Monday, March 13, 2006
Dems Re-Elect Martha Aasen Town Chair
Westport Democrats tonight unanimously re-elected Martha Aasen as chair of the Westport Democratic Town Committee.
Aasen, who has served as town chair for 12 of the past 14 years, was nominated by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff at a meeting in the Town Hall Auditorium.
The town committee also unanimously re-elected Mark Marcus as vice chair.
Enjoying Signs of Spring
These youngsters enjoyed a crocus field along Westport’s Riverside Avenue during today’s warm temperatures in the upper 50s. But their delight might be short-lived. The forecast called for colder weather and possibly snow later in the week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matthew Mandell for WestportNow.com
Police Still Investigating Bank Robbery
Westport Police said today they don’t have a suspect yet in Friday’s bank robbery at the Webster Bank in Colonial Green, 244 Post Road East.
Police Lt. Gary Golas said detectives are continuing to investigate the robbery, which involved a black man wearing a black hoodie and sunglasses.
Detectives are reviewing tapes of the robbery, he said.
They believe the man left in a car after a dog tracked his scent to a parking spot, Golas said.
Evening Session Thursday to Discuss Tax Appeal Process
For Westporters unable to attend last week’s daytime event on how to appeal a property revaluation to the Westport Board of Assessment Appeals, they will get another opportunity this week in the evening.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced today that a second forum to discuss the tax appeal process will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium. A similar session was held Friday afternoon at the Westport Center for Senior Activities.
Members of the Board of Assessment Appeals will make a presentation on how to prepare for a meeting to appeal a property tax valuation. Westport Tax Assessor William Gaffney will also be available to answer questions.
“This is a second opportunity for Westport residents to find out the type of information that is helpful when appealing a property tax valuation,” Joseloff said in a press release.
A Banner Day
Today’s WestportNow Teardown: 37 Jennie Lane
Today’s WestportNow teardown is 37 Jennie Lane in the Compo Road South area near I-95. A demolition application is pending. The home recently sold for $1 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Staples Engineering Team Wins Honors
Westport’s Staples High School Engineering Team has won second place in the National Engineering Design Challenge. The engineering team, which includes students in grades 9-12, had to design a product that would enable people with disabilities either to enter the workforce or to continue working at their present jobs. The students designed a file cabinet that enables a person with limited fine motor skills or painful conditions such as arthritis, to store and retrieve files easily, with minimal pain. The school system did not provide identities of students pictured. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Monday, March 13, 2006
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Westport Transit District
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Parks and Recreation Commission
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 307/309 – Anticipated Board of Education executive session – public meeting to follow
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Rell Announces Selection of Vendor to Refurbish Rail Cars
It may take a year, but there will be more cars on the Metro-North New Haven Line for Westport commuters, according to Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
Rell announced today that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) has selected Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. as the vendor to inspect and refurbish 33 passenger rail cars.
The rail cars were originally purchased from Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and include 10 cab cars and 23 trailer cars purchased by the state as part of an ongoing plan to increase seating capacity on the Connecticut commuter rail system.
Under orders from Rell in November to expedite the process, CDOT requested qualified bidders to submit their proposals to the department by Jan. 19.
Dense Fog Advisory Issued
The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory for the Westport area which is in effect until 9 a.m. Monday.
Fog covers I-95 near the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport tonight. CDOT photo
Dense fog will become widespread across Long Island, southern Connecticut and southern Westchester County overnight, the advisory said. Visibilities may be reduced to near zero at times. The dense fog conditions are expected to continue through the morning rush hour Monday.
A dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be reduced to less than one quarter mile. If driving, slow down, use your headlights and leave plenty of distance ahead of you.
Westporters’ “90-Pound Suburban Housewife” Song on iTunes
You can now download from iTunes the country song “90-pound Suburban Housewife Driving in Her SUV” by Westporters and life partners Rozanne Gates and Suzanne Sheridan.
