Thursday, May 24, 2007
Westport Third Connecticut StormReady Community
Westport is the third community in Connecticut—and the first along the shoreline—to receive the National Weather Service’s StormReady designation.
The designation means Westport is prepared properly for an onslaught of a severe storm.
Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said Westport exceeded the requirements in each area and impressed National Weather Service officials.
The program gives the community credit rating points, he said, which could lead to a discount on flood insurance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Walking on Water
It looks like these visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach were walking on water Wednesday. Actually, they were enjoying themselves on a jetty with temperatures in the 60s. Today’s forecast calls for summer-like highs in the 80s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Thursday, May 24, 2007
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Investment Resource Seminar
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Emily McLaury House Committee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen Music Night
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning & Zoning Commission work session
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance/Public Protection Committees
Staples Volleyball Wins FCIAC Title
The Staples High School Boys Volleyball Team celebrates its victory tonight over Trumbull High School to clinch the FCIAC championship in Fairfield. Westport’s Wreckers beat the Eagles 3-1 to clinch their fifth straight league championship. The team now moves on to the state tournament. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lauren Siegert for WestportNow.com
Taxes to Increase 5.9 Percent
Westport taxpayers will find a 5.9 percent increase in their bills when they arrive in late June.
The Board of Finance tonight approved a mill rate of 13.73 mills, which is an increase of .76 mills from the current tax rate.
On the average assessed home of $892,000, the taxes will be about $12,247, an increase of almost $678.
Earlier this month, the Representative Town Meeting approved a $160.1 million 2007-08 town budget (See WestportNow May 8).
Westport Voting Machines Headed to New York
A total of 16 of Westport’s 30 old lever voting machines are heading to Orange County, N.Y.
Election officials from the county were in Westport on Tuesday to pick up eight of the voting machines from Long Lots and Green’s Farms Elementary Schools.
Earlier this month, the Westport registrars announced the lever machines—which will no longer be used and have been replaced by electronic ballot scanners—were free to anyone who could take the 900-pound machines (See WestportNow May 9).
Registrar of Voters Nita Cohen said in addition to the 16 being taken by Orange County, three others will go to Westport residents.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
RTM Committee Tours Winslow for Y Site
The Westport RTM Long Range Planning Committee walked through Winslow Park today looking for spots where the Westport Weston Family Y could relocate there. Before heading on the tour, committee members analyzed a map of the park where a Y facility could be located. It determined the best areas would be where dog walkers currently can let their dogs run without a leash. It walked through that area to see where a building could be located. Following the walk at Winslow Park, the group moved on to Baron’s South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
First Court Appeal of Family Y Decision Filed
The first of what could be several court appeals of the Conservation Commission’s decision to approve the Westport Weston Family Y’s new facility at Camp Mahackeno was filed at Town Hall today.
The appeal, submitted by attorney Keith R. Ainsworth on behalf of Y Downtown, was filed in Stamford Superior Court on Tuesday.
“The commission’s approval of the permit is likely to have the effect of unreasonably polluting, impairing or destroying the public trust in the air, water or other natural resources of the state,” the document states.
The commission failed to consider alternatives to the proposal and “arbitrarily and capriciously” chose to ignore expert testimony, the document states.
Fire Department to Fill Two Positions in June
Westport Fire Department officials are completing interviews of firefighter candidates for two positions, which will be filled in June.
Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said several people were hired from a list that was compiled from an exam about a year ago.
Now the candidates need to be reassessed in order to create a more comprehensive list, he said, which is why the new interviews are being completed.
Today is the final day for interviews for candidates.
Two Taken to Hospital in Long Lots Accident
An accident on Westport’s Long Lots Road this morning sent two people to Norwalk Hospital. A car and van collided when the van attempted to make a left hand turn onto Cedar Road. The driver and passenger in the car were treated by Westport EMS before being transported to the hospital. The van’s driver refused medical treatment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Workers Hit Gas Line on Post Road East
Utility workers installing a high voltage electric line on Westport’s Post Road East hit a gas line early today near the Sherwood Diner, fire officials said.
The roadway was shut down between the Sherwood Island Connector and West Parish Road for about two and a half hours after the 1-inch line was ruptured shortly after 3 a.m.
A crew from Southern Connecticut Gas Company was called to repair the line.
Post Road East was reopened in the affected area shortly before 6 a.m., fire officials said.
Catch of the Day
Temperatures flirted with 70 degrees on Tuesday in Westport, and made for a good day for fishing along the Saugatuck River. The fisherman later caught a fish, which he returned to the river. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
10 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Play Club: “Souvenir” Discussion
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
6 p.m. - Winslow Park - RTM Long-Range Planning Committee
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Finance anticipated executive session
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
Imus Stays in Shadows at Wife’s Book Appearance
Westporter Deirdre Imus posed for photographs before speaking tonight at the Westport Public Library. Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.comBy Jennifer Connic
Westport author Deirdre Imus posed for several minutes for photographs and spoke with reporters before her talk tonight at the Westport Public Library, but unlike at an appearance earlier this month, her husband was not by her side.
Deirdre Imus’s appearance was to promote her new book, “Greening Your Cleaning,” which is the first in the series of five “Green This!” books. It was her second and final stop on an abbreviated book tour.
