Friday, May 18, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Joint Meeting Commission for Senior Services and Human Services Commission
6:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Artist Event: Artist’s Salon
More Affordable Housing Requested for Saugatuck Plan
Tonight’s Westport Planning and Zoning Commission session focused on how many of the 22 planned residential units in a proposed Saugatuck center development should be made affordable.
Marsh Development has proposed a plan for a mix of residential, retail and office space on 12, 16, 20 Ketchum St. and 518 Riverside Ave. in a project called Saugatuck Mill. The project includes 22 residential units, and five of them would be deemed affordable as defined by state statute.
It is the second plan proposed for the area to revitalize Saugatuck Center, and the P&Z approved the first in February (See WestportNow Feb. 8). No vote was taken tonight, and a second hearing will be held.
During tonight’s public hearing, the number of units to be used as affordable housing were called into question and more units were requested.
Group Plans Y Directors Proposal, Town Hall Meeting
The Y Rescue Group is planning to bring forward its own slate of candidates to take over the Westport Weston Family Y’s Board of Directors.
The group held a meeting at the Westport Public Library tonight, and invited those who have an interest in discussing alternatives to the Family Y’s proposal to the move to Camp Mahackeno. Among those attending were Y Downtown members, Representative Town Meeting members and Family Y Chief Executive Officer Helene Weir.
Win Baum, Rescue Group founder, said the process for the Family Y finding a spot for a new facility and the process to move there needs to be more transparent.
“We all have the right to see what’s going on and where this is going,” he said.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
WSJ Editor on Possibly Working for Murdoch: “A Little Scary”
Alan Murray (l), assistant managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, chats with members of the Y’s Men of Westport Weston following an address to the group today at Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church. Asked about possibly working for Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. is seeking to take over Dow Jones Inc., publisher of the Journal, Murray said there is no question Murdoch is a good businessman but that having an owner with a track record of personally getting involved in his holdings’ news operations is “unfortunate and a little scary.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Officials Disagree with Population Projections
Westport officials said today they disagree with a report from the University of Connecticut that predicts the town’s population will grow by almost 20 percent by 2030.
The report from the Connecticut State Data Center shows Westport’s population to grow by 19.3 percent from 26,610 in 2005 to 31,757 in 2030 (See WestportNow May 16).
But town officials are saying they disagree with the report and do not anticipate the significant growth over the next 20 years.
Planning and Zoning Director Laurence Bradley said the dramatic increase does not fit with the model they are using with the update to the Town Plan of Conservation and Development.
Town Hall Power Problem Fixed
Westport Town Hall had its electricity back at 5:30 a.m. today, but it wasn’t Wednesday’s storms that caused the problems.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said the power went out because there was a problem with the conduits in the underground power line between Town Hall and a utility pole at the bottom of the Town Hall driveway.
The power on Wednesday initially went off just after 10 a.m., and it was back on around 1:20 p.m. It went off again around 4:20 p.m.
Several Town Hall employees said they heard a loud bang when the power went off the first time, and Joseloff said there was a second loud bang with the second outage.
Family Y Appeal Petitions Circulating
Westporters are circulating two petitions to challenge the Conservation Commission’s decision to approve the Westport Weston Family Y’s plans to move to Camp Mahackeno.
The commission approved the plan in April after months of hearings, controversy and deliberations, and included 57 conditions of its approval (See WestportNow April 26).
The town’s Waterway Protection Line Ordinance, however, allows the decision to be appealed and reviewed by the Representative Town Meeting, and there are two separate petitions circulating to take the decision to the RTM.
Town Clerk Patricia Strauss said a petition can be filed by two RTM members or 20 of the town’s voters within 30 days of the decision.
Indian Hill Visitor
The residents along Indian Hill are used to wild turkey and deer in the neighborhood, but there was a different animal visitor to the neighborhood Wednesday morning. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Loffredo for WestportNow.com
May 17, 2007
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission public hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Florence Foster Jenkins: A World of Her Own”
7:15 p.m. – Room 201 – Youth Commission
Wall Street Journal Editor to Speak
Alan Murray: Speaking on corporate power struggles. Contributed photoThe Y’s Men of Westport Weston will hear about the changes in the power struggle for corporate America in its meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Saugatuck Congregational Church.
