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Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Shoplifting Reported This Holiday Season

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No larcenies have been reported to Westport police from downtown merchants, and a police presence may be a deterrent.

Sgt. Jerry Shannon, police public information officer, said today he has not seen any reports of larcenies this holiday season, but there is a possibility of them still happening.

The large chain retailers most times are required to call the company’s security department before calling police, he said.

A police presence downtown may be why there are no reported larcenies, he said.

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The Other Side of the Camera

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Larry Untermeyer, WestportNow contributing photographer, took a moment to adjust his grandson Andrew’s tie before the Coleytown Middle School Camerata concert at the Westport Center for Senior Activities on Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn Miller for WestportNow.com

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Quiet Marina

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Westport’s Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach was quiet Wednesday as temperatures turned colder on the last day of fall. Today will be cloudy with a high about 50 as winter officially arrives at 7:22 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006


3-5 p.m. - Center for Senior Activities - Town Holiday Celebration
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Christmas Carol”

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Police Seek Spa Robber

A man wearing a mask and showing a knife robbed the Born of Earth Spa on Westport’s Post Road West tonight, police said.

No one was injured in the robbery at about 6:15 p.m. at the spa at 372 Post Road West, according to detectives.

The robber, described as a heavy set black man, escaped with an undetermined amount of cash from the register, police said.

There were no injuries among customers and employees, police said.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

CL&P Ordered to Halt Westport Daytime Construction Work

Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said today that daytime construction work by Connecticut Light & Power Co. which has disrupted holiday shopping traffic this week along Post Road East has been ordered halted.

“I received word late today that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) has revoked permission to carry on the daytime work effective immediately,” Joseloff said.

The first selectman said he was seeking confirmation from ConnDOT that a separate daytime ConnDOT maintenance project involving a drainage system in the vicinity of Roseville Road, which had added to the traffic problems, would also be suspended.

Joseloff said he was told by a ConnDOT official that Arthur W. Gruhn, the department’s chief engineer, ordered the CL&P work by contractor Bond Brothers to continue only during nighttime hours through Thursday. After that, he said all state road work will be discontinued until sometime in the new year.

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Flu Vaccines Available at Health District

The Westport-Weston Health District has flu vaccines available to those who may not have received one yet this year.

The vaccine is available by making an appointment by calling Loren Pace at (203) 227-9571 x231.

There are no residency restrictions to receive the vaccine, which costs $32 in a cash payment.

There is no cost to Medicare Part B participants, and they must bring their Medicare cards for billing purposes when receiving the vaccination.

Health officials said vaccination in December and later can still provide protection because during most years, the flu season does not peak until February or later.

12/20/06 08:43 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Songs of the Season

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Coleytown Middle School’s Camerata performed at the Westport Center for Senior Activities today. They joined the Mellow-Dears in singing a number of holiday songs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

12/20/06 08:14 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Gates Foundation Gives $1 Million to Save the Children

Westport’s Save the Children announced today that it has received a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a water and sanitation project in West Darfur, Sudan.

The grant will help the agency provide sanitation facilities and clean drinking water to more than 55,000 displaced children and family members forced to flee their homes and live in temporary shelters due to continued violence, an announcement said.

“The humanitarian crisis in Darfur requires immediate action. Save the Children’s efforts will help prevent many unnecessary deaths among displaced families in West Darfur,” said David Fleming, Director of Global Health Strategies at the Gates Foundation.

“In West Darfur, the need to provide conflict-affected children and families with access to basic water and sanitation facilities remains urgent,” said Charles MacCormack, President and CEO of Save the Children.

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Westport Stays with Salt-Sand Mix for Snow Cleanup

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State Department of Transportation plowing crews will be using much less sand on roadways this winter, but Westport plow crews will still be using a mix of sand and salt.

State officials recently announced they would switch to a mix of salt liquid calcium chloride or salt brine on state roads this winter, which will cut down on the appearance of “brown snow.”

Local officials, however, do not have to switch how they treat the roads, and Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said Westport plow crews will use a mix of salt and sand on roads although it will be more salt than last winter.

Last winter, he said, the mix was one-third salt and two-thirds sand, but this year it will be about a half-and-half ratio.

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Three-Wheeling Shopping

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Warmer temperatures have made for more comfortable holiday shopping along Westport’s Main Street. Today’s forecast called for temperatures in the 40s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006


10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
2 & 7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Christmas Carol”
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance/Education/IT Committees
8:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee

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Celebrating Hanukkah

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Rabbis Levi Stone (l) and Yehoshua Hecht (r) light a giant menorah at Westport’s Compo Acres Shopping Plaza tonight in honor of the fifth night of Hanukkah. The evening’s celebration also included dancing. It was co-sponsored by the Schneerson Center for Jewish Life, Connecticut, and Beth Israel Synagogue of Westport/Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Police Promote New Detective

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George Taylor II (l) takes the oath today from First Selectman Gordon Joseloff to become Westport’s newest police detective. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Taylor II has lived in Westport for 32 years and now he’ll be a detective with the Police Department.

Taylor, who has been with the department since 1996, was promoted to detective during a ceremony at Town Hall.

He has been a member of the Westport Volunteer EMS since 1992.

“I knew he was smart,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, who also volunteers with the EMS. “He worked the overnights at EMS, and you become smart quick when you work overnights.”

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Burglars Potentially Linked to Other Crimes in Region

Westport police officials said today they believe the burglars they arrested Monday night are connected to a home invasion in Greenwich among other burglaries throughout Fairfield County.