Her first appearance was in Madison earlier this month, and that was the first public appearance for her husband, Don Imus, since his April 12 firing from CBS Radio.
Don Imus, wearing cowboy boots and torn blue jeans, was spotted standing in the hallway outside the McManus Room before taking a seat in the back for his wife’s talk. The staff for both insisted reporters focus on Deirdre Imus’s book.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Getting Ready for Opening Weekend
Westport’s Longshore Sailing School opens its season in a few days with Memorial Day weekend. Workers are getting the boats ready for lessons and rentals throughout the summer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Lifeguards Needed at State Parks
Two years after a shortage of lifeguards at Sherwood Island State Park, state officials are again seeking lifeguards for the state park located in Westport.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced today the state Department of Environmental Protection is seeking lifeguards to fill 80 positions in 11 state parks, and those interested should visit www.ct.gov/dep.
In 2005, Rell promised Sherwood Island would be fully covered with lifeguards (See WestportNow July 6, 2005).
Rell made several promises then to fill the beach with the proper number of lifeguards after several quit, but the state still was unable to hire the full complement of personnel for the July 4 holiday (See WestportNow July 4, 2005).
State Troopers Investigating Sherwood Island Death
State police are investigating an “untimely death” at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park today.
State police officials said there was no criminal aspects to the death, and they were releasing little information at this time.
The family of the deceased has yet to be notified, troopers said, and the medical examiner needs to complete an investigation.
Westport Police Sgt. Jerry Shannon, public information officer, said Westport police were initially called to the scene around 10 a.m.
Tip for College Job Seekers: Edit Those Facebook Entries
Lindsey Pollak, author of “Getting from College to Career,” spoke to the Westport Rotary Club today about strategies for Gen-Y job seekers, including researching potential employers and being willing to take entry level jobs. Pollak, a writer, editor and speaker specializing in career advice and women’s issues, stressed that recruiters routinely check Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn Internet sites to gauge an applicant’s professional judgment. She urged job seeker to be aware of the pitfalls as well as advantages of technology in the current job market. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Playhouse Receives $15,000 National Grant
The Westport Country Playhouse received its first ever grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for $15,000 for Access to Artistic Excellence, playhouse officials announced today.
The grant will support the premiere production of “Sedition,” which will be on the playhouse stage Aug. 2-18 and will be directed by Tazewell Thompson, playhouse artistic director. David Wiltse, the playhouse’s playwright in residence, wrote the play.
“It is fitting that Westport Country Playhouse’s first recognition by The National Endowment for the Arts be directed toward a new play by David Wiltse, who has a history of acclaimed productions at the playhouse, beginning 20 years ago” said Thompson. “This is a most prestigious honor for David’s newest work and for the Playhouse where it will be staged this summer.”
The grant to Westport Country Playhouse is one of 951 grants totaling $67.3 million awarded by NEA in April.
Town Plan Second Draft Arriving Soon
The second draft of the update to the Town Plan of Conservation and Development may be delivered to the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission as early as Thursday, but it won’t be available to the public until June.
P&Z Director Laurence Bradley said the commission may receive the second draft on Thursday, but it is not scheduled to discuss the draft until its May 31 work session.
It remains unclear when the second draft would be released to the public, he said, but it would be after May 31.
The commission has tentatively scheduled a public meeting on the second draft for June 25, he said.
Strike a Pose
It was a picture perfect day at Westport’s Burying Hill Beach on Monday. Temperatures were in the upper 60s under sunny skies. The forecast calls for a high of 70 degrees today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
6 p.m. - Continental Manor, Norwalk - Sportsmen of Westport 46th Annual Dinner of Champions
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - authors@the library - Deirdre Imus
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Employee Compensation/Finance/Public Protection Committees
School Roof Projects on Hold
The Westport Board of Education is pulling its $3.1 million request for roof projects before the Board of Finance pending further testing.
The school board is planning to request $2.2 million to replace the roof at Long Lots Elementary School and $970,000 to replace the one at Coleytown Elementary School (See WestportNow May 16).
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said tonight First Selectman Gordon Joseloff received a letter from the Public Site and Building Commission stating it had not reached consensus on the project.
There was too little research for the commission to endorse the project at this time, Landon said.
Survey Finds Grads Satisfied with Staples Experience
Staples High School students who graduated in 2002 and 2005 were more satisfied with their high school experience than those a decade ago, according to a new survey.
The survey of students was released during tonight’s Westport Board of Education meeting.
The survey’s statistics were provided in a sheet compared to the results from a survey completed in 1998 of students who graduated in 1992 and 1996.
The survey has a rating where 3.7 or higher is considered favorable and over 4.0 is considered extremely favorable.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Construction Crews Hit Gas Line on Post Road East
Construction workers struck a gas line on Post Road East this morning, Westport Fire Department officials said.
Westport firefighters responded to a gas leak at 606 Post Road East—which is across the street from Shaws Supermarket—just before 8 a.m. today.
“Upon arrival, firefighters saw, heard and smelled gas spewing from a severed underground pipe at an excavation site in the front parking lot of the building,” officials said.
A backhoe at the site had struck and breached the buried gas line, officials said.Page 1287 of 1682 pages
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