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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Creating Buzz for FCBuzz.Org Image
Actor James Naughton was among area luminaries from the arts who tonight celebrated the launch of, a Web site created by the newly formed Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. The site, a collaborate effort of the arts and cultural organizations of Fairfield County, provides a calendar as well as ticket and event information for music, theater, dance, visual arts, history, lectures, literature, kids and families, classes, workshops, and special events. Among Westport representatives attending the event at the Barcelona Restaurant in South Norwalk were First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff, Michael Ross, managing director of the Westport Country Playhouse, Sue Gold, executive director of the Westport Historical Society, and Helen Klisser During, visual arts director of the Westport Arts Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/25/10 03:16 AM Comments () • Permalink

Calling All Ducks

Flooding in Westport by Larry Untermeyer
Heavy downpours and warmer temperatures today turned some untrammeled roads around town, like this one at Compo Beach, into reflecting pools. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


02/25/10 01:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trust Fund for Bill Palladino, Staples ‘68, Seeks Donations

By Michelle Sciarappa

If Bill Palladino could speak, what would he tell you? About the throat cancer that stole his trachea? About his wife’s tragic death from a heart attack not even two weeks ago? About his expected loss of health insurance for the chemotherapy he is receiving at Danbury Hospital?

Bill Palladino and wife Janice Anne McClenathan Palladino
During happier times, Staples High School graduates Bill Palladino and wife Janice Anne McClenathan Palladino. A fund has been set up for Bill, who remains hospitalized with throat cancer. Janice Anne, his sole caregiver, died of a massive heart attack Feb. 11. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo.

No. He would probably tell you about his two beautiful daughters, Michelle and Sarah, who are both in college. And he would probably tell you about his supportive friends, Staples High School alumni whose bond transcends time as they recently have set up the Billy Palladino Trust Fund at the Danbury branch of Newtown Savings Bank. “I’m trying to reach out to as many people as I can to help a friend from Staples High School (who) is going through a really tough time,” said Shelby Goodlett Pike, who is spreading the word about the fund. Palladino, Staples Class of 1968 and a resident of Sandy Hook, was first operated on in November, and then again Feb. 6 when throat surgery left him without the ability to speak. He has been at Danbury Hospital ever since. Compounding his illness, he lost his wife and sole caregiver, Janice Anne McClenathan Palladino, Staples 1983, to a massive heart attack Feb. 11.

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02/24/10 11:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Three Weissmanns” Author Returns to Hometown

By Larry Untermeyer

Native Westporter Cathleen Schine returned to her hometown today to address an overflowing audience at the Westport Public Library about her new book, “The Three Weissmanns of Westport.” Image
Cathleen Schine today signs a copy of her “The Three Weissmanns of Westport” for Dick and Paula Leonard. He was her former Staples High School English teacher. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Schine thrilled her enthusiastic listeners by reading a selection from her book which has garnered outstanding reviews including a front page rave on The New York Times Sunday Book Review (See WestportNow Feb. 13, 2010). 

When asked about her reaction to this accolade, Schine said she was overwhelmed and virtually speechless.

In the lengthy question and answer period which followed the reading, Schine described growing up in Westport as an idyllic childhood, followed by teenage ennui when she and her peers regarded their hometown as a small cage, and then later happily returning to visit family and friends with her own children.

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02/24/10 11:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Author Describes “Idyllic” Childhood in Westport Image
Cathleen Schine, author of the acclaimed novel “The Three Weissmanns of Westport,” addressed an overflow audience today at the Westport Public Library today, her first hometown appearance since its publication earlier this month. She described growing up in Westport as an idyllic childhood, followed by teenage ennui when she and her peers regarded their hometown as a small cage, and then later happily returning to visit family and friends with her own children. But she said she could not live here permanently. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


02/24/10 11:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Winter Weather Advisory Issued

The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow for the Westport area which is in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.

A mixture of rain and snow will develop during the morning rush hour Thursday and gradually change to all snow during the overnight hours on Thursday, an advisory said.

The snow will continue into Friday before tapering off to light snow or snow showers by Friday evening.

For now, the Weather Service said to expect accumulations to range from 3 to 7 inches in Fairfield County with locally higher amounts possible especially across far southwestern parts of the county where up to 10 inches of snow could fall.

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02/24/10 09:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

More on J.D. Salinger’s Westport Connection

A former Westport artist’s anger with his longtime pen pal J. D. Salinger over his refusal to sign a copy of his “Catcher in the Rye” led to the artist’s decision to sell the cache of letters exchanged with the reclusive author over 40 years, according to The New York Image
J.D. Salinger: Unhappy with Westport neighbor. File photo

In a follow-up story on Salinger’s relationship with E. Michael Mitchell, the Times said Salinger had a long, close relationship with his one-time Westport neighbor who designed the original “Catcher” cover in 1951. He even told him that he had several of his paintings in his home in Cornish, N.H.