Westport author Prill Boyle posed for Suzanne Sheridan’s camera in her SUV and Weston photographer and graphic artist David Emberling completed the iTunes graphic for “90-Pound Suburban Housewife.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic
The song got national airing on NPR’s “Car Talk” program in January and in recent days made its debut on iTunes, Apple’s online digital jukebox and music download store. It costs 99 cents to download the song by singer Kira Small.
“We’re thrilled,” said Gates, who said she has been inundated with e-mails since the song first aired on NPR. “It struck a nerve with a lot of people.”
In advance of the iTunes debut, the two were asked to prepare a graphic to accompany the posting.
Westport’s Hall-Brooke Opens 16-Bed Women’s Unit
A new 16-bed inpatient unit specifically dedicated to women’s treatment has opened at Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services, 47 Long Lots Road, Westport.
Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport offered blessings on the newly opened 16-bed Women’s Unit of Westport’s Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services. With Lori are (l-r): Dr. Thomas E. Smith, Hall-Brooke’s medical director, and Jennifer L’Herbette, MSW. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The advanced design 10,000-square-foot Woman’s Unit is staffed by clinical experts versed in the particular needs of women’s mental health and well-being, according to Thomas E. Smith, M.D., Hall-Brooke’s medical director.
The specific gender focus of the new unit “puts Hall-Brooke in the vanguard of mental health treatment centers which recognize the importance of biological and social factors on the mental health of women,” Smith said. “There are very few comprehensive programs tailored to women available in the entire country.”
The unit’s specially trained staff understands the mental health needs of women and recognizes the influence of hormones and premenstrual symptoms, reactions to infertility or pregnancy loss, and emotional distress related to life changes, he said.
Two young friends enjoyed Saturday’s 75-degree temperatures while sitting on the Saugatuck River boardwalk near Westport’s downtown as the sun shone through the river grasses at low tide. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
Rockin’ at Toquet
Westport’s Toquet Hall teen center was jumping Friday night as Epic Records recording artists “Quietdrive,” along with “Sucka Brown,” “Planeside,” “The Mark,” and “Out of Line” rocked the house to a near sell-out crowd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Eric Goldschmidt for WestportNow.com
Sunday, March 12, 2006
3 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “On the Verge”
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Staples Wins Norwalk Jazz Festival
For the first time in the 17-year-history of the event, the Staples High School Jazz Band, directed by Nick Mariconda, won the Norwalk High School Jazz Festival.
Nine other area high schools competed in the event, which took place Friday afternoon and evening.
For the festival, Staples played four numbers: “Satin Doll” by Duke Ellington, “Yardbird Suite” by Charlie Parker, “Since I Fell For You” by Buddy Johnson, and “The Raven Speaks” by Keith Jarrett.
Two judges gave Staples scores for the performance, and Staples ended up having the highest total of all those competing.
Sportswriter Frank Deford Sunrise Rotary Guest Friday
Frank Deford: Sunrise guest. File photoSportswriter Frank Deford will be featured guest Friday at Westport Sunrise Rotary’s St. Patrick’s Day meeting. The 7:30 a.m. event will be held at the Peppermill Restaurant, 1700 Post Road East.
Deford, a Westporter, will discuss his latest book “The Old Ball Game—How Christy Matthewson and John McGraw and The New York Giants Created Modern Baseball.” Early reviews have made the book one of the most anticipated sports tomes in years.
According to Kirkus Reviews, “Mathewson and McGraw may be the star attractions, but it’s Deford’s reach of baseball knowledge, its color and historical circumstance that sets this one apart.”
Deford’s work has appeared in virtually every medium. Author of 15 books, he is senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated where his byline first appeared in 1962. He is a regular correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” and NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
Anyone who would like to attend as a guest should contact a Sunrise Rotary member or call (203)454-6446.
History Channel Executive to Address Y’s Men
Carl Lindahl: makes history come alive. Contributed photoWestporter Carl Lindahl, vice president of historical programming for The History Channel, will speak to the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston Thursday.
His topic is “The History Channel: Business, Art and Responsibility.” The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East
Lindahl is responsible for developing and overseeing new series, specials and documentary strands and advancing long-term programming strategies for the network.