Alan Murray, assistant managing editor and columnist with The Wall Street Journal, will speak on his new book, “Revolt in the Board Room: The New Rules of Power in Corporate America.”
In his talk he will discuss the firings of Carly Fiorina at Hewlett-Packard, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg at AIG and Harry Stonecipher at Boeing and how they signaled a revolution in the power structure of public corporations.
Murray is the author of the journal’s business column, which runs every Wednesday. He is also a regular contributor to CNBC. Murray joined The Wall Street Journal in 1983, as a reporter covering economic policy.
For more information, contact Bill Meyer at (203) 226-3704 or Jon Fox at (203) 227-2679.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Shellfish Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Rell’s Desk
A bill transferring oversight of the state-owned Cockenoe Flats shellfish beds to Westport is now on its way to Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s desk for signature.
The state Senate passed the bill today. The state House of Representatives passed the measure earlier this month after lengthy debate. (See WestportNow May 8).
The legislation would allow Westport to resume charging people to dig for clams in the area. Permit fees were suspended in 1994 when sportsmen from Bridgeport and Stratford sued the town for trying to regulate state lands.
“The Town of Westport was an excellent steward of the shellfish beds before the state assumed jurisdiction, and will be again,” said Westport Sen. Judith Freedman, R-26, in a statement.
Report: Westport Population to Grow to 31,757 in 2030
A new report from the University of Connecticut shows Westport’s population over the next 20 years will grow at a greater pace than the rest of the state.
The Connecticut State Data Center issued a report that shows population projections from 2010 through 2030 for the state and each of its 169 communities.
With a base population in 2005, Connecticut’s population is expected to grow by 5.9 percent by 2030, but Westport’s population is expected to grow by 19.3 percent during the same time from 26,610 in 2005 to 31,757 in 2030.
Westport’s growth is better than Fairfield County’s projected growth of 9.8 percent before 2030.
Police Issuing Many Seat Belt Tickets
The latest Click It or Ticket program is off to a swift start, police said today.
Sgt. Jerry Shannon, police public information officer, said as of mid-day today there had been 51 seat belt violations issued since the campaign started on Monday.
“It seems to be above average,” he said.
Westport police have a new traffic unit dedicated to driving violations, he said, and they have contributed to the increase in seat belt tickets, which carry a $37 fine.
Police K-9 Teams Certified
Westport Police Officer Marc Heinmiller works with police dog Lola today during a certification seminar with master trainers from the North American Police Work Dog Association. Teams of officers and police dogs from Westport, Norwalk, Newington and Hamden were required to demonstrate mastery of narcotic detection, aggression control, tracking, obedience and building and area searches. The session started at Westport’s Baron’s South, and all the teams passed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Gene Takahashi, IBM Exec and Korean War Vet, Dies at 79
Longtime Westporter Gene Takahashi, a former IBM executive and Korean War veteran profiled by the late author David Halberstam in his forthcoming book on the war, died Tuesday night at his Westport home after a lengthy illness. He was 79.
Gene Takahashi: “a genuine war hero.” File photo
Takahashi was a strong supporter of the Westport Public Library and was key in getting the Pulitzer Prize-winning author to accept an invitation to be honored at the library’s May 27 “Booked for the Evening” fund-raiser. The event will now be a tribute to Halberstam.
“Some two years ago I went out to Westport, Conn., to interview Gene Takahashi for a book I was writing about the Korean War,” Halbertstam wrote in a Forbes magazine article a month before his April 23 death in a California car crash. (See WestportNow April 23, 2007)
“There were, it soon struck me, two Gene Takahashis, the first the former IBM executive, quiet and exceptionally modest, the model citizen of a prosperous Connecticut suburb; and then another Gene Takahashi, someone whom almost none of his neighbors knew anything about.”
