $952.78, the Westport Arts Center will receive $7,725.14 and the Westport Country Playhouse will receive $27,627.36 in state funding from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

“The Commission on Culture and Tourism recognizes the importance of sustaining Connecticut’s arts organizations and institutions, which contribute significantly to our state’s quality of life and the economic vitality of our cities,” Karen Senich, commission executive director, said in a release.

“We also realize the critical need for unrestricted funding, which can be used by organizations to their best advantage.”

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Spring Walk

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Two teens walked the wooden structure at Westport’s Burying Hill Beach on Tuesday. Temperatures reached the high 40s and are expected to reach into the 50s today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Westport Public Library - authors@the Library: Judith Marks-White
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Conservation Commission Work Session
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Literature: Mark Schenker
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Board of Finance Budget Restoration Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Information Technology Committee

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Ballfields Named to Honor Little League Volunteers

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Representative Town Meeting tonight voted to honor two Westport Little League volunteers by naming the Coleytown Field and the Town Farm complex in their honor.

The RTM voted today to name a baseball field at Coleytown Elementary School for Donald Levy and to name the baseball and softball fields at the Town Farms “Mary Ellen White Baseball and Softball Complex at Town Farms.” Additionally, the entrance driveway at the Town Farms would be renamed Mary Ellen White Way.

Levy, who spent decades working with Westport Little League, died last August (See WestportNow Aug. 21). Mary Ellen White, known as the “heart and soul” of Westport Little League, died last October (See WestportNow Oct. 5).

Matt Greco, a tri-captain for the Staples High School baseball team, said he and his fellow captains went through Westport Little League and plan to play in college, and White was always there volunteering her time when they played when they were younger.

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Students Present Solutions for Town’s Problems

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Fifth grade students from across Westport presented their ideas on how to solve some of the town’s problems during tonight’s Westport Representative Town Meeting session. The topics included pollution, emergency preparedness and Internet safety. Emma Moskovitz (l) and Melissa Beretta presented their project on Internet safety. The students first presented their projects at a session in February (See WestportNow Feb. 7). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com

04/11/07 01:54 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Panel Focuses on Feminist Movement

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The Westport Public Library tonight hosted a discussion about the successes, mistakes and unfinished business of the women’s movement. The panel was led by Barbara Love, editor of “Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975.”  Also on the panel were Vicki Moss, one of the 10 founding members of the New York Association of Women Business Owners; Jocelyn Boryczka, professor of politics at Fairfield University specializing in feminist political theory; and Ann Wallace who led the effort in the late ‘60s to resuscitate the Equal Rights Amendment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Joan Hume for WestportNow.com

04/11/07 12:29 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westporter to Speak on First Novel

Westporter Judith Marks-White will speak about her first novel, “Seducing Harry, an Epicurean Affair,” at the Westport Public Library on Wednesday at noon.

The book follows the escapades of soon-to-be-50 and married but bored Coco Plotnick-Hollander-Harding after she meets Harry Troutman, a renowned, dashing New York City plastic surgeon.

For 22 years, Marks-White has written the weekly column “The Light Touch” for the Westport News and her feature articles and humorous essays have also appeared in many magazines and anthologies.

She also teaches English and humor writing at Norwalk Community College and is currently at work on her second novel, “Outrageously Blonde.”

For more information, call (203) 291-4840 or visit www.westportlibrary.org.

04/11/07 12:06 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Westport Property Transfers April 2-6, 2007

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period April 2-6, 2007:

78 Cranbury Road LLC to Jeffrey A. Mayer & Nancy E. Diamond, 90 Partrick Road, $915,000WN property.jpg

James F & Henrietta Y. Fox to Sherief Meleis & Deena Emera, 180 Wilton Road, $1,340,000

319 Post Road East Associates LLC to Braidmax LLC, 139 Kings Highway North, $700,000

Ray L. Meyerson to Diana & Rodney Larsen, 75 Riverside Ave., $1,050,000

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Final Day of School Slated for June 21

The final day in the Westport schools will be Thursday, June 21.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon announced the final day of school during the Board of Education meeting Monday night.

The school calendar has three snow days built in, he said, but there were only two snow days this year. Therefore, the school year will be one day shorter than originally planned, he said.

Staples High School graduation will take place at 2 p.m. on the final day of school in the high school’s field house.

04/10/07 09:12 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

All Gone: 45 Gorham Ave.

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A construction crew completed the demolition of the 1955 house at 45 Gorham Ave. today. The house sold in March for $815,000. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on March 26. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/10/07 02:36 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon
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