He has been executive producer of many of the network’s successful and critically acclaimed specials including “Lincoln,” “Titanic’s Final Moments,” “Da Vinci & The Code He Lived By,” “The Plague,” “Witch Hunt,” and the Emmy Award-winning “Blood From A Stone,” among others.
Playhouse Receives Grants
Westport Country Playhouse received a $10,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation and a $7,500 grant from the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation.
The Fairfield County Community Foundation’s grant will support the Playhouse’s Playmaking project conducted at the Literacy Center in South Norwalk and at the Playhouse during winter 2006.
The Playhouse Playmaking project for fourth through sixth graders is designed to introduce students to the magic of the dramatic impulse through improvisation and writing exercises.
By the conclusion of the eight-week workshop, the participants will each have written a short play which will be performed in readings by professional actors at the Playhouse before an audience of family and friends.
Heading to the Beach
Program on Adapting to Middle School Featured
Many parents have discovered the transition from elementary school to middle school can be a challenging.
Positive Directions will present “Creating Lasting Family Connections,” a program geared for fifth-grade parents to cope with the challenges and preventing risky behavior on four consecutive Mondays starting March 27. The programs will be held 9:30-11:15 a.m. at the Positive Directions Westport office.
A professional counselor will lead each of the sessions. Each attendee will receive a copy of the “Raising Resilient Youth” workbook.
Reservations for the workshops are limited and it costs $100. Scholarships are available and requests are confidential.
For more information or to make a reservation, contact Positive Directions at (203) 227-7644 ext 127.
Staples Soccer Co-Captains Announce College Choices
Colin Nangle. WN photo
Ross McGibney. WN photoRoss McGibney and Colin Nangle, co-captains of the 2005 Staples High School boys’ soccer teams, have announced their college choices.
McGibney has accepted a full athletic scholarship to Division I Quinnipiac College, while Nangle will attend Division III powerhouse Middlebury College.
The two Wreckers will join more than 250 Staples players who have played college soccer since the Staples program began 48 years ago. More than 50 have become college captains.
McGibney, who recently returned from California, where he competed with the Olympic Development Program’s Region I team, will be the first Stapleite to play at Quinnipiac.
Thinking of Summer
Playhouse Opens 2006 Season Tonight
The Westport Country Playhouse kicks off its 2006 season with tonight’s official opening of “On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning)” by Eric Overmyer, playing through March 25. The comedy is directed by Tazewell Thompson, Playhouse artistic director. Pictured are (l-r): Laiona Michelle as Mary, Susan Bennett as Alex, Molly Wright Stuart as Fanny and Tom Beckett as Grover et al. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) T. Charles Erickson photo
Saturday, March 11, 2006
8 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players present “Urinetown, The Musical”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “On the Verge”
Friday, March 10, 2006
Bittersweet Farewell to Fire Marshal Fred Baker
Saying thank you: Fred Baker addresses a reception in his honor tonight. WestportNow.com photo
By Jayde Levesque
It was a festive and bittersweet scene tonight as Fire Marshal Fred Baker bid farewell to Westport.
Baker, who served on the Westport Fire Department for more than 27 years, retired from his career in Westport last month to take a similar position in New Canaan.
“New Canaan is lucky to have someone with motivation,” said Fire Inspector Nate Gibbons. “They’re getting someone with more than a badge. They’re getting someone involved in the community.”
Baker began his career as a firefighter in Westport in 1978, when he was 22 years old. He joined the department the same day as a number of other longtime firefighters, including Chief Christopher Ackley, who was unable to attend tonight’s reception.
A Very Special Thank You
Page 1072 of 1267 pages
A party tonight honoring retired Westport Fire Marshall Fred Baker (l) included a tribute from Rebecca Loeser, 14, and her parents Patricia and Ronald (4th and 5th l). Baker rescued Rebecca from their burning Bonnie Brook Road house on July 19, 1994, when she was a 2-year-old. One of the first on the scene, Baker rushed into the home and carried Rebecca from a smoke-filled second floor bedroom. Deputy Chief Mark Amaturdo (3rd l) introduced them and read a letter from Chief Chris Ackley who could not attend the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
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