Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Westport Man Gets Jail Term in Fatal Crash
A Westport man who killed his childhood friend in a 2003 car crash will go to prison for two to four years after pleading no contest today in Norwalk Superior Court.
Igor Bronov, 48, of Hills Lane, Westport, pleaded no contest to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence. This means he does not admit guilt but declines to contest the charges. He will be sentenced Jan. 20.
The fatal crash occurred early April 5, 2003, when Bronov failed to negotiate a curve and left the roadway while driving on Westport Avenue in Norwalk not far from Stew Leonard’s. The car struck a utility pole.
He suffered minor injuries in the crash but his passenger, Alexander Boyko, 46, of Brooklyn, N.Y. died of multiple blunt traumatic injuries. The two had been childhood friends in their native Ukraine.
Boronov, who remains free on bond, could have faced 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges related to the crash.
All Gone: 16 Compo Road North
The end came today for 16 Compo Road North, WestportNow’s teardown of the day Oct. 5. The address is adjacent to the Peoples Bank and opposite Winslow Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Looking More and More Holiday-Like
Downtown Westport is beginning to look more and more holiday-like. This was the scene Tuesday night on Post Road East near Imperial Avenue. Downtown merchants will officially light Main Street lights today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Laura Glickstein for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004
10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - International Hospitality Committee
Westport Zoning Board Approves Staples Football Temporary Lights
The Westport Zoning Board of Appeals tonight approved a request to erect temporary lighting if Staples High School hosts a semifinal championship night game Tuesday, Nov. 30.
The vote was 5-0. Staples football parents have pledged $15,000 to pay for the lights which would be necessary if Staples is victorious in its Thanksgiving Day game against Fairfield’s Warde High School. (See WestportNow Nov. 18, 2004).
The vote was not a surprise. The zoning board has approved at least three similar temporary lighting requests at the field in 1997, 2001, and 2002 for conference football games.
Neighbors who oppose permanent lights at the field now being proposed again ֖ have said they do not object to the temporary lighting.
WestportNow Editor to Address Y’s Men Dec. 2
WestportNow Editor and Publisher Gordon Joseloff will address the Westport/Weston Y’s Men group Thursday, Dec. 2.
Flashback: Gordon Joseloff with Walter Cronkite in Moscow in 1981. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) CBS News photo
Joseloff will speak about the Westport news and information Web site he founded in 2003 as well as his experiences as a CBS News and United Press International correspondent in London, Moscow, Tokyo and other world capitals.
The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.
Joseloff, who has been moderator of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) since 1995, began his journalism career as a teenage reporter in Westport where, among other stories, he covered the RTM.
CL&P Asks for Almost 17 Percent Increase
Connecticut Light & Power Co., citing rising fuel costs, asked state regulators today for permission to raise electricity rates next year by almost 17 percent.
Word of the request came hours after elected officials in southwest Connecticut met at Westport Town Hall with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal about an electricity surcharge that would raise power bills in 2006 by at least 12 percent. (See story below)
CL&P, which serves more than 1.1 million customers in Connecticut, told the Department of Public Utility Control in its filing that it must raise rates because of higher supply costs, increased federally imposed costs and other increases “that are beyond the control of the company or are required by law.”
The request drew immediate criticism from Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who called the proposed rate increase outrageous.
Westport Bank Robbery Suspect Sought
Westport police today released this surveillance photo of a suspect sought in today’s Westport bank robbery at Bank of America, 1815 Post Road East. He is described as a white man, clean-shaven, about 6-foot, wearing a Patriots baseball cap and a blue and green vinyl jacket. Anyone having information is asked to call Westport detectives at (203) 341-6080. Contributed photo
Westport’s New Fire Rescue Truck Dedicated
The Westport Fire Department today dedicated its new $350,000 rescue truck, known as Rescue 3. First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell addresses the ceremony at Fire Headquarters attended by firefighters and town officials. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A New Tower of Light in Westport
The Westport Fire Department’s new Rescue 3 truck carries powerful lighting, including two rotating tower lights, to aid in rescue efforts. Fire officials demonstrated its capabilities to guests at today’s dedication ceremony. The truck replaces Rescue 8 which was purchased by the Coleytown Volunteer Fire Department in 1983 and donated to the town. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Rescue Truck Was Five Years in Planning
The Westport Fire Department’s new Rescue 3 truck was five years in planning and design. Guests at today’s dedication ceremony get briefed on the equipment it carries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
“Share the Pie” Pickups Today
Today was pickup day for the Interfaith Housing Association’s “Share the Pie” fund-raiser. Volunteers and staff served up the goodies in the parking lot of the Conservative Synagogue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Attorney General Meets With Area Officials on Electricity Surcharge
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal met with area officials at Westport Town Hall today to brief them on his opposition to a $375 million electricity surcharge being imposed on Connecticut ratepayers.