Anthony Barbera, 22, of 18 Eno Lane in Westport, and Randal Weis, 26, of 450 Woodlawn Ave. in Bridgeport, were charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree larceny, possession of burglar tools, and interfering with a police officer Monday night.

While responding to a report of a burglary on Stony Brook Road, the two suspects were spotted by police leaving a nearby home, and they led the officers on a chase throughout the area before they were apprehended (See WestportNow Dec. 18).

Police Sgt. Jerry Shannon, public information officer, said the two suspects may be linked to a number of burglaries throughout the region, including 16 in New Canaan, and a home invasion in Greenwich earlier this month.

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Transmission Project Ties Up Traffic

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Those traveling along Post Road East near the Westport Country Playhouse have encountered traffic problems this week as crews continue work on the United Illuminating project to bury a high-voltage transmission line under the state road.

Typically the crews work at night, but Frank Poirot, Northeast Utilities spokesman, said the contractor believed more work could be completed during the day before the end of the road construction year on Thursday. It sought and received state approval to change the work hours.

Workers have had a hard time getting the concrete—which encases and protects the piping—to cure and set at night because of the cold, he said.

Crews are on the roads between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., he said, which state Department of Transportation officials have told the electricity company are the off-peak hours.

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Staples Girls Hockey Plays First Game

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The new Staples High School girls ice hockey team played its first game at Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport Monday night, a 7-3 loss to Fairfield Warde High School. Center Paige Smith had two goals, which were scored on breakaways. Liz Bomes had the third goal for the Wreckers. Hannah Chusid was in net for Staples. This was the first game for 13 of the 15 girls on Westport’s squad. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Suzuki School Presents Jazz Extravaganza

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Dave Samuels, Grammy-award-winning musician, will lead a jazz extravaganza at The Suzuki Music School of Westport. Contributed photo
The Suzuki Music School of Westport will present a jazz extravaganza as the the third event in its Da Capo Visiting Artist Series.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 6, and a day of workshops for musicians is capped off with a 7:30 p.m. benefit concert at the Fairfield Theater Company.

Throughout the day, 300 young musicians will take part in workshops teaching Latin rhythms and jazz improvisation led by Dave Samuels, a Grammy-award-winning musician and a parent at the school.

He leads a cast including violinist Christian Howes, pianist Alain Mallet, bass player Boris Kozlov and Zildjian artist Joe McCarthy.

Tickets for the evening concert are $30 for adults and $15 children and can be purchased by calling the school at (203) 227 9474.

12/19/06 03:17 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Rock Art

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With warmer temperatures continuing on Monday, people who were walking at Westport’s Compo Beach could spot some rock sculptures along the jetty. Temperatures are expected to dip from the 50s into the 40s today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Human Services Commission
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Arts Advisory Committee
5:30 p.m. - Compo Acres Shopping Center - Menorah Lighting
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - High School Poetry & Pizza
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Christmas Carol”

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Westport Police Arrest Two in House Burglaries

(UPDATE) Westport police tonight arrested two men in connection with house burglaries in an area near the Norwalk line, police said.

Anthony Barbera, 22, of 18 Eno Lane, Westport, and Randal Weis, 26, of 450 Woodlawn Ave., Bridgeport, were charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree larceny, possession of burglar tools, and interfering with a police officer, a news release said.

At about 6 p.m., officers responded to a report of a burglary at 28 Stony Brook Road, not far from the Norwalk line, said Lt. Leonard D. Rummo. As officers were interviewing the homeowners, they noticed two young men leaving the home next door, he said.

“The officers tried to get their attention and the males ran into the wooded area behind the house,” Rummo said.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Parent Asks for Removal of School Library Book

By Jennifer Connic

A committee comprised of Westport school administrators, teachers and parents is reviewing whether a book should be removed from the Coleytown Middle School library.

The Challenged Materials Committee is reviewing the request to remove “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold, but it has not made a recommendation to Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, who makes the ultimate decision.

Lynne Shain, assistant superintendent for curriculum and staff development, said the parent of a sixth-grade girl at Coleytown Middle filed a challenge form requesting the book be removed from the library.

The committee, of which she is chair, interviewed the school library media specialist, the challenging parent, and a Westport resident who used to be an American Library Association member with experience in challenged materials, she said.

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“Captain Louie” Coming to Playhouse

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The Westport Country Playhouse presents “Captain Louie,” which was composed by Stephen Schwartz. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The composer of “Wicked” and “Godspell” is bringing his new family musical to the Westport Country Playhouse.

“Captain Louie,” composed by Stephen Schwartz, will be performed at the playhouse on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 1 and 4:30 p.m. It’s a stop for the production on its national tour.

“Captain Louie” is the story of a young boy who escapes into his own imagination as a means of coping with the loneliness he feels when he moves from an inner city neighborhood to a new home.

Having trouble making new friends, he imagines himself flying his own plane back to his former neighborhood so he can rejoin his old gang for trick or treating on Halloween.

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Metro-North Schedules Holiday Services

Because Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on Mondays this year resulting in three-day holidays, Metro-North has published a special Christmas/New Year’s Holiday timetable.

The timetable will cover both Friday “getaways” and New Year’s Eve / New Year’s morning overnight service. Holiday service highlights include:

On the Fridays before Christmas and New Year’s weekend, inbound service will essentially remain the same.

Outbound service will feature extra trains from noon to 4 p.m., a regular peak schedule (with some minor changes) between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. and a reduced schedule between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The regular weekday schedule will resume after 8:30 p.m.

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Traffic Snarls

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Crews continued work this morning on burying high-voltage power lines under Post Road East near the Westport Country Playhouse. There was one lane of traffic open in either direction. There was also heavy traffic on I-95 this morning. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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