But that relationship later soured and while it was reported earlier that Carter Burden, a prominent collector of 20th century American literature, had gifted the letters to New York’s Morgan Library—where they will go on display next month—how he came to possess them was unclear.

In its latest report, the Times said that Burden had paid roughly $35,000 for the letters in 1994 when he bought them from Ralph Sipper, a rare book dealer in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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02/24/10 03:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gone Fishing Image
Fishermen try their luck along Westport’s Hillspoint Road before more wintry weather came in on Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/24/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – UN Hospitality Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Judge: Jazz Photographs by Musician Milt Hinton”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
Noon - Westport Public Library - Authors@the Library: Cathleen Schine, “The Three Weissmanns of Westport”
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Staples Field House - Baseball Skills Clinic, Grades 2-5
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Green Energy Task Force
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. - Staples Field House - Baseball Skills Clinic, Grades 6-8
7 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Library Board of Trustees
7:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Financial Health and College Planning Workshop

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


02/24/10 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Finance Members Wrestle With Pension Issue

The Westport Board of Finance tonight wrestled with the issue facing many municipalities across the state and country—how much do you tax residents to keep up with rising pension costs.

“It’s the nub of the issue,” said First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff, whose preliminary 2010-11 municipal budget of $96.3 million with a 7.6 percent increase provides for funding of pensions at half the $8.3 million recommended by actuaries.

One board member, Democrat Ken Wirfel, said he would not vote for a budget that does not fully fund pensions. Others said they had not made up their minds. Joseloff will formally present his budget on March 3.

Joseloff said fully funding the pensions and maintaining services Westporters expect could mean a 6 or 7 percent tax increase which he said combined with no tax increase this year could mean a 3 percent annualized increase over two years.

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02/24/10 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sexual Assault Suspect Arraigned

A judge ordered New Yorker Brian McIntrye held on $400,000 bond today at his arraignment on charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a woman at a Westport home last Image
Brian McIntyre: unable to post $400,000 bond. Westport Police photo

Unable to post bond, McIntyre, 49, of Pleasantville, N.Y., was ordered by Judge Brian Hudock of Norwalk Superior Court to be held for a Stamford court appearance on March 5. He was charged with sexual assault, unlawful restraint, and interfering with an officer.

McIntyre was arrested Friday night by Mt. Pleasant, N.Y. police hours before co-suspect Kevin Larkin, 44. turned himself into Westport police on Saturday. Larkin posted $250,000 bond on charges of sexual assault, unlawful restraint, and hindering prosecution. His court date is March 2.

As McIntyre was arraigned, court documents were released that detailed the alleged sexual assault that occurred at 28 Stony Brook Road in the early hours of Feb 17.

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02/24/10 12:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teen Awareness Group Seeks Help for Drunk Driving Film

The Teen Awareness Group (TAG) group at Westport’s Staples High School is seeking help in filming its fourth drunk driving documentary. Image
A wrecked car was placed in front of Staples High School on an earlier Grim Reaper Day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Galen Blumenthal for

“Every 30 minutes someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related automobile accident,” said Elaine Daignault, Westport’s Coordinator of Youth Services. “Unfortunately, many young people discard this statistic as one that does not pertain to them.”

To raise awareness among young people, TAG annually organizes an alcohol prevention program called Grim Reaper Day and is seeking community input for the effort, she said.

Held just before the prom and graduation season, Grim Reaper Day is the group’s signature event. It attempts to underscore how easily a classmate or friend could be killed in an alcohol-related automobile accident. 

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02/23/10 09:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Shays Won’t Run for Governor

Former Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays said today he has decided not to run for Image
Christopher Shays: can’t afford to run for governor. WN file photo by Dave Matlow

Shays told“I would love to be part of the debate. I believe I would win. And I would dearly love to serve and help get our state out of the huge mess it is in.”

But the former representative from the 4th District, which includes Westport, said he and his wife Betsi “simply can’t make it work financially.”

“After quitting my job to run for governor and serving four years in office, we would be nearly bankrupt, the very problem I would be helping to get the state out of,” he said.

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02/23/10 06:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

New York Sports Club Reopens After Fire

It was back to business almost as usual today at Westport’s New York Sports Club after a fire in the sauna on Monday. Image

“As of 5 a. m. today we are open for business as usual, thank God,” said Stehanie DiNoi, master trainer.

She said the only areas closed were the men’s and women’s saunas.

Fire investigators said they traced the fire at the business at 427 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center to an electrical problem above a sauna. Damage was limited to the immediate area.


02/23/10 02:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Reaching Out Image
A couple of visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach today made friends. A second successive day of sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-40s attracted many hoping for an early start to spring. But a winter weather advisory for the area overnight reminded all that winter is still very much here. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


02/23/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

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