The one-hour and 20 minute meeting was attended by elected officials from Westport, Weston and Wilton as well as towns ranging from Greenwich to Orange, according to Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell.
“Dick (Blumenthal) told us what the municipalities can do,” she said, “and we agreed to try to send a protest letter from the chief elected officials of the 54 southwest Connecticut communities affected.”
Blumenthal has filed testimony with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) opposing ISO New England’s plan to impose the surcharge. The proposal would raise power bills at least 12 percent as soon as January 2006.
Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Message: “I’m Safe, Fit and Healthy”
Westport’s Martha Stewart, in a new message on her Web site, says she is safe, fit and healthyӔ and grateful this Thanksgiving for the support of her fans.
Stewart, who entered the federal women’s prison in Alderson, W. Va. Oct. 8, also says she is being treated fairly by staff and other inmates.
As you would expect, the loss of freedom and the lack of privacy are extremely difficult,Ӕ the message says. Visits from my friends, family and colleagues ӗ together with your goodwill and best wishes will get me through this chapter in my life.ה
Stewart, 63, is serving a five-month sentence for lying to investigators about a 2001 personal stock sale and will be released from prison in early March. She is appealing her conviction.
Holdup at Westport Bank
The robbery occurred at the Bank of America branch at 1815 Post Road East at Bulkley Avenue North at about 10 a.m. The bank recently changed its name from Fleet Bank.
Police said the man, who did not display a weapon, escaped on foot. He was described as white, about 6 feet, in his 20s, wearing a baseball hat and a vinyl blue and green jacket.
There were three customers in the bank at the time, police said. There were no injuries.
Detectives brought a police bloodhound to the scene to help them track the suspect. A trail led to the nearby Garelick and Herbs at 1799 Post Road East, but the track was lost there as he apparently entered a car.
The FBI’s Bridgeport office was assisting Westport police in the investigation. They later released a security camera picture or the robber, but the face was dark and partially hidden by his baseball cap.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Best Wishes from the Governor
Westport’s Pete Wolgast is pictured with Gov. M. Jodi Rell Monday night at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Hartford. Rell signed a picture of herself with directors and trustees of the Westport/Weston YMCA, giving them her best wishes. Contributed photo
Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2004
8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Westport Transit District Directors’ meeting
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals
Bogey’s Presents Golf Proceeds
Jim Stablein, (l) owner of Bogey’s Grille and Tap Room in Westport, recently presented the proceeds of the restaurant’s 9th Annual Golf Tournament to Tracy Flood, CLASP Homes president, and George Taylor, president of the Westport Police Benevolent Association. With them is Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Freedman Named to Planning Committee for State Government Conference
State Sen. Judith G. Freedman of Westport has been named a member of the committee planning the Conference of Eastern Region Conference of State Governments annual meeting to be held in Connecticut next year. The conference was last held in Connecticut 15 years ago.
ғAs someone who has been involved with the ERC-CSG during my legislative tenure, I am thrilled to be able to show our colleagues from other states all that Connecticut has to offer,” Freedman said.
The Eastern Regional Conference includes the six New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
“The regional conference is an opportunity for legislators and staff to network and learn what is happening in other states. said Freedman, who is a member of the executive committee of the Eastern Region Council.
The Conference of State GovernmentԒs Eastern Regional annual meeting will be held from July 23 to 27, 2005 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in southeastern Connecticut.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Today’s Westport Teardown: 40 Hillspoint Road
Westport High School Population Projected to Top Out by 2010
A new estimate by a consultant to Westport’s school district projects that the town’s high school population will top out at 1,687 in the school year 2010-11.
Staples High School currently is undergoing a $73.9 million renovation and expansion project that calls for the school to accommodate a maximum 1,800 students—several hundred lower than provided for in initial expansion plans.
School Building Committee members told the Board of Finance last week they may be facing as much as a $2.5 million shortfall for the project.
This prompted some questions whether it might be possible to scale back yet-to-be completed phases. But project officials said savings at this point would be minimal.
The projection by the consultant, the New England School Development Council (NESDEC), was contained in material distributed in advance of tonight’s Board of Education meeting.
Monday, Nov. 22, 2004
7:45 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
8 p.m. - Staples High School Library - Board of Education
Westport Fire Department Aids in Fighting Fairfield Fire
The Westport Fire Department responded to a mutual aid call tonight from Fairfield, fire officials said.