Westport Included in Counterfeit Check Scheme
Three Bronx residents pleaded guilty on federal fraud charges today in a counterfeit check scheme that included Westport banks.
Sunjlee Cordero, 25, Shameeca Lloyd, 25, and John Cruz, 28, also known as Alfonso F. Carcagenta, each pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in New Haven federal court before U.S. District Judge Peter C. Dorsey.
According to federal officials, the three and others presented 53 counterfeit checks at 20 People’s Bank and two Webster Bank locations in Westport, Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield, Milford and Bridgeport between July 7, 2004 and July 23, 2004
The counterfeit checks presented at People’s Bank were printed using actual account numbers and routing numbers for three actual businesses having accounts with People’s Bank, according to federal officials.
Coleytown Middle School Choir Performs at Senior Center
School Roof Projects Total More Than $3 Million
The Westport Board of Education is hoping to replace the roofs on two schools, but the cost will be than $3 million for the two projects.
School officials are seeking $970,000 to replace the roof at Coleytown Elementary and $2.2 million to replace the one at Long Lots Elementary.
The roof at Long Lots is of big concern to school officials, said Nancy Harris, assistant superintendent for business.
The roof is 14 years old, she said, and there is a lot of ponding on the flat roof because there are not many drains.
In the Dark at Town Hall
The lights went out just after 10 a.m. at Westport Town Hall today and did not come on again until about 1:20 p.m. But they went out again at 4:20 p.m. In both cases, Town Hall employees said they heard a loud noise outside around the time the lights went out. Connecticut Light and Power Co. crews fixed the first problem on a pole outside of Town Hall and were heading back to fix the second one. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
Tornado Watch Issued for Fairfield County Until 6 p.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for most of Connecticut, including Fairfield County, until 6 p.m. today.
There are also thunderstorms moving into the area this afternoon. The watch alert said the severe weather could include tornadoes, hail to 1.5 inches in diameter, thunderstorms with wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour and dangerous lightning.
The weather service alert said the watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area.
People in those areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for further updates on potential warnings, the alert stated.
Concert to Support Interfaith Housing
Interfaith Housing Association of Westport will hold its annual Bandfest on Friday at 7:30-11 p.m. at the Saugatuck Congregational Church.
The battle of the bands competition includes the bands Hysteria, Clip and Baio Paco. Prizes will be awarded to the top band of the night.
Admission is $10, and the proceeds will support Interfaith Housing Association’s programs.
For more information, call Molly Hennessy at (203) 454-1218.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Maintenance Study Committee
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Westport Public Library - authors@the library: Elinor Lipman
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Library Board of Trustees
Rescue Workers to be Honored
The Westport Young Woman’s League will honor the town’s rescue workers at a thank you party on Sunday at 2-4 p.m. at the Westport Woman’s Club at 44 Imperial Ave.
“We wanted to show these brave men and women that what they do is deeply appreciated,” said Sheri Valente, who is co-chairing the event with Madeline Monde. “We hope that everyone will take a few minutes out of their day to come by and pay tribute to our police officers, firefighters and EMS professionals.”
All are invited to the event, which includes an opportunity for children to get an up-close look at a fire truck, police cruiser and ambulance.
Free ice cream sundaes will be available courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s, Shaw’s, Stew Leonard’s and Stop and Shop, and the Mill River Band will perform.
For more information, visit www.wywl.com.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
P&Z to Review Saugatuck Affordable Housing Project
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss the second Marsh Development plan to revitalize Saugatuck Center during its meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The plans, which are available in the Planning and Zoning Department, call for a mix of residential, retail and office space on 12, 16, 20 Ketchum St. and 518 Riverside Ave. in a project called Saugatuck Mill. The project includes some “affordable” residential units.
The commission held a field trip of the properties today.
The buildings at the Ketchum Street properties would be demolished, and the 16,000-square-foot office building on Riverside Avenue would remain as an office building.
All Gone: 36 Prospect Road
Page 1289 of 1681 pages
Construction crews demolished the house at 36 Prospect Road this morning. The 1950 house sold in April for $890,000. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on May 13. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
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