Westport sent one engine from fire headquarters on Post Road East initially to cover a Fairfield fire station while Fairfield firefighters battled the fire in a commercial building.
But soon after the call at about 9:30 p.m., the Westport unit was asked to aid at the blaze at 468 Tunxis Hill Road near Marlborough Terrace. A buillding containing a hair salon, a nail salon, and a financial firm was involved.
Additional help was also requested from the Bridgeport Fire Department while Fairfield summoned off-duty firefighters to the scene.
School District Schedules Staples Asbestos Information Sessions
With students and staff about to move into a portion of the new Staples High School, educators have scheduled informational sessions about asbestos abatement plans as old buildings are torn down.
The meetings will be held Thursday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. for students and staff and at 7:30 p.m. for parents. Both meetings will be held in the Staples cafeteria.
Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon told Staples parents in a letter that the new portion of the school will be occupied shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday and the process of demolition of buildings 7 and 9 will begin soon afterwards.
A similar move and demolition process will occur in early February for buildings 6 and 8, he said.
Westport’s St. Luke Church Sets Christmas Fair and Auction Dec. 4
Westport’s St. Luke Church kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas fair and auction Saturday, Dec. 4.
The holiday event is part of an ongoing outreach program from the parish in support of programs for inner-city youths and adults in Bridgeport throughout the year
Proceeds have been used to sponsor English as a Second Language classes, build new computer labs at the Charles Smith Center; and assist women in developing skills to enter the workplace, a program sponsored by Caroline House.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and include crafts for children, games, photos with Santa, storytelling, and a magic show.
Hats and More Hats
Westport’s Leslie Orofino tries on a hat at today’s Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School. All proceeds from the fund-raising event sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League are donated to local charities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Brendan Armstrong, 6, of Westport is serious about getting his faced painted at today’s Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School. Brendan is a first grader at Greens Farms Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Yummies from the Young Woman’s League
All kinds of baked goods were on sale today on the second and last day of the 29th annual Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Wrecker Fund-raiser at Stop & Shop
Westport’s Stop & Shop was busy today with shoppers getting ready for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Members of the Staples boys swimming and diving team took advantage of the traffic to sell Wrecker athletic gear as part of its fund-raiser. Making a sale (l-r) are Gennady Gurevich, 15, a freshman; Thomas Martecchini, 16, a sophomore; Brandon Arias, 16, a junior; Jesse Shea, 17, a junior, and Ezra Okon, 16, a junior. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Learning History on a Rainy Saturday
Saturday’s rain did not deter a group of Cub Scouts and their parents from learning a little about Westport’s history at the cemetery at Greens Farms Road and the Sherwood Island Connector. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Today’s Westport Teardown: 20 Tupelo Road
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Staples High School - Westport Young Woman’s League presents Creative Arts Festival
4 p.m. Greens Farms School - Westport Arts Center presents jazz singer Stacey Kent
Fairfield County Allocated Almost $30 Million in Federal Spending Bill
Congress today passed a massive omnibus spending bill that allocates almost $30 million for Fairfield County projects that include transportation in Bridgeport and Stamford, dredging in Fairfield, Norwalk and Stamford, and a Wilton teen center.
Southport Harbor dredging project: gets additional $625,000 in federal funds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
None of the funding will go to Westport, according to news releases from the office of Rep. Christopher Shays.
But the town will benefit from $500,000 allocated to develop and implement a marketing strategy for the Stamford-Bridgeport corridor as an integrated business community for regional economic development
Also a Bridgeport non-profit project headed by Westporter Harold Levine got $280,000. The Music and Arts Center for Humanity, of which Levine is chairman, received the funds to relocate to a new facility for its community-based school of the arts.
They Lined Up Early
They lined up early today to get into the 29th annual Creative Arts Festival organized by the Westport Young Woman’s League at Staples High School. Waiting patiently on line at 8 a.m. were (l-r) Patty Buckley with daughter Tatum and sister Kathy Downey. The show, the organization’s main fundraiser, runs until 6 p.m. today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contributed photo
Bedford Students Recite Poetry in Fund-raiser
Students from Westport’s Bedford Middle School Friday night kicked off a three-day fund-raising event at Westport’s Barnes & Noble with a poetry reading. Seventh grade student Eric Wessan recited his contribution as classmate Chris Nicoletti waited his turn. The students read both well-known poems as well as original works created in class. The event continues today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with more poetry reading and a display of student artwork. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport